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To the citizens of St. Joseph county, who have so generously contributed, 
in various ways, and so courteously aided us, in our efforts to gather reliable 
data from which to compile this work, — we tender our heartiest acknowl- 
edgments. We are under special obligations to Hon. Isaac D. Toll, Hon. 
W. H. Cross, Captain John C. Joss, L. A. Clapp, Esq., W. B. Langley, 
Esq., John Hull, Esq., Hon;*William Conner, and Henry Gilbert, Esq., of 

Had we the space we would, with pleasure, make acknowledgment by 
name to each of the many persons who have rendered us material aid in 
our historical researches, also to the many published sources of the informa- 
tion compiled and presented to the public in this volume ; but it would 
cover pages and add bulk to an already voluminous work. 

We have garnered from every available source (in many cases a mere 
sentence only), confining ourselves as far as possible to original material, 
depending largely upon the memories of old settlers, and those whose lives 
and associations have made them familiar with the subjects portrayed. We J 
have also, so far as practicable, classified all matter, although the labor of 
compilation has been materially increased thereby. Yet we feel assured 
that our work as a book of reference receives an added value that will more 
than compensate us for the increased labor and expense. We have also 
endeavored to make the history of each town and village after its organiza- 
tion up to present date complete in itself, without too much recapitulation ; 
to avoid this entirely were impossible, though we trust that it occurs to no 
considerable extent. 

Some incidents and anecdotes have been related more with the design to 
illustrate the past than to amuse the reader, for we have aimed only to show 
and trace the method of the change, in a concise, unpretentious way : how 
and by whom the wilderness has been changed to the garden, the log-cabin 
to the brownstone front, the track through the forest and the lone postal 
rider to the iron rail, fast mail, and electric wire with its lightning messen- 
ger, — the lands of the red men to the homes of the white. Honor and credit 
are certainly due to some. We have named many, but not all, — only a few 
of the leading spirits, whom to associate with was to be one of. Too muck 
honor cannot be rendered them. 

Instructions to our historians were, " Write truthfully and impartially of 
every one and on every subject." Their instructions have been as faithfully 
executed as was possible, and while some may have been omitted who should! 
have had a place in these pages, yet especial pains has been taken to make 
it otherwise. 

We expect criticism. All we ask is that it be done in charity, after weigh- 
ing all contingencies, obstacles and hindrances that may have been involved; 
for if our patrons will take into account all the difiieulties we have had to 
overcome,— the impossibility of harmonizing inharmonious memories, of rec- 
onciling perverse figures and stubborn facts, of remembering all the fathers 
and grandfathers where there are so many to remember, and, finally, the 
uncertainty of all human calculations and the shortcomings of even the 
most perfect, — we shall be content with their verdict. 

Philadelphia, May 17, 1877. 





Introductory 7 » 8 

Chapter T.— Civilization— Its Progress— First Intro- 
duction into Michigan— First Permanent Set- 
tlement—Ordinance of 1787— Organization of 
Territory— Counties and Townships— Adoption 
of Constitution— Development of State 9, 10 

Chapter II.— Abstract of Title— French, English, 
Colonial, and Indian Titles to Land in the 
Northwest— First Legal Conveyance in Michi- 
gan—Land Surveys and Sales— Military Report 
on amount of Good Land 10, 11 

Chapter III.— Ancient Garden-beds, Mounds, and 
Fortifications— The Northern Indians— Black 
Hawk War— A Safe Depository— Fort Hogan— 
Sale of Nottawa-seepe Reservation— Attempt 
to Murder — Summary Proceedings against 
Whisky — Removal of Indians — Murders of 
Chiefs— Sau-au-quett's Death— Purchase of Pri- 
vileges of Maguaga— Death of Wisner 11-14 

Chapter IV.— The First Prospecting Party of Pio- 
neers—Pioneers and their Journeys— Incidents 
—Early Markets, Primitive Dwellings and Fur- 
niture—Sickness, Distress— Fair Dealing— Per- 
sonal Sketches of Early Pioneers 14-17 

Chapter V.— Civil Organization of County and 
Townships— First Legal Documents Executed 
and Recorded— Village Plats— First Tax Sale.... 17, 18 

Chapter VI.— First Farms Opened— Land Entries 
—A Tragedy— First Orchards —Nursery— Im- 
provement of Live Stock— Agricultural Im- 
plements—Mint-Oil Distillation— Agricultural 
Statistics 18-20 

Chapter VII.— Early Manufactures— Ingenious De- 
vices to obtain Flour— Pioneer Mills— First Saw 
and Grist-Mill— Carding Factory— Wagon Shop 
—Distillerx— Foundries— Manufactures of 1876 
—Early Mfcchants' Banks, "Safety Fund," 
"Wild-Cat," " Red-Dog"— Specie Circulation- 
National Banks— Present Exhibit 20-23 

Chapter VIIL— Roads— Chicago Trail- The Value 
of Cost-mark and Economical Survey, but 
a Crooked Road— A Pioneer Toll-Gate— The 
Washtenaw Trail— Quick Passage from New 
York— First Postal Route— Stage-Line— First 
Tavern— First Post-Office— Commerce on the 
St. Joseph River— Arking— A '* close shave"— 
Steamboating— Tragedy— Damming the St. Jo- 
seph—Railroads—Business of 1876 23-26 

Chapter IX.— Judicial System— Constitution of 
Present Courts— Judges— Abstracts of Proceed- 
ings in Probate— Circuit and County Tribunals, 26-28 

Chapter X.— Location of Seat of Justice— Building 
of County Jail— Court-House— County Poor- 
Farm— Abstract of Proceedings of Board of 
Supervisors, and County Commissioners— Pre- 
sent Members— Revenue System— Assessments 
and Taxes— State and County Equalizations- 
Treasury Receipts Early, and Last— Population 
Statistics 28-31 

Chapter XL— Elections— Political Status— Officials 

and Terms of Office 31-34 

Chapter XII.— First Marriages— Pioneer Wedding- 
Tour and Bridal Costumes— Unique Wedding 
Guests— Early Births— First Death— The Di- 
vorce Courts— A Compromise — Notable In- 
stances of Longevity— First Cemetery 34-36 

Chapter XIII.— First Religious Services— Mission- 
aries — First Churches Organized — Sunday- 
Schools— Present Statistics— Education— Early 
Schools and School-Houses — White Pigeon 
Academy — Branch of University — Present 
School Statistics 36-39 


Chapter XIV.— The Learned Professions— The Bar 
of St. Joseph, Past and Present— The Medical 
Staff, then and now— Lobelia as a Remedial 
Agent for Corns 39,40 

Chapter XV.— Associations: Agricultural Society, 
First Fair and Address, Total Premiums Paid 
in Twenty -Six Years — Insurance against 
Thieves and Fire— Pioneer Society— Temper- 
ance Society of 1835— Medical Society— Teach- 
ers' Association — Masonic — Odd Fellows— The 
Grange 40-43 

Chapter XVI.— The Press of St. Joseph, Past and 
Present— " Michigan Statesman" — Early "ads." 
—Census of Chicago, 1836— Oldest Editor 43-45 

Chapter XVII.— Amusements— Pleasures of the 
Chase— Bear-steak— Militia Court- Marti als— A 
Transformation Scene— National Holidays- 
Governor Porter and Tailor O'Brien— Dams 
without Whisky— A Pioneer Duel and its Re- 
sult—How to Rob an Indian Safely— Criminal 
Calendar— Counterfeiting broken up— Murder 
of Esterbrooks— Robbery of the County Rec- 
ords 45-49 

Chapter XVIII.— Topography— Flora— Fauna— Ge- 
ography— Climatology — Thermometric Regis- 
ter—Geology—Soil—Products —Boulder Drift- 
Fossil Deposits— Drainage and Water System- 
Health 49,50 

Chapter XIX.— Patriotism of St. Joseph County— 
An Eloquent and well-merited Tribute— The 
First Volunteers of Michigan— Black Hawk 
War— Mexican War— Rebellion Record— His- 
of Regiments 50-^59 

Conclusion 60 


White Pigeon 61-71 

Sturgis 71-85 

Mottville 86-94 

Nottawa 94-112 

Constantine 113-130 

Florence 130-137 

Lockport (and Three Rivers) 137-155 

Colon 155-168 

Leonidas 168-181 

Burr Oak 181-189 

Sherman 190-193 

Flowerfleld 193-198 

Fawn River 198-208 

Fabius 208-214 

Park 214-220 

Mendon 220-232 


Arnold, William F 152 

Brooks, Aaron 90 

Blanshard, George 129 

Bower, Adam 166 

Bowman, John H 167 

Bishop, James 178 

Bishop, Mrs. Clara 178 

Bishop, James L 189 

Beadle, David 212 

Carpenter, T. C 85 

Caskey, Halsey 91 

Cross, Judge William H 108, 109 

Cuddy, Thomas 110,111 

Cathcart, John G 128 

Calhoon, Alvin x 134 

Clark, George J 181 

Carpenter, Sidney 188 

Clark, William 189 

Cade, Stephen W 193 

Dougherty, Richard 219 


Ebi, David 93 

Eck, William R 105,166 

Emery, Aaron P 22$ 

Fletcher, John W HO 

Fitch, Charles B 152 

Fitch, Samuel A , 152 

Farrand, Phineas 167, 168 

Farrand, Henry K 164, 16$ 

Flanders, Francis 208" 

Gentzler, Jacob 13$ 

Gorton, Samuel , 168 

Gardner, B. B 17$ 

Harris, John R 84 

Hartman, John 91 

Hazzard, William 107 

Harvey, Norman 129* 

Harwood, Heman 130 

Harvey, Addison 180" 

Hoisington, Abishai „. 212, 21$ 

Hunt, A. R 214 

Hutchison, James 219 1 

Harrington, William 227 

Holden, John 22$ 

Jew ett, Joseph..... facing 134 

Kingsley, Chandler " 180* 

Knox, Sr., David 85- 

Keightley, Hon. Edwin W „ 130 

Ketcham, Morgan L * 135 

Kibbe, John S 187 

Laird, Glover 109 

Laird, Henry W « 109, 110 

Langley, William B m 

Langley, Thomas W , Ill, J12 

Lintz, Jacob 127 

Lomison, John 219 

Leland, Andrew M 229 

Lyman, Lewis B 231, 232 

Miller, Joseph 91 

Miller, Lewis , 152 

McKinlay, Robert no 

Machin, William 137 

Macomber, Charles 150 

Moore, Hon. Edward S 153, 154 

Millard, Ira 180 

Morris, Hon. William i_89 

Nash, Stephen M 94 

Osborn, Hon. Nathan 231 

Osborn, George W 231 

Packard, Dr. Ira F 83, 84 

Pashby, Sr., George 136 

Pitts, Hiram Amasa 137 

Prutzman, Hon. Abraham C 153 

Pier, Solomon 175 

Purdy, Elijah 180 

Parker, D. R facing 76 

Roys, Norman 13$ 

Smith, Jacob S 92 

Schock, George 154 

Toll, Captain Philip R 206 

Toll, Nancy De-G 206,207 

Toll, Hon. Isaac D 207,208 

Thompson, Andrew 90 

Thorns, J. F 154, 155 

Thorns, Lewis F 155 

Tyler, Comfort 166,167 

Van Ness, Jacob 231 

Voorhees, Abram H 229 

Wait, Hon. Jonathan G 82,83 

Wiley, Samuel R 92 

Wilcox, Oliver W m 

Wolf, John i5i 

Watkins, Captain Levi 179 

Watkins, William M 179,180 

Watkins, John y 213 

Wakeman, Adams , ...facing 227 

Wakeman, Hiram «* 227 

Wakeman, M. H «« 227 





Autographs of Judge Hubbil Loomis and John 

W. Anderson, Register facing 27 

Brown, J., residence of (Florence) " 61 

Brooks, Aaron, residence of (Mottville) " 90 

Bates, O. C. M., residence of (Constantine) " 114 

Bank Building, First National (Constantine) " 118 

Bank Building, First National (Three Rivers) " 142 

Bates, P. B , residence of (Constantine) " 122 

Burcb, H M residence of (Three Rivers) " 142 

Baura, John, residence of (I^oekport) •• 145 

Backus, Dr. C. W., residence of (Three Rivers) •' 146 

Bower, Adam, res. of (Colon), double-page view.. " 15S 

Beam, Jacob Z., res. of (Flowerfieid), two views... " 195 

Court House (Centreville) facing title-page 

Cuddy, Thomas, residence of (Nottawa) facing 104 

Crossette, George I., residence ot (Constantine).... " 113 

Commercial Mills, D. Frazier (Constantine)... ..... " 120 

Cade, S. W., residence of (Sherman) " 193 

Document — Letter of Guardianship to Isaac Tyler 

over Lucy Cod ner, 1838 " 26 

Document— Letter of Administration to Eliza- 
beth Thurston, 1*30..... " 27 

Driggs, A. L, residence of (Constantine) " 118 

Daugherty, Richard, residence of (Park) " 214 

Emery, A. P., residence of (Mendon) " 220 

Fac simile Documents of First Court of Record.. " 27 

Fletcher. John W., residence of (Nottawa) " 96 

First National Bank Building (Constantine) " li8 

First National Bank Building (Three Rivers) " 142 

Fitch, Samuel A., residence of (Lockport) " 141 

Farrand, Henry K., residence of (Colon) " 164 

Farrand, Phineas, res. of (Colon), double page " 166 

Frazier, Alexander, residence of (Park) " 219 

Flowerfleld Station «• 219 

Gentzter, Jacob S., residence of (Constantine " 113 

George <feTweedale, manufactory of (Constantine) " 117 

Gibson, Samuel, re^id^nee of (Constantine) " 122 

Godshalk, Jacob, resi <ence of (Lockport) " 148 

Gorton, Samuel, re«idenr*e of (Colon j •« 168 

Harris, John R , residence of (Sturgis) " 84 

Hartman, John, res. of (Ca«s Co.), near Mottville " 89 
Hazzard, Sr., William, Otd Homestead (Nottawa) 

built in 1837 " 107 

Hoffman, J. W., residence of (Three Rivers) " 141 

Hoffman's Mills, J. W. Hoffman (Three Rivers)... " 141 

Harvey. Addi»on, residence of (Leonidas) " 173 

Hutchinson, John, residence of (Park) " 216 

Hutchinson, Stephen D., residence of (Park) ** 219 

Jewett, Mrs. Joseph, residence of (Florence) " 134 

Johnson, Joseph, residence of (Flowerfieid) " 197 

Johnson, James, residence of (Fawn River) " 200 

Kinne, John C, residence of (Leonidas) " 174 

Kingsiey, Chandler, residence of (Leonidas) '• 180 

Kibbe, J. S,, residence of (Burr Oak) " 184 

Kaiser Lake House (Fabius, •* 210 

Langley, William B.. residence of (Nottawa) " 101 

Laird, H. W., res. of Nottawa and Mendon) " 109 

Lintz, Jacob, residence of (Constantine) " 127 

Lomison, John, residence of <Park) " 217 

Map of St. Joseph County «« 9 

Morrison, Robert H., residence of (Sturgis) " 78 

Manufactory of George & Tweed* le (Constantine) ** 117 

McKinlay, Kobert, farm, residence of (Florence).. '* 132 

Millard, J. B., residence of (Three Rivers) " 138 

" Moore Park," res. of Hon. E. S. Moore (Three 

Rivers) « 153 

Munn, J. C , residence of (Flowerfieid) " 198 

Maring, A. W., residence of (Mendon) «« 225 

Parker, D. R., residence of (Sturgis).... " 76 

Pashby, George, residence of (Florence) " 136 

Pitts, Hiram A , residence of, the late (Florence).. " 137 

Purdy, John A., res. of (Leonidas), double-page...facing 170 

Pier, Solomon, residence of (Leonidas) " 175 

Rich, Cyrus W., residence of (Sturgis) " 75 

Runyan, Isaac, residence of (Sturgis) " 86 

Roys, Norman H., residence of (Florence) " 133 

St. Joseph County Court House facing title-page 

St. Joseph County Map facing 9 

Sturgis Union School Building •« 71 

Swartwout, L. B., residence of (Three Rivers) " 146 

Schoek, George, residence of (Lockport).. " 148 

Shepherdson, A. P., residence of (Fabius) " 210 

Tennyson, D. D., residence of (Three Rivers) " 142 

Teller, George W., residence of (Colon) " 163 

Union School Building (Sturgis) " 71 

Voorhees, Charles G., residence of (Mendon) " 210 

Voorhees Abram H., residence of (Mendon) •* 223 

Wakeman House (Mendon) " 225 

Wakeman. Hiram, residence of (Mendon) " 224 

Watkins. William M.. residence of (Leonidas) " 179 

Walthnm. John, residence of (Mottville) " 86 

Wells & Calam Block (Constantine) , ■« 118 

West, Seth, residence of (Leonidas) ** 177 

Wiloox. Oliver W., residence of (Nottawa) " 102 

Willemin, E. R., residence of (Lockport) •' 145 

Zimmer, A. C, residence of (Fawn River) " 61 


Arnold, William F facing 154 

Arney, William " 211 

Blanshard, George " 129 

Bowman, John H 167 

Bishop, James facing 178 

Bishop, Mrs. Clara «« 178 

Beadle, David " 211 

Brooks, Aaron (and wife)..... , '* 90 

Bates, O. C. M. (and wife) " 113 

Beam, Edmund , " 130 

Beam, Jacob Z. (and wife) " 195 

Bower, Adam (and wife) *« 159 

Carpenter, Sidney (and wife) 188 

Carpenter, T. C 85 

Cross, Judge W. H. (and wife) 108 

Cathcart, John G. (and wife) 128 

Calhoon, Alvin (and wife) 134 

Clark, George J 181 

Cuddy, Thomas (and wife) facing 104 

Caskey, Halsey " 130 

Cade, Stephen W. (and wife) " 193 

Ebi, David (and wife) 93 

Eck, William R 165 

Emery, A. P (and wife) facing 220 

Fitch, Judge Charles B 152 

Farrand, Henry K 164 

Fletcher, John W. (and wife) facing 96 

Fitch, Samuel A. (and wife) " 144 

Flanders, Sr., Francis " 208 

Flanders, Jr., Major Francis " 208 

Flanders, M D., D. L. I " 208 

Flanders, Esq , J. W " 208 

Flanders, Mrs. Elizabeth " 208 

Farrand, Phineas " 167 

Farrand, Joseph " 166 

Farrand, Mrs. B. M " 167 

Gardner, Bolser B. (and wife) " 178 

Gorton, Samuel (and wife) «* 168 

Harvey, Norman 129 

Harrington, William (and wife) 227 

Holden, John (and wife) 228 

Harris, John R. (and wife) facing 84 

Hartman, John (and wife) " 89 

Hazzard, William (and wife) «* 107 

Harwood, Heman (and wife) facing 130 

Hull, William " 154 

Harvey, Addison (and wife) ,. " 173 

Hoisington, Abishai » 212 

Hoisington, J. M " 212 

Hoisington, N. H " 212 

Hoisington, L.J " 212 

Hoisington, Mrs. A " 212 

Hoisington, W. W " 212 

Hunt, A. R « 211 

Hutchinson, John (and wife) " 216 

Hutchinson, James " 219 

Jewett, Joseph (and wife) » 134 

Johnson, James (and wife) «« 200 

Knox, Sr., David 85 

Ketcham, Morgan L. (and wife) 135 

Knox, Jr., David facing 154 

Kingsiey, Chandler , « iso 

Kibbe, John S. (and wife) " 184 

Krumm, Daniel E «« 212 

Leland, Andrew M. (and wife) 229 

Lyman, Lewis B .- 231 

Langley, William B. (and wife) facing 101 

Laird, Glover 

Laird, Henry W. (and wife) 

Lintz, Jacob (and wife) 

Lambert, H. C 

Lomison, John (and wife) 

Miller, Joseph 

Macomber, Charles (and wife) 

Millard, Ira 

Morris, Hon. William 


Morrison, Robert H. (and wife) facing 78 

Morrison, Misses M. M. and Annie.. 

McKinlay, Robert (and wife) 

Moore, Hon. E. S 

Miller, Lewis 

Machin, William "." 

Nash, Stephen M 

Osborn, Hon. Nathan 

Osborn, George W 

Packard, Dr Ira F. (and wife).. 

Parker, Daniel R facing 

Pashby, George (and wives) 

Pitts, Hiram (and wife) 

Prutzman, A. C 

Pier, Solomon (and wife) 

Rich, Cyrus W. (and wite) 

Roys, Norman (and wife) 

Smith, Jacobs 


















Stebbins, Dwight facing 154 

Sickles, Garrett « 154 

Thorns. J, F. (and wife) " 154 

Thorns, Lewis (and wife) « 154 

Thompson, Andrew 90 

Toll, Hon. Isaac D 207 

Toll, Captain Philip R 206 

Toll, Nancy De-G ^ 206 

Tyler, Comfort * igg 

Van Ness, Jacob 230 

Voorhees, Abraham H. (and wife) facing 223 

Wait, Hon. J. G. (and wife) 82 

Wiley, B. J 92 

Wolf, John (and wife) 151 

Wakeman, Adams facing 227 


Wakeman, Hiram.. 

Wakeman, M. H 

Wilcox, Oliver W. (and wife).. 

West, Seth (and wife) 

Watkins, William M 

Watkins, Levi 

Watkins, John 

Wells, B. F 


The Historian, in rescuing from oblivion the life of a Nation, should 
u extenuate nothing, nor aught set down in malice." Myths, however beau- 
tiful, are at their best but fanciful ; traditions, however pleasing, are uncer- 
tain — and legends, though the very essence of poesy, are unauthentic. The 
Novelist will take the most fragile thread of a vivid imagination, and from 
it weave a fabric of surpassing beauty. But the Historian should place his 
feet upon the solid basis of fact, and turning a deaf ear to the allurements 
of fancy, sift, with careful and painstaking scrutiny, the evidence brought 
before him, and upon which he is to give the record of what has been. 
Standing, as he does, down the stream of Time, far removed from its source, 
he must retrace, with patience and care, its meanderings, guided by the relics 
of the past which lie upon its shores, growing fainter and still more faint 
and uncertain as he nears its fountain, oft-times concealed in the debris of 
ages, and in mists and darkness impenetrable. Written records grew less and 
less explicit, and finally fail altogether, as he approaches the beginning of 
the community whose life he is seeking to rescue from the gloom of a fast- 
receding past. Memory, wonderful as are its powers, is yet frequently at 
fault ; and only by a comparison of its many aggregations can he be satisfied 
that he is pursuing stable-footed truth in his researches amid the early paths 
of his subject. 

In the Republic, founded upon popular sovereignty, the people are su- 
preme. They are the source of power. From them springs the government 
of the Nation in its varied phases — National, State and Municipal. The 
several States of the American Union, conceding to the General Government 
its central power, retain their individual sovereignty, within the limits pre- 
scribed by t|i^Federal Constitution, and, in the spirit and significance of 
the nationalWgend, (E Pluribus Unutri), are " many like the billows, and 
one like the sea." This principle of independent sovereignty runs through 
the whole system of the government, from the election of the Federal Exec- 
utive to that of the most obscure constable or pathm aster. And it is by rea- 
son of this sovereignty that the beginning and progress of a county become 
no unimportant subjects to trace upon the permanent pages of history. 

The ties of " home " have, ere now, thrown around sterile coasts, frozen 
plains and mountain cliffs the halo of the love of a patriotic people. Is it 
surprising, then, that the undulating, flowery prairies and open vistas of 
park-like lawns, which, for extent and natural beauty, far excel the baronial 
manors of European aristocracy, and watered with clear running streams 
and quiet lakes — which beautiful landscape is embraced within the limits of 
St. Joseph county — should charm the eyes of the forest settlers as they 
emerged from the dark, dense forests of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, 
and beget in their hearts a love for the surroundings of nature, that clings 
to them in their old age, and falls but little short of reverence when they 
speak of the old county, which witnessed their first struggles for life and 
competency. These associations have made it a sacred and almost hallowed 

These old pioneers are fast sinking to rest after the toils and privations of 
the border, whither they came, buoyed up with hope and nerved with vigor, 
to build for themselves and their loved ones, homes amid this beautiful sce- 

nery, while yet the whoop of the Indian and the howl of the wolf resounded 
on every side, and war's alarms came not infrequently, with imperious de- 
mands for blood and treasure. Here and there a white-haired veteran, bowed 
with the weight of years and the unremitting toil of pioneer life, remains, an 
interesting relic of fast-fading times. Before all of these old, hardy pioneers, 
whose impress was the germ of the present, and whose endowment was lofty 
examples of courage and unabated energy, and who have durably stamped 
their characteristics upon worthy successors — before these have passed away, 
we seek to place upon the historic page the record of whom they were, and 
what they did to make their county the just pride of the great Peninsular 
State of the American Union. Records will 4 be traced as far as they may 
yield the information sought ; the memories of the pioneers will be laid 
under tribute ; the manuscripts of the provident will give their contributions, 
and all sources will be called into requisition to furnish material, reliable 
and certain, to bring forth a truthful history of this grand county. 

Individual success is a proof of triumphant energy, and pledges a like 
career to corresponding enterprises ; therefore biographies of earnest, suc- 
cessful representative lives, intimately connected with the development of 
the county, will illustrate what energy, determination and indomitable will 
have hitherto accomplished, and can yet accomplish. 

To foster local ties, to furnish examples of heroism, to exhibit the results 
of well-applied industry, and to mark the progress of the community, 
literature, art and typography, (an attractive trio), are freely employed to 
embellish and render invaluable a practical and interesting work. 

Less than fifty years ago the first white settler built his cabin of rough, 
unhewn logs west of the principal meridian of the United States surveys in 
the State of Michigan. Until then the solitudes of the whole territory of 
Southwestern Michigan, acquired in 1821 by the treaty of Chicago, had 
been unbroken by any sound of humanity save as that mysterious people, 
the mound-builders, (whose monuments alone remain to tell us they once 
lived), had pursued their peaceful avocations within its borders — or their 
Indian successors had traversed its forests and plains, or in their light canoes 
sped over the unruffled bosoms of its lakes in pursuit of game, or on the 
more bloody trail of war. Adventurous traders, eoureurs des bois, and mes- 
sengers with despatches to beleaguered posts beyond the western lakes, had 
indeed followed the wild tribes, for commercial purposes, or passed across its 
boundaries, but no mark was left to show that an actual settlement had been 
made, with any idea of permanency, previous to 1827, in all of its wide 

A half-century has wrought a wondrous change. Despite privation, dan- 
ger and misfortune, farms multiplied and towns grew ; highways were cut 
through the forests ; streams were bridged ; morasses drained, and the stage- 
coach made its weekly trip between the eastern and western lakes. Then 
came the railways, connecting the populous and wealthy East with the West- 
ern border, affording easy and rapid transit, and progress sprang forward, 
equipped for an untiring march. The productions of the soil were, as by 
magic, exchanged for the commerce of the seas and the manufactories of the 
seaboard. Education and Religion walked hand-in-hand, and together 




wrought their beneficent mission, laying broad and deep the foundations 
of happiness and progress, and doing much, also, to erect the harmonious 
and symmetrical edifice thereon, which prosperous trade, busy manufacture 
and toilsome agriculture have made a demonstrable certainty. 

In prosecuting our enterprise we shall essay, first, somewhat of the history 
of the State in its early settlement, with a brief sketch of the title to the fee 
of the millions of acres of prolific soil within its splendid domain, and which 
the National Government confers upon the settler who makes his home 
thereon. Then will follow an account of the county, from its earliest settle- 
ment, up to and including this present centennial year ; showing its surpris- 
ing development in agriculture, trade, manufactures, political influence, pop- 
ulation and wealth — not forgetting to do honor to the brave men, of all po- 
litical faiths, who rallied to the common defence of the country when armed 
treason raised its bloody hand against the national life, and who bore the 
banner of the Peninsular State through the carnage of many hard-fought 
fields, onward to ultimate triumph. Brief histories of the several townships 

and villages composing the county, will follow, wherein will appear the names 
of the early settlers, public officials, professional men, tradesmen ; with ac- 
counts of schools, churches and societies ; together with comparative state- 
ments of the business of those early days and of the present — interspersed 
with incidents, humorous and sad, which invariably attach to border life, 
but which, however graphically they may be told, cannot give to us of the 
present day, who have come into our pleasant places through the toils and 
privations of the pioneers, any realizing sense of the rugged, thorny paths 
those heroes and heroines patiently and hopefully trod for many long and 
weary years. 

It cannot, then, be unimportant or uninteresting to trace the progress of 
St. Joseph's gratifying development, from her crude beginnings to her present 
proud position among her sister counties ; and therefore we seek to gather 
the scattered and loosening threads of the past into a compact web of the 
present, ere they become hopelessly broken and lost, and with a trust that 
the harmony of our work may speak with no uncertain sound to the future. 


w ■ 


— OF — 





In the early ages, amid the hordes of the East, civilization was born, and 
began its march of progress. Westward, over Assyria, India, Egypt, Greece 
and Rome, as those nations successively rose and fell, its waves rolled, and 
lapped the shores of Spain, France and Britain. Checked for a time at this 
ultima thule of the Greek and barbarian, by the repressive spirit of the middle 
ages, at length it overleaped the barriers interposed to its progress, and bore 
upon its topmost crest, over the Atlantic, a Columbus, a Cabot and a Cartier 
as its avant couriers to the New World, whose shores were bathed by the wa- 
ters of two oceans. Rolling inland, over mountain, lake and river, across 
the ancient domain of the mound-builders, then the realm of the Iroquois 
and Algonquin, the first ripple of the incoming-tide broke upon the shores of 
Michigan in the year of grace 1641, at which time* Father Chas. Raymbault 
and his companion, Isaac Jogues, (Jesuit missionaries, and envoys of the 
king of France,) unfurled the Bourbon lilies at the Sault St. Marie, and pro- 
claimed to an assemblage of two thousand of the red men of the Northwest, 
the news of salvation. 

These missionaries were followed by Rene Mesnard in 1660, and Claude 
Allouez in 1665, in the Lake Superior region ; and by Pere Marquette and 
Claude Dablon in 1668, who founded the mission at Sault St. Marie, which 
was the first settlement by Europeans in Michigan. 

In 1671 Pere Marquette founded the mission of St. Ignace, on the north 
shore of the straits of Mackinac; and in 1673, after his discovery of the 
Mississippi — the great event of his life — he discovered and named the river 
St. Josephs, and explored it for some distance from its mouth. 

In 1679 La Salle traversed the great lakes in the "Griffin," the first 
vessel ever launched thereon, and while awaiting her return, built a trading 
post at the mouth of the St. Josephs, and carefully sounded the stream and 
buoyed its channel ; and, finally, went to Illinois with Hennepin and Tonti, 
making the portage to the Kankakee, near the present site of South Bend, 
Indiana. The real settlement of Michigan, however, may be said to have 
commenced at Detroit in 1701, when De la Motte Cadillac, with the insepa- 
rable Jesuit and one hundred Frenchmen, took possession of that point in 
the name of the king of France, and which was the first permanent colony 
settled in Michigan. Thus this Commonwealth, which began to be colonized 
even before Georgia, is the oldest of all the inland States of the Union, ex- 
cepting Illinois, which had a colony at Kaskaskia previous to 1700. 

The French authority over Michigan, which lasted till 1760, and the En- 
glish domination which succeeded, and ended nominally in 1783, but really 
not until 1796, brought but little progress to the country. In 1787 the 
northwest territory was organized under the ordinance of 1787, Michigan 
coming under its government and laws at the departure of the British gar- 
rison in 1796, from Detroit. The first American settler in Michigan located 

* This date was five years before Elliot preached to the Indians within six miles of 
Boston Harbor. 

at Frenchtown, on the river Baisin, in 1793. In January, 1798, the north- 
west territory assumed the second grade of territorial government as pro- 
vided by the ordinance of 1787, and the territory of Michigan, as afterwards 
established, constituted a single county, Wayne, in that territory, and sent 
one representative to the General Assembly of the northwest territory, held 
at Chillicothe ; and the election at which this representive was chosen was 
the first election held in Michigan under the American government. 

In 1802 the Lower Peninsula was annexed to Indiana territory by the act 
of Congress creating the State of Ohio. January 11, 1805, Michigan was 
erected into a separate territory, and General William Hull appointed gov- 
ernor. From that time to the glorious victory of Commodore Perry on Lake 
Erie, in 1813, the country was subject to the terrors and atrocities of Indian 
warfare, the western tribes being confederated under Tecumseh, with the 
British, against the United States. 

After the recapture of Detroit in 1813, General Cass began a most success- 
ful administration as governor of the territory, which lasted until 1831, dur- 
ing which, as a historian of Michigan says, he did "more for the prosperity 
of Michigan than any other man, living; or dead." 

From 1805 to 1824, the legislative powers were vested in the governor 
and judges who formed the territorial government; but in the latter year 
Congress provided for a legislative council, to which those powers were given. 
The members were appointed by the President from eighteen nominees 
elected by the people, nine of whom constituted the council for four years. 
The first legislative council was held in Detroit on June 7, 1824. Emigra- 
tion now began to flow into the country, and population being scattered, 
Congress authorized the governor, in 1825, to divide the territory into coun- 
ties and townships, and to provide for the election of township officers. In 
1826, the counties of Mackinaw, Saginaw, Lapeer, Shiawassee, St. Clair, 
Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, Lenawee and Monroe were organ- 
ized, and the territory west of the principal meridian to Lake Michigan — 
which had not been su rveyed — was attached to Monroe and Oakland counties 
for judicial purposes. On April 23, 1827, the lands ceded by the treaty of 
Chicago in 1821, were formed into a township, and named St. Josephs, and 
attached to Lenawee county for similar purposes. The same year, Congress 
gave the people the right to elect the representatives to the legislative coun- 
cil, and the representation was apportioned among the districts and counties 
according to population. 

In 1833 the people of Michigan memoralized Congress for an enabling 
act to form a State constitution, preparatory to the admission of the State 
into the Union ; but that body refused their prayer. Thereupon Governor 
Stevens convened the legislative council, which ordered a census of the ter- 
ritory to be taken, and called a convention to frame a constitution, that " the 
State might demand as a right what had previously been asked as a favor." 
In 1834 the census was taken, showing a population of 87,273 ; an excess 
of 27,273 over the requisite number provided for in the organic law of the 
northwest territory. In May, 1835, the convention framed a constitution, 
and sent it to Congress for acceptance ; but owing to the southern boundary 
trouble, which had been vexing the people of Ohio and Michigan for thirty 
years, and the political agitation of the times, the State was not finally ad- 
mitted until January, 1837 ; the boundaries being adjusted as at present, 




and so accepted by the people finally. From this time Michigan dates her 
marvelous progress in manufactures, agriculture, commerce and education, 
which has placed her in the very fore front of the grand galaxy of Ameri- 
can Commonwealths. Amid her unrivaled natural beauties, and inexhaus- 
tible resources, her commercial and educational development, this proud 
State may well and justly say to all comers within her borders, in the lan- 
guage of her appropriate motto, Si quceris peninsulam amcenam, circum- 
spice j " If you seek a beautiful peninsula, look around you !" 




Notwithstanding the claims made by England and France to American 
soil, based upon the right of discovery under the law of nations, and which 
claims were maintained for two hundred years at a most frightful expendi- 
ture of blood and treasure, and although the thirteen colonies, after a bloody 
nnd expensive war of seven years, succeeded to the rights of those nations in 
the soil of the Northwest, yet there was an adverse and prior claim to be 
extinguished before a free and unincumbered title in fee simple could be 
iriven to lands northwest of the Ohio river. The aboriginal inhabitants — 
the Indians — were the real lords proprietary of the soil of North America, 
and most energetic and tenacious were they in defending their title thereto, 
and so successful were they in that defence, that the American people, not- 
withstanding their rights acquired so bloodily and expensively, were under 
the imperative necessity of perfecting their fee in their conquests by purchase 
from these same proprietors, from first to last. All of the terrible Indian 
wars which have deluged the territory of the United States with the blood 
of white men, to say nothing of the extermination of whole nations of the 
red race, which these same wars have occasioned, have been caused and 
waged on account of the trespass of the pale-faces upon the Indians' land, 
as alleged by the latter. 

In 1753 the French, by the treaty of peace following the fall of Quebec, 
ceded their rights in Cai ada and the Northwest to the English crown, and 
it in turn, by the treaty of peace at Versailles, after the revolution in 1783, 
ceded its rights in the Northwgst to the United States. Several of the colo- 
nies had obtained, previous to» the Revolution, certain vested rights in the 
territory northwest of the Ohio by charters from the British crown, and 
hence these lands were known by the name of " Crown Lands." These 
vested righto were ceded by the several States of New York, Virginia, Mass- 
achusetts, Connecticut and South Carolina, to whom they belonged, to 
the general government of the Union, from the year 1781 to 1787, and yet 
it was claimed by the Indians — and the claim made valid — that the United 
States had acquired by these several cessions the right of pre-emption only 
to the soil whenever the Indians chose to alienate their title thereto. 

After the great confederate council of the Eastern and Western Indians, 
at the Huron village, on the Detroit river, in December, 1786, the Congress 
of the United States accepted the construction placed by them upon the 
treaty with England in 1783 — that they (the Indians) were no party thereto, 
nor included in the provisions thereof — and the government at once began 
measures looking to the quieting and extinguishment of the Indian title to 
the lands in the Northwest. A treaty was made with the Wyandot, Ottawa, 
Delaware and Chippewa tribes, at Fort Mcintosh, in 1785, by which lands 
at Detroit and Mackinaw were ceded to the United States. This treaty was 
subsequently confirmed in 1787 by another one at Fort Harmer, and in 
1795 by Wayne's treaty at Greenville. This last treaty also ceded other 
tracts of land at Miami Rapids, and the islands of Mackinaw and Bois 

In 1807 Governor Hull, of Michigan, made a very important treaty with 
the Ottawa, Chippewa, Pottawatomie and Wyandot tribes, whereby the 
Indians ceded to the United States all the lands lying east of the present 
w T est lines of the counties of Saginaw, Shiawassee, Washtenaw and Lenaw 7 ee. 
In 1817 Governor Cass made a treaty with certain of the tribes, whereby 
the greater part of Ohio and a portion of Indiana and Michigan were 
ceded ; and in 1819 the governor effected another treaty at Saginaw with 
the Chippewas, by which the United States quieted the Indian title to six 
millions of acres in Michigan, In 1821, by the treaty of Chicago with the 
Ottawas, Chippewas and Pottawatomies, all of the country west of the 
principle meridian, south of the Grand river to the Indiana State line, and 

west to Lake Michigan, with the exception of a few reservations, was ceded 
and confirmed to the general government. Subsequent treaties in 1823, 
1825, 1826 and 1827, at Niies, Prairie du Chien, Green Bay and St. Joseph, 
extinguished the Indian title throughout the then territory of Michigan, 
with the exception of such reservations as were made for special bands or 
tribes — most of the Indians in the southern portion of the territory re- 
moving west of the Mississippi. 

Under the French domination in Michigan, grants of land could be made 
by the French governors of Canada and Lousiana, which were to be con- 
firmed by the King of France, to make them legally pass the title. The 
French commandants of the posts were also allowed to grant permissions of 
occupancy to settlers, and these latter sometimes occupied lands without per- 
mission from any one, thus gaining a color of possessory title, under which 
they subsequently claimed the full right of ownership. 

On the accession of the English power, the British king restricted the ex- 
tinguishment of the Indian title ; prohibiting the English governors from 
issuing grants of lands, except within certain prescribed limits, and the Eng- 
lish subjects from making purchases of the Indians, or settlements, without 
those prescribed bounds. Grants, purchases and settlements, however, were 
made, the king's proclamation to the contrary notwithstanding ; and these 
prohibited possessions formed an important part of the ancient land claims 
afterwards adjudicated by the land board of Michigan. 

In the "American State Papers," Vol. 1, "Public Lands/' it is stated hj 
the report of a commission on land claims in Michigan, that there were but 
eight legal titles passed to lands during the French and English occupancy of 
the country. However, there was a land-office established at Detroit, in 1804, 
and the evidence in support of the various land claims arising in Michigan, 
was gathered and submitted to Congress, which body, by subsequent acts of 
relief, vested the right to their lands in all actual settlers who could show a 
reasonable color of title thereto. 

The first legal grant of land in Michigan was made in 1707, by " Antoine 
de la Motte Cadillac, Esq., Lord of Bonaquet Mont Desert, and Command- 
ant for the King, at Detroit. Pont Chartrain," to " Francois Fafard Delorme ;" 
and it was charged with a great many conditions of the old feudal tenure of 
Europe ; the rents and quit rents were to be paid in peltries until a currency 
should be established, when thejpeltries were to be exchanged for and suc- 
ceeded by the cash of the country. 

The system now in vogue in conducting the surveys of the public lands, 
by which the territory is surveyed into townships of six miles square, and 
the townships subdivided into thirty-six sections, one mile square each, is the 
suggestion and plan of General Harrison, which was adopted by the general 

In Michigan the principal Jmeridian of the surveys was located on the west 
line of Lenawee county, where the same intersects the Ohio state line ; and 
was run due north through the State to. the Sault St. Marie. A base line 
was established, commencing on lake St. Clair, on the line between Macomb 
and Wayne counties, and running due west to lake Michigan, on the division 
lines of the counties intervening. Three auxiliary lines for the correction 
of the surveys w T ere run ; the first beginning at the meridian, on the centre 
line of Gratiot county, and running due west to lake Michigan ; the second 
beginning at lake Huron, on the line between Iosco and Bay counties, and 
running due west to the lake ; and the third beginning at Thunder bay, just 
south of the centre line of Alpena county, and running due west to the same 
general termination. There are in the survey eighteen ranges of tow r nships 
west, and sixteen east of the principal meridian, in the widest part of the 
State. The townships number eight south, and thirty-seven north of the 
base line on the meridian in the lower peninsula, and run as high as fifty- 
eight in the upper peninsula, on Keweenaw Point. 

The first survey of public lands in the State was made in 1816, in the 
eastern part thereof, on Detroit river and vicinity, and a portion only of 
that surveyed brought into market in 1818, all within the Detroit land dis- 

In 1823 the Detroit land district was divided, and a land-office estab- 
lished at Monroe, at which all entries west of the principal meridian, up to 
1831, had to be made. The lands were first offered at public sale, and after 
all competition seemed to be over, the applications and bids would be opened 
and examined, pending which action the office was closed, thereby causing 
much delay and expense to bona-fide settlers, and also affording a fine oppor- 
tunity for the " land sharks" — speculators — to reap a rich harvest from the 
real settlers who came to buy their own locations. 

The public sales were finally abolished, which act, together with the 
adoption of the cash system, rendered the swindling tricks of the speculators 



less easy of performance, and as a consequence, their occupation was soon 

After the applications and bids at the public sales were disposed of, the 
land was subject to private entry at one dollar and twenty-five cents per 
acre, cash in hand. Previous to 1820 the price of the public lands was 
fixed at two dollars per acre, and the terms at one-quarter down, the balance 
in three equal annual payments. This system proved a delusion and a snare 
to the people as well as the government, for many would buy larger tracts 
than they could pay for, not considering sufficiently the drawbacks they were 
liable to, and did experience, in the settlement of a new country. The result 
was, that the government could not, and would not, take the improvements 
of the settlers, but extended their time of payment and gave them liberal 
discounts and concessions; and finally abolished the credit system altogether, 
and at the same time reduced the price of the public lands to one dollar and 
twenty-five cents per acre, and made it subject to private entry at that price. 

In 1831 a land-office was established at White Pigeon, for lands subject 
to entry west of the principal meridian, but in 1834 it was removed to Bron- 
son, now Kalamazoo. 

A military board of survey, or commission, was sent out by Congress to 
report on the quality and quantity of lands in Michigan, for the purpose of 
locating on such lands the bounty land-warrants of the Eevolutionary sol" 
diers and officers, covering, in Michigan, two millions of acres. General 
Brown stated in the report of this commission, that there were not enough of 
good lands in the State to locate that amount of warrants, and therefore 
the Act of Congress, passed May 6, 1812, ordering the survey to be made, 
was repealed, and a survey of a similar quantity of lands directed to be 
made in lieu thereof, in Arkansas and Illinois. This report gave a bad rep- 
utation to Michigan lands, and it was not until after 1830 that the effect was 
removed by the representations of actual settlers, when emigration, which 
had mostly "passed by on the other side" to Illinois and Iowa, received a 
remarkable impetus, literally surging by waves into the territory. But the 
cloud had its "silver lining," nevertheless, for though the inaccurate and 
unjust report of the military board kept away the emigrants for a time, it 
also left them free of the bane of new countries — the land speculator, whose 
"tricks of trade" were so happily suppressed by the government in after 




The valley of St. Joseph river, throughout its entire length nearly, con- 
tains abundant and unmistakable evidences of its once being the habitation 
of that unknown and mysterious people, which modern science, for want 
of a better appellation, has named mound-builders. That such a people 
once occupied the territory from the upper lakes to the Gulf, has been de- 
termined beyond question, and Foster, in his " Pre-historic Races of the 
United States, ' ' says, " with regard to their manners and customs, the past 
is not altogether speechless. Enough of their monuments survive, to enable 
us to form an intelligible opinion as to their architecture, system of defence, 
proficiency in art, habits and pursuits, and religious observances." 

But farther than this, all is mystery. Who they were, whence they came, 
and whither they went, is as much a matter of speculation to-day, after all 
the researches of Lubbock, Baldwin, Foster, Schoolcraft, and scores of 
other investigators, as it was when it was first determined that the monu- 
ments scattered throughout the Ohio and Mississippi valleys were not the 
work of the present Indian races. The present Indians have no tradition of 
them, nor had they when they first came in contact with Europeans, six 
hundred and more years ago. But the works remain, for the present investi- 
gators to examine and theorize over, perhaps to give a clue for the future 
revealment of the now sealed history. 

The evidences found in St. Joseph county of this ancient people, consist of 
garden plats or beds, mounds and fortifications. That they are ancient, is 
testified by the growth of trees, similar to those of the surrounding forest, 
upon the mounds and fortifications and beds, since the same were constructed, 
as large, apparently, as many of the older ones in the forest. In the town- 
ship of Lockport there are garden beds still visible, bearing the same 
general characteristics as those described by Schoolcraft higher up the val- 

ley, as follows : " Many of the lines of the plats are rectangular and par- 
allel. They consist of low ridges, as if corn had been planted in drills. 
They average four feet in width and twenty-five of them have been counted 
in a space of one hundred feet. The depth of the walk between them is 
about six inches." 

In Colon there are several mounds, some of which have been excavated 
by E. H. Crane, a professor of taxidermy and embalming and archaeologist, 
who resides at Colon, of whom we have obtained much of the information 
here given of the remains in St. Joseph county. Mr. Crane opened two 
mounds on the farm of Phineas Farrand, in which he found all the charac- 
teristics of the works of the mound-builders, but no bones ; the soil of which 
they were composed being porous and not capable of preserving the latter. 
He found flints — small ones — and in one, a fire-place. In a mound he opened 
on H. K. Farrand's farm, he found some remnants of bones, a very beauti- 
fully w T rought celt, and some flints; and in one opened on George Teller's farm 
he found flints and celts. Mr. Crane has found in the mounds he has al- 
ready opened in the county, nearly every form of implement known to the 
mound-builders, some of them very unique and handsomely wrought, and 
others in the rough, or first stage of work, as well as the partially-prepared 
blocks of stone, for working. 

Within three hours' ride of Colon village, there are no less than six forti- 
fications of these ancient people. One of them is distinctly visible yet, and 
is in a square form, fronting on the St. Joseph river, with an avenue leading 
to the rear to Bear creek. Others in Leonidas had breastworks three feet 
high when first discovered, with circular entrenchments, and pathways 
leading into the same, and sally-ports, showing method and skill in their 
construction. Some of these fortifications had three breastworks or circles, 
the gateway being at a different place in each, so that an enemy forcing 
an entrance, must still fight the besieged behind his entrenchments before 
he could force the second or third entrance. On these breastworks, trees 
are, or were, growing four feet in diameter, of the same character as 
those of the surrounding forest in which the entrenchments are now found. 
Mr. Crane opened a mound on the banks of Sturgeon lake, which he calls a 
" sacrificial fire-place," in which he found the bones of all the animals and 
fish now known to St. Joseph county, besides some of the extinct animals. 
He, however, believes this deposit was made by the modern Indians, who in 
former times used to offer such sacrifices, by building a fire-place and a fire 
therein, and throw on their offerings of flesh, fish and fowl, and immediately 
cover the whole with earth, and the charred remains would preserve the 
bones. Mr . Crane also found in a mound he excavated in Burr Oak, cop- 
per utensils and the usual flints. These relics are found all over the county, 
and are to be seen in every cabinet the people have taken the trouble to 
gather. Dr. Nelson I. Packard, of Sturgis, has some very fine flints, but 
Mr. Crane has the finest selection, he having paid more attention to the 


The home of the bands of the Pottaw r atomie, Ottawa and Chippewa In- 
dians, comprising the bands known as the Nottawa-seepe Indians, was in 
the St. Joseph valley. At the treaty of Chicago, in 1821, when the terri- 
tory of Southwestern Michigan was ceded to the United States, several 
reservations were excepted from the general sale of lands, among them one 
called the Nottawa-seepe reservation, which embraced one hundred and 
fifteen sections of government surveys, and included all of what is now 
known as the township of Mendon, a portion of the western part of Leoni- 
das, eastern part of Park, and the townships and parts of townships lying 
directly north of these in Kalamazoo county. On this reservation the 
Nottawa Indians resided, having their different villages scattered through- 
out its area. One was in Leonidas, another in Mendon, near the trading- 
post on the opposite side of the river from the present site of Mendon 
village. The reservation comprised some of the choicest lands in St. Joseph 
county, taking in a portion of Nottawa prairie, the oak-openings of Mendon, 
Leonidas and Park, and the heavy-timbered lands to the north ; and the 
settlers looked with longing eyes upon the Indians' home, and desired to 
possess it for themselves. The Indians of jNottawa-seepe were principally 
Pottawatomies, with a few Ottawas — commonly called Tawas — and fewer 

At the settlement of the St. Joseph country the Pottawatomie nation was 
scattered over a vast territory — a portion remained in Canada, a portion in 
what is now known as the Upper Peninsula, a portion along the Miami of 
the lakes, and a portion in the State of Illinois, besides the small branch 
which remained on the Nottawa reservation. These separate branches or 
sub-divisions were governed by their respective head and subordinate chiefs, 
agreeably to their national policy, and the usages, customs and traditions by 



which they had always been governed ; no national measures could be 
adopted, nor transfer of their hunting-grounds be made, without the sanc- 
tion of a majority of the head-chiefs of all the several departments or tribes. 
The Nottawa Indians at this time acknowledged the sway of Pierre Mor- 
reau, once an accomplished and educated Frenchman, a native of France or 
a descendant of one of the old French families of Canada. "In early life he 
commenced his fortunes in Detroit, but meeting with ill success, sought a se- 
cluded spot on the banks of the St Joseph, and remained till he exhausted 
the remnant of his stock of goods, and then married an Indian woman, 
adopted the Indian habits and costume, and into his character of savage 
seemed to have merged every reminiscence of civilization, and to have lost 
the last vestige of its manners and habits. By his wisdom in council and 
prowess in war he won the position of chief-sachem or head-chief in this 
tribe or branch of the Pottawatomies. When the settlements began to 
gather around the Nottawa prairie he was a superannuated old man, de- 
crepid, infirm and disfigured." He was a man of powerful frame, about six 
feet in height, notwithstanding, and conversed fluently in the French tongue, 
but was ignorant of the English. Morreau, by his Indian wife, had seven 
children, who attained to adult age — Sau-au-quett, the oldest of four sons, 
Monice, Isadore, Wan-be-ga and three daughters, Betsy, Win-no-wis and 
Min-nah, " Cusb-ee-wees was the legitimate chieftain of the tribe, who was 
supplanted by Morreau, and after the latter became so dissipated and imbe- 
cile as to be no longer able to exert his power as chief, his son Sau-au-quett 
disputed the right to govern with the supplanted chief. Sau-au-quett was a 
wily, shrewd man, and possessed great powers as an orator, while the latter 
was modest and unassuming; and both parties had their adherents, but the 
warmest friends of Sau-au-quett admitted he had no just claims to the chief- 
tainship, and yet were unwilling to submit to the government of Cush- 
ee-wees. Sau-au-quett was six feet three inches in height, straight and well- 
proportioned*, of a commanding presence and an imposing and winning 
address, which was the secret of his great po\yer over the tribe, and which 
being improperly used, precipitated the whole tribe into ruin." The settlers, 
or some of them, supplied the Indians with strong drink, which served to 
increase their dissensions, and sank them into the most abject poverty and 
dissipation. They ceased to hunt for game and furs, traded their horses and 
guns, and even their blankets, for whisky, and left their children to starve 
in the wigwams. In this crisis of their wretchedness they were constantly 
plied by the settlers and the agents of the government with overtures for 
the cession of their reservation to the United States. And in the then con- 
dition of the Indians, their removal from the vicinity of the settlers was 
indeed a consummation devoutly to be wished, for the echoes of their mid- 
night revels and drunken orgies were borne on every breeze to the quiet 
threshold of the settler's cabin, and when in their drunken fits, which were 
neither few nor far betw T een, they were inconveniently familiar and in- 
solent, although when they were sober they were quiet, inoffensive and 
neighborly. A few only of the settlers had contributed to the degradation 
of the red man, but many were sufferers in consequence thereof, and the 
government was unceasing in its efforts to procure the cession of the terri- 
tory and the removal of its occupants. But the acquisition of the title to 
the reservation was no easy matter to compass. The immediate occupants 
were ready enough to surrender their rights, but their consent could pass no 
title to the land, nor could any title be had to the land except with the 
assent of a majority of the chiefs of the whole nation, who were scattered 
over an area of nearly five hundred miles. 

This was the condition of this branch of the nation at the time the Indian 
war, known as the Black Hawk war, broke out in 1832, and sounded an 
alarm throughout the length and breadth of the whole northwestern frontier. 
The southern line of the Nottawa reserve traversed Nottawa prairie from 
east to west, near its centre, between north and south, and that portion of 
the prairie south of the reservation line was among the first lands to be 
located in the northern part of the county. Along the southern margin of 
the reservation, and in the shadows of the beautiful groves and islands in 
this portion of the prairie, the cabins of the emigrants were scattered, when 
the news came to them that Black Hawk, at the head of his fierce and re- 
lentless warriors, was sweeping onward through Illinois, laying waste the 
settlers' possessions, murdering their wives and little ones, and declaring he 
would drive every pale face from the ancient possession of his people. 

It is not to be wondered at that the settlers felt sensations of alarm, and 
that the mother drew her child closer to her bosom, as they were aroused 
from their slumbers by the wild shriek of the besotted Pottawatomie, in his 
midnight carousals across the prairie. A panic of fear seized the whole 
settlement ; some families fled in haste, while others prepared for defence. 
Goods and valuables were concealed, cattle sold for a trifle or abandoned, 

and all farming operations for a time suspended. Several anecdotes are 
told of those days that exhibit the humorous side of the excitement, but it 
was no laughing matter then. We give place to one. A family on Sturgis 
prairie gathered their china-ware and other valuables in that line, and for a 
place of safe deposit for them, selected the well. The articles were gathered 
into a tub, and the tub attached to the well-rope and lifted over the curb — 
the windlass receiving an extra amount of soft-soap as a lubricator. But 

" The best laid schemes o' mice and men, 
Aft gang aglee," 

and just as the receptacle and its precious contents swung clear, the rope 
parted, and the treasures of the good wife, which she had carefully preserved 
in a journey of hundreds of miles in a Pennsylvania wagon, over curduroys 
and through swamps, without the loss of a single cherished saucer, dropped 
down, down into the depths with a crash and a jingle that told too well that 
devastation had come to them, whatever might be the final outcome in the 

But there were some who knew no fear, and did not believe the settle- 
ments were in any danger, and did much to reassure the fainting and trem- 
bling hearts of their neighbors. They penetrated the Indian camp and 
found there was as much fear among the Indians of an attack by the whites, 
as there was on the other side of the reservation line of an attack from the 
Indians ; and the preparations of each party to ward off an attack gave 
rise to misapprehension, which, had it not been for such men as the Schell- 
hous brothers, Col. Ben. Sherman and others, who felt no fear, a crisis would 
have been precipitated which would, probably, have caused more or less 
bloodshed; as it was, however, the excitement passed away a little, and 
calmer counsels prevailed, and finally peace returned. 

The militia, however, were called out (that is, Captain Power's company), 
on Nottawa prairie, and a draft ordered from its ranks of fifty men, and a 
fortification decided upon, to be located on the land of Daniel H. Hogau, in 
the northwest corner of Colon township as now limited, and adjoining the 
reservation ; a majority of a committee of " ways and means for the pub- 
lic safety," consisting of Martin G. Schellhous, Jonathan Engle, Sr., Benja- 
min Sherman, Amos Howe and Alvin Alvord, Sr., having reported in favor 
thereof, Schellhous and Engle dissenting. The report was received at four 
o'clock p. m., and the captain ordered his chosen corps of fifty men to repair 
at once to the site of the proposed fortification and commence operations. 
The order was promptly obeyed, and before nightfall several furrows had 
been plowed the whole length of the western traverse or outwork — the plan 
embracing an area of about five acres — and a ridge of earth two feet high 
and three feet at its base, seventeen feet long, picketed with divers grubs 
varying from one to three inches in diameter, loomed up formidably and 
was named Fort Hogan. Night brought repose, and the drafted soldiery 
repaired to their homes to rest, under orders to report at dawn of the next 
day to mount guard, while the remainder of the company should take their 
places at the works. Morning came, but with it none of the enthusiasm of 
the day before. About nine o'clock a few only of the original draft ap- 
peared at the redoubt, and went away again. Thus Fort Hogan was inglori- 
ously abandoned, and visions of glory that might have clustered around and 
over its ramparts w 7 ere incontinently brushed aside and dissipated. 

Through personal assurances of safety from the Schellhouses, Martin G. 
and Cyrus, Cush-ee-wees, and two or three of the principal men of the Indians, 
were induced to meet the settlers for a " big talk" or council, and at this 
interview all misunderstandings between the settlers and Indians were ex- 
plained and removed. The interview was held at Captain Powers' house, 
and it transpired that the Indians, instead of being desirous of assisting the 
Sacs against the whites, were willing and anxious to do the very reverse, and 
a few of the tribe had actually gone with Captain Hatch, a trader, some 
days before to join General Atkinson's forces at Chicago. The day after the 
interview, the news came of the capture of Black Hawk, and " grim visaged 
war smoothed his wrinkled front" at once, and the military returned to the 
arts of peace. 

But the fright this " rumor of war" gave the people made them more 
determined to possess the Indian reservation, and the government agents 
were more active than ever to get a session of it from some one, even if but 
a semblance of title could be acquired. 

Soon after the Black Hawk troubles were quieted, Cush-ee-wees died of 
pulmonary consumption, and Pee-quoit-ah-kis-see, a lineal descendant of the 
Pottawatomie sachems, succeeded him. While his authority as head-chief 
was not questioned, the tribe or band had become so debased that little or no 
respect was paid by them to their national usages, and other aspirafits dis- 
puted with the new chief the tribal authority. Among these was Muck-a- 



moot, who, without any right to power, assumed the chieftainship, and drew 
to him certain followers. Sau-au-quett, however, continued to be the master- 
spirit of the tribe, and exerted a controlling influence over his people, which 
set at defiance all the pretensions of others. 

In September, 1833, Governor Porter met Sau-au-quett and others of the 
tribe — inferior men — and by blandishments which won their hearts, in the 
way of gay trappings and military accoutrements, induced them to sign a 
treaty, ceding to the United States the Nottawa-seepe reservation. The 
treaty signed, a day for the first payment for the cession was appointed in 
December following, at Marantette's near Mendon village. In the condi- 
tions of the treaty was one that the Indians should retain quiet and peacea- 
ble possession of their reservation for two years before they were removed 
to a new reservation to be set off for them west of the Mississippi, to which 
they were to be taken by land, with their ponies and dogs, prepared to pro- 
vide for themselves as best they could. The day of the "big payment" 
came, but in the meantime the Indians had been consulting among them- 
selves, and the Nottawa band repudiated the treaty, holding that Sau-au- 
quett and the men who signed it, had no authority to sell the land, and they 
would not confirm the sale by receiving the payment offered. Governor 
Porter had issued his proclamation forbidding the sale of liquors on or near 
the reservation, but, notwithstanding, parties did bring it, and sold it, thereby 
getting the Indians drunk. For some days the negotiations went on without 
success, and in the midst of them Sau-au-quett came, dressed in his gayest 
apparel, blue military coat, regulation buttons, an immense chapeau with 
tall plumes, sword, sash and pistols, and mounted upon his horse caparis- 
oned in grand style. Swinging his sword above his head, he exclaimed, "I 
have sold the land! and I would sell it again for two gallons of whisky." 
Quau-sett stood by his side, and as the chief uttered his last declaration, he 
sprang forward, and, seizing one of the pistols, aimed it full at the chief's 
breast, and pulled the trigger. The weapon missed fire, and before Quau- 
sett could recover himself, Sau-au-quett aimed a sweeping blow with the 
sword, which, striking on the shoulder of his foe, cut through the blanket 
which was around him, and a heavy plug of navy tobacco rolled up inside, 
and so saved Quau-sett's head. Mr. Marantette, who had great influence 
with the Indians, immediately took Quau-sett in charge, and kept him out 
of the way. After much delay, the Indians were finally induced, largely 
bv Sau-au-quett, to receive their pay, about ten thousand dollars' worth of 
calicos, trinkets, blankets, knives, tobacco, pipes, saddles, bridles, guns, 
hatchets, etc., which were distributed to them under the supervision of Gov- 
ernor Porter, by Messrs. Marantette, La Borde and Navarre. The Indians 
were dissatisfied at the payment, claiming that partiality was shown, but 
they finally took what was given them, and, as soon as it was possible to do 
so, squandered it all for drink, or were robbed of it by unprincipled men. 

During the deliberations of the Indians, certain persons brought their 
whisky, not only up to the reservation, but immediately on it, where the 
council was being held, and, refusing to withdraw, Governor Porter ordered 
Mr. Marantette to break in the heads of the barrels, which was accordingly 
done, the Indians falling down on the ground and drinking as much as they 
could before the earth swallowed it up. Even the heads of the tribe did 
this worse than beastly thing, much to the disgust of the Governor, who had 
not been intimately acquainted with the red man on his "native heath." Mr. 
Marantette was subsequently sued by the owner of the liquor, and a judg- 
ment obtained against him, which went to the circuit court, and, notwith- 
standing the facts of the case — the orders of Governor Porter — the judgment 
was affirmed, which, with his attorney's fees, amounted to several hundred 
dollars, and Mr. Marantette was forced to pay the sum. 

In 1835, the time set for the Indians' removal, they showed signs of 
rebellion and reluctance to remove according to the terms of the treaty, 
claiming that the same had been violated on the part of the government, in 
that, though they (the Indians) were to have peaceable and undisturbed 
possession of their lands for two years, yet the settlers had begun locating 
their lands immediately after the payment, which was true. As soon as it 
was ascertained that the United States had acquired title to the reservation, 
the settlers, disregarding the treaty stipulation to the contrary, began at once 
to make claims of choice locations, and it was but a short time before the 
better part of the lands were located. This movement closed up the trails of 
the Indians, circumscribed their hunting privileges, and drove off the game; 
and the cattle of the settlers trespassed on the fields and gardens of the 
Indians, which were unfenced, and bad blood was engendered on both sides. 
Negotiations were entered into to get the Indians together, to consent to 
remove, but no master-spirit was now among them to control them, or rouse 
their pride. Morreau was dead, Isadore had been poisoned, Sau-au-quett, 
warned by the death of his brother and of the chief, Sag-a-mo, of Chicago, 

was not able to command the people as before, and it was not until the 
spring of 1840 that the Indians were finally induced to leave their homes, 
and then only by the appearance on the scene of General Brady and a troop 
of United States dragoons. 

Sau-au-quett, in 1839, had fallen a victim to the never-dying sentiment 
and desire for revenge, which filled the hearts of some of his tribe. Pamp- 
te-pe and John Maguago were in hiding, and it was only after the appear- 
ance of the cavalry, that the Indians saw it was useless to resist longer, and' 
thereupon submitted to the inevitable, and went away from the home of their 
people for hundreds of years, for ought we know, to a new one in the west- 
The women and children, the infirm and unhorsed, were carried in wagons, 
while those who had horses rode them, and thus passed the remnant of a 
great nation, which was once the lord of every foot of territory they traversed, 
to their halting-place in Holdeman's grove, La Salle county, Illinois. Here 
Maguago and his family, fearing assassination at the hands of some of his 
tribe, for his acts in securing their removal, secreted themselves until the 
search for them was given up, when they retraced their way to the reserva- 
tion, and his descendants are now living in the township of Athens, in Cal- 
houn county. 

At Peoria the faith of the government agents with the Indians was again 
broken, and, contrary to the agreement that they were to be taken by land 
to the new reservation, with their ponies and dogs, they were cajoled and 
driven, at the point of the bayonet, on board of a steamboat, their ponies 
sold for a trifle, or confiscated, and then down the Illinois to the Mississippi, 
thence to the Arkansas, up, the Arkansas to the border x)f Kansas territory, 
the powerless and impoverished people were taken, and disembarked under 
the superintendence of Buel Holcomb, now of Athens, the agents not daring 
to put in their appearance. The lands of the Indians proved to be valuable 
in after years, and they sold them and removed to the Indian territory, 
where they still reside. 

The death of Isadore or Setone Morreau has been mentioned. He was 
poisoned by a squaw of a neighboring family, who offered him a drink of 
whisky, which he refused to take after smelling of it ; but, on being taunted 
by her of cowardice, he drank, and soon after died. Isadore was as cruel as 
a savage could well be. He killed his own sister, who was known to the set- 
tlers as Betts, her family calling her Nem-ee-na-os — stabbing her to the 
heart in a drunken frenzy, about two years after the " big payment " in 
Colon township. 

Sau-au-quett had a little squaw, who was quite a favorite with the old 
chief, who, when everything was pleasant, and she was not under the influ- 
ence of liquor, was comparatively amiable, but at other times was a fiend in- 
carnate. She killed Quau-sett in 1835, the same who attempted to kill Sau- 
au-quett on the reservation in December, 1833. This murder, however, 
was condoned by the presentation of a horse, saddle and bridle to the son of 
the dead man, by Sau-au-quett, in accordance with the Indian custom and 

Sau-au-quett was killed at Coldwater in 1839, by one of the tribe who was 
opposed to the sale of the lands. The old chief was sleeping in his tent, 
when the murderer crept stealthily into the apartment, and, with one blow, 
drove his knife through the old man's belt and leather shirt, into his 
bosom to the handle. The chief sprang to his feet, gave one whoop, and fell 
to the ground dead. The murderer was arrested by the authorities of the 
the county of Branch, and held in custody. The friends of the murdered 
chief demanded the murderer, to be dealt with according to their laws and 
customs, but were refused. After some negotiation they were appeased by 
the present of blankets, a pony and equipments, whereupon the friends of 
the prisoner came and demanded his release, the offence having been con- 
doned. But they, too, were refused, unless they would consent to remove, 
with the tribe, at once from the reservation. This they declined to do ; but 
in the spring of 1840, when the Indians were finally removed, the prisoner 
w r as released, and went away with them. 

An incident occurred, in 1835, on the Nottawa reservation, near Nottawa 
creek, which is worth repeating. Daniel H. Hogan had employed George 
Benedict and Isaac Leastobaco to cut and get out timber for a barn. Early 
one morning, as they were falling trees, they saw John Maguago, accom- 
panied by an Indian named Johnson, approaching them, and who rode up 
and dismounted. Maguago stepped in before the axe of Leastobaco, 
wrenched it from him, and threw it into the woods. He then stepped be- 
tween the tree and the axe of Benedict, but the latter stepped around to 
the other side of the tree and commenced chopping again. Maguago made 
a second attempt to step in, but Benedict looked him in the eye, and 
said " if you do I will cut you in two. Move your horses, the tree 
is going to fall.*' Maguago shook his head and would not stir, but a 




limb falling from the trunk frightened the ponies, and Maguago, in hot wrath, 
mounted and galloped back to the village, and in a few minutes the camp 
was alive with Indians, squaws, and pappooses, going in all directions, and 
trouble seemed to be brewing. Hogan saw at once he must treat with Ma- 
guago for the timber, and therefore he went at once to the village, where he 
negotiated with the irate Indians for the privilege to cut what timber he 
wanted, for one gallon of whisky, and two dozen of eggs, which Maguago 
insisted Hogan must go at once with him and get, and off they went, both 
on one horse, Hogan embracing the Indian for dear life, lest he should be 
unseated in the ride, which was made a la Gilpin. The bargain was finally 
and fully consummated only after Hogan had imbibed with the Indians for 
friendship's sake. 

A similar interference with Hogan and Benedict when plowing, resulted 
differently. A party of drunken Indians attempted to drive them off, and 
frightened their oxen with their blankets. After bearing the interruption as 
long as they could, the plowmen cut some cudgels and so belabored the 
drunken fellows that those who were sober enough to run or walk, got out 
of the way, and the rest, who were lying in the furrows, were rolled out, 
and the plowing went on. 


was the last Indian murder in St. Joseph County, and occurred in the win- 
ter of 1839. 

Joseph Sin-ben-nim, known by the name of Joseph Muskrat, with his 
squaw and two children, came to the house of Mr. Wisner, and asked to 
stay all night ; consent was freely given, and a good fire built up in the huge 
fire-place, in order that all might get warm, they being thoroughly chilled. 
The Indian was intoxicated, and wanted to wrestle with Wisner, but the 
latter declined. The Indian held a low conversation, in his own language, 
with his squaw, after which she seemed much excited, and took the gun and 
hatchet of her husband, and set them out of doors. The Indians laid down 
before the fire to sleep. Wisner and his wife did not undress themselves, as 
though apprehensive of danger. The Indian and the squaw were both rest- 
less, and rose several times, and at last the former seized Wisner, who threw 
him on the bed, and stepped back to the fire. The Indian then rose up from 
the bed, and before Wisner was aware of his intention, stabbed him (Wis- 
ner) in the temple, and he fell dead upon the hearth, with one hand in the 
fire. Mrs. Wisner pulled her husband out of the fire, but the wretch who 
had murdered him, interfered and cut one of her hands severely, crippling 
it for life. Mrs. Wisner called to her son, a boy of twelve years, to run and 
alarm the neighbors. He immediately darted out of doors, and around the 
house, pursued by the Indian, but escaped him, and gave the alarm. While 
the Indian was out, Mrs. Wisner closed the door and barred it against him, 
whereupon he started with his family for the settlement, stopping at the 
house of John DeYannond, in the extreme northwest corner of the town of 
Mendon, where they got refreshments, and stayed about two hours, and then 
went east on the town line, and were overtaken between Bear Creek and the 
Portage, by Thomas P. Nolan, who was in advance of his comrades. On 
discovering Nolan, the Indian tried to shoot him, but his gun missed fire, by 
reason of the priming being covered to keep it dry. Nolan fired, but missed 
the Indian, and they then clenched each other, and a severe struggle ensued ; 
but the Indian fell, and was held fast by Nolan until his comrades came up, 
who tied his legs and hands, and placed him in a " pung " they had brought 
along with them, covered him with a blanket, and started for Schoolcraft. 
Meeting a party of other pursuers, they went back to look at the ground 
where the struggle had occured, leaving DeYannond and O. Clark, who 
were driving the horse and walking behind the sleigh. The latter had pro- 
ceeded but a short distance, when the Indian, who had succeeded in biting 
off the rope with which he was bound, sprang from the cutter, and raised 
the war-whoop, but DeYannond caught him by his wrists, and held him fast. 
The Indian seized DeYannond's arm with his teeth, and bit through the 
coat and shirts, wounding the arm severely. He was thrown upon his 
face, his arms tied behind him, and so conveyed to Schoolcraft, where he 
was tried and sentenced to be hung ; but his sentence was subsequently com- 
muted to imprisonment for life. He died about two years afterwards. 

We are indebted for the material in this chapter to P. Marantette, Hon. 
S. C. Coffinberry, and H. W. Laird, principally. 



" I hear the tread of pioneers 
Of nations yet to be, 
The first low wash of waves where yet 
Shall roll a human sea." 

When the government officials returned to Detroit in the fall of 1825, 
after their survey of the great national road from that city to Chicago, they 
painted with glowing colors the landscape of the St. Joseph valley, dwelling 
on its magnificent openings and beautiful prairies, its noble river and the 
eligible water-power of the numerous streams tributary thereto. Their en- 
thusiastic utterances fell upon the willing ears of the pioneers of Wayne 
county, who were dwelling in that heavy-timbered country and by the wide- 
spreading marshes of the Raisin ; and many of them at once resolved to see 
for themselves this " land of delights " so rapturously described by the sur- 
veyors who had passed through its borders. 

Among these prospecting parties were John W. Fletcher, Captain Moses 
Allen and George Hubbard. They followed the Chicago trail as it was then 
and had been for years called, to Bertrand's, on the St. Joseph river, near 
McCoy's missionary station, in the spring or early summer of 1826, when 
there was not a white man's cabin on the trail west of Ypsilanti or north of 
it, except at Ann Arbor and Dexter on the Huron. They traversed south- 
western Michigan, finding no spot that pleased them so well as Nottawa 
prairie, but the land being unsurveyed and the Indians numerous, the party 
returned without making any location — Mr. Fletcher, however, determining 
in his own mind, to come back and locate at some future time. 

In the following spring of 1827, quite early, another one of Wayne's 
pioneers took his household treasures and his cattle and came to seek a more 
favorable homestead, and found one to his liking at the western edge of 
White Pigeon prairie, within the present limits of the township of Mottville, 
on which he rolled up a rude log cabin, into which he gathered his family. 
But a few weeks afterwards, in May following, Leonard Cutler and his fam- 
ily of boys came in through the Hog Creek woods and settled on the east- 
ern edge of the same prairie, and Arba Heald soon afterward came, and it is 
said these three men made a tripartite division of the prairie between them- 
selves, their lines being determined by two furrows struck across the prairie 
from north to south. Not long after Heald, Dr. Page, the first physician in 
the county, a young and unmarried man, came and located on or near the 
present site of White Pigeon village, and was followed by Joseph Olds, the 
same year. 

In August, John Sturgis, afterwards the first judge of the county court, and 
George Thurston, then a young man, came to that lovely gem of nature 
which bears the judge's name, and located a claim on the eastern edge of the 
prairie, in what is known now as the township of Fawn River, and " broke 
up " ten acres of land, sowed it to wheat and returned for the judge's family, 
who came on in the following spring, accompanied by Mr. Thurston's father 
and his family, the latter locating, however, on Oxbow prairie, just south 
of the territorial line. 

Late in the year 1827 or very early in 1828, John Bear came in and set- 
tled still farther west than Winchell, in the timber, but lived there only a 
short time, removing to Klinger's lake, and finally to Bear lake in Cass 
county, where he died. 

Early in 1828 Luther Newton, afterwards judge of the county court 
with Judge Sturgis, came to White Pigeon and located on Crooked creek, 
where he built the first mill in the county the same year, but lost it by high 
water, and rebuilt it the year following. Judge Newton sought and found a 
most estimable wife in the person of Miss Grisella Gardner, on Pokagon 
prairie, in Cass county, but which was then known as St. Joseph township, 
Lenawee county ; this was probably the first marriage celebrated between 
white people in southwestern Michigan, and which was consummated in the 
spring of 1828. Judge Newton was followed by Asahel Savery, the first 
landlord in the county, and by Neal McGaffey, who was the first lawyer to 
be admitted to practice in the St. Joseph county court in 1830. Klinger 
came into the settlement on White Pigeon prairie the same year, and located 
on the creek where he built his mill soon after, and removed subsequently to 
the shores of the beautiful lake that bears his name. Judge William Meek 
came in and selected his location, known for years as Meek's Mill, and now 
the site of the flourishing village of Constantine, in the fall of 1828, re- 




moving thither with his family in the latter part of the following winter. A 
Mr. Quimby settled in the present town of Mottville, on the river, in this 
year, 1828, and Elias Taylor, the first sheriff of St. Joseph county, came to 
the grand traverse of the St. Joseph, as the crossing of the Chicago trail at 
Mottville was called, with a stock of goods, late in the fall of 1828 or early 
in 1829. Niles F. Smith took up his abode in White Pigeon in 1828, and 
opened a stock of goods for trade. Hart L. and Alanson C. Stewart, and 
Duncan Clark all came to " Pigeon " late in 1828 or early in the winter fol- 
lowing. In the spring or early summer of 1828 George Buck and his family 
came to Sturgis prairie and located their home in the present city of Sturgis, 
living in their wagons in Hog Creek woods, six weeks. John B. Clarke and 
family soon followed, and putting up a substantial log-house on the present 
site of the Elliott House, opened the first hotel on Sturgis prairie. That 
same year Ephraim Bearss came in, or early the next year. 

In 1829 Nottawa prairie received its first settlers — William Connor, after- 
wards judge of probate, and a most prominent citizen of the county, coming 
first and making his selection in May, and returning to Adrian, where he 
taught school that summer and came back to his location the first of Septem- 
ber following. 

In the meantime, however, Judge Sturgis had tired of his location on 
Sturgis prairie, and had selected one on section four in Nottawa township, 
and built a house or log cabin in August, which is still standing, the oldest 
house in the county. In August, too, Mr. Fletcher had carried out his in- 
tentions, and secured his present location on the prairie, and in October put 
up a house and brought his father and family, consisting of his mother and 
two sisters, to it, Christmas Eve, 1829, and on this homestead Mr. Fletcher 
has since lived. This Christmas party included also William Hazzard, Sr., 
and H. A. Hecox, with their families, Mr. Hazzard being the sole survivor of 
the parental heads of these families at the present time. Amos Howe, 
Henry Powers, Kussell Post and Dr. Alexander McMillan, all came in 1829 
to Nottawa prairie, the latter living with his family all winter in his wagons, 
the boys bringing in a living by their labor. Captain Alvin Calhoun came 
to White Pigeon prairie in 1829, locating within the present limits of Flor- 
ence, and Jacob Bonebright to Constantine. Mettville gained Aaron Brooks, 
Abraham Keichert and John Hartman in 1829, and Levi Beckwith and his 
family in 1828. Jacob Mclnterfer pitched his tent on the shores of Rocky 
river, at Three Rivers, in the same year, and Buck came into Lockport the 
year after. 

1830 gave Flowerfield her first settler in the person of Mishael Beadle, 
and Thomas Cade to Sherman, and Garrett Sickles to Fabius, and Roswell 
Schellhous to Colon, where he was followed by his brothers, Cyrus, Lorenzi, 
Martin G. and George, the year afterwards. Leonidas received its first set- 
tlers in 1831, in the persons of George Mathews and family ; and Mendon, in 
the family of Francis Moutan. Burr Oak began to march towards civ- 
ilization the same year, Samuel Haslett and family being the first white set- 
tlers within its present limits. John G. Cathcart took up his residence in 
Constantine this same year, Judge C. B. Fitch being there before him, and 
removing to Lockport township on Mr. Cathcart's coming. John S. Barry 
came to White Pigeon in 1831, Dr. Elliott in 1832, and James Eastman 
Johnson in 1836. In 1829 the Kelloggs, noble men, came to White Pigeon, 
and, in connection with Mr. Bull, opened the first stock of goods of any pre- 
tensions whatever for retail in the county. John W. Anderson came as early 
as 1829, if not earlier, and was the first register of probate. Dr. Hubbel 
Loomis came in 1828, and began his rival town of Newville, east of " Pigeon," 
but, though he had a blacksmith-shop, and school-house and cemetery there, 
the attractions were not strong enough to detach the growing population of 
White Pigeon from their first love, and soon the worthy Doctor and the first 
judge of probate in the county, ceased to cherish further hopes of his in- 
cipient city, and it passed into oblivion, " like the baseless fabric of a vision, 
leaving not a wreck behind." Hon. Joseph R. Williams made Constantine 
his home in 1836. The Tolls, Talbots and Langleys, of Centreville, came in 
between 1832 and 1836 ; John H. Bowman, in 1834, to Three Rivers ; the 
Wolfs and Majors into Lockport about the same time. Joseph B. Millard, 
and Elisha, the old ark captain, the former in 1833 and the latter in 1835, 
to Three Rivers ; the Farrands into Colon in 1836 ; Marantette into Mendon 
in 1833, whither he was followed in 1835 by Moses Taft — between the last two 
dates the Wakemans coming to Nottawa prairie, just south of the reserva- 
tion line. The Lelands, John M. and Andrew, came for settlement in 1834, 
. the former locating in the northeast corner of Lockport township, and the 
latter near by in Mendon. I. F. Ulrich came into Park in 1834, and the 
Fishers, Leonard and Jonas, settled the same year on the shores of the lake, to 
which their name was given. The Wheelers, Challenge S. and William, came 
to Flowerfield in 1831, Mishael Beadle selling to the former his mill privi- 

lege, and going to Three Rivers to complete the Mclnterfer mill. Captain 
Levi Watkins began his pioneer life in Leonidas in 1832, and in the same 
year Norman Roys took up his residence in Florence, a young unmarried man, 
but where he soon afterwards found a faithful mate in one of the daughters 
of John Peek, who came into Florence afterwards. Elisha Dimmick and 
George Pashby, Sr., came into Florence in 183? and 1834 respectively, and 
John Howard in 1833. William F. Arnold, with his father and family, 
came into Fabius in 1832 ; Hiram Harwood, Heman Harvey and Samuel 
Newell, and their families, preceding him by a year. David Petty came to 
Sherman in 1831. 

To tell the story of the sufferings, privations, sorrows, toils, and successes 
of the old pioneers, would fill a volume, and make an intensely interesting 
narrative. The trials of all are but duplicates of any one of them, in kind, 
if not degree ; and but a few incidents can be given, for want of space, 
which, however, will serve to illustrate briefly the days that " tried men's 
souls," and brought out their sterling qualities of manhood, that have tri- 
umphed at last over every obstacle, and made the old county the pride of 
the State. ^ 

The journeyings of the earlier pioneers to reach, the goal of their hopes, 
a home in the west, were tedious, and severely tested, oftentimes, their perse- 
verance and courage. Many of them came from Pennsylvania and New 
York with ox-teams, slowly toiling along the roads with their household 
goods and wearied little ones, for months ; others, more fortunate in possessing 
the swifter-footed horses, came through the wilderness of forest in a few weeks ; 
but all were rejoiced when the last corduroy was passed, the last swollen 
stream crossed, the last oozy marsh floundered through, the Black swamp 
and the Hog creek woods — terrors to the emigrant in the early day — 
left behind, and the openings and prairies of St. Joseph burst on their wearied 
vision, as the home-plat came into view. 

John S. Newhall, of Sturgis, tells of crossing Swan creek when it was 
" bank-full," with a load of household goods piled upon poles laid upon the 
top of the wagon-box, the whole cargo being surmounted by a blooming 
young lady, who afterwards became the worthy wife of John Hull, of 
Florence, formerly sheriff of the county. Mr. Newhall swam his oxen 
across and kept the wagon upright by steadying it (by means of bracing) by 
the party in company with him. 

Judge Nathan Osborn recounts the passage of the Maumee on a frail 
bridge of ice, by detaching one team and leading it behind the wagon, the 
family also walking, the other team drawing, the goods, and preceded 
by guides, who with poles ascertained and kept the track, the ice on 
either side being so soft and porous the poles pushed through it. In the 
morning after the crossing, the ice was all broken up and rushing to the 
lake. Leonard Cutler came to a little stream at the close of the day, where, 
unable to proceed further, having been suffering with fever for several days 
before, he was laid under a tree to die. His wife and sons gathered around 
him, in the forest, amid the gathering darkness of an early spring-time even- 
ing, to receive his instructions as to what disposition they should make of his 
remains when the inevitable change, which seemed fast approaching, should 
come. The old pioneer said to the awe stricken group, " If I die, put me in 
the wagon, and bury me on the prairie of White Pigeon ; but I am not going 
to die here ;" and he did not, but is still living at an advanced age (over 90) 
in Decorah, Iowa. 

There were sorer troubles which came to some, on their journeys to the 
west, and the most grevious of any which have come to our knowledge 
is that which befel the family of John Parker, who settled on Sturgis prairie 
in 1830. They came to Buffalo and took a steamer for Detroit, and when 
but a short distance from the city, the boiler of the boat exploded, scalding 
to death no less than fifteen children, among them three of Mr. Parker's. 
They were taken back to Buffalo, where, though strangers, their great griefs 
made them sympathizing friends, who assisted in burying the little ones, 
when the balance of the family came on to Sturgis. 

The difficulties and discomforts of the journeys of the pioneers to their 
new homes were but a prelude to greater ones during the early years of the 
country's settlement. No mills were nearer than fifty to seventy-five miles 
distant ; no crops were raised, generally, the first year after their arrival ; 
and though there was game, in the woods, fowls in the air, and fish in the 
rivers and lakes, yet there were times when the hand was unsteadied, the 
eye dimmed by disease, and the game passed unscathed by the wildly-flying 
bullet. The supplies of a neighborhood would frequently run short, and a 
load of corn or wheat would be gathered, and sent off 1 in charge of some one 
to Niles, Tecumseh, or Fort Wayne ; " short commons" would be enforced 
upon all until its return, in two or three weeks. Salt, a most necessary 
article of diet, rose in the winter of 1831-32 to twenty dollars per barrel, and 



forty bushels of beautiful wheat were considered its just equivalent. Money 
was not thought of, except as a positive good, beyond the reach of the most 

Pork, after it began to be raised in sufficient quantities to become an arti- 
cle of commerce, frequently sold for a dollar and a-quarter per hundred, 
and the finest trimmed hams brought but two and three cents per pound. 
This was one side of the picture ; the other side was seen in 1836, when the 
great tide of immigration set in, and exhausted the supply of bread-stuffs 
and provisions, and wheat rose to two and a-half and three dollars per 
bushel. Amos Howe brought a load of wheat to Captain P. R. Toll's store 
at Centreville, for sale, in 1836, and when told the price, two dollars and 
a-half per bushel, refused to take it, saying it was more than it was worth, 
and more than the people could pay for it. 

The first houses were poorly finished, and very poorly furnished as a gen- 
eral thing, in the early days. Many of them had no floors but the bare 
ground, which in dry weather may have been passably comfortable, but in 
wet or snowy weather was cold, damp, clammy, or uncomfortable. The 
roofs were " shakes," split out of logs, which laying lengthwise to the pitch 
of the roof, warped, and the snow sifted in over the beds and floors, so that the 
sleeper on arising or stepping out upon the strip of bark, placed alongside 
the rude " bunk " for a carpet, frequently found he was stepping into a 
colder, although a whiter carpet, than he anticipated. The chairs were fre- 
quently nothing but logs of wood, or rude benches, the table an improvised 
counter, and the bedsteads, sticks driven into holes bored in the logs, of 
which the house was built, the outer ends supported by posts driven into the 
ground, and shakes laid across for a platform, on which the bed-clothing 
was spread. But these were discomforts only, and had there been no other 
sufferings for the pioneers to endure, their history would be " stale, flat, and 
unprofitable " indeed. Sickness came to the dwellings of the settlers, and 
proved many times to be but the avant courier of its grim follower, Death. 
Almost every person who came to the county, from the first settler in 1827, 
until 1840, passed through the ordeal of the malarial fevers of the country ; 
and owing to the lack of knowledge of the proper treatment, and the want 
of proper medicines, a great per-centage of the victims died. In 1834, and 
again in 1837-8, the sickness was terrible. There were not well ones enough 
to care for the sick, or bury the dead respectfully. Relays of men, many of 
them scarcely able to be about, went from house to house to administer the 
remedies the physicians left, who rode day and night to minister to the 
people. One doctor who had no horse, had traveled on foot until worn out, 
when he went to his neighbor, a well-to-do farmer in those days, and told 
him his needs. He was told to call the next morning, and he, the farmer, 
would see what could be done. On the next morning the doctor found a 
snug built pony, and a new saddle and bridle awaiting him, and was greeted 
as follows, by the farmer : " This horse cost me thirty dollars, which you can 
pay at your convenience ; the saddle and bridle you are welcome to." The 
doctor gratefully accepted the new mode of conveyance, and at once increased 
his practice and sphere of usefulness. Not alone were the men unselfish and 
assiduous in their brotherly kindness, but the women were untiring also in 
their heroic deeds of mercy. Not forgetting their own households, their 
hearts went out unto all. They gathered the children of the sick into their 
own houses, and cared for them tenderly, as for their own offspring, until 
they themselves fell victims to their own unselfishness and devotion ; and 
were in turn cared for by their sisters, who ofttimes rose from beds of lan- 
guishing to minister to others more dangerously ill than themselves. The 
dead were everywhere in 1837, and frequently not a single member of the 
family was able to stand by the grave in which their loved ones were laid to 
rest by the hands of neighbors. Levi Mathews came to Colon in August, 
1833, and before the close of November following, five members of the 
family, including the father and mother, were buried. Where every one 
was kind, it would be invidous to specify individual instances, but we must 
relate one instance of devotion and neighborly solicitude, which has come 
to our knowledge among many others. 

The Cowen brothers, unmarried young men in Leonidas, while engaged in 
building their mill, were both stricken down with the fever, and were sick 
some days before the news of their condition got abroad. Upon hearing it, 
Mrs. Wm. Fletcher, then nearly, or quite, seventy years of age, gathered 
together such things as she had, and which her motherly experience sugges- 
ted would be beneficial for poor, distressed, and fever-stricken boys, and 
mounting the " buck-board," behind a pair of oxen, rode ten miles to carry 
cheer and healthful influence to her neighbors. This lady stayed with those 
boys until the next afternoon, washing their clothing, cooking provisions for 
them, and doing more for their recovery, by her cheerful and health-giving 
presence, than all the formulas of materia medica combined, and then rode 

back to her own home on the top of a load of lumber. Verily she hath her 
reward, for there is not a pioneer in whose heart her memory is not enshrined, 
and her deeds remembered. 

Mr. I. F. Ulrich relates the following touching incident of his pioneer life 
in Park township. Himself and his family were all stricken down, and the 
neighbors, being at great distances, and all having more or less sickness in 
their own families, no assistance came to them until the day a daughter died ; 
the mother lying very ill at the time, and Mr. Ulrich but just able to get out 
of bed. The neighbors came in, and found the family's condition, and assisted 
in burying the daughter, none of the family being able to be present at the 
funeral. The night following the burial was a fearful one. Mr. Ulrich, left 
alone with his apparently dying wife, imperative necessity calling the neigh- 
bors elsewhere, passed the hours in agonizing suspense. In his extremity 
he fell on his knees and prayed to the All-Merciful One, for help in this his 
greatest time of need. The hours passed slowly by, and about midnight the 
fever-flush began to abate, and soon after a gentle perspiration bedewed the 
hot cheeks and parched lips of the sufferer, and she fell into a quiet, restful 
slumber. The crisis was safely passed, and she gradually recovered her 
health and strength, and the aged couple are still living on the same farm 
that witnessed their terrible sorrow. 

Such experiences as these gave good grounds for the orator of the Pioneer 
Society of the county, to base the assertion he made in his historical address 
delivered in June, 1876, in which he characterizes the pioneer as being 

" Men like the unmoved rock, 
Washed white, hut not shaken by the shock." 

They were indeed true men and women when sorrow called, and by their 
deeds showed that in those days they were truly 

" Such as could feel a brother's sigh 
And with him hear a part, 
When sorrow flowed from eye to eye, 
And joy from heart to heart." 

But not only were they brotherly and generous in times of sorrow and 
grief, but as a general thing they were just to one another. An instance of 
this kind will serve to show how the majority of the settlers were disposed to 
deal with one another. When the first entry of lands was made on White 
Pigeon prairie, Asahel Savery and Hiram Powers wished to enter the same 
tract, and rather than bid against one another, or^take any undue advantage 
to get the precedence, they agreed to submit to a proposition to give or take 
. a certain sum for the privilege of entering the tract. Powers offered to give 
or take fifty dollars for the chance, not having money sufficient to pay any 
" bonus " and purchase the land too, and Savery, to his great relief, accepted 
the offer, and Powers entered other lands on Nottawa prairie afterwards. 
This was not always the case, but, to the credit of the pioneers, it was seldom 
that any one had his location entered over his head after he had begun to 
improve it, though there were many lively races to the land-office to get a 
certain tract before another should secure it. 

A few personal items of the earliest pioneers will not be amiss here. John 
Winchell was appointed a justice of the peace of Lenawee county by Gov- 
ernor Cass in 1827, and his juridiction from July of that year until Novem- 
ber, 1829, was co-extensive with the territory acquired by the Chicago treaty 
of 1821, which included all of southwestern Michigan, south of Grand river 
and west of the principal meridian. He held this position until the adoption 
of the State Constitution in 1835, at which time he removed to Door prairie,, 
now La Porte, Indiana, where he lived many years, and proved to be a most 
useful man in his day. 

Leonard Cutler removed to Door prairie in 1831, where he lived for some 
years, and then removed to Decorah, Iowa, where he is still living at an ad- 
vanced age. His sons became somewhat noted in La Porte and Waukesha, 
Wisconsin — the son, Morris, being one of the original proprietors of the latter 
city. Arba Heald was the first actual settler to feel constrained by the in- 
creasing settlement of the county, and sold out his farm to Dr. Isaac (X 
Adams in 1830, and removed to Door prairie, where land was plentier. 

Asahel Savery was a unique character. He was born in Vermont, but 
was a true borderer ; he drifted away from the Green Mountain State early 
in his life, and Cass found him as a teamster in his army in 1812. He 
vibrated back and forth on the border until the Chicago road was surveyed* 
when he struck the trail for " Pigeon" and brought up there in 1828, and 
put up his log-hostelry, known for years as the " Old Diggins," where he pro- 
vided good entertainment for man and beast ; and in 1832 went to Wash- 
ington to solicit the contract for carrying the mail from Tecumseh to Chi- 
cago, which he procured through the assistance of General Cass, then at 
Washington, who introduced him as " Colonel Savery, of Michigan." The 
title preceded the contractor to White Pigeon, and on his arrival he was 



greeted as " Colonel" Savery, and the title adhered to him ever afterwards. 
He left St. Joseph county and went to Texas, and fought under Houston all 
through the struggle for independence, and was at the capture of Santa 
Anna. He joined the United States army under Taylor, and was General 
Scott's wagon-master in his campaign against the city of Mexico, and returned 
to Texas, where he resided until the rebellion broke out, when he was ostra- 
cised and driven out on account of his Union sentiments, escaping with his 
life. After peace was declared he • returned from St. Joseph county, where 
he had been staying among his old friends for a few years, to Texas, where 
he still resides, if living. He led companies to California, Montana, Colo- 
rado, Nevada and Idaho. Wherever the discoveries of gold or silver lured 
men to delve for them, there the old pioneer and soldier led the way ; his 
skill in wood-craft, and experience in mountain and border life, making him 
an invaluable guide. 

Amos Howe was a pioneer of Michigan in 1817. He came from Chat- 
auqua county, New York, in the winter season, walking all the way, follow- 
ing the lake-shore, and carrying his knapsack and axe on his shoulder. On 
his last day out from Monroe, he met about noon a party of men going 
back, connected with the government business, who gave him a good dinner 
from their own commissariat, and a " swig" of good brandy to wash it down 
with, which Mr. Howe often said was the best meal and drink he*ever had, 
and did him most effective service, as on the strength of it he made over 
twenty-five miles of travel, getting into Monroe before night. He located 
on Huron river, in Wayne county, in 1817, and was a tenant of Governor 
Cass for several years. He was the first purchaser at the land sale in 1819, in 
Detroit, and the register made him pay four dollars per acre for his location, 
because it joined the school section ! Mr. Howe, after his family joined him, 
and the supply of clothing began to wear out, having some flax on hand 
which he had managed to get swingled by a contrivance of his own, also set 
about making a spinning-wheel, which he completed — the wheel being one 
he found on Grosse Isle. He then had his thread wove at Ecorse, and had 
thirty-seven yards of cloth, enough for clothing, towels and sheets. Mr. 
Howe removed to Nottawa prairie in 1829, and was soon afterwards appointed 
a justice of the peace by Governor Cass. He was the second president 
of the Pioneer Society, and died in 1875. 

Alvin Calhoun came to Michigan when he was but five years old, in the 
year 1807, his father settling on the Raisin, where he remained until after 
Hull's surrender in 1812, when the family removed, but returned to Monroe 
again in 1817. In 1829 Mr. Calhoun came to St. Joseph county and en- 
gaged in farming, though after the arking began on the St. Joseph, he fol- 
lowed the river for a while, where he gained his title of captain, by which he 
is familiarly greeted by his old friends, his brother pioneers. He was the 
third president of the Pioneer Society. 



On the 20th of November, 1826, the legislative council of the territory of 
Michigan attached to Lenawee county all of the territory the Indian title 
to which was extinguished by the treaty of Chicago in 1821, and on April 
12th following, constituted and organized the township of St. Joseph's, with 
boundaries including the same territory, and ordered the first town-meeting 
to be held at the house of Timothy S. Smith. This house was in the present 
vicinity of the present location of Niles. 

On September 22, 1828, the lands ceded by the treaty at Cary's Mission 
the same year, was attached to Lenawee county, and made a part of St. 
Joseph's township. On October 29, 1829, the council constituted the terri- 
tory within the lines of townships 5, 6, 7 and fractional 8, south of the base 
line in ranges 9, 10, 11 and 12, west of the principal meridian, into the 
county of St. Joseph, and on the 4th of November following organized the 
county judicially, by ordering a circuit court to be held within the county, 
at the house of Asahel Savery, on the White Pigeon prairie, and also by 
establishing a county court with the same powers as given by the general 
act of the Assembly to such courts. On the day following the council 
attached to St. Joseph county the counties of Kalamazoo, Barry, Branch, 
Eaton and Calhoun, and all of the country lying north of tdwnships num- 
bered 4, west of the principal meridian, and south of the county of Michili- 
mackinac, and east of the lines between ranges 12 and 13 and Lake Michi- 
gan — where said line intersects with the lake — and proceeded to divide the 
territory into townships. Government townships 6 and 7, and fractional 

township 8, in ranges 11 and 12 west, now known as Lockport, Florence, 
Fabius, Constantine, Mottville and White Pigeon, were constituted the 
town of White Pigeon, and the first town-meeting ordered to be held at the 
house of A. Savery ; townships 6 and 7, and fractional township 8 south, in 
ranges 9 and 10 west, now known as Colon, Nottawa, Burr Oak, Sherman, 
Fawn River and Sturgis, were constituted the town of Sherman, and the 
first town-meeting called at the house of John B. Clarke ; townships num- 
bered 5 south, in ranges 9, 10, 11 and 12 west, now known as Leonidas, Men- 
don, Park and Flowerfield, were constituted the town of Flowerfield, and 
the first town-meeting called at the house of John Sturgis. The counties of 
Kalamazoo and Barry, and the country north of the same attached to St. 
Joseph county, were called Brady township ; and the counties of Branch, 
Calhoun and Eaton, and the same country north of Eaton, were called 
Greene township. July 28, 1830, the township of Nottawa was constituted, 
and included the present towns of Nottawa and Colon, and the first town- 
meeting was ordered to be held at the house of Hiram Powers, and the sec- 
ond one in Sherman, at Samuel M* Stewart's. 

On March 3, 1831, the legislative council attached to St. Joseph county 
all that part of Cass county lying east of the St. Joseph river, and west of 
the township line — being the southwest triangular corner of Mottville — and 
made it part of White Pigeon township. 

In 1833 several changes were made in the civil status of the county. 
March 21, the present towns of Leonidas and Colon were constituted into 
the township of Colon, and the present town of Mendon was given lo Not- 
tawa. Fabius and Lockport were taken from White Pigeon, and formed 
into the town of Bucks, reducing Flowerfield to its present limits, and those 
of Park. The first town-meetings in the new sovereignties were ordered to 
be held at the house of Roswell Schellhous, in Colon; at the house of 
George Buck, in Buck's, and at Joshua Barnum's, in Flowerfield. 

The next change in the county kaleidoscope, was in 1836, when Leonidas 
came into the circle. 

Its example was contagious, and in 1837, Constantine, Mottville and 
Florence all struck out for popular sovereignty. Constantine and Florence 
were unshorn of any of their full territorial rights, but White Pigeon re- 
tained the eastern tier of sections of township eight south in range twelve 
west, and in lieu of this loss Mottville was compensated by receiving the 
triangle of township eight, range thirteen west, which lies east of the St. 
Joseph river. 

The first town-meetings were held in Mottville and Constantine, at the 
school-houses in the respective villages of those names, and in Florence, at 
the house of Giles Thompson. 

In 1838, another trio, to wit : Burr Oak, Park and Fawn River, concluded 
they were equal to the responsibility of self-government, and made a suc- 
cessful venture of the same, and the first opportunity for tasting the delights 
of independent sovereignty was given the people of the respective towns by 
town-meetings in April of that year, in the mansions of Julius A. Thompson, 
of the first named town, James Hutchinson of the second, and Freeman A. 
Tisdel of the third. Lockport came into the sisterhood of organized towns 
in 1840, leaving Bucks a single government township. But a change was 
imminent in Bucks, and as a territorial one was not advisable, the. people 
determined on one of nomenclature, and so in 1841 the Legislature was in- 
voked, and, per consequence, the title of Bucks disappeared from the map of 
the county, and the more classical one of Fabius took its place. The first 
town-meeting of Lockport was held at the house of Solomon Cummings, and 
that of Fabius at Alfred Poes. 

In 1843 township 5, south, range 10 west, gently knocked at the door of 
the Legislature for admission into the county counsels, and the request was 
granted it under the corporate name of Wakeman, with which name, how- 
ever, the people were not long satisfied, and in 1844 sought and obtained relief 
from their dissatisfaction under the present name of Mendon. Sturgis was 
the tardiest of all the family circle to make claim for a separate corporate 
existence, and not until 1845 did she come into the county legislature as the 
last of sixteen splendid, independent sovereignties, which conduct their own 
domestic affairs inside their own geographical limits without interference or 
discord, levying and collecting their own taxes for state, county and local 
purposes, and sending their supervisors up to the capitol of the county to act 
as the managing head for the next higher grade of municipal existence. 

The towns still retain the geographical limits assigned them in the final 
organization of all, with the exception of Lockport and Florence, the former 
suffering a diminution of her territory in the east halves of sections 25 and 
36, which were added to Nottawa by the board of supervisors in 1856, and 
the latter giving up the three full sections 34, 35 and 36, in the southeast 



corner of the township, to White Pigeon, for the convenience of the inhabi- 
tants of both localities. 

The first movement of the legal machinery of the county was made when 
John W. Anderson, register of probate, (appointed by Governor Cass) filed 
for record in his office in White Pigeon, a deed conveying lands, on the 
15th day of February, 1830. Deeds and other instruments, conveying real or 
personal property absolutely, or for security, were recorded in the office of the 
register of probate from the first beginning of the territorial government 
until January 29, 1835, when the legislative council abolished that office, 
and provided for the election of registers of deeds, since which time all such 
instruments have been recorded in the offices of the latter officials. 

The first deed above mentioned was a warranty deed from Allen Tibbits 
and Nancy his wife, of the town of White Pigeon, to Hubbel Loomis of the 
same place, dated February 11, 1830, and which, for a consideration of one 
hundred dollars, conveyed twenty-three and a-half acres off of the west side 
of the southeast quarter of section 5, township 8 south, range 11 west. The 
execution thereof was witnessed by John Winchell and E. Taylor, and ac- 
knowledged before John Winchell, justice of the peace, the same day of its 
date, and it is recorded in liber A, page 1. 

The second deed recorded w T as one from John Foreman and Elizabeth 
his wife, to H. L. and Alanson C. Stewart, dated April 6, 1830, which, 
for a consideration of two hundred dollars, conveys the west half of 
the northeast quarter of section 1, township 8 south, range 12 west, the 
execution whereof is witnessed by Duncan R. Clark and Avery Brown, 
and acknowledged before Luther Newton, a justice of the county court, and 
was filed for record on the day of the date thereof, and recorded in liber A, 
page 2. 

The earliest dated deed on record in St. Joseph county, is probably 
one recorded in liber A, page 204, which is dated May 4, 1829, and 
acknowledged ten days later before John Winchell, justice of the peace. 
It was given by Robert Clark, Jr., of the "township of Frenchtown, 
county of Monroe," to Leonard Cutler of the " township of St. Joseph, 
county of Lenawee," and for the expressed consideration of one hundred and 
fifty dollars therein, conveys the east half of the southeast quarter of section 
6, township 8 south, range 11 w r est. It is witnessed by John and Lyman P. 
Winchell. The next earliest dated deed recorded is one executed October 
12, 1829, whereby the same Robert Clark, Jr., of Monroe township, conveys 
to Arba Heald of " the township of St. Joseph, in the county of Lenawee," 
the north half of the southwest quarter of section 5, township 8 south, range 
11 west, which deed is recorded in liber A, page 20. The next oldest three 
are all dated November 4, 1829, the very day the county, was organized, and 
were from John Winchell and Amy, his wife, to Luther Newton ; Luther 
Newton and Anna, his wife, to Hart L. and Alanson C. Stewart ; and from 
Hart L. and Alanson C. Stewart and their wives to John Winchell, and con- 
vey lands on sections 9 and 30, township 8, range 11, and on section 2, town- 
8 range 12 west. These deeds are recorded in liber A, pages 5, 6 and 38, 

The earliest dated mortgage is recorded in liber A of mortgages, page 2, 
and was dated January 18, 1830, by which Niles F. Smith conveys to Joshua 
Gale, to secure the payment of one thousand two hundred dollars, ten and 
a-half acres of land on the southeast quarter of section 1, township 8 south, 
range 12 west, in White Pigeon village. It was acknowledged before Neal 
McGaffey, justice of the peace ; recorded May 8, 1830, and discharged Sep- 
tember 13, 1833, as per record in liber A, page 183. The first mortgage re- 
corded is one from Arba Heald to Nehemiah Coldrin, dated May 7, 1830, 
executed to secure the payment of a note for one hundred dollars, due August 
1, 1830, and conveying the east half of the southwest quarter of section 5, 
township 8 south, range 11 west, and recorded in liber A of mortgages, page 
1. The first release recorded was one to discharge this last-named mort- 
gage, and which was executed September 18, 1830, by Coldrin to Heald, 
and recorded on page 6 of the same book. 

The first village plat recorded was that of White Pigeon, located on the 
east half of the southeast quarter of section 1, township 8 south, range 12, 
and the west half of the southwest quarter of section 6, township 8 south, 
range 11 west, the proprietors being Robert Clark, Jr., Asahel Savery, Niles 
F. Smith and Neal McGaffey, who acknowledged the plat before Luther New- 
ton, justice of the county court, May 6, 1830. It was recorded the next day in 
liber A of deeds, pages 15 and 16. The plat is variously shaded to show 
the interest of each proprietor. 

Mottville was the second plat recorded, and was surveyed and platted by 
Orange Risdon, surveyor, May 31, 1830. John R. Williams, proprietor, ac- 
knowledged the same plat before Esquire Winchell. 

Centre ville was platted and recorded November 7, 1831. 

The first sale of lands in the county for delinquent and unpaid taxes, 
commenced the 18th day of February, 1840, and was continued till the 28th 
of the same month, under the direction of W. W. Brown, county treasurer. 
The amount of taxes realized by this sale was four hundred and twenty-two 
dollars and fifty-two cents, and were of those levied for the years 1832 to 
1836 inclusive. There were twenty-three different purchasers ; but Messrs. 
Moore and Coffinberry were the heaviest buyers. The first five sales were 
made to L. S. Slater, of lands in Cold water, for the delinquent taxes of 1832. 
The first sale of lands in St. Joseph county was of the northeast quarter of 
the northwest quarter of section 5, township 7 south, range 11 west, for two 
dollars and fifty-five cents — taxes of 1832 — to C. T. Gilbert, but these taxes, 
as it appeared subsequently, had been previously paid, as shown by the 
receipt of the collector for 1834. Mr. Gilbert's next venture, on the south- 
east quarter of the southwest quarter of section 19, in the same township 
(Florence), wherein he invested two dollars and six cents, netted him better 
results, as he received a tax-deed for the said premises on the 8th day of 
April, 1842. The earliest dated tax-deed was one to Henry Gilbert, the 
purchaser, for the whole of section 17, township 5 south, range 11 west, ex- 
ecuted by John W. Talbot, county treasurer, February 22, 1842. 




The first farms opened in St. Joseph county were those of John Win- 
chell, Leonard Cutler and Arba Heald, on White Pigeon prairie, and John 
Sturgis, on Sturgis prairie, all in the year 1827. Mr. Winchell located on 
the western end of the prairie, in the spring of that year, and Cutler and 
Heald on the eastern edge of the same prairie, later in the same season, but 
still early enough to get in corn and buckwheat, from which they harvested 
a good crop. Mr. Sturgis broke up ten acres on his location, on the eastern 
side of Sturgis' prairie, in August, 1827, sowed the same to wheat, and reaped 
a good harvest therefrom the year following. 

The first farms opened on Nottawa prairie were those of Judge William 
Connor, John W. Fletcher and Aaron McMillan, who broke up a portion of 
their locations in the spring of 1830. The first farms were located on the 
edge of the prairies, with the timber for a shelter, in which the cabins and 
sheds of the settlers were built, and it was not until such locations were all 
appropriated that the pioneers ventured out upon the prairies to build their 

The lands in St. Joseph county were surveyed into townships in the years 
1825-6, and subdivided into sections in 1827. The only settlers who occu- 
pied their land before its subdivision into sections, were Winchell, Cutler 
and Heald. The land came into market in 1828, the first entry being made 
by Ezekiel Metcalf, of Cattaraugus county, N. Y., on the 14th day of June 
of that year, of the east half of the northeast quarter of section one, town- 
ship eight south of range ten, west of the principal meridian, in what is now 
known as the town of Sturgis. Metcalf sold this tract to DeGarmo Jones, 
of Detroit, November 3, 1830. A portion of this tract is included in the 
corporate limits of the village of Sturgis. 

The other entries made in 1828, were in the following order : John Stur- 
gis, October 22, southwest quarter of section 6, in Fawn Kiver township ; on 
October 24, Arba Heald, east half of the southwest quarter of section 5 ; 
Robert Clark, Jr., west half of the southwest quarter of section 5, and east 
half of the southeast quarter of section 6 ; John W. Anderson and Duncan 
R. Clark, west half of the southeast quarter of section 6 ; Asahel Savery, 
southwest quarter of section 6 — all in the township of White Pigeon, as at 
present constituted. On November 24, George Buck entered the west half 
of the southeast quarter of _s6ction 1, in Sturgis, and on the 29th of the 
same month Luther Newtott and John Winchell entered the east half of the 
southeast quarter of section. &; and December 11, Leonard Cutler bought the 
east half of the northeast quarter of section 6, in White Pigeon. December 
18, Ruth A. Clarke entered the east half of the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 1, and Hart L. Stewart entered the west half of the southwest quarter 
of same section, in Sturgis. Alanson C. Stewart on the same day entered 
the west half of the northeast quarter and the east half of the northeast 
quarter of section 7, in Fawn River, which closed the entries for the year. 

There were one hundred and sixty distinct entries made of lands in the 
year 1829, among them Judge Meeks' location in Constantine, and the loca- 
tions of Henry Powers, Henry and Russel Post, William Connor, William 



Hazzard and John W. Fletcher, on Nottawa prairie ; Jacob Mclnterfer at 
Lockport and Three Rivers, and Joseph R. Williams and Robert Clark, Jr. 
and the Stewarts, at Mottville. 

From their first settlement until June 1, 1831, the settlers were obliged to 
go to Monroe to enter their lands ; but at the last named date a land-office 
was established at White Pigeon, of which Abram S. Edwards was the 
register, and T. P. Sheldon the receiver. In 1834 the office was removed to 
Kalamazoo, then called Bronson. 

During the location of the land-office at White Pigeon, a tragic ending 
of a journey thither, befel Jacob Knox, the father of David, Charles H. and 
Lewis Knox, so well and favorably known to the St. Joseph citizens. Mr., (or, 
as he was familiarly known and called), " Squire " Knox, accompanied by 
Lewis, had been, June 6, 1831, to the land-office to enter his land, and having 
finished his business, came to the "Old Diggins," where some land-hunters were 
shooting at a target. Lewis, being a good shot, loaded one of the rifles, to try 
his skill, but the day being a damp, misty one, the gun missed fire, and after 
two or three unsuccessful attempts to discharge the piece, he threw it across 
his arm, and his attention being attracted by an advertisement posted up 
against the house, he began to read it, at the same time lightly snapping the 
trigger of the rifle, which unexpectedly exploded the priming and discharged 
the piece, the bullet entering the father's breast, killing him almost instantly. 

After the office was removed to Bronson, a Miss Van Patten, of Centre- 
ville, having a desire for a certain eighty acres of land in JSTottawa, started 
off on foot one summer morning for the office, to purchase the tract, and 
after fording the St. Joe near the present farm of W. B. Langley, was passed 
by a gentleman on horseback. Miss Van Patten kept on the even tenor of 
her way, and on coming out of the land-office met the same horseman going 
in, who, as it appeared in a few minutes, was after the same tract of land the 
lady had just secured by her superior powers of locomotion. 

A party once went to White Pigeon to enter his location, and his boys, 
who were with him, proposed to go to the hotel first, but the old gentleman, 
a German, said, "No, poys, yust hitch the horses, and I will go and get the 
lant," and he did, and as he came out he met a neighbor who had just came 
in for the same land. " Dere poys, you see vat would have been the matter, 
off you had gone to der hotel ! Remember to do to-day yust what you can't 
do to-morrow," said the old gentleman. 

The United States surveyors took advantage of their knowledge of the 
lands they had surveyed, and entered for themselves and their friends some 
of the best sections in the county. Among them were Robert Clark, Jr., 
Orange Risdon, Musgrove Evans, and John Mullett. 

The first orchard in the county was set out in the spring of 1829, by a Mr. 
Murray, on White Pigeon prairie, on the farm now known as the Tracy 
farm. The trees came from Fort Wayne, and are still bearing. Russell 
Post, who located on the Nottawa prairie in the year 1829, was a good hor- 
ticulturist, and had an orchard, and a good one, as soon as the one first 
named, though it was not set out so soon by a year or two. 

Leonard Cutler planted the first apple-seeds for nursery purposes, in the 
spring of 1828. When three years old, the young trees were grafted by a 
Mr. Jones, who, on Cutler's removal in 1831, transplanted them on the farm 
now known as Disbrow's, five miles east of Pigeon. A great many of the 
first orchards in the county were supplied from this nursery. 

The first improved live stock was introduced by Elisha AVhite, from Con- 
necticut, in 1835-36. He first brought some short-horn cattle, and an im- 
proved breed of hogs, to his farm on White Pigeon prairie. The hogs were 
known as White's breed. Adams Wakeman also brought into the county 
some thorough-bred short-horns, after 1850 ; and from that time considerable 
attention has been paid to the improvement of cattle. 

In 1834 Henry Chapin, Jr., advertised Saxon sheep for sale, selected from 
General Wadsworth's flock, of New York. The American merinos were in- 
troduced after 1850. At the Centennial exhibition, at Philadelphia, St. 
Joseph county wool, prepared by Franklin Wells, of Constantine, carried off 
the first award among one hundred competitors. 

The stock of horses began to be improved, generally, earlier than other 
stock, and it is difficult to say who should have the credit of first intro- 
ducing blooded horses. The father of J. J. Davis, of White Pigeon, brought 
the first blooded horse on that prairie for stock purposes, from Ulster county, 
N. Y., in 1833, but it was not until after 1840, that general attention began 
to be paid to the business. 

The first improved farm machinery was introduced in 1841 and later, 
though the settlers were constantly devising methods of putting in and har- 
vesting their crops, in a more economical and expeditious manner. The 
plows first used were cast-iron implements, which were soon thrown aside as 
impracticable, and in 1841 A. C. Fisher invented a plow with heavy cast- 

ings and timber, measuring some fifteen feet from the handles to the clevis, 
the motive power required to work it being ten yoke of the best oxen to be 
had. Roots and grubs from six to eight inches in diameter were cut off by 
its share, easily and smoothly. This plow was used for breaking the opening 
and prairie sod. The plows now made in the ot>unty are perfect models of 
strength and beauty, and are most efficient implements. 

The grain was first cut with cradles, and it was not until 1842 that a 
reaper made its appearance in the county, and horses took the place of men 
in the heavy work of the harvest field. The first reaper was brought into the 
county on White Pigeon prairie in 1842, but it did not work well, and was 
thrown aside. It was an old Kirby machine. The next season a McCor- 
mick machine was brought on the prairie by J. J. Davis and C. C. Newkirk, 
and when it was first started, it frightened the horses and they ran away, 
breaking up the machine seriously, and the old, discarded Kirby was called 
into requisition to finish the job. The same season the machines made by 
John M. Leland, the inventor of the open guard and sickle-edged knives, 
were introduced on Nottawa prairie, and proved a great success, and the 
Hussey reaper also was introduced by the Johnsons on Nottawa prairie. 

The pioneers tramped their wheat out of the straw with their horses, and 
winnowed it in the wind, at first, and later, in 1835, improved their condition 
somewhat by bringing in the open-cylinder threshing-machine, which also 
was an invention of John M. Leland. The first machine he built in the 
county was a small one for his own use, which was worked by two men with 
crank-power. The old cylinder and concave are preserved by Mrs. Leland at 
the old homestead on the St. Joe, in the northeastern corner of Lockport. 

In 1844 the first separator was introduced on White Pigeon prairie, the 
same being manufactured at Constantine. They were introduced throughout 
the county soon after. There was a separator brought to Nottawa in 1842. 

An industry has. grown up in St. Joseph county from small beginnings — 
which now almost equals the entire product in all the rest of the State — in 
the distillation of mint and other essential oils. 

Peppermint, which is the chief article from which oil is distilled, began 
to be cultivated on White Pigeon prairie, but within the present limits of the 
township of Florence, in 1835, by a Mr. Sawyer^ who brought the roots from 
Ohio. However, before he distilled any of the product, he sold his farm out 
to Glover and Earle in 1836, who continued the culture for a time, but the 
prairie soil proving unsuited to the best development of the herb, it was dis- 

Marshall and Orrin Craw, about 1840, obtained roots of the plant of 
Glover and Earle, or elsewhere ; they introduced its culture into the oak 
openings in the northern part of Florence, which proved to be eminently 
fitted for its production, and in which it is entirely cultivated at the present 
time. The Craw brothers continued the cultivation of the plant and the dis- 
tillation of its essential oils for several years. 

Ranney & Smith began the culture in 1843, and since then the industry 
has rapidly grown into prominence, at one period the county producing more 
peppermint oil than all of the United States besides. 

The original mode of the distillation of the oil was a very simple and rude 
process. The plants were corked in an ordinary iron kettle, and the oil 
skimmed off the water. The process was not economical, neither was it very 
profitable, but as soon as the distillation became more generally introduced, 
distilleries were established as at present. 

The following sketch of the oil of peppermint, to which the manufacture 
of essential oils in this county and State is almost exclusively confined, has 
been written by Albert M. Todd, of Nottawa, who, though but a young man, 
is an extensive dealer in essential oils, and exhibited specimens of the same 
at the Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia, for which he obtained several 
prizes and diplomas : 

" In the cultivation and distillation of oil of peppermint our country is far 
in advance of all others, annually producing about four-fifths of all that is 
distilled in the world ; and of this amount about one-fourth is produced in 
the county of St. Joseph and its immediate vicinity. Next to the United 
States in importance is England, then Germany. Quite recently this in- 
dustry has also extended to China and Japan, the former of which nations 
exhibited their production in the form of crystals at the late international 

" For the quality of their production the English have formerly claimed 
superiority, especially for that distilled from a variety of plant known as. 
the " white Mitcham," cultivated near a town of that name, about twenty 
miles southwest of London. This district the writer of this article visited 
in the summer of 1875, and was by the proprietor shown over the Hlkst ex- 
tensive estate in England devoted to the manufacture of essential oils. The 
growth of the plants was much inferior to that of our country, particularly 



the " white Miteham," which was distinguished from the common variety 
by lighter-colored leaves. Though bringing a much higher price this 
variety is but little cultivated owing to its very inferior growth. 

" In addition to peppermint, there are also other essential oils in our county, 
viz. : spearmint, wormwood, pennyroyal, tansy and fireweed, but the com- 
bined amount of all these is but a trifle when compared with peppermint ; 
therefore this sketch will be devoted to this oil alone, especially as the 
process of distillation is the same in all. 

" Soon as spring opens, the ground being duly prepared, is marked out in 
deep furrows thirty inches apart. The roots and creeping-tendrils (called 
" runners "), which have grown from the settings of the preceding season, 
being taken from the ground and separated, are packed into large sacks, 
These are thrown over the shoulders of the workmen in such a manner that 
there shall be at least one living root or " runner " the entire length of the 
row, and these, as they are thrown down, are covered by the feet of the 
workman to the depth of an inch. 

" Cultivation commences as soon as the row r s can be distinguished above 
ground. As the plants advance in growth a complete net-work of roots is 
formed beneath the surface ; they also send forth " runners " above ground 
in every direction. These, sometimes attaining a length of over three feet, 
completely envelope the ground. As the runners also throw dow r n roots a 
second crop will also be obtained from one setting, and sometimes a third 
should they escape the frosts of the succeeding winters. The height ob- 
tained by the plants is usually not over twenty- four inches, although some- 
times it reaches forty-eight inches. 

" Distillation commences in August when the plants begin to bloom. The 
effect produced by a large field of peppermint with its beautiful purple 
blossoms and rich fragrance is quite enchanting. 

" The process of distillation is as follows : 

" The plants having been cut, and having lain in the hot sun for six or 
eight hours, are taken to the distillery and tightly packed in large vats 
capable of holding from two thousand to two thousand five hundred pounds 
each. The vat, when filled, is closed over by a steam-tight cover. The 
steam being generated in a large engine-boiler, is conveyed through a pipe 
to the plants by means of an opening in the bottom of the vat. The oil, in 
the form of globules, is contained in minute vescicles on the lower side of 
the leaves and in the blossoms. 

" As the steam is forced through the plants, the globules, being expanded 
by the intense heat, burst from their prison-cells, and are carried off in 
steam, which escapes from an opening in the top into a pipe called the 
4t condenser," and from thence into its continuation, the " worm." 

" Cold water being constantly pumped over these pipes, the steam inside is 
Te-converted into fluid form. This having reached the terminus of the 
worm, flows out into the •' receiver," a deep vessel, from near the bottom of 
which a spout runs up on the outside to within a few inches of the top. As 
the fluid flows in, the water and oil separate of their own accord ; the oil 
being lighter, rises to the surface, and is dipped off; the water continually 
sinking to the bottom, is forced by the weight above to flow out through 
the spout. 

" This water holds a certain per centum of the oil in solution still, yet is 
thoughtlessly allowed to go to waste, but should be retained for re-conver- 
sion into steam, as fresh water converted into steam will continue to absorb 
the oil ; whereas that already impregnated would throw off the entire 
amount taken from the plants of successive charges. The importance of 
calling attention to this will be readily appreciated when it is stated that 
the amount of " peppermint water " which was formerly sold in England, 
but is here wasted, is over eight thousand barrels annually. The time re- 
quired for steaming the plants, is, if they are well dried, not over forty 
minutes, with a high pressure of steam ; but the time varies with the steam 
capacity of the distillery. 

" The amount of oil obtained from a given amount of the plants varies 
greatly. If they are fine and well covered with leaves, and are distilled 
during warm, dry weather, and well dried, ten pounds of oil can be obtained 
from two thousand pounds of the plants ; but from coarse, undried plants, 
less than one-third that amount has been obtained. 

" After the charge is sufficiently steamed, it is lifted from the vat by 
pulleys attached to a crane, and being dropped upon a car or wagon is run 
off, and used for fertilizing the fields. 

" Our average crop in this county will not exceed twenty pounds per acre, 
although in other localities double this amount has been occasionally pro- 
duced upon low-lands." 

Among the heavy manufacturers of and dealers in essential oils in the 
county, are the Wolf Brothers & Keech (George, Jr.), of Centreville ; A. 

P. Emery, of Mendon ; William Koys, of Florence, and Charles W. Jones, 
of Sherman. Henry Hall, of Three Rivers, is an extensive dealer, and in 
former days Daniel Francisco, now of the latter place, has been a very ex- 
tensive grower of the herb, and manufacturer of the oil of peppermint. 
Wolf Bros. & Keech are the heaviest producers of oils, aside from pepper- 
mint, they having probably the largest field of wormwood in the world — 
twenty-two acres ; and the only fields of spearmint in the county, fifty acres. 
They also cultivate tansey and pennyroyal. The product of mint-oils in 
1865, in the county, amounted to about 40,000 pounds, which was valued at 
$100,000. In 1870 there were 23,000 pounds produced, valued at $58,000. 
In 1876 there were about 30,000 pounds produced, and its average price 
per pound was $2.25, aggregating about $78,000. The price of the article 
varies according to the supply and demand, and being an entirely fancy 
product in the market, cannot be "pushed" when once the present demand 
is supplied. Peppermint oil is used mostly in confectionery and in phar- 
macy, and somewhat in perfumery. 

The following agricultural statistics are taken from the census of 1874 : 
Of taxable lands there were that year 305,532 acres, 197,404 of which were 
improved ; 55,233 acres of wheat were harvested, yielding 593,241 bushels, 
the county ranking No. 7 in the State in that respect. There was a gain of 
30,000 acres, and 228,000 bushels since 1854. In 1874 there were sown 
67,000 acres of wheat. There were 29,771 acres of corn harvested in 1873, 
which produced 843,670 bushels, the county ranking No. 9 in the State. 
There were harvested also in 1873, 110,423 bushels of potatoes, and 20,639 
tons of hay cut. The wool-clip was 161,190 pounds, and the pork crop was 
2,294,276 pounds. There were made 642,900 pounds of butter and cheese, 
9,306 barrels of cider, and 7,785 pounds of maple sugar ; 1864 produced 
more "sweetenin'" by nearly 14,000 pounds. The cheese fell off largely 
from 1864, but the butter nearly doubled. There were 5,576 acres in 
orchards, 18 acres in vineyards and small fruits, and 54 in gardens, which 
produced in 1873, 186,485 barrels of apples, 5,841 bushels of other fruits 
and vegetables, the value of the whole product being $76,026 ; 100,000 
pounds of fruit were dried. There were 2,450 farms in the county, averaging 
113 47-100 acres each. There were 7,736 horses, 104 mules, 103 oxen, 
7,078 milch cows, and 6,027 other neat cattle, over one year old, and 16,847 
hogs and 32,683 sheep, in 1874. 



The old adage, " necessity is the mother of invention," was amply illus- 
trated in the early pioneer-life in St. Joseph county. The early settlers 
brought in, generally, but small supplies of breadstuffs ; and there being no 
mills to grind the raw material — which, too, was wanting for the first two or 
three years, in sufficient quantities to supply the demand — the first thing the 
man of the family set about doing, after providing a shelter for his charge, 
was to enlarge the bill-of-fare of the household. Notwithstanding the fact 
that wild game covered the prairies and filled the openings, and fish sported 
in the rivers and lakes in abundance, and the wild bees had been storing 
their honey for years uncounted in the hollow trees, thus affording a- plenti- 
ful supply of such articles of diet for any one who chose to take them, 
" without money and without price:" yet with all this array of nature's boun- 
tiful provision before them (which would be considered by epicures of to-day, 
luxuries), the settler was not satisfied ; but he and his family's appetites 
craved bread, whether of corn or wheat, it did not so much matter, but 
bread of some sort must be had; and therefore the inventive genius of the 
pioneer was at once actively exercised to produce something to reduce the 
raw material, whenever it should be got, into meal, trusting the good wife 
to get it baked in some shape fit for eating. Various devices were employed 
to get meal and flour; and graham, which is called for by many now-a-days 
as an article of use not often met with, was then the main-stay of breadstuffs. 
Mrs. Judge Sturgis says the first bread she made in the county was pre- 
pared from corn meal, produced by rubbing the ears on the bottom of a tin 
pan perforated with holes, the rough edges of the perforations forming a 
grater surface, and the meal moistened with water, and baked on a board 
before the fire in an enormous fire-place. The corn was bought of the In- 
dians, who were her nearest neighbors. The first buckwheat pan-cakes she 



made was from flour made by grinding the grain in her coffee-mill, and 
sifting the hulls out in her sieve. The coffee-mill was of common use among 
the earlier settlers. 

The next device was called the pioneer mill^ and consisted of a block of 
wood or stump of a tree, with a hole rounded and smoothed out therein, 
into which the grain was poured, and reduced to meal by means of a pestle 
attached to a spring-pole. The Indians had the pestle or mortar before the 
settlers came, but Yankee ingenuity invented the labor-saving part — the 
spring-pole— and, what is more wonderful, never patented the improvement. 

In the summer of 1828, Arba Heald, living then near the east end of 
White Pigeon prairie, put up against a large tree near his house a large 
pepper mill, with double cranks for two persons working; which would 
grind about half a bushel of grain in a half- hour. This was for common 
use throughout the neighborhood, and served its purpose during the years 
1828-29, as occasion required, until better facilities were offered. Samuel 
Pratt went to Cutler's to board in June, 1829, and a part of the considera- 
tion for his accommodation was that he should assist in grinding half a 
bushel of shelled corn in Heald's mill every other day. 

In 1828 the nearest water-mill was at Fort Wayne, and the settlers of 
that year were compelled to go to that place, or Tecumseh, or use the expedi- 
ents above described to procure their breadstuffs. In 1829 there was a mill 
on the Dowagiae. In the summer of 1828 Judge Luther Newton built a 
saw-mill one mile south of the Chicago road, on Fawn river— then called 
Crooked creek— but the dam went out, and the mill was undermined and 
thrown down before any work was done. 

The mill was rebuilt in 1829, and the first sawing done in the fall of that 
year. The mill was built double for the purpose of putting in a run of stones 
for gristing, but no grinding was done in it for some time afterwards. 

The first grist-mill put in operation in the county, was one built by Judge 
William Meek, on Crooked creek, near the present site of the railroad bridge, 
in Constantine. The judge located the water-power and mill site, June 15, • 
1829, and in the spring of 1830 built a small mill after this wise, as is rela- 
ted by Hugh Wood, the millwright who built the same. The dam thrown 
across the creek was as primitive as the mill. The mud sills were large logs 
sunk to the bottom of the stream, and puncheons split or hewed out of other 
large logs, pinned upon them ; then a large log was placed on either side of 
the stream, one of them forming the foundation of the mill, and upon these 
two logs was hung the water-wheel, which was about eighteen feet long, and 
six feet in diameter. Brush and straw were thrown in above the mud-sills, 
and the water raised about eighteen inches, forming a current which carried 
the wheel. The wheel-shaft was a hewed log, with arms mortised into it, 
• upon which the floats, or buckets, were withed. The gudgeons were made 
of wood, banded with iron that had once performed a similar service for 
wagon-wheel hubs. The bed-stone was made of a flat boulder found in the 
river, about two feet in diameter, and the runner was made of a similar one, 
found about three miles up the river. The wheels by which the stones were 
driven were entirely of wood. The wheel was stopped by floating a log 
under it, and when motion was again required, the log was drawn out. The 
mill was a log building, eighteen feet square, one and a-half stories high. 

This mill was begun and completed (so states the millwright, Woods,) in 
twenty days, in the spring of 1830. William Hazzard says he carried his 
grists to this mill in 1830, and Lewis Ehodes, who was then living on White 
Pigeon prairie, and but a short distance from the Newton mill, says he went 
to Meek's mill in the fall of 1830, before Newton's mill did any grinding. 
This mill of Judge Meek's had no bolt at first, but afterwards he made one, 
the chest being made of flattened poles, and covered with ash bark, no iron 
being in the bolt, except the spindles. The meal was carried by hand from 
the stones to the bolt, which was turned by the hands of the owners of the 
grists — male or female. 

Judge Meek the next season began a permanent improvement of his water- 
power, putting in a more substantial dam, just above the first mill, across 
Fawn river, digging a race and taking the water to the bank of the St. 
Joseph, where he built a saw-mill; into one end of it he put the mill 
stones of the primitive mill for a short time. He then built a small build- 
ing, into which he put a run of good burr stones, and subsequently enlarged 
the building and put in two runs. The second mill (the saw-mill) went 
into operation in the summer of 1831. 

In the summer of 1830 Mishael Beadle built a small mill, very similar 
in construction to that of Judge Meek's, which went into operation in the fall 
of 1830, or winter of 1831. 

In the summer of 1831 Weston W. Bliss built a carding and cloth dress- 
ing-mill, into which he also put a run of burr stones, for gristing. 

The winter of 1831-2 set in early and severely, and the water in Judge 

Meek's race froze solid in December, and his mills were stopped all winter ; 
Beadle, Bliss and Newton supplying the people in the meantime with flour 
and meal. 

In 1832 Judge Fitch built his saw-mill at the mouth of Hog creek, in his 
little village of Eschol, where he did an extensive business until 1840 ; but 
his mills have rotted down, the dam no longer obstructs the current of the 
stream, and Eschol is scarcely remembered by the " oldest inhabitant." 

Mishael Beadle sold his Flowerfield mill to Challenge 8. Wheeler, who 
settled there in December, 1831 — Mr. Beadle coming to Three Rivers, and 
putting up, in 1832, a little mill on the east side of the Portage. 

In 1832 Robert and James Cowen built a saw-mill on Nottawa creek, in 
Leonidas, now known as Kidd's mill. During its erection they wanted a 
small hook for some purpose, and as the nearest blacksmith-shop was at 
White Pigeon, twenty-five miles distant, James went there on foot to get it 
made. On his arrival, he found several parties waiting to be served at the 
only shop in the village and the smith drunk. After spending four dollars 
for board and consuming five days' time, he got the work he wanted done, 
paying fifty cents for it. The Schellhous saw-mill was built nearly as early 
in Colon, as Cowen's. 

Merchant flouring began in the summer of 1834. In the Michigan 
Statesman and St. Joseph Chronicle, published in White Pigeon that year, 
Clark & Williams at White Pigeon, offer " fifty cents per bushel, in trade, 
for any quantity of good merchantable wheat delivered at the Constantine 
mills before the 1st of August," next ensuing, dating their offer May 27. 
After the 1st of August they offered only forty -three cents per bushel in 
the same kind of payment. But the immigration of 1835-36 made a de- 
mand on the mills sufficient to consume the entire product, and no ship- 
ments were made of any moment until the fall of 1837, at which time the old 
mills had been enlarged and improved' and new ones built. The saw-mills 
were driven to their utmost capacity to supply the home demand. 

The first wool-carding and cloth-dressing factory was built by W. W> 
Bliss, on Pigeon creek, as before stated, in 1831. The first brick made in 
the county were burned by Samuel Pratt and Philander A. Paine, in the 
months of August and September, 1829, at Mottville. They put up a kiln 
of 40,000, embracing both chimney and well brick. The well at Savery's 
" Old Diggins," was curbed with them. In 1830 Mr. Pratt and George 
Thurston made brick at the mouth of Crooked creek (Fawn river). 

The first shoemaker in the county who brought his " kit " for regular trade, 
was Edwin Kellogg, at White Pigeon. In 1830 Savery built a large stabling 
barn near his hotel with an ample loft, in one end of which Kellogg made 
the first shoes manufactured in the county, and, at the same time, in the 
other end of the loft, two down-east Yankees, as Mr. K. says, " were doing a 
smashing business in the fanning-mill line." 

A Mr. Weed built the first distillery in the county on Crooked creek, near 
Newton's mill, in 1832, and the Newtons having sold out their mill to W. 
W. & Elisha Miller, they rebuilt it, and soon after Weed's distillery went into 
operation they also built one. Some of the Nottawa Indians played a prac- 
tical joke on one of the Millers to get some whisky. Going through the 
woods one day the Indians found some dead honey-bees on the ground, and 
marking the tree under which they were lying, they took the bees along 
with them toward the distillery, and when in its vicinity, scattered the in- 
sects on the ground under a sturdy old oak and went into the still-house, 
and told Mr. Miller they would show him a bee-tree if he would give them 
two gallons of whisky (squiby), and offered to show it to him first if he 
doubted their statement. Mr. Miller went out with the jokers, who led 
him to the tree where they had scattered the dead bees ; on seeing which, 
Miller said he would give them the whiskey, which he did, and the Indians 
went away with it. As soon as a convenient opportunity offered, Mr. Miller 
cut dowh the tree and found not what he had sought, but that he had been 
badly " sold " by the " poor Indian." A Mr. Wilson once bartered three 
hundred bushels of fine white wheat to Miller for whisky, and drew the 
liquor to Detroit and sold it for twenty-five cents per gallon to get cash to 
buy necessaries with. 

The first wagon-shop in the county was opened on White Pigeon prairie, 
at Newville, in 1830, but not much business was done. John Masterman was 
the first one to do a good business, and he located in White Pigeon about 
the year 1831-2. The first foundries were put in operation in Constantine, 
Sturgis and Flowerfield, in the year 1836, and plows and other castings were 
made. The first flour-barrels in the county, were made in 1834, at Centre- 
ville, for Johnston and Stewart. 

The foregoing is substantially the history of the beginnings of manufac- 
tures, in outline, in St. Joseph county. 



By the census of 1874 the following pleasing exhibit is made of the manu- 
facturing business of the county, for the year ending May 4, 1874. There 
were eighteen flour mills (water), with fifty-eight runs of stone, employing 
$261,000 capital, and fifty employees, which made 103,381 barrels of flour, 
valued at $675,054. Sixteen saw-mills (four steam, twelve water power), 
employed $40,300 capital, and forty-one persons, and made 3,494,662 feet of 
lumber, valued at $37,949. Four planing-mills, five foundries and machine- 
shops, three agricultural-implement works, eight carriage- factories, five 
chair-factories, three pump, two stave-head and hoop, two barrel and churn 
factories, one tannery, two trunk-factories, one canning establishment, two 
woolen-factories, two boot and shoe factories, three brick and tile yards, two 
stone-yards, and one knitting and batten-factory, employed 475 persons and 
$543,450, and the value of their products was $607,364, making a total of 
eighty-two establishments, giving employment to 574 persons, and $844,750 
capital, and producing products of commerce valued at $1,320,367. 

The first merchants to bring a stock of goods for sale into the county were 
Hart L. and Alanson C. Stewart, which were brought to White Pigeon in 
the fall of 1829, but not opened for sale there, being transferred in bulk to 
Mottville, where the Stewarts afterwards located in tma early part of 1830. 
Messrs. Bull & Kellogg brought the next stock of goods into White Pigeon, 
the summer of 1830, and they also opened a store at Sturgis soon after 
Elias Taylor, the old Indian trader at the " grand traverse " of the St. Joe, 
Mottville, located there in the year of 1828, but his supplies were principally 
whisky and tobacco. Judge Wm. H. Cross transferred a load of supplies 
to Taylor from Monroe in 1830, and he says the bulk of it was whisky. 
Taylor was the conservator of the public peace and morals in all that region 
of country for some years, and he made it his duty to see that the United 
States laws were not infringed by the sale of whisky to the Indians, except 
such as went over his counter. A Mr. Clements brought the first stock of 
goods to Sturgis prairie. Elias S. Swan followed Bull and Kellogg in 1831, 
and Barry & Willard opened up a heavy stock of general merchandize in 
the latter part of 1831. The first stock of drugs and medicines was kept by 
Bull & Kellogg. A man one day came into the store and inquired for qui- 
nine, and on being asked how much he wanted, replied, "Oh, two or three 
pounds, I suppose !" He was somewhat nonplussed when he was told it 
would take his best horse to pay for that amount. Niles F. Smith had a 
little stock of goods in White Pigeon in the spring of 1830. 

The business of the pioneer merchant was almost exclusively conducted 
by barter and exchange. Money was scarce, and constantly grew scarcer 
as the emigrants used up their surplus, and could get no more for their pro- 
duce. The dealers took wheat and had it floured, and shipped the flour to 
their eastern creditors, as the only medium of exchange within their reach. 
Men had wheat, pork, and the products of their dairy, but could get no cash 
for them, and so the merchants were forced to take their produce and run 
the risk of replenishing their stock on credit. 

One day a well-to-do farmer came into the store of N. E. Massey, in Con- 
stantine, and asked to see some boots ; he was shown some, and after exam- 
ining two or three pairs, put a pair on, which seemed to fit him, and he in- 
quired the price, and being told, he immediately asked Massey how many 
bushels of wheat he must bring to his store for the articles. Massey replied, 
" I cannot sell my boots* for wheat, I must have the cash for them." The 
farmer repeated his inquiry more earnestly than before, and Massey reiter- 
ated his refusal to take wheat for the boots, adding that he could not refill 
his stock unless he had cash for such articles. But all to no purpose — the 
farmer persisted in knowing how many bushels of wheat would satisfy the 
merchant. Finding him inexorable, he said, " Well Mr. Massey, I have got 
these boots on, and I am not going to take them off, neither do I think you 
can take them off; now say just what I must bring you, in wheat, to make it 
square ; I am not particular how much, set your own figures, but the boots I 
must and will have." Massey was forced to submit and state the number 
of bushels of wheat he considered an equivalent (which was some fifteen), 
and the same was at once brought, and the score settled. 


A system of banking was inaugurated by the first Legislature that con- 
vened under the constitution of 1835, the same being based on what was 
known as the " safety fund," and several banks were chartered, and some of 
them did a fair, honest and legitimate business. But in 1837 the panic was 
so disastrous, that the financiers of the State thought unlimited banking fa- 
cilities would mitigate the commercial distress and prostration, if, indeed, 
they did not prove a veritable Hercules, and lift the wheels of trade entirely 
out of the rut of stagnation and disaster, and, therefore, a general banking 

law was passed, whereby an unlimited issue of paper could be put out as 
money, secured by real estate. 

At the same time the State began to build her railroads, loaning 1500,000 
therefor, and being terribly swindled before she found her citizens could do 
such work better than herself, and wisely left internal improvements there- 
after to private individuals and corporations. The general government ex- 
tended aid, and also the State, generously, by donations of land, and while 
the money lasted, times were easy ; but the crisis came at last, and the 
banks whose circulation was secured so slightly, collapsed at once, and 
swept away all the means the people had invested in them. 

The first and only safety fund bank in St. Joseph county, was the Bank 
of Constantine, which was chartered July 23, 1836, with an authorized 
capital of $250,000. It was the only charter granted at the session of 
1836, among many applications. The stock-books were opened, and the en- 
tire capital subscribed, and four hundred and forty-seven surplus shares 
besides, the first week. Among the heavy subscribers were: Isaac 
J. Ullman, two hundred and ten shares ; Wm. E. Boardman, fifteen 
hundred shares ; J. S. Barry, two hundred shares ; Wm. H. Adams, 
two hundred shares. The first board of directors were W. T. House, Presi- 
dent, K E. Boardman, John A. Welles, I. J. Ullman, E. S. Swan, W. H. 
Adams and John S. Barry. The first instalment of capital was paid in, in 
specie, February 24, 1837, and the doors were opened for business March 3 
following, with Chas. Augustus Hopkins, of Buffalo, for cashier. Business 
flourished with the new institution ; the people gave it their confidence, and 
business began to feel its new factor's power. The first statement of the 
bank commissioner, Thomas Fitzgerald, made March 6, 1838, showed the 
following condition of the bank and its business : capital stock $250,000 ; 
paid in $27,025 ; circulation $29,430 ; specie on hand $15,465.49 ; bills of 
other banks $9,821.50. The bank continued its operations until 1841, when 
it closed its doors and suspended payment. 

Under the general banking law the banks were designated in common 
parlance " wild cat " and " red dog," according to the facts of the case. If 
the notes the bank issued were printed directly for its location, that is with 
the name of the place where the bank was doing business, in the same 
colored ink, and at the same time the rest of the note was engraved, the 
bank was a " wild cat "; but if the notes were left blank, to be filled up with 
the place of business whenever that unimportant locality might be found, 
which filling up was done by stamping with red ink, then the bank belonged 
to the Canidae instead of the Felidae, and was denominated " red dog." 
Both were of the same genus, however, and scratched or bit the dear people 
who gave them their claws and fangs, indiscriminately. 

There were two of the latter class of banks established in the county, which 
issued their promises to pay, and commenced to do business ; one of each de- 
nomination, and both located at Centreville. There were two others attempted, 
one at White Pigeon, which went so far as to get the notes all ready for issue, 
but before they were put forth the supreme court of the State decided some 
important point against the law, and they all collapsed at once, and the 
White Pigeons preserved their purity in that respect, per force. The other 
bank was to be located at Lockport, but no further progress was ever made 
than to subscribe for the stock and elect directors. 

The charter for the St. Joseph County Bank at Centreville was granted in 
the summer of 1837, with an authorized capital of $100,000, ten per cent, 
of which was paid in specie, November 21 following, the same having been 
subscribed for by farmers chiefly. Columbia Lancaster was the first presi- 
dent, and W. E. Boardman, cashier. This was a " wild cat," and its con- 
dition on March 6, 1838, as shown by the bank commissioner's statement, 
was as follows : Capital, $100,000 ; paid in, not known ; circulation, $18,095 ; 
specie on hand and on deposit with Bank of Constantine, for redemption, 
$1,038.50; bills of other banks, $734. 

The Farmers' and Merchants' bank was a " red dog," and designed for St. 
Josephs, in Berrien county, but began business in Centreville. It was char- 
tered February 1, 1838, andron the 6th of the same month the stockholders 
elected a board of directors and officers, but had difficulty in getting them to 
serve. Finally the men most interested in the bank gave bonds to T. W. 
Langley for the prompt redemption of the notes issued, and he published a 
notice warning the people against selling the notes at a discount, as they 
would be redeemed at par in twenty days. But the parties who gave the 
bonds failed to fulfil their agreements, and the bank " went the way of all 
the earth " early in the spring of 1838. W. C. Pease, of Constantine, was 
the first president, then William Foster, with A. C. Hubbard and Charles 
S. Adams, cashiers, but all resigned, and Mr. Langley acted as before stated. 
The first statement of the bank commissioner did not show a very healthy 
condition of the finances of the bank. The capital was $50,000, as author- 



ized, but it was not known how much, if any, was paid in. Circulation was 
bad, too, there being $19,860 out, and no specie to keep the currents good ; 
but there were other bank bills, probably as good as those the bank had itself 
issued, that figured upon their face $1,113. 

The bad odor of these banks did not prevent the counterfeiter from in- 
dulging his peculiar faculties, for before the St. Joseph County Bank had 
been presented with a single note of its own for redemption, counterfeits were 
passed over its counters, and into its " till." However, in a very short time 
afterwards, the counterfeit was as good as the genuine, both being equally 

It was the custom of the parties who owned or controlled the last class of 
banks to join in getting a certain amount of specie, sufficient to comply with 
the law so far as any one bank in the arrangement w&s concerned, and make 
that deposit serve for all, which device was executed by loading up the 
specie as soon as the commissioner had inspected a bank, and sending it on 
to the next bank in the round of inspection, and so keeping the specie in cir- 

There were no other banks of issue established in the county, besides those 
above mentioned, until the national bank law was passed by Congress, when 
the First National Bank of Three Rivers was organized, in December, 1864, 
with $100,000 capital, and Edward S. Moore as President. 

There are at the present time six national banks in the county, with an 
aggregate paid-up capital, surplus and undivided profits, of $610,866.49 ; 
whose discounts and loans, on December 31, 1876, amounted to $617,394.65. 
There were deposits in those banks, subject to call, or at a specified time, 
$342,669.05, and their outstanding circulation amounted to $264,800. These 
institutions owned real estate, furniture and fixtures, valued at $43,043.29, 
and other banks and the United .States treasury and its agents owed them 
$152,315.09, Their circulation is secured by the deposit with the United 
States Treasurer of United States bonds, amounting to $295,000 ; and in 
their vaults they had $90,000 in cash, consisting of legal-tender notes prin- 




Sociability is a prominent characteristic of the human family. The 
recluse in society is an exception, tolerated because he is in nobody's way, 
but of little use to those around him, whatever he may accomplish for the 
future. The desire in man's nature to communicate with his fellows leads 
him to make the means of such communication easily accessible, and there- 
fore roads are laid out, streams are bridged, marshes causewayed, railroads 
built, telegraphs constructed, and the telephone invented. 

The first roads were the trails of the aborigines followed for ages between 
distant points, but always in a direct line — "as the crow flies" — between 
the fords of the streams to where hard ground could be found to enter the 
same. There were two important and principal trails passing through the 
St. Joseph territory when the first settlers came to it, one of which they fol- 
lowed in their journeyings thither. This was the Chicago trail, between that 
point and Detroit, along which every year the Western Indians, led by 
Black Hawk and other less-noted warriors of the Sac nation, rode in im- 
mense cavalcade to Maiden to receive from the British government their 
annuities. When Jhe procession began to approach the settlements, runners 
would be sent out to notify the inhabitants along the trail that the main 
body were coming, and to assure them of the pacific intentions of their 
people. It was rarely that any trouble arose between the whites and these 
Indians, in fact no disturbance ever was made unless the Indians were in- 
toxicated. Mr. Marantette, of Men don, mentioned an incident that occurred 
at the trading-post at Cold water in 1825 while he had charge of it, although 
he was then a boy about eighteen years old. Black Hawk and his people 
had been to Maiden and received their annuity, and were returning home, 
and stopped at the post to trade, that being the last one before reaching 
Chicago. They dismounted, and soon the room where he sold his goods was 
filled with the braves and squaws indiscriminately, — all wanting to^ buy 
something — Black Hawk, armed with a long lance, among the number. 

While the bartering was going on, a squaw offered Marantette a very fine 
smoked deer-skin in exchange for something she saw on the shelves, and at 
a glance he saw it was one he had bought but a few days before, and which 
bore his cost or price mark (" sixteen shillings") on one corner. He im- 
mediately seized it and claimed his property. The squaw retained her hold 
upon it, also, and vehemently disputed his title thereto, and amidst the 
wrangle Black Hawk came up, and laying his lance upon the skin, proposed to 
settle the difficulty by taking it himself. The boy persistently refused to be 
imposed upon by the woman or bullied by the chief, and he immediately took 
another skin he had just purchased, and taking his pen he made a similar 
mark on the corner of it and laid it down beside the skin in dispute, and 
pointed to the two marks as evidence of his title, and was greeted with the 
loud "How!" "How!" "How!" of the Indians, who at once relinquished 
the skin and drove the squaw out of the room, and patronized the boy- 
merchant more than ever, buying some five or six hundred dollars worth of 

The Chicago trail entered St. Joseph county on the east on the line of the 
southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 55, in Burr Oak town- 
ship, thence ran southwesterly to Fawn River township, passing between 
Honey and Sweet lakes, thence westerly through Sturgis, White Pigeon and 
Mottville townships, crossing the St. Joseph at the village of Mottville, which 
was designated the " grand traverse of the St. Joseph." 

The second important trail was called the Washtenaw trail, and entered 
the county from Calhoun county, in the northeast corner of the township of 
Leonidas, thence running in a southwesterly direction to Nottawa prairie, 
thence via Centreville to White Pigeon. 

In 1825 the National Congress ordered the survey of a highway one hun- 
dred feet wide, for military purposes, between Detroit and Chicago, and 
appropriated ten thousand dollars to complete the same. The surveyor 
began an elaborate work, but after a few miles' progress discovered that if 
he pursued his original plans the appropriation would be exhausted before 
the work would be completed, and he at once began to make the survey and 
the money run parallel to each other. The result was, the road was laid 
out with the Chicago trail for a center-line, and is so traveled to this day, 
with the exception of a single mile in Washtenaw county, which was 
straightened by the first settlers and fenced out. Otherwise than this one 
change, the road follows the trail of the Sacs in every angle, bend and 
turn from Tecumseh to Chicago. The flagmen were sent in advance as 
far as they could be seen, the bearings taken by the compass, and the dis- 
tance chained and marked ; then the flag was advanced as before, the trees 
being blazed fifty feet on either side of the trail. The road was not worked 
by the government through St. Joseph until after the Black. Hawk war, but 
the emigrants cut their way through and filled up the marshes sufficiently 
to pass, each one adding a little, and bridging the smaller streams as occa- 
sion required. The stage-companies also worked the roads sufficiently to get 
their coaches through, and built more bridges, but it was not until 1833 
that the government made systematic and thorough work of building the 
road through Branch, and 1834 in St. Joseph county. Then for thirty feet 
the road was grubbed out and leveled, for thirty feet more the trees were 
cut low, and the balance of the width the trees were cut ordinary height. 


The bridge at Mottville, over the St. Joseph, was built in the summer of 
1833-4, by Hart L. Stewart as contractor. It was a very strong and well 
built structure, sixteen thousand feet of timber being used ; some of it the 
very best the country afforded. Some of the " stringers" were sixty feet in 
length, and eighteen inches square. It cost about five thousand dollars, and 
stood till 1845, when it was taken down to make place for a pile-bridge. 

One of the Nottawa Indians, called " Shavehead," once established a toll- 
ing station on the trail, and demanded and obtained tribute from the passers 
along the same. The demands generally being light, the travelers paid it 
rather than have any trouble with the old fellow, who claimed the land as 
his own. One day, as Asahel Savery was riding along the trail, Shavehead 
appeared and demanded his usual toll, and Savery stopped his team. The 
Indian coming up to the wagon dropped his chin down upon the edge of the 
box, leaned his rifle against the body and looked up at Savery, wickedly 
peering at him, as was the custom of the Indians whenever they gathered 
about a wagon. Savery, instead of handing out the demanded fee, reached 
over and grasped the would-be exactor by his scalp-lock with his left hand, 
and with his right laid his black whip about the bare shoulders of the strug- 
gling victim until he had punished him severely, when taking up the rifle 
he discharged it and threw it to the ground, and drove on. That toll station 
was discontinued, and never again re-opened. 



The Washtenaw trail was made the basis of a territorial road from Jack- 
sonburg (now the city of Jackson) via Spring Arbor, the north bend of the 
St. Joseph river, through Nottawa prairie and Centreville to White Pigeon, 
in April, 1833, and Edgar McCawly, Hiram Thompson and Milton Barn were 
the commissioners who laid it out. It is a beautiful avenue, and in Leonidas, 
from the village to Dry Prairie in Calhoun county, follows a " bee-line" for 
some seven miles. 

A territorial road was laid out and surveyed through White Pigeon prai- 
rie, north to Grand Kapids, in June, 1832, John S. Barry, Isaac N. Hurd 
and E. B. Sherman being the commissioners; and at the same time one was 
laid out from the county-seat of Branch county, running west through the 
county-seats of St. Joseph and Cass counties, to the mouth of the St. Joseph, 
and Squire Thompson, C. K. Green and Alex. Kedfield were the commis- 
sioners. The year following there was a territorial road laid out, running 
from the Indiana line, north through Sturgis and Nottawa prairies, Toland's 
and Gull prairies, in Kalamazoo county, to Grand Rapids ; and Rix Robin- 
son, H. L. Stewart and Stephen Vickery were the commissioners. The 
Chicago road was the main thoroughfare between the east and west, from 
the first influx of immigration into the county, until the railroads were built 
and completed in 1851, when travel on it ceased, except for local traffic. 
However, it still remains as originally laid out, and forms the main business 
street of every city and village through which it passes, from east to west. 
It is a grand avenue of one hundred feet in width, shaded in many places 
by the original forest trees left standing by the roadside when the adjoining 
farms were " cleared up." 

Though roads are the lines of communication between the people, there is 
an instance on record in St. Joseph county of a road being a bar to judicial 
proceedings between the people of neighboring townships, which we here 
relate. When the Talbots, of Centreville, conducted their branch store in 
Burr Oak, they were sued by some party on account of a wood contract, the 
suit being brought before a magistrate in Burr Oak, under the statute giving 
justices of the peace jurisdiction over defendants residing in an adjoining 
town. The plaintiff engaged E. B. Turner to prosecute his suit, and the 
defendants employed Chas. Upson, Esq., to defend their interests, both of the 
attorneys living in Centreville at the time. When the return-day came 
around Mr. Upson could not go, and so engaged Esquire Chipman to go and 
get a continuance. It was good sleighing, and Turner and Chipman rode 
over together in a cutter. On arriving at the house of the magistrate, the 
suit was called, and Mr. Turner filed his declaration and moved for a hear- 
ing ; whereupon Esquire Chipman rose, and in his peculiar manner said he 
had a motion to make, and electrified the counsel for the plaintiff by moving 
for a non-suit. " What for ?" asked Turner. " For want of jurisdiction," 
responded " Chip." " I guess not I The towns of Burr Oak and Nottawa 
join," responded Turner. " Not much !" said Chipman, and addressing the 
court continued, " You see, judge, that when these towns were first laid out 
they did join, but afterwards the highway commissioners of the two towns 
came and laid a road on the town line, and now 7 they don't join by four 
rods !" and exemplified the point by placing two books in a similar position. 
The argument and proof struck the magistrate (who was a great admirer of 
his brother magistrate, Esquire Chipman) very forcibly, and he pulled at 
his fore-top a moment, finally deciding that Chipraan's position was cor- 
rect, that he had no jurisdiction in the case, and so non-suited the plaintiff, 
much to the disgust of his attorney at first, but who, as he took in the broad 
farce, laughed at his discomfiture as heartily as Upson did when Chipman 
reported the conduct of the case to him on his return to Centreville. 

In the Michigan Statesman, published in White Pigeon in 1834, it is 
gravely stated that the trip from New York to Buffalo was then made in the 
unprecedented time of three days, and that one and a half days only are 
consumed between Buffalo and Detroit, while passengers can go from Detroit 
to Chicago in four days, and by daylight at that ! Chicago and St. Louis 
were only six days apart. In July of that year, the trip from New York to 
White Pigeon was made in six and a half days — longer than it takes to go 
across the continent now. Traveling was sometimes as cheap in those days 
as it was devoid of pleasure, as witnessed by an instance recorded of a party 
who paid forty-five dollars for the conveyance of fourteen persons in a lum- 
ber wagon, without springs, from Detroit to Constantine. 

In 1829 the first mail route was established on the Chicago trail from Te- 
cumseh to White Pigeon, the contractor being John Winch ell, of the latter 
place, and by his contract he was required to carry the mail over the route 
once a week each way in the summer time, and once in two weeks in the 
winter. He performed his service on horseback. 

In 1830 two-horse stages were run over the route to Niles, by Asahel 
Savery and the Stewarts, twice each week, increasing to tri-weekly trips in 

1832, but the Black Hawk troubles stopped all immigration to the country, 
and for weeks the wagons ran over the road without a single passenger. 
This broke up Savery's business, but a new line was, immediately after the 
troubles ceased, put on by General Brown, of Tecumseh, and De Garmc- 
Jones, of Detroit, who ran a fine outfit of horses and Concord coaches — 
four and six horses to each — between Detroit and Chicago. In 1836, when 
the tide of emigration was at its flood, the company ran extras every day,, 
every one of them being literally jammed with passengers. The stage com- 
panies flourished and grew rich for several years, until the railroads began 
to creep along across the State, making the distances between points less and 
less, until, in 1851, the shriek of the engine drowned out the " toot" "toot" 
of the driver's horn, and the lumbering coach passed away from the Chicago 
trail forever. . Where once it " dragged its slow length along" over cor- 
duroy and marsh, or rattled noisily over the prairie with crowded inmates 
suffocated with dust and heat, or frozen with cold and snow, now heavily- 
laden trains, luxuriously upholstered and ventilated thoroughly, clash 
across the landscape at thirty miles an hour. Such magic has progress 
wrought ! 

The first hotel, or tavern as it was called then, opened in the county, was 
the " Old Diggins," on White Pigeon prairie, on the present site of the Union 
school-house, in the village of White Pigeon. It was a large and substan- 
tially built log house, erected in 1828 by A. Savery, for the purpose of a 
tavern, and kept by him as long as he lived in the county ; Dr. Rowley suc- 
ceeding him in 1835. The second tavern was opened the same year on 
Sturgis prairie, by John B. Clarke, in a double log house situated on the 
present site of the Elliott House, in Sturgis. Captain Henry Powers opened 
his log tavern on Nottawa prairie in 1830. 

These primitive hotels were great places of resort for all purposes, politi- 
cal, educational or religious. Town-meetings were invariably held at the 
tavern until school-houses were built, which were conveniently located. They 
were well kept, too, considering the facilities for supplying the larder and 
the sleeping apartments. The route between Sturgis and White Pigeon, a 
distance of twelve miles, at one time had no less than six places of entertain- 
ment of all kinds and sizes, from the quiet home of the settler to the rough 
roistering grocery of the vender of bad whisky. 

The first post-office was established on White Pigeon prairie in 1828, with 
John Winchell as postmaster ; the second one was established on Sturgis 
prairie, on the eastern edge of the same, in 1829, and Samuel Stewart was 
the first postmaster. The postmasters were authorized to retain the re- 
ceipts of their offices, provided they supplied the postal matter at their own 
charges. For some years the mails received at White Pigeon and Sturgis, 
were kept in candle boxes. The business of the Sturgis post-office for the 
quarter ending December 31, 1876, was as follows: seven hundred dollars' 
worth of stamps were sold, four hundred letters were received and dis- 
patched daily, and one thousand five hundred papers distributed weekly ; 
seven mails per day were received and dispatched. 

Although the Chicago road was the great artery along which beat the 
pulses of travel, the St. Joseph river was the channel by which the people 
brought their goods into the county in the early days, and by which they 
forwarded their produce until 1850. Merchandise was shipped from New 
York by the Erie canal to Buffalo, thence by sail or steam around the lakes 
to the mouth of the St. Joseph, where it was transferred to keel-boats, pi- 
rogues, flat-boats, and finally steamboats, and run up to Mottville, Constan- 
tine, and Three Rivers, as occasion required. No freight was forwarded until 
after 1837, as previously there were no mills of sufficient capacity to 
flour wheat suitable for the eastern markets. There was one exception, 
however, to the above statement, there being a single shipment of wheat 
made in 1834 from Three Rivers. 

The first keel-boat ever launched on the St. Joseph river was one that was 
built on the banks of the Pigeon t creek, just opposite the present farm of 
White, in 1829, and was floated down the creek into the river. Previous to 
this, " pirogues" (large canoes cut through lengthwise and widened by in- 
serting boards and having a gunwale along the sides) had been used. 4 

The navigation of the upper St. Joseph was first attempted in the spring 
of 1830, by John W. Fletcher and John Allen, the latter at work for 
Fletcher, who wanted seed potatoes and oats, and, with Allen, went to Allen's 
prairie, Hillsdale county, where he found and. purchased ten bushels of the 
first, and fifteen bushels of the last named article, and then went to work 
and built two white-wood canoes, launched them in Sand creek, loaded in 
their purchase, and floated down a few miles to the St. Joseph river, finding 
navigation very difficult by reason of shallows, ripples, dams of floodwood, 
and snags, until past the entrance of the Coldwater, after which the stream 
was clear and the water high. They slid their boats over the dams on peeled 



basswood skids, cut off snags with axe and saw, and lightened over sand- 
bars and shallows. They missed the game they shot at, the motion of the 
<?anoe disturbing their aim, and lived on baked potatoes and wild honey, 
having found a bee-tree along the bank of the river. The return trip occu- 
pied ten days. 

Washington Gascon built keel-boats at Three Kivers, beginning in 1835, 
and continuing the business for several years. His first one he named the 
u Kitty Kiddungo," which he sold, and next built the " Three Rivers," run- 
ning it himself. The Willards built a scow in 1838, and loaded it with flour, 
ran it down to the mouth of river, and pushed the " Three Rivers" back. 
In 1833 Burroughs Moore originated the idea of building what were after- 
wards called " arks," for the transportation of produce. After the first one 
was made and loaded, it was found that nothing but flour could be profita- 
bly or safely carried in them. 

They were simply two cribs, forty by sixteen feet, made as follows : Bottom 
timbers, six to seven inches square, and posts at corners and along sides same 
dimensions, spiked firmly together, and the whole covered with the very best 
white-wood plank, two inches thick, and calked with tow and slippery elm 
bark. The first ones had sharp bows, but they were afterwards built with square 
fronts and were sometimes called " square-toed packets." They were brought 
to anchor by what was called in the river parlance " growlers," which were 
small stakes large enough when stuck down before the cribs to retard the 
motion, but not so strong as to break the bottom or cause the ark to swing 
around. The first ark which went down the river was loaded w r ith wheat, 
and, of course, as no one knew the strength of the current or the condition 
of the channel, the voyage turned out disastrously. The first stopping place 
was made at Constantine, and the Knapps and James Smith, who were in 
command, cast the lines ashore and " snubbed " the craft so short that the tail- 
board was pulled off and some wheat ran out into the river. They refitted 
and went on, and at Elkhart met with the same misfortune again, and lower 
•down the river they stove a hole through the bottom of one of the cribs, 
and had to unload and refit again, and then were finally wrecked totally on 
the "Granddad," a ripple at Niles, and the whole cargo was lost. 

This ended arking until 1838, during which time, from 1834, the freight- 
ing was done by pirogues and keel-boats. The arks, however, when flour 
began to be^ shipped, became quite popular. The next ones were built in 
1838, and officered by the Millards ; Reuben Freeman and Isaiah Smalley 
being in the first crew. The Bolles family also were good pilots, and ran 
the river for years. The arks were coupled in two sections, and had rafting 
oars before and behind to guide them by. They were never brought back 
up the stream, but sold for whatever they would bring, or allowed to float 
out into the lake after being unloaded. 

When the dams began to be constructed across the river, much trouble 
was experienced in passing the shutes or getting through the locks. Captain 
Elisha Millard relates an incident of getting a heavily-loaded ark through 
the lock at Mishawauka, by unloading the first section and putting it on the 
second, when the water lifted it through and then carried the load of the 
second forward to the first, when it passed partly through and stuck between 
the posts of the lock, but by considerable pushing it was finally safely float- 
ing in the river again. He once ran a very narrow chance for his life at 
the Elkhart bridge. The water was at a very high stage in the river, and 
a temporary bent was put in, leaving but a thirty-feet span over the main 
channel. Captain Millard saw it, but it was too late to stop in the swift 
current, and the craft struck the bent and knocked it out, and was caught 
by the rope guy supporting the derrick and nearly capsized, but slipping, 
cleared everything that lay on the top of the ark — the captain and his mate, 
James Thaus, jumping for their lives. Thaus said if he had been six 
inches taller he would have lost his head. 

The navigation of the river was difficult when the water was low, and 
dangerous when it was high, and it was only by careful observation and ex- 
perience the arks could be safely delivered at their port of destination. Cap- 
tain Millard had a narrow escape from serious disaster in the harbor of St. 
Josiph. There was a stiff current in the bay or mouth of the river, and 
miscalculating the velocity of the craft, the lines parted when he tried to 
" snub " at the wharf, and the ark went on towards the lake. As it floated 
past a ship in the harbor, lines w r ere thrown to the captain, which were made 
fast, when a new and more serious difficulty arose ; the momentum of the 
ark being stopped, the current began to act upon the square surface opposed 
to it, and the first section exhibited symptoms of going below the surface of 
the tide, and it was only by hastily unloading the first or front crib and 
transferring it to the rear section, that the cargo was saved, if not the men. 

Captain Alvin Calhoun constructed a fleet of small arks which would 
carry about twenty barrels of flour each, and after unloading them brought 

them back by land in wagons. An ordinary ark would carry from four 
hundred to six hundred barrels. The millers would ship their flour in the 
spring and fall of the year, and frequently would not get advices or returns 
from it for six months. The first arks that run from Colon were built in 

1841 or 1842 by Captain Millard, and loaded by John H. Bowman at his 
mill on Swan creek. The very best white-wood timber in St. Joseph county 
was used up in building arks, and but little can now be cut in the county. 

Steamboats were built to navigate the St. Joseph, and ran regularly from 

1842 till 1850, as far as Constantine ; but a few trips only were made to 
Three Rivers, owing to the shallow water on a certain ripple known as 
" Knapps." A steamboat was built in Union City, and floated down the 
river to Mishawauka, where the machinery was put into it, and it ran on the 
river until 1845, when, while owned by the Kelloggs of White Pigeon, it 
was broken up on the piers of the Mishawauka bridge, Mr. Charles Kellogg 
being drowned. The passengers, of w 7 hom there were a large number, were 
all on the bow of the boat, which lifted the stern out of water and the rudder 
could not act, and before the danger could be averted the boat swung broad- 
side on against one of the piers and broke in two. Mr. Kellogg fell into the 
water and could have saved himself, but thinking more of others' safety 
than his own, he devoted himself to a boy, whom he handed up out of the 
water, and as he was taken Mr. Kellogg disappeared, and when recovered 
was dead. 

The first dam built across the St. Joseph in Michigan, was one constructed 
by Judge Cross, in Leonidas, in 1847, which was at first a great bugbear to 
navigators, but when completed was found to be no serious obstacle to arks 
in running the shute in any stage of water suitable for them to navigate the 
river with. The dam is not now in existence, but there are three others on 
the river in the county. 

In 1833, the furore which seized the people of Michigan for internal im- 
provements found the citizens of St. Joseph county ready to cast themselves 
headlong upon the wave of popular sentiment, and they held conventions, 
wherein high-sounding resolutions were passed, portraying in vivid colors ' 
and in " words that burn " the advantages of St. Joseph county, and the 
appreciation of values when railroad or canal communication should be had 
with the rest of the world. 

On the 13th of November, 1834, a convention was held at Niles to take 
action on the improvement of the St. Joseph river, and Congress was peti- 
tioned to aid in the matter. Captain Philip R. Toll was the delegate from 
St. Joseph county. On the 1st of January following, a convention was held 
at Savery's to devise ways and means to get a railroad connecting Lakes Erie 
and Michigan, of which body Neal McGaffey was chairman, and Joseph 
Jernegan secretary. There were delegates present from White Pigeon, Con- 
stantine, Mottville, Michigan City, Toledo, Lagrange and Bristol, who 
resolved that a railroad was absolutely necessary between the lakes above 
named, and appointed a committee to memorialize Congress, the Secretary 
of War, or anybody else who would be likely to give aid and comfort to the 
much-desired object. They petitioned Congress to order a survey via White 
Pigeon, "believing it to be the best route, and more advantageous, etc., than 
one already made. ' ' 

On February 2, 1836, a meeting was held at Edwardsburg, Cass county, 
to deliberate on the project of a canal from Niles to Constantine. H. L. Stew- 
art, Duncan Clark and Dr. Watson Sumner were the delegates. The con- 
vention discouraged the canal project, but indorsed a similar proposition for 
a railroad between the same points. The crash of 1837, however, dissipated 
all the visions of the sanguine, enterprising people of St. Joseph county, as 
well as their neighbors in other parts of the State, and nothing further was 
done to build railroads until the State sold its interest in the Michigan Cen- 
tral and Southern, and those companies began to push their tracks westward, 
when the usual struggle for their passage through, or near, certain localities 
began, in 1849 — the south part of the county getting the first prize. 

A charter was granted in 1836 for a railroad or a canal, as might be 
deemed best by the stockholders, from Constantine to Miles, but the stock 
was never subscribed and the scheme failed. 

The first railroad in the county was the Michigan Southern and Lake 
Shore, known then as the Michigan Southern, which was completed through 
Sturgis and White Pigeon in 1851. The terms of the charter of this road 
forbade the company going out of the State with their track, and also com- 
pelled the road to make the St. Joseph river a point on its line. This seemed 
to fix the line through the centre of St. Joseph county, touching the St. 
Joseph at Constantine, and the people of that place, not supposing any par- 
ticular effort necessary to induce the company to take this route, were caught 
"napping," White Pigeon being made a point, and the road run up to Con- 
stantine as a mere matter of form to comply with the provisions of the char- 



ter. The road was afterwards, by township aid largely given, extended 
north to Grand Rapids, touching Three Rivers. 

The Grand Rapids and Indiana road was built through the county from 
Sturgis, north through Nottawa and Mendon, in 1867 ; and the Michigan 
Air-Line — now the Michigan Central Air-Line — was built in 1871, passing 
through Colon, Centreville and Three Rivers, those towns giving heavy dona- 
tions in aid of the same. The Michigan Southern, by securing a charter of 
a new road from Three Rivers south, was enabled to make connections with 
Chicago, and subsequent legislation secured to it the present franchise. 
Hon. I. D. Toll was chiefly instrumental in preventing the deflection of 
the road south of Coldwater, while in the State Senate in 1847, he opposing 
the sale of it to Toledo parties, though they offered one hundred thousand 
dollars more to the State, which then owned it, than the Detroit parties 
offered. He favored Detroit from a feeling of State pride, and so vigor- 
ously advocated the sale of the same to her own people, that it was thus 
disposed of. 

The business of the railroads in the year ending December 31, 1876, 
exhibits the following grand aggregate: There were one hundred and nine- 
teen millions and fifty thousand (119,050,000) pounds, or 59,525 tons of 
freight forwarded, and 104,640,000 pounds, or 52,320 tons of freight re- 
ceived at the several stations in the county ; and the ticket sales in the same 
time amounted to $100,000. The shipments were largely of wheat and 
other grain. 



The judicial system under which the people of St. Joseph county are now 
living prosperously has reached its present excellence by and through a tor- 
tuous way, beginning with the " coutumt de Paris" introduced by the French 
in their first settlement at Detroit, and running through the various systems 
of judication of France, England, the laws of the Congress of the United 
States, territorial enactments, constitutional provisions and State legislation, 
to the present time. 

On the 27th day of April, 1827, the legislative council of the territory re- 
enacted the law previously passed, establishing the probate courts, and the 
day following re-enacted the law establishing the supreme and circuit courts, 
the territory now included in the limits of St. Joseph county being then at- 
tached to Lenawee county for judicial purposes. October 29, 1829, the coun- 
cil formed St. Joseph county and the territory attached thereto into the 
ninth judicial district, and on the 4th day of November following, ordered a 
circuit court to be held at the house of Asahel Savery, on White Pigeon 
prairie, on the third Tuesday of August following. The council also estab- 
lished a county court for the county under the act establishing such courts, 
and directed its session to be held on the first Tuesday of June and Decem- 

The county court was abolished in April, 1833, the " circuit courts of the 
territory of Michigan" taking their business and jurisdiction. The latter 
courts were held by one circuit judge and two associated judges, two of whom 
must be present in order to open and hold the court. 

The constitution of 1835 vested the judicial powers of the State in one su- 
preme court and as many other courts as the legislature might establish, pro- 
viding, however, in that instrument, for the establishment of a probate court, 
and the election of four justices of the peace in each township. The legisla- 
ture provided for circuit courts to be held by the judges of the supreme 
court, and a chancery court with one chancellor, the latter being abolished 
in 1847, and its business transferred to the circuit courts. The county courts 
were the same year re-established with one county judge and a second judge, 
who officiated in the absence of the first one. The court was again abolished 
in 1853. St. Joseph county was in the third circuit, and third chancery 

The constitution of 1850 vested the judicial power in one supreme court, 
circuit court, probate courts and justices of the peace. 

Municipal courts can be provided by the legislature. For six years the 
supreme court was to be composed of the circuit judges of the State, after 
which the legislature was to provide for its organization with one chief and 
three associated justices, to be elected by the people for a term of eight years. 
The term of one judge expires every two years. The legislature obeyed this 
injunction in January, 1859. The circuit judges are elected for six years, 

and their courts have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil or criminal, 
not excepted in the constitution nor prohibited by law, and appellate juris- 
diction from all inferior tribunals, and supervisory control of the same, and 
terms of this court are to be held in each organized county in the State. 
The probate courts have jurisdiction exclusive of all matters of wills, intes- 
tacies, minors, etc., and the judge thereof is elected for a term of four years. 
Justices of the peace have the same jurisdiction as under the old constitution, 
and each township is entitled to elect four of them to a constitutional term 
of four years, one term expiring each year. 

In 1873 the legislature provided for a salary, not exceeding one thousand 
five hundred dollars per annum (in St. Joseph county it is one thousand two 
hundred dollars), to be paid out of the county treasury to the probate judges, 
in lieu of all fees, except such as are charged for exemplification of records 
and papers, and the drafting of petitions and bonds, thus making the most 
liberal provision for the settlement of estates of decedents of any of the sister 
States, for now, in Michigan, the poor can have their estates settled without 
the payment of costs of court, and the rich pay the salary of the judge by 
their taxes. Litigants, however, like all other luxurious livers, have to pay 
for their own pleasures. 

The courts which now exercise jurisdiction over the people of St. Joseph 
county are as follows : 

The Supreme Court of the United States. — Hon. Morrison R. Waite, 
Ohio, Chief Justice, with terms at Washington for each year. 

The United States Circuit Court. — Hon. Halmer H. Emmons, 
Judge, Detroit. 

The United States District Court for the Western District of 
Michigan. — Hon. Solomon L. Withey, Judge ; John H. Standish, United 
States Attorney ; John Parker, United States Marshal ; J. Davidson Burns, 
Kalamazoo, and H. E. Thompson, Grand Rapids, Registers in Bankruptcy. 

The terms of this court are held on the third Mondays in May and Octo- 
ber, at Grand Rapids. 

Samuel Post, United States Pension Agent, Detriot ; Levi T. Hull, Col- 
lector of Internal Revenue, second district, Constantine. 

The Supreme Court of Michigan. — Hon. Benjamin F. Graves, Chief 
Justice ; Thomas M. Cooley, James V. Campbell, and Isaac Martin, Asso- 
ciate Justices ; Andrew J. Smith, Attorney General. 

The terms of this court are held at Lansing and Detroit. 
The Circuit Court of St. Joseph County is at present constituted 
as follows : Hon. E. W. Keightley, of Constantine, Judge ; John C. Joss, 
Clerk ; D. H. Hawley, Sheriff. 

The Probate Court of St. Joseph County is held by Hon. W. H. 
Cross, Probate Judge, on the first Monday of every month ; but he is 
present in his office every other of the six working days in every week, so 
that the people are sure of a hearing whenever they may come. 

The gentlemen who have been the presiding judges of the circuit court of 
St. Joseph county since the adoption of the constitution in 1835, are as fol- 
lows : Epaphroditus Ransom, from 1836 to 1848 ; Charles W. Whipple, 
from 1848 to 1854 : Nathaniel Bacon, 1856 to 1864 ; Perrin M. Smith, 
1864 to 1866 ; R. W. Melendy, 1867 to 1869 ; Charles Upson, 1869 to 
1873 ; Henry H. Coolidge, 1873 ; Edwin W. Keightley, from January, 1874, 
to the present time. 

The judges of the county court and associate justices of the circuit courts 
from 1829 to 1853, when the new constitution abolished the office, were as 
follows : Luther Newton and John Sturgis were the first two, and received 
their appointment in 1829 — Judge Wm. Meek taking Judge Newton's place 
in 1831. Hart L. Stewart took his seat on the bench with judges Meek 
and Sturgis at the December term, 1832 ; and in 1836 Judge Sturgis and 
Charles B. Fitch were elected. In 1840 Melancthon Judson and Isaac B. 
Dunkin were elected to preside with the circuit judge, and Judge Judson 
and James Parker were his side supports in 1844. In 1845 Nathan Osborn 
was chosen to fill a vacancy, and in 1846 Judge Osborn was elected county 
judge of the new county court, and Chauncey May second judge. In 1B47 
Cyrus Schellhous was elected second judge, and again in 1850, Wm. 
Savier being at the last date chosen as county judge. This was the last 
election of associate judges, the circuit-court commissioners taking their 
place, so far as their powers in vacation were concerned. 

The judges of the probate court have been as follows : Dr. Hubbel 
Loomis the first one from January, 1830, to May, 1833, at which last date 
John S. Barry assumed the direction of mortuary settlements, and gave 
way to Digby Y. Bell, May, 1835. Wm. Connor succeeded Judge Bell, 
September, 1836, and surrendered the dignity to Dr. Cyrus Ingerson in a 
year thereafter. Judge Ingerson held the position till his death in 1844,. 

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and Benjamin Osgood was elected to fill the vacancy, as well as for the con- 
stitutional term. Judge Osgood was honored by the people's suffrages for 
three successive terms of four years each ; and then, January 1, 1857, 
Charles L. Miller came in for a single term, and was succeeded by Judge J. 
Eastman Johnson, who was also favored with three terms. Judge Johnson 
doffed the ermine in 1872, and Wm. H. Cross put it on, and still wears it 
most acceptably to the people, who testified their appreciation of his labors 
at the election of 1876, re-electing him by the largest majority of any can- 
didate on the successful ticket. The business has largely increased in this 
court during the last few years, until it has averaged during Judge Cross's 
present term over one hundred new estates per annum. 

The first court of record ever held in St. Joseph county was a session of the 
probate court, held at the office of the register of probate, John W. Anderson, 
in White Pigeon village, on Friday, March 26, 1830, just five months after 
the county was organized. It was held by Dr. Hubbel Loomis, probate 
judge. The business transacted was the granting of letters of administra- 
tion to Elizabeth Thurston, on the estate of Amos Codnor, deceased, of 
which decedent the said administratrix was formerly the widow. Arba 
Heald and William Hunter were her security, under bonds of one thousand 
dollars. On Monday, April 12, Isaac Tyler was appointed guardian of 
Lucy Codnor, a minor heir of said Amos Codnor, deceased, under bonds of 
five hundred dollars. June 2, Samuel Hopkins, John Sturgis and Isaac J. 
Ulman were appointed commissioners to assign the dower of Elizabeth 
Thurston in the estate of said Codnor. 

August 23, the first will was presented for probate in the county, which 
was that of John Baumdee, and a hearing set for September 6, at which time 
the same was proven and admitted to record, and Hart L. Stewart, Abraham 
Reichart and John Baer were appointed appraisers of the estate. 

Judge John S. Barry was inducted into office in May, 1833, and his first 
order, entered on the 22d of the month, was relative to the appointment of 
Adna A. Hecox guardian of William Hecox. 

The first probate court held in Centreville was on October 24, 1834, and 
orders were entered in the estates of William Johnson, Robinson S. Hazard, 
Amos Codnor, Rufus Downing and Ambrose S. Weeks, deceased. During 
Judge Barry's incumbency, courts were held alternately at Centreville and 
White Pigeon. 

April 30, 1835, the official signature of Judge Barry is appended to the 
records of the court for the last time, on page 29, liber 1, and on the next 
page appears the bold sign-manual of Digby V. Bell. It was this position 
of judge of probate that gave Judge Bell his title, by which he was ever 
afterwards known. 

The Circuit Court of St. Joseph County held its first term, accord- 
ing to the order of the legislative council, August 17, 1830, at Savery's, in 
White Pigeon, with the following presence : Hon. William Woodbrige, cir- 
cuit judge ; Henry Chipman, associate ; E. B. Sherman, district attorney ; 
D. Page, clerk ; Daniel Murray, crier, and David Winchell, bailiff. 

Neal McGaffey was admitted to practice before the court as an attorney, 
and a grand jury was impaneled as follows : Duncan R. Clark, foreman ; 
Edward A. Trumbull, Niles F. Smith, James Knapp, Asahel Savery, Reed 
Page, Leonard Cutler, Arba Heald, John Robbe, Orrin Rhoades, Jacob 
Lane, Lent Martin, Alfred Martin, Joseph Martin, Anderson Martin, Laban 
Keyes, Jeremiah Lawrence, Jr., and John W. Anderson. John Winchell, 
postmaster, and Dr. Loomis were excused from service. The grand jury re- 
turned a presentment of the southern boundary, which the clerk was ordered 
to copy for publication and presentation to the legislative council. 

William Johnson, of Berwickshire, England, declared his intentions to 
become a citizen of the republic, and renounced his fealty to William IV. 
" by the grace of God " King of England. This was the first foreign-born 
resident admitted to citizenship in the county. The grand jury also found 
indictments against John Knapp and Thomas Bendure, but the indicted 
were not tried at this term. 

The next term of court was held at the same place, August 16, 1831, by 
Judges Woodbridge and Sibley. A grand jury was impaneled, with John 
Winchell as foreman ; and a petit jury was also called, but there being no 
business for them to do, they were discharged. Several defaulting jurors 
were ordered to be respectfully cited to appear and show cause at next term 
why they were not in contempt. Knapp, who was indicted at the last term 
for an assault and battery, was fined twenty dollars and costs, and Bendure 
was discharged from his recognizance. The grand jury also found two indict- 
ments, and the court, after two days' session, adjourned, Isaac W. Willard 
being the clerk. 

The third term of the court was held at the academy in White Pigeon, 
August 21, 1832, by Judges Sibley and Morell. Solomon Mclnterfer, 

having assaulted a fellow-citizen, was indicted therefor, but, having satisfied 
the punishee, the punisher was allowed to depart the court on payment of 
costs; and Phineas Driskell, for the same offense and satisfaction, was 
treated similarly. Columbia Lancaster came into court as district attorney, 
and swore, by high heaven, to do his duty by the county in his official capa- 
city. Cyrus Lorell, John S. Barry, Cogswell K. Green and Alexander H. 
Redfield were examined by Wm. H. Welch, L. I. Daniels and E. B. Sher- 
man, touching their legal attainments, and, on the recommendation of the 
committee, the quartette were admitted to practice as attorneys. John 
Winchell, justice of the peace, returned a writ of certiorari not entirely to 
the satisfaction of the court, and was directed to try again, and be more ex- 
plicit in his answers and complete in his records, and fail not so to do on the 
first day of the next term of the court. 

The next term of the court was held in Centreville, in the court-house, 
October 24, 1833, by Hon. W. A. Fletcher, circuit judge, and Wm. Meek 
and Hart L. Stewart, associates, with Isaac W. Willard, clerk, Isaac I. 
Ulman, foreman of grand jury, E, Taylor, sheriff. Five suits were dismissed, 
one continued, one indictment quashed and one noL pros' d. Rules of prac- 
tice and pleadings were adopted, and George Woodward, a Yorkshireman, 
shook off the chains of kingly authority, and declared himself ready to 
become a republican. Two judgments were rendered by default for three 
hundred and eighty-four dollars and fifty-eight cents, and Isaac O. Adams 
obtained an order of sale on attachment against Frederick Tobey, levied on 
certain live-stock and produce. 

At the next term, held April 29, 1834, there were judgments to the 
amount of fifty-five hundred dollars rendered, and nine jury-trials, one con- 
fession and ten defaults were had ; and the first divorce-case made its ap- 
pearance on the docket, wherein Catharine Hecox complained plaintively of 
Adney A. Hecox, and the court ruled Adney to plead answer or demur 
to Catharine's complaint at the next term. Some infants — certain Phelps* 
heirs — were defaulted, and the bill of complaint filed against them taken as 

At the October term Aurora Amulet Gilbert complained most bitterly of 
the cruel desertion of her by her lawfully-wedded husband and lord, 
David B. Gilbert, and meekly said if the court did not wish to take her 
unsupported statements they might inquire for themselves ; but the court 
evidently believed Aurora Amulet, for at the April term, 1835, they decreed 
that David should have Aurora as an " Amulet " no longer to charm away 
sorrow, and bade her resume her maiden name and single blessedness. At 
this last term Oliver Raymond, being found guilty under an indictment 
for selling liquor to Indians, moved an arrest of judgment because the in- 
dictment was indefinite — the name of the particular Mr. Lo not being 
given, nor the particular locality where the alleged infringement of the law 
had taken place. At the October term the plea was allowed. Three more 
subjects of William IV. refused longer to obey his mandate, and came into 
the fold of the republic. Five white men pleaded guilty to selling liquor to 
the Pottawatomies, and were fined iiye dollars and costs, and bid to go and 
sin no more, at the same price of condonement. 

The October term of the circuit court was held by Hon. Epaphroditus 
Ransom, and Judge Connor, Judge Sturgis and Isaac G. Bailey were on the 
grand jury, and Columbia Lancaster was prosecuting attorney. The indict- 
ments which had hitherto-before ran in the name of the United States now 
appeared " in the name and by the authority of the good people of the State 
of Michigan." J. Eastman Johnson was admitted to practice. 

In the October term, 1837, the first of the bank-suits appeared on the 
docket, and was brought to a hearing on a promissory note against Ralph 
Akers, wherein the interlocutory judgment, for want of a plea, was rendered 
absolute, and the damages assessed at six hundred and ten dollars and thir- 
teen cents. There was a little breeze of discord at this term which rippled 
the usually placid surface of the court. The prosecuting attorney, Lancas- 
ter, moved the court for a rule on the sheriff, E. H. Trumbull, to produce 
the bodies of Charles E. Harrison and Jonathan Vickers, indicted for lar- 
ceny and having counterfeit money in possession, respectively, before the bar 
of the court instanter ; or in default, to be amerced in the sum of one hun- 
dred and two hundred dollars respectively ; and further, that the rule be 
made absolute. But the court did not wish to act peremptorily, and declined 
to enter the rule, whereupon the prosecutor declined any further service for 
the term, and J. Eastman Johnston was appointed in his stead, and at the 
next term he appeared as the regular appointee. 

At the September term, 1838, Daniel Fulton, Jr., was indicted for exer- 
cising secular labor on the Sabbath, and also for resisting an officer who* 
interfered with his exercise, but a jury of his neighbors said he was not 
guilty of either charge. 




held its first term at Savery's, in White Pigeon, December 7, 1830, Luther 
Newton and John Sturgis, judges; D. Page, clerk; Daniel Murray, crier; 
Jesse Baum, bailiff. A grand jury was impaneled of noted pioneers, as fol- 
lows : Hart L. Stewart, foreman, Ephraim Bearss, Sylvester Brockway, W. 
W. Bliss, Jason Thurston, Blakely Thurston, Alanson C. Stewart, I. J. 
Ullman, Wm. Hunter, Philander A. Paine, Nathaniel Syas, Joshua Gale, 
William Thomas, John McNeal, William Meek, Daniel Lyon, Jr., William 
G. Knaggs, William Stevens and Henry M. Paine. 

The jury indicted John Knapp for shooting a mare, and after one day in 
session the court adjourned. June 7, 1831, the court convened again at 
Savery's, Judges Meek and Sturgis presiding, and adjourned to the school- 
house (academy). Columbia Lancaster was admitted to practice as an attor- 
ney, Judge Meek's commission read, and the docket called. The United 
States vs. John Knapp, indictment for shooting "one mare, the property of 
Frederick Sedorus," was called, and the defendant pleaded not guilty, filed 
his affidavit of the absence of a material witness, and moved for a continu- 
ance. The court gave him postponement, conditional upon his furnishing 
bail in the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars in twenty minutes, and 
took a recess for that time; but on re-assembling, the defendant had 
failed to find any one sufficiently desirous to pay the forfeiture, or trust 
the honor of the prisoner, and therefore a jury of twelve good and lawful 
men was called to try the case, among them Arannah Phelps, Dr. Loomis, 
J. W. Coffinbury, and three of the Martin family. The prosecution called 
an array of witnesses, and the jury brought in a verdict of guilty as 
charged in the indictment, and the court sentenced the shooter to pay a 
fine of twenty dollars and costs into the county treasury, and one hun- 
dred and eighty dollars damages to the owner of the mare, being treble 
the animal's value, and to stand committed till the whole amount was paid, 
or he was otherwise discharged. The court established rates of ferriage at 
the grand traverse of the St. Joseph river (Mottville), and ordered a seal 
for the county, with the following device and inscription : "A sheaf of wheat, 
a merino sheep and a pair of scales ;" and inscribed, " St. Joseph county 

The third term was held by the same judges, at the same place, in Decem- 
ber, 1831, with John W. Anderson as foreman of the grand jury ; David 
Clark, John S. Barry and Elias S. Swan were members also. The Rev. Reu- 
ben Sears produced his credentials as a Presbyterian minister in good stand- 
ing, and was allowed to celebrate marriages according to the laws of the terri- 
tory. Owing to the severity of the weather, the defaulting jurors were 

The first civil suit on the docket of the court, Joshua Gale versus George 
Whited, on appeal was "stricken from the docket, and the judgment below 

At the June term, 1832, Robert Wade, John Coats, William Barnard 
and Thomas Hobson made application for naturalization, but the same was 

In December, 1832, Hart S. Stewart took his seat with Judges Meek and 
Sturgis, and constituted a full bench. Eight delinquent jurors were ordered 
to purge themselves of their contempt at the next term of the court, but 
never had the opportunity to clear their reputations on that particular 
point, as the court was abolished that same winter. No jury trial was ever 
had in the court. 






The temporary seat of justice for St. Joseph county was located at White 
Pigeon when the county was organized, November 4, 1829. In 1830, com- 
missioners were appointed by the governor to locate the county-seat, who 
reported in favor of its location on the plat of George Buck's village, on 
the present site of Lockport village — the proprietors, Mr. Buck and Jacob 
McEnterfer, donating certain lots on the public square and elsewhere to the 
county, in consideration of such location. This location was not satisfactory 
to many people of the county, and therefore, on March 4, 1831, before the 
governor issued his proclamation locating the county-seat in accordance with 

the report of the commissioners, the legislative council set aside the report, 
and appointed a new commission to re-examine the proceedings in the prem- 
ises. The new commissioners were Thomas Rowland, Henry Desbrow and 
George A. O'Keefe, and they reported in favor of locating the county-seat 
at or near the geographical centre of the county, on the plat of Centreville, 
the proprietors of that village offering more liberal inducements in aid of 
the erection of public buildings than w r ere offered elsewhere. On the 22d 
day of November, 1831, the governor issued his proclamation, in pursuance 
of the statute in such case made and provided, locating the county-seat at 

On May 24, 1832, the legislative council ordered the courts of the county 
to be held at the academy in White Pigeon, or such other suitable place in 
said village as could be procured by the sheriff, until such time as suitable 
accommodations should be procured at the county-seat. The county author- 
ities at once bestirred themselves, and on January 23, 1833, Governor Porter 
issued his proclamation directing the courts to be held at the court-house at 
the county-seat, and the county officials to take up their residence there. 
The first accommodations for the courts and officials at the county-seat were 
provided by the board of supervisors, by leasing an upper room in the first 
frame building erected in Centreville, the same being twenty by thirty feet 
long, and two stories high, located on the northwest corner of Main and Clark 
streets. The same building, enlarged, is still standing on the same spot, and 
is occupied by Mr. Gregory for a harness shop, below, and a Grange hall 
above. The building was put up in the fall of 1832 by Thomas W. Langley, 
who bought out the original proprietors of Centreville, and the building was 
subsequently bought from him by the county. 

At the May meeting, 1832, of the board of supervisors in White Pigeon, 
they voted to build a county jail at Centreville, after the following plans and 
specifications : The said jail to be made of hewn or sawed timber one foot 
square and dovetailed at the corners, and laid close ; to be built in two 
square blocks, with a space of eight feet between — the whole to be covered 
with one shingle roof. The buildings to be of two stories of seven feet each 
in height, and the lower floors of the same thickness and materials as the 
framework ; the second floor eight inches thick, and the third floor six 
inches. The doors to be of four-inch plank, and grated windows. 

In July, 1833, the jail was accepted from the contractor, A. H. Murray, 
upon his making the floors and windows more secure. 

The first man incarcerated in this jail was committed without formality 
or warrant ; he had committed an assault on Mr. Langley, the landlord of 
the town at the time, and was " collared " by Sheriff Taylor and thrust into 
an apartment of the jail, and the door closed, but not locked, upon him. 
He was considerably more than "half seas over," and, finding a good supply 
of shavings on the floor, at once lay down and fell asleep. The jailor, 
Walter G. Stevens, forgot all about his boarder till nearly noon the next 
day, when he went over to the jail and found his tenant gone. At night the 
fellow came round and offered Stevens a -quarter of a dollar to let him sleep 
there again. 

This jail did service for twenty-one years, and when at last it was con- 
demned, and the supervisors absolutely refused to make any further repairs 
on it, one summer midnight, in 1854 (August 14), the old relic went heaven- 
ward in smoke, except such portions of it as had sufficient avoirdupois to 
remain on terra fir ma. There were three prisoners confined in it at the 
time, one of whom, named De Forest, set it on fire, as supposed, the incen- 
diary losing his life thereby, and the others escaping from the burning build- 
ing, but not from custody. The old lock, weighing some twenty-five pounds, 
is now in the possession of Orlando J. Fast, Esq., prosecuting attorney of the 
county, who bought it of some boys who had fished it out of the St. Joseph, 
near Mendon. How the relic came there is a question yet to be answered. 
The lock was a most ingeniously- wrought combiaation of wards and bolts, 
made by E. C. White, the gunsmith of the village, and none but an expert 
locksmith could pick it, even with the key, when the combination was once 
fully set, being as fully proof against a rapid entrance into, as a sudden 
exit from, the jail. White drew the plans and combination mostly, and, 
Judge Connor supervised the work. The jail was built by a few persons 
mostly, notwithstanding the order of the supervisors for its erection, and, 
when first occupied, would not keep prisoners inside of its walls only so long 
as they chose to stay. It was afterwards refitted thoroughly, and was a 
secure fortress for the keeping of criminals. A certain criminal who had 
broken out of every jail in the country in which he had been confined, and 
had been outlawed in Missouri, and came back to the county and was re- 
arrested, was safely kept after the old lock was put on the jail, and was con- 
victed and sent to the Jackson penitentiary, from which he soon afterwards 
made his escape. He kept clear of St. Joseph county after that. 



In October, 1851, the first move was made for a new jail, when the super- 
visors refused to make further appropriations for repairs- on the old building, 
but the people declining to second the motion, the subject was not broached 
again until 1853, when a committee was appointed to draft plans and speci- 
fications for a suitable building for jail purposes. In 1854, on the burning 
of the old jail, a temporary affair was ordered and built, but the present 
edifice was not completed until 1856-7. Mark Wakeman, Edward S. 
Moore, George W. Beisel and Judge Connor were appointed a building 
committee, and limited to an expenditure of not less than four thousand dol- 
lars, nor more than five thousand dollars. The jail is located opposite the 
court-house, on the east, and cost fiye thousand dollars. It is built of brick, 
and the main building is thirty-two by forty-five feet on the ground, two 
stories high, with an extension to the south, one story high, twenty by 
forty-eight feet. It has ten cells, and contains nine rooms for the use of 
the sheriff and his family, who usually reside in it. 

On February 22, 1841, the county commissioners resolved to build a 
court-house, of wood (the present one), in th« centre of the public square 
of the village plat of Centreville, which was to be completed in three years, 
or sooner, if practicable. Judge Connor was appointed to draft plans and 
specifications, and furnish a bill of materials for the proposed building. On 
March 12, Judge Connor having reported favorably on his work, the com- 
missioners ordered contracts for one hundred thousand feet of lumber, sold 
to the lowest bidder, and ordered notices posted about the county calling 
for sealed proposals. The expense was to be met by the appropriation of 
all money on hand from the sale of lots, and the balance to be raised by 
direct taxation on the taxable property of the people of the county. Judge 
Connor was appointed superintendent of the work, with liberal discretion- 
ary powers. 

The materials were generally purchased by the county, and the labor done 
by contract. John Bryan was awarded the contract for the work on the 
superstructure, at three thousand two hundred dollars. The board of super- 
visors came into power again before the building was completed, and Judge 
Connor was continued in the superintendency of the work. The building 
was completed and accepted in the fall of 1842, and cost about seven thou- 
sand dollars. Some alterations have been made since, but substantially the 
building stands unchanged at the present time. 

At the April town-meetings in 1846, a proposition to raise one thousand 
dollars for the erection of the fire-proof buildings for the county offices, and 
the preservation of the records, was submitted to the people, who voted 
against it. On December 28, 1859, the supervisors voted to build the pres- 
ent brick offices, standing on the north side of the public square, occupied 
for the purpose above named. They appointed William Allman, Comfort 
Tyler and William H. Cross, a building committee, who contracted with 
William Laffey and Isaac R. Belote to build offices, according to the plans 
and specifications adopted by the board, for three thousand two hundred 
dollars. They are forty-four by twenty-four feet on the ground, with walls 
fourteen and a half feet high and thirteen inches thick, with tin roof and 
stone foundations, with stone-and-brick floors. A fire-proof vault was 
added subsequently to the register's office after the robbery of the records, 
described more fully elsewhere. 

On January 1, 1848, the board of supervisors ordered the superintendents 
of the county poor to purchase a farm of one hundred or one hundred and 
sixty acres for a county poor farm ; and one was bought the same year of 
Cyrus Schellhous for two thousand eight hundred dollars, in the township 
of Colon, which was subsequently sold, and another one, the old Latta farm 
and tavern-stand in Fawn Eiver, obtained in 1857 by the forfeiture of 
Latta's recognizance under an indictment for counterfeiting, and which the 
county now owns. The farm consists of two hundred and forty acres or 
more, and is located on sections three in Fawn Kiver and thirty-four in Burr 
Oak. The house on the premises is a large and comfortable building of 
about seventy by seventy feet on the ground, two stories in height, and will 
accommodate about fifty persons comfortably. The unfortunate poor are 
here cared for humanely while living, and when dead are buried in the Fawn 
Kiver cemetery, and at their graves neat marble headstones, bearing inscrip- 
tions which give the name, age and demise of each, are erected by the county 
authorities. This last act of humanity is the result of Hon. Isaac D. Toll's 
efforts, while on the board of supervisors. 

Under the ordinance of 1787, the governor and judges of the territory 
provided for the management of the fiscal concerns of the counties by courts 
of general quarter sessions, composed of the justices of the county courts 
and the justices of the peace, and gave them power to audit bills for the ex- 
penses of the county, and levy taxes to liquidate the same ; to manage 
the pauper support, open and regulate roads, build bridges, divide their 

counties into townships, and report their action to the governor for confir- 
mation. On May 30, 1818, the same authority abolished these courts, and 
constituted in their stead boards of commissioners, who succeeded to the same 
powers as held by the courts, which boards continued till April 12, 1827, 
when the legislative council, which had, on the 30th of March preceding, 
provided for the election, by the towns, of supervisors, authorized these latter 
officers to meet at the county-seats, as a county board, with substantially the 
same powers as the commissioners had, which latter body was abolished. 

The legislature under the constitution did not seem to admire the operation 
of the supervisor system in the management of county affairs, and on Decem- 
ber 31, 1837, — the first opportunity that offered, — that body remanded" the 
counties to the commissioners' rule, and re-invested them with the power per- 
taining to the board of supervisors. But three commissioners from a whole 
county, all of whom might be in adjoining townships, did not suit the ideas 
of the people of the several towns, after having tasted the sweets of joint 
participation in the government of the county and the levy of its taxes, and 
the pressure was renewed for a change, which the legislature granted. 

February 10, 1842, by bidding, the commissioners surrendered their au- 
thority to the board of supervisors, which was reconstituted and re-invested 
with the charge of the strong chest of the treasury, and the replenishment and 
disbursement of the contents thereof. The legislature, under the new con- 
stitution, continued the regime, and it is still in force, with power sufficient 
to keep the wheels of government of the county well lubricated and in good 
repair, and therefore making satisfactory progress. 

The first meeting of the board of supervisors of St. Joseph county was 
held at White Pigeon, on the 19th day of April, 1830. Luther Newton, 
supervisor of White Pigeon township, and Henry Powers, supervisor of 
Sherman township, met, but not being advised whether two members were a 
majority of the board, they agreed to meet on the 23d instant. On that 
day the two above named, and William Duncan, supervisor of Brady town- 
ship (Kalamazoo county), met at A. Savery's house and organized the board, 
and appointed Neal McGaffey clerk, to hold his office during the pleasure 
of the board. They proceeded at once to give the people a slight taste of 
the cost of independent government, by levying a tax of fifty dollars for 
county purposes ; fifty dollars in White Pigeon, thirty dollars in Brady, thirty- 
five in Sherman, and fifteen dollars in the township of Greene, for township pur- 
poses. They instructed the .assessors in the several townships, for the year 
1830, to return horses at thirty dollars each, oxen at forty dollars per yoke, 
and cows at ten dollars ; all of which animals should be over three years 
old. They valued land at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and 
fixed the compensation of the clerk at one dollar per day, and adjourned 
after a single day's session. 

On the 5th day of October, the same year, the board held its second meet- 
ing, at which supervisors Newton, Powers, am! Seth Dunham, of Greene 
township, were present. They met at Savery's again, and allowed Dunham 
four dollars for his services, and, as the record says, " transacted sundry other 
business relative to the tax lists in pursuance to the statute," and adjourned 
without day. 

On March 17, 1831, the board met again, with Newton and Powers only 
present, but they were equal to the task before them. Believing in just 
weights and measures, they directed the clerk to procure sundry measures 
of the bushel and its aliquot parts, of wood and tin, and divers weights, or 
sixty pounds and less, terminating with a half-ounce avoirdupois, and fur- 
nish the county sealer with the same, and also with a stamp marked M. T., 
and ordered the county treasurer to pay the clerk ten dollars to make the 
purchase with. The bills of Powers and Newton for services, ten dollars 
and forty cents and eight dollars and thirty-seven and a half cents, respect- 
ively, and six dollars and fifty cents for the clerk, were allowed, and the 
board adjourned. 

On June 7, 1831, the new board elected at the previous April town-meet- 
ings met at Savery's, at which William Connor, of Nottawa, and Weston 
W. Bliss, of White Pigeon, were present. They directed the assessment of 
all lands in the county, with the improvements thereon — except houses not 
worth one hundred dollars, and school-houses — and horses and cattle over 
three years of age, to be made at their actual value. 

In October of the same year the board met again, and supervisors Bliss, 
Connor, Dunham of Greene, and Jason Thurston, 2d, of Sherman, were 
present ; accounts to the amount of seventy-one dollars and thirty-six cents 
were audited, three-fourths of which were for attorneys' fees; showing that 
the privilege accorded the county of "suing and being sued, impleading and 
being impleaded," was not an unmixed blessing. They offered a bounty of 
one dollar for each wolf-scalp taken in the county, and elected Seth Dun- 



ham chairman of the board, whose signature is appended to the record of 
that meeting. 

On March 5, 1832, the board met, with supervisors Bliss, Connor and 
Dunham present. Robert Clark, Jr., was appointed the clerk for that meeting. 
The board audited the following accounts : Supervisors' services, thirty-two 
dollars and twenty-nine cents ; sheriff's accounts, twenty-four dollars and 
forty-six cents ; wolf-scalps, four dollars ; clerk, for stationery and services, 
four dollars and fifty cents, and three per cent, commission to the county 
treasurer on what he had received for the county, amounting to nine dollars, 
making a total audit of seventy-four dollars and ten cents. The treasurer 
had a balance on hand of one hundred and eighty-four dollars and sixty- 
nine and a half cents. 

The next meeting was held at the academy, in White Pigeon, on May 12, 
1832, with the* same towns represented as at the last meeting, and Albert E. 
Ball acted as clerk. Values were increasing, or stock was getting better in 
quality, for stallions kept for stock purposes, were listed at one hundred dol- 
lars each ; first-rate team-horses sixty dollars, and second-rate ones at thirty 
dollars; oxen, forty-five dollars per yoke, and cows, thirteen dollars. Im- 
proved lands were valued at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, and unim- 
proved at one dollar and twenty-five cents ; wagons at forty-five dollars ; 
carts, twenty-five dollars ; stage-coaches and pleasure w r agons, and houses 
worth more than one hundred dollars, at their actual value. 

At the October meeting the same year, the same members being present, 
the first allowance for a pauper was made— one hundred and seventy-one 
dollars and thirteen cents for the support of Tim Shields. The sheriff drew 
out of the county treasury two hundred and seventy dollars, and the super- 
visors and their clerk sixty-three dollars and ninety-seven cents more. 
Havoc had been made among the genus canis, twenty-five of the gaunt 
and hungry fellows having fallen victims to the price set on their heads. 

The next meeting — the first one held at Centreville — was a special one, 
convened March 30, 1833, but no business of moment was done. At the 
June meeting following, John S. Barry, a justice of the peace, appears on 
record by a report of fines collected by the county court justices. The sale 
of six of the best lots in Centreville, belonging to the county, was ordered, 
and the clerk directed to advertise the sale by posting notices in every post- 
office in the county. Digby V. Bell was appointed clerk of the board at 
the May meeting, 1835, and S. W. Truesdell was elected in 1836— the first 
clerk elected in the county. At the October meeting, 1837, Columbia Lan- 
caster, county treasurer, having received " in the line of his duty " a coun- 
terfeit ten-dollar bank-note of some collector whom he could not designate, 
was allowed the amount in his account, and the worthless " rag " solemnly 
burned to prevent further mischief on its behalf. 

The October meeting, 1838, is notable as being the last one before the re- 
€ntrance of the county commissioners, and also for being the first meeting 
to equalize the assessment of real-estate. 

On December 28, 1838, the county commissioners met and organized the 
board, with John G. Cathcart, of Constantine, John Sturgis, of Sherman, 
and Jamas Hutchinson, of Park, as members, and elected William Hutch- 
inson chairman, and adjourned until January 9, 1839, when they re-assem- 
bled and appointed Neal McGaffey, Edward S. Moore and Hiram Jacobs 
county superintendents of the poor, these being the first of those officers 
that appear on the record. In May, 1839, the board licensed Asher 
Bonham to cry his wares as an auctioneer, and gave Smith & Bowman the 
right to run a ferry across the St. Joe at Three Rivers. In September, 
1839, the demand for wolf-scalps largely exceeded the supply, as w r ould ap- 
pear by the price paid by the commissioners for them — thirty dollars for 
two, which probably were no better than those offered to the board of super- 
visors in early days for a dollar apiece. But the price fell off in October, 
and the board paid but ten dollars for two more. The first two were 
Sherman wolves, and the latter were White Pigeon stock. On April 9, 
1842, the commissioners directed Judge Connor to continue his superin tend- 
ency over the court-house, then in process of erection, until relieved by 
competent authority, and then gracefully bowed themselves off the stage, 
and the curtain fell upon the final act. It rose again as the new board of 
supervisors made their debut before a critical audience, amid the rejoicings 
of the anniversary of the natal day of the republic — July 4, 1842. George 
O. De Puy, of White Pigeon, was elected chairman of the new board, which 
w r as composed of fourteen members. The board appointed a committee to 
-examine the county jail, who subsequently reported the same in a destitute 
condition, not a prisoner being then confined within its walls. The board, in 
1844, abolished the distinction between county and township poor, and 
assumed them all as a county charge. 

The following gentlemen officiated as chairmen of the board since the first 
one was chosen in 1831, the board of 1830 acting without any legal head : 
Seth Dunham served for the year 1831 ; Benjamin Sherman, 1832 ; W. W. 
Bliss, 1833-34; William Connor, 1835-37; Isaac G. Bailey, 1838; George 
G. De Puy, 1842; C. B. Fitch, 1843; James L. Bishop, 1844; A. E. 
Massey, 1845 ; William Savier, 1846-49 ; W. C. Pease, 1850 ; Hon. Isaac 
D. Toll, 1851; William McCormick, 1852; Comfort Tyler, 1853-59 and 
1867 ; William G. Woodworth, 1860 and 1868 ; William H. Cross, 1861 
and 1866; John Harrison, 1862-65; Hiram Lindsley, 1869; Norman 
Roys, 1870; William F. Arnold, 1871 and 1873; J. C. Bishop, 1872; S. 
M. Nash, 1874; G. W. Osborn, 1875. 

The present board is composed of the following supervisors, to wit : Andrew 
Climie, chairman, Leonidas ; A. P. Emery, Mendon ; Daniel Pfleger, Park ; 
Ira Starkweather, Flowerfield ; Henry Stoltz, Fabius ; William F. Arnold, 
Lockport; John C. McKercher, Nottawa; Ansel Tyler, Colon; J. C. 
Bishop, Burr Oak ; H. C. Hopkins, Sherman ; Norman Roys, Florence ; 
Aaron Howard, Constantine ; J. C. Hatzler, Mottville ; G. B. Markham, 
White Pigeon ; L. E. White, Sturgis ; Isaac D. Toll, Fawn River. 

A necessary and unavoidable concomitant of government is a system of 
taxation, by and through which revenues may be derived for the payment 
of the expenses incurred in the direction of the public affairs of a community ; 
and the more perfect and simple that system is, the less friction it involves 
in its exercise or administration. The system at present in vogue in Michi- 
gan is a very simple one, the townships being the fountains from whejnce all 
the streams of revenue flow. The machinery, too, is simple, and easily 
worked. The supervisor in each town lists the taxable property in the town- 
ship, and takes this list up with him to the board of supervisors, who, as an 
equalizing board between the several townships of the county, equalize the 
same, and once in five years the State board of equalization equalizes the as- 
sessments of the counties between the several counties in the State, for a basis 
whereon to levy each county's just proportion of the State taxes. After the 
equalization is made by the supervisors, the estimate of the county require- 
ments for the year is made, and the percentage necessary to be raised on the 
equalization assessment for State and county purposes determined, the amount 
for State purposes being reported from the auditor-general. The amount to 
be raised for tow r n, school and road purposes, is regarded by the people in 
the towns and districts themselves, and the county authorities have no cog- 
nizance of it. 

The supervisor casts and extends the taxes, makes up the tax-roll of his 
town, and certifies the same to the township treasurer, who proceeds to the 
collection of the taxes thereon, under penalty of double the amount thereof, 
making his returns to the county treasurer for the State and county taxes, 
and to the proper town official for the township and other taxes. 

Sales of land for delinquent taxes are made by the county treasurer on 
the first Monday of October succeeding the return of the same to that offi- 
cial, the owner of the land retaining the right of redemption from such sale 
for one year thereafter, upon the payment of the amount for which the same 
was sold, together with an added penalty of twenty-five per cent., graduated 
into equal quarterly portions at the option of the redemptor. At the expi- 
ration of the year after the sale, the unredeemed lands are certified to the 
auditor-general, who executes all tax-deeds therefor. 

The amount of the assessed valuation of property in the county is not 
shown by the records for the year 1830, but the amount of county taxes 
levied was $110.24, the county treasurer receiving the net amount of $95.05; 
$130.00 was raised for town purposes, each town having the privilege (?) of 
paying its respective amount on its own assessment. The assessment of 1831 
is not given either, but the levy of one-fifth of one per cent, on the same, or- 
dered by the supervisors, produced $228.95, and therefore the assessment 
must have amounted to $114,475. In 1832 the assessment of the real and 
personal property in the county amounted to $119,228, and the county tax 
levied thereon at the rate of one-half of one per cent, produced $620.93, the 
county netting the sum of $516.70, the balance being swallowed up by the 
commissions of the collectors and the non-resident taxes. The latter, how- 
ever, were paid, or made, at the tax sale in 1840. 

The foregoing assessments included the taxable property of Branch county. 
The first assessment in St. Joseph county, as at present limited, was made in 
1833, and amounted to $290,173, and one-sixth of one per cent, was levied 
on it for county purposes, producing $478.44. $235.00 were levied for town- 
ship purposes. The assessment of 1834 amounted to $347,194, and the taxes 
charged against it, $1,455.56, for county use. There were $1,804 also raised 
in the different townships for their own use, $895 being for White Pigeon 
alone. The assessment of 1835 was returned at $386,085, with a county 
levy of $1,931.73, and a township tax of $528.19 additional. 



In order that Colon might not be totally neglected in the township levy, 
it was assessed a single dollar only. In 1836 the county paid her first 
tribute to "the powers that be" over her, and her assigned quota of the 
State taxes amounted to "$1,529.18.10," as the record reads. The county 
needs amounted to $2,012.98, and therefore the sum of $3,542.16 was levied 
on the assessment that year, which amounted to $611,672. 

The first equalization of the assessment of real estate between the town- 
ships of the county, was made by the board of supervisors in 1830. Im- 
proved lands in Florence were raised to fifteen dollars per acre, and unim- 
proved to five dollars. Unimproved lands in Park were valued at four dol- 
lars per acre, and twenty-five per cent, added to the valuation of real estate 
in Colon. Unimproved lands in Leonidas and Fawn River were placed at 
four dollars per acre, and the assessments of the other towns were unchanged 
from the valuation of the assessors. 

The assessment of 1840 is not given in the records, but the State and 
county taxes for the year amount to $5,800. In 1850 the assessment footed 
up $997,133, and $8,813.57 covered the State and county levy. 

In 1851 the first equalization by the State board of the assessment of the 
county was made. The assessment, as equalized by the supervisors, amounted 
to $1,094,920. The State board placed the entire assessment of the State 
at $30,976,270, and on that basis fixed the assessment of St. Joseph county 
at $1,088,920, for State purposes of taxation. The taxes of 1851 were 
$3,726.25 for the State, and $6,569.52 for the county. 

In 1856 the county equalized the assessment at $5,412,958, and the State 
board reduced it for their purpose to $4,450,000. The State taxes that year 
amounted to $2,101.39, and the county's to $11,502.53. 

In 1861 the county equalization was $5,825,565, and it was left unchanged 
by the State board. The State levy for revenue was $15,716.02, and that of 
the county, $18,705. 

In 1866 the county equalized its assessment at $6,343,536, and the State 
board added nearly three millions to it, making it $9,229,741.66. The 
State claimed $17,440.24, and got it, and the county levied $17,200 for its 


In 1871 the county returned the assessment as equalized at $12,753,118, 
and the State board added nearly one hundred per cent., placing it at 
$24,300,000. The State taxes amounted to $29,730.27 that year, and those 
of the county to the same sum. 

In 1876 the assessment, as equalized by the board of supervisors, amounted 
to $8,074,871, and the State board equalized it at $18,025,000, on the basis 
of $630,000,000 for the entire State. This was a better rate than the equal- 
ization of 1871, by some $6,275,000, and, as it stands for five years before 
any alteration can be made in it, the county will save the taxes on that 
excess for that period of time. This reduction was effected by the argu- 
ments of Hon. Isaac D. Toll, the representative of the board of supervisors 
of the county to the State board of equalization. Mr. Toll argued from 
the statistics, furnished by the census of 1884, that St. Joseph county was 
about equal in wealth to the counties of Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and 
Cass, while it had been assessed several millions of dollars higher than 
either one of them. Andrew Climie, Esq., chairman of the board of super- 
visors, also presented the argument before the board that ten thousand pop- 
ulation in the older counties represented about the same wealth that double 
that population did in the new ones, and on that basis St. Joseph county had 
been placed too high in the valuation of the State board, by some millions 
of dollars. 

The State and county taxes for 1876 amounted to $41,250, the same 
being equally divided between the two powers. There were 317,267 acres of 
land assessed in 1876, at an average value of $21.10 per a^re. The present 
property valuation, as equalized, amounts to $1,607,606, which averages 
$62.06 per capita, on the census of 1874, which places the population of the 
county at 25,906. 

The values reported in the census are a more faithful index of the real 
wealth of the county than the assessments made for taxation, which vary 
from one-half to one-third of the actual value of the property assessed. In 
1870 the property was assessed at one-half its estimated cash value, which 
places the latter at $50,990,256. It is estimated by competent judges that 
the assessment, as equalized by the State board of equalization in 1876, is 
scarcely more than one-quarter of the actual value of the property liable to 
taxation in the county, which, according to that estimate, would be worth at 
least $70,000,000. 

The total receipts into the county treasury, from 1830 to 1835 inclusive, 

from all sources, aggregated the sum of $4,778.53, which included $80, 

docket fees and fines, and $150 received on sale of county lots in Centre- 

ville. The receipts, from all sources, into the treasury for the year ending 


December 31, 1876, aggregate the sum of $70,601.93. This amount in- 
cludes the State taxes of 1875, $20,108.56 ; the primary-school fund from 
the State, $4,451 ; fines, to the library fund, $800.50; cost&, docket, jury 
and reporters' fees from circuit court, $603.09 ; the liquor tax, $6,452.74 ; 
the county taxes, $34,703.47; redemptions from drain assessments, $206.78, 
and sundry receipts from other sources, $913.53. Among the disbursements 
were the following : For the support of the poor in the county and at the 
insane asylum, $10,478.95 ; to the supervisors, for sundry services, $1,432.92; 
for jurors and witnesses and the house of correction, $3,137.81 ; salaries of 
county officers, $4,950; incidentals and sundry other items, $562.16, and 
but $30 for attorneys' fees; The amount of the delinquent land-tax for the 
year 1875 was $1,469.40, and $538.10 was charged back t§ the township for 
collection on the rolls of 1876. '* 

In the fall of 1827 there were not more than five families of actual white 
settlers within the limits of the county of St. Joseph^ composed of perhaps 
thirty individuals. Ten years later the population had increased to 6,337. 
In 1850 there were 12,717, divided among 2,316 families, and dwelling in 
2,303 houses. In 1860 the population had increased to 21,111, composing 
5,362 families, who dwelt in 5,347 houses. In 1870, 26,272 people called 
the county " home " at the time the census was taken, and the number of fami* 
lies had increased but ten, and the dwellings sixty-two in the decade. In 
1 874 the population, as shown by the State census, had fallen off somewhat, 
there being but 25,906 persons returned. Counting Wayne county, with 
144,903 inhabitants, as the first in rank, St. Joseph would rank in respect 
to population as twenty-two ; of these 25,906 people, 13,267 -were males, and 
12,689 females ; 4,370 of the former were liable to military duty, and 4,614 
of the latter were of marriageable age ; 2,417 men were between forty -five 
and seventy-five years of age, and 2,563 women between forty and seventy- 
five ; 115 men were between seventy-five and ninety years, and one between 
ninety and one hundred — Thomas Cade, of Sturgis; 122 females were over 
seventy-five years. There were 3,188 boys between ten and twenty-one, 
and 2,373 girls between ten and eighteen. There were 3,176 boys and 2,967 
girls under ten years. There were of the widowed and divorced, 1,018 ; of 
males over twenty-one years, 1,411 were bachelors, and of females over 
eighteen, 1,383 had eschew T ed matrimony. The married were nearly evenly 
matched, there being 5,199 men and 5,201 women in the list. Of the un- 
fortunate there were sixteen blind, ten deaf and dumb, eight insane, and 
twenty idiotic ; and there were 158 colored persons throughout the county, 
and not a single one of the former lords of the soil, the followers of Sau- 



The first election ever held within the present limits of St. Joseph county, 
was in the year 1827. Austin E. Wing and" John Biddle were opposing 
candidates for the office of delegate to Congress, and tke election being con- 
ducted on personal grounds rather than political ones, it was very closely 
contested. Major Calvin Brittain, afterwards a State senator from the dis- 
trict of which St. Joseph county formed a part, came to White Pigeon and 
organized a poll, at which fourteen votes were cast, which were sealed up, 
and the gallant major took them as the messenger of the election board, and 
posted away to Detroit, where the returns were to be canvassed. At the 
final canvass it was found that Wing had just seven more votes than his op- 
ponent, Biddle, had. Biddle's friends were furious, and charged that there 
were not fourteen white people west of Lenawee countyto Lake Michigan. 
Major Brittain claimed the votes to have been cast by actual residents, who 
had most undoubtedly lived long enough in the country to gain a legal 
residence therein ; but when pressed for other qualifications required by the 
law of elections, admitted that some of the voters bore a striking resem- 
blance in color and physiognomy to certain of the dusky clansmen of White 
Pigeon, the chief of the Pottawatomies. At this election there was also 
chosen a member of the legislative council. 

The next election was held in the summer of 1829, at which Messrs. Bid- 
die and Wing were contestants for the same position, Biddle being the suc- 
cessful candidate. 

The next election held in the county was the annual town-meeting in 
April, 1830, held in the townships of Sherman and White Pigeon, and which 
was the first election ever held in St. Joseph county proper. At this election, 
besides the township officers, there were a county treasurer and coroner 
elected, John Winchell being the first-named official and the 



second. Greene township (Branch county) and Brady township (Kalamazoo 
county) voted with the St. Joseph county townships at this election. 

At the election of 1835, on the adoption of the' constitution, there were 
216 votes polled. There were no contests which developed the strength of 
political parties in the county until the Presidential election of 1840. That 
year the Whigs carried the county by 39 majority, Harrison receiving 800 
and Van Buren 761 votes. The contests on local officers have always been 
conducted more on personal than on partisan grounds, and the tickets have 
been " scratched " liberally, both parties electing candidates frequently at 
the same election. Edmund Stears, a Democrat, and Charles H. Knox and 
William Laird, Whigs, were so popular in the early days that whenever they 
were nominated their election was a foregone conclusion. 

In 1844, in the Polk and Clay campaigns, the Whigs carried the county 
again by 40 plurality over the Democrats, the liberty men polling 84 votes. 
The total vote was 976 for Clay, 936 for Polk, and 84 for Birney— 1,996 in 
all. The liberty vote for governor in 1843 was 103. 

In 1848 the total vote was 2,392, and the Democratic party carried the 
c junty by 48 plurality over the Whigs — the free-soil party, then organized, 
drawing its adherents more largely from the latter than the former party. 
The vote was for Cass, 1 ,011 ; Taylor, 963 ; Van Buren, 418. One man was 
determined to know whom he voted for, and having no confidence in the 
electors, cast his ballot direct for Martin Van Buren for president. Judge 
I. "P. Christian cy, at present United States senator from Michigan, was one 
of the free-soil electors. 

In the campaign of 1852 the Democrats carried the county again by an 
even 100 plurality over the Whigs, the total vote being 2,678. Pierce re- 
ceived 1,263 ; Scott, 1,163, and the liberty vote was 252. 

In the Fremont campaign of 1856, the first appearance of the Republican 
party, the new actor made his debut with a majority of 837 votes, in a total 
poll of 3,811. 

The Republicans polled 2,324 votes, the Democrats, 1,475, and the prohi- 
bition ticket had a round dozen supporters. In 1860 the relative strength of 
parties remained about the same, the Republican majority over all being 831. 
There were 4,832 votes cast, of which the Republicans had 2,832 ; the Demo- 
crats, 1,980, and the prohibitionists cast just as many votes as there are years 
which must elapse before the native American can exercise what ought to be 
his proudest right, the elective franchise. In 1864 the Republican majority 
was increased a trifle, there being no third party in the field. In a total vote 
of 4,477, the Republicans cast 2,681, and the ' Democrats, 1,796. In 1868 
General Grant received 3,562, and Seymour, 2,490 votes, the total poll being 
6,052. In 1872 Grant received 3,154 votes ; Greeley, 1,791 ; O'Conor, 90, 
and Black (the prohibition vote), 6, making a total vote of 5,041. In 1876 
Governor Hayes received 3,165 Votes ; Governor Tilden, 2,490, and Peter 
Cooper, the " Greenback " candidate, 748. 

In 1848 the congressional race was between Charles E. Stewart, Demo- 
crat, and William Sprague, Whig. Notwithstanding the Democratic vote 
on presidential electors was the largest, yet Sprague claimed the county by 
257 majority. The secret of Sprague's success lay partly in the fact that he 
was a presiding elder of the Methodist church, and his brethren supported 
him, irrespective of party ties, to a considerable extent. He was stronger in the 
county even than Governor Barry, who was one of the Democratic electors, 
and carried the county by forty-eight votes only. In 1849 the election for 
representatives to the State legislature w T as somewhat noticeable in its results. 
William H. Cross and Edwin Kellogg were the only Whig candidates, and 
Norman Roys and Asher Bonham, the Democratic nominees. Mr. Kellogg 
received 989 votes ; Messrs. Roys and Bonham, 979 each, and Mr. Cross, 
978. The two Democrats having tied on the vote, drew lots, and the prize 
fell to Mr. Bonham. One of Judge Cross' personal friends, by a little " tiff" 
just before the day of election, lost the judge his election by staying at home, 
and keeping half a dozen others from attending the polls, all of whom w T ere 
friends of the unlucky candidate. 

There were one hundred and seventy-seven men in the county, in 1849, who 
expressed themselves satisfied with the constitution of 1835, and twelve hun- 
dred and twenty-two who wished for a change. It was a close race for the 
county offices in 1850, under the new constitution, John Hull getting the 
sheriff's place by a bare majority of eight votes ; C. D. Bennett taking the 
clerk's by thirty-one majority, and William Laird securing the county treas- 
ury plum by sixty-seven. Edmund Stears held the Democratic vote and 
some of his Whig friends, and came smiling into the register's office, backed 
by two hundred and sixty-one more votes than his competitor. 

In 1853 a special election was held to determine the sense of the people 
on the question of prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors 
in the State, which resulted in showing that one thousand two hundred and 

ten of the persons voting on the question were in favor of prohibition, and 
eight hundred and eighty opposed to it. There was not a third of the votes- 
of the county cast. Burr Oak, Mendon, Nottawa, Florence, Sherman, Stur- 
gis, Lockport, White Pigeon and Constantine gave majorities for the pro- 
posed law, the last four townships quite notable ones ; the remaining towns 
gave majorities against prohibition. 

In 1870 Governor Blair received just seven hundred more votes for gov- 
ernor than Governor Barry, the former receiving 2,777, and the latter 2,077 

The county officers under the governors' and judges' administration in the 
territory, were appointed by the governor, and were the following : justices 
of the county courts, clerks of the courts, sheriffs, judges of probate, coro- 
ners, county commissioners, justices of the peace and constables. On the 
30th day of March, 1825, the legislative council terminated the official terms 
of all of the above offices on December 31, 1825, and fixed the new terms 
at four years, except those of sheriffs and justices of the peace, which offi- 
cials were given but three years at the public crib. 

In April, 1825, the council gave the people the right to elect the county 
commissioners, treasurers, coroners and constables. The judges of probate, 
from 1809 till 1827, appointed their own clerks or registers, but in the latter 
year the council gave the power of the appointment to the governor. Janu- 
ary 29, 1835, the council abolished the office, and charged the judges of pro- 
bate with the execution of the duties theretofore performed by the register, 
and provided for the election of register of deeds. 

The governor had the power of appointment of the judges and clerks of 
the several courts of record, the sheriffs and justices of the peace during the 
continuance of the territorial government, but under the constitution of 1835 
the people had the power of electing their officials, with the exception of the 
circuit or chief judges of the circuit court, and the prosecuting attorneys, 
who were still appointed by the governor. 

The county officials, under the first constitution, were associate judges of 
the circuit court, judges of the county courts, judge of probate, sheriff, two 
or more coroners, county clerk, who was ex-officio clerk of the courts (cir- 
cuit and county), register of deeds, county surveyor, county treasurer, and 
three county commissioners, who afterwards gave place to the board of su- 
pervisors. Under the constitution of 1850, the same officers were provided 
for, except the associate judges of the circuit court, judges of the county 
court, and county commissioners ; prosecuting attorneys were to be elected. 
The official terms of all were fixed at two years, except that of the judge of 
probate, who had a lease of power for four years, with the privilege of an in- 
definite extension thereof, at the option of the people assembled at the polls. 
The township government, under the territorial authority, was vested by 
the act of the legislative council of March 30, 1827, in a supervisor, town 
clerk, collector of taxes, three or ^ve assessors, at the option of the supervi- 
sors, three commissioners of highways, two overseers of the poor, and as 
many constables, fence-viewers, pound-masters and overseers of highways as 
the people might think could be kept at work to advantage, and earn 'their 
pay — on which none of them ever became wealthy, and all of which officials 
were elected by the people, their masters. 

Under the first constitution the people in each township elected a super- 
visor, town clerk, treasurer, three assessors, one collector, three school-in- 
spectors, two directors of the poor, three commissioners of highways, and as 
many justices of the peace and constables as the town was entitled to, which 
could not exceed four of each at any one time, and as many overseers of 
highways and pound-masters as were necessary to keep the roads in good 
order, and the fields secure from the depredations of four-legged animals. 

Under the new constitution the list of town officials was cut down some- 

■ what. The town clerk and inspector now do the w 7 ork of three inspectors 

of schools formerly ; and one commissioner of highways holds the honor alone 

of a position, wherein, under the old organic law, the "honors were easy," as 

well as the work, between three. 

The first officers in the county were Dr. Hubbel Loomis, probate judge ; 
John W. Anderson, register of probate; John Sturgis and Luther Newton, 
county judges ; and E. Taylor, sheriff; all of whom were appointed by Gov- 
ernor Cass in 1829-30. 

The list of judges appears elsewhere in connection with the history of the 

Mr. Anderson held the custody of the probate records until March 21, 
1834, Dr. S. W. Truesdell being his deputy after the office was removed to 
Centreville. On March 27, 1834, T. W. Langley appends his signature to 
the foot of the records of deeds, and continues to do so until April 22, 1835, 
when his sign-manual disappears with the office of register of probate, and 
Jacob W. Coffinbury's flowing ehirography meets the eye, he being the first 



incumbent of the new office of register of deeds just then created, to be filled 
by election by the people. His services extended to December 31, 1838, 
and Allen Goodridge came in with the new year, and remained in possession 
of the office till December 31, 1846, having had four successive elections. 
Edmund Stears succeeded to the position January 1, 1847, and held its 
emoluments for eight years also, when in January, 1855, Asahel Clapp took 
his position at the register's desk, and held it ten years, and then only gave 
way to his son, Leverett A. Clapp, who held it for a single term only be- 
cause he would not be a candidate against Captain Myron A. Benedict, a 
brave soldier, who lost his right arm before Atlanta, in the defense of his 
-country. This gallant officer was elected 1866, and has held it to the present 
time, voluntarily standing asi<le for another — Thomas G. Greene — who was 
elected in November, 1876. 

David Page was the first clerk of the county of St. Joseph and of the 
courts therein, and was appointed in 1830, and appears at the first county- 
court term. Isaac W. Willard succeeded Page, and was the first clerk of 
the circuit court, at its first term held in the county. Willard held the posi- 
tion until September 6, 1834, when Dr. Truesdell took it, and kept it till 
the latter part of 1838, and was succeeded by Albert E. Massey, who was 
elected at the November election of 1838, and was master of the situation 
two years, when Asher Bonham succeeded him two terms, Massey again 
coming in for two years, ending December 31, 1848. Charles Upson then 
held the office for a single term, and C. D. Bennett had it for two, his lease 
expiring with the year 1854. Hiram Lindsley was then the " coming man," 
and he came in and remained for ten years, and stepped aside for the present 
popular incumbent, Captain John C. Joss, who gave a leg for the old flag, 
and all it symbolizes, in the Wilderness. Captain Joss was elected and re- 
elected for six successive terms. He went to the rear to give Hon. R. W. 
Melendy a place in the front, who was elected in November, 1876. 

The first county treasurer was elected in April, 1830, John Winchell being 
the favored individual, and he received the taxes of 1830-32. In 1833 Ma- 
jor Isaac I. Ulman succeeded to the keys of the treasury vault, and accounted 
for the revenue of 1833-4-5. In 1836 Columbia Lancaster was elected, and 
held the position one term. Alexander V. Sill succeeded Lancaster in 1838, 
but did not fill out the full years of his term, by reason of removal to Illinois. 
John W. Talbot filled the position for a portion of 1839, and then W. B. 
Brown was elected to fill the remainder of the term. In 1840 John W. 
Talbot was elected, and disbursed the funds of the public for four years, sur- 
rendering the county cash-book in 1844 to Jacob W. Coffinbury, who posted 
its accounts for a single term, and then stepped down for William Laird, 
who stepped up and remained on guard over the county funds for six years. 
William McCormick came to the front in 1852, and fell to the rear in 1856, 
and William Hutchinson took the vacated place for four years, and then 
gave way in 1860 for David Oakes, who, after discharging his duties in the 
office for eighteen months, resigned the position to go to the support of the 
government as captain of Company A, 11th Michigan Infantry, and died in 
the service. William Allison filled the vacancy, and was re-elected in 1862, 
and again in 1864. William L. Worthington then held the keys of the 
strong box four years, the present incumbent, James Hill, coming in January 
1, 1871, and has been re-elected for a term ending with 1878. 

The first sheriff was E. Taylor, as previously stated ; he was the old Indian 
trader, at the grand traverse of the St. Joseph river, and held the position 
until the first sheriff was elected by the people in 1836, who was Edward A. 
Trumbull ; Trumbull was succeeded in 1838 by Charles H. Knox, who held 
the position for five terms ; Horace Metcalf coming for one term during the 
years 1842-3, because a man could not be elected for three successive terms. 
Horace M. Vesey secured the sheriffalty for a single term, and then John 
Hull came in with the new constitution, and exercised the authority of the 
State against evil-doers for four years. William Harrington was elected in 
1854, and was re-elected two years afterwards, and then William K. Haynes 
secured the prize for two terms. William L. Worthington then sold the 
people's effects on execution and final judgment for four years, and William 
M. Watkins succeeded to the business for a like term, which ended with 
1870. Elva F. Pierce, John A. J. Metzger and Daniel H. Hawley were 
each given but a single term in the brick hotel opposite the court house, 
and then Charles M. Lampman was elected in 1876. 

The coroners who have served in St. Joseph county since 1833 are as follows : 
Benjamin Sherman was elected in the last-named year and served till 
1837, and Samuel Pratt and Isaac G. Bailey to 1839 ; John V. Overfield, 
1840 ; William Thackery and Joseph Pharana to 1842, filled the position. 
From that time to 1853, the incumbents were, respectively, Peter F. Put- 
nam, Charles MeNair, Joseph Miller, John Aiken and Lyman Bean. 
In 1852 A. D, Sprague and William Morrison were given the doubtful 

honor of inquiring into the sudden and violent taking off of their fellow- 
mortals for two years, and then Fordyce Johnson and Orrin F. Howard, 
John S. Williams and Elisha Foote, and H. Brazee and William Arney 
succeeded to the cheerful duty for a single term each. Charles E. Simons 
and Isaac Howard were elected in 1860, and the latter filled the position for 
two terms — Nathan Mitchell being his coadjutor during his last term. 
Joseph W. Pike and James W. Mandigo came in, in 1864, and in 1866 
Mitchell and Dr. Mandigo took the honors again. William Harrington and 
Nicholas J. Sibley held the office for two years together, and then Isaac 
Howard came in for four years, J. A. Rogers being his companion the first 
term, and A. C. Williams the second. The present incumbents, L. W. 
Weinberg and Charles J. Beerstecher, were elected in 1874. 

The first county surveyor elected was James Cowen, in November, 1836. 
There had been other surveyors previously ; among them Robert Clark, 
Jr., Orange Risdon, Musgrove Evans and W. H. Adams, but no regularly 
appointed county surveyors till Mr. Cowen's election. The next one was 
Hiram Dresser in 1838, who was succeeded in 1840 by Hiram Draper. 
Simeon Gilbert carried the compass for two years, and James Hutchinson 
and Josiah Knauer each for four years, Mr. Knauer being sandwiched Be- 
tween Hutchinson's first and second terms. A. F. Watkins then shouldered 
the "Jacob's staff" for one term, and was succeeded by Norman L. An- 
drews, who set the bounds of the people for the period of six years, ending 
December 31, 1861. Hiram Hutchinson held the office from 1862 to 1864, 
and James H. Gardner followed in his footsteps among the ancient land- 
marks till 1870, when he surrendered the position to John S. Rose for a 
single term, and re-entered it again for two years more. In 1874 Norman 
L. Andrews was elected again, and still holds the.position, in 1876. 

Prosecuting attorneys were appointed by the governor until the consti- 
tution of 1850 was adopted, and the first appointee was E. B. Sherman in 
1830. He was succeeded by Columbia Lancaster in 1835, and Lancaster 
by J. Eastman Johnson in 1838. Judge Johnson attended to the pleas of 
the people until the March term of the circuit. court in 1839, at which term 
Neal McGaffey appeared for the people, and E. B. Mitchell at the Septem- 
ber term the same year. From and after this term of the court, until the 
March term, 1846, Chester Gurney and Judge Johnson prosecuted criminals 
for the State, the larger portion of that time falling to the judge. Hon. H, 
H. Riley appeared for the people from and including the March term, 
1846, to November, 1849, when W. C. Pease filled the situation till the first 
election under the new constitution. 

The first prosecuting attorney elected in the county was E. B. Turner ? in 
1850, Charles Upson succeeding him in 1852. From 1854 to 1858 William 
L. Stoughton drew the indictments against evil-doers, and William Saddler 
followed suit for a like term of four years. After him came Henry F. Sev- 
ernes for a single term, and then Germain H. Mason led the attack on male- 
factors for two terms. Talcott H. Carpenter continued the warfare against 
the same class who were so unfortunate as to fall into his clutches, until 1872, 
and then E. W. Keightley and R. R. Pealer held a tight reign on the viola- 
tors of the public morals and peaee for a single term each, Orlando J. Fast 
being elected in 1876. 

In 1852 the county judges' office being defunct, their place was taken by 
the circuit court commissioners, who had the same power as the fudges in 
vacation, and also of the masters in chancery, who were also prohibited in 
the new constitution. The first commissioner was William L. Stoughton, 
who was elected in 1852, and was succeeded by Chester Gurney in 1854. 
Gurney held the position till 1828, and was succeeded by James H. Lyon, 
who in turn gave way to G. H. Mason in 1860. Two commissioners were 
elected in 1862, namely, Paul James Eaton and Talcott H. Carpenter. The 
latter held the position six years, James H. Lyon being*his associate during 
his second term, and Mr. Eaton again in his last one. In 1868 R. W. Melendy 
and Samuel Chadwick were elected, Mr. Melendy being re-elected in 1870 
with R. R. Pealer. Mr. Pealer held the position four years, O. J. Fast 
serving with him during his second term. The present incumbents are 
Daniel E. Thomas and David Knox, Jr., who were re-elected in 1876. 

The county commissioners, who had charge of the financial affairs during 
their short lease of power, from April, 1838, to July 4, 1842, were as follows : 
The first ones elected were John G. Cathcart, of Constantine ; James Hutch- 
inson, of Park, and John Sturgis, of Sherman (Sturgis now) ; those gentle- 
men drawing terms of one, three and two years, respectively. Judge Con- 
ner, of Nottawa, was elected for three years to take the place vacated by 
Mr. Cathcart in 1839. In 1840 Giles Thompson came on the board in place 
of Judge Sturgis, from Bucks, and Mr. Hutchinson was re-elected in 1841, 
which was the last election of commissioners, the board of supervisors tak- 
ing the reins of government again in 1842. 



The people of St. Joseph township, while yet under the jurisdiction of 
Lenawee county, were first represented in the councils of the territory by 
delegates, who were elected in 1829 as members of the legislative council. 
St. Joseph county, with the counties of Cass and Kalamazoo, sent their first 
delegate to the council in 1831, which was the fifth council, and met in De- 
troit, May, 1832. In 1833 Calvin Brittain was elected to the council from 
St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Berrien, Calhoun and Branch counties — 732 votes 
being polled in the district. In 1835 Isaac I. Ullman was elected to repre- 
sent the county in the State legislature, and in 1836 Neal McGaffey and 
Martin G. Schellhous were chosen. In 1838 Samuel A. Chafin and Fred- 
erick Shurtz were elected, and in 1839 Isaac G. Bailey and John G. Cath- 
cart succeeded to the dignity. In 1840 Comfort Tyler and A. R. Metcalf 
lifted up their voices in the general assembly, and gave way in 1841 for Otis 
Preston and John L. Chipman. In 1843 P. E. Bunyan and Frederick 
Shurtz went to the eapitol to legislate for the people, and in 1844 Washing- 
ton Pitcher and John H. Bowman made the same journey for the same pur- 
pose. From 1845 to 1851 inclusive, the county was represented successively 
by Ezra S. Ck>le and Isaac D. Toll, Alfred S. Driggs and Patrick Marantette, 
William Morris and Levi Patehin, L. C. Mathews and P. H. Buck, Edwin 
Kellogg and Asher Bonham, and Alexander H. Moore and J. G. Wait. In 
1852 Charles L. Miller and John Frey were elected, Judge Miller being re- 
elected in 1854 with John Lomison. William Allman and Hezekiah 
Weatherbee, Harrison Kelley and Thomas Mitchell, and Edward Stewart 
and William Wheeler were sent successively to make laws from 1856 to 
1862 inclusive. In 1863 there were three members sent from the county, to 
wit : Edward Stewart from the first district, William Wheeler from the second, 
and Charles Betts from the third. In 1864 Mr. Stewart was re-elected in 
his district, and Orrin F. Howard and W. T. Smith went from the second 
and third, respectively. 

In 1866 Messrs. Wm. B. Eck, O. F. Howard and Lafayette Parsons were 
the tribunes of the people, whose terms of office were extended to two years ; 
and in 1868, William R. Eck, Charles Millington and James W. Mandigo 
spoke among the rulers. 

In 1870 Andrew Climie, Millington and Bracey were elected. 

In 1872 the representation of the county w T as reduced and the county 
re-districted, and Parsons and Clemie were sent as legislators. 

In 1874 Frank S. Packard and William Hull were elected, arid William 
Allman and G. B. Markham in 1876. The present districts divide the 
county north and south, each district taking eight townships. 

John S. Barry, Calvin Brittain and William H. Comstock represented, in 
the first State Senate, the counties of St. Joseph, Berrien, Branch, Hillsdale, 
Kalamazoo, Cass and Calhoun, composing the third district, the election 
being held in the fall of 1836, at which 1,875 votes were cast. 

In 1838 Samuel Etheridge, of Cold water, was the senator for Branch, 
Hillsdale and St. Joseph; and in 1840 John S. Barry, of Constantine, again 
succeeded to the senatorial toga for St. Joseph, VanBuren, Cass and Branch. 

In 1841, Mr. Barry having been elected governor, Digby V. Bell was 
elected to fill the vacancy. George Redfield was elected in 1843, and Wm. 
H. Richmond and George Martin in 1844 ; Joseph N. Chipman and Flavius 
I. Littlejohn in 1845, and Rix Robinson in 1846. Isaac D. Toll and 
Jerome R. Fitzgerald were in the Senate in 1847, Alex. H. Redfield in 1848, 
John McKinney and Philetus Hayden in 1849, and H. H. Riley, of Con- 
stantine, in 1850. William McCumber and Philetus Haydon were elected 
in 1852, Edward S. Moore, of Three Rivers, in 1854, and Charles Upson, of 
Centreville, in 1856 ; Comfort Tyler, of Sherman, in 1858 ; J. R. Williams, 
of Constantine, in 1860. 

In 1862 J. G. Wait, of Sturgis, was elected, and held the position for six 
years, giving way, in 1868, to A. C. Prutzman, of Three Rivers, who also 
held the office for six years. In 1874 Matthew T. Garvey, of Branch county, 
was elected for the district composed of St. Joseph and Branch counties, 
and still occupies the honorable position. 

In 1867 county superintendents of schools were provided for by the leg- 
islature, and Charles M. Temple was the first incumbent of the office in St. 
Joseph county. In 1869 L. B. Antisdale was elected, and again in 1871. 
In 1873 J. W. Beardslee was elected, after which the office was abolished, 
and town superintendents substituted. 

In 1869 the office of drain commissioner was established; and Jeremiah 
H. Gardner was the first commissioner. He was succeeded by A. C. Van 
Ylack in 1871, when the office was vacated, and town commissioners sub- 
situted therefor. 

In 1835 the county of St. Joseph and the territory south of it to the 
boundary line, as established by the ordinance of 1787, was, by the legisla- 
tive council of Michigan, constituted the thirteenth district, and authorized 

to elect three delegates to the convention called to frame a constitution, and 
John S. Barry, Hubbel Loomis and Martin G. Schellhous were elected. 

In September, 1836, the people of the county sent Columbia Lancaster 
and Dr. Watson Sumner as delegates to the convention at Ann Arbor, called 
to accept the terms of admission into the Union, imposed by Congress upon 
the people of Michigan, but which acceptance or assent was not given. Of 
the four hundred and fifteen votes cast for the delegates, two hundred and 
twenty-one were in favor of giving assent to the conditions, one hundred 
and eighty were opposed to it, and fourteen did not care enough about the 
matter to express their desire either way. 

The people sent to the second convention, held in December, 1836, for the 
same purpose as the first one, Aaron B. Watkins, Philip R. Toll, Stephen 
W. Truesdell and W. H. Adams, one hundred and twenty-six votes only 
being cast, and all for the above-named delegates. 

The delegates to the constitutional convention of 1850, were Judge Wil- 
liam Connor, Hon. Joseph R. Williams and Edward S. Moore. 

Hon. Henry H. Riley, of Constantine, was selected by the governor to 
represent St. Joseph county in the constitutional convention of 1867, the 
labors of which came to naught when submitted to the people for ratifi- 

St. Joseph county has bean represented in the United States Congress by 
her own citizens, as follows: Hon. John S. Chipman, for the term of 
1845-47 ; Charles Upson, from 1863 to 1869 ; General William L. Stough- 
ton, for two terms, 1869-73. Hon. E. W. Keightley was elected in 1876 for 
a term of two years, beginning March 4, 1877. 

The old county has also furnished a fair proportion of the State officers 
since its organization. Governor Barry was elected, while yet a resident of 
the county, for two successive terms, 1842-44, and again in 1850. Governor 
Bagley, though not a St. Joseph citizen at the time of his election, began his 
business life in Constantine. He has held the position of chief magistrate 
of the State for four years, ending with 1876. 

Leverett A. Clapp was elected commissioner of the land-office in 1872, and 
re-elected in the year 1874, his term just expiring. He has been the most 
efficient officer the State has ever had in that position, and by his energy and 
watchfulness has saved the school fund thousands of dollars by a vigorous 
prosecution of trespasses on the public domain of the State school and 
university lands. 

Hon. J. Eastman Johnson was a regent of the university at Ann Arbor 
from 1858 to 1870, and Andrew Climie, Esq., is on the board of regents at 
present. Frank Wells, of Constantine, is one of the directors of the agri- 
cultural college. Charles H. Knox was United States marshal for the 
western district of Michigan, under President Taylor. 




Not only does " love laugh at locksmiths," but no vicissitudes of time or 
place debar the rosy little god from leading willing captives amid the priva- 
tions of the border, as well as in the centres of affluence and ease. The first 
parties who sought the aid of St. Joseph officials to launch their bark upon 
the untried sea of matrimony, were James Knapp and Martha Winch ell, 
both residents of the then township of St. Josephs, Lenawee county, now the 
township of Mottville, St. Joseph county. The groom located the tract of 
land on which tradition says the old Indian chief, White Pigeon, was buried, 
and the bride was a daughter of Judge John Winchell, the only magistrate 
in all southwestern Michigan at the time — 1828, during the summer or fall 
— the ceremony was celebrated by him. This couple resided on White Pigeon 
prairie several years, having several children born to them, and removed 
thence to Indiana, and subsequently to Texas, where they both died. 

The next wedding was that of Abel Olds and Ann Thurston, who rode 
from Jonesville, Hillsdale county, to White Pigeon, fifty miles, to find a 
magistrate to ratify the contract for a life partnership they themselves had 
previously made. Judge Winchell was the official the contracting parties 
found, for the very good reason there was no other to find. He soon made the 
twain one flesh, without much ceremony, in the month of May, 1829. The 
newly-wedded pair rode back to Jonesville, via Oxbow prairie, where the 
relatives of the bride had made ready the nuptial feast. In after-years they 
returned and took up their residence in St. Joseph county. 



On the 15th day-of August following, William Locke, who came on horse- 
back from Wayne county, Ohio, and Eachel Gardner, who had preceded him 
from the same place a few weeks before, came to Judge Luther Newton's 
cabin, on Crooked creek, the judge having married a sister of Miss Gardner, 
on Pokagon prairie, the spring before — and sending for the second magis- 
trate in the township, Neal McGaffey, were by him united in the holy 
blinds of wedlock. The horse which had brought the groom to the bride was 
now required to carry both groom and bride back to the Ohio home of the 
ormer, which he did safely, in about two weeks' time, which journey is the 
first extended wedding-tour recorded in the county. It was unattended with 
luxury or display, and love was the sole attendant. From Oxbow to Fort Defi- 
ance, with the exception of a single night, when they had the hospitalities of 
a wayside cabin extended to them, the wedded pair couched in the woods, 
canopied by the stars alone and the blue ether. 

In October, 1829, Valentine Shultz and Susan Hartman, the latter a daugh- 
ter of Solomon Hartman, who settled in Mottville township a short time 
previously, were married. This couple settled on section five in that town- 
ship, at first, and afterwards removed to Cold water, in Branch county, and 
finally went to Iowa, where the lady died in 1870. 

The Winchell family furnished one of the parties to the next marriage in 
the county — David, the eldest son, who married Mary Ann McEnterfer, a 
daughter of the first white settler in Lockport township. The wedding was 
celebrated in the first house built north of White Pigeon and Sturgis prairies, 
with one exception, that of Judge Week's, at Constantine ; the happy affair 
being consummated in the month of February, 1830 — Kev. Erastus Felton 
probably officiating. Mr. Winchell is dead, but his widow still survives, and 
resides in Indiana, near Laporte. 

The next bride came from the same family, and was Sarah McEnterfer, 
who surrendered her legal individuality to William Mcintosh in November 
following. Mcintosh lived on Young's prairie, and on his journey for his 
bride lost his way and became bewildered, and did not arrive until long 
after the hour appointed for the ceremony, which was not performed till 
midnight. This couple are still living on Young's prairie, in Cass county, 
whither they went the next day after their marriage. The next marriage 
was probably that of John W. Fletcher, of Nottawa prairie, and Sarah 
Knox, a daughter of Jacob Knox and sister of David Knox, of Sturgis 
prairie, which was celebrated by Samuel Stewart, a justice of the peace, on 
the 18th day of September, 1831. After the wedding festivities were over, 
Mr. Fletcher brought his bride to his home, where they have ever since re- 
sided. The original house has of course given way to one more ample and 
elegant, and in which their children and children's children — a goodly num- 
ber — are wont to gather, and listen to the tales of the long ago, as they fall 
from the lips of the first white man who fixed upon Nottawa prairie for a 
home. About the same time, William Stewart and Mary Cade, a daughter 
of the oldest man now living in the county, Thomas Cade, of Sturgis, were 
married, but whether before or after Mr. Fletcher, we have been unable defi- 
nitely to determine. It was in the same fall, however, and not far from the 
same day. 

The bridal costume of the pioneer times was not so elaborate as that of 
the brides of 1877. We give a description of one of the former, which 
was neat but not gaudy, nor could it be said to be inexpensive, if rated at 
the price of wheat at the time. The dress was of calico, and the only 
attempt at ornament was a long pink silk sash, tied around the waist, the 
ends of which depended to the hem of the skirt, which was somewhat scant 
in the pattern, both longitudinally and latitudinally. The groom was gor- 
geously arrayed in yellow pantaloons, crimson vest and blue coat with shining 
buttons, and had an immense brazen chain about his neck, at the lower 
extremity of which a "bull's-eye" watch was concealed by his vest pocket. 

Probably Mrs. Dr. Isaac Adams, of White Pigeon, had the least fastidi- 
ous company of wedding-guests that ever sat down to a nuptial feast in the 
settler's cabin in old St. Joe. The doctor bought the farm of Arba Heald, 
who, in 1830, finding that neighbors were getting too near to be comfortable, 
sold out his fine location on Pigeon prairie, and moved west. One day, in 
the summer of 1833, a young Pottawatomie Indian, from the Nottawa-seepe 
reservation, on his way to Indian prairie, in Indiana, to claim a bride, 
stopped at the doctor's place, and one of the younger Adams' getting in con- 
versation with him found out his business, and, with the consent of Mrs. 
Adams, invited him to call with his wife on his way back and take dinner. 
The invitation was accepted, and a few days afterwards the young brave and 
his dusky mate rode up to the door, but not alone. The invitation had been 
amplified in its transmission to the bride, and a company, numbering some 
dozens or more, of the young male and female friends of the parties, w r ere es- 
corting the newly-wedded pair to their home on the reservation. They were I 

all trinketed out in a fine array of calicos, beads and* buckskin, leggings and 
breeches, and were a jolly, rollicking crowd. Mrs. Adams, though a little 
taken aback at the array of guests before her, was not dismayed, and bid- 
ding them dismount and make themselves comfortable, she set about getting 
up a dinner for the party, and soon had it smoking-hot before, them. The 
menu was not as elaborate and varied, doubtless, as that of many a~ wedding* 
feast in St. Joe since, but it was plentiful and wholesome, and was most 
thoroughly enjoyed by the- partakers thereof, who^ showed their appreciation 
of it by dispatching the entire bill of fare in a wonderfully short period of 
time. After profuse thanks from the groom and protestations of undying 
gratitude from the bride, the gayly-bedecked party mounted their ponies, 
and galloped off over the prairie towards the home of the Nottawa. 


To whom the honor attaches of being the first white person " to the manor 
born," in St. Joseph county, has not been definitely ascertained, but it' lie£ 
between two individuals, Selinda Reichert, a daughter of Abraham E-eichertj 
who was born in what is now known as Mottville township, in May, 18^; 
and a child which was born the same year in Leonard Cutler's family; on 
the eastern side of the prairie of White Pigeon, the probabilitiesJying with 
the latter. •-...,.' 

On the 10th day of August, the same year, Eleanor Heald, a daughter of 
Arba Heald, was born, and the same season the first child o# the first mar- 
ried couple of the actual settlers in the county, James and Mary Knapp, was 
born. In the fall of the same year Leonard Rickart had a son. born to him, 
bnt which did not survive many months. The first-named child 'is* still livingi 
Constantine next came into notice, Henry Bonebright, a son^ of Jacob Bone- 
bright deceased, being born February 3, 1830. Nottawa prairie came next, 
John Foreman, now of Leonidas, being born thereon o» the <6th day of 
February. Sturgis prairie next followed with its work, David "Sturgis being 
the representative, who was born February 11, and then Nottawa came again 
to the front, in the person of William H&zzard, Jr., who was born March 
10, 1830. In " the merry month of May," a little daughter came to gladden 
the hearts of John B. Clarke and # his worthy spouse, in Sheksan village — 
now Sturgis. The little lady made it extremely lively for the neighbors to 
attend to her requirements, and at an unseasonable hour in the morning, too. 
Peter Buck and his gray mare were forced into requisition to go for nurses 
five miles off, and another neighbor was sent for Doctor Loomis, at White 
Pigeon, twelve miles away. In June Joseph C. Meek was announced at 
Constantine, and made his debut while the roses were blooming/ Mottville 
closed the record of the year with the birth of Sophrbnia Burns, on the 30th 
day of October. 

death's record. 

" Man has but a common doom, 
And from the cradle to the tomb 
A common destiny." 

Long before a permanent burial-place had been selected, or a cemetery 
laid off, the reaper — death — had begun his harvest, and tender buds, opening 
flowers, and ripened fruit had been garnered beneath the flowery -sod of 
prairie and opening, and moistened by the tears of affection of mourners who 
dropped the thread of busy life for a moment to lay their treasures. in the 
dust, and turned again to resume their duties under the imperious demands 
of the active present in which they lived. 

White Pigeon prairie leads the column in the joy of matrimony and the 
gladness of childhood, and Sturgis stands first on the brink of the grave. 

Death came suddenly and without warning in his first assault on the set- 
tlers of St. Joseph ; George Buck and Levi Waterman being the first vic- 
tims, August 8, 1829. They were buried in a well they were digging in the 
village of Sherman (then composed of about three houses), on the east side 
of Nottawa street, as now laid out. The funeral services held for their ob- 
sequies was the first religious service ever held on Sturgis prairie by the 

In the winter of 1829-30, a man named Sawyer, who was at work for 
George W. Dille, of Nottawa, was killed by a tree falling upon him. He 
was buried in the school section, on which a cemetery has since been laid 
out. Also in that year, 1830, a Mr. Hartman died in Mottville. In 1832 
Oliver Raymond buried two little girls in Sturgis prairie. 



are almost as insatiable, in these days, as death himself, but in the early 
days of the pioneers they had little business. It was not until there had 
been five terms of the court held, that- a married couple in St. Joseph 
county resorted to the law to do what death had alone done previous thereto. 



The first party who applied for a legal separation evidently " kissed and 
made up," for no decree was ever entered. 

The first decree of divorce was entered in the circuit court, at the October 
term thereof, 1835, on the petition of Aurora Amulet Gilbert, filed against 
her husband, David Gilbert, on a plea of cruelty and desertion, most pite- 
ously expressed by Neal McGaffey, Esq. 

The following incident, related by Hon. E. H. Lothrop, late of Three 
Rivers, now deceased, is apropos here. One day a lady came to Mr. Loth- 
rop complaining bitterly of the cruel treatment of, and desiring Mr. Loth- 
rop to effect a legal separation from, her tyrannical lord. Mr. Lothrop ex- 
postulated with her, declaring it would scandalize the community if such an 
old and worthy couple should, after so long a wedded life as theirs, sepa- 
rate ; but the lady was immovable in her determination. Thinking to con- 
ciliate the parties, Mr. Lothrop went to the house occupied by them, accom- 
panied by the lady, where they found the husband fortifying his position 
with an array of scriptural texts, and the upshot of the matter was that a 
separation was agreed upon. The wife was to retain the farm for her sup- 
port, and the husband was to take the team and wagon, and go out from the 
homestead and begin anew. The arrangement was consummated, but after 
the clean linen was soiled which the old gentleman took with him, he came 
to the lady and engaged her to do his washing. Not long afterwards he 
came and engaged board with her, and the result was soon manifest in her 
taking him back altogether, and no further mention was made of disagree- 
ments or separations. 

Notwithstanding the havoc made by death's artillery and the smaller 
arms of the courts, there are notable instances of long years of marital 
felicity that place the county of St. Joseph well towards the front rank in 
that respect. Eight venerable couples were living in St. Joseph county at 
the annual meeting of the pioneer society in June, 1876, who had celebrated 
their golden wedding, but three of them were broken before the year closed. 

Ezra Cole and wife were married before they were nineteen years old, in 
January, 1818, and have lived together fifty-nine years. They have reared 
a family of seven children, are seventy-seven years old, and have never had 
any severe illness. They came to Three Rivers in 1839, and have lived there 
ever since. 

Samuel Van Dorston and his wife, seventy-seven and seventy-eight years 
old respectively, have lived together as man and wife over fifty -six years, 
They lived in Three Rivers, and have reared a large family of sons and 

Isaac Major and wife, of Lockport township, were married in Montgomery 
county, N. Y., February 22, 1821, and at the time of Mrs. Major's death in 
October, 1876, they had lived together by the family hearthstone nearly 
fifty-six years. Mr. Major is eighty-four years old. His brother, William 
Major, of the same town, who died in December, 1876, aged eighty years, was 
married to the wife who survives him, in the last-named county, February 
19, 1824, their wedded life covering nearly fifty-three years. 

Zerah Benjamin and Asenath Adams started out together on life's jour- 
ney in Durham, Greene county, N. Y., on January 17, 1824, and have not 
vet parted company, though fifty-three years of the lights and shades insep- 
arable from human existence have passed over their heads. They came to 
Florence in 1835, and located on the farm where they have ever since re- 
sided. In 1874 they celebrated their golden wedding, having present with 
them five of their six children and twelve of their fourteen grandchildren. 
Forty-one relatives in all were present, among them a brother and sister 
who had witnessed the wedding fifty years before. There were five others 
living at the time, who also were witnesses of the old-time wedding. 

Isaac F. Ulrich and his wife were married December 16, 1824, and at the 
end of fifty-two years are serenely passing down life's western declivity to- 
gether, till the " gates shall stand ajar " for them by and by. Their golden 
wedding was a notable occasion, made so by the assembling of twenty-nine 
of their thirty-six descendants, spanning three generations, the aged couple 
making the fourth. M. J. Ulrich, a son, and the first child born in Park 
township, delivered an eloquent address, and presented the patriarch with 
a gold-headed cane, and the venerable mother with an easy-chair. Cyrus 
Ulrich, another son, read an original poem. Mr. Ulrich is seventy-six years 
old and lives on his original location in Park, whither he came in 1834. 

George Keech, Sr., and Mary M. Hunt were married in New York city 
on the 10th day of September, 1826. They are aged seventy-eight and 
seventy-three years respectively, and have lived together for half a century, 
and are now hale and hearty, kind and hospitable as old pioneers are usually. 
Mr. Keech has died since the above was written. In this family are three 
Georges; George L, George II. and George III.; and though their blood may 
not be as " blue " as that which was accorded to the Brunswick Georges of 

old colony and Revolutionary times, it is better, if there is any truth in 
the history of the titled Georges, Rex dei gratia. Mr. and Mrs. Keech lived 
in St. Joseph thirty years. 

Hon. Edward S. Moore, of Three Rivers, had lived with the wife of his 
youth for fifty years, when she was called to go before him to that haven of 
rest where, when he shall follow, old friendships shall be renewed never more 
to be broken. Inman Arnold and Narcissa Morey, of Constantine, married 
in Oxford, Chenango county, N. Y., January 19, 1815, and that union, de- 
clared when the treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain 
was signed, was for sixty years undissolved, and then only death was power- 
ful enough to loose the bands thereof. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Macomber, of 
Park, and latterly of Three Rivers, had passed fifty-two years of wedded life 
together, when the husband was called hence in 1875. 

The ten couples here named have spent in the aggregate over five hundred 
and forty years of wedded life together, and their aggregate ages span four- 
teen hundred years ! The survivors can sing with " the spirit, and with the 
understanding also," Burns' touching lines : 

"John Anderson, my jo, John, we clamb the hill thegither ; 
And mony a canty day, John, we've had wi' ane anither. 
Now we maun totter down, John, but hand in hand we'll go, 
And sleep thegither at the foot, John Anderson, my jo !" 

There were registered in the county, in 1876, two hundred and seventy- 
five marriages, four hundred and forty-two births, and one hundred and 
sixty-three deaths. 


The first permanent cemetery was laid out in White Pigeon, in or about 
the year 1831, where it is still located, in the northwestern part of the vil- 
lage. There was a burial-place laid off by J. W* Goffinberry, on a tract of 
land named by him " Carlton," but which existed as a village only in the 
airy castles of Mr. Coffinberry's fancy. One Chidester, a carpenter, and a 
man named Day, died in the year 1831, and were buried in this plat, and 
so, also, were several persons who died about the same time, one of them a 
son-in-law of Colonel Selden Martin. 

The old cemetery of Sturgis was laid off for burial purposes in 1833, and 
about that time the one on section sixteen in Nottawa was laid off. There 
are at Sturgis and Three Rivers most eligibly situated grounds, now being 
beautified and adorned by art and affection, nature having been especially 
lavish in her never-to-be-excelled work in the Riverside cemetery of the 
latter city. Descriptions of these grounds in detail appear in the respective 
histories of the townships. 



The first religious services held by Europeans in the territory once in- 
cluded in the boundaries of St. Joseph township, as a part of Lenawee 
county, and- whose principal and only magistrate was John Winchell, of 
White Pigeon prairie, was the service held by the Jesuit missionary, Claude 
Allouez, on the St. Joseph river, near its mouth, where he had, in 1675, fol- 
lowed the footsteps of Pere Marquette, and gathered around him a little 
village of the Pottawatomies, organized a school, and taught his wild pupils 
the tenets of salvation through the merits of a risen Saviour, as he under- 
stood them. One hundred and fifty-four years later, Lyman B. Gurley and 
Erastus Felton, missionaries from the field of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, proclaimed to the pioneer settlers, the successors of Allouez' pupils 
in the St. Joseph valley, the news of salvation as they understood it. A few 
years later, Cory and Jones, missionaries of the Presbyterian faith, Ger- 
shom B. Day and William Brown, of the Baptist persuasion, and Isaac 
Ketchum, of the Dutch Reformed views, proclaimed the " very same Jesus " 
to the same people, as they understood it. Thus the followers of Loyola and 
those of Wesley, Knox, Roger Williams and others, but all disciples of the 
lowly Nazarene, proclaimed his doctrines of peace and good will to man, 
from their different stand-points, but with good intent to better the condition 
of their fellows. 

The early missionaries endured hardships that would appal the stoutest 
hearts to-day ; not only the Jesuits, who literally went through fire and blood 
to fulfill their self-appointed missions, but those who followed them, when the 
white men were their hearers. The itinerants of Wesley penetrated forests, 



waded marshes, swam rivers, crossed prairies, sleeping wherever night over- 
took them, frequently canopied only by the blue vault over their heads, 
with the stars for watchers. They braved storms of rain and snow, and the 
pitiless pelting of the sleet and hail, and ate with thankfulness the meagre 
fare set before them by the pioneer, knowing that, though scanty, it was of 
the best, and oftentimes, the last the hospitable host had to give.. One of 
these brave souls, named Walker, had a circuit of twelve hundred miles to 
ride, into Ohio, Indiana and Michigan ; and he traveled it on horseback 
every six weeks, fording all the streams,, and swimming the Miamee twice 
every trip. 

Gershom B. Day, the pioneer Baptist, was a useful man in his time. He not 
only preached to the people, but he sang to them in church meetings, and at 
home in their houses ; and at their celebrations on the 4th of July he was 
their chorister. 

He left this country and went to California, where he gained some consider- 
able more of this world's goods than he was likely to do by following his 
clerical calling here, but he lost his life thereby, being killed and scalped by 
the Indians on his return. 

John Armstrong, a presiding elder of the Methodist conference having 
jurisdiction over the churches of that creed in St. Joseph valley, was a mus- 
cular Christian, and, when need demanded, led the Michigan volunteers 
against Black Hawk, as a scout, and was with General Atkinson at the cap- 
ture of that redoubtable chieftain. His knowledge of the country, gained in 
the years of his itineracy, proved of inestimable value to the commander of 
the United States troops. 

He conducted the first camp-meeting ever held in western Michigan, on 
Prairie Binde, in 1834. 

Keverends William Jones and Christopher Cory were the earliest Presby- 
terian ministers, and preached in southern Michigan and northern Indiana 
in 1829, and later, and organized all ©f the earlier churches of that denomi- 
nation in that region of the country. P. W. Warrimer succeeded them, 
land was for years a noted man among the people. 

Among the other missionaries and. early proclaimers of the gospel were 
Senoni Harris, whose appointment m an elder in the Methodist Episcopal 
lehureh was granted by Bishop McEendrie, July 24, 1810, at Lyons, New 
York. Sprague received his appointment from Bishop Hedding in 1831. 
Thomas Odell was an early Methodist minister, and so, also, was Erastus 
Kellogg. Reverend George B. Browsn appears to be the first liberal minis- 
ter who came into the county, and was here in 1835. 


The whole territory of Michigan was included in the Detroit district of 
the Ohio conference of the Methodist Episcopal church until 1832, at which 
time the southwestern part of the territory was set off into the Indiana con- 
ference, under which jurisdiction it remained until 1840. In 1833 southwest 
•Michigan was included in the northwest district, but in 1834 it was changed 
to the Laporte district, and Newell E. Smith was in charge. The new con- 
ference was designated " Wood's Raft." In 1840 the State line was made 
the southern boundary of the Michigan conference, which body was organ- 
ized in 1835 or 1836. In 1834 the St. Joseph mission, as the charge in St. 
Joseph valley had been previously designated, w T as changed to the St. Joseph 
circuit of the Laporte district, and in 1837 the circuit was divided, and that 
part of it included in Michigan named the White Pigeon circuit, and em- 
braced White Pigeon, Constantine, Centreville, Nottawa, Sturgis, Edwards- 
burg, Three Rivers, Florence, Prairie Ronde and other small societies. It 
was a four weeks' circuit, with two preachers. In 1839 the circuit was again 
divided into the White Pigeon and Centreville circuits, with a single preacher 
in each ; John Erchanbrack was the presiding elder of the district. In 
1847 the circuit was changed to the Constantine circuit, and the preacher 
" lived in a hired house" in the village of Constantine, on the corner of 
Washington and Centreville streets. 

The following presiding elders have held authority in the St. Joseph dis- 
trict : John Armstrong, previous to 1840 ; John Erchenbrack, 1840; J. F. 
Davidson, 1841-4 ; William Sprague, 1845-8 ; Francis D. Bangs, 1849-51-56 ; 
John K. Gillett, 1852-5 ; David Burns, 1856-9 ; Thomas H. Jacokes, 
1860-3; Riley C. Crawford, 1864-7; Resin Sapp, 1868-71; Andrew J. 
Eldred, 1872-5 ; J. W. Robinson, 1876-9. 

The first Methodist society organized (w T hich was also the first church or- 
ganization of any kind in the county) was a class formed at Newville, 
about two miles east of White Pigeon, in the fall of 1829, of which David 
Crawford was the leader. This class was the first results of the preaching 
of Mr. Felton. In February following a class was organized in White 
Pio-eon village, with Captain Alvin Calhoun as leader. Among the mem- 

bers of this last class were Alanson C. Stewart and wife, John Bowers atki 
wife, Mr. and Mrs. John Coates and David Rollins. The first church 
edifice in the county was erected by this society in the village of White 
Pigeon in the year 1832, and which was a small frame building. Mr. 
Stewart was a local preacher, and went to Chicago in after-years, where he 
and his wife died. 

In the spring of 1<830 Messrs. Felton and Gurley organized a class on 
Nottawa prairie, at the house of William. Hazzard, Sr., the first members of 
the same being Mr. Hazzard and his wife Cassandra, and William Fletcher 
and Hannah his wife, with the preacher in charge as leader. Amos Howe was 
the first regularly appointed leader. Services were held fortnightly, at first 
at private houses, and afterwards, when school-houses were built, the meet- 
ings were held in them, and for some time after 1833 in the county court- 
house in Centreville. The only surviving member of the Nottawa class is 
William Hazzard, Sr., in whose house the same was farmed. He is now 
about eighty years old. 


The first Presbyterian church organized was of White Pigeon, on the 8th 
day of August, 1830. The organization was effected by Rev. William Jones. 
Benjamin Blair, David Clarke, Neal McGaffey, James Mathews and James 
Blair were appointed and ordained ruling elders, and beside them the fol- 
lowing were the first members of the church : Mrs. Elizabeth Blair, Mrs. 
David Clarke, Mrs. McKibbon, Martha Waterman, Mrs. Sarah Mathews, 
Mr. and Mrs. Abijah C. Seeley, Alexander McMillan and his wife Susanna, 
John and Rebecca Gardner, Mrs. Hannah McGaffey, Mrs. Mahala Gale, 
Mrs. Hannah Stewart, Mrs. Benjamin Blair, James Anderson, Patienpe Mc- 
Neil, Francis Jones and Sarah Bronson. These came from all parts of the 
country roundabout, as far north as Prairie Ronde, and as far east, west and 
south, and many of them entered into the organization of the early churches, 
in after-years, in Elkhart, Constantine, Prairie Ronde and other places. 
The first preachers to this congregration were not local pastors, but the mis- 
sionaries before named, Jones and Cory, the first regularly installed pastor 
being Rev. P. W. Warriner, in 1834. The first church of that denomination 
was built by this society in 1834. It cost about one thousand nine hun- 
dred dollars, and had the first steeple and church-bell west of Ann Arbor. 
The same building, though remodeled and enlarged somewhat, remains still 
in use by this society. 


was organized in Constantine in October, 1832, and the first Dutch Re- 
formed — now 7 known as the Reformed church of North America— in Cen- 
treville, in April, 1839, though Rev. Isaac L. Ketchum preached there #s 
early as 1835-6. The detailed history of these churches may be found in 
the respective township histories. 

The first Sunday-school organized in the county was one in White Pigeon, 
in the early days of the Presbyterian and Methodist churches, but the pre- 
cise date is not known. It was a union school, and was well attended. Mrs. 
Jane Cowen, of Leonidas, organized a class in her own house, quite early, 
at least as soon as there were children to go to such a school, and taught 
them orally, her husband, Robert Cow r en, taking his class — the older indi- 
viduals — out of doors in seasonable and pleasant weather. 


The first society of the above-named church was formed in the township 
of Park, about the year 1849, under the labors of Rev. George Dell, a mis- 
sionary sent out by the Ohio conference of the Evangelical association, who 
also organized a class in Flowerfield township, four miles northwest of Three 
Rivers, about the same time. He served the mission (then called the St 
Joseph mission) two years, and was followed by two missionaries named M. 
Hoehu and George Kissel, who likewise served tw r o years. The St. Joseph 
circuit of Michigan conference, under which the classes and churches of this 
denomination have been organized and erected, was constituted out of the 
St. Joseph mission, which was discontinued in 1849 or 1850, since which 
time the following ministers have been the presiding elders of the district : 
Rev. A. E. Driesbach, 1853-54; Rev. A. B. Schafer, 1855; Rev. G. G. 
Platz, 1856-59 ; Rev. Joseph Fisher, 1860-63 ; Rev. George Steffey, 1863- 
64; Rev. Andrew Nicolai, 1865-68; Rev. M. J. .Miller, 1869-74; Rev. L. 
Scheuermann, 1875; Rev. S. Copley, 1876-77. 

Under the labors of Rev. C. S. Brown there were one hundred persons 
added to the church in the St. Joseph circuit, and from seventy-five to eighty 
were added as members under the ministrations of. Revs. E. B. Miller and 
T. N. Davis. Under the present pastor, Rev. J. H. Keeler, who has sup- 
plied us with the history of the churches of this, denomination, thire 



have been one hundred and sixty-five persons added to the church, and a 
revival is now in progress at this writing (January, 1877). 

The religious sentiment in those days was as well-defined and aggressive 
as it has been since, as far as opportunity offered. 

The present statistics make the following exhibit of the religious affili- 
ations and church property in the county in 1876 : 

The Methodist Episcopal denomination has fourteen hundred and ninety- 
six members ; thirteen churches, which, with their parsonages, are valued 
at one hundred and eleven thousand six hundred dollars. There are en- 
rolled in its Sunday-schools seventeen hundred smd thirty scholars, and its 
libraries aggregate thirty-six hundred and eighty-two volumes. The Presby- 
terians have about five hundred members ; five churches, valued at fifty 
thousand dollars. The Reformed Church (Dutch) have about the same 
membership, and the same number of church edifices are valued at forty 
thousand dollars. The Baptists have about four hundred members, and 
three churches valued at twenty thousand dollars. All other denominations, 
including Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutherans and the Evangelical Associ- 
ation, number some nine hundred members, and their thirteen churches are 
valued at fifty thousand dollars. The total of church membership in the 
county exceeds thirty-eight hundred, and thirty-nine churches are valued at 
the sum of two hundred and seventy-one thousand six hundred dollars. 


A government "for the people, by the people and of the people," to be suc- 
cessful and just and progressive, must be based on intelligence. Native wit 
and ability, to be broad and liberal, must be cultivated. The rich few must 
give of their plenty for the education of the less unfortunate many, if a free 
and independent Republic is to be maintained, for if " the fountain send forth 
bitter waters, how shall the stream be sweet ?" Michigan, recognizing the 
principle that on intelligence the State is most surely founded, made ample 
and liberal provision in her constitution for the education of her people, and 
alone, of all her sister States in the great northwest, has reaped, and is still 
gathering, abundant harvests from the munificent donations of the general 
government to them in aid o|" the instruction of the masses. She alone of 
all her sisters has founded and maintained, from the proceeds of the gen- 
erous benefaction, an institution for the classical, professional and scientific 
education of not only her own sons and daughters, but of all others who 
may come, without distinction of race, sex, condition or color, and substan- 
tially without money or price. The fame of the Michigan University is 
national, and it stands in the front rank of educational institutions in the 
land, not only for the erudition of its instructors, but also for the excellence 
of its system of instruction and the extent of its appointments. 

The State nofe^only stands foremost among her sisters of the northwest, in 
regard to her provision for the higher education of her people, but she leads 
them in her system of common schools. Her excellence is shown in this 
respect by her successful competition in the grand gathering of the world's 
evidences of progress, at Philadelphia, in the centennial year of the 
republic, whereat she was awarded eight prizes in the educational depart- 
ment on her exhibit of the attainments of her children in her free public 
schools, and for her unsurpassed system of instruction therein. Under the 
first constitution there were no absolutely free schools, and only those per- 
sons sent their children to the schools which were established but such as 
paid the small per capita tax laid on each scholar ; yet it was optional with 
the people to vote a general tax on the property of the district, and dispense 
with the per capita tax whenever they chose so to do. Some districts 
adopted the latter course from the outset, and others continued the first 
until after the adoption of the new constitution, which provided for free 
schools without payment of tuition. In 1859 the legislature provided for 
the establishment of graded or union schools, whenever the people of a dis- 
trict saw fit to adopt that system. 

The settlements on White Pigeon and Sturgis prairies, and in the open- 
ings of Constantine and Mottville, were " neck and neck" in the first estab- 
lishment of schools in the county, each one having a term taught in 1830 ; 
but White Pigeon has the honor of building the first school-house. In the 
summer of 1830, a log school-house was built at Newville (east of White 
Pigeon village), and a Mr. Allen — afterwards postmaster in White Pigeon 
— taught the first school in it, in the winter of 1830-31. 

The same year a school was taught in the upper room of the double log 
house of Philip H. Buck, in the village-, of Sherman (Sturgis), by Doctor 
Henry, which was attended by all the young men and maidens of the re- 
gion round about. The schools were taught in this room until 1832, when 
a log house was built on the east side of Nottawa street as now laid out. 
Prom this beginning has arisen the truly admirable Union school of Sturgis. 

In the fall of the same year a school was taught in Mottville township, in 
Solomon Hartman's neighborhood, in a log house formerly occupied as a 
residence by John Bear, but the name of the person who taught the school 
is forgotten by the old residents. Mr. Hartinan's children and three or four 
of the Davidsons attended the school. 

The first school taught in Constantine was presided over by Thomas 
Charlton, at the time a clerk in Niles F. Smith's store, in the basement of 
which store, fronting on the river, the children were confined. This was in 
the winter of 1830-31. The room was dark and gloomy, one small win- 
dow admitting the sunlight, to cheer and gladden and lighten the tasks of the 
pupils; the door was on the river bank; the benches were split logs with 
sticks for legs, and the desks were rough counters nailed against the walls. 
If the young prisoners longed more for liberty than they did for that in- 
telligence that makes liberty more desirable, it is not to be wondered at. 
Joseph Bonebright and his sister, Mrs. A. B. George, are still living in Con- 
stantine, the only representatives of this pioneer school. The master treated 
his pupils to a Christmas dinner of " sweet-cake," during his term of au- 
thority. But from these crude and forbidding beginnings has been devel- 
oped that which is a just pride and ornament of old St. Joe, the superb 
Union school and its magnificent house and appointments of Constantine. 

In 1832 a school-house of logs was built on Nottawa prairie, near the 
present house of the late Thomas Eugle, deceased, and Miss Delia Brooks 
was the first teacher therein, the same year. The teacher afterwards mar- 
ried Colonel Jonathan Engle, but has since died. This old building is still 
standing, but it is fast settling to mother earth, from whence it came. It 
has been the nursery of many who are now gray-headed ; and within its 
rude walls and on its ruder benches, the young idea in Nottawa, in pioneer 
days, received its "bent," to "shoot" in later times for the increased benefit 
of later shoots from the old parental stem. 

Within sight, almost, of its fast disappearing outlines, stands the commo- 
dious Union school building of Centreville, where the sons and daughters of 
the pioneer boys and girls, who thumbed their dog-eared "elementaries, ,, 
and " Dilworth's," and worried over their "Colburn's," and glibly analyzed 
— but never declined— the verb " to love," and blushingly said, " I love, you 
love, he loves," and in after-years practically added the plural " we love," 
are now learning to take the places of these same pioneers, whom they are 
fast pushing out of the way. May they fill the places vacated, not only as 
well, but better than they were filled of yore ! 

In 1831 the White Pigeon Academy Association was incorporated — Don 
Cathcart, Dr. Isaac Adams, Hart L. Stewart and Neal McGaffey being lead- 
ing incorporators of the same. A building was erected in 1832, and a school 
taught for several years. The old building is now doing service as Louis 
Rhoade's stable. " To what base uses has it come at last." 

In 1836-7 the State educational authorities established a branch of the 
University of Michigan at White Pigeon, as was the plan of the State at 
that time. This school was for several years partially sustained by appro- 
priations from the State, but the plan having changed to one main institu- 
tion at Ann Arbor, the appropriations ceased in 1845, after which it was 
conducted for a time as a private institution, but was finally abandoned, and 
was taken down a few years ago, and is at the present writing used as a 
barn, on a farm near the village of White Pigeon. 

The first teacher employed in the Branch was Rev. Charles Newberry, 
assisted by Wilson Gray, a graduate of Dublin University. Mr. Gray was 
a finished classical scholar. He was the brother, and afterwards, associate, 
of the editor of the Dublin Freeman. In later years he was appointed to a 
position on the Queen's bench, and went to New Zealand as a member of the 
supreme bench of that province, and died in 1875. The Branch, under the 
management of such men as Newberry and Gray, achieved an excellent rep- 
utation, and for some years maintained it successfully ; and its true successor, 
which gathers to itself all the honors its predecessor gained, is the Union 
school of White Pigeon, under the able supervision and management of Pro- 
fessor Ploughman. 

The school facilities, and what they cost the people to maintain them in 
1876, are shown from the following summary taken from the official returns 
of the township school superintendents, on file in the county clerk's office at 
Centreville. There are one hundred and twenty-three school-houses, eighty- 
eight being of wood, thirty-four of brick, and one of stone, valued at 
$280,690. The houses have a seating capacity of nine thousand five hun- 
dred and twenty-eight. There were in the county eight thousand seven 
hundred and six children between the school ages of five and twenty years, 
of whom seven thousand six hundred and sixty-six attended school during 
the year. There were seventy-six male teachers employed, who were paid 
$19,857 for their services, and two hundred and thirteen females, who 



received $24,873 for their services. The schools were in session eight 
months, on an average, except the Union schools — of which there were eight 
— which had their terms for ten months. The total income of the schools 
for the year ending September 4, 1876, from all sources, amounted to 
$96,582.88, and the total expenditures, including $20,000 paid on indebted- 
ness and buildings, amounted to $89,032.86. The cost of the graded schools, 
exclusive of payments on indebtedness and tuition fees received from non- 
resident scholars (which last amounted to $1,529), aggregated the sum of 
$27,615. The indebtedness of the Union school districts amounts to $42,000. 
There are three thousand six hundred and forty -five volumes in the school 

The first public school money received from the State was in tbe year 
1839, and amounted to six hundred and ninety-four dollars, which was dis- 
tributed among the several townships according to law. 



The whole universe is under law, and from the beginning all nature has 
moved forward in obedience thereto, and in the very constitution of things 
must continue to do so indefinitely. Society is not exempt from the all-per- 
vading principle, but progresses obedient to the unaltered and unalterable 
decree of Omnipotence, pronounced in the very outset of time ; consequently, 
courts of justice organized under law, schools of medicine founded in law, 
and. educational institutions fostered by the law, have arisen, which testify 
in the strongest terms to the wisdom of the axiom, " Lex suprema est." En- 
thusiasts and visionaries look forward to a time when the race of man shall 
have attained to perfection, morally, physically and mentally, but long ages 
have rolled by since order began to emerge from chaos, and society was 
begun, and longer ages may perhaps intervene before such a much to be de- 
sired state shall come ; and until that Utopia shall become a reality, the 
learned professions must continue to be what they ever have been in the 
past, not only honorable, but most useful components of the body politic. 

In St. Joseph county these professions have and are ably represented, the 
bench and bar standing in high repute in the State, the medical staff being 
second to none in point of knowledge, skill and experience, and the county 
is noted for its admirable corps of teachers and instructors. 


The first resident attorney to be admitted to the practice of his profession 
in the courts of St. Joseph county, was Neal McGaffey, Esq., of White 
Pigeon, whose name was entered upon the roll of the bar on the 17th day of 
August, 1830, the same being the first day of the first term of the circuit 
court of St. Joseph county, held in the county at White Pigeon, in Savery's 
tavern. He was admitted on motion of E. B. Sherman, prosecuting attorney 
of the circuit, and sworn to duly and justly perform the duties required of 
an honorable attorney at law and solicitor in chancery by Hon. William 
Woodbridge, the presiding judge of the circuit and court. 

On the 7th day June, 1831, Columbia Lancaster was admitted to practice 
in the courts of the county on motion of Mr. McGaffey, made before judges 
Meek and Sturgis of the county court, the same being the first day of the 
second term of that court held in the county, in the White Pigeon academy. 
Lancaster appeared at the August term of the circuit court in 1832 as dis- 
trict attorney. 

Both of these attorneys remained in the practice in the county for more 
than a quarter of a century, when McGaffey went to Texas, and Lancaster 
to Oregon. The latter attained to a high eminence in the west, being at 
one time attorney-general, of the State. 

At the August term of 1832 of the circuit court, Judges Sibley and Morell 
presiding, Cyrus Lovell, John S. Barry, Cogswell K. Green and Alexander 
H. Redfield were examined, touching their knowledge of law, by W. H. 
Welch, L. J. Daniels and E. B. Sherman, and on the committee's recom- 
mendation were admitted to the bar. At the April term of the circuit 
court of 1837, Judge Ransom presiding, J. Eastman Johnson was added to 
the roll of attorneys, and is still practicing in the courts, a venerable white- 
haired old gentleman, but still vigorous, and in his capacity of magistrate is 
a terror to evil-doers. At the September term, 1838, of the same court, W. 
C. Montrose was admitted to the bar, and at the March term following 
Chester Gurney received his first circuit-court fee in the county. In Septem- 

ber of the same year Nathan Osborn, who was a practicing lawyer in Steuben 
county, N. Y., before his removal to St. Joseph, was admitted. Judge 
Osborn now resides in Marcellus, Cass county. At the March term, 1840, 
Horace Mower and Nathaniel A. Balch were admitted, on the recommenda- 
tion of Abner Pratt, John S. Chipman and Columbia Lancaster, and in Sep- 
tember following, Aaron E. Wait. Mr. Balch is an eminent attorney of the 
Kalamazoo bar, and Mr. Wait is in Oregon. In 1814 William C. Pease and 
Edward Flint were admitted as attornies. Hiram Draper and James C. 
Wood received permission to plead for others in the courts of the county, in 
March, 1844, and Elisha Stevens in 1845. Perrin M. Smith, afterwards 
judge of the circuit, was admitted in 1849, and George W. Hadden and 
William L. Stoughton in 1850. 

Mr. Stoughton became famous in the annals of the nation as the colonel 
of the 11th Michigan infantry and general of a brigade^ losing a leg; before 
Atlanta, and after his discharge was elected to Congress for two terms from 
the St. Joseph district. 

In November, 1851, Orange Jacobs, John C. Bishop and J. W. Flanders 
were admitted. Mr. Jacobs afterwards went to Washington territory as chief 
justice of the United States court, and has served the territory two terms as 
delegate in Congress. Mr. Flanders is a prominent member of the bar in 

John B. Shipman, Edward P. Wait, James H. Lyon, John H. Baker and 
William Sadler were admitted during the year 1856. Mr. Shipman is a 
member of the Coldwater bar, and is prominently named as a candidate for 
the vacant judgeship. Mr. Lyon and Mr. Sadler are members of the St. 
Joseph county bar at present. A. E. Hewit and Gilbert R. Shays were ad- 
mitted in 1857, and also Hiram S. Taylor. Charles R. Millington and 
Asher Bonham were admitted in the year 1845. In 1858 Paul J. Eaton, 
William Allison and Samuel Chad wick were admitted, and Alson Bailey, 
Oscar Waters and Germain H. Mason in 1859. Henry F. Severens was the 
only one added to the list of barristers in 1857, but the year following, Geron 
Brown, Talcott C. Carpenter, and a Mr. Dennis were added. 

1862 seems to have passed without adding any new candidates for forensic 
honors, and 1863 gave but a solitary one, Comfort T. Chaffee. 1864 added 
two, J. J. Crandall and Alfred A. Key, and 1865 increased the Hst with the 
addition of Gersham P. Doan. 1866 gave three new competitors for legal fees 
and practice, two of whom afterwards became judges in the circuit court, to 
wit. : Edwin W. Keightley and R. W. Melendy ; Frank H. Guion making up 
the trio. Judge Keightley was elected to Congress in November, 1866, and 
Judge Melendy had the same favor extended to him as county clerk. - 

R. R. Pealer was admitted in 1867, and was the prosecuting attorney in 
1875 and 76. In 1868 Philip Pudgham and W. H. BL Wilcox ; 1869^ 
Walter Littlefield and Oscar L. Cowles ; 1870, Alfred D. 4 l>uming, Benton 
S. Hewe and D. Clayton Page were admitted. Charles W. W. Clarke and 
William H. Howe in 1873 ; G. W. Lyster and Bishop E. Andrews in 1874 ; 
Stillman L. Taylor in 1865', and' James W. Welch and'SeYmour McG. Sad- 
ler in 1876, complete the roll as admitted by the circuit court 

Besides these/have been others eminent in the profession who MaveTesided 
in the county, or still reside there. * Hon. John S. Chipman, familiarly 
known as " Black Chip," was a leading attorney and a member of Congress. 
He flourished as early as 1838, arid 1 later, Hon. Charles Upson, who began 
his life in St. Joseph county as a school-teacher in Constantine in 1845-6, 
read law with Chester Gurney, and practiced in Centre ville, was after- 
wards elected judge of the circuit; still later he served three terms in Con- 
gress. He now resides in Coldwater, and is a leading member of the Branch 
county bar. Hon. H. H. Riley > of Constantine, has been for at least thirty-five 
years a member of the bar, and an ornament to the profession, ranking very 
high for legal ability. Judge S. C. CofBnberry, also of Constantine, began 
to practice in the St. Joseph courts before 1844, being an old practitioner 
before he came to the county. He is a fine, fluent speaker, eloquent and 

William Savier began his practice in the county 'about 1845, at White 
Pigeon, and for many years was the only attorney of the place. He died 
just before or during the war of the rebellion. A Mr. Ames and E. V. 
Mitchell preceded him. E. B. Turner located at Centreville in 1847, or 
thereabouts, and was the first prosecuting attorney elected in the county — 
the election being under the constitution of 1850. He subsequently went to 
Texas, and was elected to the position of attorney-general of that State. 
Hon. John S. Barry attained to a high rank in the councils of the State, 
being elected three times to the office of governor, 1841, 1843 and 1847. 
He had previously held the position of State senator, and was in that sta- 
tion when first called to the higher and more important trust of governor. 
He came to the gubernatorial office when the State was suffering severely in 



the loss of her credit, and by his able and economical administration of the 
public affairs, raised the credit of the Commonwealth to the first rank, which 
has ever since been maintained. He was the only man in the State who has 
held the position of governor three terms. He lived in Constantine since 
1835, where he died January 14, 1870. He never followed the profession 
of the law, however, but engaged in mercantile pursuits. 

Charles Henry Stewart was also a very prominent lawyer, residing at 
Centreville, in 1834 and later. He was celebrated in the chancery practice, 
and removed to Detroit, where he became one of the leading members of the 
bar of that city. George H. Palmer was an attorney in Constantine in 

The present bar of the county includes the following attorneys : 
Hon. H. H. Riley, Judge S. C. Coffinberry, Hon. E. W. Keightley, L. B. 
French, Constantine ; J. W. Flanders, D. E. Thomas, T. C. Carpenter, A. 
B. Dunning and C. W. W. Clarke, Sturgis ; James H. Lyon, 0. F. Bean, 
David Knox, Jr., R. R. Pealer, Bishop E. Andrews, Henry McClory and 
N. H, Barnard, Three Rivers ; Judge J. Eastman Johnson, William Sadler, 
S. M. Sadler, Alfred Akey, P. J. Eaton, Hon. R. W. Melendy, Stillman 
L. Taylor and Charles J. Beerstecher, Centreville ; D. Clayton Page, White 
Pigeon ; O. J. Fast and G. P. Doan, Mendon ; W. W. Howe and O. L. 
Cowles, Burr Oak. 


The first man who came to the county of St. Joseph to minister profes- 
sionally to the ills that flesh is heir to, was Dr. Page, a youth of some twen- 
ty-five summers, who rode on to White Pigeon prairie late in the fall of 
1827. He was fresh from his matriculation, and thought his eastern Alma 
Mater had given him a theoretical knowledge of pharmacy and the human 
anatomy ; nature, and contact with her alone, could fit him for the work he 
was destined to perform in the West. His knowledge of the practical reali- 
ties of life was all to be gained by actual experience, but it is said he be- 
came a skillful physician and surgeon in after years. It is told of him that 
on his way to White Pigeon, he stopped one night at a cabin and asked for 
accommodations for himself and horse, and being assured of the same, asked 
where he could find water for his steed, and was directed to a spring a short 
distance from the house, which he was advised he could easily find by the 
14 blazed" trees around it. He started off, and after being gone for nearly 
half an hour came back and reported he could not see any tree blazing in the 
woods, and could find no spring. He was laughed at heartily, and the term 
explained to him. He was well posted in the border vernacular before he 
left St. Joseph county. He performed, probably, the first surgical operation 
in the county on a white person, in the summer of 1828, for Peter Klinger, 
who was injured in falling down a well he was digging for Judge Sturgis, on 
his first location on Sturgis prairie. 

In 1828 Dr. Hubbel Loomis came to White Pigeon and located at New- 
ville for a time, but subsequently went to White Pigeon, and was appointed 
the first judge of probate of the county. His official duties did not inter- 
fere much with his professional calls, as there were but four days of court 
from March 26 to September 6, 1830. 

Dr. Henry came to Sturgis prairie in 1829, and Dr. Alexander McMillan 
to Nottawa the same year. The latter gave more attention to the elucida- 
tion of philosophical and chemical problems, than he did to the practice of 
medicine, and seemed, in his own mind, to be very near the realization of 
his hopes, but, like an ignis fatuus, the solution of his problems ever eluded 
his mental grasp, and he died still pursuing them ; but, nevertheless, he was 
a kind neighbor and the very soul of honor. 

Dr. W. N. Elliott located in White Pigeon in 1832, and is still hale and 
hearty, and the leading member of the profession in the county. He is a 
very skillful surgeon, and was appointed to that position in the 11th Michi- 
gan Infantry, and served therein during the whole term of service of the 
regiment with great credit. 

Dr. Rowley came to White Pigeon in 1835, and to his professional duties 
added those of boniface, and kept the " Old Diggins " for several years. 

Dr. Watson Sumner came to Constantine in 1834, and was a noted physi- 
cian for several years, but his own health failed and he left the county. 
The doctor was prominent in politics also, being a delegate to the convention 
that rejected the terms imposed by Congress on the admission of Michigan 
into the Union. 

Dr. Mottram came to Nottawa prairie in 1834, and had for years a most 
extensive ride throughout the country. He declined to locate in Centre- 
ville because he was poor, and could not get so good an outfit as Dr. John- 
son had, but he did not long have that for an excuse, as his practice grew 
rapi<Uy, and he accumulated a handsome property. He is now a prominent 

physician in Kalamazoo, whither he went after 1850, and before the close of 
that decade. 

Dr. Cyrus Ingerson, Dr. Johnson and Dr. S. W. Truesdell practiced in 
Centreville from and after 1834, Dr. Ingerson dying in 1844, while holding 
the position of judge of. probate. He was a skillful physician, and a very 
genial gentleman. 

Dr. Ira F. Packard has been one of the ablest physicians in the county, 
and successfully followed his profession from 1839 till 1850, when his health 
failed, and he surrendered his extensive practice to his son, Nelson I. Pack- 
ard, who still continues it in Sturgis. The old doctor went to California for 
a year, but on his return did not resume his profession, and never has done 
so. He resides in Sturgis, in his old homestead. 

Dr. Nelson I. Packard went out with the 11th regiment as assistant sur- 
geon, and served with ability during the war. 

Dr. Edwin Stewart, of Mendon, Dr. Isaac Sides, Dr. A. J. Kinne and 
Dr. Mitchell, of Colon, all belong to the early list of physicians, though 
forming a part of the medical staff of the present. Dr. Mitchell had, in an 
early day, an extensive ride. 

Dr. Hyatt, of Mendon, was formerly a partner of Dr. Mottram, in Not- 
tawa, and removed to Mendon in 1859. 

Dr. Parker came to White Pigeon in 1830, and Dr. Marshall to Constan- 
tine in 1837. 

Dr. Baldy was a partner of Dr. Sumner, in the latter place, in 1836, and 
afterwards. Dr. Eagery came to Three Rivers in 1836, and Dr. Hurd about 
the same time. 

Elias Boulton Smith, M. D., located at Sturgis in 1834-5, and was well 
known thoughout that section of country ; but he subsequently abandoned 
the practice of medicine, and entered the legal profession at Lima, Indiana. 

The names of the present physicians of the county will be found in the 
respective township histories. 

Dr. Elliott once performed a surgical operation upon a lady for a drop- 
sical affection, by which, at one operation, he drew one hundred and thirty 
pounds of water from her body. 

Amariah Bennett was a botanic physician, who located on the Indian 
reservation at an early day. He attended a council of physicians at School- 
craft at one time, at which some of the regular-school doctors, thinking to 
quiz the old man, asked him what he would prescribe for a severe case of 
corns. The old man gravely replied : " I would give the patient, first, a 
dose of lobelia, and repeat it at the end of an hour. At the end of the 
second hour, I would give him — lobelia ; and at the end of the third hour, 

I would administer a very large dose of lobelia, when, doubtless, the 

corns would be cast off!" 

Dr. VanBuren was probably the first homeopathic physician who prac- 
ticed in the county — settling in Centreville in 1836. Dr. A. T. Wood- 
ward died in the latter place after a practice of a few years. 


The prominent ministers of the Gospel, past and present, are named in 
connection with the church-history in the several townships; and so, also, 
are the leading teachers and professors of the early days and the present, in 
the school-history of the townships. 



Recognizing the fact that in association there is strength to execute what 
there should be wisdom to contrive, the people of St. Joseph county have not 
been backward to avail themselves of the joint and mutual efforts of each 
other in the various departments of life, social, professional, religious and re- 
formatory, as well as in point of the various business callings they follow, 
and insurance against fire and depredators. The association now in existence, 
which dates its organization the earliest in the county, and in which all the 
people are interested, is 


which was organized November 27, 1849, by several citizens of the county, 
who met in the court-house hall in Center ville, and elected Mark H. Wake- 



man, chairman, Henry K. Farrand and J. Eastman Johnson, secretaries. 
The meeting adopted a constitution, and elected the following board of offi- 
cers, to hold their positions until the next spring : Mark H. Wakeman, 
president; Nathan Osborn, vice-president; Samuel Chipman, treasurer; J. 
Eastman Johnson, recording secretary ; Levi Patchen, H. K. Farrand, J. 
A. Thompson, Moses Taft and H. M. Vesey, managers. These gentlemen 
and twelve others signed the constitution, and were the first members of the 

On April 9, 1850, the same officers were re-elected, and also George 
Talbot, corresponding secretary, and on the 29th day of June following, the 
society adopted a code of by-laws for the government of the exhibitions of the 
association. On the 20th of September, 1851, the executive committee called 
the first fair or exhibition, and offered ninety-three dollars in premiums on live 
stock, on farms and farm products. The fair was held October 22 following, at 
which George Boyes received the first premium, five dollars, for the best stal- 
lion, W. D. Oviatt the first on matched horses, M. H. Wakeman for the best 
work-horses, William Armitage for the best breeding mare, and F. Wallace for 
the best roadster. C. L. Wheeler had the best bull, H. K. Farrand the best 
working oxen, and Mark H. Wakeman the best cow. Joseph Horton took 
the blue ribbon for the best buck sheep, Norman Harvey for the best ewes, 
Peter F. Putnam for the best boar, and George Carman's breeding sow was 
similarly decorated. Moses Taft, L. H. Bishop, Asher Bonham and J. M. 
Leland carried off the first prizes on cheese, butter, apples and wheat, respec- 
tively. The ladies received eight first prizes for patchwork, all of which 
were discretionary and meritorious. Fellows & Townsend had the best 
plows, and W. D. Pettit the best carriages. 

Hon. Joseph R. Williams, of Constantine, a member of the society, de- 
livered the first address, in which he discussed the problems that are still oc- 
cupying the attention of the people, of how to farm lands properly and to 
the best advantage, and urged the people to give their careful attention to 
the improvement of stock and intelligent culture of the soil. On these points 
he said: " There are times in the progress of every art and science when one 
man is right, and all the world besides is wrong. The world tests him and 
his projects by the experience of the past. The inspired genius himself is 
guided by a beacon light far in advance of his generation. If conservatism 
is right anywhere, it is wrong in agricultural inquiry. The first man who 
took the first wild plants and roots, and began to mature them into rice and 
wheat and potatoes, was a visionary. The first man who took the wild crab- 
apple and the bitter almond, to mature them into delicious fruit, was doubt- 
less a laughing stock. The first man who put salt upon his provisions, in 
order to save his family from starvation, was regarded as throwing away 
positive labor for possible good. The first fence was doubtless viewed with 
indignation, as an encroachment on the the common rights of mankind. 
The first man who had the audacity to shut up a pig, under the silly idea 
that he would fatten faster and cheaper, was as big a fool as a member of a 
modern agricultural society. 

"In the science of agriculture we know little or nothing. The most pro- 
found inquirer is superficial. The earth is a vast chemical laboratory, few 
of whose operations we comprehend. Every time we tread the grass be- 
neath our feet, we trample on an operation of nature as wonderful and more 
inexplicable than that of the magnetic telegraph. After the surface of the 
earth has been for months sealed up and congealed, the genial influences of 
the same sun whose power in impressing the Daguerrean plate we deem so 
potent and magical, entices from the dreary waste— not pictures— but reali- 
ties of wonderful beauty and variety, and causes to thrive and flourish and 
mature, the sustenance for hundreds of millions of men, and the countless 
swarms of animal life. To cause the growth of a single spire of grass, ele- 
ments far more numerous are called into requisition — chemical action far 
more inscrutable is going on. Do you understand the occult attractions, 
affinities, combinations, which enter into the germination and growth of a 
single seed or plant of tiniest shoot of vegetation ? Do you understand the 
delicate, yet potent, influences of light, heat, water and electricity? 'Cans't 
thou measure the sweet influences of the pleiades V No ! you are as ignorant 
of most of the influences which affect your crops as the clod you tread upon ! 
Of some of the appliances which stimulate, of some of the acts which de- 
stroy, you know something, but know little. Yet, strange as it may appear, 
we hear men often exclaim, ' I understand my business well enough ; I want 
none of the instructions of your books!' 

" When the world had not yet recovered from astonishment at the discov- 
eries of Newton, he declared that he felt like a man picking up pebbles on 
the sea-shore, while the great ocean of truth lay unexplored before him. If 
you understand farming ' well enough/ I mean as a science, you have fath- 
omed all the processes encased and hidden beneath the surface of the earth. 

You are a wiser, if not a humbler man than Newton, and to the question so 
significantly asked, ' Canst thou, by searching, find out God V you can tri- 
umphantly answer 'yes.' " 

Mr. Williams exhibited some little crabbed, wrinkled apples, grown on a 
seedling, stunted in its growth by neglect, which he labelled " Good enough," 
and alongside of them fine specimens of grafted fruit, as a practical illustra- 
tion of the theme of his eloquent oration. 

At the next fair, held October 14, 1852, Hon. Isaac D. Crary delivered 
the address to the largest assemblage of people ever before convened in the 
county. One hundred and forty dollars was distributed in premiums, George 
Carman taking the first one on farms, T. B. Millard the second. The society 
has held twenty-six annual fairs, besides two sheep-shearing festivals in 1865 
and 1866, and spring exhibitions in 1874 and 1876. The society has paid 
in premiums since its first organization over seventeen thousand dollars in 
cash, besides valuable prizes distributed in silver-ware and other articles. 
The report of the committee on farms in 1857 is exhaustive and interesting." 
Michael Kline carried off the first prize, and William Major the second. Mr. 1 
Major's farm of two hundred and forty acres produced in 1856 one thousand, 
five hundred and sixteen dollars, and Mr. Kline's, of two hundred acres; 
produced two thousand one hundred and fifty-four dollars. 

The fair in 1863 was said to be the best one that had then been held. 
Professor Tenney, of Williams College, Massachusetts, was the orator. 
The exhibition of 1876 was noticeable for the eminent speakers present, 
who were M. M. (Brick) Pomeroy, who delivered a practical address of 
"How to make money, and how to spend it;" General H. C. Carey, candi- 
date for vice-president on the "Greenback" ticket, and ex-Postmaster Gene- 
ral J. A. J. Cresswell — these two gentlemen discussing the finance question ; 
and H. H. Chamberlain, candidate for Congress from the St. Joseph district 
on the combined Democratic and Greenback ticket, and a prominent lawyer 
of the district of the Kepublican party — the two latter speakers discussing 
the general political issue. The receipts at the gates were over three thou- 
sand dollars, and one thousand, two hundred and twenty-two dollars and 
seventy-five cents were paid in premiums. 

The society own some eighteen acres of land joining the village of Centre- 
ville, eligibly located, on which they have erected commodious buildings and 
sheds, the whole valued at several thousand dollars. 

The present officers of the society are David D. Antes, president; James 
Hill, secretary; John C. Joss, treasurer; O. P. Brush, H. K. Farrand, 
James Hutchinson, Isaac Runyan, Kelson Spalsbury and Thomas Cuddy, 


was organized March 28, 1854, for protection against the depredations 
of horse-thieves, and the whdb power of the society is pledged and exerted 
to recover the property and catch the thief, whenever a member of the asso- 
ciation has a horse stolen. The first officers were P. M. Smith, president ; 
John Hull, secretary; C. H. Starr, treasurer; and Joseph Horton and 
Jehial B. Dimmick, directors. There are now five hundred members fax the 
society, all residents of the county, to whom the membership is confined. 
There are two thousand dollars now at interest of the available funds of 
the society, but no assessments have been made for several years. The 
entrance fee is now five dollars, having been steadily increased since the 
first organization of the society, when it was but one dollar. This associa- 
tion has, in its practical operation, proven to be the most perfect insurance 
company ever organized, as it has T>een for several years an absolute pre- 
ventive of crime. Not a horse has been molested, belonging to members, 
for years, and instances have been frequently known where horses have been 
stolen just alongside of others belonging to members, which much more val- 
uable, were left untouched. The society issue each year a lfet of the members 
thereof, which is printed on cloth and posted up in the barns of the mem- 
bers, or other public places, and criminals have been captured in other 
parts of the country with these lists on their persom There has been but 
one horse taken, since the society was organized, from a member, and that 
was turned loose, by reason of the sharp pursuit that was at once organized 
and most vigorously pushed forward. The present officers are William B. 
Langley, president ; Edmund Stears, secretary ; J. H: Gardner, treasurer ; 
and A. M. Leland and Joseph Stadden, directors. 


was organized in 1863, under the mutual plan of iBiuranee agifiast loss by 
fire in the villages of the county, as provided for by the general insurance 
law of the State. The incorporators were scattered all through this and 
adjacent counties, among whom were William Allison, B; F. Wolf, O. H. 



Starr, John W. Talbot, J. W. Spitzer, of Centreville, J. "W. Flanders and 
Braey Tobey, of Sturgis. The capital is represented by the policies issued, 
and has amounted to eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The legisla- 
ture in 1873 confined the business exclusively to dwellings and buildings 
connected therewith, cutting off the business risks the company had thereto- 
fore taken, and the income of the company is consequently much less than 
formerly. The first officers were C. H. Starr, president ; William Allison, 
secretary, and D. F. Wolf, treasurer. The present officers are J. W. Spitzer, 
president* Charles Cummings, treasurer; J. Eastman Johnson, secretary. 
Directors : John Hutchinson, E. B. Thomas, J. W. Lovett, S. P. Davis, T. 
E. Clapp and John Dice. 


of St. Joseph county, was organized March 10, 1863, with A. R. Metcalf, 
president, and A. W. Parkhurst, secretary. Its risks are confined to farm- 
buildings and stock only. There are now one thousand and sixty-two mem- 
bers in the company, and the capital liable to assessment — which is the 
property insured — amounts to two million three hundred and eighty-one 
thousand eight hundred and fifty-five dollars. The present officers of the 
company are Daniel Shurtz, president and treasurer ; L. A. Clapp, secre- 
tary ^ Directors : Andrew Perrin, H. K. Farrand, Isaac Runyan, Thomas 
Steare and John W. Fletcher. 


was organized October 16, 1873, at Centreville, of citizens of the county 
who had settled therein previous to 1840. Its first officers, with the dates of 
their settlement, and their location, were as follows : President, Asahel 
Savery, 1828, White Pigeon, and who was, at the time of his election, the 
earliest living settler in the county. Vice-presidfents : William M. Watkins, 
1833, Leonidas ; Ransom Schellhous, 1830, Colon ; Samuel Needham, 
Burr Oak ; I. D. Toll, 1834, Centreville (now of Fawn River) ; P. Maran- 
tette, 1833, Mendon ; Amos Howe, Sr., 1829, Nottawa ; Stephen Cade, 1830, 
Sherman ; Hiram Jacobs, 1831, Sturgis ; E. H. Lothrop, Lockport ; I. F. 
Ulrieh, 1834, Park; Alvin Calhoon, 1829, Florence; George W. Beisel, 
1832, White Pigeon ; Challenge S. Wheeler, 1831, Flowerfield ; William 
Arney, 1833, Fabius ; William Hamilton, 1832, Constantine, and James 
Barnes, 1830, Mottville. Hon. J. Eastman Johnson, treasurer, 1836, White 
Pigeon, but now of Centreville; and Hon. William H. Cross, secretary — the 
latter a pioneer in Lenawee county in 1826, and a settler in St. Joseph 
county in 1846, in Leonidas, and in Centreville in 1872. 

Messrs. A. R. Metcalf, who came to Constantine in 1836-7, John Hull 
who came to Florence in 1837, and Judge Johnson, as a committee for the 
purpose, reported a constitution defining the objects of the association, and 
providing for its government and future usefulness, which was adopted and 
signed by one hundred and fifty pioneers. 

This society has done much to awaken an interest in the pioneer history 
of the county, which is fast passing into forgetfulness, and its honored sec- 
retary, the Hon. William H. Cross, has been indefatigable in recovering the 
lost threads of the old story of the past, and placing them on record ; and 
to him we owe much for the able and generous assistance he has most cheer- 
fully rendered us in the prosecution of our present work. 

The society adopted a rule to make the oldest living resident of the 
county the President of the society for a year, and its second one was Amos 
Howe, Senior, of ^Ottawa, for the year 1874 ; Captain Alvin Calhoon, of 
Florence, was the third president, in 1875, and at the annual meeting in 
1876, John W. Fletcher, who came to Nottawa in 1829, was elected. 

At the last annual meeting, June 17, 1876, Hon. Isaac D. Toll delivered 
an able and eloquent address before the society, which we have taken the 
liberty of quoting largely from in other parts of our work. 

In dropping the tear of remembrance for those of the society who had 
passed ayay from earth since the organization of the society, he pays them 
this tribute : " A Leland, a Lothrop, Tyler, Mrs. Douglass, Talbot, Parker, 
Hutchiuson, Mrs. McKinlay, Daniel Stewart and Amos Howe, our lamented 
president, among the earliest pioneers, not only of St. Joseph, but also in the 
State in 1818. The latter was borne to the tomb on the 26th day of last 
August, by the friendly hands of his fellow pioneers, leaving a memory with- 
out reproach ; around which, with those of others who had preceded, and some 
who have followed, cling many pleasing recollections." 

The orator paid the following justly merited tribute to the secretary of 
the society, which was greeted with rapturous applause : '* Thrice fortunate 
»re we, Mr. President, that the pioneer in this' State, of fifty years, then in 
Monroe, now Lenawee county, is with us to-day, the man to whom, more 
than any other, (I might add, than all others,) we are indebted for the incep- 

tion, advancement and flourishing condition of our society. Truant though 
he was, for a time, coquetting with the El Dorado of the west, he has found 
that St. Joseph was the better land. Ireland, the land of Emmett, Curran r 
Burke and Moore, gave him birth ; California could not hold him ; St. 
Joseph claims him ! I mean, Sir, the Hon. William H. Cross, our secre- 
tary." He urged the society to gather the records preparatory to the com- 
pilation of a history, commemorating by name the dead and living pioneers 
of the county, and added : " We look with feelings akin to veneration upon 
the birth-places of conquerors. We make pilgrimages to the shrines of poets 
and philosophers ; and we might well be deemed insensible, nay, ungrate- 
ful, — more, unfilial — did we not record in lines that immortally save, the 
toils, the sacrifices, the virtues of our fathers. 

"By gradual growth of centuries the character of our founders had been 
formed. From the throes of civil war in England, from Runnymede, from, 
which came Magna Charta, to the abnegation of divine right, for which 
Hampden bled ; through the heroic struggle of the Hollanders against Spain > 
developing almost the grandest character in history — William the Silent, — 
to Washington, — ' the tyrant tamer/ and his coadjutors, 

* The stoic Franklin's energetic shade, 
Calming the lightnings which his soul hath made. 
And Henry— forest-born Demosthenes— 
Whose thunders shook the Philip of the seas.' 

" Nor have I forgotten the pilgrims of Maryland, who, under Calvert r 
founded their colony to enjoy religious freeedom. From precedent to prece- 
dent, by sure steps, adding strength to strength for the great work : the 
hardy middle class, with muscles of steel, and will of adamant, mostly of 
the yoemanry, were our fathers fitted for the subjugation of wild nature 
and wilder men, and their descendants, our pioneers were acting up to the 
laws of blood, of race, they could not shame, and would not if they could. 

" In this Centennial of the Republic, ambassadors of the old world have 
come hither to view the power, the progress, the arts and productions of the 
young giant of the new continent, the off-shoot of their own loins. Let 
them come hither to the atnpenam peninsulam, made so by your strong arms. 
Let them visit our schools, the hope and pride of our young State ; our asy- 
lums for the unfortunate ; if a bigot to aristocratic institutions — to the law 
of force — we will point to the decoratod graves of our dead patriots, illus- 
trating that the citizen — the maker and executor of the laws — while living 
the peer of any, dead, is crowned by the affections of his countrymen, and a 
candidate for Heaven's nobility, the owly recognized divine right." 

The address was closed with an earnest appeal to the sons of the pioneers 
to make good use of the examples set before them ; and especially to re- 
member their duty to their country, in view of what the fathers had suffered 
and sacrificed for them and those who should follow; and the orator then 
added, " Your patriotism can have no doubtful ring with a charity as broad 
as the heavens ; your whole country, your Mecca and the precious legacy so 
dearly bought, will be worthily bestowed. To you is left the guardianship 
of * Time's last and noblest empire.' Ever cherish the love of the fathers,, 
and may yours be as unselfish." 


was the outgrowth of the first agitation of the temperance-reform movement 
in St. Joseph county. It was organized March 25, 1835. Erastus Kellogg 
was the chairman of the convention, which proceeded to the election of 
officers as follows : Digby V. Bell, president ; Dr. W. N. Elliott, James 
Cowen, Elias True and Marlin Hazzard, vice presidents ; Dr. Cyrus Inger- 
son, secretary. Executive Committee : Otis Preston, S. A. Chapin, J. W. 
Fletcher-, William Simpson, Erastus Thurber, Guy H. Leonard, Isaac G. 
Bailey and Martin Watkins. Committee to organize township societies : Neal 
McGaffey and Duncan Clark, of White Pigeon ; Jonn Bryan and Elias 
True, of Constantine ; Dr. S. W. Truesdell and Ingerson, of Centreville, and 
Messrs. Cowen and Bailey, of Leonidas. 

The society flourished for a time and went down, its place being occupied 
in after years by Washingtonians, Sons of Temperance, Good Templars, and 
lastly, in this present year of grace the " Red Ribbon League" have begun 
the agitation of the question of teetotalism. 

Apropos of the early times in the temperance movement is a story of one 
of the McCoy missionary Indians, who had, despite his teaching, been 
led astray, and was reeling towards the mission, when he was met by one of 
his friends who expressed his sorrow at seeing him in his present condition, 
and inquired how it was he had so far forgotten himself as to get drunk. 
The young man looked up at his interrogator with a drunken leer a and said, 
" Me only half missionary and half Injun, and Injun good deal biggest 
half/' and staggered on. 




was an association of the physicians of the county for mutual benefit, and 
was organized July 27, 1835, with the following officers: Dr. Hubbel 
Loomis, president ; Dr. Watson Sumner, vice president ; Dr. S. W. Trues- 
dell, secretary ; Dr. W. N. Elliott, treasurer, and Drs. Sumner, Elliott and 
Ingerson, censors. 

The society held annual meetings until 1845 or thereabouts, when it was 
abandoned, and afterwards succeeded by the St. Joseph Valley Medical So- 
ciety, including a large area* of territory in its membership. Dr. Edwin 
Stewart, of Mendon, was the president, and Dr. C. H. Backus, of Three 
Kivers, secretary, in 1876. The county society, as well as the present one, 
represented the regular school of practice, commonly called the '' allopathic." 


was organized in 1860 at Constantine, where, in February, a session was held 
for three days, at which the best methods of teaching were discussed and 
illustrated by actual class-work, which is the business the association was 
organized to perform. It meets annually in the different towns of the county 
where there are union schools, the members being nearly, if not quite, 
exclusively confined to teachers in those schools. The present officers are : 
Professor S. B. Kingsbury, of the Constantine high-school, president ; and 
Professor L. B. Antisdale, of the Centreville Union school, secretary. 


Free-Masons. — Mt. Hermon lodge, No. 24, A. F. and A. M., at Centre- 
ville, was the first Masonic lodge instituted in the county. It worked under 
a dispensation during the year 1848, and was chartered January 10, 1849, 
with the following members : Benjamin Osgood, W. M. ; Ezra Cole, .8. W. ; 
S. C. Coflinberry, J. W. ; Charles Thorns, treasurer; J, Eastman Johnson, 
secretary ; John R. Belote, Dr. Sol. Cummings, Glover Laird, John Carr, 
Francis Flanders, Benjamin Sherman, John H. Clewes, John Gascon and 
Joel Redway. Hon. S. C. Coffinberry, now of Constantine, filled the office 
of Grand Master of the State of Michigan, during the years 1866-7-8, and 
during the first year of his incumbency assisted in the burial obsequies of 
Governor Cass, upon which topic he dwelt most eloquently in his annual ad- 
dress in 1867. There are, at the present time, ten subordinate or " blue " 
lodges in the county, numbering nine hundred members. There are also 
five chapters of Royal-arch Masons, the first one of which, established in the 
county, was Centreville chapter, No. 11, under dispensation in 1852 and 
chartered in 1853, the history of which, in detail, will be found in the his- 
tory of Centreville. There are about four hundred members of the chapter 
in the county. There is also a council of Royal and Select Masters in 
Constantine, and two commanderies of Knights Templar, the latter num- 
bering some two hundred rank and file. There are also two Eastern Star 
lodges in the county. 

Odd Fellows. — There was at an early day, as early at least as 1845, an 
Odd Fellows' lodge instituted in Centreville, which was known as the St. 
Joseph County lodge, but which ceased work some years ago. There is 
one there at present whose history will be found elsewhere. 

An Odd Fellows' lodge was instituted at Constantine, February 17, 1847, 
called Constantine lodge, No. 22, but it suspended work for several years, 
until 1870, when it was revived, and is still in good working order. The 
old charter-members were W. C. Pease, William Savier, Dr. Elliott, L. G. 
Laird, George Brown and Elisha Stevens. There are about five hundred 
members of the subordinate lodges in the county, which number ten. There 
are also five encampments of Patriarchs in the county, and three Rebekah 
degree lodges. 

Patrons of Husbandry. — The St. Joseph County Grange, No. 4, was 
organized July 29, 1875, with thirty-seven members, Richard Dougherty of 
Park, being the first master, and J. H. Gardner of Eockport, the first sec- 
retary. The county grange meets at Centreville annually on the first Thurs- 
day in January, and quarterly thereafter. The present officers (1876) are 
as follows: W. G. Lei and, master; W. B. Langley, overseer; H. Collins, 
lecturer ; S. G. Leland, steward ; J. Freeman, assistant steward ; Richard 
Dougherty, chaplain ; G. Schoch, treasurer ; J. H. Gardner, secretary ; C. 
Schellhart, gatekeeper ; Mrs. W. B. Langley, Pomona ; Mrs. W. G. Leland, 
Ceres; Mrs. L. Schellhart, Flora; Mrs. S. Leland, stewardess. The present 
membership is sixty-six. 

J. H. Gardner has been for the past two years the purchasing agent for the 
State grange, and his contracts, for the time he has served as such, for dif- 
ferent materials used by the members of the grange, have amounted to one 
hundred thousand dollars — all of which purchases have been made either 

directly with the manufacturer and producer or the wholesale jobber, at first 

abstracts of title. 
An institution of importance to the people of St. Joseph is abstracts of 
title to the real-estate in St. Joseph county, compiled and issued by Leverett 
A. Clapp, Esq., of Centreville, formerly land commissioner of Michigan for 
four years. He has thirty-two books devoted to the title to farm property, 
and eight volumes devoted to the title to village property, all of which have 
been compiled under Mr. Clapp's personal supervision, who has had twenty 
years' experience in the titles of St. Joseph -county. The books were begun 
by Edmund Stears in 1853, who compiled the farm titles from the original 
entries, up to 1855, when Mr. Clapp succeeded to the proprietorship of the 
business, and completed the work as it now stands. The abstracts are reliable, 
and of great convenience to the people. 



** Take away the sword ; 

States can be preserved without it. 
The pen is mightier than the sword/' 

The power of the press of the United States is almost unlimited. It 
" makes or it mars " politicians and their schemes, and leads a community 
forward in the march of progress, or follows, cur-like, in the rear, as its 
standard of morality, ability and intelligence, is high or low, aggressive or 
defensive. The press of St. Joseph county compares favorably, both past 
and present, with that of the sister interior counties of the State in point of 
ability, dignity of character and influnee ; and its history is not an uninter- 
esting or an unprofitable one. 

The first newspaper published in St. Joseph county was called the Michi- 
gan Statesman and St. Joseph Chronicle ', and was edited and owned by John 
D. Defrees, now public printer of the government at Washington, which 
position he has held for many years. The first number was issued about 
December 10, 1833, and was the first paper published between Detroit and 
Chicago, and the third in the territory of Michigan. It was. a twenty-four 
column sheet, radically Democratic, supporting President Jackson ably, and 
as ardently afterwards, in 1836, Martin Van Buren for the same office. 
Mr. Defrees published the paper but a few months, selling out his interest 
therein, in June, 1834, to Henry Gilbert, who issued his first number (twenty- 
eight) June 28. 

Mr. Gilbert, who has been a resident of Kalamazoo for many years, since 
September, 1835, and latterly the warden of the State penitentiary, very 
kindly has placed the files of the paper, from June 28, 1834, to Decem- 
ber, 1836, in our hands, which act we greatly appreciate, as it has enabled 
us to get exact and reliable data for our work, which, it would have been im- 
possible to have otherwise secured. The Statesman was a fearless and un- 
compromising advocate of the Democratic party and its principles, and Mr. 
Gilbert, wielding a trenchant pen, handled his Whig opponents without mercy 
or favor. Its columns, too, were devoted to the prosperity and advancement 
of the county, and White Pigeon particularly. The temperance movement, 
and all moral and religious works, found in the paper an able and willing 
assistant. It was quite liberally patronized, as its advertising columns fully 
show, and was the recognized organ for the publication of the government 
contracts and congressional laws — the column being headed with a spread 
eagle and the national blazonry. In the first number issued by Mr. Gilbert, 
a Fourth-of-July celebration at White Pigeon was advertised, and the pro- 
gramme of exercises given, John D. Defrees being the orator. John Carlin 
advertised his brewery on the Chicago road for sale, and Mishawaka adver- 
tised for proposals for building a dam, with a canal one hundred feet long and 
a lock. M. Seydle, first hatter in the county, gave notice to the people of the 
county that he could fit therr craniums with the, latest styles of New York, 
on short notice, at his manufactory, in Doekport. Elias S. Swan offered 
one cent reward for Nathan T. Lucas, a bound boy, who had run away from 
him. John W. Anderson offered his hotel for sale, in White Pigeon, and 
Ezekiel Case posted his wife, Olive, for having deserted him. In the num- 
ber of September 10, Wallace & Stewart advertised for one hundred laborers 
to work on the Wabash and Erie canal, the fifm feeing located at MottviUe. 
Three prisoners escaped from the county jail, at Centreville, August 15, and 
two more September 22, and fifty dollars reward was offered fbr their recap- 



ture. Thanksgiving day was appointed for November 27. In the papers in 
February and March, 1835, the local campaign for county offices was hotly 
discussed. J. W. Coffinberry was a candidate against T. W. Langley, for 
the register's office, and he put his advertisement into the paper in advocacy 
of his — Coffinberry's — claims. 

" I make not the public good my plea, 
The end of all ray wishes ; 
With half an eye a man can see 
I need the * loaves and fishes.' " 

The "morus multicaulis" fever, it appears, attacked the pioneer settle- 
ments of the west, as well as the older States on the seaboard. A party 
on Prairie Ronde offered mulberry trees for sale in the spring of 1835, 
which he guaranteed had been tested for silk-cocoons and not " found want- 
ing." The plant was also recommended for " hedge-fences.' ' 

At the spring election of 1835 Selden Martin was elected colonel of the 
11th regiment of Michigan militia, Benjamin Sherman, lieutenant-colonel, 
and S. A. Chapin, major. Hart L. Stewart, at the time, was general of the 
6th brigade. 

In October, 1835, the Statesman! s office of publication was removed to 
Bronson (now Kalamazoo), the editor setting forth, in the issue of October 2, 
his reasons for the removal, which he thought ought to convince all of his 
reasonable patrons of the wisdom of his action. The paper was conducted 
for twenty-five years and more, as a Democractic sheet, by Mr. Gilbert, who 
changed the name to the Gazette, in January, 1837, under which name it 
is still published in the interest of the same party, at Kalamazoo, but by 
another publisher, Mr. Gilbert having retired from the editorial tripod some 
years ago. 

The next papers established in the county, were the Peninsular, at Centre- 
ville, the first number of which was issued July 2, 1836, and the Republican, 
at Constantine, July 6th. The former was published by E. Van Buren, who 
issued it until December following, when it was suspended until April, 1837, 
when its publication was resumed by a Mr. Knappen for a short time, and 
then abandoned. It was an advocate of the interests of Centreville particu- 
larly, and its political principles were Democratic under Van Buren's control. 
In number thirty-two, May 4, 1837, it is gravely stated that " Chicago already 
contains eight thousand inhabitants, has from forty to fifty lawyers, thirty 
to forty physician, twelve public-houses, three newspapers, one hundred and 
twenty-eight stores, and there were twenty-eight thousand tons of merchan- 
dise taken in the port the last season." The announcement was made of the 
presentation of a fine battery of six guns, with ammunition and equipments, 
by Major J. T. Chambers, of Kentucky, to the Republic of Texas for service 
against Mexico. The Republican was published by Daniel Munger and 
Mr. Cowdery, and was issued during the years 1836, 1837 and 1838. It 
was fiercely Democratic in its politics, and waxed furious in its denunciation 
of the Whigs of the county, who " stole a march " on the Democratic con- 
vention in August, 1836, and compassed the nomination of Neal McGaffey 
for the legislature. It hoisted the name of Dr. Sumner at the head of its 
columns, but McGaffey was elected in spite of its bitter warfare. E. Van 
Buren began the publication of the White Pigeon Gazette in August, 1837, 
and continued for a short time, when he was succeeded by Daniel Munger, 
who was subsequently joined by A. W. Adams, the paper being published 
until 1841-42. It was also Democratic in politics. January 13, 1843, J. 
Eastman Johnson and W. B, Josslyn issued the initial number of the 
Centreville Republican, a twenty-four column paper, devoted to the pros- 
perity of the county, and Centreville especially, being Democratic in politics. 
Josslyn was associated in the paper but a few months, and upon his retiring, 
Judge Johnson conducted the editorial and business management of the 
sheet alone. He published it until the year 1845. In 1841-42 James R. 
Adams published a paper in White Pigeon. In February, 1845, Albert E. 
Massey and Horace Metcalf began the publication of a paper in Centreville, 
called the St. Joseph county Advertiser, advocating the principles of the Whig 
party. The publication of the paper was continued until 1851, Metcalf re- 
tiring previous to 1848, and being succeeded by Williams, who died about 
1850, and was succeeded by S. B. McCracken ; he, however, retained his 
interest but a short time, closing his course with the paper in June, 1850. 
In February, 1851, Massey disposed of the office to Levi T. Hull and John 
M. Farquhar, and in June following it was removed by the new publishers 
to Constantine, where it appeared under the new name of 


In August Mr. Farquhar withdrew from the paper, since which date it 
has been published continuously by Mr. Hull, the only intermission being 
that occasioned by the burning of the office, March 1, 1874, when the reg- 
ular issues were suspended for a few weeks. 

The Mercury is a staunch and determined advocate of the views of the 
Kepublican party, and has been since that party was organized. It is out- 
spoken and fearless in its opinions, and seeks to lead, rather than follow, 
public sentiment. A well-equipped job-office is connected with the paper, 
and, with power presses, very neat typography is executed with despatch. 

Mr. Hull is the oldest publisher in the State who has been continuously 
in the same office. His labors have met with just recognition from the " pow- 
ers that be," by his appointment to the office of assistant assessor of internal 
revenue, which position he held from September, 1862, until May, 1873, with 
the exception of six months, from November 15, 1866, to April 1, 1867. 
The office was abolished in May, 1873, and on August 1, following, Mr. Hull 
received the appointment of collector of internal revenue, which position he 
held until September 20, 1876, at which date the district was consolidated. 

January 1, 1877, Mr. Hull received the appointment of deputy col- 
lector for the fourth division of the third district, which division comprises 
Cass, Berrien, Van Buren and St. Joseph counties. From 1863-6 St. Joseph 
county returned the heaviest revenue in the district — forty thousand dollars 
per annum, ten thousand dollars of which were for the tax on peppermint- 
oil alone, and twenty thousand dollars for income tax. 

In 1867 Mr. Hull was a member of the constitutional convention. 

About 1843-4, C. E. Simonds began the publication of a paper in Sturgis 
called the Sturgis Republican, which he continued for a short time only, 
being succeeded by Hackstaff, who published the paper (or another one) as 
a Democratic organ. This last effort, however, was spasmodic only, and 
was succeeded by Joseph Willis, who continued the publication of the 
Republican. Willis was succeeded by Easton & Sawdy, who changed the 
name of the paper to the Sturgis Journal, and not long afterwards (1860) 
sold the office to J. G. Waite, who conducted the paper very ably for twelve 
years, when he retired from its publication, and was succeeded by his son, 
Arthur E. Waite, for two years, who then disposed of the paper and office 
to Dr. T. F. Thornton, in the year 1874. Messrs. Alleman & Sweet pub- 
lished, for a short time, the Sturgis Times, but in the year 1876 Dr. Thorn- 
ton purchased the latter paper and consolidated the two offices, and issued 
the new paper under the name of the Journal- Times, and its publication is 
still continued under the management of the Doctor and Mr. Mattingly, a 
practical printer, formerly of Kochester, New York. 

The Journal- Times office is the best-equipped office in the county. Its 
stock of type and presses are surpassed by none in the State, in quality, and 
but by few, outside of Detroit, is it equaled in amount. The job-work is 
remarkably neat in execution, the catalogue of the high-school of Sturgis, 
for 1876, being a notable specimen of its mechanical ability. 

The Journal- Times is ardently and vigorously Republican in sentiment 
and teaching. It has defended the Republican party from the open assaults 
of political opponents, as well as from the covert attacks of weak-kneed fol- 
lowers. It is high-toned and dignified in its editorials, enterprising and lib- 
eral in its advocacy of local matters, devoted to the interests of Sturgis, and 
backs "Old St. Joe" against the world, in point of general excellence. 


was published by Harvey Crossette, in Centreville, its first issue appearing 
some time in October, 1850. It was subsequently published by Newton S. 
Bouton, who removed the office, in 1854, to Three Rivers, where the publi- 
cation was continued until after 1861, when it was discontinued. It was 
violently Democratic in its partizanship, but was very fairly edited, and 
gained considerable influence throughout the county. 


was established by D. S. Weston, in 1845, at Centreville, and was published 
for about two years, when it suspended. The present paper of that name 
and location appeared in April, 1869, H. Egabroad being the publisher to 
the present time. It is a thirty-two column paper, Republican in politics, 
but pays more attention to matters of local interest than to national aifairs. 
The local editor (a son of the proprietor) makes a newsy sheet of the issue. 

Dr. Welper published a little sheet a short time in Three Rivers, but its 
name, even, has escaped the memory of the inhabitants. 

Messrs. Reynolds & Curtis published a paper for a short time in Sturgis. 

Messrs. Hackstaff & Paine published a paper in White Pigeon some years 
after the one published in 1842 by Adams, and several proprietors succeeded 
one another, until 1866, when Sweet & Hackstaff published the Democratic 
Union, with a tremendous spread-eagle for a head. It was Democratic in 
politics, and was removed to Elkhart by Sweet, where it is still published as 
the Elkhart Union. 



The present paper of White Pigeon is 


published by J. J. O'Brien, which was established by E. H. Graves, in 1875, 
who conducted it for a short time — E. O'Brien succeeding to the office and 
conducting the paper to the end of the first volume, at which date the 
present proprietor succeeded to the paper. It is an interesting local paper, 
independent in politics, and its editor and proprietor is doing his best to 
make it useful to the town. 


was published in 1871-73, by a Mr. Sweet, and was independent in politics ; 
and A. C. Miles published a paper during the war ; both of these latter pub- 
lications being issued in Mendon. H. Egabroad issued an edition of his 
Republican for Colon, which is known as the Colon Enterprise. 


was established in the fall of 1874, by A. Eindge, the first number appear- 
ing October 2. It is a seven-column folio, brought out in good style, and 
presents a neat and clean appearance. It is devoted principally to local in- 
terests, and is independent in politics. Its office contains the first job press 
brought to the town of Mendon, and is well stocked with materials for job 
work, for which it is rapidly gaining an excellent reputation. 


is published by W. A. DeGroodt and George C. Everding, at Constantine, 
who issued the first number November 4, 1876. The proprietors are young 
practical printers, and are striving to build up their paper to an honorable 
position in the ranks of the press in the county. The Journal is indepen- 
dent in its political views. 

Doctor Amariah Bennett issued the Vegetable Herald 'for a short time at 
White Pigeon, in the interest of a botanical pharmacy, and he also published 
in Centreville for a short time the Michigan Farmer. 


is published by the Democratic publishing company, in Sturgis, L. E. 
Jacobs editing the same. It is Democratic in sentiment, and was established 
in 1876. 


is published, as its name indicates, at Three Rivers, by Doctor O. Arnold 
and Son ; is a quarto sheet; Democratic in politics, and is now (1877) in its 
ninth volume. The original press and material of this establishment were 
purchased in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by a Mr. Reynolds, of Sturgis, and 
moved to that place, wherewith Mr. Reynolds published for a short time 
the Sturgis Star. Subsequently the office was bought and removed to Burr 
Oak by a Mr. Dewey, who commenced there the publication of the St. Joseph 
County Democrat, which he continued for about a year, and then sold his in- 
terest to Messrs. Smith & Newton, who continued the publication of the 
paper for about the same time, when Smith sold his interest to his partner, 
Newton, in July, 1872, Newton continuing the publication another year in 
Burr Oak, and in June, 1873, removed to Three Rivers, where, after issuing 
five or six numbers, the publication was discontinued. In September, 1873, 
the present proprietors purchased the presses and materials of Mr. Newton 
and revived the Democrat, and continued the publication of the paper under 
that name until August, 1875, when the form was changed from a folio to a 
quarto, and the name to the Herald, since which time it has flourished and 
attained a good circulation. It is ably edited and conducted, and possesses 
among its readers a leading influence. 

The Three Rivers Reporter was established previous to 1860 by Wilbur 
H. Clute, the present editor and proprietor. It has been a fearless and un- 
compromising supporter of the Republican party up to 1874-75, when it as 
radically assumed the greenback theory, and has ably defended that cause, 
being largely instrumental in moulding the greenback sentiment in St. Joseph 
county, and making an agressive campaign in 1876. The mechanical ap- 
pearance of the paper is very neat, and the job work executed at the Repor- 
ter office is second to none in the county. 



Amid the most severe trials and privations, which often brought sadness to 
, the heart, the pioneers of St. Joseph toiled for many years before they were 
justified in seeking needed relaxation, to "knit up the raveled sleeve of care," 
and enjoy the works their own hands had made. Yet their lives were not nec- 
essarily gloomy ones — devoid of all sunshine and pleasures — but, acting on 
the sentiment, " catch the sunshine when you can," they had their holiday 
gatherings and neighborhood frolics, that lightened their burdens, shortened 
the shadows imposed by continuous labor, and discounted , the future ease- 
hypothecating the renewed strength of the then present, as security for the 
loan. And it was a wise investment, as scores of old, white-headed pioneers, 
who are now living in comfort and happiness on the homesteads of " auld 
lang syne," fully attest. 

The early pioneers made pleasure contribute largely to the physical needs 
of the family, thus blending the useful with the agreeable most liappily and 
judiciously. The keenest sense of pleasure realized by the old men who 
came, was that which, came to them across the sights of their trusty rifles, as 
a full-antlered stag bounded out of some little dell or sequestered spot, and 
the next moment sprang into the air and fell a victim to the unerring bullet ; 
or, as a gray wolf, sauntering along the edge of the prairie, suddenly sniffed 
the air, and the next instant lay on the grass, rolling in the agonies of death. 
The feathered game, such as turkey, duck, geese and grouse, were "small 
fry," but at times were an acceptable addition to the setter's, bill-of-fare, and 
the finny tribes which roamed through and enlivened the rivers and lakes, 
furnished rare sport to the pioneer, and gave variety to the daily diet, pal- 
atable and desirable. The wild bees stored their treasures in the hollow 
trees, and the bee-hunter in his quest for the same, on a spicy October morn- 
ing, when the woods were putting on the royal livery of crimson and gold r 
and the squirrel chirped and flirted his whisk with a saucy, impertinent air, 
found a zest hardly to be appreciated by those whose "bee knowledge" is 
confined to the apiary on their own premises, or the brilliant essays found 
in the various publications on the Italian queens and their production. 

Isaac F. Ulrich, it is averred, was a good hunter, and oae hundred arid 
fifteen deer fell before the deadly aim of his rifle during the first three years 
of his residence in the county; but Columbia Lancaster has a record that 
puts the 'squire into the shade. Legal fees were scarce in the first years of 
Lancaster's practice, and the most of his time was spent in the chase. It 
is said that his memorandum showed, on the morning <k a certain 31st day 
of December, that he had killed three hundred and sixty-four deer during 
the year, and thinking to add another to the list,, and truis making his aver- 
age one per day, he sallied forth, and before noon brought down two) and 
now the query is, was that year a leap-year? It was a poor hunter who 
could not get his venison steak fresh for breakfast, from the prairie or woods, 
for they were there by hundreds, with black and gray, and some prairie 

A jolly time was had on Sturgis prairie in August, 1828, on the occasion 
of Governor Cass' passage through the settlement, on his way to Niles, ^> 
purchase the reserves of the Chicago treaty. He was accompanied by 
Joseph Parks, a white man once captured by the . Wyaodots, as, interpreter,, 
and eight others from Detroit. A large bear ha4 been killed the day previ- 
ous, while crossing the prairje, by one of the earliest settlers, and a propo- 
sition was immediately made to the governor to tarry and partake of a feast 
of bear's flesh, to which his excellency readily assented. The arrangements 
were soon made, and Bruin was on the spit, from which he was transferred— 
when cooked to a turn — to the. table, and his jnicy carcass was highly rel- 
ished by all. Fun reigned supreme, the Governor forgetting his judicial 
dignity for the time, joining in the sport as zealously as any of his 
staff. He had in his train eight ponies, four loaded with two hundred 
pounds each, of good calicos, ginghams, and notions, for presents after the 
bargain was made, and four loaded with silver to pay for the lands. 

Another opportunity for amusement for a time, until it became uninter- 
esting, was the trainings and muster of the militia, who were organized as 
early as 1831. The first general training was held in June, 1831; Colonel 



H. L. Stewart, commanding, and General Brown and Major Hoag, of 
Teeumseh, as inspectors. There were present on dress parade three compa- 
nies, commanded by Captain Hunter, of Sturgis; Captain Stewart, of White 
Pigeou, and Captain Powers, of Nottawa; the rank and file, staff and line, 
numbering not to exceed one hundred men. The males in each township 
capable of bearing arms, were required to turn out two or three times each 
year for drill, inspection and review, and after the Black Hawk scare had 
subsided and no alarm was felt of war, it became irksome to the settlers to • 
be dragged out for the "pomp and circumstance of glorious war," which was 
in no likelihood ever to be needed, and so were frequently in default when 
the roll was called; and as dereliction in duty, which was suffered to pass 
without notice, was fatal to military discipline, courts martial were assem- 
bled, and the delinquents summarily tried and fined in sums sufficient, at 
least, to liquidate the expenses of the court. Up to this point it is difficult to 
see where the pleasure came in, but it began immediately on the attempt 
to enforce the collection of the fines. All sorts of devices were resorted to 
to avoid payments, sometimes with most ludicrous results. One instance 
will give the tribulations the collectors were frequently exposed to, in their 
tours of tithing among the militia. One of the delinquents was fined for 
default, and the collector sent from Centreville, where the court martial was 
held, to enforce the sentence of the tribunal, which sentence, it is needless to 
sav, was, soon after its promulgation, announced to the delinquent, with a 
warning to look sharp for the collector. One day, about eleven o'clock in 
the morning, the latter individual entered the front door of E. S. Swan's 
store in White Pigeon, in which the young man was engaged, and who, 
having been notified by some one on the watch, slipped out of the back door 
as the collector entered the front, and, mounting a horse, rode off as the col- 
lector emerged from the back door in search of him. 

The collector hailed the fugitive, but to no use, he was apparently as deaf 
as a post and kept on his way, but stopped at a store a moment, when the 
collector sprang forward and was eluded again by the defendant in the war- 
rant. Thus the pursuit went on for two or more hours, when the collector 
gave up the pursuit in disgust and returned to the stable of a friend where 
he had left his horse, when a transformation met his eyes which he could 
scarcely credit. His horse, which was of a bay color when he left it, was 
now a bright green, alternating with stripes of another color. His neck and 
tail, which had been adorned with long, flowing, glossy, black hair, were 
guiltless of anything but the stiff stubbs of the same. In short, his steed of 
the morning, which pawed the air and sroelled the battle afar off, was a sorry 
nondescript, unfit for anything but a crack-brained Don Quixote to bestride. 
Nevertheless, the collector made a virtue of necessity^ mounted his 
beast and rod§ back a madder if not a richer man than when he came. 
Such were the Expedients taken to evade the burden men felt to be as need- 
lessly imposed as it was onerous to bear, and the militia system fell into dis- 
use and was finally abandoned, independent companies in after years taking 
its place. 

The great holidays were the natal days of American Independence, the 
observance of which were begun by the pioneers as soon as there were 
enough of them in the county to be sociable, and make a gathering pleasur- 
able. The first observance of the 


in the county was at White Pigeon, in 1829, which, however, was an infor- 
mal affair, and no attempt was made to celebrate, but the day Was used by 
some forty of the settlers to get together and have a social time. Savery 
provided dinner for them at the " Old Diggins." 


on the 4th of July, of the anniversary of the declaration of Independence, 
held in the county, was had at Mottville, in 1820. Messrs A. C. and H. L. 
Stewart, then in that village, had erected a large warehouse just above the 
bridge, the upper floor of which building furnished an ample auditorium. 
There was a general gathering of the settlers from all parts of the county 
and vicinity. John Morse, of Coldwater, a skillful performer on the clario- 
net, came to regale the people with his rare music. Neal McGaffey, Esq., 
was the orator of the occasion, and among the distinguished guests who 
graced the assemblage with their presence, were Major General Brown and 
Inspector General Hoag, who were on a tour of inspection. After the ora- 
tion was delivered, Edwin Kellogg and a companion, a fanning-mill maker 
in White Pigeon, sang, to the delight of the audience, the " Ode to Science," 
and were congratulated in flattering terms at their success by Hoag. 

The next celebration of the natal day of the Union, was held at White 
Pigeon in 1832, at whietr Colonel Selden Martin was the president of the 

day. There were people present from Niles, Coldwater, Jonesville and else- 
where, and the music was also from Coldwater. About one hundred persons 
were present. 

In 1834 a celebration was held on the 4th of July, in White Pigeon, at 
which John W. Anderson was marshal, Reverend P. W. Warriner, chap- 
lain, Charles Kellogg, chorister, David Clark, Jr., reader, and J. D. Defrees, 
orator. The procession was formed at Savery's, and filed through the 
streets to the music of an improvised band, and toasts were offered and re- 
sponded to, and patriotism ruled the hour. 

In 1835 the glorious " Fourth " was celebrated in grander style than ever 
before in the county, at White Pigeon, Sturgis and Constantine, the orators 
being W. Loomis, Esq., Dr. Elias Boulton Smith and Dr. Sumner, respec- 
tively. The Statesman reported the proceedings at length, and reproduced 
the orations in full in its subsequent issues. We give below a few only of 
the toasts drank on the occasion at the different places. 

The seventh sentiment, offered by Vice-President Gilbert, at White Pigeon, 
was as follows : " Michigan — the queen of the West ; nature's choicest pro- 
visions for the husbandman ; may the spirit of enterprise connect her navi- 
gable waters by canals, and transform her Indian trails into railroads." 

At Constantine the twelfth regular toast was this : " John Quincy Adams — 
the able and eloquent advocate of justice ; he fearlessly raised his voice in 
defence of the friendless ; Michigan owes him a debt of gratitude." Three 
cheers and music ' Logan Water \ 

At Sturgis the orator's toast was the following sentiment : Michigan — des- 
tined by Nature to excel all her sisters in wealth and importance, her fair 
lakes, fanned by the breezes of pure freedom, break into dimples and laugh 
in the sunshine of inimitable prosperity." 

At Constantine a celebration of the Fourth was held in 1833, the festivities 
closing with a grand ball ; the dancing commencing before night and lasting 
till daylight the next morning. The music was a fiddle and a clarionet, 
principally the latter, which was manipulated by the fingers of Daniel 
Arnold. The fiddler was from Elkhart, and could play but two tunes, and 
Arnold had to play without relief all night. The costumes were more varied 
than elegant, and would bring a Parisian modiste to dispair, so mal apropos 
would they seem to her. The ladies, and they were ladies ', wore their winter 
and summer dresses of every pattern and shade, which to be appreciated 
must needs have been seen. The gentlemen wore home-spun pants, heavy boots, 
high shirt-collars, and danced in their shirt-sleeves, the weather being too 
warm for coats. 

In 1836, at a celebration of the national day, in Constantine, the follow- 
ing toasts were drank, among others, with uproarous applause. By Daniel 
Munger — "Michigan: though oppressed in her infancy, she will soon be- 
come the tallest toad in^he puddle." By John A. Appleton (now a member 
of the great publishing house of Appleton Bros.) — " Uncle Sam's youngest 
child : fat, ragged and saucy." 

The Christmas and New Year's festivities were not forgotten, but the 
presents of a whole community would not, oftentimes, equal those of a single 
petted darling of to-day ; but the happinesss was unbounded, and hilarity 
and fun pervaded the entire settlement. Wild turkies, browned to a turn ; 
venison saddles, juicy and savory ; mallards and canvas-backs, dripping in 
fatness, graced the boards of the hospitable pioneer, around which the whole 
neighborhood gathered, and, after some patriarch of the settlement had of- 
fered hearty thanks for the bounties given to their hands by the Giver of all 
good, fell to and discussed the good things with a relish that was aught else 
than spiritual. 

Were we to record all the interesting and noteworthy incidents with which 
the lives of the early pioneers abounded, volumes would be required to show 
forth the entertaining story, and, therefore, from the reKMble data we cull a 
few of the more striking and prominent, to illustrate somewhat the life we 
are endeavoring to picture. 

There were no aristocrats in those days, who looked down from a higher 
plane upon lower beings of their race, trudging along in common dust, but 
all w r ere equal, or at least considered themselves so, and any attempt to show 
superiority or " lord it" over another, was sure to meet with condign and im- 
mediate consequences. 

One O'Brien was among the first tailors of White Pigeon, and a great 
lover of shooting ; he had his shot-gun always by his board in his shop, 
which fronted on the main street of that village, and near by the entrance 
to the hotel. One day a covey of prairie chickens flew over the village, 
which, being espied by O'Brien, that worthy grasped his gun, and rushing to 
the door of his shop "let fly" at the birds, missing them but most severely 
startling Governor Porter, who had just arrived in town and was at that 
moment entering the hotel. The magisterial dignity of his excellency 



was considerably ruffled, and when O'Brien came in to look at the distin- 
guished arrivals, he was taken to task by the governor and lectured roundly, 
which O'Brien resented, whereupon the chief magistrate, to impress his au- 
ditor with the importance of more care, said, " I would have you know, sir, 
that I am the Governor of Michigan !" to which O'Brien tartly replied, 
"and I would h&veyou know that I am the tailor of White Pigeon!" and 
walked off to his shop. 

In 1838-9 immigration ceased to a great extent, and the surplus crops 
were worth little or nothing in the market, wheat being sold at thirty-one 
cents per bushel. During that winter, a mother wanting some flannel for 
her baby, asked the father what they should do in the emergency. After 
studying a while over the situation, he quietly took his knife and ripped the 
lining from a camlet cloak he had, and gave it to his wife to make the 
needed garment of. 

When William H. Cross built the Leonidas dam across the St. Joseph, 
he announced that he should furnish no whisky, and in consequence thereof 
it was confidently predicted and asserted by the men themselves that there 
would be a "strike" before forty-eight hours after the timbers were 
ready to put into the water. But, contrary to the prediction and expecta- 
tion, the work was accomplished after many vexatious and expensive obsta- 
cles, delays were overcome and passed, and not a penny had been spent 
by the proprietor for whisky. After the hard work was done, Mr. Cross 
asked one of the most talkative men of crowd, who had said the most 
against the course adopted, how it was he had not kept his word and refused 
to work in the water without liquor. The man replied, " Well, I did not 
mean to do so, because I supposed you would stand on the bank in dry 
clothes and ' boss' the job, but when I saw you jump into the water the first 
of all, and stay there till all the rest were out, I was ashamed, and said I 
would not be beat by a little fellow like you, and now I don't care for 
whisky. Besides, you gave us good coffee five times a day, and treated us 
like gentlemen." 

Dr. Hanchett, who was located at Coldwater, but practiced somewhat in 
St. Joseph county, getting out of medicine, went to Detroit, one hundred 
and ten miles, on horseback, to get a new supply — having but ten dollars in 
his purse, four dollars of which he used up for his expenses. He went to 
old Dr. Chapin's drug store and stated his needs, and was urged to take all 
he wanted, but declined to take more than his cash — six dollars— would buy, 
which was put up, and it is fair to presume there was a very small margin 
of profit charged in the bill for the same. Dr. Chapin said to Dr. Hanchett 
as he tied the little package up, " When this is gone send for more, money 
or no money !" 

An incident in the lives of George Mathews, and his estimable wife Mar- 
garetha, of Leonidas, will not be amiss here to show of what stuff some of 
the pioneers were made. One day, soon after Mathews had built his cabin 
on his location which joined the reservation, some Indians, who were drunk, 
rode up and wanted to see him, but he was sick on the bed and would 
not go out \ but finally, they made so much noise and disturbance about the 
house, he did get up and went out doors, pulled one of the Indians off his 
horse and slapped his face smartly, whereupon the rioters went off. A few 
days afterwards the Indian whom Mathews had thus treated, came back and 
said to him, " You abused me the other day when I was drunk, and now you 
must fight me when I sober." Mathews was a tall, broad-shouldered fellow, 
lithe as a panther, and brave as courage itself, and he at once assented to 
the proposition ; he accompanied the Indian to the woods, followed by Mrs. 
Mathews, who, fearing treachery, carried an enormous butcher-knife under 
her apron. Arriving at a little open space, a short distance from the house, 
Mathews found several Indians and their squaws sitting on the ground in a 
circle, silent and moody. 

The Indian told his story, and Mathews related his version of the affair, 
and said he was ready to fight, and asked what the manner of the contest 
should be. The Indian chose rifles, and Mathews sent his wife back to the 
house for his gun, sitting down on the log beside his antagonist the mean- 
while. Mrs. Mathews returned with the rifle, and then the challenger 
wanted to substitute knives, and Mrs. Mathews was desired to go for a knife, 
whereupon she took from beneath her apron the huge, glittering carver of 
her kitchen, at sight of which, in the hands of the tall borderer, the brag- 
gart showed the white feather, and, at the repeated demands of Mathews to 
"come on," stood silent, with downcast head. Mathews stepped to one 
side, and cutting a stout hickory whip, laid it unsparingly over the bare 
shoulders of the coward, amid the grunts of satisfaction of the other Indi- 
ans, who called the man a squaw, which was resented also by the squaws, 
who cut switches and whipped the fellow back to camp. Mathews and his 
wife were ever after regarded as friends by their tawny neighbors. 

When the " big payment," as it is called, was made to the Indians for the 
Nottawa reservation, in the fall of 1833, or rather early winter (the same 
being in December), and the weather quite cold, there were depredations 
committed upon the Indians, after they had received the goods, by citizens 
of St. Joseph county and others, that ought, if the perpetrators thereof are 
still living, cause the blush of shame to mantle their brows with crimson, for 
it was nothing short of downright robbery. Not content with selling them 
whisky, and taking heavy pay therefor in silver, the miscreants, after the 
Indians were made drunk, began and executed a system of robbery that 
should condemn them for all time to infamy and contempt. 

An eye-witness thus describes the theft : The Indians, having received 
their blankets and cloths, would take their cash at once to the venders of 
whisky, buy a bottle or jug full, and then, seating themselves upon their 
blankets in a circle, and putting the bottle in the centre of the ring, would 
begin to drink, passing it round from mouth to mouth. By the time the jug 
had passed twice around the circle, the drinker would begin to "hitch" 
along, and soon after, as he made another hitch, the blanket would begin to 
disappear from beneath his person, and finally would be withdrawn entirely, 
by some one who held one corner of the same, as the occupant changed his 
position ; and so the robbery was completed. When the Indians were in 
their drunken sleep, they would be unceremoniously rolled out of their 
blankets, and then left unprotected by anything but their scant wardrobe. 
It is but justice to say that this treatment of the Indians was frowned upon 
and condemned by the majority of the people of St. Joseph, and the most 
of the thievery was done by renegades from other parts, but there were a 
few outcasts who were ulcers on society in St. Joseph, who were in after 
years sloughed off, as in all other new settlements. 


A gang of counterfeiters infested the southern border of the county, from 
1850 to 1857, where they could conveniently slip across the State line into 
Indiana, when the officers of the law in Michigan came after thera, and vice 
versa. E. W. Pendleton, of Sturgis, then and now, followed their trail like 
a sleuth-hound, in season and out of season, despite of warnings of personal 
danger and the loss of property, he having twelve horses poisoned lay theV 
gang or their accomplices, and finally ran the game to earth and eajpture|t * 
three of them — " old man " Latta, N. B. Latta, his son, and one McDougall* 
and twenty-five thousand dollars of the "queer," and the paraphren alia for 
manufacturing and printing, except the dies, which one of them, another 
McDougall, took and ran across the border with, and into the arms of the 
Indiana regulators, who gave him a short shrift and a shorter rope. 

Through the confessions of McDougall, when closeted in Peadleton's hotel, 
the latter was enabled to make the seizure, which was dose in broad day- 
light at Latta's hotel, on the Chicago road in the little village of Freedom. 
Latta, senior, had caused the several parts of the press to be roa^laajylif- 
ferent blacksmith-shops about the country — in Lima, Sturgis, Fr^ilfe 
Burr Oak and White Pigeon — to avoid suspicion, but this very precaution 
worked his ruin, and Pendleton's procuring the identification of every part 
of the work, and Latta's connection with the same. The latter gave his fine 
farm as security, and was allowed his liberty on bail. N. B. Latta was dis- 
charged by the examining magistrate, on representations being made and 
substantiated to that official's satisfaction that he (Latta) was one of Pink- 
erton's detectives, and had been working up the case when arrested. The 
jail was broken open, and McDougall escaped, and when the old man saw 
the array of testimony piling up against him, he decamped, and left his 
bondsmen to pay the forfeiture of the recognizance, which they did by turn- 
ing over to the county Latta's farm of two hundred and forty acres in Fawn 
River, which the board of supervisors immediately proceeded to utilize by 
selling the farm the county then owned, and transferring the indigent 
thereon to the new acquisition, where they are now cared for. The farm- 
property belongs, however, to the school-fund of the county under the law 
of forfeitures and fines. Mr. Pendleton " bluffed " the gang for five years 
by putting several insurance-plates on his house, the Exchange hotel, 
though he carried no insurance whatever for the time. 

In 1846-47 Gamaliel Fanning was murdered by a horse-thief, whom he 
was endeavoring to arrest near Latta's, an account of which in full, from 
the pen of Hon. I. D. Toll, who afterwards captured the murderer, will be 
found in the history of Fawn River. 

On June 10, 1854, Amos White and Samuel Ulum were arrested for the 
murder of Thomas B. Esterbrook on the 13th day of November, 1853. 
They were indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced to penitentiary for life — 
White dying soon after their incarceration. The testimony was circum- 
stantial, except that given by witness Giles Harding, an accomplice, who 



was impeached by the defence, but a part of whose testimony was corrobor- 
ated by other witnesses. He, though a proven villian, gave the thread of 
the story which, being skilfully followed, unraveled the tale of blood, and 
fastened the crime, to the entire satisfaction of the jury, upon the prisoners. 
The testimony, though voluminous, was consistent, and the case was most 
ably prepared for trial by Hon. Charles Upson, then prosecuting attorney 
of the county, assisted and seconded efficiently by John Hull, then sheriff 
of the county. Hon. Nathaniel Balch, of Kalamazoo, assisted in the prose- 
cution, and complimented the two officials highly for their conduct of the 
case. The murdered man w r as last seen at the Leonidas hotel, on Sunday, 
the day of the murder, and his presence there was fixed by a train of cir- 
cumstances that did not speak very highly of the respect for that day by 
several of the residents of that hamlet. 

Harding testified he was there and saw Esterbrook, and Harding's pres- 
ence was proven by several other witnesses who testified what they were 
doing, thus corroborating Harding's testimony. Such circumstances as 
these, and there were many of them testified to by Harding, being cor- 
roborated, gave his direct testimony, bearing on the alleged details of 
the murder, more weight than it otherwise would have received, and 
though the prisoners denied all participation in the crime, and averred their 
innocence, yet the fact that they were the last persons seen in his (Ester- 
brook's) company, gave further weight to Harding's statement, and although 
the body of the unfortunate man was never found, the verdict of the jury 
was murder in the first degree. 

Harding testified that the prisoners were overheard by him planning the 
murder, and being discovered by them, they threatened to kill him if he did 
not join them ; and if he would do so, they would share the plunder to- 
gether ; and Harding consenting, was posted as a spy on the movements of 
Esterbrook, who was supposed to possess considerable ready money, which 
he carried about his person, and was expected to be in Leonidas soon, on a 
matrimonial quest. 

Esterbrook appeared in the village on the fatal Sunday, and White was 
immediately notified by Harding, who notified Ulum, and during the after- 
noon, or early evening, was taken in charge by White, who proposed to con- 
duct him to the house of his intended, on the road to Mendon, which was 
the last ever seen of him by any person in the village. 

Harding testified further that on arriving near the Co wen mill, the party 
met Ulum in a wagon, or were overtaken by him, and were asked to get in 
and ride, as he was going directly past the house they wished to reach. The 
invitation was accepted, and soon after the wagon turned abruptly to the 
right, which being observed by Esterbrook, he asked why they were taking 
that course, and was quieted by an explanation that it was a nearer route. 

Soon after, while riding along in the shade of the woods, White struck 
Esterbrook with a wagon-stake, felling him to the bottom of the wagon-box, 
and then finished his horrible work by beating his victim on the head till 
life was extinct The two men, White and Ulum, then rifled the pockets of 
the murdered man, not finding what they expected — the money, as it appeared 
afterwards, being found by the supposed dead man's relatives in a tin trunk, 
which was forwarded to the lady whom he came to marry. 

The murderers then, as Harding testified, buried the body of Esterbrook 
in the woods, where it remained until after the search, which was instituted 
for it afterwards, was over, they joining in the same with evident alacrity 
and zeal ; and then they removed the remains and disposed of them else- 
where, unbeknown to Harding. 

Harding was arrested for some offence in the spring of 1854, and con- 
fined in the county jail ; from some words and hints dropped in the 
hearing of Sheriff Hull, he was suspected of knowing something about the 
affair, and was placed under a judicious, but searching examination ; he 
finally confessed to what has been detailed above, and gave dates, names 
and circumstances which enabled the officers to ferret out the facts testified to 
on the trial. 

It is but just to say that there are some worthy citizens of the county who 
are very skeptical regarding the whole thing, and do not believe the man was 
ever killed, but went away at once from the country. 

One of the remarkable crimes recorded in the criminal history of the 
country was committed in St. Joseph county in the year 1872, the same 
being a successful theft of several of the records of deeds and original doc- 
uments of title from the register's office at Centreville. Captain Benedict 
was register at the time, and Elva P. Peirce the sheriff of the county. One 
A. P. Fonda and Richard Lane were indicted for the offence, and Lane con- 
victed and sent to the penitentiary for five years, Fonda being acquitted. 

The robbery was committed on the night of the 28th of June, 1872, forty-four 
relumes, twenty-two of deeds, and as many of mortgages, three index books, 

and about one hundred deeds and mortgages not recorded, being taken away. 
The board of supervisors were called together July 1, who took measures to 
bring the guilty parties to justice and recover the records, if possible. An- 
thony P. Fonda (a member of Captain B. C. Yates' private detective force, 
of Chicago) and his brother, John Fonda, of Three Rivers, were arrested, 
and on the examination held by Samuel W. Piatt, Esq., of Centreville, John 
was discharged, and Anthony held to bail under two thousand dollars' bonds 
to appear before the circuit court. The notorious Charles C. Hildebrand 
put in appearance, and was shadowed by under-sheriff C. E. Peirce to In- 
dianapolis, and was there arrested, brought back and held in durance twa 
months, and then discharged. 

A P. Fonda had the notorious Dick Lane arrested in Chicago, under a 
fictitious name, for the robbery, and by a writ of habeas corpus issued by 
Judge Williams, of Chicago, he was discharged. Lane claimed to know all 
about the robbery, and was subsequently arrested and brought to St. Joseph 
county for trial in February, 1873, by Sheriff Peirce. Soon after this Fonda 
had his trial, and was acquitted before Judge Cooley, presiding. In March 
Lane was tried before Judge Brown, and convicted and sentenced, as pre- 
viously stated. Fonda was defended by Allen of Chicago, Sadler of Cen- 
treville, and Judge Upson of Coldwater. Lane was defended by T. C. Car- 
penter of Sturgis, and prosecuted by E. W. Keightley, prosecuting attorney^ 
and Hon. H. H. Riley of Constantine. 


About the 15th of August, 1872, Sheriff Peirce was informed that a party 
had received a letter from Chicago, saying the books would be turned over 
for Hve thousand dollars. The sheriff sent a person to Chicago to ascertain 
what reliance could be placed on the representation, with directions to tele- 
graph the result of the conference. On receipt of the telegram, Sheriff 
Peirce and William M. Watkins, Esq., one of the supervisors, went to Chi- 
cago, and to Eldredge & Tourtellotte's law-office, where the information 
came from. Five thousand dollars were demanded for the surrender of the 
books, and it was agreed to lay the matter before the board of supervisors. 
This was done, and the board offered three thousand dollars for the return 
of the books, and privately instructed the sheriff to act on his own discretion, 
but to get the records at all hazards. 

About the 1st of September, Sheriff Peirce went to Chicago, where he met 
Mancel Talcott, and made an arrangement with Eldredge <fe Tourtellotte for 
the delivery of the records for three thousand five hundred dollars, and on 
the 5th of September the sheriff, James Hill, county treasurer, and William 
M. Watkins, in behalf of the county, and Eldredge & Tourtellotte, attorneys 
for the thieves, entered into an agreement for the delivery of the records., 
and deposited with Eldredge & Tourtellotte three thousand five hundred' 
dollars, Mancel Talcott being surety for the attorneys. The records were to 
be delivered by the 12th instant. They were dug from the earth, where they 
had been buried since the 28th of June, on the 6th of September, at night, 
in a badly-damaged condition, and Winslow Hatch notified at 11 o'clock 
p. m. The sheriff and Mr. Watkins were at the Hatch House, in Three 
Rivers, on their return from Chicago ; Mr. Hatch immediately informed 
them of the exhumation of the records, and the sheriff at once ordered the 
books taken to the court house. This was done at 2 o'clock A. m., and 
when the sheriff discovered the terrible condition the records were in, he at 
once telegraphed to the attorneys, and took the cars at 4 o'clock for Chicago, 
where, on his arrival at 10 o'clock, he immediately notified Eldredge & 
Tourtellotte of the damaged state in which the records had been delivered, 
and demanded a return of the money deposited; but the attorneys claimed 
it had already been paid over. Suit was commenced against the attorneys 
for the recovery of the money deposited, and Tourtellotte came to Centreville, 
November 22, 1872, and registered as Tuttle. Sheriff Peirce happened to 
see him about 4 o'clock p. m., and drove to Sturgis, saw General Stougbton, 
the county's attorney, came back to Centreville and procured a writ, drove 
to Three Rivers, and procured the services of the same by under-sheriff C. 
E. Peirce, who had been to that place from Centreville with Tourtellotte, 
the latter having lots of sport with him about the old sheriff and the records. 

The writ was served about 12 o'clock at night, Tourtellotte querying, 
" Who the h — 1 are you ?" Peirce replied, " I was your hostler coming 
over ; I am under-sheriff now !" 

The suit was transferred to the District Court of the United States, at 
Grand Rapids, March 19, 1873, and tried in September, 1874, judgment 
being rendered for three thousand Ave hundred dollars and interest, by a jury 
before the United States Judge, Withey presiding. General Stoughton and 
Hon. H. H. Riley were the attorneys for the county, and Eldredge & Tourtel- 
lotte appeared in person, and also by J. B. Church of Grand Rapids. A 



motion for a new trial was argued and over-ruled, and an appeal taken to 
the United State Supreme Court, where it has as yet been undisposed of. 

The total cost of the nefarious transaction to the county thus far is as fol- 
lows : 

Paid for the recovery of the records, $3,500 

Cost of new records, and copying and comparing same, 3,500 

Paid for attorneys' fees, _-__._ 1,000 

Paid for incidental expenses, 1,500 






Never did a palm-shaded oasis, cooled and refreshed by its bubbling 
spring of pure cold water in the midst of a parched and scorching Sahara, 
look more inviting to the weary, dust-begrimed Arab, than did the flower 
bedecked prairies and openings from St. Joseph, when in the full glory of 
their summer foliage, to the pilgrims from the heavy-timbered and mountainous 
regions of New York and Pennsylvania, in the pioneer days of the county. 
Sturgis, White Pigeon and Nottawa prairies were gems of beauty wrought 
by that incomparable artist and limner, Nature, into a multitude of forms 
of loveliness. The oak openings of Florence, Burr Oak and Flowerfield 
were parks of unsurpassed extent and wondrous elegance. All undergrowth 
obliterated as though a gardener had passed through with axe, spade and 
rake ; the view in the openings was unobstructed for miles, and the whole 
surface was carpeted with a rank growth of rich grasses and beautified with 
myriads of flowers of various hues and forms. Lakes glittered in the open- 
ings, rivulets meandered through the woods, and a noble river, entering the 
county in the northeast, wound its serpentine way through the entire length 
and width of its territory, passing out at its extreme southwestern corner. 
Its surface was a general level, in some parts rolling, running up into knobs 
in Fabius and Sherman. The prairies and openings were gently undulating, 
but in many places as level, apparently, as a house floor. 

The area of the surface of the county contains about 329,619 acres, of 
which 319,895 acres are land, and 9,724 acres are water surface. The prairie 
surface in the early days included aboutl2,535 acres, the balance of the land 
area being oak openings and heavy timber. The latter feature of the surface 
was confined principally to the towns of Mendon and Leonidas, although 
there was more or less heavy timber on all of the river and creek bottoms. 
The heavy timber consists of oak, beech, maple, hickory, white wood, ash, 
black walnut, butternut, cherry, sycamore and elm, principally. The white- 
wood is nearly extinct, it being used largely in the manufacture of "arks" 
in the ante-railroad days, for transporting flour to the lake down the St. 

The woods harbored deer in countless herds when the settlers first came 
in, and for several years afterwards it was no difficult matter to bring in a 
saddle of venison any day in a few minutes. Black, grey and prairie wolves, 
and bears were plentiful at first, but the larger of those animals early gave 
way before the advancing tide of civilization, which poured into the county 
in 1835-6. 

Feathered game was abundant, of all descriptions common to the west. 
Wild turkey, geese, duck and grouse of several varieties, and quail, made 
most excellent sport for the hunter, and even at the present time these fowl 
may all be met with, sparingly, in the county. Woodcock, plover and snipe 
are, in certain localities, yet plentiful. 

The lakes and rivers were literally filled with fish, and do not appear to 
have suffered much diminution at the present time. Sturgeon, pike, bass, 
red-horse, perch, suckers, sun-fish and a variety of smaller fry were the nat- 
ural stock of the lakes, but later efforts at pisiculture have introduced white- 
fish, trout, graylings and other varieties into some of the lakes, but sufficient 
time has not yet elapsed to show how successful the attempt will be. 

The present geographical situation of St. Joseph county is defined thus : 
It is bounded on the north by Kalamazoo county, on the east by Branch, 
on the south by the counties of Lagrange and Elkhart, in the State of In- 
diana, and west by Cass county, Michigan — the south line of the county 
being also the boundary line between Indiana and Michigan. The county- 
seat, Centreville, is very nearly the geographical centre of the county, and 

is distant from Detroit about one hundred and fifty-eight miles, and 
from Chicago one hundred and twenty-six miles. The climate is mild 
and not usually subject to sudden changes, though violent extremes have 
occurred in a short period of time very noticeable. The Michigan 
Statesman, published at White Pigeon, 1834-36, records the summer 
of 1834 as very hot — the range of the mercury for two months being 
between ninety and one hundred degrees above zero. The wheat and 
corn crop that year in the county was short, no surplus being left for mar- 
keting, outside the wants of the people themselves, and much sickness was 
experienced throughout the county. This was the second season of the 
cholera — the first season (1832) the plague passing over without attacking 
any one in the county. Several victims were carried off by it in 1834, and the 
people were very much frightened and disturbed by its visitation, as they 
well might be, when it exhibited such virulence in the pure atmosphere of 
the new country, so far away from city and town. George Keech, Sr., of 
Centreville, kept a diary of the atmospheric changes for twenty-four years, 
from which we cull a few of the more extreme registers of the weather : 
January 8, 1856, was a very cold day, the mercury standing at twenty-eight 
degrees below zero at nine A. M. January 1, 1864, the fluid fell fifty-eight 
degrees in sixteen hours, standing twenty-four degrees below in the morning, 
and twenty degrees below on the morning of the 2d. February 3, 1868, the 
mercury stood twenty-five degrees below, and on March 4 of the same year 
it marked ten degrees below. The following summer was extremely hot, 
the thermometer marking on June 14 ninety-two degrees, below which it did 
not fall for four days — till the 18th — when it rose to one hundred degrees. 
On the 30th it was at ninety-six degrees. July 1 the fluid stood at ninety- 
four degrees ; 3d, ninety-five degrees ; 4th, ninety-nine degrees ; 11th, ninety- 
eight degrees: 12th, one hundred degrees; from the 13th to the 15th, both in- 
clusive, one hundred and three degrees ; 16th, ninety-eight degrees; 17th and 
18th, one hundred and two degrees, and 19th, one hundred and one degrees; 
while the average from the 20th to the 28th inclusive was ninety-four degrees. 
On the 17th of January, 1870, a terrible gale of wind arose about one o'clock 
A. M. in Centreville, whereby buildings were blown down and one man, 
Charles Boyer, killed, and Mrs. Newark fatally injured by the falling build- 
ings. In March of that year, on the 15th day of the month, the mercurj 
fell seventeen degrees between twelve and two o'clock p. m., standing thirty- 
three degrees above at noon and only three degrees at six o'clock ; and on 
the morning of the 16th was at zero. From May 19 to June 3, in 1871, the 
weather was very severe — the mercury ranging from eighty-eiglit to ninety- 
three degrees. In May, 1874, there were some remarkable elevations of the 
mercury, showing as high as ninety-six degrees on the 28th, ninety-four degrees 
27th, ninety-two degrees 29th, and ninety-three degrees the 30th. July 6 it 
registered at ninety-eight degrees, and on the 27th at one hundred degrees. 
In 1875 a severe ice-storm passed over the county, by which fruit and forest 
trees were severely broken up and injured. The winter of 1876-77 was re- 
markable for the excellent sleighing, which commenced in the early part of 
December and lasted for more than six weeks, and which was followed by 
about the same length of time in which the sun was visible the whole day 
long. The weather was bracing, but not severe, during the time the snow re- 
mained on the ground, and the fine weather which followed was simply 
superb. The temperature was so mild the ground was not frozen, except in 
exposed situations, the whole winter. The month of March was ushered in by 
a famous snow-storm, which continued more or less severely for some days, 
the snow remaining on the ground, and the sleighing being excellent until 
after the 22d of the month. 

The soil of the county is, for the most part, a rich, sandy loam, light and 
warm, changing on White Pigeon and Sturgis prairies to a heavier loam, 
but none the less fertile. On Nottawa prairie the soil in some parts — 
notably so in Mendon — is a black, sandy loam of remarkable depth and 
richness, and in this peculiarity differs from the other prairie-soil. Wheat is 
the staple product of the county, though large amounts of corn are success- 
fully raised. All cereals thrive well in the soil, the openings being better 
adapted to the mint-culture than the prairie. The St. Joseph country seems 
to be a natural habitat of the apple, which produces enormous quantities of 
most delicious fruit. 

Peaches have, in former years, thriven generously, but after 1850 a serise 
of severe winters killed the trees, since which time the culture of the peach 
has not revived to but a limited extent. Cherries are productive, and a cer- 
tain crop ; but plums, once abundant, not only as natives in the woods, but 
also cultivated, have disappeared by reason of the ravages of the curculio. 
The geological features of the county are not striking to the ordinary eye, 
untrained to look for " sermons in stones, in brooks and in trees," but the 
soil is, nevertheless, eloquent of past ages and early forms of life. There are 



no stones in situ, no quarries showing the gradations of their deposition, but 
such as lie buried hundreds of feet beneath the debris of the glacial action, 
which is most abundantly testified to by the coralline deposits in the soil, 
and the presence of innumerable bowlders and drift-stone all over certain 
parts of the county. No stone are found on the prairies, and in but a por- 
tion of the openings. On the west side of the township of Constantine there 
are large quantities of bowlder-stone, as also in Nottawa, Leonidas and Fawn 
River townships, but they are less heavily scattered in other parts. 
These stone are valuable for cellar and foundation walls, and so used almost 
exclusively. Occasionally a building is constructed of them, but it is not 
often such use is made of them. The Union school-house, at Centreville, is 
so built, and presents an appearance of solidity that would defy the frosts 
and storms of ages. When selected with taste, and wrought with care, the 
appearance of a foundation has a pleasing effect as the variegated surface 
sparkles in the sunlight. They are composed of the usual varieties of the 
bowlder-drift — flint, granite, gneiss, trap, lime, pudding-stones, quartz, etc. 
Some very fine garnets are found imbedded in the bowlders at times, upon 
breaking them up for use. 

An amateur but enthusiastic geologist gives us the following list of fossils 
he has found in the soil of Fawn River, which are identical with those found 
in other parts of the county, the soil of which is very rich in fossiliferous 
deposits : 

" Fossils of the Lower Silurian age, Trenton period : radiates — polyp cor- 
als, the petraia corniculum, columnaria alveolata, taeniasta spinoza ; mol- 
lusks — chaeteles lycoperdon or costalis leptaena plicifera, ptilodictya fenes- 
trata, retepora incepta, a trilobite, calymene senaria. 
" Hudson period : radiates — favisstella stellata. 

" Upper Silurian, Niagara period : radiates — chaeteles-corals, ehonophyl- 
lum Niagarense, favosites Niag. ; mollusks — fenestella; radiates — several 
erinoids, caryocrinus ornatus ; brachiopods — atrypa nodostriata ; spirifer sul- 
catus occidentalis ; 0. testudintaria. 

"Carboniferous: trigonoearpuin, tricuspidatum and lepidodendron. Some 
very perfectly preserved crinoid stems, showing the star-shaped joint most 

" Devonian, carniferous period : radiates — zaphrentis gigantes, Z. Rafines- 
quii, Phillipsastrea verneuill ; cyathophyllura rugosum; favosites Gold fussi ; 
syringopora Maclurii ; aulopora eorunta." 

The bottoms 6f many of the lakes and marshes are marl-beds formed of 
erinoids and shells, the marl being used, in the days before transportation 
became as easily effected as now, as lime, large quantities having been burned 
in the county. It is not as strong as limestone, but makes a very white wall. 
The county is well watered and drained by the St. Joseph river and its 
tributaries, the Portage, Rocky, Fawn and Pigeon rivers, and Nottawa, 
Hog and Swan creeks, and the several lakes included -in its borders. 

The St. Joseph, as before stated, enters the county in the northeast, and 
runs diagonally through it to the southwest. The Portage and Rocky enter 
the St. Joseph at Three Rivers, from the north ; the Fawn enters the county 
from Indiana, and runs northerly, and enters the St. Joseph above Constan- 
tine; the Pigeon rises in Indiana and the southern lakes of the county, and 
enters the St. Joseph below Mottville, running through the townships of 
White Pigeon and Mottville in a westerly direction ; Nottawa creek enters 
the St. Joseph near southwest corner of Leonidas, entering the same town- 
ship on section one, from Branch county ; Hog creek rises in Branch county, 
and runs through Burr Oak and Nottawa townships, and enters the St. 
Joseph on section thirty of Lockport; Swan creek empties into Sturgeon 
lake near the entrance of the St. Joseph, rising in Branch county, and 
enters the township of Burr Oak on section twelve, and thence through 
Colon to its outlet. The principal lake surface is confined to Colon and 
Fabius in the aggregate. The larger ones are Sturgeon and Palmer, in 
Colon; Pickerel and Klinger's, in White Pigeon; Fisher's, in Lockport and 
Park ; Fish in Sherman, and Sand in Nottawa. The lakes in Fabius are 
noted more for their number than their area. 

The early settlers experienced many hardships, but none were so se- 
vere as those endured by reason of the malarial diseases that were preva- 
lent until after the land had become generally broken up. As long as the 
fires ran through the woods and over the prairies, there was but little or no 
sickness, as there was no vegetation left to decay and taint the air with its 
miasm. But as soon as the fires were kept out, and the grass and leaves 
left to decay, although the soil was enriched thereby, a miasmatic ex- 
halation arose from the mass, that poisoned the air, and fever and ague, bil- 
ious and typhoid fevers were prevalent. Every person coming into the 
county in the earlier days of its settlement, before getting acclimated had 
to pass through what they called a "seasoning," the fall after locating. 

One of the early physicians, who was an extensive practitioner, says that 
the fatality of the diseases, which in 1837-38 was fearful, was the result, 
largely, of want of proper care and medicines. Calomel was considered a 
specific by many, but it killed more than it cured, according to his testimony, 
and he was a regular-school physician, notwithstanding. 

Since those early days the mortality has been no greater than ordinary, 
and is much lower than in many other localities, equally situated, in the 
west. Clear, pure water can be obtained by. digging H-om twenty to fifty 
feet, in almost any part of the county, and the, air is ftah.and pure except 
in certain localities where stagnant mill-ponds or marshes gather decaying 





In tracing the history of the patriotism of the people of St. Joseph 
county, no more fitting prelude to the brilliant record can be made than 
the eloquent tribute paid to them by Hon. Isaac D. Toll in his exhaustive 
and able address delivered before the St. Joseph pioneer society at its an- 
nual meeting, June 9, 1876, at Centreville. After alluding to the marvel- 
ous development and progress of the State of Michigan, in agriculture, min- 
ing, manufacture and education, he classes its patriotism as the grandest 
record of all, and claims the same as a just reason for congratulation — and 
the more, that the people of St. Joseph county had done their full share in ac- 
complishing the grand results. He then adds : " From the Black Hawk war r 
of which there are survivors here present, to the present time, — in the war 
with Mexico, when this county sent out its representatives, to the great war 
which closed in 1865, have we ever been wanting in our full duty ? Your 
national colors were upheld at Contreras and Churubusco by sinews har- 
dened for the work on your own soil. Also at Molino del Rey and Chepulte- 


«' There fought the Greek of old,— 
How well he fought again ; 
Shall not the self-same mould, 
Produce the self-same men ?" 

" There your braves sleep in unknown graves, the cloud-capped Popocate- 
petl, the pedregal of Contreras, the mute witnesses of their valor, as of their 
rest. The cypresses of Montezuma 

" Wave above them their green leaves, 
Grieving, if aught inanimate e'er grieves, 
O'er the unreturning braves." 

" From Bull Run, ' beside their cannon, conquered not, though slain/ to 
Malvern ; at Shiloh ; in the march to the sea, at Chantilly, Gettysburg, tx» 
the surrender at Appomattox, everywhere, where the stars and stripes were 
unfurled — the emblems of unity — there were your sons. 

u Upon your Bennett, Oakes, Hazzard, Stevens, Newberry, Starr, Bishop, 
Wilcox, Washburn, Thurston, and alas! too many others, your eyes may not 
again rest here ; soldiers for the unity, for the nation, for the State, neither 
for centralization, nor sovereignties independent of the aggregate, but for 
country from shore to shore ; ' a republic, where beneath the sway of mild 
and equal laws, framed by themselves, one people dwell, and own no lord 
save God' !" 

" By fairy hands their knell is rung, 
By forms unseen their dirge is sung ; — 
There honor comes, a pilgrim gray, 
To bless the turf that wraps their clay ; 
And Freedom shall a while repair 
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there." 

The first evidence of Michigan patriotism was given to the world when 
the gallant Major Antoine De Quindre, and his company of French volun- 
teers from Detroit, joined the American forces at the battle of Monguagon, 
or Brownston, August 9, 1812. 

The Indian allies of the British forces began the attack, whereupon the 
French riflemen delivered so effectual a fire the savages were thrown into 
confusion ; the riflemen then charged bayonets and routed the Indians, 
throwing them back upon the British lines, which in turn were broken and 
thrown into confusion, and the advantage thus gained being pressed by the 
commander of the American troops, the enemy were routed, the Indians 
scattering through the woods, and the British compelled to take refuge in 
their ships in the Detroit river. 



This Detroit company were the first volunteers of Michigan. 
In May, 1832, the news of the advance of Black Hawk at the head of 
his painted warriors on the settlements in Illinois, of his avowed intention 
to march to Detroit and slay every pale-face who was trespassing on the 
red man's land, startled the sparse settlements in St. Joseph county, and 
filled the hearts of the settlers, with fear and uncertainty. Two military 
companies were mustered, Captain Stewart's of White Pigeon, and Captain 
Henry Powers' of Nottaw T a Prairie, and drafts of fifty men from each com- 
pany ordered and made. 

Captain Powers' men were to act as a corps of observation on the borders 
of the Nottawa-seepe reservation, which was occupied by a large band of 
Pottawatomies, and Captain Stewart's men were to advance to the relief of 
Chicago and the frontier ; but the day after the draft for the fifty men was 
made, (one for forty having been made previously and revoked), and before 
the soldiers had left White Pigeon, the news was brought that Black Hawk 
had been captured, his warriors defeated, and the war over ; then the men 
returned home to their wives and little ones, and took up the works of peace 
again. The drafted men, however, drew a month's pay (eight dollars) from 
the United States, and forty acres of land, for their services. A company 
of men from Cold water and vicinity, went as far as Niles, and a portion of 
them, with some volunteers from Sturgis prairie, as far as Door prairie, but 
met no enemy. However they made a charge on the commissary depart- 
ment and succeeded in capturing sufficient supplies to get at least one good 
supper, while they were on the way back. The excitement lasted about two 
weeks and passed away, and quietness again reigned throughout the settle- 
ments ; but its effect was felt for nearly a year in the falling off of emigration, 
which almost entirely ceased till the next season. 

When the United States declared war against Mexico, St. Joseph county 
was not behind in responding to the call for volunteers. Hon. Isaac D. 
Toll, then a member of the State senate, received a commission from the 
government, as captain in the 15th United States infantry, in March, 1847, 
and at once came to Fawn River and began to recruit a company. With 
the assistance of Lieutenants Goodman, Titus and Freelon, the ranks were 
filled in April, and the company (E) left Detroit for its destination, Vera 
Cruz, the same month. The company was engaged at Riconada Pass, June 
24; Contreras and Churubusco, August 19 and 20; Molino del Rey, Sep- 
tember 8, and Chepultepec, September 13, Captain Toll commanding in 
every engagement, except Chepultepec, which latter he reached from the 
hospital at Mexcoac, in ambulance, towards its close. The greatest loss by 
far was at Churubusco, and this, too, on the St. Joseph county men, 
Captain Toll having command of the colors. The regiment, under command 
of Colonel Morgan, was thrown into disorder by the overwhelming fire of 
the foe, (eight to one), Colonel Morgan severely wounded, First Lieutenant 
Goodman of Company E killed, and Orderly Sergeant Cunningham despe- 
rately wounded. The Captain rallied the men on the colors, preparing for 
a charge, when the flanking companies of the regiment fell back, leaving 
Company E unsupported, but in good order. This left the company the 
apex of an inverted V (thus a), and made the severest loss in the regiment 
fall on that company. They would not desert their leader, who himself 
rallied the regiment with the aid of Adjutant Brodhead, (who was killed at 
Chantilly in the war of the rebellion), and pressed and overcame the 
enemy, who, besides their great number, were protected by a wide, deep 
ditch, and a fence of large magney. 

The company was enlisted in the counties of St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Kent, 
Cass and Jackson. 

The St. Joseph county men were as follows : 
Isaac D. Toll, captain. 

John Cunningham, first sergeant, mortally wounded at Churubusco. 
Francis Flanders, Jr., sergeant, afterwards drum major of the regiment. 
William S. Smith, sergeant, a most brave man, participating in every 
engagement, died of chronic diarrhoea on the way home. 

Daniel P. Hanks, corporal, mortally wounded at Churubusco. 
Fitch Cornell, a half brother of Hanks, shot through the head, the ball 
entering left eye, now alive and well. Surgeon Slade said he would die and 
Hanks would recover, but the reverse was the case. 

Horace Bartholomew, corporal, Theron Bartholomew, Levi Bartholomew, 
(three brothers, of Fawn River), Abraham Berss, Ludlow Cox, Richard W. 
Corbus. The last named died of wounds received at Churubusco. Samuel 
B. Corbus, Nathaniel Crofoot, wounded at Churubusco; James H. Davis, 
Solomon Gilman, Wesley Gordon, wounded in same battle; Daniel W. 
Hamblin, Sylvester Holiday, John Ladd, Clark Munson, died from wounds 
in same battle ; William J. Norton, Isaac A. Smith, wounded in same battle. 


The Michigan " Contingent " in the war of the rebellion was largely made 
up of men who enlisted for three years, and were mainly from the more respect- 
able and industrious classes. Leaving the peaceful avocations of civil life, 
these men were disciplined into soldiers and converted into heroes, sometimes 
even during the operations and emergencies of a single campaign. Patient 
and obedient under the most rigid discipline, persistent and enduring on the 
long and tedious march, cheerful and untiring in the trenches, apt in experi- 
ment, and most ingenious in construction, they added to all these qualifica- 
tions and merits, true courage in the field, while almost every important ac- 
tion has illustrated their heroism, and almost every battle-field k consecrated 
with their blood. 

Of these heroic men St. Joseph county sent to the field twenty-six hun- 
dred and ninety-two, and they were not only prompt and prominent at the 
outset of the rebellion, but were also in at its death. They were among those 
who, under Wilcox, first crossed the Long Bridge into Virginia, and partici- 
pated in the capture of Alexandria. They were in the command of the brave 
and lamented Richardson, who first opened fire upon the rebels at Blackburn's 
Ford, on July 18, 1861, in the vicinity of Bull Run. They were with Gen- 
eral McClellan in West Virginia in the first year of the war, and were in 
South Carolina and Georgia in 1862, and during that year served with tire 
army of the Potomac on the peninsula and in Maryland, with General Banks 
in the Shenandoah valley, in Virginia with Burnside, in Louisiana with But-, 
ler, and in Missouri with General Pope and Colonel Mulligan. 

In 1863 they bore a gallant and conspicuous part in the ever memorable 
campaigns under General Hooker in Virginia, and General Meade in Penn- 
sylvania; at the defence of Knoxville by General Burnside, at the capture 
of Vieksburg by General Grant, and on the celebrated Kllpatrick raid 
against Richmond. They were also engaged in the campaign of General 
Rosecrans against Chattanooga. 

In 1864-5 they were with General Grant on his great march against Rich- 
mond, and bravely participated in most of the hard-fought battles of the event- 
ful campaign. They were also with General Sherman when he " marched 
down to the sea," and were prominently engaged, in most of his memorable 
and successful battles, and with General Sheridan in his matchless encounters 
with the enemy in the valley of the Shenandoah, where, in command of the 
gallant and intrepid — and now lamented — Custer, their sabres flashed in 
every battle. They took part in the gallant defense of Nashville by Gen- 
eral Thomas, and were with Generals Stoneman and Wilson on their raids 
into North Carolina and Georgia ; and St. Joseph veterans were at the cap- 
ture of Jefferson Davis in his inglorious flight to escape deserved punish- 
ment for his infamous treason and rebellion. 

Not only were the men of the county heroic, but so too were the women. 
As the places filled by their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers, at the plow 
and in the harvest, in the shop and at the counter, were vacated, the wives, 
daughters and sisters stepped into the empty places, and took up the im- 
plements of toil their loved ones had laid down for the musket and sabre, 
and all through the bloody struggle performed the tasks intended for stronger 
arms, many of them, alas ! never more to return. The sanitary commission 
never issued an appeal in vain to the women of St. Joseph county, who vied 
with their sisters all through the North in their deeds of love and mercy for 
the soldiers of the Union. This discipline, though a stern one, was not with- 
out its benefits, for it taught the women self-reliance, and gave them new 
ideas of power and new fields of usefulness. 

Michigan sent out thirty regiments of infantry, eleven regiments of cav- 
alry, fourteen batteries of artillery, one regiment of mechanics and engineers, 
one regiment of sharp-shooters, besides several companies who went into or- 
ganizations of other States ; and, with the exception of the 18th, 21st and 
22d regiments of infantry, St. Joseph county was represented in them all ; 
consequently the history of the St. Joseph heroes is co-extensive with the 
history of every regiment and battery the State sent out in her noble army 
of ninety thousand seven hundred and forty-seven veterans, to the defence 
of a common country imperiled by treason. 

We give in the following summary a brie*f history only of those regiments 
and batteries, of which organized companies from St. Joseph county formed 
a part, and must refer the reader for the entire interesting record to the 
complete and exhaustive reports of the adjutant-general of the State of 
Michigan, from whose official records the summary has been compiled, as 
well as the names of the gallant men which appear under the respective 
township histories, in another part of our work. 




The 1st Michigan — the regiment which, under Colonel Wilcox, led the ad- 
vance of Michigan troops to the front — although hurriedly organized and 
hastily equipped, left the State a pattern regiment in every respect, none 
better having preceded it to the National capital from any State ; arriving 
there at a critical time when that place was in great and immediate danger 
of being attacked and captured by the rebels, whose troops then picketed the 
Potomac. Its presence aided much in establishing confidence among those 
in authority, that the capital was safe, and its appearance on Pennsylvania 
avenue was hailed with the cheers of loyal thousands. As it passed in 
review before the ]pmented Lincoln, it received his highest praise, and through 
them thanked the State for their prompt appearance in Washington. 

The regiment was assigned to Heintzelman's division, and, under Colonel 
Wilcox, led the advance of the Union troops across Long Bridge into Vir- 
ginia, on the 24th of May, driving in the rebel pickets, and entering Alex- 
andria via the road, simultaneously with the regiment of Ellsworth's Zouaves 
that entered it by steamer. 

At the battle of Bull Run the regiment belonged to the brigade com- 
manded by Colonel Wilcox, and was in the hottest of the fight, eagerly press- 
ing forward on the enemy, losing heavily but fighting stubbornly and gal- 
lantly. On that disastrous field the 1st established the highest standard for 
Michigan troops, so uniformly and so remarkably maintained throughout 
the entire war. Its dead were found nearest the enemy's works. In the en- 
gagement Captain Butterworth, Lieutenants Mauch and Casey were wounded 
and taken prisoners, and afterwards died of their wounds in rebel custody. 
Colonel Wilcox was also wounded, and falling into the hands of the enemy, 
was exchanged after fifteen months captivity. 

The regiment on the expiration of its three months' term of service re- 
turned to the State, and was mustered out August 7, 1861, but was soon after 
reorganized as a three years' regiment, and left for the army of the Potomac 
August 16, commanded by Colonel John C. Robinson, then captain in the 
regular service, who continued to command it till April 28, 1862, when he was 
appointed a brigadier-general of volunteers, and was succeeded in the com- 
mand of the regiment by Colonel H. S. Roberts, promoted from lieutenant- 
colonel. It went to the Peninsula with McClellan, and was in the engage- 
ments at Mechanicsville, June 26 ; at Gaines* Mills, June 27 ; at Malvern 
Hill, July 1, and at Gainsville, August 29. 

It rendered most gallant and valuable service during the war, and suf- 
fered severe losses in killed and wounded. Among its numerous engage- 
ments, none perhaps will be more vividly remembered by the regiment than 
the disastrous charges so bravely made, but with such fearful loss, upon the 
enemy's position along the Warrenton and Centreville pike, on August 30, 
1862, during tfie series of engagements near Manassas, now known as the 
second battle of Bull Run. 

The regiment, under command of Colonel Roberts, was iit General Fitz 
Johu Porter's corps, and had during the day been posted in the woods front- 
ing the enemy's lines, and near one of his most important batteries. At 4 
p. M. the order was given to advance and dislodge the enemy. The 1st 
Michigan, with the 18th Massachusetts and the 13th New York regiments of 
infantry deployed column and with cheers charged. They instantly found 
themselves the target of a terrific fire from ambushed infantry of the enemy 
aud five batteries, four of which had been masked, and hitherto unseen. The 
charge was a murderous one, and within a few moments eight officers and 
fifty per cent, of the regiment fell. The men stood their ground bravely, 
w r ith veteran coolness under these trying circumstances, and when the 
impossibility of success became a certainty, and the order to retreat was 
given, fell back in good order to the woods and reformed their division. Had 
victory been possible, their courage and persistency would have won it. 
Their demeanor, amid disaster and defeat, affords one of the greatest exam- 
ples of true courage. Colonel Roberts was killed, shot through the breast 
with a nainie ball, and Captains Charles E. Wendell, Russell H. Alcott, Eben 
T. Whittlesey, Edward Pomeroy, and Lieutenants H. Clay Arnold, J. S. 
Garrison and W. Bloodgood, also met their death. 

After the death of Colonel Roberts, Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin W. 
Whittlesey was promoted to the command of the regiment, but was absent 
from the field on account of injuries received in the Peninsular campaign. 
The regiment was engaged at Antietam, September 17 ; at Shepherdstown 
Ford, September 2D, and at Fredericksburg, December 13 and 14, at which 
latter place it was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Ira C. Abbott, of 
Burr Oak, who went out in August of 1861 as captain of Company B, and 
was promoted to the position of major, April 28, 1862. It was heavily en- 
gaged at Fredericksburg, and lost one officer — Captain J, B. Kennedy — and 
seven men killed, together with seven officers and thirty-three men wounded. 

At Chancellorsville, April 30, 1863, it went into action under command 
of Colonel Abbott, who had been promoted a short time before, with twenty- 
three officers and two hundred and forty muskets, and was in the various 
engagements in that vicinity. From the 28th of May to the 2d of July, it 
skirmished nearly every day with the enemy's cavalry, and after severe and 
laborious marches, it reached Gettysburg at 1:30 A. m. of the last day 
above named, and entered into battle with twenty officers and one hundred 
and twenty-five men, sustaining a loss during the engagement of Captain 
Amos Ladd and four men killed, with six officers and twenty-five men 
wounded, among whom was Colonel Abbott, disabled early in the action, 
the command devolving upon Lieutenant-Colonel W. A. Throop. It joined 
in the pursuit of the enemy on the 5th, and on the 18th recrossed the Poto- 
mac into Virginia, and aided in driving the foe through Manassas Gap, and 
went into camp at Warrenton. 

In the battles of the Wilderness, commencing May 5, 1864, the regiment, 
in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Throop, especially distinguised itself. It 
was in Bartlett's (3d) brigade of Griffin's (1st) division, 5th corps, in the 
van of General Grant's celebrated movement on Richmond, which ultimately 
culminated in the fall of the rebel capital and the surrender of Lee's army. 
It fired the first musket of that glorious campaign, and its brigade checked 
the rebel advance on the road leading to Orange Court House, and thus 
opened the last act of the great drama. In the opening engagements of the 
campaign, so constantly was it under fire, and so perilous were the duties to 
which it was assigned, that on the evening of the 8th of May, after a bril- 
liant and successful charge at Alsop's farm, its gallant commander was able 
to muster but twenty-three men fit for active service. But this handful still 
pressed forward, undaunted and fearless, and participated in the battles of 
Spottsylvania, Jericho Mills and the engagements near Cold Harbor, and 
on the 17th of June sat down before Petersburg and went into the trenches. 
On September 30, was in the desperate fighting at Poplar Grove church, 
and, unaided, stormed and carried the strong fortifications and a portion of 
one line of works. During this action its commander, Captain James H. 
Wheaton, was killed. On December 6 it raided the Weldon railroad, and 
February 6, 1865, was at Hatcher's Run, and lost three killed and three 
taken prisoners. March 25 it was engaged again at Hatcher's Run, having 
several wounded. On the 29th it engaged the enemy on the White Oak 
road, and also on April 1, at Five Forks; the 5th at Amelia Court House ; 
at High Bridge on the 6th, and at Appomattox on the 9th. 

The total losses of the regiment during the war were one hundred and 
forty-six men and fifteen commissioned officers, killed or died of wounds 
received in battle, and ninety-six men and one officer died of disease. 


The 2d regiment, under command of Colonel J. B. Richardson, was also 
in the first engagement, and opened fire on the enemy at Blackburn's Ford, 
July 18, 1861, in Richardson's division, which covered the retreat of the 
army from Bull Run on the 21st. 

The regiment, under command of Colonel O. M. Poe, participated in all 
the engagements on the Peninsula, first meeting the enemy in that campaign at 
Williamsburg May 5, 1862, and lost seventeen killed, thirty-eight wounded, 
and four missing. It was at Fair Oaks on the 27th, at Charles City cross- 
roads on the 30th, and at Malvern Hill July 1st. At Fair Oaks it lost ten 
killed and forty-seven wounded, while its bravery was so marked as to re- 
ceive the following notice in the published history of the time : 

" Meantime Heintzelman had sent forward Kearney to recover Casey's lost 
ground, and a desperate fight was going on at the extreme left. The enemy 
had been successfully held in front of Couch's old entrenched camp until 
Kearney's division arrived, when he stayed the torrent of battle. One after 
another his gallant regiments pushed forward, and pressed back the fiery rebels 
with more daring than their own. Here the 55th New York won new lau- 
rels, and Poe's 2d Michigan was bathed in blood. Five hundred of them 
charged across the open field against ten times their number, and stopped 
them in mid career, losing seventeen brave fellows in that one desperate 

Immediately following the battles of the Peninsula, it entered on the cam- 
paign of General Pope, and was engaged with the enemy at Bull Run 
August 28, 29 and 30, at Chantilly on September 1, and at Fredericks- 
burg December 12, following. In 1863 the 2d was transferred to another 
field of operations with the 9th corps, and served with distinction on the 
Grant campaign in Mississippi, terminating with the fall of Vicksburg, 
and the defeat and route of Johnston at Jackson. It was also with Burnside 
in East Tennessee, actively engaged in the defense of Knoxville against 
Longstreet, and iii the various battles with his forces in that vicinity. 



Among the numerous battles of the regiment none will hold a more promi- 
nent place in the memories of its survivors than Jackson and Knoxville. 
Colonel Humphrey was in command in the former fight, and thus reports: 

"At 7 A. M., the order came down the line from the right to 'forward, 
double-quick V The men at once advanced with a cheer, drove in the ene- 
my's skirmishers through their camps and into their reserves strongly posted 
in a deep ravine; charged and broke the reserve, and drove it up out of the 
ravine into its main support, drawn up in line of battle on the top of the 
south bank of the ravine ; charged under a hot fire of musketry and artillery, 
up the steep bank against the main body, broke this line and drove the 
enemy within its works. We now waited for our support to come up, but 
on sending for it, were surprised to find we had none." 

Finding it impossible to hold the ground they had won without support, 
and the enemy being reinforced, Colonel Humphrey ordered the regiment 
under cover of the bank of the ravine, and held the position until the 
wounded were carried to the rear, and then following the movement of the 
regiment on the right, fell back to the line from which he had advanced an 
hour before. 

"By some mistake," Colonel Humphrey reports, "the three companies 
(C, F and H) on the left, did not advance with the rest of the regiment in 
this charge, which was made with about one hundred and seventy men. 
Fifty of these had fallen." 

In this charge nine were killed, thirty-nine wounded, and eight taken 
prisoners. On the 24th of November, 1863, the regiment, under command 
of Major Cornelius Byington, (Colonel Humphrey being in command of the 
brigade) at the siege of Knoxville gallantly charged a strong force of the 
enemy protected by entrenchments and a house they occupied, driving them 
from the position and leveling the house and works to the ground. In the 
charge the regiment lost in killed and wounded out of one hundred and sixty- 
one officers and men engaged, eighty-six. Among the killed were Lieutenants 
William Noble (adjutant) and Charles R. Galpin, and Major Byington and 
Lieutenant Frank Zoellner mortally wounded. This charge is handed down 
in the history of the day as among the most brilliant of the war. 

In 1864 the 2d returned w T ith its corps to the army of the Potomac, and 
on the 5th of May crossed the Rapidan, and on the 6th, under Colonel 
Humphrey, participated in the battles of the Wilderness, losing six killed 
and thirty-two wounded. Among the latter was Captain John C. Joss, in 
command of Company G, who lost his right leg. On the 10th, 11th and 12th, 
it was in the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, where Captain James 
Farrand was killed. On the 3d of June it was at Bethesda Church, June 
17 and 18 it was in the engagements before Petersburg, losing twenty-two 
killed, one hundred and forty-three wounded, and six missing. On the 30th 
of July, in the attack following the springing of the mine, it lost six killed, 
fourteen wounded, and thirty-seven missing, Captain John S. Young and 
Lieutenant John G. Busch being among the killed. March 25, 1865, the 
2d suffered heavy loss at Fort Steadman, and on the 3d of April was en- 
gaged in the capture of Petersburg. The 2d was at the battle of Williams- 
burg, of which the New York Tribune thus spoke : 

"The 2d Michigan took into action only sixty men, the rest being left 
behind, exhausted with the quick march through mud and rain. Yet they 
lost one out of every five engaged. The regiment was in the hottest of the 
fight. By the confessions of prisoners eight hundred of Berry's men (mostly 
Michigan) drove back, at the point of the bayonet, sixteen hundred rebels." 
The loss was seventeen killed, thirty-eight wounded, and four missing. 
The total losses of the regiment during the service were eleven officers and 
one hundred and ninety-two men killed or died of wounds, and three officers 
and one hundred and twenty-eight men died of disease. Company G was 
recruited largely from Constantine, and was commanded by Captain John 
A. Lawson. 


This regiment went to the field with great dispatch, in command of the 
lamented Colonel Woodbury, who recruited and raised it at Adrian. Cap- 
tain A. R. Wood recruited a company (C) at Sturgis, and joined it. 

The regiment was in the first Bull Run engagement, and retired from the 
field in good order, covering the retreat of the Union army from that dis- 
astrous affair. It went to the peninsula with McClellan, and was the first 
regiment to open fire on the enemy at New Bridge, May 24, 1862, the com- 
mencement of the seven days' battle, when five companies of the regiment 
crossed the Chickahominy a short distance above New Bridge, wading the 
stream under a heavy fire. The gallantry of the regiment was made at the 
time the subject of a dispatch to the War Department, from General 
McClellan, which mentioned the matter thus: "Three skirmishes to-day ; we 
drove the rebels from Mechanicsville, seven miles from New Bridge. The 

4th Michigan about finished the Louisana Tigers, — fifty prisoners and fifty 
killed and wounded," 

The 4th gained imperishable honor in the Peninsular campaign, being in 
all of the engagements, and conspicuously and specially noticeable in the 
sanguinary conflict of Malvern Hill, in resisting the numerous and desperate 
charges of the rebels on its lines, the men fighting until all their cartridges 
were exhausted, then using those taken from the boxes of their fallen com- 

Colonel Woodbury fell on this field at the head of his regiment, and Cap- 
tains Du Puy and Rose were also killed. From June 26, to July 1, both 
inclusive, the loss of the regiment was fifty-three killed, one hundred and 
forty-four wounded and forty-nine missing. 

The 4th at Shepherdstown Ford, September 21, forded the Potomac ia 
fuce of a battery, killed and drove off the enemy, and captured the guns ; 
and December 13 and 14 was at Fredericksburg, suffering severe loss. 
May 4, 1863, it participated in the battle of Chancellorsville, losing thirty 
in killed, wounded and missing. At Gettysburg its loss was most severe, 
twenty-six being killed, sixty-six wounded and seventy-nine missing. Among 
the former was its noble commander, Colonel H. H. Jeffords, who was killed 
by a bayonet-thrust while rescuing the colors of his regiment from traitor- 
ous hands ; and among the wounded were Captain French of company C, 
of Sturgis, and Lieutenant Sage of White Pigeon. 

In the battles of the Wilderness, the 4th was heavily engaged, and suf- 
fered severely ; losing another commander, Colonel Lombard, also Captain 
W. H. Loveland. 

On July 8 and 9, 1864, it was engaged with the enemy at Laurel Hill,. 
and on the 24th at Jericho Mills, and at Bethesda Church, August 3; on the 
19th it was in the engagement before Petersburg. 

General Meade at Chancellorsville directed General Griffin to send two 
regiments to hold an important point. The General reported to him that 
he had sent them. General Meade asked, " Can they hold it ?" Griffin re- 
plied, " They are Michigan men " ; Meade insisting on being assured, said 
emphatically, " Can they hold it ?" Griffin quickly and emphatically ans- 
wered, " General, they can hold it against hell !" They were the 4th and 
1 6th Michigan. 

Its total losses in the war were one hundred and sixty-eight men, and 
twelve officers killed, or died of wounds ; and one hundred and five men, 
and one officer died of disease, 


The 6th regiment of infantry, afterwards organized as heavy artillery, 
was the peculiar regiment of Michigan, by reason of its entire isolation, almost 
amounting to exile, from the rest of the Michigan troops during the whole 
term of its faithful service. , 

It left the State in August, 1861, commanded by Colonel F. W. Curtenius 
under whose direction it was raised and organized, to join, the army in the 
field ; but was detained at Baltimore, where it remained on duty most of the 
following winter ; thence sailed to Ship Isl and ? Mississippi, and in April, 
1862, left that place for New Orleans, and was one of the first regiments to 
occupy that city on its surrender to General Butler. Serving during^ its- 
whole term of service in the extreme south, it lost more men by disease than 
any other regiment from the State. 

The 6th was engaged at SewelPs Point, Virginia, March 5 ; at Port Jack- 
son, Louisiana, April 25; at Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 20; at Grand Gulf^ 
Mississippi, May 27, and at Amity Biver, Mississippi, June 20. The battles 
of Baton Bouge and Port Hudson, prominent in the history of the rebellion, 
are among the most conspicuous in which the 6th was engaged. 

At Baton Kouge, August 5, 1862, while that place was being heavily at. 
tacked by the rebel forces in very superior numbers under Breckenridge, the 
regiment, then in command of Captain Charles E. Clark, received and re- 
pulsed the principal attack made on that day by the troops led by General 
CJark of Mississippi, against the right wing of the Union forces. The at- 
tacking forces of the rebels were fully six thousand, while the Union forces- 
engaged were not over two thousand. 

The importance of the repulse was acknowledged by General Butler, in a 
congratulatory order issued soon after the engagement, in which the regiment 
was highly complimented for its gallant and valuable services, cpnspiouous 
bravery and most determined fighting. 

At Port Hudson, with General Banks, the 6th fought with the most de- 
termined coolness and desperate intrepidity, being, during the whole siege, 
in the most advanced position. In the assault of May 27, 18€3, the regi- 
ment, commanded by Colonel Clark, led the division of General T. W. Sher- 
man, and lost more than one-third of the .men it, had engaged, including; 



Lieutenant Fred. T. Clark, who fell while gallantly leading Company D to 
the charge. Captain Montgomery also led a forlorn hope of two hundred 
volunteers from the regiment. An assault was made June 14, when the 6th, 
then commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Bacon, advanced by three detach- 
ments. June 29, the regiment, commanded by Captain Cordon, again ad- 
vanced to the assault, when thirty-five of the regiment, composing a forlorn 
hope, assailed the enemy's works at the point known as the citadel. The 
party gained the ditch, but were overpowered and driven back with a loss of 
eight killed and nine wounded, among the former Sergeant M. O. Walker, 
who led the detachment. General Banks thanked the regiment for its gal- 
lant and meritorious conduct during the siege. 

The 6th was at the reduction of Mobile, and did most gallant and efficient 
service as heavy artillerists, doing very fine execution with batteries of ten- 
inch mortars at a range of fourteen hundred yards. After Spanish Fort 
was taken, companies A and K manned and turned the heavy captured guns 
of the rebels, consisting of seven inch Brooks' rifled and one hundred pound 
Parrott's, on the rebel forts Huger and Tracy, and did excellent service on 
all the works within range. The losses of the regiment during the war were 
sixty-three men and two officers killed or died of wounds, and four hundred 
and fifty-two men and five officers died of disease. Company C was raised 
in St. Joseph county ; Lester Fox, of Flowerfield, going out as corporal, and 
being mustered out as its first-lieutenant. 


The 7th Michigan — the gallant forlorn-hope regiment at the battle of 
Fredericksburg — was recruited and organized under the direction of Colonel 
Ira R. Grosvenor, at Monroe. Leaving for the field September 5, 1861, 
first encountered the enemy at Ball's Bluff, Va., October 21st following, and 
gained credit even in that disastrous engagement. It passed through the 
peninsular campaign with McClellan, participating, in common, in its vic- 
tories and defeats, and served as rear guard of the army on the retreat to 
Harrison's Landing. 

At the battle of Antietam, it lost more than half its force engaged, in- 
cluding Captain Allen H. Zacharias, who died of his wounds on January 1, 
following, and Lieutenant John P. Eberhard, Company K, of Colon^ who 
was killed. " But one of the great feats of the war than which none will 
appear brighter in history, was reserved for the 7th at Fredericksburg, on 
December 11, 1862, when Burnside concluded to cross the Rappahannock 
and attack the rebels in that stronghold. The upper pontoon had been laid 
part of the way by the engineers during the night of the 10th. Daylight 
exposed them to the fire of the enemy's sharp-shooters, which drove them 
off. Volunteers were called for to cross the river and gain a position to protect 
the laying of the bridge. Immediately the 7th Michigan, under the gallant 
Baxter, rushed to the boats, crossed the stream in full view of both armies, 
under a most terrific fire from the enemy's sharp-shooters, losing heavily, but 
vigorously charging the rebels on the opposite bank, drove them from their 
rifle pits, taking a number of prisoners and holding the ground. Colonel 
Baxter having fallen severely wounded, recrossed the river while the regi- 
ment, with the 19th and 20th Massachusetts, which had crossed by the second 
trip of the boats, dashed up the hill into the city, driving the enemy from 
house to house, and from stronghold to stronghold, capturing nearly as many 
prisoners as the regiment numbered, and inflicting a severe loss in killed 
and wounded ; their own loss also being heavy, including Lieutenant Frank- 
lin Emery of the 7th. The river thus protected, the laying of the pontoons 
was speedily accomplished and a portion of the army was crossed. 

"At Gettysburg the regiment arrived, after fatiguing marches, July 2d, and 
was immediately sent to the front on Cemetery hill, having fourteen officers 
and one hundred and fifty-one men. It occupied the same position until the 
close of the battle on the 3d, losing twenty-one killed and forty-four wound- 
ed. Among the killed were Lieutenant-Colonel Amos E. Steele, command- 
ing the regiment. 

" On May 5, 1864, the 7th was engaged, under Major S. W. Curtis, at the 
Wilderness, and from thence to Petersburg was engaged in all the battles 
and skirmishes which distinguished that great campaign. Its services were 
arduous and most gallantly performed from the time it arrived at Peters- 
burg, July 15, to October 26, when at Hatcher's Run, in the hottest of the 
fight, the 7th, only eighty-five strong, took twenty officers and four hundred 
and eighty men prisoners, and Sergeant Alonzo Smith (afterwards first-lieu- 
tenant), captured the colors of the 26th Eorth Carolina infantry, for which 
he was presented a medal of honor by the Secretary of War. 

" Through some misunderstanding, the 7th was left on the line after the 
Union forces were withdrawn, and remained in that condition until the 
morning of the 28th, when Colonel Lapointe, then in command, finding his 

regiment had been left alone on the field, formed his men and explained to 
them their perilous situation, telling them to stand by him and they could 
find their way out. They commenced at once their dangerous undertaking, 
marching twelve miles through the country held by the enemy, gallantly 
fighting their way at almost every step, pursued and harassed constantly by 
cavalry threatening to cut them off, but they arrived safely within the Union 
lines at sundown of the same day. General Hancock, their corps com- 
mander, complimented the regiment highly on the occasion, and character- 
ized the undertaking as one of the most praiseworthy and daring of the war. 
The regiment participated in the closing battles of the war, doing most ex- 
cellent service and maintaining its high standard won on many hard-fought 
fields. The total losses of the regiment during its entire service were one 
hundred and seventy men and eleven officers killed and died of wounds, 
and one hundred and fifty men and four officers died of disease. Company 
K was the St. Joseph company in the 7th." 


The 11th Michigan was pre-eminently a St. Joseph county organization, 
it being recruited at White Pigeon, and its ranks principally filled by citi- 
zens of St. Joseph county, the several townships sending six hundred 
and ten men and officers into the field under its colors. The staff officers 
at its organization, and during the whole of its long and honorable service 
were nearly all St. Joseph men, and there were four full companies recruited 
in the county, as follows: A, Captain David Oakes, Jr., Nottawa, who died 
at Murfreesboro; C, Captain Calvin C. Hood, Sturgis ; D, Captain Benjamin 
G. Bennett, Burr Oak, promoted to major, and killed at Missionary Ridge ; 
E, Captain Henry N. Spencer, Lockport, resigned, and Lieutenant Thomas 
Flynn promoted to vacancy, and killed at Stone River, and Second-Lieu- 
tenant Charles W. Newberry, of Burr Oaks, promoted to captaincy, and 
killed at Chickamauga. Besides these companies, Company G, officered by 
Captain Moase and Lieutenant Comstock of Branch county, had over fifty 
men from St. Joseph county in its ranks, and Company F, commanded lat- 
terly by Captain Myron C. Benedict of Leonidas, had nearly as many more. 
Company I had a squad of about fifteen, recruited by Lieutenant Henry S. 
Piatt, of Sturgis. 

The great and important battles of Stone River and Chickamauga will 
always be referred to by the 11th as among the most desperate in which it 
was engaged during its gallant career, and in which it was most eminently 
distinguished, and lost heavily. Few regiments on those fields were harder 
pressed or defended themselves more heroically, and the surviving members 
of the regiment refer to their services on these occasions with justifiable 

At Stone River the regiment, commanded by Colonel William L. 
Stoughton, of Sturgis, was hotly engaged during the entire battle, being 
in Negley's division of Thomas' corps, which, on' December 31, held 
the ground near the centre of the Union lines, where it received and 
checked the onset of the rebel forces, which came sweeping on in column 
of divisions, after having driven the corps of McCook from its position, and 
is acknowledged to have been one of the fiercest assaults of the day, in 
which the enemy was dreadfully punished. The 11th Michigan, with the 
19th Illinois, charged In -advance, and drove back an entire rebel division; 
and after the retrograde movement of their own division, these regiments 
made another dash to the front, driving the enemy. In the engagement the 
11th lost thirty-two killed, seventy-nine wounded, and twenty-nine missing. 

The gallant commander, Colonel Stoughton, thus writes officially of the 
part taken by his regiment in the engagement : 

"On the morning of the 31st of December, 1862, heavy firing was heard 
to our right and front, and apparently rapidly approaching the position 
occupied by the 2d brigade. The regiment was immediately formed and 
marched to the brow of the hill, near brigade headquarters. The skirmish- 
ing soon after indicated the approach of the enemy to the right of this posi- 
tion t and my regiment was formed in line of battle, under cover of a ledge 
of rocks about one hundred yards in this direction. The skirmishing con- 
tinued with much spirit for nearly an hour, when a heavy roar of musketry 
and artillery announced that the principal attack of the enemy was being 
made on our left and rear. I immediately gave orders to change front on 
first company, which was promptly executed under a heavy fire, and the 
regiment advanced in line of battle to the crest of the hill from which 
Shoult's battery had first been driven, and poured a well-directed and effect- 
ive fire into the advancing columns of the enemy. The firing continued 
with spirit and energy until orders came to retire. The fire of the enemy 
was apparently concentrated upon this point, and was terriffic. Men and 
officers fell on every side. The regiment fell back about eighty yards, was 



again formed, and then delivered its fire upon the enemy as he advanced 
over the hill, then retiring to the cover of the cedar woods in our rear. 
Here some confusion was at first manifest. A large number of regiments 
had fallen back to this place for shelter, and the enemy's infantry and artil- 
lery opened upon us from all sides, except from the left towards Murfrees- 
boro pike. Order, however, was promptly restored by our division and 
brigade commanders, and my regiment, with others, moved slowly to the 
rear, keeping up a steady fire upon the enemy. When nearer the cleared 
field to the right of the Murfreesboro pike, the regiment was rallied, and 
held the ground for twenty or thirty minutes; it was then marched about 
half way across the open field, when orders came to charge back into the 
cedars. My regiment promptly obeyed my orders, rallied on the colors, and 
charged into the woods with great gallantry, checking the enemy by the 
sudden and impetuous attack. After delivering one volley, orders came to 
retire, and the regiment fell back in good order to the left of Murfreesboro 
pike. Here closed the active operations of that day. 

"On the 2d of January we were again called into action. In the after- 
noon of that day we were posted, as a reserve, in an open field in the rear of 
our batteries, on the right of the left wing of our army. Between three and 
four o'clock the enemy made a heavy attack with artillery and infantry on 
our front. My command was kept lying upon the ground,.protected by a 
slight hill, for about half an hour. 

" At the expiration of this time the enemy had driven back our forces on 
the opposite side of the river, one regiment crossing in great disorder and 
rushing through our ranks. As soon as the enemy came within range, my 
regiment, with the others of this brigade, rose up, delivered its fire and 
charged across the river. In passing the river my line of battle was neces- 
sarily broken, and I led the regiment forward to a fence on a rise of ground, 
and re-formed the line. Here the firing continued for some time until the 
enemy was driven from his cover and retreated through the woods. My regi- 
ment was then promptly advanced to the edge of the woods, and continued 
to fire upon the enemy as he fled in disorder across the open field in front to 
his line of entrenchments. At this time the ammunition was nearly ex- 
hausted, and my regiment, with the others in advance, formed in line of 
battle, threw out skirmishers, and held our position until recalled across the 
river. The 11th was among the first to cross Stone river, and assisted in 
capturing four pieces of artillery abandoned by the enemy in his flight. 

" I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the troops under my com- 
mand. They fought with the bravery and coolness of veterans, and obeyed 
my commands under the hottest fire with the precision of the parade-ground. 
The officers of my command behaved with great gallantry and firmness. 
Where all nobly discharged their duty, it would, perhaps, be unjust to dis- 
criminate. Lieutenants Wilson and Flynn were killed while gallantly 
leading their companies. Major Smith and Lieutenants Hall, Briggs and 
Howard were wounded, the two former severely, and Lieutenant Hall is a 
prisoner.' ' 

At Chickamauga the regiment, in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Melvin 
Mudge, was then in the brigade of Colonel Stoughton, being the 2d brigade, 
2d division, 14th corps. This brigade constituted part of the command of 
General Thomas, and on the last day of that sanguinary conflict held one of 
the most important points on his line of defence against a largely superior 
force — the regiment fighting most persistently, successfully repelling charge 
after charge of the enemy, losing seven killed (including Captain Charles W. 
Newberry, of Burr Oak), seventy-six wounded and twenty-three missing — 
and was one of the last regiments to retire from the field in the darkness of 
that fearful night when the army fell back. Next morning Colonel 
Stoughton took up a position in front of Kossville, covering the approach to 
the battle-field, and held it during that day, and in the night fell back on 
Chattanooga, covering the rear of the retiring army. In the movement 
Colonel Stoughton drew off his artillery by hand to escape the notice of the 
enemy. He remained on his picket-line until past four A. m., when, hearing 
the enemy stirring, he successfully withdrew his pickets, and made a forced 
march to Chattanooga without the loss of a man, thus most successfully 
accomplishing a very dangerous and important duty, for which he was after- 
wards complimented personally by General Thomas. 

After the battle of Mission Ridge, in November, 1863, where the regi- 
ment, under command of Major B. G. Bennett, participated in the decisive 
charge, losing its gallant commander and thirty-nine in killed and wounded, 
the 11th, being in the 2d brigade, 1st division, 14th corps, moved forward on 
the Atlanta campaign, engaging creditably in all of the important battles. 
On July 4, following, it took part in the successful charge on the enemy's 
works near Marietta, losing thirteen in killed and wounded, including 
among the severely wounded Colonel Stoughton, who lost a leg, and Lieu- 

tenant Myron Benedict of Company F, who lost his right arm. The regiment 
was engaged at Peach Tree Creek July 20, with a loss of eleven killed and 
wounded, and on August 7 it was in the charge on the enemy's works in 
front of Atlanta, losing Lieutenant Edward Catlin and fifteen men killed 
and wounded. The period for which the regiment enlisted having expired, 
it was ordered to Chattanooga, August 27. The rebel general Wheeler 
being then engaged in making a raid into Tennessee, the regiment, immedi- 
ately after its arrival at Chattanooga on the 30th, was ordered to join the 
column in pursuit, and marched to Murfreesboro, and thence to Huntsville, 
Alabama, but without meeting the enemy. It returned to Chattanooga 
September 13. Leaving here two commissioned officers and one hundred 
and fifty men, (veterans and recruits whose terms had not expired,) the regi- 
ment started for Michigan on the 18th, arriving at Sturgis on the 25th. On 
the 30th it was mustered out of the service. Its total losses in the service were 
five officers and eighty-eight men killed or died of wounds, and two officers 
and one hundred and eighty-five men died of disease. 

The original roster of the regiment, including the line officers of the St. 
Joseph companies, was as follows : 

Colonel, William J. May, of White Pigeon, who resigned April 1, 1862. 

Lieutenant-Colonel, William L. Stoughton, Sturgis. 

Major, Benjamin F. Doughty, Sturgis, resigned August 18, 1862. 

Surgeon, Dr. William N. Elliott, White Pigeon. 

Assistant-Surgeon, Nelson I. Packard, Sturgis. 

Chaplain, Holmes A. Pattison, Colon. 

Quartermaster, Addison T. Drake, Sturgis. 

Adjutant, Samuel Chadwick, Lockport. 

Sergeant-Major, James M. Whallen, Burr Oak. 

Quartermaster's Sergeant, John Underwood, White Pigeon. 

Commissary-Sergeant, Elva F. Peirce, Nottawa. 

Captain Company A, David Oakes, Jr., Nottawa. 

First Lieutenant Company A, Christian Haight, Leonidas. 

Second Lieutenant Company A, Aaron B. Sturgis, Sturgis. 

Captain Company C, Calvin C. Hood, Sturgis. 

Firs^ Lieutenant Company C, Mathias M. Faulkner, Sturgis. 

Second Lieutenant Company C, Loren H. Howard, Fawn River. 

Captain Company D, Benjamin G. Bennett, Burr Oak. 

First Lieutenant Company D, John R. Keeler, Burr Oak. 

Captain Company E, Henry N. Spencer, Lockport. 

First Lieutenant Company E, Thomas Flynn, Lockport! 

Second Lieutenant Company E, Charles W. Newberry, Burr Oak. 

Captain Company G, Charles Moase, Branch county. 

Second Lieutenant Company G, Silas G. Comstock, Branch county. 

Second Lieutenant Company I, Henry S. Piatt; Sturgis. 


The daring bravery of the 13th Infantry, raised and organized by Colonel 
Charles E. Stuart, of Kalamazoo, is attested by its persistent fighting and 
splendid achievements on many fields. It participated in the bloody engage- 
ments at Stone River, December 30 and 31, and January 1, 2, and 3, going 
into action with two hundred and twenty-four muskets; and. losing out of 
this number twenty-five killed or died of wounds, sixty-two wounded, and 
eight missing. At Chickamauga, the noble regiment, under command of 
Colonel J. B. Culver, displayed again its brilliant fighting qualities in the^ 
efficient service rendered on the 18th of September, and the 19th also," when 
it rejoined its brigade and division some distance to the left of Lee and Gor- 
don's mills, executing the movement under a heavy fire of the enemy, on 
the double-quick, with the mercury above ninety. Soon after the regiment 
charged in a handsome and gallant manner, checking the onset of the 
rebels, who were forcing back a part of the brigade ; in which charge it lost 
heavily. The regiment went into the engagement with two hundred and' 
seventeen men and officers, and lost fourteen killed, sixty-eight wounded, 
(of whom eleven died), and twenty-five missing. It joined Sherman's forces 
in the famous "march to the sea," and moved with them through the Caro- 
linas, and was engaged with the enemy at Catawba river, South Carolina, 
February 29, 1864, at Averysboro, North Carolina, March 16, and at Benton- 
ville, on the 19th, where it fought the enemy the entire day, sustaining a 
loss of one hundred and ten killed, wounded and missing, and among the 
killed was the commanding officer, Colonel W. G. Eaton! It participated in 
the grand review at Washington. Captain William McLaughlin, of Sturgis, 
and Captain Norman H. Hoisington, of Fabius, held commands in the 13th. 
Its total losses in the service were four officers and seve'nty-four men killed 
or died of wounds, and two officers and two hundred and sixty-six men died 
of disease. 




The 15th, in command of Colonel J. M. Oliver, by whom it was organized, 
first met the enemy at Shiloh, on the 6th and 7th of April, 1862. Arriving 
there only the day before the battle, it the next morning became hotly en- 
gaged, and was thus early initiated into the sad realities of war, and at a great 
sacrifice, losing in the engagements of both days two officers and thirty-one 
men killed, and one officer and sixty-three men wounded, and seven missing. 
The regiment was with Halleck before Corinth, and also with Rosecrans, 
when his position at the same place was assaulted by Price and his command, 
October, 1862. At that time the regiment, under command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel McDermott, held the outpost at Chewalla, on the Memphis and 
Charleston railroad, about ten miles from Corinth, where it met and checked 
the advance of Price, and most signally made its mark as a most reliable 
and brave regiment. On the morning of the 1st of October the pickets of 
the 15th were driven in, the regiment holding the enemy in check during 
the day ; and in the evening was reinforced by the 14th Wisconsin and a 
section of a twelve-pound battery, the whole force being under command of 
Colonel Oliver, of the 15th Michigan. The command fought during the 2d 
and 3d against overwhelming numbers, contesting every inch of ground, but 
falling back gradually upon Corinth, — several times being completely flanked 
and obliged to return on the double-quick, with the enemy on both flanks. 
It is claimed that the admirable disposition made by Colonel Oliver of his 
force, and the steadiness and gallantry of the men engaged, delayed an army 
of forty thousand men (or thereabout) at least twenty-four hours in making 
their main and final attack upon Corinth, thus enabling General Rosecrans 
to make the disposition of his forces which most successfully secured the 
repulse of the enemy, and compelled him to make a most disastrous retreat. 
The regiment was at Vicksburg in June, 1863, and participated in the ad- 
vance on Jackson, leading at the crossing of the Big Black river on the 6th 
of July. B: veteranized and participated in the Georgia campaign in 1864, 
taking part in the engagements that occurred during the movement on Re- 
saca. On: the 21st of July^the 15th, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
F. S. Hutchinson, eminently distinguished itself, rendering most gallant and 
valuable service, 

Early on the morning of that day the enemy attacked, in flank and rear, 
the 17th corps, which was on the left of the 15th corps, driving it back 
with much loss. About one o'clock the 15th Michigan was ordered to fill a 
gap on the extreme left of its corps, about one mile distant from the posi- 
tion it then occupied. The regiment moved on the double-quick, and upon 
coming into line near the position indicated, found it in possession of the 
enemy ; it, however, moved gallantly forward in fine, striking the enemy on 
the flank, driving him from his position, taking seventeen officers and one 
hundred and sixty-seven men as prisoners, and capturing the colors of 
the 5th Confederate Infantry, and also the colors of the 17th and 18th 
Texas, and suffering a loss of four killed and six wounded. This was the 
advance of two rebel divisions which were massed in a wood but a short dis- 
tance in the rear. The promptitude with which the movement was executed 
by the 15th deterred the remainder of the rebel force from making a for- 
ward movement, and thus prevented the enemy from breaking the Union 
lines, and probably averted disaster from that part of the field. 

The regiment participated in the campaign before Atlanta, and marched 
with Sherman to Savannah, maintaining its glorious record to the last. Its 
losses during the war foot up seventy-five officers and men killed or died of 
wounds, and one hundred and thirty-two died of disease. Captain John A. 
Waterman, of Burr Oak, commanded a company in the 15th, recruited largely 
from St. Joseph county. 


The 19th was organized by Colonel Henry C. Gilbert, who was killed at 
Resaca while leading his regiment upon a rebel battery. There were two 
full companies from St. Joseph county in its ranks : D, Captain Hazen W. 
Brown, and afterwards commanded by Captain Frank D. Baldwin, who also 
was promoted to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the regiment ; and Company E, 
Captain John J. Baker, who was also the lieutenant-colonel of the regiment 
when discharged — Lieutenant David J. Easton of the same company holding 
the commission and rank of major at his discharge. The last two were 
Sturgis men, and the former of Constantine. The 19th won great celebrity 
in many important battles and campaigns, but in none more prominently 
than the following : 

On the 5th of March, 1863, the 4th brigade of General Baird's division of the 
army of Kentucky, composed of the 33d and 85th Indiana, 22d Wisconsin, 
and 19th Michigan, numbering in all about one thousand live hundred and 
eighty-seven men, strengthened by two hundred of the 124th Ohio, with de- 

tachments of three regiments of cavalry about six hundred strong, and one 
battery of six guns, met the enemy in force at Thompson's station, Tennessee, 
and at the point where the railroad joins the pike the rebels opened fire upon 
the Union forces, who were under the command of Colonel Coburn, and who 
immediately formed his line and ordered a section of the battery to occupy a 
hill on the left of the pike, sending the 19th Michigan and 22d Wisconsin to 
support it. The 33d and 85th Indiana, with the other guns of the battery, 
took position on a hill on the right. The enemy had two batteries on a 
range of hills three quarters of a mile in front, and south of the position of 
the Union troops. The 33d and 85th Indiana made a demonstration on the 
left of the enemy to draw him out or charge his batteries according to cir- 
cumstances. This was commenced and continued under a most galling fire 
from the enemy's batteries. Upon reaching the station the skirmishers un- 
masked two whole brigades of dismounted rebel cavalry posted behind 
stone walls and other defenses. 

It being impossible to advance farther under the incessant and severe fire, 
the regiments were ordered to retire to their former position on the hill, sup- 
ported by two companies of cavalry, but for some reason or other the cavalry 
did not accompany them. No sooner had the two regiments commenced to 
fall back than they were pursued by two regiments, one from Arkansas and 
one from Texas, both firing rapid volleys into the retiring ranks, which were 
at the same time under fire from the rebel batteries. As soon as they reached 
the hill, the Indiana regiments faced about and drove the enemy in turn in 
double-quick, killing Colonel Earle, of Arkansas. The enemy again rallied 
and charged desperately, but were driven back. It then became evident 
that Colonel Coburn had encountered the entire cavalry of Bragg's army, 
commanded by General Van Dorn, about eighteen thousand strong, in six 
brigades, under the command of Generals Forrest, Wheeler, French, Arm- 
strong, Jackson, Martin, and Crosby. The rebels then advanced upon the 
left, where were posted the 19th Michigan and 22d Wisconsin. These regi- 
ments opened fire upon the enemy, and held him in check for about twenty 

At the time the left was first attacked, that portion of the battery there 
stationed hurriedly left that part of the field without orders, leaving the two 
regiments without artillery to assist them in repelling the enemy then charg- 
ing desperately. At the same time Lieutenant-Colonel Bloodgood, of the 
22d Wisconsin, with three companies of that regiment, left the field without 
orders, moving off by the left flank and joining the retreating cavalry and 
artillery. Forrest, checked in his advance, made a circuit with his whole 
force beyond the ground occupied by Coburn, to the east, with the intention 
to turn his left flank. The 19th and 22d were then moved on the west side 
of the pike, leaving the 33d and 85th to protect the hill on its south face. 
The four regiments had scarcely formed line, lying behind the crest of the 
hill, when Armstrong's brigade charged from the east, and the Texans from 
the south, when a severe contest ensued, and the fighting became terrific. 
Three times the enemy charged gallantly up the hill from the east, and 
thrice were they forced back. 

In one of their charges the 19th Michigan captured the colors of the 4th 
Mississippi, and four prisoners. The fighting was close and desperate. The 
enemy, having gained possession of the hill on the east of the road, were 
hurling grape and canister into the ranks like hail, and the battle raged fu- 
riously. But it was a hopeless struggle ; defeat was only a question of time. 
The ammunition was getting short, and Forrest getting between them and 
Franklin, who was advancing from the north. A new line was formed, by 
Coburn's force facing north, to meet the new line of advance. Forrest was 
met and held in check until the last round of ammunition was fired. The 
gallant and brave little band then fixed bayonets to charge and break the 
enemy's lines and escape ; but just as they were about to charge, it was dis* 
covered that the enemy had still another line in reserve, and a battery be- 
gan to open and take a new position. Escape was hopeless, and to avoid 
useless loss of life the command surrendered, having lost one hundred and 
thirteen in killed and wounded. Colonel Gilbert had his horse shot under 
him in the early part of the engagement, and behaved most gallantly. 
When he offered his sword to the Confederate commander, the latter de- 
clined to receive it, saying " that an officer who was so brave in battle, and 
commanded so gallant a regiment, deserved to retain his arms." 

In Sherman's advance upon Atlanta, the 19th was in the 1st brigade, 4th 
division, 20th corps, and at Resaca, May 15, 1864, became conspicuously 
and desperately engaged, when, with the brigade, it gallantly charged a four- 
gun battery, captured the artillery, and held the position. In this charge 
Colonel Gilbert, commanding the regiment, was mortally wounded, while 
leading and urging on his men, and died at Chattanooga on the 24th of that 



At Peach Tree creek the regiment, under command of Major John J. 
Baker, participated in the repulse of the fierce attack of the enemy on the 
Union lines July 20, in which Major Baker was wounded and thirty-five 
of his men, four being killed. 

The 19th " marched down to the sea" with Sherman, participating in the 
numerous engagements of its corps with credit and distinction. At Averys- 
boro, North Carolina, on March 16, 1865, it bore a brilliant part in the as- 
sault on the enemy's works, which were captured, with the artillery therein. 
The 19th lost in the assault two brave officers, Captain Leonard Gibbon and 
Lieutenant Charles G. Purcell, and four men killed and fifteen wounded, 
several severely. 

Lieutenant Baldwin, of Company D, was the hero of a brave defense, 
though short and hopeless; with fifty men of the company, he was stationed 
at a stockade on the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad at Stone river, and 
was attacked, October 5, by a large force of rebel cavalry and artillery under 
Major General Wheeler, who, after sending forward one hundred and fifty 
men in the Federal uniform as a decoy, quietly surrounded the company and 
demanded its surrender. Lieutenant Baldwin returned answer that " he 
must fight before he got him," on the receipt of which a battery immediately 
opened on the stockade, and was responded to by a fire of musketry ; the 
firing was continued for an hour and a half, throwing nearly forty charges 
of grape, canister, solid shot, and shell ; the shot passing through the stock- 
ade, knocking the logs to pieces, and causing more damage from the splin- 
ters than from shot. Lieutenant Baldwin, deeming it useless to attempt to 
hold his position any longer against such odds, and expecting no assistance, 
surrendered his command, — having six wounded, while the attacking force 
lost two killed and eight wounded. 

The enemy's force consisted of two divisions of cavalry and twelve pieces 
of artillery. Lieutenant Baldwin's men were disarmed, and plundered of 
their overcoats, money, and all articles of value, and unconditionally re- 
leased, and under a pass from General Wheeler returned to its encampment 
at the stockade, and next morning marched from Murfreesboro. 

The loss of the regiment during its term of service, was seven officers and 
ninety-one men killed or died of wounds, and one hundred and thirty-five 
men died of disease. 


The 25th was recruited and organized at Kalamazoo, under the superin- 
tendence of Hon. H. G. Wells, commandant of camp, and was commanded 
by Colonel O. H. Moore, and was a splendid and well-disciplined regiment. 
Two companies went out under its colors from St. Joseph county : D, Cap- 
tain Julius C. Cross, of Three Kivers, afterwards succeeded by Lieutenant 
Henry McCrary, of Leonidas ; and Company G, Captain William Fulkerson, 
of Lockport, who was succeeded by Lieutenant John B. Handy, of Three 
Eivers. The 25th first tested the realities of war December 27, 1862, three 
months after leaving Kalamazoo, at Mumfordsville, Kentucky, where they 
engaged the rebels under General Pegram. On July 4, 1863, the regiment 
was especially distinguished at Tebbs', near Green River bridge, Kentucky, 
where it most gallantly repulsed an overwhelming rebel force with heavy 


"About July 1, Colonel Moore was stationed with five companies of his 
regiment on the north side of Green river, ten miles north of Columbia, 
on the main road running from Columbia to Lebanon, Kentucky, and on the 
2d of July was advised of the fact that the rebel general, John H. Morgan, 
was about crossing the Cumberland river to invade the State with a cavalry 
force of from three to four thousand men. Being left to exercise his own 
discretion, and there being no Union troops nearer than at a post thirty 
miles distant, Colonel Moore felt it to be his duty to retard the progress 
of the great raider, if but for a few hours, as they might prove precious 
hours to the country. He might have retreated with entire success, but 
from patriotic motives chose to fight when he could scarcely entertain the 
hope that he and many others would ever live to tell the story of that ter- 
rible battle. After surveying the surrounding country, he selected a strong 
position for a battle-ground, on the south side of Green river, about two 
miles from the encampment, in a horse-shoe bend of the river, through which 
the road ran on which the rebel forces were advancing. This chosen battle- 
ground, which was at the narrows entering the bend of the river, afforded 
high bluff-banks, which protected the flanks of the command and also com- 
pelled the enemy to fight him upon his own front. * * * On the evening of 
July 3, General Morgan encamped with his entire command about five miles 
south of Green river, and Colonel Moore after dark advanced with his 
command of five companies, numbering less than three hundred men, about 
two miles toward the enemy, leaving the river in his rear, and occupied the 

ground which he had previously selected, and prepared for the battle. The 
defense which had been completed that night consisted of some felled trees 
on the battle-line, which was in the rear of an open field, and was intended 
more particularly as an obstruction to the advance of cavalry, while to 
the front, about one hundred yards in the open field, was thrown up a tem- 
porary earth-work, which was intended to check the advance of the enemy, 
and more especially to command a position where he would evidently plant 
a battery. This work was not intended to be held against charges of a 
superior force, on account of the flanks not being strong, and was occupied 
by only about seventy-five men, who were instructed that when it became 
necessary to abandon the work, it should be done by flanking to the right 
and left from the centre, so as to unmask the reserve force on the battle-line 
and expose the enemy to their fire. This work was located, in anticipation of 
its capture by the rebels, a little down the slope of the field, so that when it 
was in possession of the enemy it would be useless, and leave him exposed to 
a deadly fire. At the gray of the morning the fire of the enemy upon the 
pickets resounded through the woods, and the entire rebel division, under 
Morgan, was pressing upon the frqnt. The fire was returned with spirit as 
the pickets retired to the breastwork, where they joined about seventy-five 
of their comrades already in the advance work, and there, with their united 
fire as sharp-shooters, held the enemy in check, without exhibiting their 
numbers and the real object of the work. The rebel artillery of four pieces 
had gained the anticipated position, and at once opened fire with some effect, 
when Morgan suspended firing, and, under a flag of truce, demanded an 
immediate and unconditional surrender of the entire force and stockade. 
Colonel Moore replied to the demand : ' Present my compliments to General 
Morgan, and say to him that this being the Fourth of July, I cannot entertain 
the proposition to surrender.' Colonel Allston, Morgan's chief of staff, 
said, ' I hope you will not consider me as dictatorial on this occasion. I will be 
frank : you see the breach we have made upon your work with our battery ; 
you cannot expect to repulse General Morgan's whole division with your 
little command ; you -have resisted us gallantly and deserve credit for it, and 
now I hope you will save useless bloodshed by reconsidering your reply to 
General Morgan." 

"To this Colonel Moore replied : 'Sir, when you assume to know my 
strength you assume too much. I have a duty to perform to my country, 
and therefore cannot reconsider my reply to General Morgan.' The rebel 
officer, seemingly moved by these remarks, extended his hand, and said, 
* Good-bye, Colonel Moore ; God only knows which of us may fall first.' 
They turned their horses and galloped in opposite directions, and at once re- 
newed the conflict. ~No sooner, had the rebel battery re-opened fire than 
Colonel Moore commanded the force to ' rise up and pick off those gunners at 
the battery.' At the word, a deliberate and deadly fire by raok was deliv- 
ered, which silenced the battery. Colonel Johnson's brigade then charged 
the work, and the little command abandoned it as previously instructed ; 
and when the rebels reached it they found that it availed them nothing 
against the deadly fire which was poured into them from the main force on 
the battle-line in the timber. The foe, with hideous yells, charged across 
the open field a number of times in the face of a terrific fire, which repulsed 
them on each occasion with severe loss. The conflict was almost a hand-to- 
hand struggle, with nothing but a line of felled trees separating the com- 
batants. At the same time the rebels were engaged in cutting out a gorge 
leading through the precipitous bluff into the river bottom, which had been 
obstructed with felled timber. The entrance was finally effected, and a regi- 
ment commanded by Colonel Chevault opened fire on the right flank of the 
line of Union troops. This was a most critical and trying moment : the 
enemy had gained an important point ; to defeat it was of the utmost impor- 
tance ; a company had been held in reserve for any emergency which might 
arise during the battle, and it was now brought forward; deployed as skir- 
mishers across the river bottom, with the right flank extending beyond the 
rebel line, and presented the appearance of being the advance line of rein- 

" The strength of Colonel Moore's command was a matter of doubt with 
the enemy, rendered more so by his instructions to his men to keep quiet 
and pour in as rapid and deadly a fire as possible. As cheering was sup- 
pressed, nothing but the efficacy of the firing afforded ground for estimating 
their strength ; and when Colonel Moore brought forward and manceuvered 
the reserve company with the shrill notes of his bugle, it had the desired 
effect of impressing the rebels with the idea that reinforcements of cavalry 
or artillery were advancing ; and by the bold front and deliberate firing of the 
line of skirmishers the rebel command in the river bottom was routed, its 
colonel killed, and it driven back through the gorge through which they 
entered, disheartened and defeated. *New courage inspired the heroic little 



band, who had sustained eight determined charges upon their front when the 
attack upon their right flank was defeated; 

a The enemy, having met with a heavy loss after a battle of four hours' du- 
ration, retreated, leaving a number of killed and wounded upon the field 
greater than the entire number of the patriotic little band that opposed 
them. Among the number of killed and wounded were twenty-two commis- 
sioned officers. 

" It was the intention of Morgan, as he declared, to capture the city of 
Louisville ; but this unexpected and terrible repulse cost him more than 
twelve hours' delay, and caused him — which fact he stated — to change his 
plans and abandon his attack on Louisville. By this brilliantly fought 
battle the city was saved from sack and pillage, and the government from 
the loss of an immense amount of property, consisting of munitions of war, 
and army supplies amounting to the value of many millions of dollars. 
Major-General Hartsuff acknowledged the victory in a general order recount- 
ing the heroic deed. The legislature of Kentucky also acknowledged the 
services of Colonel Moore and his command on that occasion in complimen- 
tary resolutions. Morgan himself admired Colonel Moore's generalship so 
much in the conduct of the battle that he too sent him complimentary mes- 
sages, and announced that he promoted him to the rank of brigadier-general. 

"Colonel Allston, who was captured a few days after the battle, and with 
him his private journal, which was published, in a memorandum of the battle 
of the Fourth of July quotes Morgan's demand for the surrender of the Union 
command, and Colonel Moore's reply, and adds : * The colonel is a gallant 
man, and the entire arrangement of his defense entitles him to the highest 
credit for military skill. We would mark such a man in our army for pro- 
motion.' '* 

The regiment in 1864, in the Georgia campaign, was identified with the 
movements of the army of the Ohio, and participated in the various engage- 
ments at Rocky Face Ridge, May 19 ; Resaca, May 14 ; Altoona, May 26, 
29 ; Pine Mountain, June 15 ; Culp's Farm, June 22; andNickajack Creek, 
July 1. On the 22d it was before Atlanta, and was actively engaged in the 
siege of that place. 

At Resaca the 25th was most conspicuously distinguished, where, in com- 
mand of Lieutenant-Colonel B. F. Orcutt, it participated in the desperate 
charge made by Judah's division, of the 23d corps, and Newton's, of the 
4th corps, driving the enemy from a strong and well-fortified position, and 
although not held, enabled General Sherman to advance his lines and get his 
artillery in such a position as to render it impossible for the enemy to again 
occupy the place. This charge was made under a most murderous fire of 
musketry and artillery, first across an open field and then over a stream 
with the water nearly w r aist-deep, and bordered with thick bushes and 
vines, cut and lopped in such a manner as to entangle the troops. In the 
charge the regiment lost about fifty men in a very few minutes, among 
the killed being Adjutant E. M. Prutzman, of Three Rivers. At Nickajaek 
creek, near Kenesaw, on July 1, the 25th again most signally maintained 
its fighting qualities while making a flank movement with its division 
(HasealPs) to the extreme right of General Sherman's army, — the regiment 
advancing seven miles during an intensely hot day, continually under fire of 
musketry and artillery from early in the forenoon until dark, and being 
engaged in two brilliant and successful charges during the day, driving the 
enemy from every position, and securing the desired point, known as the 
cross-roads, near Nickajaek creek. The result of the movement was the 
evacuation by General Johnson of his strong position on Kenesaw moun- 
tain, and the abandonment of all his works between that point and the 
Chattahoochee. The regiment was also at the defense of Nashville 
under General Thomas, and was in the pursuit organized by that grim old 
warrior after Hood. From this campaign it was transferred to Sehofield's 
command, and participated in his movements in North Carolina. The losses 
of the regiment during the war foot up thirty-five men and one officer killed 
or died of wounds, and one hundred and twenty-three men and two officers 
died of disease. 


The 1st regiment of Michigan light artillery was composed of twelve six- 
gun batteries, but it was never brought together as a regiment. Battery D 
was largely filled up with St. Joseph men, though officered by Branch 
county men. It left the State in 1861, proceeded to Kentucky, and first en- 
countered the enemy, damaging them much, at Hoover's Gap, Tennessee 
June 26, 1862, when Rosecrans was advancing on Tullahoma and Chatta- 
nooga. Its most prominent fight, as appears from its record, was at the 
great battle of Chickamauga, — September 19 and 20, 1863, — where, in com- 
mand of Captain J. W. Church, it became closely and hotly engaged, 

behaving in splendid style, but losing heavily, having nine wounded and 
three missing, among the wounded its commander. It was also in the assault 
on Mission Ridge, November 25 following, and on the preceding day aided 
in covering Hooker's advance up Lookout mountain. On both occasions it 
proved a serviceable battery, and its splendid firing and valuable services 
attracted much attention. 


Captain John S. Andrews raised and organized Battery F, and Norman 
S. Andrews, of White Pigeon, took some thirty or more men into it from 
St. Joseph county, and went into service with the organization as junior 
first lieutenant. Its first engagement with the enemy was at Henderson, 
Ky., in 1862. In 1864 it was with General Sherman in the Atlanta campaign, 
and passed through numerous engagements, maintaining a high reputation 
for promptness and efficiency. Among its principal encounters with the 
enemy may be classed its severe fight at Utoy Creek, Georgia, August 4, 
where, in command of Lieutenant Miller, it vigorously engaged the enemy 
with some loss, and had the equipments and wheels of two guns literally 
shot to pieces, but bravely held its position, and finally silenced two rebel 
batteries. On this occasion the battery attracted much attention and favor- 
able comment on account of its stubborn and effective fighting. The battery 
was transferred to General Sehofield's command on the North Carolina 
coast early in 1865. In the engagement at Wise Forks, March 10, the bat- 
tery maintained its previous high reputation for gallant service and daring 


was raised by Captain C. H. Lamphere in 1862, in connection with the 13th 
regiment of infantry, and was stationed at West Point, Ky., in February, 
1863. It first engaged the enemy at Tazewell in May following. In No- 
vember of the same year it was ordered to Memphis, and from thence to 
the Yazoo river, Miss., and, in command of Captain Lamphere, was actively 
engaged in the battle of Chickasaw Bayou, December 28 and 29, losing ten 
wounded (two mortally), with eight horses killed or disabled. The loss of 
the battery at this point indicates its gallant and valuable service. It par- 
ticipated in the Vicksburg campaign, and was engaged in the fight near Port 
Gibson on May 1, 1863, where it acquired much distinction, and was men- 
tioned in the report of General McClernand, as follows : " The splendid 
practice of Lamphere's and Foster's batteries disabled two of the enemy's 
guns, and contributed largely to our success." Corporal Jonathan G. Wal- 
tham, of Constantine, and thirty-four others from St. Joseph county, were 
members of Battery G. 

In gathering the names of the men who went from St. Joseph county into 
the war for the Union, we have taken them from the records of the adr 
jutant-general's office, and have been unable to locate some, who have made 
honorable records of suffering and death, in any township in the county ; 
and in order that these men may have at least an honorable mention at our 
hands, and a place in our work, the history of the county, — whose quotas, 
under the imperative calls of the government for help they contributed to 
fill, — we give their names and record here : 


Private Charles Atwood, Company I ; died of wounds received in Wil- 


Corporal James Pierson, Company C ; discharged for disability. 

Corporal Constantine Pease, Company C ; died of wounds received at Get- 

Private Samuel Clay, Company C ; discharged for disability. 

Private George M. Lee, Company C ; discharged for disability. 

Private L. A. Shaeffer, Company C ; died in brigade hospital, November 
20, 1861. 

Private Wilson Becker, Company C ; killed at Fredericksburg, December 
14, 1862. 

Private John Thomas, Company C ; discharged for disability. 

Private William Havens, Company E ; died at Victoria, Tenn., of disease. 

Private Philo O. Parker, Company C ; killed at Gaines' Mills, June 27, 


Private James Roots, Company F ; died at Chancellorsville. 


Musician Freeland W. Brice, Company C ; died at Carrollton, Louisiana, 
May 11, 1863. 

Private Joseph E. Howe, Company C; died at New Orleans, August 15, 

Private John Mc Allen, Company C ; died at New Orleans, May 30, 1862. 



Private William A. Porter, re-enlisted, and killed on cars en route to 

Private J. C. Stone, died at Port Hudson, Louisiana, September 30, 1863. 


Private John A. Howe, Company I ; killed at Antietam. 

Private Tillman Dammand, Company I ; killed at Spottsylvania. 

Private Wesley Fenton, Company K ; died at Washington. 

Private Alfred Turk, Company A ; killed at Antietam. 
* Private Albert M. Ferrill, Company K ; wounded at Fair Oaks, and dis- 

Private John Griffin, Company K ; lost a leg at Antietam, and discharged. 

Private Charles L. Hill, Company K ; died October 14, 1862, of wounds 
received at Antietam. 

Private John Malone, Company K ; died at Harrison's Landing, Virginia, 
July 22, 1864. 

Private James E. Ward, Company K ; wounded at Bristoe Station, Vir- 
ginia, and discharged. 

Private William H. White, Company K ; died of measles, at Camp 
Benton, Maryland. 

Private James D. Barnhisel, Company K ; wounded at Spottsylvania, and 
mustered out. 

Private Lemuel Leak, Company K ; wounded at Wilderness, and not seen 


Musician Foreman Burke, died July 11, 1862. 

Private George F. Grather, Company A ; died at White Pigeon, October 
19, 1861. 

Private Wilson Hinds, Company A ; died at Bardstown, Kentucky. 

Private Edward Perrett, Company A ; died at Nashville, September, 1863. 

Private Thomas Naughton, Company A; died at Belmont, Kentucky, 
April 17, 1862. 

Private Jerome Allen, Company C ; died April 18, 1862. 

Private John Goodie, Company C ; died at Nashville. 

Private Daniel C. Leonard, Company C ; killed at Stone River, Decem- 
ber 31, 1862. 

Private George H. Norton, Company C ; died of small-pox, June 3, 1862. 

Private Thomas Rapp, Company C ; died January 29, 1862. 

Private William Schochenbarger, Company C ; killed at Marietta, Geor- 
gia, July 4, 1864. 

Private Arthur W. Miller, Company D; died February 10, 1862. 

Private Henry Burleson, Company D ; killed at Stone River, December 
31, 1862. 

Corporal Washington I. Snyder, Company E ; promoted and died at Chat- 

Private Thomas Manning, Company E ; killed at Stone River, December 

21, 1862. 

Private Joseph Spranger, Company E ; died at Stevenson, Alabama, 
August 29, 1863. 

Private William M. Sherman, Company E ; died at Nashville, March 2, 


Private Silas Burleson, Company F ; died March 26, 1862. 
Private John Vale, Company F ; died June 22, 1864. 
Private Oscar E. Fuller, Company F ; died at Chattanooga. 
Private Cosmore E. Mannigold, Company G ; killed at Chattanooga. 
Private Francis E. Stanton, Company G ; died March, 1862. 


Private Augustus Miller, Company F ; died at Duvall's Bluff, Arkansas. 
Private Richard Armitage, Company H ; died at Washington, Arkansas. 
Private Albert Evans, Company I ; died at Washington, Arkansas. 
Private Silas S. Ford, Company I ; died at DuvalPs Bluff, Arkansas. 


Private Wellington Cook, Company B ; died October 17, 1862. 
Private Jacob E. Reis, Company E ; died at Savannah, Georgia. 
Private James M. Howard, Company G; died at Tullahoma, May 17, 1864. 
Private Joseph L. Bogardus, Company G ; killed at Bentonville, North 

Private Hiram W. Eldred, Company G ; died at Newark. 

Private Cortes F. Foote, Company H ; killed at Bentonville, North Carolina. 

Private George F. Miller, Company K ; killed at Lookout Mountain. 


Private Charles Hero, Company C ; died at Kingston, Georgia. 

Private Frank Murray, Company C; killed at Bentonville, North Carolina. 


Private Benjamin Booth, Company A ; died at Keokuk, Iowa. 

Private Dwight Duncan, Company A ; re-enlisted, and killed before At- 

Private David Fowler, Company A; killed at Shiloh, April 6, 1862. 

Private John R. Martin, Company A ; died at Monterey, Tennessee, June 
10, 1862. 

Private Walter O'Brien, Company A ; died April 18, 1862, of wounds 
received at Shiloh. 

Private William Denater, Company A ; died May 8, 1862. , 


Private George Hall, Company D ; killed at Gaines' Mills, Virginia. 
Private William D. D. Gilson, Company G ; died on transport, August, 


Private Henry R. Sharp, Company E ; killed at Cassville, Georgia, May 
19, 1864. 


Private William H. Baughner, Company D ; died of wounds received at 

Private William Robins, Company D ; died at Mumfordsville, Kentucky, 
January 16, 1863. 

Private William Young, Company D ; killed at Resaca, Georgia. 

Private Jerry Hopeman, Company D ; killed at Resaca, Georgia. 

Private Roswell Beebe, Company D ; killed at Tebbs' Bend, Kentucky, 
July 4, 1863. 

Private Edward O'Herran, Company G ; died September 7, 1863. 


Private Charles H. Bryant, Company A ; died at Detroit. 

Private Warren V. Easton, Company I ; killed at Deep Bottom, Virginia. 


Benjamin F.Ward, 2d Independent company sharp-shooters; killed at 

Lafayette Young, 2d Independent company sharp-shooters ; killed at Litch- 
field, Virginia. 


Private Horatio C. Failing, Company C ; died at Murfreesboro. 
Private Warren Ellis, Company E ; discharged for wounds. 
Private Frederick Blackman, Company H ; died at Alexandria. 
Private Charles W. Hutchins, Company H; died at Newbern, North 



Private Lawrence Gassnel, Company H ; died at Detroit. 

Private Samuel T. Lindley, Company K ; drowned at Jackson, Michigan. 


Private Charles Spalding, Company H ; died February 8, 1864. 


Private Albert Chittenden, Company G; killed at Gettysburg, July 3,1863. 


Private George B. Williams, Company A ; died at St. Louis, October 16, 

Private Edward M. Richardson, Company F; died at Duvall's Bluff, 


Private Lorenzo Seger, Company M ; died. 


Private Charles C. Knapp, Company A ; died in Salisbury prison-pen. 


Private W. H. Van Brunt, Company E ; died in Andersonville. 

Private Augustus Butler, Company K ; killed at Stone Mountain, Geor- 
gia, October 2, 1864. 

Private John Kemple, Company K ; killed at Stone Mountain, Georgia, 
October 2, 1864. 


Private Geo. W. Swift ; died at Camp Gilbert, Kentucky, June 20, 1862. 
Private Floran Aufrance ; died at Murfreesboro. 


Private Edward D. Rowley ; died of wounds received August 10, 1863. 
Private John Sensibe, Battery L ; died at Knoxville, September 18, 1863. 
Private Edgar A. Sherwood ; died at Knoxville. 


Private Emanuel J. Stiffler, Company F ; died at Washington. 


Private Edward S. Hamblin, Company I ; died near Falmouth, Virginia, 
January 27, 1863. 

Private Warner Houghtating; died near Suffolk, Virginia, May 12, 1863. 




And now, dear reader, our pleasant task is done. We have rambled with 
you by the stream of history as for fifty years it has meandered through 
the superb county of St. Joseph. We have seen the fleet deer bounding through 
the glades or over the billowy prairies, followed by the scarcely less agile 
red man, or the no less untiring pale-faced borderer. We have looked upon the 
pioneer as, with the slow and toilsome pace of the patient oxen, he has 
moved his household goods into the Indian's country, and with brawny arms 
has rolled up the rude logs for a shelter for his domestic treasures. We 
have joined the merry throng and congratulated the newly-wedded bride on 
her new-found happiness; have rejoiced with the mother when she has 
felt the dewy breath of the babe upon her breast ; and we have stood by the 
open grave and shed tears of sympathy with the stricken ones as they laid 
their treasures in the dust, and no healer was nigh but Him who has ordered 
all things for the best. We have seen the old Pennsylvania wagon, with its 
broad tires and broader-backed horses toiling through the marshes and 
swimming rivers, give way to the " coach and four " as it rattled over the 
Chicago trail and up to the door of the old log hostelry, at the crack of the 
driver's whip and the echoing notes of his horn. We have seen the awk- 
ward flat-boat and clumsy ark, carrying the produce of the sturdy yeomanry 
of old St. Joe to a market, as they floated lazily down the noble river that 
for twenty years and more was the main artery of commerce in the county ; 
and we have seen, at length, the ark and the flat-boat, together with the rumb- 
ling, swaying " Concord," give way to that steed whose iron stomach craves 
no lighter diet than coal and water, and under whose tireless impetus the 
world has been revolutionized. We have seen, as the result of these changes, 
the beautiful lawns, open vistas, and free wild prairies transformed from their 
unexcelled natural loveliness to broad well-tilled farms ; the log cabins dis- 
appear and elegant mansions come into view ; and the dotted landscape be- 
come villages ; and the villages, thriving cities. We have seen the rude 
mills of the pioneers with their primitive wheels and imperfect boulder 

stones, whose product, like the figs of the prophet's vision, was so bad it 
could scarcely be eaten for badness, fall away, and on their sites rise the 
three-storied structures of the present, with their Leffels and polished and 
ironed "burrs," whose product (" prime super extra white winter") com- 
mands the markets of the world. We have beheld, and the log school- 
houses, with their rough benches and simple elements of education, have 
faded, and in their places magnificent buildings rise, wherein reign the 
best systems of instruction in literature and science. We have worshiped in 
the settler's cabin and in the groves — "God's first temples" — when the 
Boanerges of the early days launched the judgments of Heaven at our de- 
fenseless heads, or melted us to tears as they told of the love of a merciful 
Father ; and we have seated ourselves on the luxuriously upholstered sofas 
in the costly and capacious tabernacles that now lift their towers to the skies, 
and have listened to the swelling tones of the organ and the story of the 
Man of Nazareth delivered to us in the well-turned periods of rhetoric and 
display. And — prouder sight than these — we have seen, when the banner of 
treason floated the air and the armed hosts beneath its folds struck at the 
nation, the old, the middle-aged, and the young leave the homestead gar- 
landed with love and affection, and with brave hearts and determined wills 
go forth to beat back the foes of freedom and union ; and we have seen — a 
grander, nobler sight than all — the shattered regiments come back with 
colors proudly flying, though tattered by shot and shell, and the veteran 
soldiers — heroes all — settle back into their accustomed places, and take up 
again the arts of peace without disturbance or unusual commotion. 

And now, standing face to face with all these evidences before us, shall we 
not say that, link by link, here and there over the whole earth, the testimony 
accumulates that the march of progress is ever onward and upward ? Over 
the gory trail of war, it may be, as well as by the pleasant paths of peace, the 
Divine purpose is being developed — a pledge, though much tribulation, toil 
and pain may intervene before the grand consummation shall be reached, 
that humanity shall yet attain unto god-like perfection and knowledge, and 
" the wilderness shall blossom like the rose." 

f^EStOENCE or J. B I^OWN , Florence Tp, ST Joseph Co,Mich. 

Residence or A,C. ZIMMEf^, Fawn fftvEq Tp, ST Joseph Co. t fttCH. 



In a county so rich in Indian reminiscence as is St. Joseph, it is somewhat 
singular that but two towns in its borders should commemorate its aboriginal 
inhabitants, and especially when the Pottawatomie dialect abounds with 
characteristic nomenclature, liquid in accent, and beautiful in signification. 
Nottawa perpetuates the band of warriors who lived thereon, and White 
Pigeon a noted chief of the nation. Tradition says the old chief, who died 
before any white man ever lived on the prairie, was buried on a knoll just 
outside the village boundaries, on a farm once owned by James Knapp, and 
now owned by Martin L. Gortner. Tradition goes on to say that a cabin 
was once built over the chief's remains, against the earnest remonstrance of 
his clansmen, who believed such an act was a desecration of the (to them) 
sacred spot, and that they told the builder of the cabin that it would not 
stand there long, — and it did not, being burned shortly afterwards : since 
which time the site has been respected. Trees have been planted thereon 
several times, but they have hitherto failed to thrive, and have finally died. 
There has been some talk about erecting a monument on the spot to com- 
memorate the old-time warrior and sachem of the red men, but nothing has 
as yet been done towards such a reasonable and commendable work. But 
his name is preserved, and has been spread throughout the land by the fame 
of the settlement of white men, who could find no more appropriate or 
beautiful name for their colony (and, afterwards, township) than that of the 
leading war-chief, of his day, of the Pottawatomie nation. Long before 
the settlement around Fort Dearborn became a fact generally known, White 
Pigeon prairie was a noted spot in New England, New York and Pennsyl- 
vania. White Pigeon was for years the distributing point of emigration into 
the west, and all southwestern Michigan and northwestern Indiana was 
settled by emigrants who made their first stop at this point. 


The surface of the township of White Pigeon is a level plain, slightly un- 
dulating in portions, and originally covered with light burr- and white-oak 
openings, with the exception of about one thousand acres of its area, which was 
a portion of the far-famed White Pigeon prairie. Its entire area includes, 
as at present limited, about eighteen thousand acres, of which some twelve 
hundred and sixty-five are water surface. The soil is of the same general 
character of that throughout the county, and is very fertile and productive. 


of the township is ample, and it is watered by the Pigeon and Fawn rivers, 
and Pickerel, Klinger's, Aldrich, Marl and Fish lakes. The Pigeon 
enters the township from Indiana, on the south line of the southwest 
quarter of the northwest quarter of section twenty-two, and runs north- 
erly and westerly, passing out on the west line of the southwest quarter of 
the northwest quarter of section twelve, township eight, range twelve. The 
Fawn enters the township by Aldridge lake, on sections thirteen and twenty- 
four, and passes through Pickerel lake, running thence nearly due north, 
passing out of the township on the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter 
of section twenty-seven, township seven, range eleven west. Klinger's lake 
— so named from a pioneer who settled on its shores in 1829 — is the largest 
body of water in the township, having an area of about seven hundred acres, 
and lies on sections one and two, township eight, and thirty-five and thirty- 
six, township seven, range eleven. Marl lake, along, narrow sheet of water, 
lies on the southwest quarter of section seventeen, and has an area of about 
eighty acres. A portion of Fish lake, about eighty acres, covers a part of 
the southwest quarter of section nineteen. 


in White Pigeon were made in the spring of 1827, the first one by John 
Winchell, from Wayne county, Michigan, on the 10th of April. He located 
with his family on the west end of the prairie. The second location was by 
Leonard Cutler, from Indiana, who came with his family to the east end of 
the prairie in May of that year. After these two pioneers came a third, 
Arba Heald, from Wayne county, who also located at the eastern end of 
the prairie. 

Winchell and Heald came first to the prairie in the fall or winter of 1826, 
and made their selections, and returned to Monroe for WinchelFs family, — 
Heald returning with Winchell in April, and remaining a portion of the 
summer, bringing on his own family in January, 1828. 

The land was not then in the market, not having as yet, previous to the ar- 
rival of Winchell and Cutler, been subdivided into sections, — the townships 
and ranges only being determined. The subdivision into sections was per- 
fected during the summer of 1827. 

These three pioneers divided the prairie between them, or a certain portion 
thereof, by striking two furrows across the same, to mark the respective 
bounds of their claims. Winchell built himself a cabin, as did also the 
other two as soon after their arrival as it was possible to do so, the same 
being in the edge of the timber which flanked their prairie land. 

The families of these first pioneers of St. Joseph county were as follows : 
Mr. Winchell had nine children, viz.: Elizabeth, who afterwards married 
Samuel Markham ; David Winchell, who married Mary Ann Mclnterfer, 
the daughter of the first settler in Lockport township ; Lyman Winchell, 
William Winchell, Martha, who married James Knapp in i828, lie first 
marriage in the county ; John, Cynthia, Angelina, and James. In the fall 
of 1833 Judge Winchell removed to Door prairie, in Laporte county, where 
he died December 20, 1836. Of his children but three are living, — Mrs. 
Markham and John in California, and Mrs. G. W. Keynolds (Cynthia) in 
Kingsbury, Indiana, within half a mile of the mill her father built after 
leaving St. Joseph county, and where he died. Mr. Winchell was the first 
postmaster in the county, and also first justice of the peace, being appointed 
while all of southwestern Michigan was but one township (St. Joseph) in 
Lenawee county. The post-office was called Millville, and was established 
in 1828. Mr. Winchell was also the first mail contractor on the Chicago 
road between Coldwater and Niles, and carried the mail once a week eack 
way in summer, and once in two weeks in winter, on horseback. His log 
cabin was built on the north side of the Chicago trail, and his blacksarith- 
shop on the south side, just in the edge of the timber. He was an Eastern 
man, his wife being a native of the same section of the eoiratry. He was 
very accurate and prompt in his business transactions, and w«B a " Christian 
in precept and example," as is testified to by those who knew Mm beak 

Leonard Cutler was a native of Bennington, Vermont, and shortly after 
his marriage, in 1811, emigrated to Canada; but when the war broke out 
between Great Britain and the United States he left the Canadas and moved 
into New York, joining an artillery company in the United States army, and 
doing good service therein. He moved into Jennings county, Indiana, after 
the close of the war, then an unbroken wilderness, where he remained five 
or six years, in the mean time clearing up, mostly with his owsi hands, a 
heavily timbered farm. In May, 1827, as before stated, he came to St. Jo- 
seph county, arriving on White Pigeon prairie on the l&th day of that month. 
His family consisted of his wife Mercy and several children, three only of 
whom are living : Morice D., the oldest son, at Waukesha, Wisconsin, of 
which he was and is one of the principal proprietors ; John, a physician, 
who emigrated to California in 1849, where he served with distinction in the 




State legislature, and held the position of county judge for several years ; 
Alonzo R., who now resides at Laporte, Indiana. 

Mr. Cutler left St. Joseph county in the spring of 1831, and settled on 
Door prairie, in Indiana, selling the lands he had bought at one dollar and 
twenty-five cents per acre at a large advance, — the entire sale bringing three 
thousand dollars. He lived on his second location for several years, and 
then moved again " into the west," and settled at Decorah, Iowa, where he 
still resides, at the advanced age of ninety-seven years. A single incident in 
the journey of Mr. Cutler to White Pigeon prairie will illustrate his tenacity 
of purpose. He was stricken down with fever on the road, and, after journey- 
ing as long as possible, the wagon was drawn up beside the trail and the sick 
man lifted out and laid upon an improvised bed to die, as his family feared. 
As soon as the sons could command their feelings sufficiently to ask the ques- 
tion, they inquired what they should do with him in the event of his death, — 
where they should bury him ? He replied, "Not here, but on White Pigeon 
prairie ; there is where I started to go, and there I am going, dead or alive. 
If I die, put me in the wagon and take me to that prairie and there bury me. 
But I'm not going to die now," — and he did not. They came to the spot 
they afterwards selected for a home, and Mr. Cutler was soon himself again. 
He was ministered to by an Indian, who gave him some medicament he had 
himself prepared after the Indian formula, preceding its administration by 
an offering of tobacco to the Great Spirit by burning the same in the fire, and 
praying to the Manitou. A Dutchman named Kimball, who was sick at 
Cutler* s cabin, and was cared for by him and his wife, loaned Cutler the 
money to enter his claim, and shared with the latter in the purchase. He 
bought eight hundred acres. 

While on the trail from Tecumseh they were mired-down in the marshes 
several times, and had to cut down the banks of the streams to get in and 
out of the same, and cut the trees down sometimes to get through the thicker 
part of the woods. One night, just before sunset, the wagon, which was 
drawn by two yoke of oxen and two yoke of cows, mired in the middle of 
a wet marsh, and there was not time enough to drag it out before dark, and 
therefore the boys unhooked the cattle from the wagon, and putting their 
mother and father on one team — the children taking such things as were 
needed for camping-out and supper — rode the other yoke of oxen, and, like 
St. Paul and his companions at Melita, " so they all got safely to (dry) land." 
The boys, however, concluded to get the wagon out that night, and not have 
the disagreeable job disturbing their dreams, and so, cutting poles, they 
pried up the wheels out of the mud, and the team dragged the wagon out 
ready for a fresh start in the morning. The Cutlers' daughter Mary was the 
first white child born in the county. 

Arba Heald was a native of Maine, and came to White Pigeon in 1828, 
as before stated, with his family, consisting of his wife and five children, 
viz. : Sarepta E., William, John V., Jane C, and Norris McK., of whom 
but two are living at the present time, — Jane, now Mrs. D. Kimball, of 
Door village, Laporte county, Indiana, and Sarepta, now Mrs. Samuel D. 
Hall, of Koxbury, McPherson county, Kansas. Two children were born in 
White Pigeon to him, — Eleanor, August 10, 1829, now Mrs. Griffin Drone, 
of Roxbury, Kansas, and Eldredge, December 30, 1831, now deceased. 

The only son now living, Edwin C, of Roxbury, Kansas, was born in 
Laporte county, Indiana. Mrs. Heald was a native of Essex county, New 
York, where she and Mr. Heald were married in 1818. In 1820 they re- 
moved to Pennsylvania, thence to Ohio, and from thence, in 1825, to Mon- 
roe, Michigan, and from thence to White Pigeon. 

Mr. Heald removed to Door prairie in June, 1832, having disposed of his 
location to Dr. Isaac O. Adams. He built a saw-mill, and was a most use- 
ful man in his day, dying in 1853. 

Mrs. Heald died in Door village in 1869. When Winchell and Heald had 
reached the western edge of the White Pigeon prairie, in the latter part of 
the year 1826, Heald said, "Winchell, right about face! We have gone far 
•enough ! This location is good enough for anybody !" And thereupon the 
two. retraced their way to Monroe, Winchell coming back in April of 1827, 
accompanied by Heald, and Heald returning for his family, whom he brought 
back with him in January, 1828, arriving near the last days of the month. 

The next comer to the prairie after the tripartite division of the land was 
Dr. David Page, who was the first physician in the county. He was an un- 
married man, of an extremely youthful appearance, and was accompa- 
nied by a brother, Reed Page ; they built themselves a house of logs, not 
far from the present site of the village of White Pigeon, westerly therefrom. 

Joseph Olds came in the same fall (1827), and located on the north bank 
of the Pigeon, on what is now included in the White farm. 

Asahel Savery came to the prairie in December of that year, and built 
the east wing of the "Old Diggins," as it was afterwards known, in 1828, 
and opened the first house for public entertainment in the county. 

From that time onward the settlement increased rapidly. Including the 
little village, the following were among the early settlers on the prairie : 
James Knapp, Beckwith and family, Luther Newton, and Peter Klinger 
and family, and Billy Naggs, a trader on Indian prairie, one mile south and 
west from the village, — all came in 1828. The three brothers Phelps, who 
first began Newville, came in 1828-9. 

Samuel Pratt and Philander A. Paine came in May, 1829, and when they 
came they found, besides those before mentioned, the following here before 
them: John W. Anderson, register of probate and deeds ; Duncan and David 
Clark, brothers ; and Robert Clark, Jr., United States surveyor. Orrin 
Rhoades and his family came iu September of the same year ; when they 
arrived, Lewis Rhoades, who has resided in the same township nearly fifty 
years, says there were, besides those already mentioned, Hart L. and Alan- 
son C. Stewart, D. Keyes, Crawford, Selden, and Joseph Martin, 

William Rowen, Lawrence. Robb and Murray were on the prairie or 

vicinity, and John Coates came in the same fall, as did Neal MeGafFey, the 
first lawyer, who was soon after followed by his brother-in-law, Joshua Gale. 

Dr. Hubbel Loomis, the first probate judge of the county, came in the 
summer of 1829. Between Rhoades' advent and Kelloggs, April 30, 1830, 
the following came in : Robert Wade, a Yorkshireman, — as were Coates and 
Rowen, — Orrin Thompson, a brother-in-law of Savery; Benjamin, or as he 
was sometimes facetiously called, " Dr." Franklin, and Mr. Neal, father of 
McGaffey's and Gale's wives. Samuel A. Chapin, C. B. Fitch, Erastus 
Thurber, Daniel Robinson, Lewis B. Judson, J. W. Coffinberry, Rev. William 
Jones, — the latter the first Presbyterian minister in the county, — Thomas, 
and his nephew Armstrong, a tanner ; Crippen, a shoemaker, and Roberts, 
a blacksmith, all came in 1830. Dr. Isaac O. Adams and his family of boys, 
Isaac, Win. H., George, and Washington, came in 1831, and the doctor bought 
out Arba Heald, who went to Indiana. Mr. Bull also came in 1830, and 
went into trade with the Kelloggs, and was followed in 1831 by Elias S. 
Swan, John S. Barry, and I. W. Willard in the mercantile line — Niles F. 
Smith having had the precedence over all in that line, and was in trade when 
Kellogg came in April, 1830, and had, as Kellogg writes, " a one-horse store 
with a wheelbarrow full of goods ;" but Mr. K. probably speaks satirically 
as to the quantity of stock on hand, for P. A. Paine, in 1830, finds it valua- 
ble enough to trade land for it. S. P. Williams, now of Lima, Indiana, was 
a resident-merchant of White Pigeon in 1831-2, and subsequently formed a 
co-partnership with David or Duncan Clark. Dr. W. N. Elliott came to the 
village in 1832, in the spring of the year, and Peter and George W. Beisel 
in 1831. 

Of these old pioneers but two are still living in White Pigeon, — Dr. Elliott 
and George Beisel. Mr. Willard, who was subsequently the clerk of the 
courts until they were held in Centreville, is now residing at Pawpaw, 
Van Buren county. A. Savery, when last heard from, was in Texas; 
Robert Clark, Jr., died in Monroe in March, 1837, aged only twenty-eight 
years, and David Clark died at White Pigeon on the 19th of the same 
month. Lewis B. Judson resides in Oswego, Kendall county, Illinois, and 
the sons of Dr. Adams are in Chicago. Whether any of the others are 
living we do not know, while on the contrary we do know that the greater 
portion of them are dead. The first emigrants previous to 1830 were mostly 
from Wayne county, Michigan. 


opened on the prairie were those of Winchell and Cutler, who broke up the 
new sod and planted corn, potatoes and buckwheat, sowing wheat in the fall. 
Cutler had a strong team — three yoke of oxen and two of cows — and he 
broke up several acres. 

The first entries of public lands in the present limits of the township were 
as follows : The east half of the southwest quarter of section five, Arba Heald ; 
the west half of the southwest quarter of section five, and the east half of the 
southeast quarter of section six, Robert Clark, Jr.; the west half of the southeast 
quarter of section six, John W. Anderson and Duncan R. Clark ; the south- 
west quarter of section six, and the northwest fractional quarter of section seven, 
— three hundred and seventy-one acres, — Asahel Savery ; all on the 24th day of 
October, 1828. The east half of the southeast quarter of section nine, Luther 
Newton and John Winchell, November 29 ; and the east half of the north- 
east quarter of section six, Leonard Cutler, December 11, 1828; which were 
all there were in 1828, there being nineteen made in 1829. Judge Winch- 
ell's entries at the west end of the prairie were made on January 25, 1829, 
and were the east half of the southeast quarter of section three, township 



eight, range twelve — those first named being in township eight, range 

In 1873 three thousand and thirty-three acres in wheat produced twenty-four 
thousand six hundred and sixty-eight bushels, and two thousand one hun- 
dred and eleven acres of corn, forty-nine thousand six hundred and eighty 
bushels. The crop of 1873 also yielded one thousand six hundred and five 
bushels of other grain, six thousand one hundred and sixty-one bushels of 
potatoes, one thousand four hundred and thirty-three tons hay, five thousand 
six hundred and sixty-six pounds wool, fourteen thousand four hundred and 
eighty-five pounds pork, thirty-two thousand four hundred and twenty pounds 
butter, three thousand four hundred and eighty-six pounds dried fruit, six 
hundred and ninety-nine barrels cider, and ten thousand six hundred and 
sixty-five bushels of apples and other fruit. There were owned in the town- 
ship at the same time three hundred and sixty-nine horses, four mules, three 
hundred and thirty-six cows, two hundred and ninety-three head of other 
cattle, eight hundred and seventy-two hogs, and one thousand one hundred 
and eighty-five sheep. One flour-mill employed three persons, twenty 
thousand dollars capital, four run of stone, and made eight thousand 
two hundred and ninety-three barrels of flour, valued at sixty thousand five 
hundred and thirty-eight dollars. 

In 1876 there were fifteen thousand eight hundred and seventy-six acres 
of land assessed at four hundred and twenty-eight thousand and sixty dol- 
lars, by G. B. Markham, the supervisor of the township, which is held to be 
from one-fourth to^ one-third of the real value. 

The leading farmers of the township at the present time are Peter Put- 
nam, Daniel Shurtz, Henry E. Root, Giles B. Markham, Cornelius Cooper, 
Welgamwood brothers, Lewis White, an old settler of 1832, Eleazar 
Tracy, A. W. Huff, and John Catton. Mr. Shurtz came with his three 
brothers, Frederick, John, and James, in 1836. Frederick served as State 
senator in 1856. They were from Pennsylvania. 


built on the prairie, as before stated, was that of John Winchell, a log- 
cabin at the west end of the same. The first frame buildings were erected 
in White Pigeon village by Samuel Pratt, Hosmer Kellogg, and A. Savery 
in 1830. Pratt's probably was the first one, as Niles F. Smith had his little 
stock of goods in it, on the corner where the American hotel now stands, in 
April, 1830. 

- The first brick house in the township was built by Dr. Elliott in 1843, 
and is still his residence. It was one of the earliest, if not the very earliest 
one, in the county. It was twenty-four by forty-six feet, and two stories. 

Neal McGaffey also built a frame house in the latter part of 1830 or 
1831, and planted the first fruit-tree in the village — an apple — in 1830 ; it 
was next west of W. O. Austin's house and store. 


was set out by Murray, in the' spring of 1829, one and a half miles east, on 
what is now known as the Tracy farm. The trees were brought from Fort 
Wayne, and are still bearing. 

Cutler planted the first fruit-seeds for nursery purposes in the spring 
of 1828, occupying three acres. When they were three years old Jones 
grafted them, and moved them five miles east of Pigeon, on the Disbrow 
farm, from which nearly all of the early orchards of the county were taken. 
W. W. Bliss had an orchard in bearing in 1836, at New Lowell, which he 
set out in 1834. Dr. Isaac Adams sold two thousand apple-trees in 1834, 
five years old. 


were first introduced into the township by " Father" Elisha White in 1835, 
being a fine breed of swine, known throughout the county as " White's 
breed," and some thorough-bred short-horns from Connecticut. Giles B. 
Markham is a breeder of Alderney cattle at the present time. 

The first blooded horse brought to the prairie was a Messenger mare, im- 
ported by the father of J. J. Davis, from Ulster county, New York, in 1834. 


was first introduced on the prairie in 1835, in the form of open-cylinder 
threshers ; fanning-mills coming into use in 1832, and of White Pigeon 
manufacture too. 

The first separator-thresher was brought in, in 1844, by McBaul from New 
York. The Constantine separators were introduced in 1845-6. 

The first reaper introduced was a Kirby, in 1841-2; but it did not do good 
work, and the next season J. J. Davis and C. C. Newkirk brought in a 
McCormick, and the first time they hitched the team to it, the novel, noisy 
thing frightened the horses, and they ran away, breaking up the machine, 

and the Kirby was brought in to finish the job, while its gay rival was laid 
up for repairs. 


born on the prairie, and within the present limits of Whiti Pigeon township, 
was a daughter of Leonard Cutler, who opened her eyes to the light of day 
in the early part of the year 1828, and was also the first white child born in 
St. Joseph county. Her name was Mary, and she married a Mr. Hunt, and 
died near Laporte some years ago. 


on the prairie was that of James Knapp and Martha Winchell, in the year 

1828, and was also the first marriage in the county. This wedding occurred 
at Judge Winchell's residence on section three, township eight, range twelve. 


that occurred in the township were in 1830 ; among them were several of the 
old citizens, who were buried in the little plat laid off by J. W. Cofnnberry, 
and named " Carlton." One of these was a son-in-law of Colonel Selden 
Martin. Others were buried in the cemetery at Newville in 1831, and before. 


was built on the prairie — or, rather, near the same — at Newville in the sum- 
mer of 1830, and was the first building erected in the county for that 
especial purpose. It was a log house, with primitive seats and desks ; and 
the first school taught in it was in the winter of 1830-1, by a Mr. Allen, 
who was afterwards the postmaster at the village. Hon. John B. Howe, of 
Lima, Indiana, taught school in the township at one time ; and so too did 
Columbia Lancaster, in the village, in the spring of 1832. . 

The school statistics of 1876 make the following excellent showing for 
the educational enterprise of the township. There are seven school dis- 
tricts in the township, each having a school-house, one of which, the union 
school-house of the village, is of brick, and the others being frames ; and all 
valued at twenty-four thousand seven hundred dollars. 

There are' six hundred and three children in the township between the 
ages of five and twenty years, and four hundred and ninety- three attended 
the schools, which were in session an average of eight months and over, 
during the year ending September 1, 1876. 

Three male teachers were employed and paid one thousand five hundred 
and forty dollars for their services, and thirteen females received two thous- 
and three hundred and sixty-three dollars and sixty cents. The total in- 
come of the districts for the year was six thousand seven hundred and eight 
dollars and seventy-seven cents. 


were held at Newville, in the school-house and at private houses, a Methodist 
class being formed there in the fall of 1829, with David Crawford^ as class- 
leader. It was organized by the Rev. Erastus Felton, Rev. Stoddard preach- 
ing afterwards. The Baptist church was also first commenced here, and 
afterwards re-organized and built up in White Pigeon village. A Free-will 
Baptist minister named Holmes, who came in 1828, lived on WincheH's farm. 


in the township, at least by power other than that derived from human 
muscle, was the sawing of lumber by Judge Luther Newton, in the fall of 

1829, in his mill on Crooked creek, or Fawn river, as now called. This mill 
was also the first in the county. Newton began its erection in 1828, and 
built a dam across the creek, but it went out, and with it the foundation of 
the mill, the superstructure falling to the ground. Nothing daunted, Mr. 
Newton sat about rebuilding it the next season, and completed it, and wenl 
to sawing before the close of the year. He afterwards put in a run of smalt 
stones, and gristed wheat and corn. Subsequently he sold his property to the 
Miller brothers, who added a distillery to their manufacturing interests, after 
1832, and operated the same for several years. 

Weed built the first distillery in the township in 1832, near Miller's. None * 
are now in existence in the township; and have not been for many years. 
W. W. Bliss built a cloth-dressing and wool-carding factory on the Pigeon, 
calling his establishment "New Lowell," in 1832. He also, as was the cus- 
tom in those days wherever there was a water-power in use, put in a run of 
stones and gristed for the neighborhood. 

The first blacksmith-shop built in the township was that of WincheH's, 
in 1827, at the west end of the prairie. There was one also in Newville in 
1829-30, and a shoemaker plied his trade at the latter place at the same time. 
The first means of getting meal, aside from the ordinary Indian, or pioneer 
mill, the stump and pestle, was a huge pepper-mill put up against a tree 
by Arba Heald at the east end of the neighborhood, where, with diligence 



and a good expenditure of man-power, a half bushel of corn could be re- 
duced in circumference sufficiently to make johnny-cake and samp. Samuel 
Pratt paid for his board at Culter's, for a time, in labor at the mill in the 
summer of 1829. 


White Pigeon township dates its*organization coeval with that of the county, 
on the 29th day of October, 1829, it being one of the three original townships 
into which the county was divided at its organization. The township, as 
then organized, included, besides its present limits, the townships of Florence, 
Lockport, Fabius, Constantine and Mottville, except that portion of Mott- 
ville included in township eight, range thirteen, which was subsequently 
added to the township of White Pigeon, March 3, 1831. In 1833, March 
21, the present townships of Lockport and Fabius were set off from White 
Pigeon, under the name of Bucks, and in 1837, Florence, Constantine and 
Mottville were setoff and constituted into separate townships, circumscribing 
White Pigeon to little more than a half township. 

The first tier of sections in township eight, range twelve (Mottville) was 
retained by the original township, as a part of the village plat of White 
Pigeon was located thereon. Subsequently, also, three of the south tier of 
sections of Florence, (thirty-four, thirty-five and thirty-six, lying east and 
south of an extensive and impassable marsh, compelling a detour nearly to 
White Pigeon whenever township business demanded the presence of the in- 
habitants of those sections at the town-meetings,) were set off to White 
Pigeon, and are now included in the township. 

On the public surveys the township is known as township eight, range 
eleven west, including sections one, twelve, thirteen, twenty-four, and one- 
half of twenty-five, township eight, range twelve, and sections thirty-four, 
thirty-five and thirty-six, township seven, range eleven. 


was held in April, 1830, at the "Old Diggins "— Savery's hotel— but the 
township records were destroyed by fire in 1851, and a full list of officers 
then elected cannot be obtained at the present time. Luther Newton w 7 as 
chosen supervisor, and Neal McGaffey, town-clerk. The position of super- 
visor has been held since by the following gentlemen : W. W. Bliss, 1831-4 
and 1837; H. L. Stewart, 1835; John G. Cathcart, 1836; Daniel Howell, 
1838 ; Washington Pitcher, 1842 ; K. M. Conover, 1843 ; Philip E. Runyan, 
1844; Edwin Kellogg, 1845 and 1850; William Savier, 1846-9 and 1860; 
G. G. Depuy, 1851-2 and 1855-6 ; J. W. Mandigo, 1853 and 1857-9 and 
1862, 1865-6 and 1871 ; J. S. Hamilton, 1854; L. C. Laird, 1861 ; J. B. 
Cook, 1863 and 1869; G. W. Beisel, 1864; Peter Putnam, 1867-8 and 
1873; E. Blackman, 1870-4; G. B. Markham, 1875-6. 

Town Clerks— Neal McGaffey, 1830-31 ; J. H. Barry, 1832-35 ; Thomas 
Charlton, 1836 ; C. C. Woodbury was town clerk in 1851 when the records 
were destroyed in his office, which was also burned. Since then the office has 
been filled one term by each of the following named gentlemen : George 
Brown, W. O. Austin, W. B. May, G. W. Beisel, J. E. Johnson, John S. 
Hamilton, J. B. Cook, P. E. Runyan, J. M. Stott, and Edson Blanchard. 
John Hotchin held the position for seven years, 1859-62, 1865-66 and 
1871 ; L. A. Labadie, 1869-70; D. C. Page, the present incumbent, 1874- 

The following named gentlemen have held the position of justice of the 
pea<*e for more than one term : John Winchell, 1827-33 ; Neal McGaffey, 
1829-35 ; Albert Allen, 1830-35 ; J. S. Barry, 1831-35 ; William Savier, 
1840-48 ; Peter Cook, 1842-56 ; George G. Dupuy, 1863, and still in office; 
C. C. Woodbury, 1852-60 ; Lewis Rhoades, 1852-56 ; George W. Beisel, 
1853-57 and 1868 and still in office; Edwin Kellogg, 1853-57; Isaac Run- 
yan, 1860-72; W. O. Austin, 1861-73 ; J. E. Johnson, 1855-60; John 
Hotchin, 1869, and still in office. 


surveyed through the towmship was the National military road between De- 
troit and Chicago, commonly known and called to this day the Chicago 
road, which passes directly through the township from east to west, forming 
a magnificent boulevard the entire length thereof, on either side of which 
lie splendid farms, and elegant farm dwellings and capacious barns rise, giv- 
ing an idea of wealth and comfort second to no other thoroughfare in the 
county. Along this broad avenue sprang hostelries in the pioneer days, 
numerous and in close proximity to each other, running through all the 
grades of excellence, inferiority and positive badness. There were no less 
than five of these places of entertainment for the traveling public and the 
immigrant between White Pigeon and Sturgis, a distance of twelve miles, in 
the palmy days of stage coaches, in 1836 and onward. Chief among them 
all, and first on the great trail in the county, rcas 


the first instalment of whose afterward extensive proportions, the east wing, 
was built in the winter of 1827-8. It was a log building, and the resort of 
all the important personages of early days. Here the electors assembled and 
set in motion the wheels of government of the new county in the fall of 
1829, when the first caucus was held in the county, and Elias Taylor was 
recommended to Governor Cass as a fit person to take charge of the courts 
and keep the peace in the sheriff's office ; John W. Anderson received a 
similar recommendation for the position of register of probate and of deeds, 
and John Sturgis and William Meek were nominated for county judges. 
Here, too, in this pioneer hotel the first town-meeting was held the spring 
following, and the election of the fall previous. In 1830 the proprietor 
added a very respectable frame addition to his log building — the new build- 
ing becoming the main part of the house. Here the first court held in the 
county was convened in August, 1830 — Hon. William Woodbridge and 
Henry Chipman, judges, presiding. Here in the shadow of its porch Jacob 
Knox met his death at the hands of his unfortunate son, who, though en- 
tirely innocent of all intentional wrong, has become wretched indeed from 
the terrible accident that occurred nearly forty-five years ago. In this old 
hostelry the merry laugh and jocund song have resounded in the olden days, 
and a motley throng has found entertainment at its generous tables, and 
rest beneath its wide-spreading roof. Its proprietor owned and operated the 


on the Chicago road, in 1831-2, and drove them himself, cutting out the 
roads and building the bridges to get through from Tecumseh to Niles. 
" Colonel " Savery was a distinguished character, noted for years on the 
Michigan frontier, on which he was found when it was bounded by Monroe 
and Brownstown. He picketed the line as it advanced, and in 1835-6 went 
to Texas and joined the armies of that new republic, fighting under Houston 
at San Jacinto, when the hero of many legs (Santa Anna) was captured. 
When the advance moved into Mexico the old borderer was in the front, and 
never left it until the army of Scott marched back to Vera Cruz carrying 
their trophies of victory. When the tide of emigration rolled into Califor- 
nia, he was on its foremost crest, and as it recoiled and lapped back on Col- 
orado, Nevada and Idaho, the tough old pioneer was the first to " touch bot- 
tom" on the new shores. He drifted back into Texas, from whence he was 
forced to flee by the rampant secessionists, who would not tolerate the sound 
unionism of the old fighter for their independence, and he came back to his 
old love — changed indeed, in feature, but not in spirit, to him — where he was 
welcomed by the pioneers in their society, and made their first president. He 
remained in the county until after the war was over, when he returned to 
his adopted State where he had fought for freedom, and fled from before the 
wrath of those for whom he helped to achieve it, because he advocated it for 
all men, white or black, rich or poor — and they would not receive him or 
his doctrine. If living, he is still a resident of Texas. 

The old tavern occupied the present site of the union school-house, and in 
1837 was occupied by Kev. Charles Newberry, temporarily, for the purposes 
of the branch of the University of Michigan, while the branch building was 
being erected. 

The first keel boat ever launched on the St. Joseph river, was built in 1829 
just opposite Old's cabin on the Pigeon, and floated down the creek into the 
St. Joe. 


on the prairie was at Winchell's at the west end of the same, and was called 
Millville, Winchell being the postmaster, and receiving his appointment in 
1828. He also was 


or at least contractor, in the county, carrying the same on horseback between 
Coldwater and Niles ; Savery succeeding him with his stage line. The land 
office of southwestern Michigan was established here in 1831, and remained 
until 1834, when it was removed to Bronson, now Kalamazoo. The reg- 
ister was Major Abraham Edwards, and the receiver, Thomas E. Sheldon. 


In 1838, the inhabitants of White Pigeon, limited then as now, except the 
three sections from Florence, which were not then set off to the former 
township, mustered eight hundred and seventy-two souls. In 1850, the 
township had fallen off in population, seven hundred and ninety-five only 
being returned as the numerical force of her people. In 1870 the census 
returns footed up eighteen hundred and thirty-three persons, of whom nine 
hundred and ten were males and nine hundred and twenty-three females. In 
1874 the census-marshal reported but seventeen hundred and thirteen mdi- 



viduals, eight hundred and seventy -nine being males and eight hundred and 
thirty-four females ; four hundred and seventy-six of the males were over 
twenty-one — one hundred and eighty-four of these last being between forty- 
five and seventy-five, and ten between seventy-five and ninety years. Two 
hundred and eighty-five females were between eighteen and forty years, one 
hundred and ninety between forty and seventy-five, and eleven over seventy- 
five years of age. Four hundred and three boys under twenty-one, and three 
hundred and forty-eight girls under the age of eighteen years, constituted the 
young folks of the township. 


of the towns-people are evidenced by the way they have cast their ballots at 
the Presidential elections. In 1840 the Whig electors received sixty-nine 
votes ; the Democratic electors, seventy-one votes. The same relative strength 
of parties was exhibited in 1844, when the Whigs polled seventy-eight and 
the Democrats eighty votes, the Liberty men giving James G. Birney 
two votes. In 1848 the Whigs cast fifty-nine votes, the Democrats 
seventy-one, and the Free Soilers eighteen. In 1852 the Whigs polled 
ninety-nine, the Democrats one hundred, and the Abolitionists fifteen. In 
1856 the Kepublicans cast one hundred and forty-nine votes, the Demo- 
crats one hundred and forty-six, and the Prohibitionists had a trio. In 
1860 the Republicans cast one hundred and eighty-eight votes, the Demo- 
crats one hundred and ninety-two. In 1864, Lincoln received one hundred 
and seventy-three, McClellan one hundred and thirty-two. In 1868 the 
Republicans polled two hundred and forty-four votes, and the Democrats 
two hundred and twelve. In 1872 the Republican party cast two hundred 
and eight, the Greeley men numbered one hundred and eighty-three, and 
O'Conner and Black paired on two votes each. In 1876 the Republicans 
gave Hayes two hundred and one votes, Tilden received two hundred and 
thirty eight votes, and Peter Cooper had a half dozen. This last vote would 
indicate a population in the township of over two thousand. 


were fifty dollars for township purposes and a modicum of fifty dollars more 
assessed on the whole county for its needs. The assessment of 1834 amounted 
to two hundred and fifteen thousand three hundred and fifty -nine dollars, and 
the taxes were two hundred and twelve dollars for county, and eight hun- 
dred and ninety five dollars for town purposes. In 1836, when the first State 
tax was levied, the assessment of the township was placed at two hundred 
and forty -five thousand and thirty-six dollars; — and its taxes were for State 
purposes, six hundred and twelve dollars and fifty-nine cents ; for county 
and town, seven hundred and sixty-five dollars ; a total of one thousand three 
hundred and seventy-seven dollars and fifty-nine cents. In 1876 the assess- 
ment stood at three hundred and ninety-nine thousand and ninety-eight dol- 
lars on real-estate, as fixed by the county board of equalizers ; one hundred 
and twelve thousand five hundred dollars on personal property — a total of 
five hundred and eleven thousand live hundred and ninety-eight dollars, and 
on this amount taxes were levied for State and county purposes two thou- 
sand six hundred and thirteen dollars and forty-six cents — equally divided 
between the two powers ; the township taxes, including schools, being more 
than double that amount. 


The first house built within the present limits of the village of White 
Pigeon, was Savery's log tavern in the winter of 1827-8, Savery coming to 
the prairie in December. The original plat was laid out by Robert Clark, 
Jr., Asahel Savery, Mies F. Smith and Neal McGaffey, proprietors of the 
land on which the plat was located, viz : the east half of the southeast 
quarter of section one, township eight, range twelve, and the west half of 
the southwest quarter of section six, township eight, range eleven. The 
plat was surveyed and mapped May 6, 1830, and was the first village plat 
recorded in the county. McGaffey built a frame house that summer, and 
Samuel Pratt had one up and occupied by Mies F. Smith as a store before 
the village had been surveyed — being the advance guard of the trade that 
flowed subsequently through the streets of the village. John W. Anderson, 
Duncan and David Clark (brothers), and Robert Clark, Jr., were residents 
of the village previous to May, 1829, and between that time and Septem- 
ber following, Hart L. and Alanson Stewart came. McGaffey came in 
during the fall, and was followed by Orrin Thompson, Lewis B. Judson, J. 
W. Cofflnberry and Rev. William Jones in 1830, and also by Mr. Bull, 
who, with Edwin Kellogg, opened the first stock of goods really worthy the 
name. In 1831, Elias S. Swan opened a heavy stock of goods, bringing them 
in by the way of the St. Joseph to Constantine, where they were unloaded 
and left upon the bank of the river in the woods over night, without 

watchers and were untouched ! Barry & Willard came the same year and 
opened a general stock of merchandise ; shortly after them Clark & 
Williams opened another heavy stock, with drugs included. Bull & 
Kellogg kept the first stock of drugs in the town. The Stewarts brought a 
remnant of a stock of goods from Detroit, and stored them during the 
winter of 1829-30 ; they were not opened for sale, but were removed in 
the spring to Mottville. Isaac Adams and Whitaker had a stock of goods, 
but closed out in the summer of 1832, and were succeeded by Peter Beisel 
and Melancthon Judson, who came in 1830. 

Bowman succeeded the last-named firm, and finally G. W. Beisel came 
into the business, and the firm continued for some years. Washington 
Pitcher came in 1834, and was with E. S. Swan, and in 1842 went to Con- 


The first manufacturing, aside from blacksmithlng, was the making of 
fanning-mills in the village by Hunt, in 1831-2. 

In the spring of 1832 Hunt & Grover also manufactured mills, ten men 
being employed in both establishments. 

Edwin Kellogg made shoes in the end of Savery's stable-loft in 1830, and 
says that " two down-East Yankees at the same time were doing a smashing 
business in the fanning-mill line." Mr. Kellogg also says that " Lewis B. 
" (?) Judson came to Pigeon with a peddler's wagon well-stocked with goods, 
and at once built a long low house on the southwest corner of Chicago and 
Kalamazoo streets, in 1830, and remained there for three or four years, and 
married Miss Paine and built a house," which was afterwards converted 
into Kellogg's building. 

John Masterman was the first wagon-maker, and Leonard Tainter the 
second. They operated about 1833 and afterwards. 

Woodworth was the first blacksmith, and worked in a shop opposite 

Augustine Austin was the first jeweler ; John I. Brien the first merchant 
tailor, and Otis Preston the second, the latter in 1833-4. 

Lonson F. Dewey was a hatter in 1834, the Statesman of September 3, of 
that year, having his first " ad." 

In the early days of the village there was a beet-sugar manufactory es- 
tablished, and stock subscribed, and machinery bought and operations com- 
menced, but it did not prove a success and was abandoned. Dixon was the 
agent ; Chapman Yates, secretary, and S. W. Chapin, treasurer: 

In 1838 McGaffey, Chapin and Kellogg dug a race on the Pigeon, and 
sold power to Levi Baxter, who built the first flouring-mill in White Pigeon 
village, and Hosraer Kellogg built a saw-mill at the same time. The flour- 
ing mill was burned down in 1860 and rebuilt by D. P. Hamilton in 1862. 
It is now owned and operated by Hamilton, and known as the White Pigeon 
mills. Mr. Hamilton floured forty-one thousand bushels of wheat in 1876. 
The mill is forty by fifty feet on the ground and three and a half stories in 
height, and has four run of stone. The capital invested in the mill and 
stock to operate it is thirty thousand dollars, and the value of its yearly 
product about sixty thousand dollars. 

Hotchins & Cooper built a foundry in 1856 and employed eighteen men. 
It passed through several changes of ownership and finally ceased to be. 

Thomas Brown was a blacksmith and bell-maker in 1833. 


was first established in the village in 1830, and Albert Allen was postmaster 
after Mr. Winchell, whose office terminated in 1832. Chapman Yates suc- 
ceeded Allen, and George W. Beisel was in a short time in 1842, and then 
W. O. Austin until 1852. Justin Elliott, W. B. May and C. C. Woodbury 
filled the years till 1861, when Theodore E. Clapp came in for five years and 
stepped out till 1868, and is still in the possession of the office — Harwood, 
Sage and Hackstaff dividing the three years that Mr. Clapp was out. The 
post-office under Allen, Yates and Austin was kept in the building now oc- 
cupied by Mr. Austin, west of Hotchins' harness-shop. 

The business of the post-office for 1876, was as follows : Stamps sold, one 
thousand nine hundred and eighty-six dollars and sixty cents ; money orders 
drawn, one hundred and eighty-five dollars and seventy-three cents ; money 
orders paid, two thousand eight hundred and tw r enty dollars and seventy-one 
cents ; two hundred and twelve letters are received and dispatched daily, 
and eight hundred and fifty papers distributed weekly ; twelve mails are re- 
ceived and dispatched daily. When the office was first established there 
were two mails per week — one each way over the Chicago road. 

C. C. Woodbury committed suicide, while in the position of postmaster, 
by poisoning, in August, 1860. 




John W. Anderson kept a hotel, and wanted to sell it in 1834. Pratt 
kept the American some years, and Dr. Rowley opened the " Old Diggins " 
after Savery left it. 

William Watson, father of the Watson brothers, now in trade in that vil- 
lage, built a hotel in 1835-6, and kept it for a time. 

Daniel Howell succeeded Rowley in the "Old Diggins," and the Sickels' 
succeeded Anderson in the Anderson house. 

The present hotels are the America hotel, Christman & Bisbee, propri- 
etors; the Railroad eatingh-ouse, by Jacob Bebee, and the Union house, 
by Charles Schuler, which can accommodate about one hundred and fifty 


In 1838, the people of the village had a very narrow escape from a "wild 
cat" of formidable proportions, but it collapsed before the final "scratch" 
came, and was a dead, cold corpse in April of that year. The bills were all 
prepared, but no cashier had the hardihood, at that stage of the proceed- 
ings, to affix his signature thereto, and so pussy had no claws wherewith to 
tear the people who had been charmed with soft purring and velvety pats. 
The first corporation of the village, in 1837, issued " shinplasters," but they 
did not become sufficiently numerous to be either advantageous or otherwise. 

The only banking institution in the village is the Exchange bank of A. 
Clapp & Son, which sold the amount of one hundred and fifty-one thousand 
four hundred and forty-one dollars and sixty -seven cents of exchange in 1876. 


The Michigan Southern railroad was completed to White Pigeon by the 
energy and determination of its inhabitants, the same having been located 
thereto in 1851. Dr. Elliott was one of the most forward citizens in secur- 
ing the road, and built the eating-house the same year, under fair promises 
and agreements of the railroad officials, that, if kept, would have secured to 
the Doctor a competency, but the promises seemed to have been made simply 
to be broken, and the enterprise resulted badly. 

The road ran up to Constantine in 1852, and soon after a connection w T as 
made with the ^Northern Indiana, as detailed in the Lockport history, and 
the traffic, which for a time increased, passed on and was distributed all 
along the route. 

The business done at the station in White Pigeon in 1876, was as follows: 
Freight forwarded, twelve millions six hundred and forty-nine thousand seven 
hundred and eight pounds, including eleven thousand six hundred and fifteen 
barrels of flour, and one hundred and twenty-five thousand two hundred and 
twenty-five bushels of grain. Freight received, five millions eighty-seven 
thousand and sixty-four pounds. Ticket sales, thirteen thousand three hun- 
dred and seventy-two dollars and twenty cents. J. W. Sanderson, Esq., 
the agent of the road, kindly furnishes the above information. 

The United States express company has an office at the station, H. J. 
Davis, agent, and the earnings of the company for 1876, on transportation 
and collections, amounted to over three thousand dollars. 

J. J. Davis and J. L. Davis are engaged in buying grain, and their pur- 
chases aggregated for the crop of 1876, up to December 31, 1876, one hun- 
dred and twenty-five thousand bushels. 


The first physician in the village was Dr. W. N. Elliott, who located 
therein in the spring of 1832. Dr. Page and Dr. Hubbel Loomis were on 
the prairie before Dr. Elliott, and are so named in the township history. 
Dr. Loomis came to the village after Dr. Elliott, and they formed a co-part- 
nership for some years. Dr. Parker was a resident in the tow r n in 1831. 
Dr. Rowley came in 1834, Dr. Josiah A. Cook next. Dr. James W. Mandigo, 
a student of Dr. Elliott in 1840, is one of the resident physicians, as is also 
Dr. Elliott. Doctors Ellis P. Fraser and Robert A. Green, homeopath ists, 
are also of the present resident physicians of the village. 

The first lawyer to give counsel and advice for a fee, and to practice before 
the courts of the county, was Neal McGafFey. He was the first resident 
lawyer of the county, and Columbia Lancaster was the second legal limb. 
James Eastman Johnson came in 1836, and was followed by Ames, E. V. 
Mitchell and William Savier, the latter being a resident in the village from 
1840 until 1872, when he died. In 1865 Hon. E. W. Keightley opened an 
office (his first one), in the village, and continued there until 1867, when he 
removed to Constantine, and was succeeded by D. C. Page, the present 
lawyer of the village. 

The first minister to be settled over a congregation was the Rev. P. W. 
Warriner, the Presbyterian pastor of 1834, though Revs. Messrs. Jones and 

Corey, of the same denomination, had preached in 1830 and before, and 
Felton and Gurney in 1829. 

The first professor of instruction was Rev. Samuel Newberry, principal of 
the branch of the University in 1837. 

business of 1876. 


Dry Goods— H. E. Fisher. 

General Stock— A. W. Murray & Co., S. W. Reynolds, A. Clapp & Son. 

Hardware — John Murray, Watson Brothers. 

Clothing — R. F. Jarrett. 

Drugs and Clothing — Cooper & Mandigo. 

Drugs — George C. Brown. 

Groceries and Provisions — George E. Salmon & Co., Frederick Buzzell,. 
Frederick Saxe, Jacob Whiteman. 

Boots and Shoes — C. Rosenhour, M. Cole. 

Millinery — Mrs. McGowen, Mrs. H. Dunwell. 

Tobacconists — King & Whitmore. 

Agricultural Implements — Loring & Kittle. 

Merchant Tailor — John H. McGuire. 

Markets — Wimple & Sheaf, William Foster, George Baker. 

Lumber — O. P. Arnold. 

Grain and Produce — J. J. Davis, J. L. Davis, D. P. Hamilton. 

Livery— Thomas Cooper, John Driesbach. 

Restaurant — Lewis A. Labadie. 

Furniture— J. M. Stott. 

Harness — John Hotch^ns — been in business over thirty years ; William 


White Pigeon Mills— D. P. Hamilton. 

Sash, Doors and Blinds — S. T. Wilson. 

Carriages and Wagons- -A. W. Wilson, A. J. Fox. 

White Pigeon Woolen Mills, established in 1872 by J. A. Rogers — build- 
ing the first frame school-house, donated by the district to Rogers — George 
McMilly present proprietor ; two-set mill ; knitting work done ; no weaving,, 
though have looms ; twenty horse-power, steam. 


Shoemakers — P. O. Bronson, Frederick Kanszler, James B. Crain. 

Blacksmiths — George Jackson, Hugh Folger, Isaac Bourne. 

United States Express — H. J. Davis, agent. 

M. S. and L. S. Railroad — J. W. Sanderson, agent. 

Printing Office — J. O'Brien (history of paper elsewhere). 

A fair estimate by different and impartial men, citizens of the village, 
places the capital invested in business in the village at about one hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars. 


White Pigeon made an early move for a superior order of schools. The 
first one was an ordinary district school taught in the winter of 1830-1, by 
Neal McGafFey, over Pratt's store, and had a large number of scholars. In 
1831 the White Pigeon Academy was chartered, Dr. Isaac Adams, Charles 
B. Fitch, Albert E. Ball, David Page and Neal McGaffey being the incor- 
porators named in the bill. The house was built in that year — a small, 
frame building, and the schools taught therein for a time, and also for 
church purposes, and the early courts were held there in 1832. The build- 
ing is now used for a stable by Lewis Rhoades. 

In 1837 the branch of the State University was established in the village, 
and a building erected soon after, the school in the meantime being taught 
in the " Old Diggins " by Rev. Samuel Newberry. When the building was 
completed, Wilson Grey, an Irishman and a brother and afterwards asso- 
ciate of the editor of the Dublin Freeman, was an assistant. 

The school was supported by the State for a time, but the appropriations 
grew less and less, and finally, about 1846, ceased altogether; and then the 
building was repaired and fitted up, and a private institution conducted by 
Rev. C. M. Temple, from 1855-58, and f finally abandoned altogether. The 
town built the house and gave it to the State, but some years ago it was 
taken down and removed out on the prairie, where the walls that once 
echoed to the conjugation of Greek and Latin verbs, and the explanations 
of Euclid's theorems, are mute witnesses of the pailing of the " milky 
.mothers of the herds," and redolent with the smell of clover blossoms and 
apple blooms. The first district school-house was built in 1844, of brick, 
Dr. Elliott being the director at the time. Some opposition had been man- 
ifested to the building, but the people elected the Doctor, and empowered 



him to build a school-house, and he did so forthwith. The Doctor has ever 
been a warm friend of the public school, and a zealous and efficient advo- 
cate of them. The brick school house is now used for a dwelling. Dr. J. 
W. Mandigo taught a school in Dr. Elliott's office in 1843, during the win- 
ter. The first frame house was built by the district in 1857. The old 
Branch was used for barracks during the war. The frame school-house was 
used until 1872, when the present elegant structure of red brick was erected 
and the wooden building was donated to J. A. Rogers for a woolen factory, 
and is so used at the present time. The new school-house is a model for 
ventilation, convenience and capacity. A hollow chamber, of some two or 
three feet wide, passes up from the basement to the floor of the upper story — 
the third — with grates opening into it on every floor, the foul air thus find- 
ing exit through the chimney-stack, with which the chamber connects; the 
cold air comes into the same from the basement. The house is heated with 
furnaces, is fifty-three by fifty-six feet on the ground, of three stories and 
basement, and has five school and one recitation rooms. It has been in use 
since 1872, and yet there is not a scratch or stain on the walls, but they are 
as clean and fresh as when the building was first opened. 

The first vote for a union school district was carried September 1, 1866, J. 
S. Hamilton, John Murray, George G. Depuy, Philip Drake, J. W. Man- 
digo and John Hotchins being elected trustees. In 1870 the question of a 
new school-house began to be agitated, and operations were begun in 1872, 
and the building completed at a cost of sixteen thousand five hundred 
dollars ; John M. Stott and C. C. Newkirk, building committee. 

The school is divided into six departments and eleven grades, as follows : 
The first primary, grades one and two;, second primary, grades three and 
four; first intermediate, grades five and six; second intermediate, grades 
seven and eight; grammar and high-school department, grades nine to 
twelve. The course of study comprises two years in each department, pro- 
motions being made on merit. Professor Ploughman, the present principal, 
has invented a very simple and effective record of attendance, which is kept 
by the pupil himself, and shows at any hour of the day the standing of 
every pupil in that particular respect. Professor Ploughman came to the 
school in 1870, teaching in the old building for a time previous to the build- 
ing of the new one, and is as popular and thorough as an instructor as be is 
courteous and modest as a gentleman. His popularity is attested by the 
fact that every tax-payer in the district signed a petition for his retention as 
principal, two years ago, when it was feared that the non-action of the 
school-board was likely to cause his engagement elsewhere. 

The cost of the school for the year 1876 is here shown. The school was 
in session ten months, and three hundred and ten pupils attended it. One 
male teacher was paid one thousand two hundred dollars, and four females 
one thousand three hundred and eighty dollars. The total income of the 
district was five thousand seventy-three dollars and sixty-six cents, in- 
cluding two hundred and sixty-eight dollars tuition fees from foreign pupils, 
and one thousand five hundred dollars was paid on indebtedness. The total 
expenses covered the income. The house and grounds are valued at twenty 
thousand dollars, four hundred sittings are furnished, five hundred and fifty- 
three volumes are in the library, and the school has some apparatus. 

The graduates of the high 'school are Katie Millar and John G. Shurtz 
in 1874, and Hattie Arnold, Livonia Beard and Ella Putnam in 1875. 
The present corps of teachers are Professor J. G. Ploughman, principal ; 
Miss Anna West, assistant in grammar school ; Miss Libbie Cairnes, second 
intermediate ; Mrs. S. E. Ferguson, first intermediate ; Miss Cora E. Fol- 
well, second primary ; Miss Lina Cairnes, first primary. 

School-board, 1876-7 — Robert A. Greene, moderator ; J. M. Stott, direc- 
tor ; T. E. Clapp, assessor ; J. J. Davis, J. L. Davis and Peter Putnam. 

A lyceum connected with the school meets every Friday evening in the 
upper hall, where a social time is had from seven to eight o'clock, and music 
and literary exercises from then till nine o'clock, under the supervision of 
the professor. 


Not only was White Pigeon the beginning of civilization in southwestern 
Michigan, but the beautiful prairie witnessed the commencement of all the 
arts, amenities and advantages that follow in its train. Trade, manufactures, 
the church, the school, the State — all had their inception here for the large 
tract of country ceded by the aborigines in 1821 to the general government. 
The first merchant, manufacturer, school-teacher, minister and politician, 
who plied his calling in that section of the territory acquired as above, 
commenced on White Pigeon prairie, and that between 1827 and 1830. 
The first religious society formed in that territory was a' Methodist class, at 
Newville, in 1829, as before stated. The second one w T as also a similar 
class, formed in White Pigeon village, in February, 1830, with Captain 

Alvin Calhoon as leader. The detailed history of early Methodism will be 
found in the general history of the churches in the county. This class, 
which was the beginning of the 


of White Pigeon, of to-day, was composed of the following members ; Alvin 
Calhoon, leader ; Alanson Stewart, local-preacher, and his wife ; John Bowers 
and wife, John Coates and wife, and David Rollins. The first church was 
built in 1832, and was a small frame building. The Methodist conference 
was held in it in 1841 — Bishop R. R. Roberts presiding; H. Colclaze, sec- 
retary. In October, 1839, James V. Watson was appointed to this charge, 
and when his appointment was announced in the conference, he jumped upon 
a seat and inquired who could show him where his "Pigeon" was. He suc- 
ceeded in finding not only what he sought, but was instrumental in leading 
many other anxious inquirers to th§ Heavenly Dove, before his charge was 
completed over this church. He became distinguished as a preacher, and 
was the first editor of the Northwestern Christian Advocate, of Chicago, and 
died in that city October 17, 1856. 

White Pigeon, in the early days, was the headquarters of Methodism in 
Southwestern Michigan, and in 1833 the society there was a flourishing one. 
The historical records of this society have been very meagerly kept, and 
what facts we have gained of interest have been gathered from other 
sources than itself. The record of ministers is simply nil. M. H. Dough- 
erty was over the charge since 1855; S. P. Ferguson, 1875-76, and James 
Webster, the present incumbent, came in October, 1876. The church, which 
has been re-built once or twice, is now valued at forty-five hundred dollars, 
and contains two hundred and fifty sittings. There are fifty-nine members on 
the church-roll. The Sunday-school, which was organized several years ago, 
has enrolled one hundred and eighty scholars, Professor Ploughman being 
its superintendent. The society was first incorporated February 1, 1833, 
and Robert Wade, Alvin Calhoon, John Coates, Alanson Stewart, Alfred 
Allen and Peter Beisel elected trustees. 


of White Pigeon was organized August 8, 1830, by the Rev. William Jones, 
and w r as the first church of that denomination in western Michigan. The 
ruling elders of the church were Benjamin Blair, David Clark, Neal 
McGaffey, James Mathers and James Blair ; and besides these were 
the following members: Mrs. Elizabeth Blair, Mrs. David Clark, Mrs. 
McKibben, Martha Waterman, Mrs. Sarah Mathers, Abijah C. Seeley and 
wife (Jane), Alexander McMillen and Susannah his wife, John and Rebecca 
Gardner, Hannah McGaffey, Mahala Gale, Hannah Stewart, Mrs. Benjamin 
Blair, James S. Anderson, Patience McNiel, Francis Jones and Sarah 
Bronson. These persons came from all parts of the country — as far away as 
Prairie Ronde, and east, west and south for an equal distance ; and many of 
them afterwards entered into the organization of the early churches in the 
localities of Elkhart, Constantine, Prairie Ronde and other more distant 

The first church edifice was built in 1834, and though re-modeled, it 
has remained ever since the place of worship of this society. The cost 
when first built, in 1834, was nineteen hundred dollars. It had the first 
steeple ever erected west of Ann Arbor, and its bell was the first one to 
call to prayers the pioneers, and whose tintillating tones reverberated 
in western Michigan. The society was first organized under the statute, 
January 16, 1833, when Elijah White, Nicholas B. Chapin, Hubbel 
Loomis, Charles Kellogg, Lewis B. Judson and William Rowen were elected 
its first trustees. The certificate w T as sworn to before W. H. Welch, justice 
of the peace, by David Clark and Mr. Chapin. The regular pastors of the 
church have been as follows : The first two preachers, Revs. William Jones 
and Christopher Corey, were not regularly installed, but, as were others in 
after years, stated supplies ; P. W. Warriner, 1834-39 ; H. H. North up, 
1841-45 ; William Fuller, 1845-47 ; Rev. C. M. Temple, 1858-68 ; L. M. 
Gilliland came early in 1871, and still occupies the desk. Julius Steel 
supplied the desk from 1839 to 1841 ; Mr. Lantz, a German Reformed min- 
ister, for a time between Mr. Fuller and Mr. Temple, and J. B. Hubbard 
between Mr. Temple and the present pastor. 

A Sunday-school was organized soon after the church was built, but no 
record exists of its early history or membership. In 1866, and again in 
1867, interesting meetings were maintained, and several united with the 
church. In 1873 there were twenty-five admissions, and in April, 1876 > 
fifty joined the church upon confession of faith. The latter work commenced 
in the Sunday-school in Christmas week, 1875. By request of Superintend- 
ent Loring, the teachers in the school made a personal written appeal to 



each of their scholars in regard to religious matters, which awakened an 
interest, and meetings were held all through the winter with the above- 
named gratifying results. The present membership of the church is about 
sixty, and the Sunday -school has enrolled one hundred and fifty scholars, 
and has two hundred volumes in the library. 

The present church edifice has three hundred sittings, and is valued at 
five thousand dollars. The present officers of the church and society are as 
follows : Ruling elders, Isaac Blue, George K. Loring, J. K. Bothorf, and 
John Blue ; Trustees, George K. Loring, J. L. Davis, Francis Putnam, J. 
K. Bothorf and Isaac Blue; Superintendent of Sunday-school, George K. 
Loring. The first church was dedicated January 1, 1835 — Reverends 
Humphrey, Warriner and Brown officiating; Rev. Warriner w r as installed 
as pastor at the same time. A large audience was present. 


of White Pigeon dates its organization in 1843, at Crooked creek, when P. 
O. Bronson was the superintendent of a union Sunday-school, in which he 
was engaged for eight years. Debates arose on the question of baptism ; and 
several discussions were had/n? and con, and sermons preached on the sub- 
ject by Methodist, Episcopal and Baptist divines. When Mr. Bronson 
came to that village, Dr. Elliott, Mr. Cooper, Dr. Mandigo and others told 
him if he would get Elder John Sage to preach, they w r ould help to build a 
church for him ; and thereupon arrangements w T ere made and the Elder 
came at a salary of eight hundred dollars ; five-eighths to be paid by the so- 
ciety, and the balance by the church aid association, of Brooklyn, New 
York. The salary was raised and the church mostly built by the parties 
outside of the membership of the church, in 1857, under Elder Sage's pas- 

The society was first organized in 1854, by Elder Sage, with the following 
members : Elder Johnson, wife and wife's sister, Mr. Wright (clerk; and 
wife, Justin Elliott (deacon) wife and mother, P. O. Bronson (deacon) and 
wife, Mrs. Raymond, Mrs. Kelley, and one other whose name is not re- 
membered. Of these members, P. O. Bronson and wife only remain in White 
Pigeon. At the next covenant meeting, held four weeks afterwards, as many 
more united with the church. 

The meeting to raise Elder Sage's salary and take subscriptions for the 
building of the church, was held in the office of the American hotel. The 
society was first incorporated on March 8, 1864 ; J. W. Mandigo, Charles 
Cooper, and P. O. Bronson, trustees. The old church was sold to the Luth- 
eran and German Reformed churches in 1867, during which year the present 
spacious and elegant brick structure was erected, costing twelve thousand 
dollars, with three hundred sittings, and which is at the present writing 
(1876) entirely free from debt. The bell weighs one thousand two hundred 
and thirty pounds net, and cost five hundred dollars. The church numbers 
one hundred and seventy-six members. A Sunday-school was organized in 
1857, under Elder Sage's pastorate, and Charles Cooper was the first super- 
intendent, there being twenty scholars. Edwin Sage, Daniels, Stevenson, 
Fieldhouse, and Douglas Smith succeeded Cooper ; George E. Salmon being 
the present superintendent. The school now numbers two hundred and 
twenty-five scholars, and has three hundred and fifty books in its library. 
Under Elder Emery's preaching, a large number of the scholars united with 
the church, and in 1875, under Mr. Palmer's preaching, thirty-one joined 
the church. The pastors of the church have been as follows : Elder John- 
son was the first one in 1854, and he was succeeded by Elders Cook, Sage, 
Fish, Emery, Olney, Hill, Davis, Shanafelt, Reis, Russell, Adams, and Hen- 
dricks, the present pastor. 


in White Pigeon was first organized under the mission of Notre Dame, at 
South Bend, in 1850, and the early members were Mrs. Dickey, John 
Welch and family, Widow r Queenan, Thomas Hogan and family, George 
Argos and family, Fenton Hogan, John Hogan, Thomas Kelly, Michael 
Carty, Judith McGuire and family, John Propst and family, and others. 
Previous to 1850 services had been held occasionally by Fathers Quentin 
and Shortus, from 1848 to 1850. Father Rickert was the first priest in 
charge, but located at Cold water. 

In 1856 the church came under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Detroit. 
Fathers Schilling and Carley began the collection of money for a building- 
fund, and in 1871 the present edifice was erected at a cost of one thousand 
three hundred dollars, and will seat about three hundred persons. Father 
MeKinney succeeded Carley, and Father McKorst, the present priest in 
charge, succeeded MeKinney. The station is still located at Coldwater. 
There are two hundred members in the church. A Sunday-school was or- 

ganized at the same time as the church, and now numbers fifty scholars, 
and is under the direct charge of the priest. 


of White Pigeon was organized June 19, 1865, by Rev. Henry Weigand, 
in a school-house two miles west of the village. Mr. Weigand remained as 
pastor of the church until 1872, and the desk was supplied as opportunity 
offered until May 10, 1874, when Rev. E. R. Willard, the present pastor, 
was settled over the church. Since Mr. Willard's settlement with this 
church, there have been thirty-five members received into its communion, the 
present membership being eighty. Their Sunday-school was organized Sep- 
tember 12, 1875, and numbers ninety scholars. The old Baptist church is 
occupied jointly with the Lutheran church by this society, they having pur- 
chased the same in 1867, the two societies alternating on succeding Sundays. 


of White Pigeon was organized September 29, 1866, by Rev. P. Bergstresser. 

The following were the constituent members : George Gortner, Evan C. 
Bittenbender, Mary Gorton, James S. Gortner, Mary E. Gortner, Elizabeth 
Antis, Christian Rosenhauer, Jacob Gentzer, T. H. Ocker and L. E. Ocker. 
Mr. Bergstresser was succeeded in the pastorate by Rev. J. N. Barnett, in 
1867, who in turn was succeeded March 1, 1874, by Rev. Alexander Mc- 
Laughlin, the present pastor. 

The present number of members is thirty-eight. Since its organization 
one hundred and nineteen members have been received into the church, from 
which twenty-two were called away to form a church at Van Bur en, and 
twelve or fifteen have gone to Constantine. A Sunday-school was organized 
by Mr. McLaughlin, December, 1875, which now numbers eighty scholars. 
The society occupy, on alternate Sundays, the old Baptist church, which 
was purchased jointly with the German Reformed church, December 19, 1867. 


in the village was primarily laid out in 1830, by the original proprietors of 
the village, and has since been enlarged to its present area — ten acres. The 
ornamentation is that which has been done by private parties. The first 
interment was a child of Duncan or David Clark, and the second a 
child of John G. Cathcart, the latter in 1832. Mr. Cathcart's w 7 hole family, 
save himself and two children (the only survivors), are all buried in this 
plat. Many persons have been brought from long distances for sepul- 
ture in this cemetery, being either old settlers or their children. In the fall 
of 1830, a child of Dr. Loomis was buried here. 


Among the pioneer societies of White Pigeon was a female benevolent 
society, which was in operation in 1834, and which held a fair in December 
of that year. The Statesman, in a very flattering notice of its exhibition, 
mentions the various articles exposed for sale in the ornamental and useful 
line, among which were "cuffs, socks, bosoms for gentlemen, handkerchiefs, 
mufflers," etc. 

A lyceum was organized in 1836, and on December 9 met at the academy 
and discussed the momentous question whether or not Brutus was justifiable 
in killing Csesar. The Constantine Republican, which announced the debate, 
did not state whether Brutus received absolution for the wound from which 
" great Caesar's soul gushed out," and whose fall brought down the house of 
Marc Anthony and the Roman rabble with it. 

In 1830 a lyceum was also in operation, and a more interesting question 
was discussed, which was, whether the then existing military system of the 
United States should not be abolished. A. R. Cutler, a non-commissioned 
officer in the Michigan militia, took the affirmative, and clinched his argu- 
ment by saying, if the system was abolished he, being an officer, would be 
personally a loser thereby ; but, nevertheless, he was willing to sacrifice the 
chance of " seeking glory at the deadly, imminent breach," and forego the 
renown there might accrue in the Michigan militia for the general good of 
the country. 

In 1838 the farmers of the surrounding country met at White Pigeon, on 
January 27, to consult relative to the formation of an agricultural society, 
and adjourned till February 7, to hear the report of their committee, but 
the report was never made public. 

In February, 1835, there was a movement made for a manual-labor school, 
under Presbyterian auspices, and a committee was appointed to take the 
matter under advisement, but the school was never established. 

A Young Men's Christian Association was formed that year in the village, 
and existed for some time, in connection with the churches, and afterwards 
with the University. 




White Pigeon lodge, No. 104, Accepted Free Masons, was instituted under 
dispensation November 11, 1857, and chartered the following January. Hon. 
J. Eastman Johnson was the master from 1857 to 1860, inclusive ; George 
G. Depuy, 1861-6; Kobert A. Greene, 1867-9; J. W. Mandigo, 1870; 
George K. Loring, 1871-2; George E. Salmon, 1873-5. Hon. J. Eastman 
Johnson was the D. G. M. of the State in 1862, and G. M. in 1863. 

In 1867 the lodge, in conjunction with sister lodges of Sturgis, Constan- 
tine and other places, celebrated with eclat St. John's Day, Hon. S. C. 
Coffinberry being the orator. The ladies of the Presbyterian church realized 
a handsome sum from their refreshment stands. 

The present officers are Robert A. Greene, W. M. ; W. S. Dow, S. W. ; W. 
T. Bycroft, J. W. ; T. E. Clapp, treasurer ; George K. Loring, secretary ; D. 
C. Page, S. D. ; George Pike, J. D. ; N. H. Lenhan, tiler. The craft number 
eighty workmen. 


was instituted under dispensation in 1868, and chartered in 1869 ; Thomas 
A. Shanafelt was the first H. P. ; George G. Depuy, K. ; Jacob S. Fox, S. 
The office of H. P. has been filled as follows : Thomas A. Shanafelt, 1868- 
70 ; R. A. Green, 1871-4 ; David A. Wilson, 1875-6. The present officers 
are: David A. Wilson, H. P. ; George E. Salmon, K. ; Hughes Folwell, S. ; 
A. C. French, C. H. ; A. Tweedale, P. S. ; E. R. Willard, R. A. C; R. A. 
Greene, G. W. Pike and A. J. Webster, M. of V. ; H. J. Davis, treasurer, 
and George G. Depuy, secretary. The craftsmen number one hundred 
and ten. 


White Pigeon Lodge No. 78, was chartered in 1859, and has now ten 
members. The office of N. G. has been filled by the following gentlemen : 
T. E. Clapp and L. C. Laird, 1859 ; Chauneey Garber and G. W. Beisel, 1860 ; 
William H. Bock, 1861; N. H. Garter and J. B. Cook, 1862; David 
Johnson and J. W. Mandigo, 1863 ; J. M. Stott in 1864. George W. Beisel 
was the grand master of the State in 1865, and representative to the grand 
lodge of the United States. The present officers are John Murray, N. G. ; 
A. W. Murray, V. G. ; David Johnson, R. S. ; J. W. Mandigo, P. S., and 
John Hotchins, treasurer. 

White Pigeon Eastern Star Lodge was organized in 1868 with Mrs. Wil- 
liam Hackenburg as president, but it soon ceased to work, and was suspended. 

Good Templars' lodges and divisions of Sons of Temperance have arisen 
and flourished for a time, and died the usual deaths from non-support, and 
none are now in existence in the village. 


White Pigeon Grange No. — , was organized in the fall of 1874, with 
Daniel Shurtz as the first master. The grange now has eighty members, 
and its present officers are Daniel Shurtz, master ; C. C. Newkirk, overseer ; 
F. E.Ferguson, secretary ; Thomas J. Hopkins, treasurer ; Mrs. Garter, Ceres, 
Miss Line, Pomona, and Miss Smith, Flora. 


The village of White Pigeon was first incorporated in March, 1837. On 
May 3 the election of trustees and officers was held, and resulted as follows : 
Neal McGaffey, president ; Melancthon Judson, recorder ; trustees : Elias S. 
Swan, Daniel Howell, W. N. Elliott, Otis Preston, Samuel Pratt and Joseph 
Skerrett. This corporation lapsed after two or three years, and the village 
was not again incorporated until April 4, 1865, when the following officers 
were elected : William O. Austin, president ; George G. Depuy, re- 
recorder ; Joseph Yost, treasurer ; William Savier, John S. Hamilton, 
Charles Cooper, James W. Mandigo, George K. Loring and Oliver P. Arnold, 
trustees, and Leonard Tainter, marshal. 

In 1866 Austin and Depuy were re-elected, and Depuy held the office of 
recorder until 1872, when G. W. Beisel was elected and is the present 

The position of president has been filled as follows : 1865-6, W. O. Aus- 
tin; 1867, J. W. Mandigo; 1868-71, W. N. Elliott; 1872, Edson Black- 
man. The present city officials are : J. W. Mandigo, president ; G. W. Beisel, 
recorder; Theodore E. Clapp, treasurer; W. O. Austin, assessor; Thomas 
Cooper, marshal, Edson Blackman, John Hotchins, John Murray, Giles 
Markham, Kobert F. Jarrett and Samuel Dreisbach, trustees. The States- 
man of July 19, 1834, says the village then contained live dry goods stores, 
two churches, one silversmith, three public houses, one shoe and leather 
store, one chair and two cabinet shops, one tailor and one harness-shop, one 
tin and one hatter's shop, three doctors and one lawyer, and that a good 
harvest had been gathered by the farmers by the aid of a little whiskey. 


The first observance of the Fourth of July in White Pigeon was in the year 
1829, which was an informal affair, and consisted simply of a social gather- 
ing of about forty persons at Savery's for a dinner. There were no orations, 
toasts, music, burnt gunpowder, or the other usual accompaniments of the 
glorious day, but a simple gathering of the pioneers for a visit and friendly 
chat. In 1832 there was a regularly appointed celebration of the day, to 
which Coldwater, Niles, Jonesville and other places sent delegations, the 
former sending also the music. Colonel Selden Martin was the president of 
the day, and there were about one hundred persons present. 

The Fourth was commemorated in fine style in 1835 ; Robert fllark, Jr., 
was the president of the day, Henry Gilbert, editor of the Statesman, vice- 
president ; Colonel Martin and Major S. P. Williams, marshals ; W. Loomis, 
orator ; David Clark, reader ; Reverend P. W. Warriner, chaplain ; and Charles 
Kellogg, chorister. The procession moved through the streets to the academy 
for the oration, and thence to Rowley's — formerly Savery's — for dinner, 
where toasts and songs were in order after the bill of fare was discussed. 

In 1837 the White Pigeons celebrated again with Neal McGaffey in the 
chair, and Dr. Thomas B. Kerr, orator. In 1834 John D. Defrees, at the 
time editor of the Statesman, was the orator of the day, ami John W. An- 
derson, marshal. 

On the 22d of February, 1838, there was a grand fox-hunt at Lima, to 
which place a large sleigh-ride was organized. 


During the summer of 1829 Samuel Pratt and P. H. Paine explored Not- 
tawa prairie, not meeting a white man in the two days' expedition, nor an 
Indian, of whom they could get anything to eat. Their rations were a little 
corn bread and three or four pounds of smoked shoulder. The nearest mill 
then was at Fort Defiance, and Paine went that summer with two yoke of 
oxen to that mill, and bought a load of corn meal and flour and sold it out 
among the settlers. But, though provisions were scarce, no families were * 
allowed to suffer for necessaries — dainties, of course, were out of the question. 
Venison hams could be bought at almost any time of the Indians for twenty- 
five cents, and fish were plenty in the streams and lakes, and were easily 

Temptation was as potent in bringing men into disgrace in the pioneer 
days as now, as will be seen by the following incident: Breadstuffs becoming 
scarce in 1829, the neighbors on the prairie clubbed together and made up 
a load of grists, and sent a hired man of Orrin Rhoades' to Niles to get them 
ground. He arrived safely, but alas! for the weakness of poor human 
nature and the sin of idleness, the man got to drinking whisky ; getting 
drunk, he kept up his debauch until the proceeds of the load of grists were 
nearly consumed ; then he returned to the settlement with the pitiful rem- 
nant, which was not enough to go around among the senders thereof, and 
ten days having passed, the meal -chest of the community was emptied, and 
while a new cargo was being transported and returned, Cutler's pepper-mill 
was kept in constant use. 

Mr. Rhoades was a pioneer in Michigan, in 1795, in Monroe, or French- 
town, as it was then called. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and with 
a brother-in-law fought through the war. Lewis Rhoades, his son, now re- 
siding in the village, was born in Monroe in 1820. When Rhoades came to 
White Pigeon, he brought along two very fine black-walnut boards, with 
which he made the door to his cabin, and with a shake roof, puncheon floor, 
mud chinks and brick chimney, he had quite an aristocratic home. 

The Kellogg family consisted of 1i\ 7 e brothers, Edwin, Hosmer, Charles, 
Albert and George, and were noted for all good and public works. Charles 
was drowned on the little steamer that was built in Union City, and which 
ran on the lower St. Joseph, an account of which may be found elsewhere. 
Edwin went to Kansas, and in the famine caused by the grasshoppers he was 
in the direst distress ; no shoes, his feet on the ground, except such protection 
as an old boot leg-could afford. In this extremity his White Pigeon friends 
sent him money and stores for relief, and he came with an ox-team to Topeka 
to get the money, and defeated an outrageous attempt to rob him by pre- 
senting a determined front, — the trip occupying three weeks. 

Peter Beisel and his family, consisting of his wife and five children, trav- 
eled from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in a wagon with five horses, being six 
weeks on the road, in the spring of 1831. He came the year before and selected 
his location, and afterwards opened a large farm in Kalamazoo county,, 
which his son, George W., now a prominent citizen of White Pigeon, man- 
aged for him, after trying his hand at harness-making at four dollars per 
month and board himself. Mr. Beisel, Dr. Elliott and A. T. Drake married 
three sisters, daughters of James McKinney, a former citizen of Sturgis, who. 



came with his family of six daughters to that village in 1836, from Bing- 
hamton, New York. He died in 1838. 

J. Eastman Johnson, while in White Pigeon, compiled an Analytical 
Abridgment of Ken? s Commentaries on American Law, which has run 
through several editions from the press of New York. Chancellor Kent 
commended it very highly, as also did Daniel D. Barnard, an eminent jurist 
of that city. Judge Johnson was one of the regents of the University of 
Michigan from 1858 to 1870. 

In 1828-9 Governor Cass passed through the settlement on his way to Chi- 
cago to treat with the Indians for their lands, and stopped over night with 
Cutler. The governor accepted the luxury of a bed, but his suite camped 
under the trees. The Indians used to pass through the settlement by hun- 
dreds from the we3t on their way to Maiden to receive their annuities from 
the British government. 

Peter Klinger built a large log house near his mill, and the fire-place 
therein was so huge he used to draw the back-logs into it with his oxen, 
they standing on the side of the house opposite the door, and the chain run- 
ning through the house. 


of White Pigeon began to be early written ; in the very infancy of the colony 
it achieved a renown quite equal to any community in the State. Colonel 
Stewart, Colonel Martin, Colonel McGaffey, Major Williams, and a dozen 
more were a constellation of stars of no inconsiderable magnitude in the 
military history of the territory. Colonel Stewart was the commander of 
the forces sent against Black Hawk in 1832, but did not leave the State, or 
territory, more properly speaking. He commanded the regiment known as 
"the Eleventh," and was then elected brigadier of the 6th brigade. Augustus 
Chapin was the major of the 11th in 1835. The details of the Black Hawk 
war, and the part borne by the township of White Pigeon, are related else- 

In the war of the rebellion White Pigeon responded to the whole extent 
of her duty, and filled her quotas with alacrity, paying twenty thousand dol- 
lars to encourage enlistments. The 11th infantry, the St. Joseph county 
regiment, was recruited at White Pigeon, the * old Branch building being 
used as barracks. 

We give a brief list of the citizens of White Pigeon who shouldered the 
musket, or drew their swords in defense of the national government against 
the assaults of the traitors in arms. 


Private John Dale, Company F ; missing in action. 
Private Henry C. Myers, Company F ; mustered-out. 
Private Thomas G. Olmstead, Company I ; died of wounds, in Wilder- 
ness, Mav 6, 1864. 


Charles McCol lister, quarter-master's sergeant ; discharged for disability. 
Private William Blanchard, Company C ; discharged, expiration service* 
Private James S. Greene, Company C ; discharged, expiration service. 
Private Richard Sage, Company C ; discharged, expiration service. 
Chaplain John Sage ; resigned. 


Private Chauncey Miller, Company B ; mustered out. 


Private Martin Eighmig, Company K; died June 3, 1862, of wounds re- 
ceived at Fair Oaks. 


Colonel William J. May ; resigned April 1, 1862. 

Surgeon W. N. Elliott ; mustered-out with regiment. 

Quarter-master's sergeant John Underwood ; first lieutenant and quarter- 
master, and mustered-out. 

Musician Henry H. Hackenburg ; mustered out August 22, 1862. 

Musician Henry F. Cliffell ; mustered-out August 22, 1862. 

Private Martin V. B. Clark, Company A ; discharged, expiration service. 

Private James F. Bicklin, Company C ; discharged, expiration service. 

Private Charles E. Barnes, Company C ; died at Chattanooga, December, 

Private Warren F. Barnes, Company C ; discharged, expiration service. 

Private John Fisher, Company C ; killed at Stone River, December, 1862. 

Private Lorenzo H. Griffith, Company C; discharged, expiration service. 

Private Perry Letspn, Company C; discharged for disability. 

Sergeant William Robinson, Company D ; discharged. 

Private Thomas R. Hodgkins, Company D ; killed near Dallas, Georgia. 

Private Charles H. Dalton, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private William E. Raymond, Company E ; promoted and mustered out, 

Private Christ. Welgamwood, Company E; mustered out. 

Private Peter O. Dowd, Company G ; discharged, expiration service. 


Private Henry Heightsman, Company F ; mustered out. 
Private William R. Kinkead, Company F ; mustered out. 
Private Orlando Mack, Company F ; mustered out. 
Private John Ralphsnider, Company F ; mustered out. 
Private George Schotters, Company F ; discharged for disability. 
Private Samuel Winslow, Company F ; mustered out. 
Private Joseph Nichols, Company H ; mustered out. 


Private Charles Wygant, Company C ; died at Alexandria. 


Private Fayette Olmstead, Company H; died November 2, 1863, of 
wounds received at Campbell's Station, Virginia. 
Private Delavan Smith, Company H ; mustered out. 


Private William Eastwood, Company D ; mustered out. 

Private Thomas Franklin, Company D; mustered out. 

Private George Hudson, Company D ; mustered out. 

Corporal William Haines, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private George W. Antis, Company E ; discharged. 

Private William Bachman, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private Adam Bear, Company E ; died at Columbia, Tennessee, March 
24, 1863, of wounds received at Thompson's Station. 

Private Mathew Daniels, Company E; mustered out. 

Private Charles L. Ellis, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private James Griffith, Company E ; discharged. 

Private Isaac Green, Company E; died at Columbia, Tennessee, March 
24, 1863, of wounds received at Thompson's Station. 

Private Burnett B. Harris, Company E ; discharged. 

Private Henry Holderman, Company E ; died at Atlanta, Georgia. 

Private Lewis A. Labadie, Company E ; promoted to first-lieutenant and 
mustered out. 

Private John Pratt, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private James A. Prouty, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private John H. Peirce, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private William Snooks, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private Sol. B. Stephenson, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private George Shultice, Company E ; discharged. 

Private Moses B. Tice, Company E ; discharged for disability. 

Private George Willander, Company E ; discharged. 

Private William F. Whitcomb, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private George Wagner, Company E ; mustered out. 


Private John G. Greene, Company F ; veteran reserve corps. 


Private W. M. Kane, Company G. 


Private Theodore Yost, Company H ; mustered out. 


Private Timothy Cloonan, Company B ; mustered out. 
Private Charles Gardiner, Company D ; mustered out. 
Private Adam Heightsman, Company D ; killed at Lyonsville, Tennessee, 
December, 1864. 


Private Daniel J. Weston, Company D; mustered out. 
Private Richard Weston, Company D ; mustered out. 
Private John Jarrett, Company I ; mustered out. 
Private William Jarrett, Company I ; mustered out. 


Private Adam Kline, Company F ; at capture of Jeff. Davis, and mus- 
tered out. 


Private Josiah Flumerfelt, Company E ; mustered out. 
Private Samuel McGaffey, Company H ; mustered out. 
Private John M. VanVleet, Company H ; enlisted at Camp Nelson, Ken- 
tucky, January 8, 1863. 



Private J. M. Weatherwax, Company H ; mustered out. 
Private Delos B. Freeman, Company L ; mustered out. 
Private Silas Billmeyer, Company A ; mustered out. 


Private William R. Gillett, Company E ; discharged for disability. 

Private Philo H. Drake, Company E ; mustered out. 

Private James Isabel, Company L ; mustered out. 

Private Albert E. Ellis, Company L ; died at Camp Nelson. 

Private Alexander Philips, Company E ; discharged for disability. 


Private James H. Davis, Company G ; mustered out. 


Private Stephen J. My res, Company I ; mustered out. 


Corporal Josiah Flumerfelt, Battery D ; discharged, expiration service. 

Private Peter H. Stitzell, Battery D ; mustered out. 

Private William Conner, Battery D ; mustered out. 

Private Jacob Mosier, Battery D ; mustered out. 

Private Daniel Saunter, Battery D ; mustered out. 

Private John W. Swartz, Battery D ; mustered out. 

Private Benjamin Winslow, Battery D ; mustered out. 

Junior First-Lieutenant Norman S. Andrews, Battery F ; mustered out. 

Sergeant George W. Nash, Battery F ; mustered out. 

Corporal Charles A. Sweet, Battery F ; re-enlisted and mustered out. 

Private John Miller, Battery F ; re-enlisted and mustered out. 

Private L. S. Ellis, Battery F ; mustered out. 

Private Charles Stevenson, Battery F ; mustered out. 

Corporal Adam V. Thompson, Battery G ; mustered out. 

Corporal James McElroy, Battery G ; re-enlisted in regular army. 

Private George W. Brown, Battery G ; mustered out. 

Private John Kietlin, Battery G ; mustered out. 

Private Fred. Kleifish, Battery G ; mustered out. 
Private John Myer, Battery G ; mustered out. 
Private James Cloonan, Battery G ; mustered out. 
Private John Huff, Battery G ; mustered out. 
Private Peter Snook, Battery G ; mustered out. 
Private Charles Swan, Battery F ; died of disease. 


Private Charles Acker man ; muster ed-out. 

Private Lorenzo C. Cooper ; mustered-out. 

Private Henry M. Ellis ; mustered-out. 

Private Henry Fitch ; mustered-out. 

Private John Hill ; mustered-out. 

Private Daniel Swartz ; mustered-out. 

Private George A. Shoefelter ; mustered-out. 

Private John G. Bronson, 78th New York infantry; veteran reserve corps. 


Private Samuel Dickey, Company B ; mustered-out. 

Private John Bisbey, Company B; mustered-out; four years in service. 

Private Robert Foster, Company B ; mustered-out. 

Private Peter Smith, Company B ; killed at Kernstown, Virginia. 

Private Conger, Company B ; killed at Opaquin Creek, Virginia. 

Private Martin Simmons, Company B ; mustered-out. 

Private Wade, Company B ; mustered-out. 

Private Carter, Company B ; mustered-out. 

All of the above squad in Company B, 23d Illinois, were with Mulligan, 
at Lexington, Missouri. 

We are under obligations, and tender our acknowledgments therefor, to 
Dr. W. N. Elliott, George W. Beisel, Dr. J. W. Mandigo, Lewis Rhoades, 
W. O. Austin, Rev. L. M. Gilliland, Rev. Mr. Hendricks, P. O. Bronson, 
George G. Depuy and Lewis A. Labadie, for information received and 
assistance rendered in the compilation of the foregoing history of White 


Amid the unexcelled natural beauty of St. Joseph county, Sturgis prairie 
stands pre-eminent. Nearly or quite oval in shape, it is, for the greater part 
of its area, level, although in some portions it is slightly undulating. The 
original area contained about three thousand acres, a portion of which is now 
included in the townships of Sherman and Fawn River. The township was 
originally included in the township of Sherman, and was not set off there- 
from into a distinct sovereignty until 1845, being the last constituted in the 
county. The township was named from the prairie which is mostly included 
within its limits, and which received its name from the first settler thereon, 
Judge John Sturgis. Its area is but a trifle in excess of half a government 
township, and contains thirteen thousand three hundred and ninety-seven 
acres of land, and about twenty -five acres of water surface. Its soil is the 
same fertile, sandy loam common to the St. Joseph valley, and produces 
abundantly the cereals, fruits and vegetables also common thereto. It is 
situated high and dry, and is as healthily located as any point in the county, 
and much more so than some. It is watered but slightly, Fawn river coming 
in near the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section twenty-four, 
and bending like a bow through the northwest quarter of the same section 
and the northeast and northwest quarters of section 20, retires into In- 
diana for a new advance into the county further west, in White Pigeon. A 
little creek rises near the east line of the southwest quarter of section thir- 
teen, and runs westerly, entering the Fawn on the southeast quarter of the 
northwest quarter of section 21. Green Lake lies on the northwest quarter 
of the northwest quarter of section 3, and the southern extremity of Johnson's 
lake hangs over the verge of the township line on the north, with just hard 
land enough between it and Green lake to make a highway. On the gov- 
ernment surveys the township is described as " township eight, south of 
range ten, west of the principal meridian." 


On August 20, 1827, the first ripple of civilization broke upon Sturgis 
prairie, and left its impression on that beautiful gem of nature. Judge John 
Sturgis and George Thurston were the advance of the host that was to fol- 

low. They broke up ten acres on the eastern edge of the prairie (which is 
now included in the limits of Fawn River township,) and sowed it to wheat; 
then returned to Monroe, Michigan, whither Sturgis came, in 1818, from 
Canada. In the spring of 1828 Mr. Sturgis and his family and Mr. Thurs- 
ton, who was an unmarried man accompanied by his father's family, arrived 
on Sturgis prairie, with ox teams, having been twenty days on the road from 
Brownstown. The weather was rainy, roads bad, and the Hog creek 
marshes were terrible. They were all of one day in getting a mile through 
the mire to hard ground, having to unload their goods frequently and carry 
them to a little dryer — or, more correctly speaking, a little less moist — spot, 
and reload. Mr. Thurston's family located on Oxbow prairie, a few miles 
south of Sturgis, in Indiana. 

Mr. Sturgis at once proceeded to put up a house on his location, which 
was the first human habitation for white people built on the prairie. He 
broke up thirty acres more that summer, and sowed it to wheat. Thus 
the settlement of Sturgis prairie began. The first settler on the territory 
included in the present limits of Sturgis township, was George Buck, who, 
with his family, came to the present site of the village of Sturgis in the 
summer of 1828. He was a native of New York State, but removed to 
Canada in 1812, and from thence to Michigan in 1828, traveling with horses 
to Detroit, and from Brownstown with oxen. They tented in the Hog creek 
woods for six weeks while building their house, which was located on the 
east side of Nottawa street, and north of the Chicago road, (now Chicago" 
street in Sturgis.) Their house was made of rough logs, and had no windows. 

The next settlers were : John B. Clarke, Truman Bearss and Jacob Hop- 
kins and their families — all of whom came, in the order named, in 1828. 
David Petty came in 1829, and settled on the prairie, and Ephraim Bearss 
came in the same year. John Parker came in 1830. 


Beside those already named, among the first settlers were Hiram Jacobs, 
who came in 1831 ; John S. Newhall and David Knox, in 1832 ; Oliver 
Raymond, in 1830 ; J. G. Wait, in 1834 ; Major Isaac J. Ulmann, in 1830; 



Luther Douglass, 1833 ; Rev. J. E. Parker, 1830, now at Washington, D. C. 
His father, John Parker, and family eame in the same time, meeting with a 
terrible loss of three children by the explosion of the boiler of the steam- 
boat on which they were embarked for Detroit. On arrival at Sturgis the 
family of Mr. Parker were admitted into the house of Ephraim Bearss, and 
in the single room which it contained the two families resided until the fol- 
lowing spring. 

Jacob Pearsoll came in 1831. He and Jacobs, Nathaniel Rathbun, Aaron 
Gilham, Parker, Washington and Edw. Osborn, Philip Aurner, Michael 
Welliver, the Newhalls, and Ransom and Henry Mumford, all came from 
Livingston county, New York — of whom Mr. Parker was the pioneer, he 
having walked from that county and back on his visit to St. Joseph county. 


of the pioneers were such as were incident to the lives of those who are brave 
enough to tempt the dangers of the wilderness and the loss of the luxury 
and ease of the older settlements in the eastern States, where their homes 
mostly were. As a general thing the early settlers were young people, seek- 
ing to build a home, with little or no surplus means, and must, perforce, 
wrest the same from nature with steady and vigorous strokes. The bor- 
der was no place for laggards or cowards, and none but brave, persistent 
natures would and did succeed in gaining their hearts' desires — a home of 
their own, around whose hearth-stones have gathered their children in many 
happy days after the toils and struggles of earlier life were over. The 
worst trials and most severe sufferings were such as were consequent upon 
sickness, which could not be avoided in the early days, w r ith any knowledge 
or skill the people then possessed. John S. Newhall says he had thirty-two 
ague " shakes" in as many days, and many times has lain down in the fur- 
row, while plowing, until the paroxysm passed its climax, and then resumed 
his work. In 1837 he helped to bury fourteen persons on the prairie. When 
the father of Rev. Gersham Day died, the son preached the sermon or con- 
ducted the exercises, Mr. Newhall and his hired man being the only per- 
sons, besides the son, present. So many people were sick, Newhall could 
not get a single meal of victuals on a journey from Lima to Coldwater, in 
September of that year. J. G. Wait also bears testimony to the distress 
occasioned by the terrible sickness which pervaded the whole country in 
those years. The convalescent ministered to those less fortunate, while those 
who escaped the sickness altogether were angels of mercy, untiring in their 
efforts to ameliorate the condition of their neighbors. 


The first entry of public lands in St. Joseph county was made within the 
present limits of the township of Sturgis by Ezekiel Metcalf, of Cattarau- 
gus county, New York, June 14, 1828, and was the tract known as the east 
half of the northeast quarter of section one, township eight south, range 
ten west. Metcalf sold the tract subsequently to De Gar mo Jones, of De- 
troit, who still owns it. On November 28, in the same year, George Buck 
entered the west half of the southeast quarter of section one, and on the 
18th of December, Ruth A. Clarke, of Fairfield, Conn., entered the east 
half of the southwest quarter, and Hart L. Stewart, of Pennsylvania, the 
west half of the southwest quarter of same section. The above named were 
all the entries made in 1828, and there were but four the year following. 
The Stewarts came and settled in the county in 1829. 


in Sturgis were those begun by George Buck and Ephraim Bearss, who, in 
1829, broke up and fenced a field of seventy-five acres in the eastern part of 
the town. The plows in those days were run with from four to ten yoke of 
oxen. Newhall operated one on his farm with four yoke, with a wooden 
mould-board four feet long. Corn was dropped in the furrow, or chopped 
through the sod with an axe, and a good crop secured if the season was not 
too dry. 


in Sturgis was built in 1828 by George Buck, and was made of rough 
unhewed logs, without doors or windows. 

This was afterwards succeeded by a double log house, built by Philip H. 
Buck, son of George Buck, in 1830, after the latter's death. The upper 
room of this house was used for some years for church-meetings and schools. 


was built by Oliver Raymond in 1831, and used by him for a hotel. Clarke's 
log house was the third house and first hotel on Sturgis prairie. 


on Sturgis prairie was that of William Stewart and Mary Cade, in the fall 
of 1831. 


in the township was that of a little daughter of John B. Clarke, in May, 

The first male child born on the prairie, was David Sturgis, on February 
11, 1830; but the farm on which he was cradled is now included in Fawn 
River township. 


which occurred in the township, and which, too, was the first in the county, 
was a dual one, two victims being taken at once, and suddenly, without pre- 
vious warning. 

On the 9th of August, 1829, about a year after his location on the prairie, 
George Buck was killed, together with a man named Levi Waterman, by 
the caving in of a well in which they were at work. The alarm was given, 
and the people from White Pigeon and Sturgis came to the rescue, but it 
was too late, death had intervened before they could be extricated. The 
funeral obsequies of these men were probably the first religious meeting held 
on the Sturgis prairie. 


taught in the township, held its session in the upper room of Philip H. 
Buck's house, in the village, in the fall of 1830. Dr. Henry, who was the 
first physician on the prairie, was the first teacher, and had for his pupils a 
large number of young men and women from the region around. The 


was built in the village, on the east side of Nottawa and south of Chi- 
cago street, as now laid out, in 1833, and was a small log building. This 
was replaced by a frame building in 1838. The full history of district No. 
three, in which these school-houses were built, will be found in the history of 
the village of Sturgis. 


built in the township, was the Methodist Episcopal church, in 1843, a full 
and complete history of that society, and all others, appearing elsewhere. 


laid out was the old one in the rear of the Lutheran Church, and west of 
the railroad. The ground was given to the town by the proprietor of the 
land, Hiram Jacobs, and the first burial in it was that of a stranger who 
died suddenly in the summer of 1833. * The grave was dug with the head of 
it to the north, and the party having the burial in charge insisted on having 
the direction changed to east and west, which was done. The old cemetery 
is not used at present, the new one being substituted therefor, a description 
of which will appear elsewhere. 


was introduced on Sturgis prairie in 1843-4, by Judge Sturgis, the same being 
a McCormick reaper, which he brought from Hillsdale. Separator threshers 
were introduced a little later, open-cylinder threshers being brought in in 
1833 ; previous to which date the farmers trampled out their grain with 
horses, and winnowed it in the wind. 

In 1831 the seed-corn in the country was not good, and seed was obtained 
in Ohio, for which one shilling per quart was paid. The crop was planted 
three times, the last time in June, but nevertheless a good crop was har- 
vested. Nails that year were worth twenty cents per pound, and salt twenty 
dollars per barrel, and its equivalent in corn was eighty bushels of the 
latter. The neighbors "clubbed" and obtained a barrel or two, and divided 
it up. 


The stock of horses began to be improved about 1840, though the efforts 
in that direction were confined to good working material, fast " steppers" not 
receiving much attention for some years later. The interest was general, 
and no one person can claim particular priority in the first advance. Cattle 
did not receive much attention until after 1860. Isaac Runyan introduced 
thoroughbred short-horns from some noted herds in the Eastern States, in 
1870. Mr. Runyan has a fine herd now of that stock, and has disposed of 
several very fine specimens. 


surveyed through the township was the great national military road from 
Detroit to Chicago, described in the general history of the county. 

The second one was the territorial road surveyed from the Indiana line 



north through the county to Grand Rapids, which was laid out in 1833, 
Rix Robinson, H. L. Stewart and Stephen Vickery being the commissioners. 
The Chicago road was worked through Sturgis in 1834, James Johnson, 
a heavy business man now in Sturgis, being the contractor. 


In 1845 the legislature of the State, at its winter session-, set off the 
township numbered eight of range ten west, hitherto included in Sherman 
township, and called it Sturgis, it being bounded on the north by Sherman, 
on the west by White Pigeon, on the east by Fawn River, townships, and on 
the south by the State of Indiana. The first town-meeting was held at the 
school-house in the village, and John Parker was elected the first supervisor; 
J. G. Wait, town clerk ; William Morris, justice of the peace, and Dr. J fc M. 
Teft, school inspector. The town records previous to 1860 were burned in 
one of several conflagrations which have devastated the business portion of 
the village, and a full list of the first officials who set the wheels of the gov- 
ernment in motion cannot be given. 

The supervisors of the township since then have been as follows : Philip 
H. Buck, 1846-8 and 1851 ; William Allman, 1847, 1853, 1855, 1859, 
1860-2, and 1866 ; William K. Haynes, 1849, 1856 and 1858 ; A. T. Drake, 
1850; D. Knox, 1852; William Henry, 1854; Hiram Jacobs, 1863-4; 
BraceyTobey, 1865; S. B. Follett, 1867-8, 1870-2; J. G. Wait, 1869; 
Frank S. Packard, 1873-4; L. E. White, 1875-6. 

Among the town clerks, William Allman has held the position two years; 
Benjamin Fairchild, two years; William L. Stoughton, one year; Henry 
Leavett, one year ; M. Vandusen, one year ; Homer Packard, four years ; J. 
B. Jacobs, two years ; C. Jacobs, two years ; Bracey Tobey, six years ; L. E. 
White, five years ; Henry L. Anthony, the present incumbent, two years. 

Among the justices of the peace the following have held more than one 
term of four years : David Knox from 1866 to 1876, inclusive ; Bracey 
Tobey from 1867 to 1877. A. F. Patch is at present holding the position. 

The town superintendents of schools since the creation of the office, have 
been F. S. Packard, 1875, and G. D. G. Thurston, 1876. 


of property for taxation in the new township was made in 1845, the same being 
placed at fifty-five thousand two hundred and sixty-eight dollars on real- 
estate, which the county board of equalization reduced ten per cent., the 
total' assessment standing at sixty-nine thousand one hundred and fifty dol- 
lars, on which State and county taxes were levied and paid amounting to 
six hundred and fifty-six dollars and eighty-eight cents. 


that of 1876, as returned by the supervisor was five hundred and eighteen 
thousand one hundred and fifty dollars, which was reduced by the county 
board to five hundred and four thousand four hundred and eighty-eight dol- 
lars on real-estate ; the personal assessment amounted to one hundred and 
seventy-seven thousand one hundred and forty-five dollars, the whole aggre- 
gating the sum of six hundred and eighty-one thousand six hundred and 
thirty-three dollars. The State and county levy of taxes amounted to one 
thousand seven hundred and forty-one dollars and four cents each, and the 
town taxes, including schools, to eleven thousand and seventeen dollars and 
ninety-two cents, the whole aggregating fourteen thousand five hundred 


for the year ending September 1, 1876, including the fine union school of 
the village, will be seen by the following exhibit : There were four schools 
taught in the township, averaging nine months in each session, which seven 
hundred and sixteen scholars attended. Five male teachers were employed 
and paid two thousand two hundred and sixty dollars, and fourteen females 
who were paid three thousand one hundred and sixty-eight dollars. The 
total expenses, including eight thousand dollars paid on bonded indebtedness, 
amounted to fifteen thousand three hundred and fourteen dollars and seventy- 
eight cents, the total resources of the districts being fifteen thousand seven 
hundred and thirty dollars and sixteen cents, including tuition received from 
foreign scholars. The townshij) has four school houses — three brick and one 
of wood — valued at forty-five thousand dollars, capable of seating nine hun- 
dred and fifty pupils, and has eight hundred and one children of suitable 
age to attend school. 


shows a population of two thousand two hundred and forty-eight, one thou- 
sand and seventy-two being males, and one thousand one hundred and 
seventy-six females. Three hundred and eighty-four males were of the 
military age — between twenty-one and forty-five years, and two hundred 

and twenty-six were beyond the fear of a draft in case of war, being 
under seventy-five years of age ; twelve males were between seventy-five 
and ninety years. Four hundred and eighteen females were of marriagable 
age — between eighteen and forty years, and two hundred and sixty were 
past the heydey of life, and under seventy-five years, while nineteen were in 
the "sere and yellow leaf," beyond the three-quarter stake of the century. 

Ninety-two farms contained twelve thousand eight hundred and twenty- 
three acres, three thousand two hundred and sixty of which were sown to 
wheat, and one thousand one hundred and ninety-six planted to corn. The 
season of 1873 produced twenty-three thousand nine hundred and eighty 
bushels of wheat, and thirty-four thousand three hundred and nineteen 
bushels of corn; other grain, six thousand and forty bushels; potatoes, 
eleven thousand six hundred bushels ; hay, eight hundred and forty-three 
tons; wool, one thousand nine hundred and nine pounds; pork, seventy- 
eight thousand six hundred and thirty pounds ; butter, twenty-five thousand 
five hundred and sixty-five pounds ; dried fruit, two thousand one hundred 
and twenty-five pounds ; cider, six hundred and seventy barrels. One hun- 
dred and eighty-nine acres in orchards produced nine thousand and thirty 
bushels of apples, and twenty-three and a half acres produced one thousand 
five hundred and fifty-five bushels of other fruits and vegetables. 

There were owned by the people of the township in 1874 three hundred 
and fifty-nine horses, a single mule, one pair and a half of oxen, three hundred 
and six cows, one hundred and eighty-seven other cattle, four hundred and 
fifty-four hogs, and three hundred and ninety -three sheep, against four hun- 
dred and twenty-four of the latter in 1873. 

Two planing-mills, one foundry or machine-shop, three carriage-factories, 
two chair and furniture factories, one broom factory, one pump factory, two 
churn and barrel factories, two trunk and harness-shops, one canning estab- 
lishment, two boot and shoe factories, and two stone-yards, employed one 
hundred and twenty-two persons, with a capital of sixty-three thousand dol- 
lars, and the value of their productions were one hundred and twenty-two 
thousand and two hundred dollars. 


of the township on the national issues may be seen by the manner in which 
the people have cast their votes for presidential candidates. In 1848 the 
Whig candidate received eighty-one, the Democratic fifty-nine, and the Free 
Soil candidate twenty -six votes. In 1852 the Whigs polled one hundred 
and thirty-four votes, the Democrats ninety-five, and the Abolitionists nine, 
there being just enough of the "Old Guards " to make a single tailor. Four 
years later they grew to a majority of one hundred and thirty-three, the Re- 
publicans polling two hundred and thirty-four, and the Democrats one 
hundred and one votes. In 1860 the Eepublicans gained twenty votes, and 
the Democrats seven on the vote of four years before. In 1864 there was 
a falling off in the Democratic vote, and a corresponding gain in the Repub- 
lican, the former casting but eighty-one, and the latter two hundred and 
eighty votes. In 1868 both parties gained heavily, the Republicans polling 
three hundred and seventy- four, and their opponents one hundred and fifty- 
five. In 1872 the Republicans polled three hundred and one, and the Demo- 
crats one hundred and thirty-six votes ; Charles O'Connor received fif- 
teen straight votes, and Jeremiah Black a single one. In 1876 Hayes re- 
ceived three hundred and sixty-seven, Tilden two hundred and forty-six, and 
Peter Cooper fifty. 

This last vote, allowing seven persons to each vote cast, would give a 
population in Sturgis at the present time of four thousand six hundred and 
forty-one, or at five persons to each voter, would give three thousand three 
hundred and fifteen. 


in the township have been and are as follows : Judge John Sturgis owned at 
the time of his death, which occurred in' 1874, one thousand four hundred 
and fifty acres, lying in a body partially in Sturgis and Sherman. His sons, 
Amos, Thomas and David, succeeded to the greater portion of the estate, 
and are residents thereon at the present time. David Knox has been for 
over forty years a leading farmer on Sturgis prairie. John S. Newhall owns 
a fine farm, on which he located in 1832. Hiram Jacobs, Rice Pearsoll, 
John Lanrick and Isaac Runyan are all representative men among the 
farmers, and well-to-do in that line. Mrs. Sturgis, the venerable widow of 
Judge Sturgis, resides on the old homestead, now in her eightieth year, with 
Amos her son, who was but a few weeks old when he came to the prairie. 


The good folks of Sturgis prairie enjoyed life in the early days despite the 
sorrow, afflictions and trials incident thereto, and entered into the pleasures 



of festive occasions with a freedom that gave zest to the humdrum of every- 
day toil for days to come. " Tommy" Jones, an artistic fiddler, contributed 
largely to the enjoyment of the gatherings in the settlement, and his own 
house was a resort for the old and young for an evening's entertainment. 
His worthy and hospitable wife always gave a party for the young people on 
Christmas, and " Tommy" — a brother of Hon. De Garmo Jones, of Detroit — 
followed suit on New Years with an assembly of the older people. Roast 
turkev and " chicken fixins " were plentiful and free on those occasions. 
At one of the first gatherings Judge Sturgis and his daughter led off the first 
dance, and soon the old people were tripping the " light fantastic " to Tom- 
my's merry measures in full glee. This was before 1832. 

The first celebration of the Fourth of July of any note was held in 1835, and 
Elias Boulton Smith, M. D., was the orator of the day. Among the toasts 
drank on the occasion was the following: "Sturgis prairie — her farmers 
grow wealthy by their industry, and her pure air preserves the red cheeks 
of her fair daughters." 

In 1839 the day was celebrated with great eclat, fifteen hundred persons 
being present. The States were represented by young ladies dressed in the 
national colors. Hon. John S. Chipman delivered an eloquent oration; Hon. 
J. G. Wait was the president, Dr. John F. Packard, vice-president ; Mr. 
Holmes, reader; Horace Vesey, marshal ; Captain Harry Mc Arthur, aid, 
and Elder Day, chorister. A Mr. Webb had his arm blown off by the prema- 
ture discharge of a cannon. 

The celebration of the day in 1852 was noted for the distinguished officers 
and quests of the occasion, and the number of people (two thousand) in 
attendance. General Isaac D. Toll was marshal of the day, Hon. William 
L. Stoughton, orator. The drummer was Tommy Jones before named. 
Several soldiers of the war of 1812 were present, among them Edward 
Evans, a Baptist clergyman, then eighty-nine years of age, who declined to 
ride to Jacob's grove where the oration was delivered, preferring to walk, 
though the mercury stood ninety-three degrees at 5 o'clock p. m. Two 
Revolutionary soldiers were present — Araunah Hibbard, grandfather of 
Frank Hibbard, druggist in Sturgis at the present writing ; and another one 
w T hose name is not remembered. Mr. Evans' grandfather lived to the age of 
one hundred and ten years. 

An incident in the pioneer-life of John S. Newhall, worth preserving, is 
the fact that when he came to Michigan in 1832 to find a location, he left 
his horse at the Maumee, and traveled two thousand miles on foot that 
summer, from May to July, before he w T as satisfied that his present location 
was the best one he could find. He went from Ullmann's to Bronson's for 
breakfast, shooting a turkey on the way, which was served up for a wedding- 
supper at Benson's, on the Kalamazoo. Mr. Newhall once owned two thou- 
sand acres of land in Nebraska, and broke up one season seven hundred and 
fifty acres. 

Dr. Packard used to take wheat of his patients in payment for his ser- 
vices, haul it to Monroe and sell it for cash to buy medicine with. He once 
floured one hundred and sixty barrels of best white wheat, and sold the same 
to R. & J. Williams for two dollars and sixty-two cents per barrel, which 
was the first money he received from sales in the county. The military 
parades, musters and courts-martial were a never-failing fund for amuse- 
ment while they lasted — Captain Harry McArthur being the inspiring genius 
of those occasions. 


The first beginning of the present village of -Sturgis was the house of 
George Buck, built on the north side of the Chicago road, w T hich was then 
surveyed and staked-out across the prairie, in the summer of 1828. He was 
followed the same season by John B. Clark, who built a log house of some- 
what more generous dimensions, and put out his sign for entertainment of 
travelers, and the village was au fait accompli. It had, however, no name 
but Sturgis prairie until 1832, when Philip H. Buck surveyed and platted 
forty lots, sixty by one hundred and sixty-five feet, equally disposed on 
either side of the Chicago road, on the east half of the southeast quarter of 
section one, township eight, south range of ten west, and named it the village 
of Sherman — the same being the name of the township at the time, and 
until 1845. These lots were all east of the present Nottawa street. In 
April, 1834, Mr. Buck laid out an addition, on the south side of the same 
road, of forty lots, and in May following, Andrew Backus, who had suc- 
ceeded to the ownership of the original purchase of Clarke, laid off a plat 
on the west side of the present Nottawa street, embracing the tract bounded 
west by the line of the present Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad, on both 
sides of the Chicago road, and called his village (in deference to his daugh- 
ters* wishes;, Ivanhoe. The young ladies were admirers of the " Black 
Knight," as immortalized by Sir Walter, and to their poetic feelings Sher- 

man seemed too plain and unromantic, and therefore they gave to their city 
the name of the most distinguished character of the great novelist. From 
that time onward the several additions of Drake, Hatch, Harvey and 
Allman were named and described as, and conveyances executed for lots in, 
the several additions to the villages of Sherman or Ivanhoe, as the case 
might be, until February, 1857, an act was passed by the legislature for the 
replatting of the original villages and additions thereto, under the name of 
Sturgis ; and William K. Haynes, William L. Stoughton and E. H. Wallace, 
commissioners, made such plat, and recorded the same February 5, 1858. 
But the confusion has been rendered rather worse than before by the appa- 
rent lapses in title, which occurred by not identifying the original descrip- 
tions closely with the new plat. 


in the village w T as that of John B. Clarke, situated on the present site of 
the Elliott house. He was succeeded in the same building by Major Isaac 
J. Ullmann, who was a w r ell-known character in the county for years. He 
was a staunch Democrat, and it is told of him that being at a convention 
he was called to the chair to preside, which position he accepted, and as soon 
as seated, a member presented a set of resolutions, and began to read them. 
They were fiercely denunciatory of the Democratic party, and by the time 
the preamble had been read and the second resolution well begun, the major 
rapped the reader to order vigorously, and rising, delivered himself of the 
following : " I taught wen I accepted dis chair I vas in a Temocratic con- 
vention, but I pelieve it ish noting put all tarn Whiggery, und I vill not 
shtay here." And he didn't, but vacated the place and withdrew from the 
room. He sold his interest in the village to Backus — who was an eastern 
man — in the fall of 1833, but the new proprietor did not at once assume the 
role of Boniface, Mr. Luthur Douglass succeeding Major Ullmann in that 

Mr. Douglass came to White Pigeon in the fall of 1832, with his family 
of five boys and one girl, — Alonzo, Orson and Orsemus (twins), Orley, 
William H, and Lucinda, — the latter being now deceased. In the winter of 
1833 Mr. Douglass leased the hotel of Ullmann, and, May 14, was lost on 
Lake Erie in a sail-boat, while going out to take a steamer in the offing at 
Erie during a snow-squall. In 1835 Backus succeeded the Douglasses in the 
hotel business, and the family removed to their farm near Douglass station, 
on the Micnigan, Southern and Lake Shore railroad, in White Pigeon town- 
ship. Mrs. Douglass was one of the untiring Florence Nightingales of the 
prairie, who went everywhere, in season and out of season, to care for the sick 
in the years of distress. 

Oliver Raymond built, in 1831, on the corner where Wallace's block now 
stands, opposite the Sturgis hotel, the 


in the village, as well as on the prairie, and kept a hotel in opposition to 
Ullmann. The 


was probably the block on the southeast corner of Nottawa and Chicago 
streets, built by Peck and Wallace in 1854. The bricks were made in 
White Pigeon, in 1851, and when the building was rebuilt in 1874, the 
material was apparently as good as the day it was burned. 


on the prairie was kept on the Stewart location, on section seven, in Town 
River township, by Samuel Stewart, the first postmaster ; it was established 
in 1829, and the mail was brought from Cold water to White Pigeon via 
Sturgis prairie, by John Winchell, postmaster and contractor. Afterwards 
the Stewarts carried the mail and passengers in a democrat wagon until 
Savery put on his coaches in 1832. 

Oliver Raymond was the first postmaster in the village, and he kept the 
mail of the entire settlement in a single pigeon-hole, which comprised an 
entire candle-box. The mails came irregularly, sometimes every week, then 
once in two w T eeks, again semi-weekly, tri-weekly, and finally every day in 
each direction, east and west. 

Mr. Raymond was succeeded by Judge Sturgis, and he by Philip H. Buck, 
the latter by Major C. C. Hood, % and the major by Captain William Mc- 
Laughlin, under President Johnson ; the captain was in turn succeeded by 
Major Hood, who gave way to the present incumbent, Hon. J. G. Wait. 

The business of 1876 affords a fine contrast to that of the pioneer days. 
The sales of stamps averaged seven hundred dollars per quarter ; four hun- 
dred letters were received and dispatched daily, and one thousand five hun- 
dred papers were distributed weekly. Seven mails were received and dis- 
patched daily ; postal orders were sold to the amount of eighteen thou- 

Cr/fus VK fjtCH. 

ftiRS. Crtfus W.lfiCH. 


Swff&ts T^ ST Joseph Conflict*. 



sand eight hundred and sixty-seven dollars and one cent ; and orders to the 
amount of nine thousand seven hundred and twenty-five dollars and eighteen 
cents were paid ; during the same time two hundred and fifty-seven registered 
letters were dispatched. 

The office has been under the entire management, for the past three years, 
of Miss Nettie P. Plympton, by whose efficiency and promptness the large 
business of the office is most satisfactorily and admirably conducted. 


on which coaches were used was Savery's, which began to carry passengers 
and mails in 1831-2 ; but the Black Hawk scare broke him up by stopping 
emigration, and for weeks his coaches went over the road with nothing but 
the mails, not a single passenger being in the same. 

The second line was owned by General Brown, De Garmo Jones, and 
Forsyth, and began to operate in 1838. This line ran four-horse coaches 
daily over the route between Detroit and Chicago. John Lanrick, now a 
resident of the village, was driver for the line many years, commencing in 
May, 1833. From 1836 to 1840 the rush of travel westward was immense ; 
extras were run every day at times, and sometimes two or three each day ; 
and heavy mails were transported. In 1839-40, as high as one thousand 
three hundred pounds of postal-matter have been carried frequently. Pas- 
sengers were transported at seven cents per mile, and carried rails to help 
the coaches through the marshes. They were probably transported with 
anything but feelings of gratitude toward the stage company, notwithstand- 
ing the liberal charge for transports. 


which gave rapid communication with the outside world to Sturgis was the 
Michigan Southern, now known as the Michigan Southern and Lake Shore 
railroad. The energetic efforts of this company and the people to make 
Sturgis a point are described in the general history of the county. Hon. J. G. 
Wait was a contractor on this line, and built the depots of the company from 
Coldwater to Mies, as well as the fencing-in of the right of way. He was also 
engaged largely in securing the right of way in Branch and St. Joseph coun- 
ties. All of the liberal-souled people of Sturgis and White Pigeon moved with 
alacrity and vigor to accomplish the passage of the line of the road as it 
now is traveled, and succeeded, much to the chagrin of the more northern 
towns of the county, who, expecting that the line was fixed unalterably 
through the centre of the county, gave themselves no uneasiness relative 
thereto, and let the first road of the county slip through their fingers. 

However, in after years they made the most heroic struggles and generous 
offerings to gain the Central, and were successful. The subscriptions to get 
the railroad south of the centre of the county were thirty thousand dollars. 
In 1866 the township voted fifteen thousand dollars in aid of the Grand 
Rapids and Indiana railroad, passing north through the county, which was 
subsequently built; Mr. Wait being largely interested in its success, as also 
were all of the citizens, it being a competing road and opening up a shorter 
connection north. 

The business of the railroads in 1876 aggregate the following amounts : 
The Michigan Southern and Lake Shore forwarded twenty-nine millions 
seven hundred and fifty-two thousand six hundred and eighty-four pounds 
of freight, and received ten millions three hundred and seventy-one thou- 
sand three hundred and ninety-four pounds, making an aggregate of freight 
carried during the year of forty millions one hundred and twenty-four thou- 
sand and seventy-eight pounds, or twenty thousand and sixty-two tons. Of 
the shipments thirteen millions eight hundred and thirty-one thousand and 
twenty-five pounds were grain ; eleven millions thirteen thousand two hun- 
dred and seventy pounds were of lumber and other forest products, and one 
million three hundred and ninety-two thousand pounds of live animals. 
The wheat amounted to two hundred and thirteen thousand one hundred 
and ninety-five bushels. The earnings of the road were for freight forwarded, 
twenty-eight thousand five hundred and three dollars and sixty cents ; for 
freight received, ten thousand eight hundred and ninety-five dollars and 
eighty-eight cents ; for ticket sales, fifteen thousand six hundred and twenty- 
one dollars and five cents ; the total earnings amounting to fifty-five thou- 
sand and twenty-one dollars and forty- three cents — an excess of three thou- 
sand four hundred and sixty-five dollars and thirty cents over those of 1875. 
J. K. McKee, the freight and station agent, and T. J. Collins, ticket agent, 
very courteously furnished the above information concerning the business of 
the road. 

During the same year the Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad received 
forty -four millions thirty-one thousand six hundred and sixty pounds of 
freight, and forwarded three millions eight hundred and fifty-five thousand 

nine hundred pounds, the receipts being largely of lumber. The ticket sales 
amounted to sixteen thousand one hundred and seventy dollars. Arthur 
Wait, the agent at Sturgis, gave us the above figures from his books. 

The grand aggregate of the shipment and receipt of freight and passen- 
ger traffic of the railroads in the village is as follows : Total freight for- 
warded in 1876, thirty-three millions six hundred and eight thousand five 
hundred and eighty-four pounds ; received, fifty-four millions four hundred 
and three thousand and fifty-four pounds, or a grand total of forty-three 
thousand seven hundred and seventeen tons of freight carried during the 
year. The passenger traffic paid into the coffers of the companies the hand- 
some sum of thirty-one thousand seven hundred and Ninety-one dollars and 
ninety-five cents. 


have been ably represented, and still are, in Sturgis, both lay and clerical. 
The bar of Sturgis are named in the general history of the county. The 
first physican, as before stated, was Dr. Henry. Dr. Griffith, Dr. Ira F. 
Packard and Dr. James H. Taft, the latter now deceased, were successors, in 
the order named, to Dr. Henry. The present medical staff of the village 
are Dr. Nelson I. Packard and Dr. Putnam, of the regular school ; P. H. 
Van Vleck, homeopathic ; Ira S. King, eclectic, and Drs. Hurlbut and East- 
man. The first dentist was Dr. Hutchinson. The present professors and 
operators in dental surgery are W. G. Cummins, D.D.S., who has a most 
admirably arranged and equipped suite of rooms, in the first brick building 
built in the village, as before named, in which he employs all of the modern 
appliances for the rapid and painless execution of his professional duties ; J. 
W. Beck, D.D.S., also has a pleasant suite of rooms. 

The teachers of note are named in the history of the union school, and 
the clerical profession have honorable mention in the history of the churches. 
The history of the press will also be found in the general history of the 

The pride and ornament of Sturgis, to which the people may justly point 
visitors with commendable self-congratulation for their own efforts, is the 


which had its beginning in the pioneer class gathered in the upper room of 
Mrs. George Buck's log-house, in the winter of 1830, to learn what they could 
from good old Dr. Henry's teaching. The district (No. 3) was first or- 
ganized February 10, 1838, while yet the township was called Sherman. 
Philip Buck was the first moderator, Jacob French the first director, and 
Jeremiah Dewel the first assessor. 

The school taught in the district was not a free school — an assessment more 
or less heavy being laid per capita on all who sent their children to the 
school. Nor was it an absolutely free school until September, 1859, when 
a general tax was levied for all expenses. The first school-house was built 
in 1833, as before stated, before any district was organized, and while the 
State was in territorial tutelage. 

On the 26th of February, 1838, the people of the district voted to build 
a new school-house, and changed the site to block forty-three, giving seven- 
teen dollars and fifty cents for the site, and building the house for two 
hundred and ninety-eight dollars — the same being a frame structure. 
The first public money received from the State was in 183S, and amounted 
to thirty-seven dollars and twelve cents, at which date there were in the dis- 
trict seventy-one children between the ages of five and seven years ; and 
seventy-nine dollars and seventy-one cents were the total expenditures for 
the year. Oliver Raymond taught the school the winter term of 1839-40, 
for tw T enty-six dollars per month, and boarded himself, but being taken sick, 
Angus McKerlie filled his contract. 

The first teacher in the old log-house could not solve the mathematical 
problems his pupils presented him, and after a single month he was dismissed, 
and a Mr. Depue was engaged and " filled the bill." He is now the post- 
master at Lima, Indiana. Mr. Raymond had for one of his pupils a lad 
who was called the " long-haired boy," who is now President Graham, of 
Hillsdale college. In 1849 the school-house site was changed agaia to a 
half-acre lot in B. C. Buck's field, the old house sold for one hundred dollars, 
and one thousand dollars voted for a new one. 

In 1852 the school board adopted a series of text-books, including, among 
the higher studies, Davies' Algebra, Olmstead's Natural Philosophy and 
Astronomy, Beck's Chemistry, and Cutler's Anatomy and Physiology. The 
first movement for a union school was made in 1855, under the act of that 
year, but it was not successful. On the 1st of September, 1859, the people 
voted to make the school free to all scholars in the district, and raised a gen- 
eral tax of two hundred dollars for that purpose. On the 26th day 
of the same month, the district was organized under the statute of 1859 



as a union school district, and the following board of education elected : 
William Allman, Philip H. Buck, J. D. Cook, W. A. Wright, Jacob 
Sidner and William L. Stoughton. Seven hundred dollars were voted for 
school purposes and one thousand dollars for a building fund. The base- 
ment of the Presbyterian church was temporarily leased, and the higher 
classes removed thereto. 

In 1860, the first year of the union school, the receipts from all sources 
were one thousand four hundred and forty-four dollars and seventy-seven 
cents, including one hundred and seventy-three dollars and sixty-six cents 
received for tuition from scholars outside the district. Eight hundred and 
sixty-four dollars were paid for teachers' salaries, and three hundred and 
fifty-two scholars drew public money. The same year (1860) the site for a 
school-house was changed again to block sixteen, the present beautiful location 
— two thousand dollars being paid for the same. A brick school-house was 
contracted for with Z. H. Wallace, for eight thousand dollars, the same 
when completed and furnished costing ten thousand seven hundred and 
eighteen dollars. The seating cost four hundred dollars, and the old build- 
ing was sold for five hundred and twenty-five dollars. The building was 
completed in the fall of 1861, and occupied the first week of January fol- 
lowing. On September 7, 1873, a committee, consisting of Z. H. Wallace, 
E. W. Pendleton and A. T. Drake, was appointed by the regular meeting of 
the district, and reported October 10, 1875, recommending an addition to the 
school-house, which report was accepted, and eight thousand dollars voted to 
carry out the recommendations, and operations at once began, which were 
completed in the summer following, resulting in the elegant and commo- 
dious structure, a view of which we present to our readers on another page 
of our work. It was occupied the fall term of 1876. In November fol- 
lowing the city council contracted with A. Howard & Co., of Boston, for 
placing a tower-clock in the main tower of the building, having a dial 
on each face of the same ; and which clock the company guaranteed would 
not vary fifteen seconds in any single month for five years. The cost was 
seven hundred dollars. The building is furnished with modern apparatus 
for heating and ventilation, and its sittings are easy and roomy. 

The course of instruction comprises the primary department, including 
the eighth, seventh and sixth grades — one year of time is to be passed in 
each grade ; the junior department, which includes the fifth, fourth and 
third grades — the same time being occupied in each grade ; the senior 
department, which includes the second and first grades, and one year in each 
grade ; the high-school department, which has a classic and scientific and 
academic course. The school has a valuable though not extensive library, 
and has the beginning of what it needs, good and proper apparatus, philo- 
sophical and otherwise. 

The first graduating class received their diplomas in 1874, the members 
being William P. Stoughton, scientific course; Virena Morrison, Anna 
Barrows and Huldah Seeley, English course. The class of 1875 were : Cora 
M. Wright, Albert M. Todd, classics ; Stella Sturgis, scientific ; Kittie Buck, 
Frankie Wilson, Albert Chandler, Wallace Weatherby, English literature. 
The class of 1876, Frederick Buck, Charles Wilson, classics ; Lillie Hamil- 
ton, scientific ; Charles Barrows, English literature. 

The present corps of teachers are: J. D. Williams, A.M., principal ; Mrs. 
M. A. HackstaflT, preceptress; senior school, W. H. Wheeler, Laura M. 
Page; junior school, Etta Shepardson, Lillie B. Edmonston and Miss 
Whitney; primary, Meda E. Lester, Sophia A. Coye and Kittie Buck. 
Mrs. Hackstaff has been connected with the school for several years. 

The present school board are: Levant E. White, director; Charles B. 
Peck, treasurer; E. S. Mundon, moderator; Dr. N". I. Packard, D. E. 
Thomas and G. D. G. Thurston, trustees. 

What this institution costs the people may be seen from the following 
exhibit for the year ending September 1, 1876 : Five hundred and eighty-six 
scholars attended the school, which was ten months in session, and was taught 
by two male teachers, who were paid one thousand seven hundred and fifty-five 
dollars for their services, and nine females, who received two thousand nine 
hundred dollars for their wages. Two hundred and one dollars and twenty- 
five cents were received as tuition fees from non-resident pupils — the total 
resources of the district being fourteen thousand five hundred and sixty- two 
dollars and forty-one cents, of which fourteen thousand four hundred and 
fifteen dollars and fifty-eight cents were expended, including eight thousand 
seven hundred and forty dollars and sixty-six cents for building and repairs. 
The district board value their property at forty thousand dollars, on which 
they owe eight thousand dollars. 


The first preacher was Rev. Erastus Felton, the Methodist missionary 
from Ohio. The first religious services were held in Mrs, Buck's " upper 

chamber," a resort for all denominations, orthodox or liberal, who desired 
to use it. It was free to all, without money or price, and the family always 
helped to make up the audience. The first church society established in 
Sturgis prairie was 


which was organized in 1832 by Rev. Mr. Robinson, of the Indiana confer- 
ence. The class was composed of one man and seven women, the solitary 
male member, David Knox, being the class-leader. Five of the females 
were Mrs. David Knox, Mrs. Rachel Knox (David's mother), Mrs. Betsey 
Buck (widow), Harriet Brooks and Mrs. Thomas Cade, In 1843 the first 
church was built on public ground, in front of the old cemetery, where the 
present Lutheran church is situated, and was afterwards moved across the 
street and used as a factory. The present edifice was built in 1863, is 
valued at twelve thousand dollars, has four hundred sittings, and is a neat, 
comfortable brick structure. The builder of the first church was a man 
named Nickerson. In 1845 a Sunday-school was organized, Mr. Knox, 
Hiram Jacobs and A. T. Drake drafting the constitution. Mr. French was 
the first superintendent, and then Truman Bateman, who was succeeded by 
William Allman, who has held the position ever since — nearly thirty years. 
There are now enrolled three hundred and sixty-five scholars, and there are 
seven hundred and thirty-four volumes in the library. There are two hun- 
dred members now in the church. The pastors who have ministered unto 
this flock have been, since Robinson, who served another year (1834), Bab- 
cock, Young, Peter Sabin, Newell, Beswick, Erastus Kellogg, Todd, John 
Ercanbrack, Richard Meek, the two Boyingtons, Lee, Lyon, McAllister, 
John L. Brockway, N. A. Knappen, Welch, Sherman and Worthington. 
The present pastor is John Graham, a pleasant but firm Scotch gentleman, 
who has just a spice of the accent of " auld Scotia" on his tongue, and who 
is an acceptable preacher to the community of church-going people gener- 
ally. The presiding elders of the Sturgis district have been John Arm- 
strong (named elsewhere for his ability and patriotism), Richard Hargreaves, 
Aaron Woods, John Ercanbrack, James T. Davidson, William Sprague, 
David Burns and Gillett. 


of Sturgis was organized October 6, 1836, as a conference, composed of 
Elder Gershom B. Day, moderator ; Abel Crossman, clerk ; Wear Drake, 
Mordecai Leighton, Thomas Davis, and sisters Elizabeth Day, Roxana 
Crossman and Lydia and Catharine Drake. January 26, 1837, an ecclesi- 
astical council was held, constituted of Elder William Brown, moderator ; 
Elder H. J. Hall, clerk ; William Taylor and L. M. Choat ; and the con- 
ference was formally organized as a church, with the same members as first 
named, and also Polly S. Ellis and Eunice B. Raymond. The services of 
dedication were participated in by Elder Brown, who preached the ser- 
mon from Luke xii, 32, and gave the right hand of fellowship ; William 
Taylor, who gave the charge to the new church, and Choat, who invoked 
the Divine blessing upon them. The first and present church edifice was 
erected in 1846, in conjunction with the people at large, and was held several 
years in common with other denominations ; but in 1858 the church bought 
out the partnership with the world, and now own it exclusively. It is 
valued at seven thousand dollars, and will seat two hundred and fifty per- 
sons comfortably. There are ninety members in the church society at 
present. October 31, 1846, a Sunday-school was organized, and a large 
class formed, with P. H. Evans as superintendent. The present member- 
ship of the school is ninety; G. D. G. Thurston is the superintendent, and 
there are one hundred and forty volumes in the library. The first pastor 
was Elder Day, the first Baptist preacher in the county, and who was after- 
wards killed by the Indians in California. He was succeeded by Reverends 
R. Graham, L. H. Stocker, R. H. Cook, P. Forbes, P. H. Evans, U. B. 
Miller, E. Curtis, G. L. Stephens, E. I. Fish, A. L. Vail, George A. Amos 
and L. F. Compton, the present pastor. 


of Sturgis was organized in 1836-7, by Rev. W. Corey, of Lima, Indiana, 
among the first members being the following : Mr. Wilbur and wife, Elder 
James L. Bishop and wife, Rice Pearsoll and wife, Mrs. Ransom and Ahira 
Brooks. The first church edifice was erected in 1858, and is valued at six 
thousand dollars. It is built of brick, has three hundred sittings, and the 
society has seventy-five members on its roll. A Sunday-school was organ- 
ized about the same time as the church, jointly with the Baptists, in whose 
house the new denomination worshiped for a time. John Taylor and 
Harvey H. Bresee were early superintendents of the school. There are one 

Dan, % Pa^kef^. 


D. B. Parker comes of old and respectable Pennsylvania families, his 
father, John Parker, having been born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 
July 3, 1793, and his mother, Elizabeth Seiser, in the township of Linn, 
Northampton county, February 9, 1800. He was born in Nancy Creek 
township, Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, October 27, 1818. At the age 
of seven his parents removed to Livingston county, New York, where 
they remained about five years, and in 1830 removed to Michigan, and 
settled on Sturgis' Prairie, in the County of St. Joseph. They embarked 
at Buffalo, in the steamer Peacock, and when but three miles out an accident 
occurred — the bursting of the steam-pipe — by which fifteen persons were 
scalded, fourteen fatally, among whom were Margaret, Lovina, and Samuel, 
two sisters and a brother of Mr. Parkers. This catastrophe cast a deep 
gloom over the family, the accident being regarded as an ill omen, fraught 
with disagreeable consequences for the future; which, however, never 
transpired, for we find the residue of the family comfortably settled on a 
fine farm in Section 11, Sturgis township, where they remained for many 
years, enjoying that peace and happiness, contentment and prosperity, which 
are the inseparable concomitants of the farmer's life. On the 13th of April, 
1848, Mr. Parker took unto himself a wife in the person of Miss Mary J. 
Aikin, and the same year settled on his present farm, in Section 12. Four 
children were born unto them, of whom three survive. Olive L. was born 
November 8, 1849 ; Henry R, born January 9, 1852 ; Franklin L., born 
April 4, 1853— died September 4, 1856 ; John H., born March 16, 1855. 
On the 5th of September, 1856, Mrs. Parker died, after a happy wedded life 
of less than a decade. This great bereavement was keenly felt by Mr. Parker 
and his young family, and left a void in his heart which has never been 
filled. She was a woman of rare qualities ; beloved by all her acquaintances 
and friends ; worshiped by her husband and fondly loved by her children, 
by all of whom her memory is affectionately cherished. 

In character, Mr. Parker is industrious, economical, and genial. By hard 
work and prudential management he has become possessed of two hundred 
and forty acres of improved and finely cultivated land. In polities, he is 
a Republican ; in religious belief, a Spiritualist. He is generally esteemed 
as a shrewd business man, a good, practical farmer, and an intelligent and 
worthy citizen. (See Illustrations.) 


St utfQi $,S? Joseph Co., Michigan. 

ni l ' M 



hundred scholars on the roll of the school, two hundred volumes constitute 
the library, and John Q. Wilson is the present superintendent. 

The church was reorganized in 1853 (August 13), and incorporated, and 
J. L. Bishop, William Kyte and P. H. Buck were elected trustees. The 
pastors settled over the church have been, since Mr. Covey's pastorate, Rev. 
Charles Newberry, Rev. Mr. Fuller, who was with the church ten years; 
Mr. Clarke, three years ; Knapp, two years ; C. M. Temple, three and a half 
years, and Mr. Stevens, the present pastor. During the pastorates of Mr. 
Fuller and Mr. Temple very interesting meetings were held, and noted 
accessions were made to the church. 


was organized January 1, 1864, the first members of the same being Henry 
Lohrman, Charles Froh, Fred Pasel, Christ. Froh, Charles Witt, William 
Witt, Fred Zodawaten and Christin Wagoner. The church edifice, which 
is of wood, was built in 1871, and is valued at fifteen hundred dollars, and 
has one hundred sittings. The church at present consists of twenty mem- 
bers. The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Evers, and the second, and present. 
Rev. Albert Henkel. 


was organized in 1869 (September), by the Rev. Mr. Ellis, as pastor, with 
John G. Seeb, John Kreger, John Schroeder, George Stropegal, Jacob 
Underkirk and other members. The present neat brick edifice, on the site 
of the old Methodist Episcopal church, was built in 1869-70, and cost four 
thousand dollars, and has two hundred sittings. The present membership 
of the church is seventy-five. A Sunday-school was organized in 1872, with 
forty scholars, and Mr. Seeb as superintendent, who still holds the position. 

The pastors have been, since Mr. Ellis, Rev. Mr. Gera, Mr. Henake, Mr. 
Eippersoll, and Mr. Rein, the present one. 

St. John's Mission of the Episcopal Church was organized in 1873. Rev. 
W. Forgus is the missionary in charge. There are nine members of the 
church, twenty Sunday-school scholars, and four teachers. 


of Sturgis was organized September 2, 1858, with J. G. Wait, Harrison 
Kelly, James Johnson, B. B. Gardener, William Osborn and Nathaniel 
Hutchinson as an executive committee. The church walls were put up that 
season, and inclosed and finished the next summer. It is of brick, has a 
round tower, and is located east of Nottawa and south of Chicago streets, 
next adjoining the Baptist church. It was dedicated June 16, 1859, by 
Rev. J. M. Peebles, to "humanity and free thought," a large audience 
being in attendance. December 18, 1870, the constitution was revised and 
adopted, and signed by fifty-seven members. 

A lyceum is connected with the society, which holds its session at twelve 
o'clock each Sunday. John B. Jacobs was conductor when it was first 
organized, Mrs. Vance being the present one. The present officers of the 
society are J. G. Wait, president; Nellie M.Smith, secretary; Joel A. Fox, 
treasurer ; B. C. Buck, Joel A. Fox, Mary J. Peck, B. B. Gardner and 
Mrs. J. T. Graham, executive committee. 


Meridian Sun Lodge, No. 49, A. F. M., was organized under dispensation 
in 1851, and chartered in the year following. James S. Bishop was its first 
secretary, and served four years in that station. W. H. Kent was the wor- 
shipful master in 1853, and Dr. Nelson I. Packard filled that position eleven 
years, at different times. The other masters have been : B. F. Doughty, 
Homer Dunne, S. Valentine and C. Jacobs, who is the present incumbent. 
The lodge has one hundred and nineteen members on its books, in good 


was organized by charter, January 8, 1864, with B. F. Doughty as first 
high priest ; N. I. Packard, scribe, and Charles H. Putnam, king. The 
office of high priest has been filled since the organization to present date by 
Charles H. Putnam, W. H. Kent, Homer Dunn, C. Jacobs and C. B. Peck. 


was organized by charter, May 15, 1867, with W. A. Kent, eminent com- 
mander ; H. H. Wallace, generalissimo, and K. H. Morrison, captain-gen- 
eral. The position of commander has been filled since its organization by 
H. H. Wallace, R. H. Morrison, Lyman Nolton, W. G. Cummins, N. J. 
Packard, Z. H. Wallace and Edwin Kelley. The present membership num- 
bers eighty rank and file. The present officers are E. W. Kelly, E. C. ; W. 
W. Stone, Gen'o ; W. G. Cummins, C. G. ; Rev. Wellington Forgus, pre- 

late ; R. H. Morrison, recorder, and Ira F. Packard, treasurer. The cotn- 
mandery attended the triennial conclave of the grand encampment of 
Knights Templar of the United States, in 1874, held at New Orleans, with 
forty Sir Knights, under command of Dr. N. I. Packard, E. C. ; W. G. Cum- 
mins, Gen'o ; H. L. Anthony, C. G. The command was highly commended 
by the press of the city for its soldierly bearing and excellent drill. Many 
of the wives of the knights accompanied them. R. H. Morrison was with 
the grand commandery of Michigan as grand captain-general. 


was organized in 1866, with Mrs. Alexander, M.D., as first worthy president. 
Mrs. C. B. Peck, Mrs. E. W. Pendleton, Mrs. N. I. Packard, Mrs. E. Wil- 
letts, Mrs. D. H. Hawley, Mrs. Elizabeth Ayers, and Mrs. Thomas Hill have 
held the position, some of them two years, and the latter is holding the third 
term at present. H. L. Anthony is the present vice-president (1876), and 
Mrs. Vial is the secretary. The lodge has about forty members. 


was chartered in 185- On July 27, 1860, a new hall was dedicated by 

the Grand Master Dennis, Hon. Henry Waldron, member of Congress, 

being the orator for the occasion. The lodge was highly complimented in the 
grand master's address at the next session of the grand lodge, as one of the 
best working lodges in the State. Among its presiding officers (N. G.) may be 
named Kice Pearsoll, William Allman, Z. H. Wallace, L. S. Ensign, David 
Knox, K. H. Morrison and P. A. Hubbard. The present officers are E. F. 
Dunten, N. G. ; A. A. Wilbur, V. G. ; L. J. Twichell, treasurer, and Thad- 
deus P. Wait, secretary. There are fifty-seven members on the lodge-books, 
in good standing. One of its members, R. H. Morrison, has honored the 
lodge by holding the position as representative to the grand lodge of the 
United States from the grand lodge of Michigan, in 1870, and that of treas- 
urer of the latter body since that date to the present. 

SCHILLER LODGE, NO. 137, I. O. O. F., 

was instituted January 8, 1870, to work in the German language. Its present 
officers are John A. Dice, N. G. ; Thomas Collins, V. G. ; Alvah Hawley, 
secretary, and has twenty-five members on its roll. 


was instituted April 23, 1871. Its present officers are John A. Banker, C. 
P. ; John C. Merry, H. P. ; E. F. Dunten, S. W. ; A. A. Wilbur, scribe ; O. 
D. Colwell, J. W. ; L. J. Twichell, treasurer. There are twenty-seven mem- 
bers on the roll of encampment. 


Jacobs Lodge, No. 9, was instituted , and C. Jacobs holds the position 

of N. G., and Mrs. A. A. Wilbur that of V. G. There are about twenty-five 


Sturgis Grange, No. 332, was organized in the spring of 1874. Its present 
officers are J. W. Parker, master ; Isaac Runyan, overseer ; Robert Hamil- 
ton, secretary ; Mrs. Otho Moe, Ceres. There are one hundred and fifty mem- 
bers in the grange. 


Sturgis Lodge, No. 955, I. O. G. T., was organized in March, 1876, with 
James Elliott as W. C. T. ; H. O. Tuttle, W. V. T., and Ada Kent, secre- 
tary. The present officers are John C. Drake, W. C. T. ; J. B. Phillips, W. 
V. T. ; Miss Elma Adams, secretary. There are fifty-six members at present 
in the lodge. There have been other temperance organizations effected, but 
they have been ephemeral, although they were productive of some good 
while they were in operation. 


is an organization the second of its genus in the State, and which exists in 
no other State, Hillsdale and Sturgis monopolizing the order, which was 
founded in the former city. Its object is the elevation of women, and no 
man is allowed to enter the sacred precincts dedicated to his better, though 
later half, except as an honorary member. The Sturgis society was organ- 
ized October, 1867, Mrs. General Stoughton being its first mistress. Mrs. 
Ira F. Packard, Mrs. Thomas Hill, Mrs. C. B. Peck, Mrs. Mary Stowe and 
Mrs. John McKerlie have each filled the position for two years, the 
latter being the present incumbent. Mrs. Stowe, Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Robert 
Hamilton are officers of the society, which has forty-three members. 




was organized in 1871, with C. M. Temple as president and Mrs. General 
Stoughton as secretary, and secured lectures by "Nasby," Du Chaillu and 
Mrs. Livermore. The society has paid five hundred and fifty-five dollars 
for books, which circulate among its members, of whom there are at present 
eighty-six, the membership fee being one dollar per year. The association 
is organized under the statute, and its present officers are E. S. Amidore, 
president ; L. E. White, treasurer ; Br. P. H. VanVleck, secretary ; Laura 
Page, vice-president ; Mrs. S. Hirsh, librarian. 

A former society, called the " Eclectic Literary Association," was organ- 
ized in 1852, but did not get so far as a lecture-course ; but one formed in 
1867 accomplished that object, securing lectures from Wendell Phillips, 
Charles Sumner, Fred Douglass, Professor E. O. Haven and John G. Saxe. 

In 1846 a township library was established, and books bought by the 
school inspector, amounting to sixty-six dollars and seventy- four cents, were 
distributed among the several districts of the township, pro rata to the schol- 
ars therein. 

In this connection it is proper to say that Major C. C. Hood, who was an 
enthusiast in conch ology, gathered together a very fine cabinet of shells, 
minerals and fossils ; and when he removed, Dr. Cummins and Dr. N. I. 
Packard became the purchasers thereof, and have the same, well displayed, 
in their respective offices. 


for the improvement of horses, principally, was organized January 4, 1867, 
Luther Savery and Major C. C. Hood being the first president and secretary 
thereof. The association held four exhibitions, at which some good horses 
were entered and good time made. 

A sheep-shearing festival was held in June, 1868, and some fine equine 
specimens and their foals exhibited. The last meeting of the association was 
held June, 1870, and the society is now defunct. 


of twelve pieces, was organized in 1870. The present leader is R. Dye, and 
A. A. Wilbur is the director. The band performs very creditably, and pro- 
duces some fine music. During the campaign of 1876 they were called out 
several times, putting money in their treasury thereby, as well as gaining a 
good reputation. 


The first merchant on Sturgis prairie was a Mr. Clements, who brought a 
stock of dry-goods for sale as early as 1829. Edwin Kellogg, who came to 
White Pigeon in 1829, opened a store at Sturgis in 1830 or 1831 ; and E. 
S. Swan followed with another not long afterwards. 

J. G. Wait went into the mercantile business in 1842, and continued in it 
until 1857. Wasson & Greene were merchants in the village in 1839, and 
Major Ullmann kept a little stock, of wet-groceries principally, in 1832. 

C. B. Peck, at present in the dry-goods line, has been in trade in Sturgis 
since 1850. L. E. White, in the same line, has been in the trade since 1859, 
has a fine assorted stock, and is a heavy and successful dealer. 

J. C. Herbert has been in the trade since 1860, and has built from his 
profits the fine brick block he occupies, thirty by one hundred feet, three 
stories in height. There are over two hundred and twenty-five thousand 
dollars, by fair estimates, employed in the mercantile trade in Sturgis at the 
present date. 

The produce-buyers, James Thornton and Messrs. Sebring & Co., bought, 
from July 1 to December 1, 1876, one hundred and thirty thousand seven 
hundred and seventy-six bushels of grain, against one hundred and thirteen 
thousand two hundred and twenty bushels of the crop of 1875. The value 
of the amount they bought in 1876, at the average price the market has 
shown, figures up one hundred and thirty-five thousand three hundred and 
ninety-five dollars. The First National Bank of Sturgis paid out in one 
day five thousand five hundred dollars for wheat alone. Their average 
during the season of 1876 was five thousand dollars per day. 

One of the institutions without which the business men of Sturgis would 
be sorely troubled to conduct their extensive trade and manufacturing inter- 
ests, is 


which was organized in 1865 with a capital of one hundred thousand dol- 
lars, with the following board of directors : William Allman, S. P. Williams, 
Z. H. Wallace, Ira F. Packard, N. I. Packard, S. Burnell, Jonathan Holmes 
and J. J. Beck. The same board of directors are in office at the present 
time, Mr. Allman being the president ; S. P. Williams, of Lima, Indiana, 
vice-president, and Mr. Beck, cashier, which last position has been held by 

Mr. Beck since the first year of the organization of the bank. Mr. Allman, 
an old-time resident of Sturgis, and a man identified with every interest of 
the town in its inception or completion, in some way, financially or other- 
wise, has held the position of president for some years. 

The quarterly statement of the bank, dated October 2, 1875, makes the 
following exhibit : The capital stock paid in, surplus and undivided profits, 
amount to one hundred and thirty-one thousand six hundred and sixty-six 
dollars and sixty-seven cents ; its circulation outstanding amounts to forty- 
five thousand dollars ; its deposits, subject to draft or on time, were seventy- 
eight thousand three hundred and eight dollars and four cents ; its loans and 
discounts amounted to one hundred and twenty-three thousand two hundred 
and fifty dollars and seventy-three cents; United States bonds, to secure 
circulation, fifty thousand dollars. There were due the bank from other 
banks, agents, and the redemption fund in United States treasury, forty 
thousand two hundred and ninety-seven dollars and thirty-six cents. It 
owned real estate, furniture, etc., valued at eleven thousand nine hundred 
and six dollars and forty-nine cents, and had in its vaults in cash, princi- 
pally legal-tender notes, twenty-five thousand three hundred and sixty-one 
dollars and forty-eight cents. 


in the insurance and real-estate business, conduct a heavy foreign exchange 
business, in which the firm has been engaged since 1850. Mr. Morrison's 
father resides in London, and gives personal attention to business in that 
city, and elsewhere on the Continent, having business connections in all 
parts of the commercial world. 


of Sturgis, the successors of Clarke, Ullmann, Raymond and Backus, of the 
pioneer days, are 

The Elliott House, on the site of the old "Exchange," kept by the first 
two and last-named individuals, and by E. W. Pendleton later (or after 
1850), and in the charge of "Pap" Elliott when it was burned, January 1, 
1876. It was opened to the public on Christmas following the fire. It is a 
fine brick building, three stories in height, and will accommodate one hun- 
dred guests in first-class style and comfort. The hosts are E. W. Elliott & 

The Berridge House is a neat new structure near the Michigan Southern 
and Lake Shore depot, kept by P. W. Berridge, and will accommodate from 
forty to fifty guests comfortably. 

The Central Hotel and Dining Room, on the corner opposite the "Elliott," 
is kept by T. M. Sheriff, a most courteous and accommodating gentleman, 
who is ever actively engaged in looking after the comfort of his guests, of 
whom he can entertain some thirty or forty. 

The old Sturgis House, leased by Elliott & Sons, and occupied while 
they were building the "Elliott/' is now vacant. In front of this house, on 
the stone flagging which forms the sidewalk on either front, a tablet tells the 
passer-by that " Judge John Sturgis was the first settler on Sturgis prairie, 
in 1827." 


The first thing done in the manufacturing line on Sturgis prairie was 
blacksmithing, and that was confined principally to mending plows, 
sharpening their points and shares, and shoeing horses. 

The first blacksmith-shop was built by Philip H. Buck, and one Filkins 
was the first smith to work at the anvil. 

J. G. Wait began, really, the first manufacturing of any moment in the 
village, in the year 1835-6, at which time he employed five or six shoema- 
kers in the work of shoemaking. In 1837 he opened the first cabinet and 
furniture shop, employing in both lines fifteen men. He was largely engaged 
at the time, and later, in building, and in 1836 built the first barn ever 
erected on the prairie. 

Previous to 1840, William Morris built a large mill and distillery, which 
afterwards burned down. 

In 1843 Lester & Rolfe began blacksmithing, and the same business, with 
carriage and wagon-making added soon after, has been carried on to the 
present, under different names — Mr. Lester closing out his interest in the 
business the latter part of 1876. Other firms and establishments have 
grown out from this original shop, some of whom are still in business, and 
some are not. The present firm, who succeed to the original Lester, is Lester 
& Kinzie. 

C. Burroughs has been in the wagon-making line in Sturgis twenty-five 

In 1837 D. Page established the first foundry in Sturgis, and one of the 
first in the county, which was run, through various changes of name and 


Miss MillieMay Morrison 

Robert H.Morrison 

Mrs, Millie L . Morrison 

Miss Ann/kK. Morrison 

Res. or ROBERT H. MORRISON, Stuhgis, St, Joseph Co. f MtCH. 



firms, until now it is known as A. T. Drake & Co., and has been so known 
since 1870. Ten to twelve men are employed. 

The first steam-mill was built by Morris & Yesey, in 1847, on the present 
site of the Methodist Episcopal church. It was burned to the ground some 
years afterwards. 

The second mill was built by A. T. Drake & Co., in 1858, on the present 
site of Wallace's planing-mill, and was burned also about 1867. 

The present flouring-mill was built, in 1865-6, for a warehouse and eleva- 
tor, and in 1873 was fitted up for flouring wheat, and three run of stone put 
in, with a capacity of eighty barrels per day, besides custom work. Fisher 
<& Mulford are the owners of the property, and Alexander Beach lessee. 

The most perfect manufacturing establishment in Sturgis, and which, for 
equipment and convenience for handling the product in course of manufac- 
ture, as well as in the rough, is the 


of Z. H. Wallace. It was built by Mr. Wallace in 1869 ; is a frame 
building, with brick boiler-house detached, the main building being forty by 
one hundred feet, two stories, situated on the corner of Clay and Hatch 
streets. Twenty-five to forty men are employed. The latest-improved ma- 
chinery—for all kinds of work, from the rough-sawing to the polishing of 
the finished work — is employed, and every thing govs forward. The lumber 
comes in from the yard to the surfacer or saw, and never goes backward a 
foot, but is carried steadily forward until completed, when it is delivered on 
the opposite side of the building from where it entered. The amount of 
capital employed by Mr. Wallace in his business amounts to eighteen thou- 
sand dollars. Mr. Wallace has also been one of Sturgis' prominent merchants. 


was organized in 1873, with a capital of twenty thousand dollars, for the 
manufacture of furniture ; and while it was operating its works, until Sep- 
tember, 1876, from fifty to seventy-five men were employed. Its factory is 
a brick building, forty by one hundred and twenty feet, three stories, and 
equipped with the most complete and improved machinery that could be had. 

We give these two manufactories thus fully, to show the progress that 
has been made in the county since the first rude mills were made in 1830. 

Johnson, Packard & Austin (James Johnson and Frank S. Packard) are 
heavy lumber manufacturers and dealers, their wholesale and manufacturing 
yards being at Lockwood. They handle in Sturgis one and a half million 
feet of lumber and eight millions of shingles and laths. 

The Packard Drying Company operate F. S. Packard's patent dryer, for 
drying fruits and vegetables. The factory has a capacity of about two 
hundred bushels per day, and twenty persons are usually employed in the 


The Alden Drying Company have a finely-equipped factory for the pur- 
pose of fruit-drying by the Alden process, but it is unfortunately in the 
meshes of the law, and standing idle. 

Jones Brothers are manufacturers of Jones' patent portable and factory 
dryer ; they sold one of their machines at the Centennial to go to Australia. 

E. H. Funk, patentee and manufacturer of the champion churn, has a 
factory of two stories, forty by forty feet, operated by steam, in and about 
which business he employs thirty-five men, shipping seven hundred to eight 
hundred of his churns per month to all parts of the country. He has been 
engaged in the business eight years, and has built his trade up to the present 
status from a beginning of nothing but his "dash." 

The following is the 



Dry Goods and General Merchandise— L. E. White, C. B. Peck, D' 
Naylor, J. G. Seeb, Hirshfield & Dembuffsky, J. C. Herbert. 

Hardware — O. Shepardson, W. E. Rundell. 

Groceries and Crockery — Olmstead Brothers, S. Valentine, H. B. Champ- 
lin, J. Alexander, W. A. Wight, Lester & Merrick, A. W. Dice, L. J. 
Twichell, A. Rommel, A. V. Merrill (thirteen years). 

Produce and Live Stock — James Thornton, Sebring & Co. (of Kalama- 
zoo), Charles B. Buck, Buck & Stowe. 

Clothing and Furnishing Goods — Cahn & Somers, Hirsh & Frank. 

Boots and Shoes— S. D. Flowers, H. Ely, S. Homan. 

Books and Stationery — William Harrison, E. M. Roberts. 

Furniture and Undertakers— E. S. Barnes, A. S. Munger, M. H. Warren 


Musical Instruments— A. S. Munger, E. A. Jones. 

Jewelry and Watches — G. N. Fairbanks, George Harris. 

Drugs and Medicines — Henry L. Anthony, Frank Hibbard, Henry S. 
Church. Mr. Anthony has some very fine ornamental carving in black- 
walnut in bracket-work, in the form of wreaths and fruit — hand-work 
of a young artist in the town — displayed on his panels and medicine cases. 

Photographers — William Reiterman, eleven years in the business, and a 
first-class artist in all the departments of his business ; his studio is fitted-up 
with the latest improvements in the art, and he himself is an enthusiastic 
artist. Frank Barrow. 

Upholstery and Mattresses — Caldwell Brothers. 

Markets — George Rogers, Lewis Zent, A. C. Russell. 

Millinery and Ladies' Furnishing Goods — Mrs. Bennett, Mesdames Miller 
and Bagg. 

Livery — E. T. Parker, " Exchange Livery." 

Agricultural Implements — Sidener Brothers. 

Insurance and Real-Estate — R. H. Morrison & Co., A. F. Patch. 

Confectionery — C. A. Palmer. 

United States Express — Henry S. Church, agent. 


Sash, Doors and Blinds — Z. H. Wallace. 

Saw and Planing-mill — Jacobs & Sons. 

Flouring-mill — Alexander Beach. 

Churns— E. H. Funk. 

Wagons and Carriages — Lester & Kinzie, Lester Brothers, John Shep- 
herd, C. Burroughs, Thomas Collar. 

Fruit-dryers — Jones Brothers, Packard Dryer Company. 

Pumps — Merry & Kennedy, T. I. Booth. The former make windmills, 
and the latter a device of endless-chain buckets. 

Harness — William Lockwood, P. A. Smith, William McMichael. 

Marble-cutting and Stone-yards — Kane & Bath, Thomas M. Perrin. 

Cigars — B. Housinger, A. A. Wilbur. 

Brewery — John Wagner. 

Blacksmith — John Jones. The wagon-makers have shops for smith-work. 

Carriage-trimmer — George W. Beebe. 

There is a capital of about one hundred thousand dollars invested in the 
manufacturing business of Sturgis, which employs two hundred persons the 
greater part of the year. 

The business prosperity of the village may be gathered somewhat by the 
building of dwellings and other edifices in 1875 and 1876. In the 
former year seventy-five dwellings were erected, and all are now occupied, 
together with twenty-five additional ones put up in 1876. During the latter 
year there were also erected the new school-house, the Elliott House (and a 
block of several stores adjoining), all of which are now completed and occu- 
pied. There has been a steady, healthy growth of the village during the 
panic times, since 1873 — the railroad business, a pretty sure indicator, show- 
ing a regular increase in 1875 and 1876 over the previous years. 

A fiasco in the manufacturing line occurred in the history of the village a 
few years ago, which it may not be amiss to mention, lest posterity may 
think that the business road of Sturgis has been a " royal" one, covered with 
roses, and redolent with the bloom of continuous success. One Jean H. 
Broad us, an energetic, active man, came into the village and contracted for 
the fine farm of John S. Newhall, and erected a fine foundry on the railroad 
for the manufacture of a patent heat-multiplier. He laid off the farm into 
a handsome addition to the town ; advertised an auction sale of the lots, 
gave a barbecue, and with plenty of music and feasting the sale began, and 
amounted to nine thousand dollars the first day. He procured a charter for 
a street railroad from his works through the principal street of the town, 
the council granting permission for the laying of the tracks ; but just before 
his visions became realities, his airy castles, which in time might have be- 
come solid stone, brick and mortar, were dissipated by the sheriff, who had 
an unromantic attachment for Broadus and his iron, and the whole fabric 
faded away, except the very completely built and equipped foundry, which 
has never been soiled with a single blast. Broadus retired and began opera- 
tions elsewhere, and is said to have been more successful. Sturgis derived 
some benefit from the matter by being most extensively advertised. 


There have been several destructive fires in Sturgis since its beginning 
three of which, more noted than others, we mention. In 1859 a fire broke 
out which swept off all of the business portion of the village on the south 
side of Chicago street, from Nottawa to North street. 



In 1867, the Herbert block and Sturgis hotel were burned ; and January 
1, 1876, the Exchange hotel was destroyed. 


The village was first incorporated as Sturgis February 12, 1855, by act 
of the legislature. William K. Haynes was elected the first president, and 
William L. Stoughton the first recorder. 

The first code of ordinances was adopted by the common council — whose 
names we cannot obtain, the earliest records being destroyed in the fire of 1859. 
The code under which the village is at present governed was revised 
and adopted August 16, 1876, and is very complete and stringent for 
the protection of the morals of the people and the preservance of order, 
inflicting severe penalties for the breach and violation of the same. 

The general act of incorporation passed by the legislature, March 15 ? 
1865, was adopted by the council in April following ; and in March, 1875 ? 
the people voted to re-incorporate, under the general act of 1873, and are 
now so governed. 


On June 20, 1859, the council passed an order to buy a fire-engine, and 
one was accordingly bought, with a hose-cart and two hundred feet of hose ; 
and a fire-company organized, called the " Watchword Fire-Company," 
with William Hammond as foreman ; Daniel Flynn, first assistant ; Henry 
McAfee, secretary ; C. B. Peck, treasurer ; John P. Gilmer, company engi- 
neer, and forty-three other members. David Page was the second foreman. 

This machine is familiarly known as the " Old Tub," and has been under 
the ban of the council, they having ordered its sale several times, but not- 
withstanding it has done some effective " washings " of more modern en- 
gines at firemen's tournaments in different parts of the State. The last order 
concerning it was to put it in order for emergencies, and the " Old Tub " is 
still officered and manned by the " Deluge Fire-Company," Charles Fair- 
banks foreman, and forty men. 

In 1863, December 14, Extinguisher Fire-Engine No. 2, with hose-cart 
and hose, was purchased for three hundred and fifty dollars, and soon after- 
wards additional hose to the amount of one hundred and thirty-seven dollars 
was purchased. 

In 1864 the council bought a site for an engine-house and erected the 
present firemen's hall, at an expense of seventeen hundred dollars, Wil- 
liam Allman and W. A. Kent being the building committee. 

In 1865 the fire-company was re-organized and uniformed at the expense 
of the corporation. 

In 1873 the council dug the public well and built the water-tank at a cost 
of seven hundred dollars ; and the next year enlarged the tank to eighteen feet 
diameter and twelve feet high and twelve feet from the ground, at a cost of 
four hundred and ninety-six dollars. The Extinguisher Fire-Company has 
forty men ; A. A. Wilbur, foreman. 

The receipts into the corporation treasury in 1857 amounted to three 
hundred and fifty-nine dollars and sixty-four cents ; in 1866, they were two 
thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight dollars ; in 1876, three thousand 
four hundred and seventy-eight dollars. The expenses of the year ending 
March 1, 1876, were as follows : fire department, seven hundred and twenty- 
seven dollars and eighteen cents ; streets, one thousand and thirty-one dollars 
and eighteen cents ; old indebtedness, seven hundred and fifty-one dollars 
and thirty-two cents ; salaries, four hundred and seventy-six dollars and 
twenty cents ; miscellaneous, two hundred and sixty-four dollars. 


Presidents— Hiram Jacobs, 1859; P. H. Buck, 1860-2; S. B. Follette, 
1865-7 ; L. E. White, 1868-76. 

Recorders— Edward Dawes, 1859 ; Henry McAfee, 1860-2 ; Ira F. Pack- 
ard, 1863-5 ; William McLaughlin, 1866-7 ; Bracey Tobey, 1868 ; J. B. 
Foley, 1869; M. D. Kirk, 1870; S. B. Follette, 1871 ; M. R. Lester, 1872; 
Ed. S. Amidon, 1873-4 ; H. L. Anthony, 1875-6. 

Treasurers— C. B. Peck, 1859; Z. H. Wallace, 1860-1 ; E. Dawes, 1862; 
William Allman, 1863-4 ; Joel A. Fox, 1865-7 ; J. J. Beck, 1868-76. 

Marshals— Samuel Valentine, 1864; William L. Race, 1865; Joseph T. 
Graham, 1866; S. S. Phelps, 1867; J. S. Swan, 1868; James Sprague, 
1869-74; Horace Hinkley, 1875-6. 


Levant E. White, president ; trustees, Ambrose M. Littlefield, John G. 
Seeb, T. Franklin Thornton, Marcus D. Kirk, Frank S. Packard, R. H. 
Morrison; J. J. Beck, treasurer; Harry L. Anthony, clerk; C. Jacobs, 
street commissioner ; Horace Hinkley, marshal ; Samuel B. Follette, as- 
sessor; chief engineer, William McLaughlin; fire wardens, Thomas Keats, 
John Wallace, James Kennedy, Daniel Burger; pound-master, David Fitch. 


containing twelve acres, and lying just south of the village, on the southwest 
corner of the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section twelve, 
is a beautiful and eligible location, bought by the board of health of the 
township of Sturgis in 1867, which board proceeded to lay it out and order 
a sale of the lots the same year. One-half of the receipts from the sales were 
invested in a vault, and for the grading and adornment of the grounds, and 
the other half of the receipts were invested, and the interest accumulated 
thereon to be expended in the future adornment of the naturally beautiful 
place. The present building was put up in 1876. The ornamentation is 
principally private work, though the grading is all done by the board of 
health. The selection of the location, and the evident care bestowed upon its 
preparation and preservation, reflect great credit upon the board, which 
cannot fail to be appreciated by the people and all who visit the beautiful 
city of the dead so liberally provided from the public purse. There are 
some beautiful and elegant monuments and marbles in the grounds, among 
which the massive Scotch granite shaft placed on Judge Sturgis' lot first at- 
tracts the attention, and detains the passer-by. 

Jacob Laurick has erected a most beautiful fluted and draped column ta 
the memory of an only daughter, a most lovely girl. The McKerlie, White, 
Anthony, Pendleton and Wallace marbles are elegant and massive. 

The Soldiers' Cemetery occupies a little rounded summit to the south of 
the main grounds, and is decorated with a flag-staff, with a howitzer (the 
gift of the State in 1875) mounted at the base of the staff. Four soldiers are 
there buried, and on decoration-day services are usually held there. 


The patriotism of Sturgis prairie was severely tested in 1832, when the 
messengers from Fort Dearborn brought the news of Black Hawk's advance 
on the outlying settlements in Illinois, and their appeal for help to stay the 
anticipated tide of devastation was not unheeded by the hardy pioneer of the 
infant settlement, itself in the midst of what they might well deem, under 
the circumstance, implacable and blood-thirsty foes ; and though the very 
next messenger which arrived from General Atkinson brought news of the 
capture of the leader of the hostile array, yet it did not militate against the 
feelings inspired in the breasts of the settler of giving aid to their distressed 
brethren in the west, as well as protection for their firesides. 

An independent rifle-company was raised and sent to White Pigeon, and 
thence to Niles, and a few of the Sturgis men went to Door prairie. They 
were a jolly lot, and had, as Hiram Jacobs, who was one of the volunteers, 
says, " a big time." Besides Mr. Jacobs there were Asa W. Miller, P. H. 
Buck, Captain Hunter, who commanded the company, John Parker, Moses 
Roberts, Edward Mortimore, Baumgartner, and several others, who volun- 
teered to serve out a sixteen days' campaign, making their principal raid on 
the commissary supplies, there being no other enemy on whom to forage. 

The records of the township in the war of the rebellion is a glorious one, 
not only for the numbers of its citizens who volunteered in the defense of the 
old flag, but for the distinguished part they held in upholding the integrity 
of the Union, and making it in deed and in truth the " land of the free" as it 
has ever been " the home of the brave." 

The following are the names of those citizens, as far as we have been able- 
to designate them from the records and by the memories of the citizens of 
the town. If any names do not appear in this list, they may possibly be 
found in the other township lists, as it was impossible that some errors should 
not occur with the means we had by which to locate them by township. 


Company C. 

Captain Abraham R. Wood ; shot on picket near Yorktown, April 18, 

First Lieutenant Ebenezer French ; wounded at Gettysburg ; promoted to 
captain September 1, 1862, and mustered out at end of service. 

Sergeant Gordon Bates ; discharged for disability. 

Sergeant John McAfee ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private George A. Chandler ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private David F. Dudley ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Nelson Field ; discharged for disability, June 1, 1861. 

Private Fayette Howk ; discharged for disability. 

Private Joseph Thompkins ; discharged for disability. 

Private Thomas B. Whittlesy ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Sergeant James W. Vesey ; second-lieutenant, November 1862 ; died of 
wounds near Richmond, June 30, 1864. 




Company K. 

Private Orson D. Lampson ; killed at Cold Harbor, Va., May 31, 1864. 

Musician James M. Vesey ; re-enlisted and mustered-out at end of war. 

Private Cornelius Bixby ; killed at Antietam. 

Private Alonzo Chambers ; discharged for disability. 

Private Thomas Crampton ; re-enlisted ; sergeant, January 1, 1863 ; first 
sergeant, September 1, 1864 ; wounded at Petersburg, June 18 and October 
13, 1864; second lieutenant, and mustered-out at end of war. 

Private John B. Denny; transferred veteran reserve corps and mus- 

Private John A. Hooker ; wounded ; discharged November, 1862. 

Private George Pedler; re-enlisted and mustered-out at end of war. 

Private Oscar Wilson ; discharged for disability, 1862. 


Colonel William L. Stoughton ; lost a leg before Atlanta ; entered service 
as lieutenant-colonel, and promoted to brigadier-general on the field and 
mustered out. 

Major Benjamin F. Doughty ; resigned August, 1862. 
Assistant-Surgeon N". I. Packard ; mustered out with regiment. 
Quartermaster A. T. Drake ; mustered out with regiment. 

Company A. 
Second Lieutenant Aaron B. Sturgis ; resigned. 
Private John D. Billings ; discharged for disability. 

Company C. 
Captain Calvin C. Hood ; resigned. 

First Lieutenant Matthias M. Faulkner ; promoted to captain and resigned. 
Sergeant Charles W. Bishop ; died of typhoid fever, January 30, 1862. 
Sergeant Enos M. Twichell ; discharged at expiration of service. 
Sergeant Nelson B. Engle ; discharged at expiration of service. 
Corporal Jasper D. Ladow ; discharged for disability. 
Corporal Courtland W. Doughty ; discharged for disability. 
Private Ira M. B. Gillaspie ; discharged at expiration of service. 
Private Enoch I. Gillaspie; deserted at Bardstown, Ky., December 26, 

Private Martin V. Gillaspie ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Charles Leonard ; died at Sturgis. 

Private Henry V. Kussell ; discharged. 

Private Matthew H. Warren ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private John C. Drake ; mustered out at end of war. 

Private Ezrom J. Weigle ; mustered out at end of war. 

Company E. 
Private Henry J. Booth ; mustered out at end of war. 
Private Perry Sprague ; mustered out at end of war. 
Private George H. Schimps ; mustered out at end of war. 
Private John K. Tyler ; mustered out at end of war. 
Private Frank H. Church ; mustered out at end of war. 

Company F. 
Private Sidney A. Munger ; mustered out at end of war. 

Company G. 
Private James Curns ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Company I. 

Second Lieutenant Henry S. Piatt ; promoted to first lieutenant and mus- 


Company F. 
Private Daniel J. Tompkins ; drowned in Arkansas river, at Little Kock. 


Company B. 
Captain William McLaughlin ; resigned. 


Company K. 
Private George Rommel; mustered out at end of war. 


Company A. 
Private Martin Stuckman ; mustered out at end of war. 
Private George Stuckman ; mustered out at end of war. 
Private Peter Nash ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Company D. 
Peter Dyer ; mustered out at end of war. 
William Poppins ; mustered out at end of war. 

Company E. 

Captain John J. Baker; major, June 27, 1864; lieutenant-colonel, Octo- 
ber 28, 1864 ; wounded at Lookout Mountain, and discharged. 

First Lieutenant David J. Easton ; captain, May 2, 1864 ; major and mus- 

Second Lieutenant John F. Clarke ; first lieutenant, May 1, 1863 ; captain 
and mustered-out. 

Sergeant Edmund S. Amidon ; discharged for disability. 

Sergeant John J. Coblentz ; second lieutenant and resigned. 

Sergeant William J. Smith ; killed at Resaca, Ga., May 14, 1864. 

Sergeant Wesley Locke ; second lieutenant and mustered out. 

Sergeant Andrew J. Lamb ; mustered-out. 

Corporal C. B. Rodabaugh ; mustered-out. 

Corporal George Dawes ; died at Annapolis, April 20, 1863. 

Corporal John H. Popino ; mustered-out. 

Corporal Isaac B. Turner ; mustered-out. 

Musician John W. Howk ; mustered-out. 

Wagoner John C. Davis ; mustered-out. 

Private William H. Allen ; discharged. 

Private Thomas Adams ; mustered-out. 

Private Lyman S. Allen ; discharged. 

Private Alonzo I. Bacon ; killed at Thompson's station, Tenn., March 5, 

Private Thomas W. Barr ; killed at Resaca, Ga., May 14, 1864. 

Private Pulaski C. Crapo ; mustered-out. 

Private William A. Culver ; mustered-out. 

Private George C. Cole; wounded at Thompson's station, Tenn., March 5, 
1863, and discharged. * 

Private Clinton S. Compton ; mustered-out. 
Private George H. Chandler ; discharged, disabled. 
Private William H. Ashley; died at Annapolis, April 11, 1863. 
Private Frederick Doss ; veteran reserve corps and mustered-out. 
Private Robert Fox ; discharged. 
Private Charles B. Ford ; mustered-out. 

Private DeWitt C. Greenman ; killed at Thompson's station, Tenn., March 
5, 1863. 

Private Elon C. Greenman ; mustered-out. 

Private Charles S. Harper ; mustered-out 

Private Franklin Hause ; mustered-out. 

Private Henry D. Lester ; mustered-out. 

Private Valentine Musteck ; died at Nashville, February 25, 1863. 

Private Charles B. McAboy; deserted at Dowagiac. 

Private Daniel H. Morrison ; mustered-out. 

Private Aaron D. McConnell; wounded and discharged. 

Private Franklin G. Rice ; mustered-out. 

Private Edmund S. Smith ; discharged. 

Private Charles E. Stowe; mustered-out. 

Private Thomas A. Shirtz; wounded in hand; mustered-out. 

Private Daniel Thurston ; mustered-out. 

Private John Walker; died at Annapolis, May 8, 1863. 

Private William G. Mugg; died of wounds, May 30, 1864. 

Private John W. Anderson ; died at McMinnville. 

Private John Thurston ; transferred to 10th regiment, and mustered-out. 

Private Elial J. Mugg ; mustered-out. 

Private Hamilton A. Coe; mustered-out. 

Private John R. Miller; mustered-out. 

Private Oliver P. Hanks; mustered-out. 

Private Delos Lake; mustered-out. 

Private Henry H. Pullman ; mustered-out. 

Private Ephraim Warner; mustered-out. 

Private James Hoffstader; died at Annapolis, April 24, 1863. 


Company G. 
Private Byron Greenman ; mustered-out. 


Company E. 
Private Albert Allen ; discharged at expiration of service. 




Private Romaine Emmons ; mustered-out. 


Company A. 
Private Harrison Hutchinson ; mustered-out. 
Private Jacob A. Martin ; mustered-out. 
Private Charles E. Rogers ; mustered-out. 
Private Chauncey Rogers; mustered-out. 

Company H. 
Private George Kline ; mustered-out. 


Battery D. 
Corporal Silas W. Allen ; discharged at expiration of service. 
Private Charles A. Bates ; mustered-out. 

Private Asahel B. Hill ; mustered-out. 
Private James D. Ridge; mustered-out. 

Battery G. 
Private John Allen ; mustered-out. 
Private Eugene S. Munger; mustered-out. 


Private A. Dart ; mustered-out. 

Private William Savery ; mustered-out. 

The publishers are pleased to acknowledge their obligations for informa- 
tion given whereby the foregoing history of Sturgis has been compiled, to 
Hon. J. G. Wait and his estimable wife, Mrs. Judge Sturgis, John S. New- 
hall, Hiram Jacobs, George Thurston, Dr. Ira F. Packard, Levant E. 
White, J. W. Flanders, Esq., E. W. Pendleton, Z. H. Wallace, R. H. Mor- 
rison, H. L. Anthony, Dr. W. G. Cummins, Hon. William Allman and Dr. 
T. Franklin Thornton. 







Jonathan G. Wait was born in the town of York, Livingston county, New 
York, November 11, 1811. His parents, Josiah and Martha Ann (Graham) 
Wait, were natives of the town of Alstead, State of New Hampshire, but in 
early life moved to the town of Ovid, New York, aud from thence to York, 
before named, and thence to Perry, Lake county, Ohio. The family name 
has been variously spelled at different periods, as follows : Waite, Wayte, 
Wayght, Waight, Wait, Waitt, Wate, Weight and Waiet. It has been 
traced back as far as a.d. 1075. William the Conqueror gave the earl- 
dom, city and castle of Norwich in England, to Eolf De Waiet, son of Rolf, 
an Englishman by a Welsh woman, who married Emma, sister to Koger, 
earl of Hereford, cousin of the conqueror. Records show that Wayte, of 
county Warwick, a.d. 1315, was escheator of the counties of Wilts, Oxford, 
Berkshire, Bedford and Bucks. Thomas Wayte was a member of parlia- 
ment, and one of the judges who signed a warrant in 1649 for the execution 
of King Charles the First. Their descendants, Richard, John and Thomas, 
were among the earliest settlers of New England. Thomas Wait was the 
father of Josiah Wait, the father of Jonathan G. Wait, the subject of our 
sketch. Josiah Waite, the father of Jonathan G. Wait, was a farmer, and 

the son was instructed in that business until the age of fourteen years, at 
which time the family removed to Lake county, Ohio. At the age of sev- 
enteen Jonathan G. Wait commenced teaching district schools, which occu- 
pation, for portions of the time, he followed for several years. In the fall 
of 1834 Mr. Wait left Ohio for the State or Territory of Michigan, traveling 
through the southern part of the same, and as far west as Laporte, Indiana, 
and thence returned to Ohio, and in the spring of 1835 removed to St. Jo- 
seph county, Michigan, and made a permanent location on Sturgis prairie, 
in what was then known as the village of Sherman, but now is the city of 
Sturgis. Here he has remained to the present time. For two win- 
ters, succeeding his first location on the prairie, he taught the village 
school in the old log school-house that was first erected in the place for that 

In the year 1836 he began to build in the village, and that season 
erected four dwelling-houses. He also began the manufacture of boots and 
shoes, and cabinet and chair-making, employing from ten to fifteen men, the 
work being all done by hand. In 1841 Mr. Wait commenced business in 
the mercantile line, and was engaged therein fifteen years, and was also 



engaged in the manufacture and sale of lumber in Bronson, Branch county, 
where he owned and operated two saw-mills during the same period. In 
1849 and 1850 he was the agent of the Michigan Southern Eailroad Com- 
pany, to procure the right of way and otherwise aid in the construction of 
the road. He also had heavy contracts on the road for building depots and 
fences, culverts and bridges, and furnishing ties. He built all of the build- 
ings from Bronson to Sturgis on the road, furnished the ties from the former 
place to White Pigeon, and fenced the road the same distance. In the fall 
of 1850 he was elected to the legislature of Michigan as a Whig, during 
Governor Barry's administration. Hon. T. W. Ferry, now United States 
senator, was a member of the house that same session, and Hon. I. P. Chris- 
tiancy, also United States senator, was in the senate. At this session occur- 
red the greatest and last struggle between the Michigan Central and Mich- 
igan Southern railroads, in which the Southern came off victorious. 

In 1857 Mr. Wait assisted to organize the Grand Rapids and Indiana 
Railroad Company, and was elected a director thereof, which position he has 
held continuously to the present. During this year he graded and bridged 
twelve miles of the road between Sturgis and La Grange. In 1860 he was 
elected to the State senate, and re-elected for two succeeding terms — six 
years consecutively. During this time he had charge in the senate of the 
bills providing for an extension of time limited for the construction of the 
Grand Rapids and Indiana road, by which the land-grant was to be saved 
to the road, the bills being successfully passed through both houses, and be- 
coming laws. This action was the foundation of the final success of the 
road, as, if the land-grant had lapsed, the road would never have been built. 
Mr. Wait was for several years engaged in the location and construction of 
the road, and was amply rewarded by meeting with full success. 

In all things pertaining to the prosperity of Sturgis, Mr. Wait has ever 
taken and still does take the liveliest interest, and is among the foremost to 
secure advantages for the town that seem to prophesy or promise well for 
its advancement in material wealth, or social improvement, or educational 
progress. In the early days of his residence in the township, then called 
Sherman, and including Sherman, Burr Oak, Fawn River and Sturgis, he 
was the town clerk, supervisor, and justice of the peace for several years. 

In politics he is a staunch and uncompromising Republican, being elected 
to the house of representatives of Michigan in 1850 as a Whig, and to the 
senate in 1860, 1862 and 1864 as a Republican. In 1860 he commenced 
the publication of the Sturgis Journal, -a radical Republican paper, in which 
he discussed the political issues of the day with marked ability and vigor. 
He continued to edit and publish the Journal for fourteen years, when he 
disposed of it to his son, who succeeded to the editorial tripod for a time. 
In 1872, as an acknowledgment of the faithful service rendered by the 
Journal to the Republican cause, Mr. Wait received the appointment of 
postmaster of Sturgis, which position he holds at the present time. 

On the 20th day of October, 1839, Mr. Wait was united in marriage to 
Miss Susan S. Buck, a daughter of George Buck, of Erie county, New 
York, and the second family to settle on Sturgis prairie in 1828. Mrs. 
Wait was born in Erie county, New York, June 8, 1821, and removed with 
her father and his family to Michigan, as before stated, where she has ever 
since resided. Twelve children have gathered around the family hearth- 
stone of Mr. and Mrs. Wait — nine sons and three daughters, of whom five 
sons remain, the others having passed, beyond this present state of existence. 
One son, Arthur, is the agent of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad at 





Among the citizens of Sturgis, none have a more creditable position in its 
society than has Dr. Ira Fobes Packard. By his own endeavors and integ- 
rity he has made himself a place among his fellows, honorable to himself 
and the community in which he lives. He comes, too, of a sterling ances- 
try, who have made a record for themselves upon which their descendants 
may reflect with just and commendable pride. His grandfather, Elijah 
Packard, was a native of England, where he followed the profession of a 
dissenting clergyman, provoking thereby such fierce persecution from the 
State church authorities, that he was forced to flee to America, and leave a 
fine estate, which was confiscated to the British crown. On his arrival in 
America in the earlier part of the eighteenth century, he adopted the busi- 
ness of a civil engineer, and entered the service of the Bristol Company of 
the Massachusetts colony, for whom he surveyed large tracts of the country, 
receiving, in 1765, as part payment for his labors, a fine tract of land cover- 

ing the site of a manufacturing city on the Kennebec, in the State of Maine. 
While engaged in the survey of the Company's possessions within the present 
limits of the State of Maine, he was murdered and robbed. 

He was the father of seven children, of whom Benjamin Packard, 
the father of Dr. Ira F. Packard, was the youngest son, and who was 
born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, June 7, 1760. At the age of fifteen 
years, Benjamin rallied with the minute-men of the colony to the defense 
of Lexington, and behind the stone walls, hedges and fences that lined 
the road, hung upon the retreating red-coats, pouring into their dis- 
ordered ranks charge after charge of buck-shot, from the tube of an old 
"queen's arm" he carried. At the end of that bloody day he entered the 
ranks of the colonial army, and never returned to his home until after the 
long and sanguinary war was gloriously ended for the colonies, by thir Sur- 
render of Cornwallis, at Yorktown, and the Republic was born. He was at 



Bunker Hill, and in most of the important battles of the Revolution. He 
received four wounds, but fortunately none of ^iem were very serious. He 
was promoted to a lieutenancy for gallantry and meritorious action on the 
field. He was married in 1784, to Mehitable Fobes, of Bridgewater, Massa- 
chusetts, and removed from thence to Royal ton, Vermont, where he died 
September 19, 1823. Like his fathers before him, his family also consisted 
of seven children, of whom Dr. Ira F. Packard was also the youngest son, 
and who was born on the forty-eighth anniversary of his father's birthday, 
June 7, 1808, in Royalton, Vermont, where the son went to school for nine 
years, until he was fifteen years of age, when, the father dying, the lad was 
thrown upon his own resources for his maintenance and education. In 1824, 
Ira went to Boston and entered the service of Kittredge & Wyman, as a 
clerk in their mercantile establishment, where he remained until the follow- 
ing winter, when he returned to Vermont to attend school. The next year 
he shipped for a whaling voyage, sailing from Newburyport, in the ship 
"Alexander," September, 1826, which voyage was completed successfully 
by filling the ship with oil and bone, and returning safely to port in July 
following. He made several other shorter voyages, bringing up at last in 
Philadelphia, in the fall of 1828, when he engaged to assist in drifting coal 
for Adam Burr, in Potts ville, the work being managed by a nephew — 
George Burr. In February, 1829, he went to Pike, Allegheny county, New 
York, where his brother Benjamin resided, and from thence to Yorkshire, 
Catasauqua county, in the same State, where he engaged in the mercantile 
business ; but the same not proving successful, he closed it out and removed 
to Erie, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 1832, and began the business of a 
merchant again in the grocery and provision line; but disappointment 
again overtook him. The cholera broke out that summer, and all business 
was temporarily suspended, and he therefore sold out his interests in Erie, 
and returned to Yorkshire and engaged as a clerk for Messrs. A. & W. 
Hibbard, merchants. In the spring qf 1836, he commenced the study of 
medicine and surgery with Dr. Bela H. Colegrove, of Sardinia, Erie county, 
New York, and continued his readings for three years, attending lectures at 
the Western College of Physicians and Surgeons at Fairfield, Herkimer 
county, New York. In 1839 he made a tour in the west, seeking a location 
to settle for the practice of his profession, and selecting Sturgis prairie, in 
the then village of Sherman, returned and brought his family to his new 
home in St. Joseph county, Michigan, in the fall of the same year, where 
he has ever since resided. He was elected to the honorary degree of doctor 
of medicine in the Western College of Physicians and Surgeons, of Laporte, 
Indiana, a short time after he took up his residence in the county. He fol- 
lowed his profession until the spring of 1850, when his health failed, and he 
made a tour to California, returning the spring following, since which time 
he has not practiced except in emergencies. 

On the 27th day of April, 1829, he was united in marriage to Miss Emily 
M., a daughter of Colonel Araunah Hibbard, a lieutenant in the war of 1812, 

who was at Lundy's Lane with General Scott, and was severely wounded at 
Queenstown Heights. Colonel Hibbard was one of the earliest settlers on 
the Holland purchase, in the vicinity of the present site of Clarence, Niagara 
county, New York, where Emily was born April 23, 1811. She is said to have 
been the first white female born in that township, when it was a wilderness, 
with neighbors no nearer than three miles, and but very few at that. She 
was the daughter of a pioneer, and fitted for the trials and deprivations of the 
pioneer-life to which she succeeded in Michigan. 

Dr. and Mrs. Packard have never lost a member of their family by death, 
though three sons and two daughters have gone out from their fireside to 
make firesides of their own, around which now cluster the fifth generation 
since the stout old dissenter sacrificed his property and fled from his native 
land, rather than relinquish his faith and his right to proclaim it. These 
sons and daughters are Dr. Nelson I. Packard, who succeeded to his father's 
extensive practice in 1850, and still pursues it; Homer H., who now resides 
in Ashland, Nebraska ; Emily N., now the wife of Henry S. Church, of 
Sturgis ; Franklin S., a member of the firm of Johnson, Packard & Co., 
heavy lumber dealers of Sturgis, and formerly a member 1 of the legislature 
from St. Joseph county ; and Lueina M., now Mrs. Thomas J. Acheson, of 
Emporia, Kansas. 

Dr. Packard was for many years connected with the official relations of 
schools in Sherman, and afterwards Sturgis village, and has been a firm and 
zealous advocate for the maintenance and support of the public schools and 
their advancement to the highest grade of excellence possible. In public 
improvements and expenditures for the common good of all her citizens, 
Sturgis has had no wiser head or more liberal hand than his. Prudent and 
well regulated in his habits, his example has been such as to bring him the 
esteem of his fellow-citizens, and the regard of all who have the pleasure of 
his acquaintance, and the Packard homestead is a place at which every 
comer is made welcome by its master and mistress, with an unstinted 

Dr. Packard was originally a Whig in politics, and cordially embraced the 
principles of the Republican party at its organization, and has been an 
active supporter of its general policy up to the present time. In religious 
sentiment Dr. and Mrs. Packard are liberal, broad and catholic, and while 
holding to their own convictions, accord the same liberty to others without 
comment or reflection ; and at an age when the silver which crowns their 
heads admonishes them of the inevitable change that must ere many years 
come to them, are serenely awaiting the summons, with naught of fear or 
dread to becloud or dim the vision of the future that slowly unfolds before 

Dr. Packard was one of the original members of Sturgis Prairie Lodge, I. 
O. O. F., and erected the hall of the same. He is also a member of the 
Masonic bodies in Sturgis, from the blue lodge to the commandery of Knights 


This- gentleman was born in Livingston county, New York, December 28, 
1817. His parents were in moderate circumstances, and having a family of, 
ten children, it was necessary that the sons should commence at an early age 
to contribute to the support of the family ; hence the advantages of education 
were poor. The subject of our sketch bought his time of his father by giving 
him all he earned, except enough to buy his every-day clothes. In 1836 he 
had a chance of emigrating to Michigan, which he embraced, coming with a 
man by the name of Abel Crossman, who agreed to give him fourteen dollars 
a month for a year, paying him in advance, out of which he bought of his 
father the balance of the time remaining before his majority. He arrived 
in Michigan, and purchased eighty acres of land. He fulfilled his contract 
with Mr. Grossman, and then went to work on his own land. 

He had no experience and no education, procuring what knowledge he 
now possesses after his marriage. His capital was his health, his industry 
and his ambition. He was industrious and temperate, having been brought 
up to work, and having joined the Washington ian society when but twelve 
years of age. These characteristics were just what were required in a new 
country, and by their practical application his success was insured. He first 
settled on section twenty-four in Sherman township, St. Joseph county, Mich- 
igan, and afterwards, in 1846, removed to his present home on section four- 
teen, in Sturgis township. 

On the 3d of April, 1842, he married Sarah Parker, a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, by whom he had six children, namely : 

Henrietta E., born April 26, 1844. 

Albert K, born June 23, 1846 ; died March 28, 1848. 

William E., born May 12, 1848. 

Ellen R., born August 22, 1850. 

Clayton J., born January 19, 1854. 

Carrie A., born December 24, 1855. 

Mr. Harris has always devoted his attention to agriculture, and is generally 
considered a sound, practical farmer. In politics he is a Republican. In 
religious sentiment he is liberal, never having affiliated with any particular 
religious denomination. He adheres to the grand principle of human justice, 
unbiassed by religious prejudice and unharassed by dogmatic theology. In 
his every-day life he is actuated by strict integrity, has comported himself 
with rectitude, has been an affectionate husband, a fond parent, a good neigh- 
bor and a firm friend, — in manners genial and courteous, in disposition 
affable and kind, and in public career an honest and upright citizen. Hav- 
ing thus lived, a retrospection of his past has no conscientious defects, and 
his future no disagreeable apprehensions. 

John ff. tfAqfjf*. 

M^s. John f(- pA^ffia. 



Sturg/s Tk, ST Joseph Ca, Mich. 



Among the self-made men of St. Joseph county, Talcott C. Carpenter, 
one of the foremost members of the St. Joseph bar, stands eminently. 
Thrown upon his own unaided efforts at the early age of seventeen years, 
he gained an education at the common-schools of the county and the Uni- 
versity at Ann Arbor, undergoing the severest privations in order to fit him- 
self for his profession without incurring pecuniary obligations to any person, 
asking and receiving no assistance from a single individual, and paying his 
way by the labor of his own hands, performed after the hours of the day 
devoted to study had passed by. Such self-denial and determination have 
been amply rewarded in the success which has followed Mr. Carpenter thus 
far in his honorable career. He was born in Delhi, Delaware county, New 
York, February 19, 1835. His parents, Younglove C. and Khoda (Sabin) 
Carpenter, were natives of Connecticut and Massachusetts respectively, and 
with them he migrated to Mendon, St. Joseph county, when but tw T o years 
of age. Here, on a farm, in the log-house of the pioneer, the boy lived until 
the father died in 1852. The hardships endured by the family can scarcely 
be appreciated by the present rising generation, but a slight idea may be 
gained of them when it is stated that until the subject of our sketch had 
attained the age of fourteen years he had never enjoyed the luxury of a 
pair of shoes for his feet, but had worn cloth moccasins made by his mother. 
The cabin, like others in those days, scarcely kept out the snow, which 
sifted in under the shakes, upon the beds and over the floor, through which 
the children, of whom there were seven, — five girls and two boys, — left their 
tracks when they rose in the winter mornings, and went to the big fire-place 
to perform their toilets. 

Upon the death of the father, Talcott told his brother that if he would 
stay on the farm and take care of the family, he (Talcott) would give him 
his (Talcott's) interest in the estate, and, upon arrival at his majority, 
Talcott quitclaimed his interest accordingly. From that date (1852) 
onward, the boy took up the thread of life for himself. He attended the dis- 
trict school at Centreville for two terms, and was also two terms at the nor- 
mal school at Ypsilanti, after which he spent two years at the Michigan 
University at Ann Arbor, in the literary department, supporting himself by 
sawing wood after school-hours, cutting and splitting one hundred cords of 
the same during his stay in Ann Arbor. His needs were so pressing and his 
determination so great to finish his two years' course with honor, that he lived 
for four months on nineteen cents per week, and when he arrived at Kala- 
mazoo at the end of his term, he had but a quarter of a dollar in his pocket, 

and a journey to Three Rivers before him. But a friend, who heard the 
young man's story, furnished him a breakfast and paid his fare to the latter 
place. He then went to Fulton county, Illinois, where he taught school for 
three years, accumulating during the time eight hundred dollars in gold. 
In the fall of 1860 Mr. Carpenter entered the law department of the Michi- 
gan University, where he remained for the fall and winter terms, and was 
admitted to the bar of St. Joseph county in the spring of 1861, entering 
the law-office of Henry Severns, of Three Rivers (now of Kalamazoo), where 
he remained until August of that year, and then removed to Sturgis, where 
he entered the law-office of Hon. William L. Stoughton, and, upon that gen- 
tleman's entering the army, succeeded to his practice, and has ever since 
been located there. 

Mr. Carpenter has an extensive and lucrative practice, which he conducts 
with success to himself and his clients. He is courteous and affable, and 
the amenities of the legal profession suffer no diminution at his hands, or by 
his manner. In the fall of 1862 he was elected to the position of circuit 
court commissioner of St. Joseph county, which position he held for six 
years. In 1868 he was chosen , prosecuting attorney for the county, and 
held the office four years. In politics he is a Republican. 

On the 3d of January, 1863, he was united in marriage with Miss Helen 
M. Whitney, a daughter of Nathan B. Whitney, of Fulton county, Illinois, 
but a native of Massachusetts. Three children have blessed this union,— 
John H., Eila L. and Carrie L., all now living with their parents in the 
beautiful and cozy cottage erected by Mr. Carpenter, in Sturgis. 

The mother of Mr. Carpenter died at his residence in Sturgis, in Decem- 
ber, 1864. 



David Knox was born in Cayuga county, New York, August 30, 1806, 
and in the spring of 1822 came with his father and mother, Jacob and 
Rachel Knox, to Michigan, locating in Wayne county, near Detroit. Ten 
years later, in 1832, he removed to St. Joseph county, and settled at Sturgis. 
Here his life has been spent principally in the occupation of farming, and 
having endured the hardships of pioneer-life and the labor incident to the 
development of a new country, he is one of the few early settlers who yet 
remain strong and vigorous to enjoy the harvest of their toil. 

Mr. Knox has raised a family of eight children, all but one being the 
children of his second wife, Thirza Knox, who was the daughter of Benjamin 
Jacobs, one of the early settlers oh Sturgis prairie, to whom he was married 
in 1835, and who died in 1871. Of his children only five are now living, 
being Henry, David, Charles, Mary and Jennie. 

His sons Henry and Charles are farmers. David is in business at Three 
Rivers, as a lawyer. In political belief and action Mr. Knox is Republican, 
being one of the original Abolitionists of that party. His religious tenden- 
cies led him early to connect himself with the Methodist church, and he has 
been one of its strongest and most faithful supporters from the first organi- 
zation in this county to the present time. A man physically strong, with a 
liberal, cultivated mind, and an earnest, true nature, he has always been 
prominently identified with every good work about him, and the whole influ- 
ence of his life has been on the right side 




Among the earliest settlements in the county of St. Joseph we find Mott- 
ville takes its place. Originally a portion of White Pigeon township, of 
which it remained an integral community until 1837, its history is intimately 
connected with that of the latter township. Its present area includes thirteen 
thousand and eighteen acres of land surface, of which sixteen hundred acres 
were of the original White Pigeon prairie, the rest of the area being covered 
with burr and white oak, principally the "openings" of the country. The 
soil possesses the usual characteristics of that of the openings, and is, as else- 
elsewhere in the county, very fertile and productive. 

The township is well drained by the St. Joseph and Pigeon rivers, the 
former entering the township on sections live and six, and, passing to the 
southwest quarter of the section, forms from thence the western boundary of 
the township and county as well. The Pigeon enters the township on the 
east line of the northeast quarter of section eleven, and runs westwardly 
and southwest to the St. Joseph, which it enters on the northeast quarter of 
section twenty-three, township eight, range thirteen. The township is known 
on the maps of the United States surveys as township eight, range twelve, 
and a fraction of township eight, range thirteen, which lies east of the St. Joseph 
river, which was formerly a portion of Cass county. The eastern tier of sec- 
tions in the township were retained by White Pigeon in its limits when 
Mottville was constituted a separate township. The surface is a general 


within the present limits of the township, other than Quimby, who located 
on the present site of the village, was Levi Beckwith, who, with his family 
of wife and four children, came to the west end of White Pigeon prairie in 
August, 1828, at which time there were but three families living in houses 
at that end of the prairie — Winchell, Page and Paine ; and Beckwith's and 
another family lived in their wagons for a time, until they could build 
houses. Henry E. Root, of Constantine, and a large land-owner in White 
Pigeon, married one of Mr. Beckwith's daughters. The next settler was 
John Bear, who came in late the same year and built a cabin, and subse- 
quently sold his location and moved into Constantine, and from thence to 
the lake in Cass county, to which he gave his name. 


were Aaron Brooks, of Ohio, who came with his family in 1829, and located 
on his present farm on section twenty-four, and was accompanied by Nathan, 
Thomas and James Odell. Solomon Hartman and his family came in from 
Ohio in August of the same year. Thomas Burns, of Pennsylvania, settled 
in the township in 1830, on the farm now occupied by Jonathan Hartzler, 
on section twelve. Benjamin Carr came in 1831, and located on section 
thirteen, and Andrew Thompson located in 1832 on section thirteen, where 
he still resides. He came from Ohio. William Cook came in from New 
York, and located on a farm two and a half miles east of the village, and 
now resides in the village. Elizabeth Rathbone, an English lady, came into 
the township and settled in 1831. In 1834 C. P. May came in from New 
York and located, and in the spring of 1835 a man by the name of Adams 
came in, and died the following August. The sickness of 1835 in this 
locality was quite as severe as in 1838. A family of Davidsons came in 
and settled in 1830. 


was opened in the present-limited township by Levi Beckwith, in the year 
1829. Aaron Brooks, however, opened one the same year, and raised the 
first wheat cultivated in the township, harvesting the same in 1830. Elias 
Taylor, the oldest Indian trader at the crossing of the St. Joseph, planted 
the first nursery from which the first orchard grew in 1829. 


in the government township were made in 1829, and numbered fifty-one, of 
which the first three were as follows: 

East half of the southeast quarter of section one, Robert Clark, Jr. ; 
west half of the southeast quarter of section two, Daniel Reed, of Tompkins 
county, 1ST. Y. ; and east half of the southeast quarter of section three, John 
Winchell, all on January 15, 1829. Seventeen entries were made June 15. 
The three first-named entries are now included in White Pigeon township. 
In 1876 there were twelve thousand and sixty-one acres assessed for taxa- 

tion, and valued by the supervisor at two hundred and seventy-seven thou- 
sand two hundred and twenty dollars, — about one-quarter to one-third of its 
actual value. 


in the township in 1837 for taxation was fixed at one hundred and fifty-four 
thousand five hundred and forty-six dollars, and the taxes amounted to five 
hundred and fifty dollars. In 1876 the total assessment of property was 
fixed by the board, of supervisors at two hundred and sixty-seven thousand 
three hundred and eight dollars on real estate, and fifty-four thousand one 
hundred and sixty dollars on personal property ; and the tax levied thereon 
amounted to one thousand six hundred and forty-two dollars and twenty 
cents for State and county purposes — one-half to each — and one thousand 
three hundred and sixty-three dollars and six cents for township purposes, 
including schools, making an aggregate of three thousand and five dollars 
and twenty-six cents. 


of 1874 show that the harvest of 1873 produced seventeen thousand six hun- 
dred and fifty-seven bushels of wheat from two thousand five hundred and 
twenty -one acres sown, thirty-eight thousand four hundred and sixty-five 
bushels of corn from one thousand four hundred and fifty-five acres planted, 
and two thousand eight hundred and eighty-two bushels of other grain, three 
thousand five hundred and thirty-two bushels potatoes, nine hundred and ' 
seventy-three tons of hay, seven thousand seven hundred and fifty-three 
pounds of wool, one hundred and seven thousand eight hundred and seventy 
pounds of pork, twenty-two thousand six hundred and fifty pounds of butter, 
four thousand eight hundred and thirty-four pounds of dried fruit, four hun- 
dred and eighty-seven barrels of cider, eight thousand six hundred and eleven 
bushels of apples, and seven hundred and eighteen bushels of other fruit and 
vegetables. There were owned in the township in 1874 three hundred and 
three horses, two mules, five hundred and twenty one cows, two hundred and 
fifty-five other cattle, nine hundred and eleven hogs, and one thousand two 
hundred and ninety-seven sheep. 


built in the township on territory now included within its borders, was the 
cabin of Levi Beckwith in the early fall of 1828, and the second one was 
that of John Bear, both of which were primitive log-cabins. The first 
frame and brick houses were built in the village subsequently. 


born in the township was Selinda Rickart, who was a babe-in-arms when 
Solomon Hartman came to the township on August 10, 1829, and was some 
two or three months old then. The second one was a son of Leonard Rickart, 
and was born in the fall of the same year. A daughter of James Odell was 
born the same year also, and Sophronia Burns was born October 30, 1830. 


of white persons in the township was that of Valentine Shultz and Susan 
Hartman, in October, 1829. They first settled on a farm on section ^ve 9 
and then removed to Coldwater, and finally to Iowa, where Mr. Shultz died 
in 1870. Benjamin Montgomery and Rebecca Davidson were married in 


which occurred in the township was that of the child of Leonard Rickart 
before named, which lived but a few months. The first adult who died was 
Solomon Hartman, his death occurring August 4, 1830. His coffin was 
made of the side-boards of a wagon with which he had come into the coun- 
try. He was the first person buried in 


which was laid out in the village of Mottville, in 1830, being donated by the 
proprietors of the plat. * Baum died in 1831, and was buried therein also. 


were the Methodist missionaries, Felton and Gurley, in 1829 and 1830, and 
Elder Holmes, a Free-will Baptist, who came to the settlement in 1831, 
Judge Winchell building him and his wife a snug cabin on his, Wincheirs, 
farm. He continued his labors for some years, preaching in the settlers' 
cabins and under the trees as occasion offered or weather permitted. 


Residence of ISAAC F(UHY AH, Stu^gis Tp. 9 STJo$efh Co,Mch. 

Residence or JOHN WALT H AM, /i/Iottviue Tr.,5? Joseph Cq.,}Mch 






Jonas Hartman built a brewery in an early day, 1833-34, and ran it a 
year, by which time Jacob Lintz had fathomed the mysteries of beer-making, 
and operated for some time, and was said to have made a most excellent 
article of " home-brewed " ale. Peter Burgett built a tannery near Mott- 
ville village, and finished his leather as often as he killed a 'coon which was 
fat and juicy. This tannery was built before 1836. Isaac Benham, of Con- 
stantine, bought his first stock of leather of Burgett, trading a rifle for the 
same, for which Burgett was to allow seventeen dollars, provided Benham 
could hit Burgett's hat at fifteen rods with it. Burgett rolled his head cov- 
ering up into as small a compass as possible and stuck it up on a stump, 
much to the chagrin of Benham, who thought anybody could hit as big an 
object as Burgett's " slouch ;" still by a lucky shot Benham hit the mark, 
and then it was his turn to laugh, for he had ventilated the sombrero hand- 
somely, the ball perforating every fold. John Carlin operated a brewery 
in 1834, on the Chicago road, in the township. In August, 1829, Samuel 
Pratt and P. A. Paine made brick in the township — burnt forty thousand. 


was surveyed through what was afterwards the township, in 1825, and was 
the national military road between Detroit and Chicago, being the first ripple 
of the incoming tide of civilization, ante-dating by two years the first 
settlement in the county. The first road surveyed by township authority 
was the Bristol and Mottville river road, surveyed July 7, 1831, by Mathew 


was run over the Chicago road by Savery, in 1831-32, ten miles. 

An accident occurred in 1852, by which Dr. Joseph M. Chase, an eminent 
physician and estimable citizen, met his death, being killed instantly by being 
thrown from his buggy. 


The primitive educational facilities of Mottville were limited. A school 
was taught in the log-house of John Bear as early as 1830, at which the 
Hartman and Davidson children were attendants. Some two or three years 
subsequent a school-house was erected at Mottville, but regular school dis- 
tricts were not organized until 1837. We quote the subjoined extract 
from the first records of the proceedings, as defining the locality of the 
five original school districts : 

" At a meeting of the inspectors of schools of the township of Mottville, in 
the school-house at the village of Mottville, May 1, 1837, the township was 
divided and numbered into school districts as follows : 

" District No. 1 to commence at the northeast corner of said township, and 
running from thence west on the township line to the northeast corner of 
section four, from thence south on the section line to the north side of Pigeon 
creek, from thence following up the said creek to the township line, thence 
north to the place of beginning. 

" District No. 2 to commence at the northeast corner of section four, thence 
running west on the township line to the river St. Joseph, thence down the 
river to the line of section six, thence south to the north side of Pigeon 
creek, thence up the creek to the west line of section ten, thence north to 
the place of beginning. 

" District No. 3 to commence on the township line on the northwest side of 
the river St. Joseph, thence running west on said line to the line of Cass 
county, thence running south on said county line to the south side of the 
river St. Joseph, thence down the river to the north side of Pigeon creek, 
thence up the creek to the southwest corner of section eight, thence north 
following the section line to the river, thence up said river . to the place of 

"District No. 4 to commence on the south side of Pigeon creek, thence 
south to the south line of the State of Michigan, thence running east on 
said line to the quarter-post of section twenty-one, thence north to Pigeon 
creek, thence following down the creek to beginning. 

"District No. 5 commencing at the quarter-post of section twenty-one, on 
the State line, and running thence east on said line to the east line of the 
township of Mottville, thence north on the township line to Pigeon creek, 
thence down the creek to the centre of section sixteen, thence south to the 
place of beginning. To which is added all that part of District No. 4, of 
the township of White Pigeon, south of the Pigeon creek, and west of section 

John F. Johnston, W. A. Sanger and Francis Nixon are the present 
school inspectors. 

In 1876, there were taught five schools in as many school-houses in the 
township, which were in session an average of eight and three-tenths 

months each during the year ending September 1. There were two hun- 
dred children in the township of the requisite school-age, between fixe and 
twenty years ; and one hundred and eighty-one of them attended the schools. 
Four male teachers were employed, and paid five hundred and seventy-two 
dollars and fifty cents for their services/ and five females, who received four 
hundred and eighty-seven dollars for their work. There are two hundred 
and fourteen volumes in the district libraries ; and the school-houses, which 
can supply two hundred and eighty-nine sittings, were valued at four thou- 
sand five hundred dollars. The total expenses of the districts were one 
thousand one hundred and seventy-eight dollars and thirty cents, and a 
balance was left on hand, for the current year, of three hundred and twenty- 
three dollars and forty-eight cents. 


At a meeting of the electors of the township of Mottville, convened at the 
school-house in the village of Mottville on the 3d of April, 1837, the or- 
ganization was effected by choosing Thomas Odell moderator and Lot Gage 
clerk — Chauncey May, William Barnes and John Sixby inspectors of said 

After the board had declared the polls open, they proceeded to ballot, 
and the following officers were elected : 

Supervisor, Andrew Thompson ; Town Clerk, Joseph F. Johnston ; Jus- 
tices of the Peace, John Sixby, Chauncey May, Peter Buck and Daniel 
Osborn ; Collector, Jonas Hartman ; Constables, James Knapp, John C. G. 
Roach and Henry Kurton ; Assessors, Daniel Osborne, Thomas Finney and 
William Barnes ; Highway Commissioners, Nicholas I. Sixby, Thomas 
Finney and Abraham Rickart ; Inspectors of Schools, William A. Sawyer, 
Joseph F. Johnston and Francis Nixon; Overseers of the Poor, Charles 
McCollister and Calvin P. May. 

" Voted, That seed-horses over eighteen months old should not be free 
commoners." (?) 

" Voted, That twenty-five hundred dollars be raised for the support of the 
poor." Adjourned. 

The township officers have been as follows : 

Supervisors. — Andrew Thompson, 1837 ; Daniel Osborne, Harvey Cook, 
two years; Hiram Holabird, S. C. Abbott, two years; Asahel Clapp, three 
years ; George G. Gilbert, Daniel Schurtz, two years ; Nicholas I. Sixby, two 
years ; William Ferguson, Joseph M. Chase, Edward Gray, fifteen years ; 
John Waltham, Aaron Nash, twelve years ; Stephen N. Nash, four years ; 
J. A. Hertzler, present incumbent, 1876. 

Clerks. — Joseph F. Johnston, 1837; O. E. Thompson, two years; Ly- 
man Loom is, Rufus Ingersoll, two years ; Hiram Holabird, James G. Smith, 
four years ; James H. Voorhies, two years ; A. H. Moore, Warren Miller, 
William Ferguson, three years ; Jacob L. Rathbun, six years ; Rufus In- 
gersoll, George B. Kapp, William Waltham, Samuel Taylor, four years ; 
John P. Madden, D. C. Fuller, present incumbent, 1876, and three years 

Justices of the Peace. — Edmund Davis, John Sixby, Chauncey May, 
eight years; Harvey Cook, six years; E. C. Abbott, Hiram Holabird, 
Abraham Goble, James Hutchinson, O. E. Thompson, Aaron Brooks, 
Ralph Markham, A. H. Moore, A. Markham, John Chase, sixteen years; 
James Kellogg, Stephen Walter, Jacob Gortner, eight years ; Joseph M. 
Chase, F. A. Long, William Ferguson, eight years ; Samuel R. Wiley, J. C. 
Caul, Solomon Rote, John Rickart, John Smith, eight years; Edward Gray, 
ten years, and present incumbent, 1877 ; John P. Hackenburg, Stephen N. 
Nash, eight years ; Dr. D. L. I. Flanders, Perry S. Bower, George Smith, 
Eleazar Crouch, seven years (and present incumbent) ; John P. Madden, 
William Wolfinger, J. L. Rathbun, twenty years (and present incumbent) ; 
Daniel Kleckner, Joseph Clouse, 1876 (and present incumbent). 


In 1838 the inhabitants of Mottville township numbered four hundred and 
ninety-seven souls. In 1850 they had increased to six hundred and eleven, 
and in 1860 to seven hundred and thirty-five. The next decade showed a 
loss of fourteen, there being three hundred and fifty males and three hun- 
dred and seventy-one females. They lived in one hundred and fifty-three 
houses, and there was not a vacant one in the township, each family having 
one to themselves. During the next four years the township gained three 
inhabitants, having seven hundred and twenty-four in all ; of these three 
hundred and forty -seven were males and three hundred and seventy-seven 
females — the ladies still retaining the numerical superiority, if they could 
not vote. Of the males one hundred and eleven were of the military age — 
over twenty one and under forty-five. Seventy-one were beyond any 



fear of a draft, but not over seventy-five years, and nine had passed the 
three-quarter score and were coming down the " home-stretch," but had not 
marked the ninth decade of the century. Of the females one hundred and 
forty-four were over eighteen and under forty years ; seventy-six had passed 
the heyday of life, but had not reached the threescore and fifteen — as six of 
their sisters had done, and passed it. One hundred and fifty-six boys were 
under twenty-one years, and one hundred and fifty-one girls were under 
eighteen years of age. 


of the township has been Democratic by a fair majority ever since the first 
presidential election in 1840, with the exception of 1860. In 1840 the 
Whigs polled sixty-one votes, and the Democrats forty-two. In 1844 the 
Whig vote was forty-nine, and the Democrats sixty-three, with a single, 
solitary Liberty man. In 1848 the Whig candidates received fifty-four 
votes, the Democratic ones sixty- four, and the Free Soilers ten. In 1852 
the Whigs polled forty-one votes, the Democrats sixty-seveu, and the Aboli- 
tionists, though they had a remarkable increase in percentage, cast but 
eleven votes. In 1856 the Republicans cast seventy-five votes, and the 
Democrats eighty-eight, but in 1860 "old Abe" found more friends than his 
fellow-citizen of Illinois (Douglas), receiving ninety-five votes to eighty-six 
for the latter. In 1864 the pendulum swung back across the whole arc and 
the Democrats polled one hundred and one, while the Kepublicans cast but 
sixty-three votes. In 1868 each party increased their votes by sixteen tallies, 
leaving their relative strength the same. In 1872 there was a loss on both 
sides, the Democrats polling eighty-two votes, and their opponents fifty- 
three — O'Connor and Black each having a single friend. In 1876 Mr. 
Tilden received eighty-eight votes, Mr. Hayes sixty-seven, and Mr. Cooper 
twenty-six, which would indicate a population in the township of about nine 


This village, at one time the most important village in the county, is situ- 
ated on the south side of the St. Joseph river, and was first settled by 
Joseph Quimby, who took up his permanent residence on its present site in 
the year 1828. He remained for some months the only white resident of 
the place, until Joel Stevenson and Elias Taylor came in the spring of the 
following year (1829). The village, or rather the site of the village, was 
visited by several, of whom some subsequently became settlers of the 
adjoining country, — before the settlement of any one except Quimby, — nota- 
bly Mr. Aaron Brooks and James Odell, who passed through there by 
stage in the summer of 1828, their business being to select a good location 
for settlement. The site of the village was known for years as the grand 
traverse of the St. Joseph river, the Chicago trail crossing the river at this 
point. The plat was first surveyed May 31, 1830, by Orange Risdon and 
John R. Williams, proprietors of section six of township eight, range twelve, 
on which the original plat is located. 


erected here was a log-hut, built by Quimby immediately after his arrival. 
In 1830 this solitary habitation was followed by one of a more pretentious 
kind — a frame house, built by Elias Taylor, which served as the first store 
in the place, also as the first tavern, and likewise as the first post-office, of 
which various conglomerated establishments Taylor was the first proprietor. 
The store answered the purposes for which it was intended for some years, 
while the tavern was succeeded by the present structure in 1833. It was 
built by Hart L. Stewart, and has been kept by various persons — notably 
Joseph Knorr, who was a genial host, and a very successful tavern-keeper. 
The present proprietor is Samuel Earley, No. 2. 


was erected by Elias Taylor as above stated. He was the old Indian trader 
at the grand traverse, and also the first sheriff of the county, receiving his 
appointment from Governor Cass in 1829. 


was built by Abraham Goble in 1844, of brick furnished by Messrs. John 
Hartman and Thomas Burns — the former now a resident of Cass county 
(living about a mile from the county line) ; the latter a resident of Mott- 
ville. It is now owned and occupied by George Bostock. 

One of the principal features which led to the early importance of Mottville, 
was the erection of a bridge spanning the St. Joseph river there. The first 
structure was built in 1833, by Hart L. Stewart, as a military crossing, under 
the territorial laws. The timber was furnished by Solomon and John Hart- 
man, of which sixteen thousand feet were required, including some of the best 

ever used for the purpose. There were some pieces used in its construction 
sixty feet in length, and eighteen inches square. It cost about five thousand 
dollars. It stood until 1845, when a piled bridge was built, Thomas Burns 
driving the piles. This bridge was built at a cost of about three thousand 
dollars, and lasted until superseded by the present structure in 1867. The 
latter is an arched bridge, built of wood, and stands on stone abutments, 
with a central pier, also of stone. The contractors were Mahlon Thompson 
and Joseph Miller, and the cost of construction was about seven thousand 

The original owners of the site of the village were John R. Williams, of 
Detroit, and Hart L. Stewart, the former retarding the growth of the place 
by asking an exorbitant price for his part of it. At one time he offered to 
sell his interest for three thousand dollars, but when Messrs. Hart L. and A. 
C. Stewart offered that sum, he declined to accept, and also refused two suc- 
cessive advances, each of one thousand dollars — asking six thousand where 
he had formerly agreed to take three. The self-same property was subse- 
quently sold for taxes. 

A great and creditable feature of the former prosperity of the village was 
its facilities for transportation, it being the depot for freight dispatched by 
water. The keel-boats used to run up to the village from its mouth ; they 
were propelled by poles, manual labor being the force used. Finally small 
steam-boats were employed, and then it looked as though, with the stage 
route between Detroit and Chicago passing through the village, and its 
increased advantages for transportation, the prosperity of the place was 

At one time, it is stated on excellent authority, there accumulated at 
Mottville fourteen thousand barrels of flour, to be shipped on the opening 
of navigation in the spring. The chief era of its prosperity was from 1840 
to 1850 ; from the latter date gradually declining from the most important 
village in the county to one of comparatively no commercial account. 

In 1851 a tannery was erected at Mottville by Messrs. Hoag & Buck, 
and was continued by them till 1841, when it ceased operations. A second 
enterprise of a similar nature was started by Horace Reynolds in 1855, 
which underwent many changes of proprietors, and finally wound up in 

One of the earliest enterprises in the village was a distillery, which was 
established by Henry Heywood in 1829. He conducted it for about fifteen 
years, when it passed into the possession of Reuben M. Daniels. It was dis- 
continued in 1849. 

The man Daniels, above-mentioned, was attacked with mania a potu dur- 
ing the Mexican war, and while laboring under that disease, he became pos- 
sessed of the hallucination that the Mexicans were pursuing him. He was 
out in the woods, and having his rifle with him, he discharged it at his 
phantom foes, and then ran and hid, not showing himself for several days. 
The rifle was subsequently found by Messrs. Burns and Field. 

The father of Governor Bagley, of Michigan, was a tanner in Mottville 
at an early day, going from thence to Constantine to follow his trade. 

The Stewarts built the first warehouse in the village, and the second store, 
and brought in the second stock of goods. 

Kellogg & Paine also were in trade in the flush days before 1835, and 
Stewart kept the hotel in 1835, and John Newells after 1840. 

Jacob Lutz built a woolen factory in Mottville after 1860. 


in the township was Dr. L. S. Lillibridge, who settled there in 1836. Pre- 
vious to that date Dr. Loomis, of White Pigeon, served the people medici- 
nally. Dr. Joseph M. Chase succeeded Dr. Lillibridge, and was killed acci- 
dentally in 1852, as related elsewhere. 

A post-office was established in Mottville in 1830, Hart L. Stewart post- 
master. The greater part of the people are accommodated at the present 
time at White Pigeon and Constantine, although there is yet a post-office at 


The first preaching in Mottville was according to the doctrine of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church, by the Rev. Erastus Felton, in 1829. Brother Thomas 
Burns, who still resides in the village, heard him preach in 1830. The first 
preaching was in Conrad Cook's dwelling-house and in Stewart's hotel. Rev. 
Thomas Odell, a local preacher, came from Ohio in the spring of 1829, and 
settled here; he was among the first to preach the Gospel to the scat- 
tered settlers in this vicinity. He had been an itinerant minister in Ohio 
for eighteen years. He subsequently moved to Fort Scott, Kansas, where he 
died in 1872. 

John ^artman. 


Y Hartman. 

ff££m£W££orJOHNHAR^^ Co. t MioH. One Mile West of MomiuE t 5!MC* 



The first class was organized at Mottville, in the summer of 1832, by Kev. 
L. B. Gurley. The members were George B. Gilbert, who was the leader, 
and his wife, Conrad Cook and wife, Mrs. Caskey, Mrs. Hull, Mrs. A. Globe, 
Rev. Thomas Odell and wife, Orin E. Thompson and wife, William Cook 
and wife, both of whom are still residing in the village. Mrs. Hull is in 
California ; Mr. Gilbert is supposed to be still living. Conrad Cook died in 
1838 ; Rev. Erastus Kellogg preached his funeral sermon. Meetings were 
held in dwellings, hotels and school-houses until 1846, when a church edifice 
was built. The dedication was conducted by Rev. William Sprague, during 
the pastorate of Rev. Franklin Gage, now located at North Adams, Michi- 
gan. The old building is stiH doing service, but, in the words of Brother 
Robinson, of the Niks District Record: " It ought to be released. A new 
house is greatly needed. And we mistake greatly if there are not ample 
means in that old and wealthy community to build one. Shall it be done ?" 

The present membership of the church is twenty ; the pastor is Rev. Z. 
G. Boynton. The church officers are Hiram Hutton, class-leader ; Lavinia 
Burns and Mary Ann Cook, stewards ; William Cook, Hiram Hutton, 
William Shoemaker, Harvey Field and Joseph Knorr, trustees. 


was organized on the 5th day of July, 1857. At the first church-meeting, 
on the day and date above mentioned, a committee was appointed to prepare 
a suitable constitution for the government and discipline of the church. 
The following members of the committee were present : Pastor pro tern., Rev. 
A. S. Bartholomew, Joseph Bittenbender, J. R. Jones, Conrad Bittenbender, 
Jacob Doctor. 

At a second meeting, on the 10th day of August, 1857, the committee re- 
ported that they had framed a constitution, and presented the same, which was 
unanimously adopted, and signed by a number of brethren. And they pro- 
ceeded immediately to the election of church-officers, which resulted in choos- 
ing J. R. Jones, deacon (for two years) ; Jacob Doctor, elder (for two years). 
On the 11th day of October following, a second election was held, at which 
James Kleckner was chosen elder (for one year), and Joseph Bittenbender, 
deacon (for one year). The council being thus elected, according to the 
constitution, chose out of their number Joseph Doctor, president ; James 
Kleckner, secretary ; Joseph Bittenbender, treasurer ; and the church council 
was inducted into office on the 19th day of November, 1857. 

The first regular congregational meeting after organization was held at the 
Methodist Episcopal church at Mottville, on the 5th day of March, 1858, 
for the purpose of calling a pastor, and the Rev. A. S. Bartholomew received 
and accepted the call. 

The meetings of the church organization were held in the Methodist Epis- 
copal church edifice until 1869, when they erected their present church build- 
ing at Mottville. The succession of pastors has been: A. S. Bartholomew, 
Peter Bergstrasser, J. N. Barnett and Alexander McLaughlin, the present 

The present church officers are: Jacob Bittenbender and William E. 
Cook, elders ; Jacob L. Rathfon, William G. Bittenbender and Amos Clark, 
deacons ; Charles Schall, Ellis Artley and Joseph Clouse, trustees ; J. L. 
Rathfon, secretary ; Joseph Bittenbender, treasurer. 

The original roll of membership contained the names of seventy-four per- 
sons, among whom were all the above-named first officers and their families. 
The present membership is about eighty. The church is in a generally 
flourishing condition. 


St. Joseph Valley Lodge, No. 56, 1. O. O. F., was instituted about 1857-58, 
with F. Gruneway, N. G.; A. C. Williams, V. G.; William Cook, P. S.; L. 
W. Schall, R. S. ; but it ceased to work several years ago. 


The first celebration of the Fourth of July, of any pretensions, in the 
county, was held in Mottville in 1830, the same being held in the upper 
room of the Stewart warehouse, just above the bridge. Neal McGaffey was 
the orator of the occasion. John Morse, of Coldwater, furnished the music 
with his clarionet. Edwin Kellogg and Hunt, of White Pigeon, sang the 
" Ode to Science," and the distinguished guests were Major-General Brown, 
and Inspector-General Hoag of the Michigan militia. 

Near Sheriff Taylor's residence there was a sapling that used to serve as 
a "lock-up" for his prisoners while in transitu to the county jail, and the 
sheriff had more pressing duties to attend to at his hostelry. The sheriff 
was the only legalized trader with the Indians, and, being conservator of the 
peace, he saw to it that no whisky was sold to his customers except what 

went over his counters. He was an efficient executive in that respect, at 



written up by the citizens thereof, reflects credit upon the township. They 
cheerfully bore the burdens imposed by war, when secession madly referred 
its cause to the arbitrament of the sword, and filled the quotas of the town- 
ship with alacrity, — maintaining its honor and that of the State and 
nation on many well-fought fields. We here append a list of the names of 
those who, forsaking home and its endearments, shouldered their muskets 
in defense of the government, by whose upholding against treason such 
homes as are found in St. Joseph county on]y are possible to acquire. 


Private Jacob M. Gragg, Company F ; mustered-out. 


Private James Luft, Company D; missing near Southside railroad, 

Private William Avery, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Private James Ketchum, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Private Asher D, Artley, Company F ; killed at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863. 

Private Cyrus Luft, Company F ; died at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, Janu- 
ary 11, 1863. 

Private Wilson Gibson, Company F ; discharged. 


Private Adam Snook, Company D ; mustered-out. 


Private W. H. Smith, Company C ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Jacob Rathbun, Company C ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Henry B. Smith, Company E ; died at Murfreesboro, January 19, 

Corporal Samuel Haas, Company G ; died at Grayville, April 4, 1864. 

Private James P. Haas, Company G; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private George M. Nash, Company G ; died of wounds received at Stone 
River, January 4, 1863. 


Private John Haas, Company D ; killed at Gaines' Mill, Virginia. 
Private Jesse N. Brooks, Company E ; mustered-out. 
Private David B. Perry, Company E ; mustered-out. 


Private John Gee, Company D ; mustered-out. 
Private Edward Gear, Company D ; mustered-out. 
Private William Hendrickson, Company D ; mustered-out. 
Private David Sadorius, Company D ; discharged. 
Private Michael Voltz, Company D ; mustered-out. 
Private William H. Huff, Company E ; enlisted in regular army. 
Private Robert Watterson, Company E ; died at Annapolis, Maryland, 
April 25, 1863. 


Private Charles Smith, Company G ; died October 19, 1863. 
Private George B. Harker, Company G ; mustered-out. 
Private Wellington Smith, Company G ; mustered-out. 


Private Charles W. Baker, Company A ; mustered-out. 


Private Thomas Leinbach, Company I ; mustered-out. 


Private William H. Wagner, Company G ; mustered-out. 
Private Allen F. Chase, Company H ; mustered-out. 


Private Hiram L. Hartman, Battery G; died November 20, 1864. 

Private John Koon, Battery G. 

Private Thomas B. Parks, Battery M ; mustered-out. 


Private Albert H. Knorr, Company F ; mustered-out 
Private Perry Machemer, Company F ; mustered-out. 
Private David H. Early, Company H ; mustered-out. 


Private Charles Smith, Company C ; mustered-out. 
Private Silas C. Smith, Company C ; died in Anderson ville. 

We tender our acknowledgments, for assistance received in the compila- 
tion of this history of Mottville, to Messrs. Aaron Brooks, Thompson, John 
and Solomon Hartman, and Lewis Rhoades, of White Pigeon. 





There is always something of peculiar interest surrounding the life and 
labors of the pioneer ; he who fearlessly leaves the home of his childhood — 
perchance a home of comparative ease and comfort, situated perhaps in some 
richly-settled extern State, or amid the green hills of New England — and 
who submits cheerfully and manfully to the privations and hardships in- 
cident to new settlements, till his steady and earnest toil is rewarded with 
the blessings commensurate with his laborious struggles, and crowned with 
the many bounties of Providence. Great changes grow out of unwearied 
and constant strokes ; the sturdy forest is laid low, and there in time is reared 
the pleasant home with all its cherished adornments, the quiet hamlet and 
the wondrous city. 

Oftentimes the whole of one's allotted span of life is spent amid the beauteous 
scenes of the country ; and to agricultural pursuits alone does he devote his 
earliest and his latest labors. To this latter class belongs, pre-eminently, the 
subject of this sketch. Born away back beyond the present century, the 
only time he ever left the plow was to take up the musket in order to defend 
the flag his father fought to sustain. 

Mr. Thompson first saw the light on the morning of March 25, in the 
year 1790. His native element w r as the farm, and on a farm he was born, 
within sixteen miles of the city of Leesburg, Virginia. When but four 
years old he removed with his parents to Piqua Plains, in the State of Ohio, 
and five years afterwards they again removed, this time settling on and 
clearing up the present site of the town of Circleville, Ohio. In 1812 he 
enlisted in a regiment of reserves, went to the front, and did good service 
for his country. 

After the cessation of hostilities he married Mary Davis, a native of Ken- 
tucky, and his house became the home of a dozen young olive-branches, 
lacking one. This sketch having been designed as a family record, we an- 
nex a brief genealogy of this branch of the house of Thompson : 

Thomas D., born November 17, 1813 ; married April 15, 1841. 

Morris, born December 27, 1814. 

Cynthia, born July 6, 1816. 

Phoebe, born August 17, 1818. 

Ellen, born August 25, 1820 ; married David Kurshner, February 6, 


Isaac, born May 14, 1822 ; married Susan Davis. 

Jemima, born February 7, 1825 ; married George Kerstater, April 16, 

James, born June 18, 1827 ; married Jane L. Davis, February 16, 1850. 

Elizabeth, born February 15, 1829 ; married Joseph Kleckner, June 5, 

Lewis, born June 5, 1831 ; married Margaret Connor, January 14, 1857. 

Mary Ann, born January 1, 1835; married William 'Milner, January 
10, 1860. 

It was in 1832 that Mr. Thompson first took up his abode in Mottville 
township. He then settled on a farm of one hundred and seventy-five acres, 
pleasantly situated on both sides of Pigeon creek. He subsequently pur- 
chased thirty-seven acres more, but has since sold some small parcels, leav- 
ing him now one hundred and ninety-seven acres of well-cultivated land. 
In 1837 Mr. Thompson assisted in the organization of the township, and was 
chosen its first supervisor. He never sought political preferment, and posi- 
tively refused to serve after the expiration of his term. 

In 1866 he sustained the deep-felt loss of his estimable wife, who had 
shared his struggles for more than half a century, having been married in 
1813. In religion he is a Mormon of the Joseph Smith branch of that faith 
— not believing in plurality of wives, but having a lasting faith in the creed 
promulgated by the founder of this peculiar sect. In politics he is Repub- 
lican, having cast his first vote for the Whig candidate, Monroe, in 1816. 
On the regular organization of the Republican party he allied himself with 
it, and has stood firmly by it, especially through the perilous times of 1861 
-1865. Socially, he is a genial, whole-souled gentleman ; honest in all his 
dealings, and enjoying the friendship of all with whom he comes in contact. 
By industry and frugality, coupled with a certain degree of shrewdness, he 
has managed to secure a comfortable competency, which, after his four-score 
and six years, he enjoys, with a fair prospect of continuing thus to reap the 
benefits jof a good career yet for many years. 


the oldest living settler in Mottville township, — in point of settlement, 
and the third oldest in point of age, — was born in Fayette county, Pennsyl- 
vania, on the 7th of February, 1798. He was reared on a farm, and has 
spent all his life in agricultural pursuits. In 1808 he removed to Licking 
county, Ohio, and settled within seven miles of the present site of the city of 
Newark. In 1829 he removed to Mottville township, St. Joseph county, 
Michigan, and settled on the farm he now occupies, located on section twen- 
ty-four. It was then included in Cass county, but in 1830 the citizens re- 
siding thereon petitioned the legislature to have all the land on the east side 
of the St. Joseph river annexed to St. Joseph county, which was accordingly 
done. On the 19th of July, 1819, he married Cassy Newell, a native of 
Tuscarawas county, Ohio, by whom he had six children. January 7, 1838, 
he sustained the loss of his wife, and after remaining single for about four 
years, he married, in 1842, Ann Bell, a native of Monroe county, New 
York. By this union he has three children, namely : 

Jane Ann, born December 25, 1843; married Robert Corner, April 20, 

Amy Jeanette, born August 4, 1849 ; married Frank M. Anderson, Janu- 
ary 1, 1866. 

Ellen, born Jun$ 13, 1854, and married Amos J. Yoder, December 30, 

In 1844 the people of his township evinced their appreciation of his integ- 
rity and general good character by electing him to the office of justice of the 
peace, which he filled with general acceptability. 

In 1849 Mr. Brooks ".took up his tent and silently stole away," so to speak,, 
to California, the then newly-discovered Eldorado, where he remained for 
about one year. He returned with about two thousand dollars, the result of 
hard and constant toil in the diggings. He made the overland journey, 
occupying five months and twenty days in its accomplishment. He returned 
by Panama, New Orleans, St. Louis, Peru, and thence by rail to Chicago, 
and from there by stage to his destination. 

In religion he has always entertained liberal views, and has never assimi- 
lated with any particular denomination. In politics a Democrat, he polled 
his first vote for Andrew Jackson in 1832. He has always adhered firmly 
to the principles of Jacksonian Democracy, and has refused to recognize any 
of the many political innovations that have been made upon the old-time 
Democratic principles. 

Aaf$on B/fooqs. 

/W/fS. AAFjON B^OO^S. 

Residence of AARON BROOKS, Mottville, S T Joseph County, Mich. 




Among the many old gentlemen whose biographies grace the pages of this 
history, none deserve a better mention than he whose name stands at the 
head of this sketch. The facts of his history are furnished us by members 
of the family, and are somewhat incomplete. 

Joseph Miller was a native of Heidelberg, Lehigh county, Pa., and was 
born September 13, 1793 ; here he lived, following the occupation of a farmer. 
In 1817 he was married to Miss Mary Hill, of Pennsylvania ; she was born 
December 5, 1797. As a result of this union four sons and three daughters 
were born to them, viz.: Charles F., Samuel, Stephen P., Joseph, Esther, 
Mary, and Eachel A. 

In 1836 Mr. Miller and family removed to St. Joseph county, Michigan, 
• and located one and a half miles east of Mottville, on the old Chicago road ; 
here he followed farming, in connection with keeping a public-house, till 
the spring of 1864, when he settled a half-mile farther east, where he resided 
until his death. 

During the early days — before the era of railroads — he was engaged in 
carrying goods for merchants in Constantine and White Pigeon from Detroit 
and other places. 

His faithful wife died May 9, 1851, leaving a large circle of friends to 
mourn her loss. 

Mr. Miller was again married to Miss Effie Barclay, of Northumberland 
county, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1854. She was born December 3, 1819. 
Five children were born to bless this union, viz. : Hattie L., Emma A., 
Carrie M., Frank L., and Dellie— all of whom are living except Carrie M. 

Mr. Miller has lived a quiet, unassuming life, and enjoyed the confidence 
of his fellow-citizens. He was for more than thirty years a worthy member 
of the Masonic order. 

On the 14th of August, 1876, Death came and claimed him for his own. 
Mr. Miller lived respected and died regretted by those who knew him. 

Mrs. Effie Miller is still living at the old home, surrounded by many of 
her children. She is the generous donor of this sketch and portrait. 


John Hartman, for many years a resident of Mottville township, but now 
a resident of Cass county, Michigan, was born in Schuylkill county, Penn- 
sylvania, on the 20th of August, 1811. When but four years old he moved 
with his parents to Wayne county, Ohio, and from thence, in 1819, to Craw- 
ford county, in the same State. 

After remaining in Crawford county ten years, his father (Solomon Hart- 
man) concluded to come still farther west, and in 1829 came to St. Joseph 
county, Michigan, and settled on the south side of the St. Joseph river, about 
two miles east of the village of Mottville. There they entered eighty acres, 
and proceeded at once to erect their log-cabin, which was then the only kind 
of habitation in all this region. 

On the 4th of August, 1830, Solomon Hartman died, leaving the family 
under the protection of his sons, Solomon, and the subject of this sketch* 
Solomon soon removed, and Johm subsequently bought eighty acres more 
land, which he developed into a fine, well-cultivated farm. In 1839 he re- 
moved to Cass county, and settled on his present farm. They endured 
similar hardships to those of other pioneers, and Mr. Hartman relates, among 
other things, that when they first came into the country they camped out 
fifteen nights before they could make the necessary arrangements to erect 
their log-house. 

In 1837 he married Mary, daughter of Armstrong Davidson, Esq., an old 
pioneer and prominent citizen of Cass county. They have reared a family 
of six children, of whom five are still living. Levi, the second son, died in 
California, and the rest are all married, and are respected citizens of Cass 
county, living within five miles of the paternal roof. Through hard work and 
sound, practical economy, Mr. H. has increased his possessions until he now 
has a farm of two hundred and forty acres, where he resides, and a smaller 
one of eighty acres a few miles distant. 

In politics he is a Democrat of the " Old Hickory" school. His religious 
sentiments embrace an extensive liberality. Having joined no particular 
church, he yet rightfully assumes the character of a good citizen and a re- 
spected neighbor. His estimable wife, the partner of his early struggles, 
and faithful helpmate for forty years, enjoys, by virtue of her many excel- 
lent traits of character, the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends. 
A portrait of this worthy couple, together with an illustration of their pleas- 
ant home, will be found elsewhere in this work, where it will remain as an 
monument to their industry, economy and good sense. 


Among the many prominent settlers of Mottville township, none occupied 
a more worthy place in the esteem and confidence of his fellow-townsmen 
than he of whom we write. Halsey Caskey was born in New Jersey, on the 
8th of February, 1811, and, when but a child, accompanied his parents to 
Ontario county, New York. 

April 30, 1835, he married Mary Hoagland, a native of Canadice, New 
York, and a family of four children blessed the union. 

On the 6th of September, 1844, Mr. Caskey and his family came to St. 
Joseph county, and in the year following took up their permanent residence 
on the farm now owned by his heirs. He was brought up to agricultural 
pursuits, and was in every respect a good, practical farmer. His homestead 
bears the imprint of his careful management, and is considered as fine a 
property as exists in the township. 

He was for many years a working member of the Methodist Episcopal 
church of White Pigeon, with which organization he united soon after his set- 
tlement in this county. His piety was one of his most prominent characteris- 
tics, and he always maintained a leading position in all matters relating to the 
growth and prosperity of the religious body to which he belonged. In all his 
business transactions he was actuated by a stern integrity, and he was never 
known to defalcate in any financial engagement, his word always being con- 
sidered as good as his bond. In politics he was a Kepublican, and, while he 
never took an active part in the political movements of his day, he ever 
evinced a deep interest in what he considered the country's good demanded, 
and this by rendering intelligent support rather than by affiliating with the 
political machinery in vogue. 

After a useful, though not a long life, on the 11th of September, 1869, he 
died, leaving behind him a record that will long survive. By his death his 
family lost a kind and affectionate husband and father, the community an 
honest and upright citizen, and the church a useful and earnest member. 
His widow still resides in the old home, enjoying the comforts which the in- 
dustry of her husband, coupled with her own economical household manage- 
ment, enabled them to accumulate. 

The portrait of Mr. Caskey, which adorns our pages, was inserted by his 
widow as a token of affectionate regard, and we feel assured that it will always 
be to her and her children a source of reverential remembrance of the dear 
departed one. 





Jacob S. Smith, son of Jacob and Catharine Smith, was born in Bucks 
county, Pa., October 22, 1800. He continued to reside with his parents 
while they lived, working on the farm, and having a general supervision of 
the old Pennsylvania homestead, — he being the only surviving member of the 

He began life very poor, but by hard and persistent industry and fru- 
gality he has succeeded in securing a fair competency. When in his twen- 
tieth year he had saved enough to warrant him in taking a wife, which he 
did by marrying Elizabeth Wyant, a native of Union county, Pa. The 
event transpired in October, 1820. Ten children, six sons and four 
daughters, have been born to them, of which number nine are still living; 
their names are Julia Ann, Peter, John, Kate, Isaac, Maria, Aaron, Susan, 
Joseph and Robert ; and they were born in the succession as their names 

In May, 1857, Mr. Smith and his family removed to Mottville township, 
St. Joseph county, Michigan, and settled on the farm they now occupy, 
located within a convenient distance of the village of Mottville. He owns 
one hundred and sixty acres of well-cultivated and highly-productive land, 
while he is also accredited with possessing one of the finest barns in the 

In politics Mr. Smith has always been a Republican since the organiza- 
tion of that party. Most of his children are married, and reside in different 
parts of the county, — possessing many of the excellent traits of character 
which their father endeavored to instil into their minds before they left the 
parental roof. 

Mr. Smith very rightly enjoys the confidence and respect of the commu- 
nity in which he lives. He is a quiet, unassuming man of very prudent 
habita, but always willing to patronize a laudable enterprise. A portrait of 
Mr. Smith is placed in this work as a tribute to his general worth, and as a 
monument for his family and friends to cherish. 


Samuel R. Wiley, of Mottville, St. Joseph county, Michigan, was born at 
Naples, Ontario county, New York, August 31, 1796, and is therefore past 
fourscore. He was educated at the common-schools of his native town, and, at 
an early age, was apprenticed to the shoemaking trade, which, with tanning 
and currying, he followed until he reached his thirty-fifth year. At this time, 
namely, in 1831, he purchased a farm of fifty acres in Ontario county, where 
he remained until his removal to St. Joseph county, Michigan, in 1850. He 
settled on his present farm, w r hich then contained one hundred and forty-five 
acres, but now, through a subsequent purchase, increased to one hundred 
and eighty-five acres. For the former he paid eight dollars per acre, and 
for the latter ten dollars. His farm is now a model of neatness, and his land 
in a high state of cultivation. 

In 1856 he built his present neat dwelling-house, and added, by various 
improvements, to the value and beauty of his adopted home. 

In 1821 Mr. Wiley took unto himself a wife in the person of Patience 
Clark, who was born at Naples, Ontario county, New York, June 14, 
1801. This marriage was productive of much happiness and eleven children, 
of which number eight reached the age of maturity and are now comfort- 
ably settled in various States, and are respectable members of society, 
evincing in their lives the admirable lessons of self-reliance and rectitude 
taught them by their parents. 

On the 24th of September, 1852, Mr. Wiley lost, by death, his wife, who 
had been his faithful companion for more than thirty years. It was to him 
and his family a sorrowful bereavement, but with the fortitude born of his 
Spiritualistic faith he feels her essential presence always with him, and 
humbly abides the time when they shall be again united. 

Mr. Wiley was elected to several offices of trust in his native, township, 
and has also served as school-director in the township of Mottville one term. 
In politics he is a Democrat, priding himself in having voted for " Old 
Hickory " away back more than half a century ago. In religious belief he 
is liberal, as before intimated, holding fast to the doctrines of Spiritualism of 
the higher and nobler nature, and discountenancing* its charlatanism. He 
carries his four-score years well, — the result of an abstemious and industrious 
course of life ; and possessing the use of all his faculties unimpaired, he has 
fair prospects of living yet to see the dawn of another decade. In character, 
he is positive ; in business, honest ; in the discharge of duty, prompt and 
fearless. A good citizen and a desirable neighbor, he enjoys the respect of 
all who know him. 






The subject of our sketch comes of an old and respectable family, his 
grandfather, David Ebi, having served as a soldier in the Revolution, in a 
Virginia regiment of volunteers, through the entire war, when he was honor- 
ably discharged, but never claimed the pension allowed the old veterans of 
1776. He of whom we write was born near Canton, Stark county, Ohio, 
December 19, 1813, and was one of a family of seventeen children, of whom 
fourteen survive. 

The first nineteen years of his life he remained at home, assisting his 
father on the farm. At this time, however, he evinced a desire to learn the 
carpenter trade, and stipulated with his father for the remaining years of 
his minority, agreeing to pay the old gentlemen fifty dollars therefor, which 
contract he faithfully fulfilled, much to the satisfaction of the father. 

In 1831 he shouldered his knapsack and left his father's roof to begin life 
for himself, and was domiciled for that year with his uncle, David Ebi ; 
during which time he attended school. 

In 1832, with his brother Michael, he was apprenticed to a carpenter, but 
worked so hard that at the end of the second year he was obliged to return 
to his uncle's house to recuperate, availing himself of the opportunity, in 
the meantime, to again attend school ; and resumed his apprenticeship in the 

On the 30th of August, 1835, he engaged in a business expedition to Mich- 
igan for a brother, and walked to Akron, Ohio, the first day. He arrived 
at Mottville on the 6th of September, walking from Detroit since the 2d of 
the month. On arriving at Mottville he found his brother, Daniel Ebi, liv- 
ing with his father-in-law, Daniel Shellhammer. Here he met his future 
wife, Catharine Shellhammer, to whom he was married March 30, 1837. 

Mrs. Ebi was born in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, November 11, 
1817, and died September 26, 1858. 

Eight children were born to them, of whom iiye still survive. Among the 
greatest trials of the married life of Mr. and Mrs. Ebi was the loss of three 
of their older sons, who died at a time when they were just developing into 
interesting youths. An unfortunate financial transaction, caused by the delin- 
quency of another, cost Mr. Ebi the loss of all of his hard-earned property, 
at a time when he was laying the foundation for future competence. 

The life-history of Mr. Ebi is a chequered one, experiencing all of the 
vicissitudes of a pioneer existence. He has at last, after many wanderings and 
changes, returned to the township where he made his first stay in Michigan 
of more than a single night. 

He went to York township in Indiana (Elkhart county) the day after he 
was married, a one-horse wagon sufficing to transport his wife and all of 
his household effects. He bought forty acres of land and built a small 
board-house, without doors, windows or chimney. The cooking was done 
out of doors, a stump being utilized for a stove, and thus passed the honey- 
moon ; it would scarcely come under the head of " love in a cottage," and 
yet love was not wanting, though the cottage was yet to be built. It came 
in good time, however, and was all the better for being the sole handiwork of 
the master of the house himself. 

He resided here twelve years, when, his wife's health failing, he changed 
his location to the village of Bristol, in which place he built two cottages 
for his own use, residing there many years. 

On the 10th of April, 1860, in company with one A. P. Wright, he went 
to Colorado, where, after prospecting for a time, he settled in Gilpin county, 
and engaged in mining. At intervals he worked at building himself a 
house, which, on completion, he converted into a provision-store, and suc- 
ceeded well in the business of merchandizing in that line. 

In 1866 he returned to Bristol, where he met Mrs. Barbara Koehler, a 
widowed lady whom he had known for twenty years, and on the 15th of 
April following they were married. He subsequently purchased the farm 
of his wife's former husband, on which they resided two years, and then sold 
the same and moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where they resided five years. 

In 1873 Mr. and Mrs. Ebi paid a visit to his sons living in California, 
where they remained nearly a year and returned to Elkhart July 6, 1874 
and on the 18th of the same month fixed their residence, as at present, in 

Mr. Ebi, while in Colorado, assisted in framing the territorial laws and 
regulations, and was a delegate to the first territorial convention, in 1860, 
from Gilpin county. 

Mr. Ebi is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, which he joined, 
with his wife Catharine, in 1838 ; and it was only by the consolation of their 
religious belief they were enabled to bear their great griefs in the loss of 
their sons. 

The present wife of Mr. Ebi has two children by her former husband, 
Conrad Koehler (a native of Germany), a son and a daughter. 

Mrs. Ebi was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1821, 
her maiden name being Barbara Whitman. She was first married when nine- 
teen years of age. We present the portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Ebi in this 
connection, which will be gladly recognized by the many friends of the 




Sampson C. Nash, father of the subject of our sketch, was born in Mary- 
land, and Lovina Allerton, his wife, was born in Pennsylvania. Stephen 
M. was born in Stark county, Ohio, January 26, 1823. In the fall of 1843 
Mr. S. M. Nash, in company with his father's family, emigrated to St. Jo- 
seph county, Michigan, and located some four miles south of White Pigeon. 
Here Stephen continued to live till the spring of 1848, when he settled in 
Mottville township. In September, 1852, he purchased some eighty acres 
of land of Joseph Miller ; this, together with what he previously owned, con- 

stitutes his present home. In April, 1853, he was married to Miss Caroline 
Voorhees, daughter of Christopher Voorhees. November 26, 1854, their 
only child, Ada A., was born. Mr. Nash has filled various positions of trust 
and honor in the town, with credit to himself and general satisfaction to his 
constituents, — has served as justice of the peace, supervisor of the town, and 
chairman of said board. In politics Mr. Nash affiliates with the Democratic 
party ; and in religion his sympathies are with the Disciple church. 


Nottawa-seepe, "a prairie by a river," was the Indian cognomen given to 
the prairie partially included in the limits of the present township of Not- 
ts wa, Colon, Mendon and Leonidas — the little stream being called, by the 
dusky dwellers along its banks, by the same term. The prairie was irreg- 
ularly shaped ; points of wood-land jutting out like capes into the sea, at 
some points entirely cut off, and thus forming islands. At one point the 
opposing wood-lands — oak openings — would almost meet, as it were reaching 
out their sinewy hands to throttle the wavy sinuous plain, devoid of forest 
growth, but luxuriating in the richest grasses, and adorned with the most 
beautiful flowers. Again the forest would retreat on either side, and the 
waving grass would sweep to the right and left, until its billowy outlines 
were* miles in extent, and then the oaks would gather steadily for a grand 
charge on either flank, and the plain would recoil under the shock until 
but a narrow pass was left between the monarchs of a thousand years and 
the survivors of tempest and fire for nearly as long. 

Such was the outline Nottawa prairie presented to the eyes of John W. 
Fletcher, Captain Moses Allen and George Hubbard, as, in the summer of 
1826, they followed the trail of Black Hawk and his fierce Sac warriors on 
their annual pilgrimage to Maiden, and made the tour of southwestern 
Michigan in search of a place to build homes for future families to rest in. 
Theirs were the first views ©f this prairie vouchsafed to a white man, in 
whose breast arose a feeling that there he would make his home ; there he 
would build a roof-tree, and gather around him a family in time to come. 
But one of this trio ever executed his then formed design, and realized his 


Nottawa is a full government township, known and designated on the pub- 
lic surveys as township six, south of range ten west, principal meridian, and 
its area contains twenty-three thousand two hundred and thirty-eight acres, 
three hundred and eighty of which are water surface. Two thousand six 
hundred acres of the original prairie are included in the present bounds of 
the township, the rest of the acreage being covered with oak openings prin- 
cipally, the bottoms along the creek and the St. Joseph being covered with 
heavy timber of various kinds, common to the county. 


The surface is generally level, undulating, more or less, in some portions 
of the openings. The soil is of the general characteristics of that of the 
whole county, and in the southern and western parts of the township there 
is a considerable deposit of bowlder-stone, which are of great use for building 


The township is watered and drained by the St. Joseph river, which 
crosses the northwest corner of the township diagonally, through sections 
five and six. Hog creek, or Prairie river, enters the township from the 
south, on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section thirty-six ; 
runs northerly into the southeast quarter of section twenty-six, and thence 
west and south, passing out on the southeast quarter of the southwest quar- 
ter of section thirty-four, and re-entering on the southeast quarter of the 
southwest quarter of section thirty-three, and, running northwesterly, makes 



its final exit from the township on southwest quarter of section nineteen. 
Evans' lake on the southwest quarter of section twenty-one, and Sand lake on 
the southeast quarter of section twenty-seven, are the principal lakes, though 
a little one on section thirty-four rejoices in the highly-perfumed name of 
Skunk lake. A little creek comes into the township on section thirteen, 
which rises in Colon, and runs through the centre of the township, west, and 
enters Hog creek near the centre of section nineteen. 


The first white man to select a location for a home on Nottawa prairie, 
was Judge William Connor, still a worthy and honored resident of the 
township, whither he came forty-eight years ago, in the freshness and elas- 
ticity of early manhood, to hew out for himself and those who should follow, 
a home amid the oak parks and flowery lawns designed and wrought by 
that deft landscape gardener— Nature. He came to the prairie in May, 
1829, and, against the protests of the Indians,— who claimed all of Nottawa 
prairie, arguing that the line of their reservation, as drawn upon the sur- 
veys as the southern limit of the same, was in fact the centre line of the 
reservation, — made his selection and returned to Monroe to enter the same ; 
after which he remained at Ypsilanti and taught school one term— return- 
ing to his location and settling thereon permanently, September 1, 1829. 
Other parties followed Judge Connor in looking for locations, among them 
Judge John Sturgis, who had, in 1827, made a settlement on Sturgis prairie, 
but having sold the same, came to Nottawa and made a new location on sec- 
tion four, against the same earnest and angry protests of the Indians that 
were made to Connor. Judge Sturgis tried to show them that their line 
was not so far south as his location ; failing in which, he persuaded them 
to go to Lima or Mon-go-qui-nong prairie, as it was then known, and 
lay the matter before a friend of theirs— a white man— in whom they 
reposed the utmost confidence ; agreeing, if he should say the line of the 
reservation included his location, he would at once abandon it. They 
repaired at once to the referee, who showed them, by the terms of the treaty, 
that the surveyed line of the reservation was correctly drawn, and the Indi- 
ans withdrew their claims for the land south of it, but ever strongly insisted ^ 
that the government, by its agents, over-reached their chiefs in the treaty, ' 
and took from them the best of what they meant to reserve. Mr. Sturgis 
came to his location in August, a few days before Judge Connor arrived 
upon his. 


made in Nottowa township, then unnamed and unorganized, were the fol- 
lowing : June 12, 1829, the northeast quarter of section four, by John Sturgis ; 
the west half of the southeast quarter of section ten, and the west half of the 
northeast quarter of section fifteen, Henry Powers; the west half of the 
southwest quarter of section ten, Henry Post ; the east half of the southwest 
quarter and the east half of the northwest quarter, December 15th, Russell 
Post ; the west half of the northwest quarter of section fifteen, William 
Connor. On August 28, 1829, John W. Fletcher came again to his' first 
selection in 1826, and secured the west half of the northeast quarter and the 
west half of the southeast quarter of section seventeen ; and, on the 10th of 
October following, William Hazzard entered the other half of the same 
quarter sections, which were the only entries made that year. 


in the township, or on the prairie, was a log cabin erected by John Sturgis, 
on his location, section four, in August, 1829, and which is still standing on 
the original site, but fast sinking in the embrace of mother earth, from whose 
loving breast it came forty-eight years ago. 

Other cabins soon followed the Sturgis house ; Mr. Fletcher returning in 
October, and putting up one and securing some marsh hay, and then returning 
to Wayne county, Michigan, whence he came, and taking his father's family 
(himself being an unmarried man), consisting of father, mother and two 
sisters, and their houshold goods, into a wagon drawn by oxen, in company 
with William Hazzard and his family and Hiram A. Hecox and family, 
similarly transported, made their way through the forest, following the Chi- 
cago trail, as before, to White Pigeon, and thence to the cabin on section 
seventeen, at which they arrived on the evening of Christmas, 1829. The 
party drove their cattle and hogs through, and had a rough journey. The 
weather was cold and bad, the streams difficult to ford, and eighteen days 
were consumed in making the trip from Brownstown. This cabin, which 
was a duplicate of the early ones, was built by Mr. Fletcher in October, he 
having come to make his selection about the 1st of August ; after entering 
it, he procured a yoke of oxen and a wagon, and returned in October, rolled 
up the logs, covered it with a " shake" roof, and floored it with "punch- 

eons." It was a good house for those days. Mr. Powers built a cabin the 
following winter, but a Mr. Lane, Judge Connor, Judge Sturgis and Mr. 
Fletcher, were the only ones to get into their own cabins in 1829. Connor's 
first cabin was rolled up on Spring creek, east of the present road, on the 
north and south line of section sixteen. Amos Howe made his selection 
of a location in 1829, but did not occupy it with his family until 1830. 

Among other early settlers were Dr. McMillan and his family, who 
came late in the year 1829, living all winter in their wagons. The good 
old Doctor took his time to build his house, as to his precise, mechanical eye, 
the slightest deviation from a right line to the cardinal points of a compass, 
would have been a perpetual annoyance to him. Connor's cabin had a hole 
cut in it for ingress and egress, and the door to close the aperture was made 
when time and money were less pressing. Benjamin Sherman, Jonathan 
Engle, Sr. and Jr., George W. Dille, John Foreman, Glover Laird Gardner, 
Hiram Gates and Henry Powers, came in the spring or early part of 1830. 
Russell and Henry Post, John and Samuel Cuddy, Samuel McKee, James 
and Adney Hecox came to the prairie in 1829, during the fall; most of them 
were from Smooth Bock, Michigan, Judge Connor's former school district, 
but originally from the Eastern States. 

The trials of these pioneers were the same, in kind, as those described else- 
where in the general history of the pioneers of the county, and a rehearsal 
of them here would be but a recapitulation of what has already been 
told. Suffice it then to say, that the privations which befell them, the sor- 
rows and afflictions which at times encompassed their pathways, were as 
bravely, unflinchingly and cheerfully borne by them as by any of their 
fellow-pioneers in the county elsewhere. Their charities and works of mercy 
for their fellows were no whit behind the most charitable ; and their record 
of kindness and sympathy in times of distress is colored by the same 
radiance of love and brotherly affection that casts its halo around and over 
all of these unselfish and helpful men and women of " auld lang syne." 
Mrs. Fletcher's deed of mercy to the Co wens is preserved in the general 
history of the county. 


were opened in 1830, simultaneously by the above-named settlers of 1829, 
and early comers of 1830, no one having a pre-eminence in that direction. 
Nottawa was an exception to every other township in the county, by receiv- 
ing a colony instead of a single settler in the beginning. The seeding for 
the first crop was brought in from other points, — Mr. Fletcher getting his 
oats and potatoes from Allen's prairie, now in Branch county, in the manner 
described in the history of the navigation of the St. Joseph river. Corn, 
potatoes, and oats were grown and harvested in 1830, and wheat sown in the 
fall of that year and harvested the year following. 


Mr. Fletcher brought thirteen hundred small apple-trees, currant and 
grape cuttings in the fall of 1829, from Wayne county, and preserved them 
during the winter by putting them in a bee-hive, which was buried in the 
earth ; in the spring of 1830 he transplanted them into a nursery. Benjamin 
Sherman brought in larger apple-trees in the spring of 1830, from Ohio, 
when he came, and set them out, which bore the first fruit grown on the 
prairie, which is now noted for its fine orchards and their productions. 
Judge Connor and H. A. Hecox planted their orchards the same year. 


A fact, which is as yet unexplained, is stated by Judge Connor and 
borne out by the records, that up to 1844 smut in wheat was a terrible pest, 
but it then disappeared from that cereal and has never since re-appeared. 

The theory that cutting off the timber affects the rain-fall of a given 
district does not appear to hold good in St. Joseph, as the old settlers say 
when they first came to the county it was drier than it has been since. 
The greatest snow-falls since the first settlement were those of the winters of 
1831-32-33. The sickly season of 1837-38 was preceded by a series of 
wet, cold ones, the two named being excessively hot and dry. 

In June, 1835, a frost killed the crops to the ground, and it was three or 
four weeks before suckers re-formed. The early wheat was destroyed, the 
later sown escaping, and the next year the price of wheat was very high. 
Judge Connor had ninety acres of the latter sown, and did not save enough 
from the frost to live on. 


erected on Nottawa prairie was a barn by John and Samuel Cuddy, on their 
farm, in 1832. The first frame house erected in the present township of 
Nottawa, outside of Centreville, was that of John W. Fletcher, on his loca- 



tion on section seventeen, whereon he still resides. He built the same in 
1835, and William Hazzard built one the same year. 


outside of the village of Centreville, was the present one of Colonel Jonathan 
Engle, built by himself. 


in Xottawa appeared before the schoolma'atn did, contrary to the usual rule 
of precedence. In the spring of 1830 a class was formed by the Bev. Eras- 
tus Felton and Rev. Lyman B. Gurley, missionaries of the Ohio conference 
of the Methodist Episcopal church. William Fletcher and wife (parents of 
John W.) and William Hazzard and his wife being the members. A his- 
tory in detail of this class, and the subsequent flourishing society which grew 
therefrom, will be found in the history of Centreville. 


was built in the spring or early summer of 1831, on section sixteen. It was 
a rude log-house, and is still standing a short distance from Thomas Engle's 
residence, though fast crumbling to dust to mingle again with the earth 
whence it came, to re-appear in living forms again at the bidding of that 
unalterable law that makes no mistakes. Miss Delia Brooks taught the 
first school therein, in the summer of 1831 ; she had among her pupils 
Hamblen A. Hecox and David Hazzard, both of whom are now residents 
of Xottawa, and Amanda Fletcher, afterwards Mrs. Ira Thurston, now of 
Iowa. Mis* Brooks married Colonel Jonathan — familiarly called "Jock" 
— EiiL r le, Jr., but has been deceased several years. 

The school statistics of the township for 1876 are as follows: There were nine 
school -houses, including the fine union school-building of Centreville, (which 
is of stone, ) three of them being brick and five frame-buildings ; the whole val- 
ued at twenty-nine thousand and five hundred dollars. They have six hun- 
dred and thirty sittings. There were seven hundred children in the township 
between the ages of five and twenty years, six hundred of whom attended 
the different schools, which were in session, not including the union school of 
Centreville, an average of eight months during the year. Six male teachers 
taught twenty-nine months, and were paid one thousand six hundred and 
one dollars ; and thirteen females taught eighty-six months, and received 
two thousand five hundred and twelve dollars therefor. The total resources 
of the districts amounted to twelve thousand four hundred and twenty-seven 
dollars and forty-six cents, of which was expended eleven thousand four 
hundred and thirty-six dollars and sixty-three cents, — including one thousand 
dollars on bonded indebtedness, and one thousand and eighty-five dollars 
and forty-three cents for repairs. 


was introduced in 1832-3, in the shape of fanning-mills. One of the latter 
was ow T ned by four neighbors, Mr. Fletcher being one of the stockholders. 
It was agreed that whoever used it last should keep it till it was called for 
by some other of the quartette, w T hen, if it w T as not actually in use, no matter 
if so little time as ten minutes only intervened before the party in whose 
possession it was intended to use it, the party who came for it had the 
preference and took it away. 

Previous to the advent of this mill they had harnessed zephyr to the work, 
and by her gentle, or more hurried breathings had winnowed their grain. 
In 1836 the open-cylinder threshers came in use — the first ones, manufactured 
by Sprague, being rude, clumsy, clattering affairs ; these, in 1837, were super- 
seded by others made by Daniel Johnson, which w T ere a great improvement 
over the flail and traraping-process by horses. The " shaker " was added to 
the open cylinder next, then the "straw carrier," and finally, in 1842, the 
great separators were introduced with their eight and ten-horse pow r ers. 

The reapers came in also about this time, the Johnsons bringing the first 
one, a Hussey — the J. M. Leland machines coming in for trial the year pre- 
vious, or thereabouts. There was no reel on the first reaper, a man drawing 
the standing gram to the platform by a rake or other device. This was not 
so difficult a feat to accomplish as it would seem in the presence of the 
automatic machines of the present, as the machines were then drawn by 
four horses, and at a high rate of speed. 

In the season of 1842, one of the neighbors on the prairie fell sick, just 
as his harvest was ready for the sickle, and Mr. Johnson, with his 
'" Hussey/' followed by a large concourse of neighbors, appeared early one 
Sunday morning before the sick man's door and asked to be shown into the 
wheat-field. The request was complied with, and by night the whole field 
of thirty acres was covered with shocks of golden grain. The next Sunday 
the same was stacked, and the Sunday following it was threshed with a Con- 

stantine separator, the thirty acres yielding six hundred and forty bushels. 
This was the largest day's work done by any reaper, before or since, in the 
county. The Sunday work, too, was on the the principle of the Master, that 
the " Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." 

The McCormick reapers were first introduced by the Wakemans and John 
Bowers ; Judge Connor introduced the first combined machine in 1854 — a 
" Manny." 

John M. Leland was the first to introduce the reel on reapers, but never 
received any benefit from its invention, and also invented the open guards, 
both of which improvements are as inseparable and essential to all reapers 
and mowers as the needle with an eye in its point is to a sewing machine, 
and yet Mr. L. never gained a penny of profit from either invention. 


began to be introduced early, but no attention was paid to cattle until the 
Wakemans brought their thorough-bred short-horns from Ohio, in 1850. 
Judge Connor bought a Devon bull-calf in Rochester, New York, paying 
forty dollars for it, in 1836, and kept it several years, but nothing else of 
moment was done in that line previous to the date before given. 

James Stadden has raised several very fine farm-horses, and Mr. Brown, 
of Sand Lake, once had an excellent stallion, from whose viciousness Brown 
lost his life. The horse was then taken to Kalamazoo, where he killed two 
other men, and was shot to prevent further mischief. 

Sheep have been raised to a considerable extent, the American merino 
seeming to take the preference. Cultivation of the soil, however, is the 
branch of agriculture which chiefly occupies the attention of the Nottawa 
farmers, and in that they are unexcelled. 


The first manufacturing done in Nottawa was by Asa Belote, in his black- 
smith shop on section fifteen, in 1831. 

Henry Powers and Kussell Post were the first carpenters in the settlement, 
and John V. Overfield, a Virginian, burnt the first brick on the prairie in 
1832. He was a mason by trade, and it is said of him that for forty-two 
years he never failed to cast his vote at any election where he was entitled 
to do so except once, and w T as then only prevented by a storm so fierce that 
he could not reach the polls before they closed, — he being at Mottville and 
the election at Nottawa. He made the attempt, but failed to reach the 
polling-station until after the election was closed. 

Glover Laird built the first distillery on the northeast corner of section 
one in 1831-2, and Hopper built another near the corner of the townships 
of Burr Oak, Colon, Sherman and Nottawa in the years 1836-7. The lo- 
cation is now known as Hopper's corners. The Johnsons had one sub- 

The first and only flouring-mill ever built in the township, outside of 
Centreville, w T as erected in 1832-3 by T. W. Langley, who brought his mill- 
irons with him from Philadelphia, in October, 1832. He had, in June of 
that year, purchased the site and building in process of erection on the 
present farm of George Kline, deceased, — whose widow is a grand-daughter 
of Mr. Langley, — which site was owned by a Mr. Foster, who had begun 
the erection of a saw-mill. The saw-mill was put into operation in Decem- 
ber following, the dam being thirty-two rods long, with a heavy embank- 
ment of gravel on Hog creek. 

The grist-mill was pushed to completion after many obstacles were over- 
come, and commenced operations with a single run of small burr-stones in 
April, 1833. The mill was a three-story building and was completely 
equipped the following fall by Johnston & Stewart, who succeeded to its 
ownership with three run of larger stone, and flouring wheat for merchant- 
work was carried on. Mr. Langley regained possession of the mill and run it 
himself, and it was also leased by Philip B. Toll and operated by him. It 
was burned some years afterwards and the site of the dam removed to 
Centreville, where the mill w T as rebuilt by the Talbots. As an instance of 
what practical knowledge and genius can accomplish in the face of ob- 
stacles, before which simple skill is powerless, the following incident, tran- 
spiring at this mill, is given : When Johnston & Stewart took possession of 
the establishment, according to their agreement, they at once set about re- 
fitting it, and for the purpose procured the services of two skillful mill- 
wrights from Kochester, who came on and began their work. They were 
exact and careful workmen, but met difficulties to which they were unaccus- 
tomed in their experience in the east. At last they came to the large 
cogged wheel, and were brought to a stand for want of properly seasoned 
timber out of which to make the cogs, and could do nothing. After some 
delay Messrs. Johnston & Stewart sent to John M. Leland, who came, and, 
learning the difficulty, set at once about supplying the needed material. The 











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young men, though skilled mechanics, knew of no way of making what they 
wanted out of unseasoned timber, always having had a supply of seasoned 
■lumber on hand. Mr. Leland chose his lumber and boiled it first thor- 
oughly, and transferred it to the oven and baked it as " well done " and 
proceeded with the work. 

Cornelius Kline built a tannery in 1836-8 on the west side of Sand lake, 
and the building is now Mr. West's barn. 

Elisha Strong built another tannery on the north side of the lake, about 


outside of Centreville, in Nottawa, was O. B. Harmon, who sold goods in 
1830, on section one to the Indians and white people. 


was surveyed in the summer of 1830, from the Indiana State line through 
Sturgis prairie to Sand lake, to the corner of sections fifteen, sixteen, twenty- 
one and twenty-two, at which point the survey ended, and every section-line 
in the township was declared to be a public highway. The commissioners 
of the town of Sherman, Truman Bearss and Amos Howe, laid it out. 
Alfred L. Driggs built a saw-mill in Branch county soon after the Schell- 
hous mill was built in Colon, and Judge Conner went to Driggs' for lumber, 
cutting and blazing his way through, whereupon the commissioners laid out 
the trail as a highway direct from Sand lake. The angles have been 
straightened since, until there is but a small portion of the original road 
left, — which is near the present school-house on the prairie. 


on Nottawa prairie was kept, in 1830, by Captain Henry Powers, on the west 
half of the northeast quarter of section fifteen. The building was a log- 
house twenty-two by twenty-eight feet, one and a half stories high, with a 
wing fifteen by fifteen feet. It had a double fire-place and a brick chimney. 
It was a great resort for dancing-parties, and also political gatherings before 
Centreville became the centre of the latter movements. It was the head- 
quarters for some days of Governor Porter at the time of the " big pay- 
ment" in December, 1833. It was also the location of the 


on the prairie, Captain Powers being the first postmaster. James Powers 
carried the mail twice a week to and from White Pigeon, and the captain 
had the profits of the office for transacting the business. It was a small affair, 
but answered its purpose. Judge Connor was the deputy, and transacted 
the business during Powers' incumbency, which continued until the fall of 
1835, when he was succeeded by Dr. Mottram, who removed the office to his 
own house, and was succeeded in after years by his partner, Dr. Hyatt, who 
held the position until the office was transferred to Mendon. 


in the township of a white child was that of John Foreman, — now of Leoni- 
das, — who was born February 6, 1830. William Hazzard, Jr., was born in 
March following, on the 12th day of the month. The first white female child 
born in the township is said to be Clarissa Buel, the wife of Cyrus Buel, of 
Centreville. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Fletcher, and 
was born December 18, 1832. 


in the township of white people was that of John Potter, of Green, Branch 
county, and Mary McKee, of Nottawa, or " Shearman," as the record reads. 
William Fletcher, town clerk of Sherman, granted the license December 25, 
1830, and it is fair to presume that the merry Christmas time was made all 
the merrier by the wedding of the parties on that day. 


occurred suddenly in this township, as it did in Sturgis. The victim was 
Asahel Sawyer, who was killed by a falling tree in February, 1831. He 
was an intelligent, practical man, a machinist, farmer, business man, or 
schoolmaster, as occasioned required. He seemed to have a presentiment 
that he would be killed in the manner in which he did meet his death, and 
was fearful when in the woods, and that very fear precipitated his death. 
The tree he was engaged in cutting, in falling brought down two others with 
it, and he became frightened, and in his confusion ran directly into the dan- 
ger he >could most easily have avoided had he kept his presence of mind. 
He was buried on the school section, on which the 


was afterwards laid out, in 1833 or thereabouts. 


who made his residence in Nottawa, outside of Centreville, was Dr. Mottram, 
who settled on the prairie in 1832. He was poor, not having even a horse 
to ride, and Judge Connor very generously furnished him with one the first 
summer. Dr. Mottram lived on the prairie while he remained in the 
county. He is now an eminent and wealthy physician of Kalamazoo. Dr. 
Merritt came after Mottram first located, and practiced a while, and Dr. 
McMillan used to ply his vocation in emergencies ; but his chemical studies 
usually engrossed his attention, and he gave but little heed to his profession, 
passing his time almost exclusively among his retorts and crucibles, sand- 
baths and furnaces, with which his premises were supplied. Dr. Hyatt came 
later, and formed a co-partnership with Dr. Mottram, which continued some 
years, the latter removing to Mendon in 1859, where he now resides and fol- 
lows his profession. Dr. McMillan died in 1874, at the age of eighty-five 


Since the settlement of the township there have been Judge Connor, who 
enclosed his first purchase, — eighty acres, — the first year, and the next year 
(1831) had the largest area under cultivation of any one on the prairie ; 
Benjamin Sherman, who had seventy acres under cultivation in 1830, the 
first year of his coming; John W. Fletcher, William Hazzard, Sr., William 
Hazzard, Jr. (succeeding to the paternal acres, and adding largely to them), 
the Johnsons, Glover Laird and his son Harry W., the Wakeman brothers 
(represented now by Hiram Wakeman), W. B. Langley, Samuel Kline, 
Henry Powers, and Russell Post. Fletcher, William Hazzard, Jr., Harry 
Laird, Kline, and Langley are residents at the present time on their original 

James Culbertson came to Nottawa in 1835, stopped about a week, became 
home-sick, and went back to Union county, Pa., where he remained about 
two weeks, becoming thoroughly disgusted with the rough mountainous 
country, which he was continually contrasting with the beautiful land he 
had just left; whereupon he took his family and returned to Nottawa, and 
buying the location of Richard Calvin, settled there .and remained until 
his death. His son John occupies the old homestead, and James, another 
son, is a leading mint-producer in the township, having a fine farm on the 
bank of the St. Joseph. He has one of the best mint-distilleries in the 
county, and received one year, from the production of twenty-one acres, 
three thousand dollars. He has the first hydraulic cider-press erected in 

Colonel Isaac Wampole was a noted man among the early residents of 
Nottawa, coming in 1833 from Pennsylvania and locating the present fine 
farm of W. B. Langley. He was an energetic, stirring man, and died very 
much respected. 

Judge Connor was unmarried when he made Nottawa his home, but in 
1835 married the widow of Ambrose S. Wicks (deceased), of New York, who 
survived her wedding day but seven months. The Judge mourned for his 
lost one until 1838, when he found consolation by marrying a daughter of 
Captain Powers, with whom he lived most happily nearly a generation, she 
passing to her rest in 1870. He is now seventy-four years of age, but a hale, 
hearty man notwithstanding, whose perceptions are clear and mind vigorous, 
as in younger days. He added farm to farm until his acreage was equal to 
any in the township, and more than the most of his neighbors. Since the 
death of his companion he has distributed his property among his children, 
and, as he quaintly puts it, " is living now on borrowed time." He is one of 
St. Joseph's worthiest citizens. 


During the excitement of the Black Hawk war, some of the settlers 
became very much alarmed, and loaded a few necessaries and their families 
into their wagons, and moved eastward as fast as their teams could travel. 
One day a man, driving across the prairie, broke the king-bolt to his wagon, 
and offered a new and good plow for another, that he might not be detained. 
The fording of the streams was never a pleasant task in high-water, and 
sometimes was positively dangerous. 

Judge Connor relates an incident of a ford once attempted by him, which 
partook of neither of the above mentioned characteristics. It happened to 
him in the winter of 1829-30. He was going to White Pigeon with a team 
of steers, and Hog creek, which he had to cross, was frozen for about one- 
third of the breadth on either side, leaving an open space in the centre of the 
stream. The usual ford was made by going into the stream, and then ascend 
it about ten rods and go out on the opposite side, where the exit was favor- 
able. Connor ' stripped to the buff' and urged his cattle in, walking by 
their side, the ice cutting his skin badly, and the cold wind piercing his 



' upper works ' no less severely. The steers refused to make the exit, when 
he mounted one of them and began to belabor them a little, but it made 
matters worse and they bolted out on the side they came in on, and shook off 
the unlucky rider and ran into the woods. The judge put on his clothes and 
regained his cattle and his seating, and made the ford successfully at last. 

The first theft committed in the settlement was at the expense of Judge 
Connor, and was as follows : In 1830, when Connor went to purchase his sec- 
ond lot, it was know T n he was to have the money for its purchase sent to him 
from the eastward ; and the day before he was to go to Monroe, he left his 
cabin alone during the day, as he had frequently done before. The nearest 
cabin to Connor's was Lane's about half a mile off. When Mr. Connor re- 
turned at night he found his trunk broken open, and his money gone, but 
fortunately not that which he was to enter his land with, that having been 
sent to him at Ypsilanti, which he received when he arrived there on his way 
to Monroe. But what he did have, twenty dollars, was a large sum to lose 
in those days, and besides it was every dime he had, and he had to work his 
passage to and from Monroe, with his friend John W. Fletcher, who paid 
the bills out and back. 

Lane's reputation was not of the best when he came to the settlement, and 
it improved none after the burglary was committed. 


of the surviving pioneers of Nottawa was held in 1876 at Colonel " Jock " 
Engle'- by his express invitation, which stated " that the toughest specimen 
in hi& flock of turkeys would be sacrificed on the occasion," in order to carry 
out the *' eternal fitness of things." There was a noted assembly of the old 
men and women, who had come to the prairie and vicinity in the days when 
the red man disputed their way ; among them, William Hazzard, aged seventy- 
eight years ; Judge William Connor, seventy-three ; John W. Fletcher, sev- 
enty : Mrs. H. W. Hampson ( Fletcher's sister), sixty-three ; and H. A. 
Hecox, fifty years. Five of them came to Nottawa on the eve of Christ- 
mas, 18*29, settled on land in sight of the house of their host, and resided 
thereon ever since. 

Connor, Hazzard, Fletcher and Engle were present at the first political 
meeting held in the northeast part of the county, June, 1830, to recommend 
Amos Howe for justice of the peace, and these four are all who are living of 
the twenty-five who attended the meeting. Mr. Hazzard is the sole survivor 
of the first Methodist class organized north of White Pigeon, in western 

Judge Cross was present, a pioneer in Monroe county, in 1826. Hecox and 
his father ( now deceased), were both natives of Michigan, the grandfather 
coming to Grosse Isle, in the Detroit river, in 1797, where the father was 
born in 1800. 


Nottawa was origiually included in the township of Sherman, the organi- 
zation of the latter being coincident with that of the county, October 29, 
1829, and being one of the three original townships into which the county 
was first divided. 

It was first set off into a separate township, July 28, 1830, and included 
the present township of Colon within its geographical limits. 

The first movement for a new township was made in June, 1830, at Wil- 
liam Connor's cabin, and there were present at the meeting, William Con- 
nor, Amos Howe, Benjamin Sherman, Jonathan Engle, Senior and Junior, 
Dr. A. McMillan, George W. Dille, Eussell Post, Henry Post, John Fore- 
man, John and Samuel Cuddy, Gardiner, Hiram Gates, Hiram, 

James and Adney Hecox, Samuel McKee, William and John W. Fletcher, 
William Hazzard, Joseph Lane and Henry Powers, who agreed to call the 
new tow T nship Nottawa, and signed a petition to the legislature to that effect, 
recommending Amos Howe to Governor Cass as a proper person to ap- 
point as justice of the peace. William Connor and Asahel Sawyer were 
subsequently appointed a committee to get the act of legislature passed to 
carry the wishes of the people into effect. 

The needed legislation was had, as before stated, in the following session of 
the legislature, and the first town-meeting directed to be held at the house 
of Henry Powers, Mr. Howe receiving the appointment of justice from 
Governor Cass, whose tenant he had previously been. The 


was held April 4, 1831, and was organized by Amos Howe, justice of the 
peace, administering the oath of office to Benjamin Sherman, moderator, and 
William Connor, clerk, wherein they pledged themselves to perform the 
duties of judges of election, according to the best of their abilities, and en- 
deavor to prevent deceit and fraud or abuse in conducting the same. The 

electors resolved to choose their officials by a separate ballot, and proceeded 
to elect the following list of 


William Connor, supervisor ; William Fletcher, town clerk ; Benjamin 
Sherman, George W. Dille, William Hazzard, assessors ; Henry Powers, J. 
W. Fletcher, William Connor, commissioners of highways ; Hiram A. 
Hecox, constable and collector ; Russell Post, Amos Howe, J. W. Fletcher, 
William Connor, Samuel McKee, directors of the poor ; William Fletcher, 
treasurer; William Connor, Henry Powers, Benjamin Newman, William 
Fletcher, Amos Howe, Alex. McMillan, school commissioners and inspectors; 
Russell Post, pathmaster ; Russell Post, William Hazzard and John Fore- 
man, fence-viewers ; William Hazzard, poundmaster ; Jonathan Engle, over- 
seer of highways. 

The electors prohibited stallions from running at large, under a penalty 
of ten dollars, and offered fifty cents bounty for wolf-scalps. 

In September the town auditors allowed fifty-two dollars and fifty cents 
for township expenses. 

The first roads laid out by Nottawa authority, were ordered August 31, 
1831 ; the first beginning on the line between sections four aud nine, run- 
ning southwest to the corner of sections nineteen and thirty, township 
six, range ten west, four miles. The second was from Shellhous' mill, on 
Swan creek, to Coldwater road, one mile; and the third was from the same 
mill, northwest, to Nottawa-seepe prairie, — surveyed September 1 ; the fourth, 
from the north line of section fourteen, township six, range ten, to west 
line of section six, two and one-fourth miles: and the fifth, from west line 
of section six, township six, range ten, to corner of sections two and three. 

The second town-meeting was held at the house of George W. Dille, 
April 2, 1832, and Benjamin Sherman was chosen supervisor, and Amos 
Howe, town clerk. 

March 21, 1833, the boundaries of the township were changed, town- 
ship six, range nine being taken off, and, with township five, range nine, 
formed into the township of Colon, and township five, range ten, attached to 

The third town-meeting was held at the school-house near Engle's, Mr. 
Connor being re-elected supervisor, and James H. Clowes, clerk, and the 
township divided into three road districts. 

At a special town-meeting, June 1, 1833, Benjamin Sherman, William 
Connor and George W. Dille were appointed a committee to prevent Indian 
traders from selling whisky to the Indians. 

June 28, 1831, the first school district (number one) was defined and 
bounded, and contained sections four and seven, township six, range nine, 
and sections one and twelve, and east half of sections two and eleven, town- 
ship six, range ten. 

At the April meeting, 1834, twenty dollars were appropriated for the poor,, 
and a lawful fence declared to be four and a half feet high, w 7 ith four inches 
space between first four rails. 

At the April meeting in 1836, the first justices of the peace were elected, 
and were Digby V. Bell, Benjamin Sherman, Elisha Strong and Luther B. 

At the September election for delegates to the Ann Arbor convention, to 
act upon the Congressional conditions for the admission of Michigan into the 
Union, thirty-seven voted to accept, and fourteen to reject, the conditions. 

In 1841 the strife waxed hot between the Mendonians and the Nottawas, 
and the former carried the scalps of the latter at their belt by a "scratch," 
Mark H. Wakeman being elected supervisor by a vote of ninety-four, over his 
competitor, Judge Connor, who received ninety-three votes. Sam Brown took 
the war-lock of Lentulus Huntley by a vote of ninety-four to ninety-one, and 
Samuel McKee performed the same feat for John W. Fletcher, ninety-four to 
ninety-three, and George W. Dille by the same vote smoked the pipe of peace 
with J. C. Goodrich. 

In 1842 the clans rallied again, and victory perched upon the tufts of the 
Nottawas, who gave the Mendonian chief a severe defeat, Connor being 
chosen leader of the tribe by one hundred and eighteen votes to seventy-four 
for Wakeman. Samuel Brown was re-elected clerk, and Joseph Jewett, 
treasurer, — the latter a Mendonian. 

Peace reigned in 1843, the Nottawas having everything their own way. 

In 1844, township five, range ten, was set off and organized into a new 
township, called Wakeman, but changed the next year to Mendon, and Not- 
tawa shrunk to her present proportions. * 

In 1846 the electors offered ten dollars bounty for wolf-scalps. 

In 1849 they voted one hundred and seven against, and seventy-eight for, 
license to sell liquor. 



In 1864 the electors voted at four different times to raise bounties for vol- 
unteers, the total amount appropriated being fourteen thousand six hundred 
and thirty-two dollars and fifty cents. 

In August, 1864, after two trials, the township voted to raise fourteen 
thousand dollars to aid the Grand Kapids and Indiana railroad in its con- 
struction through the township, and subsequently increased the amount to 
fifteen thousand dollars. 

On June 22, 1869, twenty-five thousand dollars were voted in aid of the 
Michigan Air Line railroad, now the Michigan Central Air Line. 


Supervisors— William Connor, 1831-33-37-40-42-43-53 ; Benjamin 
Sherman, 1832 ; James B. Dunkin, 1838 ; Samuel Brown, 1839 ; M. H. 
Wakeman, 1841 ; Charles H. Knox, 1844-49 ; N. E. Massey, 1845-46 ; Wil- 
liam McCormick, 1847-48, 1850-52-57 ; Cyrus Foreman, 1854 ; John Euth- 
erford, 1855-56-61-66 ; Horatio N. Wilson, 1*58 ; William G. Woodworth, 
1859-60-67-69 ; Robert Alexander, 1870 ; William L. Worthington, 1871 ; 
George B. Mathewson, 1872 ; John McKercher, 1873-76. 

Town Clerks.— William Fletcher, 1831 ; Amos Howe, 1832-34-48-51 ; 
James H. Clowes, 1833; Cyrus Ingerson, 1835; William Mottram, 1836; 
A. Bonham, 1836-37; J. C. Goodrich, 1838-39-44; Samuel Brown, 1840- 
43 ; William McCormick, 1845-46 ; Lewis Harris, 1847 ; Hampden A. He- 
cox, 1852-54 ; Leonard Stillson, 1853 ; Isaac R. Belote, 1855-64 ; Oscar 
Waters, 1865-67 ; P. J. Eaton, 1866 ; L. A. Clapp, 1868-69 ; William En- 
nis, 1870-74 ; Charles R. Talbot, 1871 ; James Hill, 1872-73 ; Alfred A. 
Key, 1875 ; C. O. Gregory, 1876. 

Justices of the Peace.— Amos Howe, 1830-36 ; L. B. Goodrich, 1836-44; 
Benjamin Sherman, 1836-46 ; Asher Bonham, 1837-48 ; John Pattee, 1838 
-46 ; L. E. Thompson, 1839-47 ; George W. Dille, 1841-47 ; Samuel Chip- 
man, 1844-1869 ; Lewis Harris, 1845-53 ; John Rutherford, 1849-57 and 
1873-77; Lentulus Huntley, 1854-1870 ; Chester Gurney, 1855-59 ; John 
S. Weeks, 1857-66 ; Samuel W. Piatt, 1858-9 and 1870-77; Charles A. 
Palmer, 1868-77; W. G. Woodworth, one term, 1869; Rufus Currier, 
1871-76 ; Charles E. Sabin, 1873-77 ; J. Eastman Johnson, 1875-77 ; J. 
W. Coffinberry, 1833-5 and 1844. 


The register of the town clerk shows the first license issued by a Not- 
tawa clerk, to have been November 15, 1832, to Justin Cooper and Lovilla 
Hazzard ; December 12, he granted a permit to marry to George W. Dille 
and Miss Lydia Martin ; January 21, he consented to the nuptials of James 
Hecox and Miss Ida Shellhous; and January 26th, said Jacob Williamson 
might take a bale of dry goods, provided Miss Eliza was willing. In May, 
Mr. Clerk Clowes granted absolution to Ira Thurston and Amanda Fletcher ; 
and in November granted the same indulgence to Oscar B. Harmon and 
Eunice McMillen. On January 1, 1834, one John Wetherhogg was allowed 
to inflict his name upon Emeretta Trasel. In 1834, Esquire Howe, as the 
clerk, gave his permission to William Cline and Mary Shigs, James Powers 
and Diadema Ferris, and Joshua B. Cory and Melissa Harwood, to enter 
into the state of wedlock ; and to make his consent more binding, ratified 
the contract in the name of the people of the territory of Michigan. 

Asher Bonham, as clerk, March 3, 1838, made the following entry on 
the township records : "I, Asher Bonham, clerk of the township of Nottawa, 

do hereby certify, that I have granted license to John R , to embrace 

the rites of matrimony with Betsy A ." 


Hiram A. Hecox, half-penny, underside of both ears. 

William Hazzard, right ear split, and half-penny underside of left. 

J. W. Fletcher, square crop right ear, and left ear split. 

Amos Howe, square crop of left ear. 


In 1838,Nottawa township, then including Mendon, had a population of sev- 
en hundred and thirteen. In 1850 it had increased in Nottawa, as now limited, 
to one thousand one hundred and sixty-five. In 1870 it had gained seven hun- 
dred and three, standing at eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, divided among 
three hundred and seventy-two families, and with three hundred and eighty- 
seven dwellings. Nine hundred and fifty-nine were males and nine hundred 
and nine of the opposite sex. The State census of 1874 gives but fourteen 
additional population to that of 1870, placing it at one thousand eight hun- 
dred and eighty-two, increasing the males to nine hundred and seventy- 
five, and reducing the females to nine hundred and seven. Three hundred 
and eleven masculines were of the age reckoned fit to go to war, one hundred 

and seventy-nine were exempt, being over forty-five and under seventy-five, 
and eight were between the three-quarter post and the last decade of the 
century. Three hundred and thirty-nine of the feminine gender were mar- 
riageable, two hundred and nine were under seventy-five, but beyond the age 
of forty-five, and twelve had passed the point of three score and fifteen. 
There were two hundred and thirty-eight boys and one hundred and seventy- 
one girls between ten and twenty-one, and four hundred and fifteen children 
of both sexes under ten years of age. The married men were three 
hundred and sixty-seven, and the single ones, who ought to have been mar- 
ried, were one hundred and eleven — and there were twenty widowed ones. 
There were three hundred and seventy-four married females, seven of whom 
were under eighteen years of age, and one hundred and eighteen yet looking 
for mates ; while sixty-eight were mourning for companions had and lost, two 
of them being under eighteen years of age. 


of Nottawa may be seen by the tally-sheets of the presidential elections. In 
1840 " Tippecanoe and Tyler too " had one hundred and fifty-nine and the 
" Kinderhook fox" one hundred and eleven votes. In 1844 Harry Clay re- 
ceived ninety-five votes, Polk ninety-five, and the "old Liberty guard" 
polled eleven votes. In 1848 "old Zach " Taylor had ninety-nine votes, 
Governor Cass one hundred and iiYe, and the " free soilers " thirty-two. In 
1852 General Scott polled eighty-one, General Pierce one hundred and four, 
and the Abolitionists "got away" with twenty votes. In 1856 Fremont 
Kepublicans cast one hundred and sixty to the Buchanan Democrats ninety- 
six. In 1860 Lincoln received two hundred and thirty-nine votes, and the 
Democracy cast one hundred and thirty-eight for the " Little Giant," S. A. 
Douglas. In 1864 the Republican vote fell off twenty-seven, standing at 
two hundred and twelve, but the Democratic vote remained unchanged, one 
hundred and thirty-eight. In 1868 the General of the army, Grant, re- 
ceived two hundred and eighty-three votes, and the General of the Potomac, 
McClellan, one hundred and fifty-five. In 1872 Grant received an indorse- 
ment of two hundred and fifty-six votes, the philosopher, Horace Greeley, 
ninety-six, and Charles O'Connor, the straight Democrat, twenty-two. In 
1876, the present President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, re- 
ceived three hundred and ten votes, Mr. Tilden one hundred and forty-seven 
and Peter Cooper twenty-eight. 


The first tax paid by Nottawa as an independent sovereignty, amounted 
to fifty dollars, and was levied in 1831 by the county authorities for her own 
use, besides one-fifth of one per cent, on her assessment for county purposes. 
The assessment of property in 1834 amounted to thirty-six thousand six hun- 
dred and fifty-three dollars in the township, and the amount of county taxes 
was fifty-four dollars, and town taxes one hundred and fifty-two dollars. 

In 1876 the assessment was fixed on real-estate by the supervisors at five 
hundred and eighty-one thousand three hundred and sixty-four dollars, and 
reduced to five hundred and forty-one thousand and forty dollars by the 
county equalizing board. The personal assessment was returned at one hun- 
dred and fifty-seven thousand four hundred and sixty-eight dollars, making 
a grand total of six hundred and ninety-eight thousand five hundred and 
eight dollars. On this amount the following taxes were levied : State and 
county, three thousand five hundred and sixty-eight dollars and twenty-eight 
cents, divided equally between the two departments ; schools, seven thousand 
two hundred and fifty-five dollars and fifteen cents ; township, two thousand 
six hundred and twenty-eight dollars and ninety-eight cents; charged back, 
ninety-six dollars and ninety-six cents; total thirteen thousand five hundred 
and forty-nine dollars and thirty-one cents. In 1870 the total taxes raised 
in the township were : State, one thousand seven hundred and sixty dollars 
and forty-nine cents ; county, three thousand two hundred and five dollars ; 
school, seven thousand and ninety-two dollars ; cemetery, one thousand nine 
hundred dollars ; miscellaneous, one thousand five hundred and seventy-five 
dollars ; a grand total of fifteen thousand five hundred and thirty-two dollars 
and forty-nine cents, on an assessment of one million one hundred and forty- 
two thousand four hundred and forty dollars. In 1876 there were twenty- 
two thousand four hundred and seventy-four acres of land assessed. 


In 1874 there were sown five thousand one hundred and eighty-five acres 
of wheat, against four thousand two hundred and fifteen in 1873, and there 
were two thousand three hundred and nine acres of corn planted in 1874. 
The crop of 1874 yielded forty-one thousand nine hundred and seventy- 
seven bushels of wheat, seventy-one thousand two hundred and thirty-three 
bushels of corn, nineteen thousand three hundred and forty-two bushels 



other grain, five thousand and forty-eight bushels potatoes, one thousand 
three hundred and eighty-four tons of hay, fourteen thousand and thirteen 
pounds of wool, two hundred' and two thousand seven hundred and sixty- 
two pounds pork, forty-one thousand two hundred and forty pounds butter 
and cheese, nine thousand five hundred and eighty-two pounds dried fruit, 
and eight hundred and eighty barrels cider. Three hundred and thirty 
acres in orchards and gardens produced nineteen thousand one hundred and 
eighty bushels of apples and five hundred and sixty-four bushels of other 
" truck," valued at seven thousand five hundred and fifty-four dollars. 
There were owned in the township six hundred and seven horses, seven mules, 
four oxen, four hundred and eighty cows, four hundred and eighty-four 
other cattle, one thousand two hundred and sixty-six hogs and two thousand 
five hundred sheep — three hundred and two less than in 1873. 


The original plat of Centreville was surveyed and laid out, acknowledged 
and recorded, November 7, 1831, by the proprietors — Robert Clark, Jr. (a 
government surveyor), Eleetra W. Deane, Daniel B. Miller and Charles 
Noble. It was located on the east half of the northeast quarter of section 
twenty-five, and east half of the southeast quarter of section twenty-four, 
township six, range eleven, and on west half of the northwest quarter of 
section thirty, and west half of the southwest quarter of section nineteen, 
township six, range ten. In consideration of the location of the county-seat 
on the plat, the proprietors of the village donated to the county, in aid of 
the county buildings, fifty-six lots and the public square, — the court-house, 
when built, to be located on the latter. Clark was the real man in the pro- 
prietorship, and acted as attorney in fact for his coadjutors, by virtue of a 
document recorded in Liber A, page two hundred and thirty, in the regis- 
ter's office at Centreville. 


was built by Columbia Lancaster on a lot just north of the public square, 
which the original proprietors had given him for services rendered. It was 
not much of a house, and only served as a shelter for him while out on his 
frequent hunting expeditions. It w r as made of rough logs, the site of the 
village being originally heavy oak openings, and had neither door, window, 
nor floor. 

In June, 1832, Thomas W. Langley, a gentleman in the manufacturing 
line in Philadelphia, but on a tour westward in quest of his health, came to 
White Pigeon with a party from Detroit, who were on a prospecting tour. 
Hearing of the location of the county-seat at Centreville, he inquired where 
it was, and was informed by Lancaster, who was at the time teaching school 
in White Pigeon, and who also offered to pilot him to the site on the next 
day or two, when his school ended for the week, which he accordingly did. 
After viewing the location he returned to White Pigeon, and on Monday 
came back alone and looked the ground over again ; he returned direct to 
Monroe and bought the interest of the proprietors, Clark and Deane, and 
also the location of H. W. Foster, who was engaged in putting up a saw-mill 
one-half mile east of the village plat, the whole purchase covering three- 
fourths of section thirty, in Nottawa township. Making arrangements for 
the continuance of the work on the mill, Mr. Langley returned to Philadel- 
phia tor his family, consisting of his wife ; Mrs. Hartley, afterwards Mrs. 
Adams Wakeman ; five sons, William B., Joseph L. F., De Witt C, Thomas 
C. and Washington E., and one daughter, Susan B. ; a nephew, William L. 
Hirst, and two colored servants, William Bell and Anne Williams, — the first 
of their race to find in St. Joseph county a home. Buying a stock of goods 
well assorted for the pioneer trade, in New York, he shipped them via the 
Erie canal and the lakes to the mouth of the St. Joseph, and, together with 
a set of mill-irons and his household goods, took passage from Troy, New 
York, on a line-boat for Buffalo, and from the latter point to Detroit by 
steamer, bringing also from Buffalo horses and wagon, with such house- 
hold goods as were necessary. The mill-irons, the nephew and the ser- 
vants were transported to Centreville, — Mr. Langley and the rest of the 
family coming through to White Pigeon in one of Forsyth's coaches, char- 
tered- expressly for the party. The roads had to be cleared in many places, 
the limbs of trees cut off, Hog creek made fordable, to let the coach through 
the woods and marshes, and in and out of the creeks and rivers. 

The party arrived without broken bones, though badly used up, at White 
Pigeon, September 25, 1832, and at Centreville, October 3, William B. 
Langley, — then a boy of some fourteen years or thereabouts, — piloting the 
caravan of goods, servants, proprietor, family and carpenters from White 
Pigeon, mounted on the pony which had been over the ground several times 
before. When the party arrived in view of Lancaster's cabin, the grass, 

which had been growing rankly therein all summer, was plainly visible to 
its future inmates, and gave them a sudden and uncomfortable idea of pio- 
neer trials and privations in the very outset. The ladies were given full 
and exclusive possession of the cabin, after the grass was mown down, and 
the men and boys camped under the trees. The next day business began in 
earnest in the village of a single family ; a door was put in the cabin, 
a frame building began for a court-house, and also a frame blacksmith- 
shop. A double log-house, with seven rooms, was begun on the 4th and 
finished with floors, doors, windows and a chimney, and occupied on the 13th 
of October. The court-house building, twenty by thirty feet, now stand- 
ing on the corner diagonally northwest from the public square, and length- 
ened out somewhat, was the 


in the village, On the 19th of February, 1833, there were in the village 
eight good frame buildings, one small and one large log-house, comprising 
the frame blacksmith-shop (twenty by thirty), the court-house, and six 
private dwellings. The double log-house was afterwards sold to A. C. 
Stewart for hotel purposes, and the frame blacksmith-shop fitted up and 
enlarged for Mr. Langley 's family residence, and which he subsequently 
opened as a hotel, for which purpose it was used many years. A new 
blacksmith-shop was put up on the corner of the block next north of Dr. 
Trowbridge's present residence, being the second block north of the main 
street running east and west through the village, and north of the street 
leading to the railroad depot. 

This shop was erected with marvelous celerity. On Tuesday morning the 
materials were growing in the woods, and Thursday night the shop was done 
and shingled, the forge up, and a horse had been shod. On April 1, two 
blacksmiths were at work in the village ; the mill, one-half mile east, was 
in operation, sawing and gristing ; and mail twice a week was received. 

Three couples had been married in the village, of its residents, before April 
8, and a month later the capital of the county had a population of one hun- 
dred souls — eleven families besides the unmarried men ; and thirty-six lots 
had been sold to parties who were under contract to put up a good frame- 
house on each purchase, under penalty of forfeiting half of the purchase 

In 1833 the courts were held in Centreville, and the board of supervisors 
held their meetings there ; the county jail had been erected^ hotel accom- 
modations were fair; a school had been taught (a private one), public 
worship had been maintained for several months, and the village was as- 
sured of both a " local habitation and a name," to go down to posterity with 
whatever of honor or disgrace the future might bring. The first important 
thing in the history of a county-seat, aside from a place to hold courts, 
was a decent place to feed and rest the attendants on the sessions of the 
same, and Mr. Langley set about providing for that important functionary, 
the landlord, who was Alanson C. Stewart. He leased and opened the double 
log-house as 


in Centreville. It was built near the present site of C. H. Starr's barn, and 
opened to the public in December, 1832 ; but Mr. Stewart did not remain * 
in it, and Mr. Langley opened his own residence in April, 1833, as a hotel, 
with Julius A. Thompson as landlord, who remained but a short time, finding 
he did not know how " to keep a hotel." Mr. Langley himself then took 
•the helm of affairs and managed the hotel until about 1836, when he sold 
the property to Alexander V. Sill, now, and for seventeen years, the post- 
master at St. Charles, Kane county, Illinois. Mr. Sill kept the house in a 
very satisfactory style until 1840, when he sold his interest, and removed to 
Illinois, where he has since remained. This building stood on the site of the 
fruit-canning and batten-factory, which burned down in December, 1876. 
One Mr. Fish built the St. Joseph House, and was bought out by Langley & 
Talbot, who began, in 1837, the erection of the " Exchange," which was 
completed by Langley, Talbot retiring. It was noted all along the road 
between Detroit and Chicago for its architecture, its balconies being sup- 
ported by pillars formed of burr- oak logs, unbarked. E. J. Van Buren was 
the first landlord, and kept the house in 1837-9, and Charles H. Knox kept 
it in 1840, or later. Mr. Langley kept the Sill house at different times. Dr. 
Cyrus Ingerson kept the Mansion House previous to 1840. The only hotel 
now opened in the village is a brick building, built by I. A. J. Metzgar, and 
leased by W. S. Beardsley, who is a popular host with the legal fraternity and 
traveling public generally. Mr. Beardsley pays close attention to the com- 
forts of his guests, keeps a quiet, orderly house and is well patronized. 

Residence or WILLIAM B,LANGLEY,/fo7rAWA, srjofCo./rf/c*. 




in Centreville was Niles F. Smith, who bought the stock of goods forwarded 
by Mr. Langley from New York, while the same were in transit, Smith obliga- 
ting himself to sell the same at retail in Centreville. The transfer was made 
to Smith November 28, 1832, and the goods opened for sale about Christmas, 
between which time and the 20th of February one thousand six hundred 
dollars worth of them passed over the counter in legitimate trade. 

Dr. Johnston and C. H. Stewart opened a large stock of goods in 1833, 
and afterwards leased or bought the mills at the east of the village, and re- 
moved their stock there in 1834. A hotel was also kept at the mills, and 
Harvey Cady, who came to the village in 1835, was the host thereof in 1837. 
In 1834 Captain Philip R. Toll, of Schenectady, N. Y., and his family, con- 
sisting of his wife and sons, Isaac D., and Alfred, and three daughters and 
two nephews, Philip R. Toll and Charles H. Toll, came to Centreville 
and began an extensive mercantile and manufacturing business, which he 
continued until 1838, when he removed to Fawn river, and continued his 
flouring and milling operations there for many years. Charles H. Toll was 
a partner in Centreville, and he and Philip R. Toll were most able and effi- 
cient aids in the various business enterprises carried on by the firm. They 
leased the mills, and operated them in 1836-8. They sold a large amount of 
goods ; they brought shoemakers and tinsmiths, and kept them busy, too. 
G. Lansing Outhout, of the best blood of the Knickerbockers, a graduate 
of Union College, and a man of high culture, was also associated with Cap- 
tain Toll. Isaac D. Toll was then a boy of seventeen to twenty years old, 
and a gay lad. He is credited with getting up the first dance in Centre- 
ville, in 1 836, and it is not a difficult thing to believe that the statement is 
true, for he was the leader of the young men of his day in the village. 

Langley and Talbot were in trade in 1837, and the Talbots — the heads of 
the house being John W. Talbot and George — have been in trade there in 
various lines ever since. The old house bears an honorable record for jus- 
tice and integrity, and its mantle has descended on worthy shoulders — its 
representatives of to-day. Three of the family emigrated to Texas some 
years ago, and one of them was elected to the position of State superinten- 
dent of schools. 

Henry C. Campbell is an old merchant in the place, and has been post- 
master for the last sixteen years. Calvin H. Starr came to the village in 1835 
or 1836, and has been closely identified with its interests from that time to the 
present. He was a young unmarried man, but has built himself a fine resi- 
dence, married a St. Joseph wife, and has been one of its trusted citizens for 
years. His taste ran counter to that of many of the villagers in regard to 
the condition of the public square, he desiring it to remain in its natural 
state so far as the large oaks were concerned, — while the others desired to 
" clear" it off. This they did, and now frequently admit the correctness of 
Mr. Starr's views. The day was hot when the " clearing" began, and before 
all the larger trees were sacrificed the laborers were worried out, and so 
here and there on the square stands a remnant of the forest, very tantalizing 
to one in a hot day, when he remembers that once the square was an elegant 
park of just such growth. 

C. D. Bennett and J. W. Spitzer are both merchants of several years' 
standing, and now engaged in trade in the village. 


The first manufacturing done in the village was blacksmithing, Mr. Lang- 
ley bringing in the "kit," and furnishing the shop and hiring the smith, in 
1832. E. C. White was the first resident smith to own and operate his own 
shop in 1833. De Mott, a blacksmith, was noted for his skill in hardening 
mill-picks. Mr. Day was the first tinsmith, and Combs & Son the first 
shoemakers, and came in and worked for Captain Toll in 1834-7. A. E. 
Massey had a tin-shop afterwards in 1840. John P. Van Patten and George 
Stone came in with the Tolls also, and were carpenters. Melvin Brown, still 
a resident of the village, with his son Eldridge, was the first cabinet-maker, 
and opened a shop in 1834. Thomas Studley was a shoemaker, and settled on 
the prairie in 1832, and Morris Ear]y and A. Murray were early carpenters 
in the village in 1832-3. Munger and Ruggles were the millwrights of the 
village at the same time. William Russell, a brother-in-law of A. V. Sill, 
was the first gunsmith. Deacon Henry W. Hampson was one of the leading 
builders of the village for years. He came in 1833 with Willett Disbrow, 
who was also a carpenter. Dunbar & Clarke were the first wagon-makers, 
though Mr. White worked at the trade before their advent into the village, 
in 1839. Tyler & Bryfogle succeeded the first-named firm. James and 
Frank Dresler were the first harness-makers, and were succeeded by Thomas 
and William Case. Lazarus Eberhard was the first tailor to ply his trade 
in the village. Harvey Cady made the first barrel in 1837, the first church- 

bell in 1842, and the first drum in 1837, in the village. The bell he forged 
from a steel bar, Mr. Cady also kept the first livery-stock for hire, begin- 
ning with a single horse and buggy in 1837-8, — continuing the business 
twenty years, and ending with ten fine horses and u rigs." 

Joseph L. Buel and his family came to Centreville in 1834, and he fol- 
lowed his trade of a carpenter for years, his son Cyrus (whose wife is a 
daughter of John W. Fletcher, and the first white female born on Nottawa 
prairie), succeeding to the business. 

Walter G. Stephens was probably the earliest carpenter in the village, 
and came permanently in 1832, being married on Christmas of that year. 
He built the first brick house in the village. He was the first jailor, too, of 
the county after the jail was built at Centreville, — previous to that time a 
sapling, near Sheriff Taylor's house at the. grand traverse of the St. Joseph, 
doing duty oftentimes for a lock-up. 

In 1847 Gibbs, Dille & George E. Gurnsey built and operated a pottery, 
and made good ware for two or three years. 

The first flouring-mill in the village was built by George Talbot and 
Henry D. Cushman in 1851, the dam being built by Mr. Langley, and the 
power sold to the firm. The mill was furnished with three run of stone, 
was burned in 1856, and rebuilt soon after by Brokaw & Hoffman, and is 
now owned by D. D. Antes and Samuel Kline. Its work, in 1876, was 
twenty thousand bushels of wheat floured, besides the custom work of one 
hundred bushels of grain per day. The sales of the firm, in flour and 
wheat shipped, aggregated ninety thousand dollars and over. 

The foundry of William Allison was built in 1868, and has been operated 
by him ever since. 

The Centreville Knit Goods Manufacturing Company organized for active 
operations in 1873, on January 4, with Harvey Cady, president ; Edward 
Talbot, secretary, and Daniel Stewart, treasurer. John C. Joss and Henry 
C. Campbell were chosen to the latter positions soon after, and have occupied 
them ever since. The company built their extensive works in the north 
part of the village, and furnished them with the most complete and latest- 
improved machinery, and operated them successfully for two years ; but un- 
fortunate litigation has intervened, and the splendid and valuable property 
has lain idle for more than a year. It is, however, kept in good condition, 
and whenever the lawyers get through with it, it will be ready to start 
up immediately. The investment amounts to about seventy-five thousand 
dollars, and is held by stockholders. 

The Centreville Fruit-Preserving Company organized January, 1874, with 
David D. Antes, president ; J. C. Joss, secretary ; L. A. Clapp succeeding to 
the latter position subsequently. In June, 1875, after running the season of 
1874 on its original business, machinery for the manufacture of cotton-batting 
was put into the building also, and was operated a portion of the time in 
that line ; and was so operating (and successfully) when it was totally de- 
stroyed by fire in the early part of December, 1876, entailing a loss of 
eighteen thousand dollars on the stockholders, without any insurance. 
Messrs. Dockstader Brothers owned and operated a carriage manufactory 
adjoining the batting- works, which had been in existence some few years, and 
was also burned. 


of Centreville was organized January 22, 1873,- with C. T. Chaffee, presi- 
dent ; Edward Talbot, cashier, and Henry S. Piatt, assistant cashier. L. B. 
Hess succeeded Mr. Piatt as cashier, and is still in the position. D. F. Wolf 
succeeded Mr. Chaffee as president, and was himself succeeded by L. A. 
Clapp, who fills the position at the present time. The present board of 
directors are L. A. Clapp, George Keech, Jr., John C. Joss, E. D. Thomas, 
John I. Major, John Yauney, Wm. W. Jones. The last quarterly statement 
of the bank, dated January 20, 1877, shows the following condition: 
Its loans and discounts were seventy-two thousand nine hundred and 
sixty-six dollars and thirty-four cents. There were due from other national 
banks and reserve-agents twenty-three thousand eight hundred and forty-four 
dollars and fifty-nine cents. Its real estate, furniture, &c, were valued at 
fifteen hundred dollars, and there was cash on hand and in the United States 
treasury to redeem its circulation, ten thousand one hundred and seventy 
dollars and fifty-three cents. Its outstanding circulation amounted to forty- 
four thousand three hundred dollars, which was secured by fifty thousand 
dollars in United States bonds deposited with the United States treasurer. 
Its capital-stock paid in and surplus funds and undivided profits amounted 
to seventy thousand four hundred and fifty-six dollars and thirty cents. Its 
individual deposits, subject to draft or certificates, stood at forty- three thou- 
sand seven hundred and twenty-five dollars and sixteen cents. 

The American express company keep an office in that village, George 
Keech, Jr., being the agent. During the year two hundred and forty -three 



packages, aggregating sixteen thousand eight hundred and ninety-one 
pounds, and three hundred and seventy-four packages under twenty pounds 
each, were received and forwarded, and money-packages disposed of simi- 
larly, including collections, valued at forty-one thousand one hundred and 
fifty dollars. 


was first established in the village, March 2, 1833, and Mr. T. W. Langley 
appointed the first postmaster, he providing for the transportation of the 
mail from White Pigeon out of his own pocket, if the receipts of the office 
did not cover its cost. The first mail was brought from White Pigeon, April 
25, and was continued tri-weekly by Langley until July 5, when Savery, the 
contractor on the route from White Pigeon to Kalamazoo, left it and took it 
up. Mr. Langley held the position until 1840; C. Bronson, 1841-44; 
Samuel Chipman, 1845-48 ; A. E. Massey, 1849-52 ; Samuel Chipman 
(again), 1853-60; Henry C. Campbell, 1861-77. 

The business of the office has trebled since 1860. It was as follows during 
the year 1876 : Fourteen hundred dollars in stamps were sold ; one hundred 
and twenty-five letters per day received and dispatched ; eight hundred and 
fifty-three registered letters dispatched ; six mails received and dispatched 
per day ; aud seven hundred newspapers distributed per week, including one 
hundred dailies and three hundred and fifty county papers. 


of the township do not touch the village, — the Grand Rapids and Indiana 
running through the eastern part of the township, and the Michigan Central 
Air Line running nearly a mile north, but the latter is the station for the 
village, and where all its business is done. , 

The Grand Rapids and Indiana was the first road to enter the township 
and received fifteen thousand dollars therefrom to aid in its construction, be- 
sides the individual assistance rendered. 

The Michigan Central railroad was built through the township in 1870-1, 
and received a donation from the town of twenty-five thousand dollars, be- 
sides other assistance from the village residents. 

Oscar Waters, a young lawyer of Centreville, was the first agent, and is 
now holding the same position on the road at Battle Creek. The present 
agent and telegraph operator is H. W. Hayes, who has very kindly furnished 
the following statement of the business of the station for the year 1876 : 
There were forwarded four millions four hundred and eighteen thousand five 
hundred and forty-two pounds of freight, and one million four hundred and 
twenty-seven thousand seven hundred and thirty-six pounds of the same 

There is employed in business in the village at the present time about two 
hundred thousand dollars capital. 


is as follows : 

Dry Goods — J. W. Spitzer. 

General Merchandise — C. D. Bennett. 

Hardware — Talbot & Worthington, R. N. Avery. 

Groceries — H. C. Campbell, E. W. Talbot, John Lucas, Chris. Elser 

Drugs, Stationery, &c. — Geo. Keech, Jr., E. D. Thomas. 

Essential Oils — Wolf Brothers and Keech. 

Harness and Trunks — Charles O. Gregory, H. D. Westcott. 

Millinery and Ladies' Furnishing Goods — Mrs. H. M. Davis, Mrs. S. E. 

Boots and Shoes — Louis Klesner, Louis Booth, C. H. Thomas, — one of 
the oldest in the county. 

Tailors— D. D. Ashley, E. Davis. 

Markets — Holt & Hasbrouck, Lyman Putney. 

Jewelry and Watches — George Richards. 

Live Stock — John S. Major. 

Nottawa Hack-line— B. A. Wells. 

Livery — Joseph P. Doekstader. 

Eggs and Butter — J. B. Quivey. 

Agricultural Implements — D. D. Antes, H. A. Hecox. 

Insurance — L. A. Clapp, C. H. Starr, John D. Antes, James Eastman 

Drayman — John Wilson. 

Steam-Threshers — Samuel P. Kline, John W. Schermerhorn — both in the 

Hotel— W. S. Beardsley. 


Flouring-Mills — Kline & Antes. 

Foundry — William Allison. 

Book-bindery — A. Beerstecher. 

Furniture, &e. — C. Cummins. 

Gunsmiths — F. Beerstecher, Isaac Piatt. 

Carpenter-shops— Thomas R. Shaffer, C. R. Buel, Charles F. Beerstecher, 
Piatt & Emmons, J. D. Bonner, George Yauney, David Overfield, James 

Wagon-shops and Blacksmiths — George Thorns, Clarence Culver, Charles 
Loop, George H. Dexter, George H. Knapp, Daniel Drescher. 

Cooper — George Morrison. 

Barber — Professor Jennings Hyatt. 

Masons — A. O. Bishop, W. G. Bishop, James Wilson, W. H. Keeney, (in 

Dressmaker — Mrs. Haight. 


that was laid into Centreville was one from the Branch county line in 1832, 
William Connor, Henry Powers and J. W. Fletcher laying the same out on 
the line since adopted by the State road. Hog creek was then very high, 
and the line of the road has been changed somewhat since. 

The road to Constantine was surveyed by Robert Clark, Jr., on horseback, 
and Captain Alvin Calhoon followed Clark as axeman, also mounted, and 
blazed the road through among the higher limbs, and the line has never been 
changed to the present time. 


that was operated through Centreville, was under the management of Har- 
vey Hunt, of Constantine, and Moses Austin, of Kalamazoo; in 1836 they 
ran their wagons between these points. Langley & Stockwell carried the 
mail and passengers between Coldwater and Centreville afterwards, but the 
first coaches that came into Centreville were those of Amos Spafford, in 
1840, on his line from Bronson to Mottville. Louis A. Leland carried the 
mail on horseback from Centreville to Niles in 1838 ; it being taken by 
another party from the last point, and carried to the mouth of the St. Joseph. 


was Columbia Lancaster, who was also the first man to build a human habi- 
tation on the village plat ; his clients at the time being skipping over the 
prairies and through the woods in droves. He emphatically made their 
interests his own, as many a fine pair of antlers which graced his cabin tes- 
tified. Subsequently his brother Elizur (now a resident of Burr Oak), and 
two sisters came to Centreville and resided with him ; the latter subsequently 
marrying Marlin Hazzard and Jacob Kline. The attorneys who subse- 
quently located in the village were L. F. Stevens, Crary, G. H. Mason, 

D. V. Bell, S. C. Coffinberry, J. Eastman Johnson, William Sadler, George 

A. Key, S. J. Mills, Hammond, Dresser, P. M. Smith, William 

Allason, John S. Chipman, Aaron E. Wait, Chester Gurney, Charles Upson, 
Alfred A. Key and S. M. Sadler. The present bar of the village is named 
in the general history of the bar, elsewhere in the work. 


who located in the village was Dr. S. W. Truesdell, who also kept the first 
drug-store opened in the place. He came to the village in January, 1833. 
Soon after he came, Dr. Johnston, the mercantile partner of Charles H. 
Stewart, located in 1833, and next came Dr. Cyrus Ingerson, the same year, 
who was afterwards elected judge of probate, and died in office in 1844. 
Dr. A. T. Woodworth located in the village in 1837, and Dr. Richardson 
about 1839 or 1840. John Bennett read medicine with Dr. R., and subse- 
quently practiced his profession in the village. Dr. Greene came in 1840. 
Dr. Van Buren, of the homeopathic school, came in 1836, and Dr. Anthony, 
a botanic physician, was an early-comer to the village. The present medical 
staff of the village is as follows: Drs. F. C. Bateman, G. M. Trowbridge 
and Sabin, allopathic ; Dr. E. Clarke, homeopathic, and Dr. Whit- 
man. The first doctor of dental surgery was J. A. Russell, who was suc- 
ceeded by his brother, Dean Russell, the present practitioner in that line. 
William Fitzsimmons is a skilful veterinary surgeon, and the only one of 
his profession in the vicinity. 


was laid out in the village in 1833, the lots for the same being donated by 
the county on the condition that the people of the town, or village, put up 
a picket-fence around them. The first burial in the same was that of Mr. 



Cooley, father-in-law of H. W. Foster. The second burial was the child of 
Peter Cox, which died in January, 1834. A new cemetery was purchased 
by the board of health, in 1869-70, northeast of the village, which is very 
eligibly located, and susceptible of very fine adornment, being elevated 
and undulating. Several monuments and slabs attest its occupancy. 


taught in Centreville was a private one, by Mrs. Hartley, in the family of 
Mr. Langley, in 1832. In the winter of 1833-34, H. K. Lamb taught the 
first public school in the court-house building, a Mr. Stoddard succeeding to 
the birch the winter following. Dr. Cyrus Ingerson taught the school in 
its early days. Rev. W. B. Brown, a Baptist minister, taught in 1838, and 
his daughter also ; and a Mrs. Briar taught a school in the Trowbridge 


was built in 1841. Harvey Cady made the shingles for the same. It was 
in district No. 1, fractional, Lockport and Nottawa. Deacon H. W. Hamp- 
son, one of the Centreville early settlers, built the house for about five hun- 
dred dollars. The site, lot eight, block twenty-nine, cost fifty dollars. 
There was no school taught in it the winter of 1841-42, but a select school 
was taught the following winter, by a Mr. Pople. The first public school 
was taught in it by Mrs. Mary Chapin, the summer of 1843— she receiving 
two dollars per week for her services. There were eighty-three pupils in the 
district at the time. H. L. Hare taught the winter of 1844-45. In 1848, 
a new school-house was built on the same location, two other lots being 
added. The house cost one thousand two hundred and ten dollars, eight 
hundred dollars cash, and lot ten and the old building for the balance. 
The contractors were Deacon Hampson and William Laffry. Four hundred 
dollars were paid for the additional lots. The building was thirty-four by 
fifty-six feet on the ground, two stories, the lower one eleven feet in the clear, 
and upper one thirteen feet. 

Hon. Charles Upson was the last teacher in the old building, and Hiram 
Hamilton the first in the new one, and he received four hundred dollars for 
ten months' work. His wife, Guinevra Hinsdell, and Mrs. McMarter were 
his assistants. In 1850 the district elected four additional trustees, the board 
being Charles Upson, C. H. Starr, Samuel Chipman, Alexander Stewart, A. 
E. Massey, moderator, P. M. Smith, director, and H. W. Hampson, assessor. 
John W. McMath was the first principal under the new regime, and teachers' 
wages amounted to five hundred and thirty-two dollars. In 1853 the school 
was graded into senior and junior classes. 

In 1870, at the annual meeting of the district, September 5, the question 
of a new site for a school-house began to be agitated, and after much ballot- 
ing the lots owned by C. H. Starr, known as " the Grove," were purchased 
for one thousand dollars. It is a beautiful location, none more so in the 
village. The annual meeting of 1873 decided to build a new house, and one 
was completed in 1874, and dedicated formally with interesting exercises, 
Judge J. Eastman Johnson officiating as orator on the occasion. 

The building is constructed most substantially of stone, and is commodi- 
ous and comfortable and conveniently arranged. It cost twenty-two thou- 
sand dollars. L. B. Antisdale has been the principal since 1873,— George 
C. Bannon holding that position in 1870-71, and Frank A. Minor in 1872. 
The board of education for 1876 is as follows : D. D. Antes, moderator, G. 
M. Trowbridge, director, Marder Sabine, Edward Talbot, F. Beerstecher and 
John C. Joss. 

The cost of the school and the resources of the district for the year end- 
ing September 1, 1876, were as follows: There were ten months of school 
taught, two hundred and seventy-four pupils being in attendance. One male 
teacher was paid one thousand dollars, and four females one thousand four 
hundred dollars for their services ; two thousand nine hundred and fifty-four 
dollars were paid on bonded indebtedness, and one thousand one hundred and 
twenty-seven dollars and thirty-seven cents on repairs, insurance, &c. The 
total resources of the district amounted to eight thousand one hundred and 
thirty-six dollars and sixty-six cents, including one hundred and fifty-three 
dollars and fifty-two cents tuition fees received from non-resident pupils. The 
school property is valued at twenty-four thousand five hundred dollars, and 
the house contains three hundred and eight sittings, and has a small library 
and some apparatus. 


In 1836-37 the Centrevillians struck for a higher institution of learning 
than they had previously possessed, and issued a prospectus to the people of 
the county of a proposed People's seminary, to be governed by twenty-four 
trustees, six to go out of ofiice each year, who were to be elected by the 
patrons of the school. To keep the school out of the control of any one 

man or set of men, no person could have more than three votes, no matter 
how much he subscribed and did for the school. Everything was pictured 
out in roseate hues of the advantage to the people the proposed school would 
be ; the cheapness of board being particularly enlarged upon ; the same to 
be furnished by the parents of the prospective pupils to a common boardiug- 
house ; by which co-operative arrangement, it was declared, solemnly, that a 
saving of expense would be effected " sufficient to offer inducements to bring 
a professor from London to them." 

The proposers expressed themselves forcibly on this point. " There is no 
fiction in this," says the prospectus, and proceeds to eliminate the theory : 
" The farmers' boys could work in the summer and eat up in the winter, at 
their own school, a portion only of what they had raised, the ware and tare 
of clothing would be less by sending their own bedding," &c, &c. But the 
branch of the University was located at White Pigeon, and the proposed 
People's seminary became a thing of naught. 


were held regularly during the summer of 1833, and as early as January of 
that year, by the ministers of the different denominations who passed that way 
on their missionary tours. The early itinerants of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, Gurley and Kellogg, came, and others; and Bishops Chase, of Ohio, 
McCrosky, of Detroit, of the Episcopal church, Keverends Whitesides of the 
same church, from Philadelphia, and Schuyler and Rev. P. W. Warriner, of 
White Pigeon, a Presbyterian, and Rev. Mr. Sweet, a Universalist, occupied 
the court-house at different times up to 1837. The first religious society or- 
ganized in the village was 


an association formed June 7, 1835 ; its first officers being Philip K. Toll, 
president ; Peter Cox, vice-president ; Charles H. Stewart, secretary ; Cyrus 
Ingerson, treasurer; Digby V. Bell, Thomas W. Langley and Henry W. 
Hampson, trustees. 

The preamble to the original constitution adopted by the society (in the 
handwriting of Digby B. Bell) sets forth that " believing an association 
for religious and moral purposes will tend to the general promotion of indi- 
vidual happiness by securing more permanently to the public the regular 
means of religious worship, with all its invaluable privileges; the better 
adoption and practice of genuine moral virtues, and the consequent benefi- 
cent influence on public morals;" and therefore the members did form an 
association in accordance with the spirit of the preamble, and adopted the 
constitution which provided for the membership of " any male or female 
person over fourteen years of age, who should be of good moral habits, and 
believe in a Supreme Being, in a future state of rewards and punishments, 
and in the forgiveness of sins through the great Redeemer alone." The 
male members only had the right of voting for the officers ; the women — and 
they were worthy mates — being silent partners. The trustees and president 
fixed times of meeting, and invited ministers of the Gospel to preach, and 
were to " make arrangements for worship on all Sabbaths," — the expenses 
to be liquidated by voluntary subscriptions alone. The members of this 
society, at its organization, were Peter Cox, John Craden, C. H. Stewart, 
Michael Hewes, Dr. Ingerson, Lloyd Childs, William Major, H. W. Hamp- 
son, D. V. Bell, Columbia Lancaster, T. W. Langley, Philip R. Toll, Mrs. 
C. H. Stewart, Miss Van Patten, Mrs. Childs, Miss Lancaster, Miss N. O. 
Van Patten and Mrs Cox. The sum of sixteen dollars was subscribed for a 
donation to Rev. P. W. Warriner for his services as preacher previous to the 
organization of the society, and fifteen dollars of the amount paid over to 
him,— Charles H. Stewart, Philip R. Toll, Thomas W. Langley and James 
and Robert Cowen paying twelve dollars of the same. 


was organized at the same time as the above-named society, though a move- 
ment for one began a year before. Four dollars and seventy-eight cents 
were subscribed for books, and the school began, but suspended until June 
7, 1835, when it was permanently organized in connection with the society, 
with the following officers and corps of teachers : Peter Cox, president ; C. 
H. Stewart, secretary ; T. W. Langley, treasurer ; H. W. Hampson, libra- 
rian. Teachers : Dr. Ingerson, William Hazzard, Columbia Lancaster, 
Mrs. Stewart, Mrs. Hartley, Miss Van Patten and Miss Vrinon. There 
were twenty-three pupils. Twenty dollars and sixty-one cents were expended 
for books, the same being selected and purchased by Mrs. Stewart, from the 
Michigan Sunday-school Union, of which the school was made an auxiliary. 
Among the books were " Lives" of Daniel, David and Moses, at " three shill- 
ings" each ; two short discourses were listed at fifteen cents each ; "An Only 



Son" was bought for forty cents, and " Frankie's Memoirs" were rated at 
the same figure. One " story" book was valued at fifteen cents, and " Sel- 
emuel, or a Visit to Jerusalem," was marked " three shillings." " Leigh 
Richmond" was invoiced at thirty cents. 


built in the village was that of the Methodist Episcopal society in 1841. 
The society or class was first organized in the spring of 1830 at the house 
of William Hazzard, on the prairie, by Revs. Erastus Felton and Lyman 
B. Gurly, — Mr. Hazzard and his wife Cassandra and William Fletcher and 
his wife Hannah being the only members. Amos Howe joined the class 
afterwards, and was the first regularly-appointed class-leader. Preaching 
services were held fortnightly, — first at private houses, afterwards in school- 
houses, and afterwards in the court-house in Centre ville. 

In 1836 Erastus Kellogg was the preacher in charge, and movements 
were soon after made towards the erection of a church building. The tim- 
ber was prepared and the building framed in 1837 or 8, but was not raised 
and completed until 1841, and was dedicated by Mr. Kellogg. 

The present church edifice of this society was built in 1856, during the 
pastorate of Reverend J. I. Buell, the dedicatory services being conducted 
by Reverend J. K. Gillett, September 20 of the last-named year. 

In 1871 the building received material improvements with the addition of 
lecture and class-rooms, and has four hundred and twenty sittings. The 
present membership is two hundred and twenty-five ; its Sabbath -school, 
which was organized soon after the church-edifice was erected in 1841, has 
one hundred and ninety-six scholars on its roll, and its present pastor is 
Reverend G. W. TuthilL 

The "church property is valued at twelve thousand dollars, and there are 
four hundred books in the Sunday-school library. The old church-building 
is now Dr. Bateman's barn, and was twenty-four by forty feet on the ground. 


or as it was originally, and until within a few years called, " The Dutch Re- 
formed Church," was first organized April 8, 1839 ; though services had 
been held by Reverend Isaac S. Ketchum as early as the winter of 1835-6. 
Mr. Ketchum was a missionary sent out by the New York missionary society 
of the Reformed Dutch church, and after his family removed to Centreville 
from the Mohawk valley in 1836, he continued to preach to the people until 
1839, when the society was organized, as before stated, by electing a board of 
trustees, consisting of Philip R. Toll, Isaac S. Ketchum, John W. Talbot, 
Jacob D. Kline and Solomon Cummings. 

On the 25th of May a consistory was held at the court-house, composed 
of Reverend Asa Bennett, president ; Dr. S. Cummings, Peter Cox and 
Jacob D. Kline, elders ; and Alfred Todd and William Van Deusen, deacons ; 
who formed the church as the " First Protestant Reformed Dutch Church of 
Centreville/' and admitted to membership therein the following persons : 
William Van Deusen and Matilda his wife, Alfred Todd and Mary his wife, 
John Pierce, Jacob D. Kline and Elizabeth his w T ife, Solomon Cummings, 
Sally Bennett, P. R. Toll and Nancy D. his wife, Peter Cox and Mary his 
wife, and Mrs. Huldah Dunbar ; and, on confession, Miss Mary Eliza Dor- 
chester and Miss Sarah M. Cox. 

Mr. Ketchum was subsequently the Indian agent for a time, and his 
widow now resides in Centreville with her daughter, Mrs. Talbot, a hale, 
hearty, active and intelligent old lady, with whom it is a rare pleasure to 
converse of the olden time, 

" When life seemed sweet as the poet's rhyme." 

On October 5, 1841, it was resolved by the consistory to build a church, 
and Harvey Cady, J. A. Clarke and Cyrus Ingerson were appointed a build- 
ing committee. Joseph I. Dunbar drew the plans and made the estimates for 
the building, which was erected at a cost of about one thousand one hun- 
dred dollars, — of which amount six hundred and fifty dollars w T as given by 
eastern parties. 

Mr. Bennett's pastorate ended September, 1843, — B. C. Taylor succeeding 
him on the 30th of the month, and remaining but a year, when he resigned, 
and David MeNeish succeeded to the desk. 

The church was finished in 1845. Mr. McNeish continued his pastorate 
until January, 1847, and was succeeded then by Reverend Safrenus Seeber. 
Since then the following pastors have cared for this flock : Reverend John 
Minor, 1848-52 ; Reverend J. N. Shultz, June 28, 1852, to October 27, 
1855; Reverend J. H. Kershaw, 1855-1865; Reverend A. H. Van Vrauken, 
1865 until the present time. 

The bell was bought for the church in 1853, for one hundred and seventy- 
five dollars, and the parsonage in 1855, in the spring of that year. 

The church has been greatly improved and enlarged, having an area on 
the ground of fifty-four by seventy-two feet, with lecture-room and dining- 
hall in lower or basement story. The building is warmed by furnaces, and 
its sheds for the accommodation and comfortable housing of the horses of 
those who attend upon the worship are conveniently and amply arranged, 
and the presence of one or more occupants of each stall, on almost every 
Sunday, evinces the interest of the people in the preaching they hear in the 

There are, at the present writing (December, 1876), one hundred and sixty- 
six members of the church, and one hundred and fifteen scholars in its Sun- 
day-school, which was organized early in the history of the society. There 
are five hundred volumes in the library, and Alexander Sharpe is the 
present superintendent. The church has six hundred sittings, and is valued,, 
together with the parsonage, at eight thousand dollars. 

In 1867 the name was changed to its present one, the Reformed Church 
of North America. During that year a noted revival was conducted by the 
present pastor, forty-three uniting with the church by confession and baptism. 
There have been three hundred and twenty-five members on its roll since its 

Reverend Asa Bennett was a settler in the county, near Centreville, in 
1839-40. He was the pastor of the Reformed church at Constantine after 
his pastorate at Centreville ceased, and was a good man and highly re- 
spected. John Bennett, one of his sons, became an eminent physician ; and 
Cornelius D. Bennett, a successful merchant in Centreville for several years, 
and previously a clerk of the courts of St. Joseph for some years, is also a 
son. Mr. Bennett died January 16, 1858. 


of Centreville was not organized until 1852, though preaching had been 
secured as early as 1838, by Rev. W. B. Brown. In February, 1852, Perrin 
M. Smith, Henry W. Hampson and Henry J. Cushman, in behalf of sev- 
eral communicants of the Baptist faith, addressed a letter of invitation to 
Rev. G. N. TenBrook to settle with them as pastor, which was accepted by 
the latter, who began his labors among them July 1, 1852. 

On the 28th of August following, there met at the house of Mr. Smith, 
and formed the Baptist church of Centreville, the following-named persons,, 
all communicants: Rev. G. N. TenBrook and wife, Joel Redway and wife, 
Henry J. Cushman and w T ife, Norman Rawson, S. G. Antes, P. M. Smith 
and wife, H. W. Hampson, Frederick Sailer and wife, Mrs. Flowers and 
Maria Weld. Mr. TenBrook acted as chairman ; P. M. Smith, secretary, 
and Joel Redway was appointed deacon. During 1852, Mrs. Chester Gurney, 
Mrs. John Major, Mrs. Norman Rawson, Mrs. Dwight Stebbins, Oliver 
Wilcox and Warren Collins were received into the church. 

On November 27, 1852, the society voted to build a church, and appointed 
brethren Wilcox, Redway and Hampson a building committee. The society 
met in the court-house for worship. P. M. Smith, the secretary, entered on 
the records the following explanation : " In the reception of members up to- 
January 1, 1853, the brethren and sisters of the church, consisting of a few 
scattered and homeless wanderers, have fellowshipped one another as Chris- 
tians of the Baptist denomination, known to each other, some with and some 
without letters, but of good Christian character." 

The church was erected in 1853, of brick, on the spot where it now stands,, 
east of the public square. The first communion was observed on the Sunday 
succeeding the last Saturday in December, 1852. The first missionary-collec- 
tion was taken up April 30, 1853, and amounted to two dollars and sixty- 
eight cents. 

In May, 1853, the church was admitted to the St. Joseph Baptist associa- 
tion, which met at Niles that year, but which held its session in June, 1854, 
at Centreville. Rev. Mr. TenBrook died in the service of his church, April 
3, 1857, and was buried the following day, Rev. Mr. Fish and Elder Sage 

Rev. Aaron Potter succeeded Mr. TenBrook in August, 1857, remaining 
till October, 1858, and Elder Stanwood supplied the desk from that date 
until November 27, 1859, when Rev. C. R. Nichols was installed as pastor, 
and remained till March 27, 1862, when he resigned on account of ill-health* 
March 30, 1861, one of the members, John Barnes, was commended for his 
" piety and ability to preach, and authorized to improve upon his gift." 

The desk was supplied by different ministers, a stated pastor occasionally 
coming to the charge and remaining but a short time, until March 31, 1867, 
when Rev. William Pack began the supply of the desk, which he continued 
until February 22, 1860, and was then installed as pastor, and remained 
thus until April 1, 1870. From that date to April 1, 1876, Elder Dunnett, 
Rev. C. T. Chaffee and Rev. C. A. Clarke, respectively, were pastors ; at 



which last-named date Kev. J. C. Burkholder, the present pastor, assumed 
charge of the flock on the call of the same. 

Deacon Henry W. Hampson, long and actively a member of the church, 
died April 14, 1873, sincerely regretted. Hon. P. M. Smith was the clerk 
of the church from its organization till his death, which occurred in March, 
1866. Dr. Marden Sabin was elected clerk June 27, 1868, and is still in the 
position. Chester Gurney and John Bennett were the first baptisms in the 
church, April 25, 1855. One hundred and forty-six members have been en- 
rolled on the church-records, eighty-three of whom have been baptized, and 
sixty-three received by letter and experience ; ten have died, thirty-five have 
been dismissed by letter, and nine dropped from church-membership or ex- 
cluded, leaving the present number eighty-seven. The bapistry was built 
under the church in May, 1872, and the bell bought in October, weighing 
one thousand one hundred pounds. The parsonage was built in 1867. 
The church has three hundred sittings, is heated with furnaces, and, with 
the parsonage, is valued at eight thousand dollars. 

A Sunday-school was organized about the time the church was built, and 
has been continued ever since. It numbers now one hundred and ten scholars ; 
has one hundred and twenty-five volumes in library, and Dr. Trowbridge is 
the superintendent. 


(Scotch) of Centreville was organized March 9, 1839, by electing the fol- 
lowing trustees: John McKee, William Gilchrist and Bobert Campbell. 
The first pastor was the Kev. Mr. Hotchkiss ; the second, the Rev. Mr. 
Baldridge, and the third, and last, Rev. Mr. Blair. The society built a 
church in 1846, or thereabout, but it has been closed for several years. 


Mount Hermon Lodge, No. 24, A. F. M., was instituted under dispensation 
in 1848, and chartered January 10, 1849. The first master was Benjamin 
Osgood ; Ezra Cole, S. W. ; S. C. Coffinberry, J. W. The charter-members 
are given in the county history. The office of worthy master has been filled 
as follows : S. C. Coffinberry, 1852 ; F. C. Bateman, 1857-8 ; Nathan S. 
Johnson, 1859; James J. Dresler, 1860-61 and '65; Peter M. Gray, 
1862-4; L. A. Clapp, 1866-70; William Fitzsimmons, 1871-3; William 
M. Antes, 1874-6. 

The present officers are W. M. Antes, W. M. ; J. B. Quivey, S. W. ; 
George Frankish, J. W. ; Charles Cummings, treasurer ; William Frankish, 
secretary ; H. W. Hayes, S. D. ; C. F. Yauney, J. D. ; Rev. A. H. Van 
Vrauken, chaplain; James Yauney and John F. Wolf, stewards; H. D. 
Westcott, tyler. There are seventy-six members on the roll of craftsmen, in 
good standing. The lodge is the oldest one in the county, and was the first 
one instituted. It meets in its own hall, in Wolf's block, and which has 
been neatly furnished and prettily adorned with portraits of the presiding 
officers of the lodge. 


was instituted under dispensation, July,' 1852, and received its charter Feb- 
ruary 1, 1853, — Solomon Cummings being the first H. P., Benjamin Sherman 
the first scribe, and John Belote the first king. The other charter-members . 
were Nathan Gurney, John Richards, Edwin Perry, Samuel Tyler, Benja- 
min Osgood, Asahel Huntley, James L. Bishop and F. A. Kent. Hon. J. 
Eastman Johnson, Hon. S. C. Coffinberry and Louis A. Leland, Esq., were 
the first "team" to receive the R. A. degree in the chapter. Judge Coffinberry 
was elected G. H. P. in 1857, and re-elected for the next two succeeding 
terms, His address before the annual convocation of the G. C, in January, 
1858, was a very able and exhaustive document on Masonic jurisprudence. 
Another of the members of this chapter has reflected honor upon it, — 
Hon. J. Eastman Johnson, who was appointed grand secretary by G. H. P. 
Coffinberry in 1859, to fill a vacancy, and was elected to the same position 
every year thereafter up to 1874. 

In 1856 the chapter was removed to Constantine, where it remained until 
1858, when it w r as returned to its original location. 

The office of H. P. has been filled as follows : S. C. Coffinberry, 1854-6 ; 
John Belote, 1857-8; B. F. Doughty, 1859-60; Hiram Lindsle% 1861-6; 
J. E. Johnson, 1867 ; Peter M. Gray, 1868-9 ; L. A. Clapp, 1870-71 ; 
Charles A. Palmer, 1872-5. The officers of 1876 are : William Fitzsim- 
mons, H. P.; William L. Antes, K; John F. Wolf, S. ; William Frankish, 
P. S. ; J. B. Quivey, C. H. ; Charles Yauney, R. A. C. ; H. D. Westcott, J. 
O. Childs and J. P. Dockstader, M. of V. ; George Yauney, sentinel ; J. 
W. Spitzer, secretary; James Yauney, treasurer; Rev. A. H. Van Vrauken, 
chaplain. The roll numbers ninety-three craftsmen. 


There was a lodge of Odd-Fellows instituted at one time in Centreville 
(one of the first, if not the first in the county), but it ceased working several 
years ago. It was known as the St. Joseph County Lodge, No. — , I. O. O. F. 


Centreville Grange, No. 76, was organized September 23, 1873, with 
thirty members, William Hazzard being the first master, and John C. Joss 
the first secretary. The officers of 1876 were as follows: William Hull, 
master; James Yauney, overseer; J. Mosher, lecturer ; Samuel Blair, secre- 
tary; George Hazzard, treasurer; Mrs. Benjamin, Pomona; Mrs. M. A. 
Kline, Ceres ; Mrs. James Yauney, Flora. There are, at present, seventy-one 
members in the grange, which meets in the old court-house, which has been 
the scene of the organization of nearly every church and society in the 


Centreville was first incorporated as a village in 1837, and, at an election 
held May 1, in that year, the following trustees were elected to manage the 
corporation : Captain Philip K. Toll, J. W. Coffinberry, Alexander V. Sill, 
Cyrus Ingerson, Edmund White, E. J. VanBuren and John Graham. The 
first action of the board w T as to express their gratitude to their constituents, 
and invite them to partake of a collation at the Centreville Hotel on the 
Monday evening following. 

This government was sustained but a short time, — not later than 1840, — 
and the village was not again incorporated until February 23, 1877, when 
the citizens voted to re-incorporate under the general statute for such 

The election for trustees and officers was held March 13, and resulted in 
the choice of William Sadler, president; Alfred A. Key, clerk; Giles F. 
Dockstader, treasurer ; William Fitzsimmons, marshal ; Daniel F. Wolf, 
street commissioner ; Edward Talbot, assessor ; William Fitzsimmons, con- 
stable. Trustees, Marden Sabin, Henry C. Campbell and Israel B. Quivey, 
one year ; J. W. Spitzer, John C. Joss and D. D. Antes, two years. 


The first party of young people gathered in Centreville for a dance assem- 
bled under the leadership of Hon. Isaac D. Toll, in 1836, at the Centreville 
Hotel, kept then by A. V. Sill. 

In 1840 a dancing-school was taught at the " Exchange" by Griswold and 
Arnold, during Knox's administration, at which, besides dancing, there was 
considerable good manners taught, the conductors of the assemblies being 
thorough masters of their business. So their old pupils say. 

The national birthday was celebrated in 1837 in grand style. Harvey 
Cady built the drums, both bass and snare, with which, and a fife, key-bugle 
and fiddle, the procession marched through the streets to the ground pre- 
pared for their exercises. The drums and fife would play until out of wind, 
and then the bugle and fiddle would take up the strain, and prolong the 
harmony until the bugler was red in the face and the fiddler's arm was 
wearied, and then the martial music would relieve the orchestral part of the 
arrangement, and thus the melody was continuous through the entire route. 
The committee of arrangements, consisting of Philip R. Toll, D. H. Johnson, 
Dr. Mottram, Oliver Raymond, and ten others of the early citizens, issued 
an announcement of the programme, which read as follows: "Sixty -first An- 
niversary; Independence Day, 1837;" and a huge spread-eagle overshadowed 
what followed ; star-spangled banner hoisted in the public square, and a 
salute of thirteen guns fired; procession, oration at the court-house, and 
dinner at the Centreville Hotel, kept by A. V. Sill ; balloon ascension in 
afternoon, and fire- works and ball in the evening. Officers of the day: E. 
J. Vanburen, marshal; J. W. Coffinberry, reader; Dr. Mottram, orator; 
Revs. W. W. Brown and I. S. Ketchum, chaplains; Rev. G. S. Day, 

Mrs. Charles Henry Stewart's home wa,s a resort of the citizens for pleas- 
ant and agreeable entertainment, and the hostess being an excellent pianist, 
dancing was always in order, and much enjoyed. 

In later days the private theatricals of amateur comedy and tragedy have 
claimed attention somewhat, and some very creditable presentations have 
been made by the young people of the village. 

One day an Irishman named R. B. Osborn came to Philip R. Toll and 
asked for a job of work, and was set to chopping timber in the woods. After 
a day or two the chopper came into Mr. Toll's store, and showed young Isaac 
D., then a clerk for his father, a sketch of a landscape, which, on inquiry, 
was found to be the work of the wood-chopper himself. It was well executed, 
and a faithful representation. The young man immediately set about rais- 



ing a class for instruction in the art, and soon got up one, and Osborn quit 
chopping ; and after a while he and his companion, also a fine sketcher, 
found work in civil engineering in Chicago, from whence they returned to 
Ireland, from which they had been sent to "tone" them down somewhat in 
their ways. 

The first juries, after leaving their business for a week, would be called up 
and thanked by the judge for their labors, and then allowed, graciously, to 
pay their hotel bills and go home. There were no fees allowed jurors for 
some years. One of the St. Joseph juries were somewhat tenacious on what 
they considered their rights, and once upon a time, when a judge from 
another circuit was holding the court in St. Joseph, a jury brought in a ver- 
dict directly contrary to the instructions of the court, aud, when afterwards " 
questioned why they so acted, the foreman replied: 'Do you suppose we 
were going to have a foreigner come in here and tell us what we shall and 
what we shan't do? No, sir ; not much!" 


on the Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad, occupies the former site of the 
village of Oporto, which once boasted of an existence among the villages of 
St. Joseph county. Its proprietor, Whitney, who settled early on Sand lake, 
sold a few village lots which were taxed as such, — which act of oppression 
wa* too burdensome upon the embryo city, and it incontinently relapsed 
into its original element of farming lands. A store was kept by one Thomp- 
son for a time, and a post-office was established thereat, of which W. D. Ovid 
was postmaster for a while, and then R. A. Cutler for fifteen years, a part 
of the time the office being at his place. The office was removed to Hop- 
per s corners, where it remained for a few years. The present hamlet rose 
when the railroad was built through the township. 

The business of the village is conducted by J. W. Schermerhorn, who is 
the station and U. S. Express agent, and deals in produce and lumber; 
Drake and Todd, dealers in general merchandise ; Albert M. Todd, dealer 
in essential oils ; C. E. Sabin, in general merchandise ; William Willington, 
hardware ; J. W. Hagelgans, furniture ; T. D. Atkinson, manufacturer of 
carriages and wagons, and blacksmithing; and J. B. Howard, lessee of the 
hotel. The post-office was re-established when the station was located, Sam- 
uel Klady being the postmaster, who was succeeded by the present incum- 
bent, C. E. Sabin, in 1870. Robert Schermerhorn has a mint-oil distillery 
near the village. There were shipped from the station during the year 1876, 
sixty-seven thousand seven hundred and one bushels of grain, and three 
hundred and sixty-six thousand two hundred and seventy-six pounds of 
other merchandise. 


has a recorded existeuce on the surveys of St. Joseph, the plat of the village 
having been recorded in December, 1874. Messrs. Barnard, Gee, Connor 
et a/, were the original proprietors. They located their city at the crossing 
of the Michigan Central Air Line Railroad and Grand Rapids and Indiana 
road. It contains a post-office, which accommodates about thirty families ; 
C. A. Ensign is the present postmaster, — Frank M. Tuttle, as deputy, doing 
the business. D. C. Gee was the first postmaster. The business is done at 
the station principally. 

Messrs. Connor & Ensign have a fruit-drying factory (Jones* process), and 
about one hundred and fifty barrels of apples, twenty-five barrels of dried 
apples and one hundred barrels of cider were shipped from the station dur- 
ing the fall. Mark Connor is the station agent, but Mr. Tuttle does all of 
the business connected with the station. 


Nottawa prairie bore a conspicuous part in the troublous times of Black 
Hawk, by reason of its proximity to the Nottawa-seepe reservation, occu- 
pied by some hundreds of supposed implacable warriors. A company of 
one hundred men was organized, officered by Captain Henry Powers, Lieu- 
tenant Jonathan Engle, Jr., Hiram Gates, ensign, and Frank McMillan, 
orderly sergeant. The company, composed of boys and gray -headed men, 
turned out to a man, but were detailed as a corps of observation on the line 
of the reservation, and began the erection of Fort Hogan, as described else- 
where. A draft of twenty men started for the west, but went as far as 
White Pigeon only, the war having ended before proceeding farther. The 
organization of the company was kept up for a time, but no further call 
was made upon the citizens until the great war of the rebellion, except such 
as might have volunteered in the Mexican war. During the war for the 
Union (1861-5) Nottawa filled her quotas with commendable alacrity, and 
her citizens covered themselves w T ith undying glory on the field as well as 
at home, in helping forward the cause of freedom and nationality. The old 

flag had no braver or more able defenders than those Nottawa sent to 
the front, and the record they made for her is imperishable. 

The following is a list of the men who sustained her honor untarnished 
amid gloom and defeat, as well as when flushed with victorious suc- 
cess. If any names are missing from the roll of honor, the reader may find 
them recorded elsewhere in the other township histories, where they may 
have been erroneously located : 


Sergeant Eli Starr, Company C; killed at Malvern Hill, Va., July 1, 1862. 
Private George Ackers, Company C ; discharged for disability. 


Private John E. Culbertson, Company H ; mustered out at close of war. 


Wagoner Mortimer J. Barkman, Company C ; discharged. 

Private Isaac Gince, Company C ; re-enlisted ; mustered-out. 

Private Albert A. Jones, Company C ; enlisted in regular service. 

Private Andrew W. Morrison, Company C; died in Michigan, March 1, 

Private William E. Morrison, Company C ; re-enlisted ; died in Centre- 

Private Jason B. Taylor, Company C ; discharged for disability. 

Private Henry C. Walters, Company C ; re-enlisted ; mustered-out. 

Private George W. Walters, Company C ; died in regimental hospital, 
October 3, 1862. 

Musician Nelson Wells, Company C ; discharged for disability. 

Private Hiram Hill, Company C; mustered-out. 

Private Joseph W. Rolfe, Company C ; mustered-out. 

Private Francis Douglass, Company C ; mustered-out. 


Private W. R. Gifford, Company I. 


Private William A. Knapp, Company K ; mustered-out. 


Commissary Sergeant Elva F. Peirce ; veteran reserve corps. 

Musician George D. Clarke ; mustered out August 22, 1862. 

Captain David Oakes, Jr., Company A ; died at Murfreesboro, January, 

Sergeant Walter A. Johnson, Company A ; died at Centreville, January 
12, 1862. 

Sergeant James F. Lovett, Company A ; killed at Chickamauga. 

Sergeant Hiram G. Piatt, Company A ; discharged at expiration of ser- 

Corporal John W. Hall, Company A; discharged for disability. 

Corporal Abner V. Wilcox, Company A ; killed at Chattanooga, October 
24, 1863. 

Musician George W. Kent, Company A ; discharged for disability. 

Musician W. H. H. Piatt, Company A, sergeant-major; discharged at 
expiration of service. 

Private Robert Baker, Company A; discharged for disability. 

Private George W. Dickinson, Company A ; discharged at expiration of 

Private Charles W. Donkin, Company A ; discharged at expiration of 

Private Rollin O. Eaton, Company A ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Charles Fisher, Company A ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Henry Hall, Company A ; discharged at expiration of service. 

First Lieutenant Henry S. Fisher, Company A ; captain, January 30, 
1863 ; resigned. 

Private William C. Iddings, Company A; discharged at expiration of 

Private Francisco Klady, Company A ; discharged at expiration of ser- 

Private Cyrus E. Peirce, Company A ; discharged for disability. 

Private William R. Thrasher; discharged for disability. 

Private James A. Todd ; discharged for disability. 

Private Martin V. Wilcox ; promoted and mustered-out. 

Private Hiram D. Westcott ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Jay Dickinson ; died at Louisville, Ky, 

Private Festus E. Eaton ; mustered-out. 

Private James Ennis ; mustered-out. 



Corporal Melvin D. Hazzard, Company C ; discharged at expiration of 

Private Cyrus A. Bowers, Company C ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private James Findlay, Company C ; enlisted in the regular army and 
never heard from. 

Private John Fisher, Company C ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private David Shafer, Company C ; mustered out at close of war. 

Private George L. Clark, Company E ; discharged at expiration of ser- 

Private William Frankish, Company E ; promoted and mustered-out. 

Private Andrew Knapp, Company E ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Duncan Stewart, Company E ; died at Columbia, Tenn., June 30, 


Private John Dickinson, Company E ; mustered-out. 

Private Almerna O. Currier, Company G; discharged at expiration of 

Private John Savage, Company G; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private George Savage, Company G ; discharged at expiration of service. 

Private Robert D. Ennis, Company G ; died of wounds before Atlanta. 

Private Jacob Gruber, Company G ; mustered-out. 

Private Aristus O. Bishop, Company G; discharged for disability. 

Private John Salmon, Company G; mustered-out. 

Ephraim A. Austin, Company G; died at Nashville, Tenn. 

Private Edward Smith, Company G ; mustered-out. 

Private Eugene Bacon, Company F ; died at Little Rock, Arkansas. 


Private Lewis West, Company D ; mustered-out. 


Private Orlando B. Boughton, Company A ; re-enlisted. 

Private John E. Butler, Company A ; re-enlisted and mustered-out. 


Private W. H. Baker, Company C ; mustered-out. 
Private Francis M. Wright, Company I ; mustered-out. 


Assistant Surgeon John Bennett ; surgeon July 18, 1863, and mustered- 

Sergeant Ira S. Carpenter, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Sergeant E. E. E. Bacon, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Corporal Henry Vivian, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Corporal Charles H. Connor, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Wagoner William B. English, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Private George W. Adams, Company D ; died at Annapolis, July 22, 1863. 

Private Charles Adams, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Private Pembroke S. Beckwith, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Private Oliver Craft, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Private Joseph Goodwin, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Private Chauncey Eose, Company D ; died at Danville, Kentucky, Jan- 
uary 22, 1863. 

Private John A. Sutton, Company D ; died at McMinnville, Tennessee. 

Private Andrew Shaver, Company D ; mustered-out. 

Private John L. Thomas, Company D ; mustered-out. 


Frederick A. Thieabeaud, Company D ; mustered-out. 

William R Washburne, Company D ; discharged. 

George W. Wynkoop, Company D ; mustered-out. 

John C. Whitaker, Company D ; mustered-out. 

George Grubber, Company G ; transferred to Tenth, and mus- 

George Henry Clark, Company H ; mustered-out. 


Private Jason Sayler, Company D ; discharged for disability. 
Private Francis Bell, Company G ; mustered-out. 


Private Wilbur F. Hazzard, Company H; mustered-out. 


Private Irwin H. Emory, Company E ; at capture of Jeff. Davis ; mus- 


Private H. B. Brown, Company A ; mustered-out. 
Private Alva J. Carson, Company G ; mustered-out. 


Private George W. Fletcher, Company E; mustered-out. 


Wagoner David Hazzard, Battery D ; mustered-out. 
Sergeant Frederick C. Knox; Battery D ; mustered-out. 
Private Samuel Cady, Battery D ; mustered-out. 
Private Justin Sinclair, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private Andrew Shafer, Battery D ; discharged at White Pigeon, Decem- 
ber 6. 

Private Elias B. Shummel, Battery D ; died at Gallatin, Tennessee. 

Private Burton S. Howe, Battery D ; discharged for disability. 

Private Chauncey Veder, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private Daniel W. Williams, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private Nathan Adams, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private Horatio Allen, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private Samuel Mansfield, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private Abel L. Russell, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private William Waters, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private Daniel Williams, Battery D ; mustered-out. 

Private Joshua C. Goodrich, Battery G ; discharged for disability. 

Private Julius A. Goodrich, Battery G ; mustered-out. 

Private Robert M. Hazzard, Battery L ; mustered-out 


Augustus Kahn ; mustered-out. 
Joseph E. Thrasher ; mustered-out. 
David W. Eaton ; mustered-out. 


Private Abner M. Tuttle, Company B ; mustered-out. 

The publishers hereby tender their acknowledgments to John W. Fletcher, 
W. B. Langley, C. H. Starr, H. C. Campbell, H. A. Hecox, Harvey Cady, 
Edmund Stears, Daniel T. Wolf, George Keech, Jr., Hon. J. Eastman 
Johnson, William Sadler, Esq., Mrs. Isaac S. Ketchum, and Cyrus Buel, for 
information given us in compiling the history of Nottawa. 


James Hazzard, the father of our subject, was born in Massachusetts in 
1769; was married in 1791 to Miss Sally Andrus of the same State. The 
fruits of this union were five sons and five daughters. William, the fourth 
child, was born February 10, 1798, at Berkshire, Massachusetts. When he 
was thirteen years of age his father died. The family were at that time liv- 
ing in the State of New York. After the death of his father the family re- 
moved to Vermont, where they remained a short time, and then removed to 
Oneida county, N. Y., and from thence, in 1817, to the territory of Michigan. 
They settled on the Huron river, near Detroit, where they remained until 
1829. In the spring of that year Mr. William Hazzard penetrated the wil- 
derness as far as the present town of Centreville, in St. Joseph county, in 
quest of a location for a home. He selected a government lot about two 
miles east of the county-seat, which has ever since been the home of himself 
and family. He made a little improvement and put in some crops on his 
new purchase, and returned in the fall to the family in Wayne county, 
and in the month of December, in company with the Fletchers and others, 

came out to St. Joseph county. They arrived on Christmas day, 1829. He 
was married at the age of twenty-five to Miss Cassandra Coan, of Monroe, 
Michigan, by whom he became the father of fourteen children, named 
respectively James, Augustus, David, William, Melvin, Electa, Emily, 
Huldah, Sarah, George, Elvira, Lovilley, and two infants not named. Eleven 
of these children are now living, and all married. Mrs. Hazzard, the mother, 
died at the old homestead in 1871, aged sixty-four years, universally regretted 
and mourned by her husband and friends. 

The old gentleman, having all his life enjoyed the loving care of a wife 
and companion, felt his loss keenly, and finding an opportunity of repairing 
his loss, he married a second time. This was consummated in 1875. His 
second wife was a worthy widow lady of Mendon, with whom he leads a 
peaceful, happy life in his old age. 

Mr. Hazzard is to-day the only surviving member of the first Methodist 
class formed in St. Joseph county in 1830, and has been all his life an hon- 
ored member and a zealous advocate of the claims of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church. The children were all educated in the tenets of that church, 
and two of the sons became ministers, and another is an exhorter and licensed 

We present in this work a fine view of the old homestead, and portraits of 
the old pioneer and his deceased wife. 






On the banks of the upper Delaware, in the hilly country of Sullivan 
county, New York, in the town of Bethel, on the 6th day of March, 1807, 
William Hanna Cross was born. His father, John Cross, was an only son 
of Joseph Cross, of county Londonderry, Ireland, who, soon after the birth 
of John, left his wife and child and came to America. The Revolution of 
the colonies soon after commenced, and the wife never again met her hus- 
band, nor heard from him but a few times, but learned that he had joined 
the armies of the colonies, and was wounded at Charleston, South Carolina, 
and so concluded that he died from this cause. Left alone, the mother 
struggled to provide for herself and child, and soon after he arrived at an 
age sufficient to do somewhat for his own support, she too left him, then, 
alone in the world. By dint of hard work and self-denial the lad obtained 
a limited education, and before he attained his majority became a convert 
to Methodism, and was licensed as one of Wesley's earliest itinerants in his 
native land. In his travels he met Margaret, the young widow of Bernard 
Connolly, of Armagh, a daughter of the aristocratic Hannas, of Newry, and, 
contrary to their wishes, the young itinerant and the blooming widow were 
married. The opposition of the wife's family continuing, the young couple 
removed to Sligo, where they resided for several years, and until after the 
Emmett rebellion in 1798. 

Mr. Cross protected some of the implicated parties, and in consequence fell 
under the suspicion of the government as being in sympathy with the rebels ; 
and his business as a grocer, which he had taken up some time after his re- 
moval to Sligo, was so much disturbed, that in 1803 he determined to remove 
to America. Fearing annoyance and possible arrest, the mother took the 
family and crossed the Atlantic alone with the children, leaving the father 
to close up his business and follow 7 her two months later — when they were 
again united in New York city, and, after a short stay, settled in New r burg, 
Orange county, New York, where Robert J., the brother of the subject of 
this sketch, was born, in 1804. In 1806 the family removed to Bethel, Sul- 
livan county, where Mr. Cross engaged in the mercantile business. Here, 
in the rude school-houses of that day, under the government of the birch- 
rod and maple-ruler, the ideas of school education instilled into the youthful 
minds of Robert J. and William H. were wrought out. 

The second war with Great Britain, in 1812, so disturbed all business rela- 
tions, that Mr. Cross found himself at its close financially crushed ; and the 
mother having some means in Ireland, and hoping for some aid from her 
family there to check the tide of misfortune, left her home to again cross 
the ocean in 1815, going and returning alone, but bringing means with her 
sufficient only to stay the rush downward for a time. After struggling on 
between hope and fear for a few years, they at last gave up all, and in 1822 
removed to Bloomfield, Ontario county, where the father gave up the un- 

equal contest in July, 1824, and sank to his rest. The sisters being married, 
and the two remaining sons being aged twenty-one and eighteen respectively, 
the family-home was broken up in the spring of 1825, Robert J. coming in 
June of that year to Tecumseh, Lenawee county, Michigan, and locating a 
farm, whither, in September, 1826, he and William removed and began 
their pioneer-life as bachelors — being their own cooks, housekeepers and 
washerwomen : sick at times and no one to care for them but the sympa- 
thizing settler miles away, perhaps, yet gaining a self-reliance that no school 
but that of bitter experience could give. For a year and a half theirs was 
the frontier cabin on the Raisin. In 1829, William transported a load of 
goods to Mottville, to the old trader, Elias Taylor, and looked first upon the 
prairies of the west. He hauled one thousand five hundred pounds of mer- 
chandise (mostly whisky), with two yoke of oxen, and was three weeks on the 
round trip. The view of Sturgis prairie so pleased the young man, that the 
brothers sold their lands on the Raisin, in June, 1830, and in the month of 
September following selected their farms at Coldwater (then the town of 
Greene, county of St. Joseph), being the east three quarters of section 

In November following they built their second cabin, twelve by fourteen 
feet inside, with a sloping roof to the north, leaving the roof inside at the 
rear but six feet high. Here they spent two winters and one summer,haul- 
ing their supplies the first year from Tecumseh and Detroit. In the fall and 
winter of 1831-32, William built a log-house on his own farm, on the same 
ground now occupied by the mansion of Judge Loveridge, of Coldwater. 

But a bachelor's freedom could not always compensate for its other dis- 
advantages, and the pioneer met his fate at Tecumseh, where, on the 12th 
day of March, 1832, he surrendered his single-blessedness unconditionally 
to find a " more perfect union," and was united in marriage to Nancy, a 
daughter of John and Lydia Landon, of Ithaca, New York. 

Scarcely six weeks had passed when the Black Hawk war, which had 
been raging in Illinois, reached Michigan in its effects, and the colonists were 
called to the defense of their own borders and to assist their brethren farther 
west, and the young bride was left with two others who had just passed the 
honeymoon with her (Mrs. Judge Harvey Warner and Mrs. James B. 
Tompkins), to alternate fears and hopes, while the young husband shoul- 
dered his rifle in obedience to the command of the State and the instincts of 

But the cloud of war was soon dissipated by the capture of Black Hawk, 
and the young people were reunited in about three weeks ; and business, 
though seriously interferred with, recommenced again on the farm. 

In June, 1835, Mr. Cross and his brother Robert sold their farms to an 
eastern company ; Robert going to Winnebago county, Illinois, and settling 



on Rock River, where he died in 1873. Owing to the poor health of Mrs. 
Cross and her child, William, instead of going into a new country for a new 
beginning, concluded a partnership with Judge Silas A. Holbrook in the 
mercantile trade ; but the crash of 1837 and " wild-cat " banking over- 
whelmed the new merchant and operator, and the means he had gathered as 
a farmer were scattered to the winds of heaven, — and the pioneer, penniless, 
but still undaunted, began again at the foot of the toilsome ascent, and 
pushed bravely onward, encouraged by the companion of his choice and 
nerved by the dependency of his little ones. But disappointments were yet in 
store for him, and many a promising golden apple of Hesperides turned to 
ashes in his grasp, — as contractor on the Michigan Central railroad, and 
the Fort Wayne and Michigan City canal, and as a forwarding and com- 
mission merchant in Hillsdale. 

In 1845 he removed to Leonidas, St. Joseph county, and engaged in the 
mercantile trade again ; and in 1847 constructed the first dam across the St. 
Joseph river ever built in Michigan, but at a loss, for want of funds to 
complete the additional improvements necessary to utilize the really excel- 
lent water-power he had secured. 

In 1851, the allurements of California proving too great to be resisted, Mr. 
Cross left his family for the new El Dorado, w 7 here for seven years he delved 
in the mines, led on by fickle fortune's flattering promises, which at times 
seemed just ready to become solid realities, only to be dissipated the next 
moment into nothing tangible. 

In 1 858 he returned to Leonidas, and was within a short time thereafter 
elected to the office of supervisor, a position he had held for the five years 
preceding his departure to California, and in which he continued until he 
secured an appointment, which was deemed inconsistent to be held with his 
former one. 

Since that time, to 1872, he served the public in the various positions of as- 
sistant assessor of internal revenue, assistant United States provost-marshal, 
and postal clerk on the Michigan Southern and Lake Shore railroad. 

In 1872 he was elected judge of probate of St. Joseph county, while a 
resident of Sturgis, but removed to Centreville the following summer, where 
he still resides. 

In 1876 the Republicans renominated him unanimously to the same posi- 
tion, and he was re-elected, by the largest majority given to any candidate on 
the ticket, over his opponents on the Democratic and Greenback tickets. 
In fact it was difficult to find a man in those parties to run against him, 
several declaring they would not, but should vote for Judge Cross. 

The tender and sympathizing nature of Judge Cross eminently fit him for 
the discharge of the delicate and arduous duties of his position, which brings 
him in contact with the widow and orphan, and charges him with the set- 
tlement of their estates and interests ; and it is currently stated that Judge 
Cross* tribunal is less a court for legal adjudications than an arbitration 
for the reconcilement of differences and difficulties between heirs. His suc- 
cess in that direction is most satisfactory to the parties w T ho appear before 
him, as well as to himself. 

A single incident will illustrate his manner of dealing with questions 
which, by a technical construction, there is no warrant for in the law. 

" A lady dying, expressed a wish that a small portion of her estate might 
be appropriated by her administrator for a certain object', but left no will or 
written instrument to that effect. When the estate was settled the adminis- 
trator asked Judge Cross what he ought to do in the premises. The judge 
quietly said, ' What would you wish to have done if you were in her posi- 
tion, and she in yours?' ' Why, I should want my wishes carried out/ re- 
plied the administrator. ' Then as you would have others do for you, so do 
you do for her/ responded the judge, and the matter was ended." 

His decisions, however, are good, for, with a single exception, not one 
of them has ever been reversed on appeal to the circuit or supreme court. 

Judge Cross' political fealty was first pledged to the Whig party, and to 
it he remained true and steadfast till it disappeared, and then he gave in his 
adhesion to the new opponent of the Democratic party which rose in 1856, 
the Republican party, and has been a staunch, unbending partisan in its 
ranks to the present time. 

Judge Cross united with the Presbyterian church in Coldwater in 1837, 
his wife joining a church of the same faith in Ithaca ten years before, and 
they have continued as members of kindred churches wherever their lot has 
been cast since that time, Mr. Cross having been an elder from the second 
year of his membership in Coldwater. 

When Judge Cross resigned his position as postal-clerk, he was recalled 
to Toledo by the superintendent of that division of the service, and on 
his arrival found his fellow-clerks assembled in the superintendent's room, 
who proceeded, through that official, to present the judge with a gold-headed 

cane, accompanied with a very complimentary expression of confidence and 

Mrs. Cross was born in Ithaca, New York, on the 7th day of November, 
1812, and removed to Tecumseh in 1828. 

Five children gathered around the family hearthstone of Mr. and Mrs. 
Cross, — one, the oldest, a son, and four daughters, — who, with the exception of 
one who is deceased, reside at and near the present homestead. 

Mr. and Mrs. Cross have traveled life's pathway together forty-five years, 
mutually sharing its sorrows and its joys, and their heads are now silvered 
with the snows of nearly seventy winters, but with hearts so full of human 
kindness they ne'er grow old, and their eyes undimmed by naught save time, 
they are confidently walking in that " light which shineth more and more 
unto the perfect day." 


The " gem of the sea," Ireland, sent one of her children to St. Joseph 
county among her early settlers, and his name was Glover Laird. He was 
proud of his name and his financial honor, and when the crash of 1837 hurled 
thousands into bankruptcy, and pinched fearfully thousands of others, he 
among the rest felt the stringency of the times deeply, and was most keenly 
alive to the mortification consequent upon his inability to meet his business 
engagements promptly and fully. One day a stranger accosted him, in- 
quiring if he was Glover Laird; Mr. Laird responded quickly, "My name 
was Glover Laird, but since these hard time have come on, and I am unable 
to meet the just demands against me; I think it will not be Glover Laird 
any longer." 

Mr. Laird emigrated from his native land when a young man, and came 
to New York, and married a native of Connecticut, Samatha Wolcott by 
name. In 1820 he removed to Ohio to fix upon a site for business, having 
seven hundred dollars of the notes of the Mansfield Bank of that State on 
hand. He settled in southern Ohio, in Butler county, and after reaching 
his destination found his money was worthless, the bank having failed. Ten 
years afterward he came to Michigan, arriving on Nottawa prairie in Octo- 
ber, 1830, and located on section two in Nottawa township, adjoining the 
reservation on the south. In the spring of 1831 he built his cabin, and 
broke forty acres and fenced eighty. 

In 1852 he sold his farm to his son, Henry W. Laird, and soon afterward 
lost his companion. He then returned to the east to visit his old friends at 
South Briton, Connecticut, where he met and married Miss Olive Hinman 
He died in South Briton, March 22, 1872. His Irish nature made him a 
warm friend or an open opponent, and a cordial welcome was extended to 
all who came to his log-cabin home, at which the latch-string hung ever on 
the outside of the door. He was liberal to those in need, and his sympathies 
went out to all in difficulty and distress. 


The subject of this sketch, Henry W. Laird, or as he is familiarly 
called, " Harry " Laird, is a son of Glover Laird, a native of Ireland. He was 
born in Greene county, New York, October 14, 1812, and with his father 
migrated to Ohio in 1820, and from thence to Michigan in October, 1830. 
After assisting his father in breaking up forty acres and fencing eighty 
on section two in Nottawa township, in June, 1831, he returned to Ohio to 
attend school. In 1833 he came again to Nottawa, where he remained 
through the winter and returned to Ohio, — making similar journeys in 

In 1837 Mr. Laird was married, and in 1852 he purchased his father's old 
homestead, whereon he still resides, a view of which we present to our readers 
on another page of our work. Since he purchased the old homestead he has 
made many improvements thereon, and has given his time mostly to 
agricultural pursuits. He is public-spirited and enterprising, and was 
efficient in securing the location of the Grand Rapids and Indiana railroad 
through the township, gaving much time and considerable money in aid 
of its construction. He is an active member of the pioneer society, and has 
been zealously engaged in gathering and writing a history of the Nottawa 
Indians for the same, from which we have quoted largely in our work 
elsewhere. Mr. Laird is a Republican in politics, but was formerly a Whig. . r 
He has held the office of county treasurer several terms, and was, in the old *# 



Whig days, the most popular candidate of that party. His creed is embodied 
in his motto, " No man should live for himself alone, but also for others." 

Mrs. Laird is a native of Harford county, Maryland, and was born Feb- 
ruary 10, 1817, and has borne to her husband six boys and one girl, all now 


At the close of a long and useful life it must be a pleasure to be able to 
transmit to our children and friends a comfortable fortune, more especially 
if it is accompanied by the fact that it has been acquired in an honorable 
manner, and if with it is connected the history of a long line of ancestry of 
honorable name and noble character. 

As an instance of this we present the subject of this sketch, — Mr. Robert 
McKinlay, — who was born at Killern, in Sterlingshire, Scotland, on the 27th 
day of October, 1797, and he is the descendant of a long line of the Saxon- 
Scotch race. His father, John McKinlay, was born and reared in the same 
town; was married, and reared a family of seven children, — three sons and 
four daughters, — of whom Robert was the youngest. Robert acquired the 
common English branches of an education at the parish-schools, and before 
he reached his majority had learned the trade of a stone-cutter. In the 
year 1820, at the age of twenty-two, he embarked for America in quest of a 
new home for himself and his father's family. He went to Quebec, and for 
the next four years worked at his trade in Canada and Vermont. During 
this time he located some land in Canada, which he afterwards disposed of. 
His mother died in 1822, and, two years after, his father's family, which con- 
sisted of his father, three sisters and a brother-in-law, embarked for the 
United States. They settled at Amsterdam, in the State of New York, 
where they continued to reside for many years. In the year 1837, at the 
home of his daughter in Jefferson county, the elder McKinlay died at the 
extremely advanced age of ninety-two years. 

In the year 1837 Robert was united in marriage to Miss Catharine Camp- 
bell, of Amsterdam, New York, a very worthy Scotch lady, whose family 
had emigrated to this county in 1829. In the year 1835 Robert, in common 
with many others, was seized with what w T as termed the " western fever/' 
and came out to the wilds of Michigan in quest of an investment in wild 
lands. He visited Wayne county, where he located, and purchased five 
government lots, and then going farther west into St. Joseph county, he 
bought six government lots about three miles south of the county-seat. He 
then returned to New York, where he remained, engaged in the construction 
of bridges, locks and aqueducts on the Erie canal and its enlargement until 
1843. In the fall of that year he removed with his family to St. Joseph 
county. In a few days after his arrival he had constructed a cheap frame 
house on his land in the forest, and moved his family into it, since which 
time he was engaged in clearing up his lands and farming. The family has 
continued to reside on the farm ever since, until 1871, when they removed 
into the village of Centreville, where they have since resided. 

Mr. McKinlay is the father of six children, — two sons and four daughters, 
— whose names are Elizabeth, Mary C, Catharine, John, Archibald and 
Amanda. Only three of the children are living at this time. One of the 
daughters is married, and resides in Canada. John and Amanda are at 
home with the old gentleman. 

A sad event occurred on the 26th day of January, 1875, in the death of 
Archibald McKinlay, whose mother was so overcome with grief that she 
only survived his untimely death two days, and mother and son were 
both buried on the 29th of January, 1875. This loved wife and life-long 
companion is still mourned by this venerable old gentleman and the bereaved 
children. She was born at Paisley, Scotland, on the 13th day of May, 1812. 
Mr. Robert McKinlay is a true type of an old Scotch gentleman, and enjoys 
the confidence and esteem of all his friends and acquaintances, and the love 
and devotion of his children and relatives. 

In politics he is a Republican, in religious faith Presbyterian. In the 
pages of this work we present a fine view of his farm-residence, and portrait 
of himself and his deceased wife. 


In the year 1829, away out in the wilderness, far from the haunts of civ- 
ilized life, could have been seen a few sturdy young men engaged in cutting 
the logs and building a house on the spot now occupied by the Fletcher 
family, of Nottawa township, St. Joseph county. 

John W. Fletcher was the first white man, who is living at this time, that 
struck a blow as a settler in the forests of St. Joseph county. He had, at 
the age of twenty, in 1826, in company with Captain Allen and George 
Hubbard, made a trip through the wilderness as far as the present town of 
Niles, and again in 1829, in company with his brother, he made another trip 
into the wilds of southern Michigan, — this time in quest of a desirable loca- 
tion for a home for himself and his father's family. He selected a quarter- 
section of government land near the present county-seat, on which he has 
ever since resided. 

After entering his land at Monroe, he returned to the home of the family 
at Flat Rock, in Wayne county, near Detroit, and procuring a yoke of oxen, 
wagon, tools and provisions, returned to his recent purchase, following the 
Indian trail all the way. 

After building a log-house and cutting a stack of hay, he returned, with 
his oxen and wagon, to fetch the family to their new home. A number of 
families came in company with them, thus forming the nucleus of quite a 

The little colony were seventeen days on their tedious journey, arriving at 
their destination in the month of December, 1829. The Fletcher family 
consisted of the parents, two daughters and John W., the subject of this 

They all lived together as one family for the first few years, and the parents 
continued to live with John W. until the day of their death, — Mr. Fletcher, 
the elder, dying in 1832, and his widow in 1860. 

On the 18th of September, 1831, John W. Fletcher and Miss Sarah Knox, 
the daughter of a settler on Sturgis prairie, were united in marriage, and it 
is conceded that this was the first marriage of a couple who became perma- 
nent residents of the county. The products of the farm for the first few 
years were floated down the St. Joseph river in arks to its mouth in Lake 
Michigan, and there found a market, and in after years Hillsdale and Kal- 
amazoo became their market-towns. 

Mr. Fletcher comes of the good old Revolutionary stock of the war for 
independence, being the son of William Fletcher, who was the son of 
William Fletcher who fought as a soldier all through the struggle that gave 
to the country liberty and independence, and to the world the Great Republic. 

John W. was born at Otsego, New York, in the year 1806, and was one 
of a family of six children, — four sons and two daughters. 

When our subject was ten years old his father emigrated to Ohio, where 
they remained until 1824, when they again emigrated, this time to the terri- 
tory of Michigan. They settled on the Huron river, near Detroit, from 
whence, as we have mentioned, they made a permanent settlement in St. 

Mr. Fletcher is the father of ten children, nine of whom are living, — five 
sons and four daughters. Three of the daughters and two sons are married. 
The other children are at home with the old gentleman. 

Mr. Fletcher and his wife have for many years been honored members of 
the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he is a staunch Democrat and 
a strong advocate of the constitution and the maxims of our fathers. He is 
at this time president of the Pioneer society, in which he takes a deep in- 
terest. We take much pleasure in presenting to the people of St. Joseph 
county a fine view of the Fletcher homestead, with portraits of this old 
pioneer and his excellent wife. 


As an example of what a life of industry and patient perseverance will do 
in the face of difficulties 4nd discouragements in the building up of a com- 
fortable fortune and the formation of reputation and character in the in- 
dividual, we will mention the name of Mr. Thomas Cuddy, who was born in 
county Ulster, Ireland. His father died when he was eight years of age, and 
his mother when he was ten years of age, leaving him and an only sister to the 
care of his mother's sister, by whom the children were brought up on a farm, 
assisting in the farm-work and in a tannery, and, at intervals, attending the 
national school, where he obtained the rudiments of the common English 

At the age of twenty, by advice from his relatives in the United States, 
he, with his sister, embarked in June, 1849, for this country. They came 
direct to New York, and from thence to Nottawa prairie in St. Joseph 
county, where he had four uncles, who were among the early settlers of 
this region. He commenced for himself by working the farm of Mr. John 
Cuddy, his uncle. His sister kept house for him about ten years. She 

Tpos.W. LA|^L£Y. 



then married Mr. John Brown, of Allegan county, where she has since 

A short time previous Mr. Thomas Cuddy was married to Miss Catharine 
McKinlay, daughter of Robert McKinlay, an old settler near Centreville. 
This was in the spring of 1859. By this marriage he was the father of four 
children, — three sons and one daughter. One son and one daughter are 
living. The daughter is married ; the son is at home with his father. 

In 1869 Mrs. Cuddy died, and thus created a vacancy in the home and a 
void in the heart of Mr. Cuddy. 

In 1871 he was united to Miss Catharine Culbertson, of the same town, a 
worthy lady with whom he had been long acquainted. In religious faith he 
is Presbyterian, although not a member of any church organization. In 
politics, Democratic; in social intercourse, kind and affable; and in all 
matters of public improvement, liberal and public-spirited ; in business deal- 
ings, shrewd and clear-headed, — and he is known as an honorable gentleman 
in all the relations of life. He is the owner of three hundred and sixty 
acres of the finest farming lands on Nottawa prairie, and three hundred and 
sixty acres also in the county of Allegan. He has a fine residence on the 
prairie, a view of which we present in this work, accompanied by the por- 
traits of himself and wife. 


The subject of this sketch comes of a long line of English ancestry. His 
grandfather emigrated to New York city at an early day in its history, where 
he became a distinguished architect and builder. He built the theatre known 
for many years as the Old Bowery, the first City Bank in New York city and 
the first State capitol buildings at Albany, and many others of lesser note. 
He left at his death three children, — one son and two daughters. Thomas 
W. Langley, the son, served an apprenticeship in the woolen-manufacturing 
business, and at the age of twenty-one went into partnership with his brother- 
in-law at Germantown, near Philadelphia, and at the same time was con- 
nected with his mother in the mercantile trade, in the city of Philadelphia. 
He was married, in 1822, to Miss Margaret Stigman, of the same city, by 
whom he had seven children, — six sons and one daughter, — of whom Wil- 
liam B. Langley is the eldest. He was born at Germantown on the 9th 
day of June, 1823. 

In the year 1832 Mr. Thomas W. Langley came to the territory of Mich- 
igan in quest of a location. He selected the site of the present town of 
Centreville, as the town had already been platted, and was owned by two or 
three individuals, of whom Mr. Langley purchased the entire prospective 
village. He also entered seven government lots, lying contiguous. He then 
returned to Philadelphia and closed up his business, and, with his family,, 
which consisted of himself and wife, six children, a nephew, and a couple of 
colored servants, started for the " far west." 

At the same time he brought on the machinery and irons for a saw- and 
grist-mill, also a stock of dry-goods and groceries. He was for many years 
actively engaged in a variety of enterprises, such as farming, milling, dis- 
tilling, hotel-keeping and selling goods, — in all of which William B. Langley, 
our subject, actively assisted his father, attending the common-schools for 
the first years, and afterwards the academy at Canandaigua, New York ; 
also, for a short time, a military school at 'Bristol, Pennsylvania. When 
not at school he was at home, occupied with the varied duties of clerk in the 
store and post-office, and as a help upon the farm and in the mills. 

At the age of twenty-three he became acquainted with and married Miss 
Julia V. R. Woodworth, of Centreville. They were married July 25, 1847, 
and soon after established themselves on a new farm, three miles north of 
Centreville, where they have since resided, engaged in the quiet occupation 
of farming and rearing their family, which consists of four children, — two 
sons and two daughters. The two daughters are married, and one of them 
has lost her husband, and is left a young widow with a young child. She is 
at this time living at home with her parents. 

Mr. Langley has a fine farm of two hundred and sixteen acres, situated 
on the south bank of the St. Joseph river, well adapted to the production of 
the various kinds of grain for which this region is so justly celebrated. In 
religious sentiment he is liberal in his views, without any decided preference 
of denominational fellowship. 

In politics he is more pronounced, cherishing very decided Democratic 
views. A kind husband and father, generous and honorable in his dealings, 
he commands universal respect and esteem from his neighbors and acquaint- 

ances, and love and devotion from his friends and relatives. He has, in the 
pages of this work, bequeathed to his friends and the citizens of St. Joseph 
county a fine view of the homestead, with portraits of himself and his esti- 
mable wife, which will remain as a monument to the memory of that truest 
and noblest type of manhood, an American gentleman. 


whose portrait and that of his excellent wife, with a fine view of his farm 
residence, may be found elsewhere in the pages of this work, was born in the 
town of Westerly, Rhode Island, in 1803, on the old Wilcox farm, he being 
one of the fifth generation of that family since its first settlement on this 
side of the Atlantic. 

He was the son of Oliver, who was the son of Isaiah, a Baptist minister, 
who was the son of Stephen, who was the son of Edward Wilcox, who emi- 
grated from England and settled in Rhode Island at an early period in the 
history of the English colonies. 

Oliver W. is the eldest son in a family of twelve children, and received 
but limited advantages from the common-schools of that day, remaining 
with and assisting his father on the farm until he attained his majority ; he 
then left home and commenced work for himself. He was engaged in ship- 
building about ten years at New Bedford and other places. 

He then came west to Rochester, New York, where he remained six 
months, and then went to Michigan in quest of a farm. He selected and made 
a purchase of one hundred and ten acres in the present town of Nottawa, 
St. Joseph county, and the same fall built the house in which he now resides. 
He then returned to Massachusetts in quest of a wife to preside in it. 

On his return, he, with his usual business promptness, made an offer of 
matrimonial partnership to Miss Harriet Vincent, which was as promptly 
accepted ; and in February following he returned, bringing his wife to their 
new home in the wilds of Michigan, since which time Mr. Wilcox has 
been engaged in the quiet occupation of farming, never mixing in the strifes 
and turmoils of political or public life. 

In the year 1842 he met with a great loss in the death of his beloved 
wife, which' left him alone with his three little ones, one son and two daugh- 
ters. The two daughters are living, both married. The son died in the Union 
army, at Chattanooga. After four years of dreary mourning, Mr. Wilcox 
decided to fill the vacancy in his heart and home by taking another com- 
panion, which he did by marrying Miss Lucy A. Kent, of Kalamazoo, a na- 
tive of Rutland, Vermont. The fruits of this union are three sons and two 
daughters ; one son and one daughter are married, — the other three children 
are living at home with the old gentlemen. A member of the Baptist church 
for the last forty-seven years ; a consistent Christian ; temperate in all 
things, and a Republican in politics. He is to-day, at the age of seventy- 
three years, a hale and hearty old gentleman, universally respected by 
his acquaintances, and loved by his friends. 


Foremost among the enterprising pioneers of St. Joseph county, Thomas 
W. Langley, the first actual settler on the site of the present village of 
Centreville, stood pre-eminent. Energetic and untiring, he achieved fully 
as much, if not more, with the means at his disposal, than any other man 
in the early days of the settlement of the county. Buying the bare site of 
the county seat, he pushed to completion in the incredible space of three 
months, a frame court-house, twenty-four by thirty, the largest log-house in 
the county, for hotel purposes, a blacksmith-shop, store-building, flouring 
and saw-mill, and had a post-office, a school, and religious services in regular 
and successful operation. He was constantly doing something to aid in the 
prosperity of the village and enhance the value of the property therein. 
He brought in the first stock of goods sold in the village, and engaged, at 
various times, in mercantile, manufacturing and agricultural pursuits, and, 
as occasion required, kept the hotel of the village. He was the first post- 
master of the village, and held the position from 1833 to 1840. 

Mr. Langley was born in Murray street, New York, in the year 1801. 
His father, William Langley, was a native of England ; he was a mason by 
trade, and assisted in the building of the Drury Lane theatre, in London, 
the old Bowery and the old City Bank in New York, and the first capitol 
buildings at Albany. 



The mother of Mr. Langley, the subject of this sketch, Susan Elliott, was 
a native of Ireland, and came with her parents therefrom to Philadelphia 
when she was ten years of age. 

Mr. William Langley, the father, also landed first at Philadelphia, where 
it is supposed he was married to Miss Elliott. During the building of the 
old capitol buildings at Albany, in 1812, Mr. Langley left his wife and 
children at old Fort Stanwix for safety, during the war then being waged 
between the mother country and the United States. 

Three children were the fruits of this marriage, viz. : 

Sarah, born in New York city, and who afterwards married W. G. Hirst, 
who emigrated from Wakefield, England, and was a manufacturer of woolen 
goods ; he owned and operated a factory known as the Branchtown mills, 
near Germantown, Pennsylvania. 

Thomas W., the subject of our sketch ; and 

Susan, born in New York also, and who married Lawrence Butler, a sea- 
captain, with whom and a son, she was lost at sea about the year 1831, 
leaving two daughters surviving her. 

At the age of fourteen years Thomas W. Langley was apprenticed to the 
trade of a woolen manufacturer, with his brother-in-law, Hirst, and at seven- 
teen years was promoted to the position of foreman of the mills, with fifty 
operatives under his charge. At twenty-one years of age he was admitted 
into the business as a partner with Mr. Hirst. 

About the year 1822 Mr. Langley rented the Black Rock mills near 
Germantown, and operated them in connection with the Branchtown mills, 
conducting also, at the same time, two dry-goods stores in Philadelphia, on 
Market and Second streets, in company with his mother, Mrs. Susan Langley. 

In 1&25 he purchased a farm and mill in Treydiffen township, Chester 
county, Pa., twenty-one miles from Philadelphia, and changed the mill into 
a woolen factory, which he conducted under the name of the "Clintonville 
factory;" he also operated a store, limestone quarries and kilns, and con- 
tinued his connection with Hirst in the Branchtown mills, having over one 
hundred operatives on his pay-rolls. He sold his Chester county property 
in 1831, and removed again to Branchtown mills. In May, 1832, he suf- 
fered from a severe attack of fever, and, upon the peremptory advice of 
Doctors Physic and B. Franklin Bache, of Philadelphia, traveled over 
the Alleghenies in a carriage, accompanied by his son, William B., then a 
boy of nine years, to regain, if possible, his usual robust health. He trav- 
eled as far as Rochester, New York, where he stopped with his cousin, Judge 
E. Smith Lee, his health being much improved. 

Receiving letters from home informing him of the mills' suspension by 
reason of the cholera then raging, he took a packet on the Erie canal for 
Buffalo, where he met an old friend, who commanded one of the three 
steamers then afloat on Lake Erie, who persuaded the invalid to try the 
virtue of the lake breezes, at least as far as Ashtabula, but landed him in 
Detroit, where, meeting with old friends, — Colonel Macks, Desnoyers and 
others, — was persuaded to stay over one trip and look at the country. He 
bought a section of land where the site of Flint, in Genesee county, is situ- 
ated, and, hearing Thomas Sheldon, the receiver of the land-office at White 
Pigeon, discourse in glowing terms of the St. Joseph country, Mr. Langley, 
on receipt of further news from home, concluded to take a look at the beau- 
tiful prairies and oak-openings of St. Joseph; and so, buying an Indian 
pony, saddle and outfit, the whole costing fifty dollars, he went, in company 
with Sheldon, General Brown, Colonel Anderson, and other officers who 
were going to the Black Hawk war, to White Pigeon, where he arrived in 

June, and proceeded to explore the county and buy the site of the county 
seat, as fully detailed in the Centre ville history, as is also his settlement and 
operations thereon, and his emigration with his family from Philadelphia 
thereto. On his return to the latter place, his friends said he had left the 
city a s?ck man, and had returned a crazy one, so enthusiastic was he in his 
praises and description of his new purchase in St. Joseph county. 

On the 22d of March, 1822, Mr. Langley was married to Margaret Stig- 
man, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Dr. Broadhead, in Philadel- 
phia. She was a native of Maryland, and her parents dying when she was 
at a. tender age, she became a member of the family of her uncle, Thomas 
Badaraque, a Frenchman, engaged in the East India trade with one Lewis 
Clapier, in Philadelphia, and by her said uncle was nurtured in affluence, 
with everything at her command, and illy fitted to fill the position she sub- 
sequently so worthily and uncomplainingly occupied, amid the privations of 
border life. 

The children which were the fruits of this union were: 

William Badaraque Langley, born in Germantown, June 9, 1823; 
now a farmer in Nottawa. 

Joseph Lafayette Langley, born in Philadelphia, September 28, 
1854, the same day the great and good Lafayette was received with hearty 
welcome to that city; now a wholesale tea-merchant in New York. 

DeWitt Clinton Langley, born in Treydiffen township, Chester county, 
Pa., July 28, 1826 ; now a real-estate broker in New York city. 

Thomas Chester Langley, born in Treydiffen township, September 23, 
1828 ; now a merchant in Constantine, St. Joseph county. 

Washington Elliott Langley, born in Treydiffen township, February 
21, 1830. 

Susan B. Langley, born at Branchtown Mills, April 28, 1832; now Mrs. 
J. Austin Sperry, of Little Silver, N. J. 

Lawrence Butler Langley, born in Centreville, St. Joseph county, 
Michigan, April 19, 1835; now engaged in stock-raising at Bio Frio, Uvalde 
county, Texas ; and 

Henry Stigman Langley, born in Centreville, September 6, 1837, and 
died September 21 following. 

Joseph L. married Antoinette Hale, in Detroit, in 1851, and Thomas C. 
married Susanna J. Proudfit, of Constantine, November 24, 1852. 

Mrs. Langley died August 21, 1850, after a short illness, aged a little 
more than forty-six years. 

In 1851 or 1852 Mr. Langley closed out his interests in St. Joseph county, 
and returned to Philadelphia, where he formed a mercantile agency, travel- 
ing through the South for several of the jobbing-houses of that city ; he 
was thus engaged at the time of his decease, at Paducah, Ky., January 9, 

Mr. Langley " possessed a noble and generous nature, a mild and amia- 
ble disposition, and a kind, benevolent heart, and, as a consequence, enjoyed 
the confidence of many devoted and affectionate friends." About a month 
before his death (November 9, 1854), he was married to Mrs. C. K. Moore, 
of Philadelphia, and started immediately to the West in her company. 
Upon landing at Paducah he was injured by a fall, which he survived but 
thirteen days, and was cared for most kindly, and buried by the Masonic 
fraternity, of which he was a member. In politics he was a Democrat. 

Residence or JACOB S.GENTZLER, Two Miles North of White Pigeon &Two Miles South-East or Constant/ ne, Constantine 7p.,S t Joe Co.,Mich. 




The settlement of the territory included in the present limits of the town- 
ship of Constantine, began in the year 1829,— William Meek, of Wayne 
county, Ohio, being the advance-guard of the host to follow. He came 
in the winter of 1828-9,— possibly in the summer of 1828,— and made 
his selection of a location at the intersection of the Fawn and St. Joseph 
rivers, where the present village of Constantine is situated; but his family 
did not come until the spring of 1829, when he built a cabin for them, 
(the first in the settlement,) then went to Monroe and bought his land. 
In the following winter he began the erection of a saw-mill, — from which 
time onward, until long after the plat of the village was laid out, the settle- 
ment was known as "Meek's Mill." 

The second family to come into the settlement was Jacob Bonebright's, 
which settled on the farm at present owned and occupied by A. Hagenbuch 
on section twenty-six. Mr. Bonebright, from Pennsylvania, originally came 
and located in May, 1829, and built the second house in the settlement. 
Nathan Syas and family came in the same spring or summer after Mr. 
Bonebright. He located a farm which covered the site of the present dwell- 
ing of Hon. H. H. Kiley. 

C. B. Fitch, afterwards judge of the county-court, came in from Ohio in 
1830 and located on the prairie, and built the first frame house outside of 
the village, but in 1831 sold the same to John G. and William Cathcart, 
who, with their families, came in the fall of 1831. 

William Hamilton, from Ohio, came to the prairie in 1827 to look at the 
country, but returned to Ohio, and again came in 1830, and returned with- 
out purchasing. In 1827 he went to Beardsley's prairie, in Cass county, 
and worked through harvest. In 1832 Mr. Hamilton came with his family 
of four sons, a married daughter and her husband, Alfred Poe, and their 
child, and settled in the openings on what is now known as Broad street, on 
the farm now owned by Adam Gentzler. Heman Harwood came in 1832 
to Broad street, and located a portion of the farm now owned by the Gib- 
sons. Mr. Hamilton built two log-houses in the summer and fall of 1832. 
John Garrison came in 1833 to Broad street. 

Mr. Bonebright, who came to look for a location in 1828, stopped with 
Klinger on the shores of Klinger lake, making his location the following 
year, as before stated. He sold his first location in 1836-7, and removed to 
the one now occupied by his widow and son Henry, where they have lived 
over forty years. 

Caleb Arnold and family moved into Constantine in 1833,— having pre- 
viously (1832) bought a location in Fabius — and located on the opposite 
side of the river from the then settlement. Deacon William Churchill had 
settled on the edge of the prairie in 1831. Mr. Arnold's family consisted 
of his son, William F., now of Three Rivers ; Daniel, now of Constantine ; 
Dr. O. F., of Three Rivers, and Lyman, who is now dead, and a daughter, 
Mrs. Tracy. William F. Arnold located on Broad street in 1836, and 
remained some years, removing to Lockport in 1854. Aaron Hagenbuch 
came into the township in 1837, and Norman Harvey in 1833, both of whom 
were of the leading citizens of the township. 

Joshua Gale settled on the prairie in 1830, and afterwards sold his claim 
to William Welbourne, an Englishman, in 1835. It is said Gale moved 
his barn once, or was about to move it, when Mr. Welbourne bought him 
out, to get rid of the manure that had accumulated about his yards, but 
Mr. Welbourne moved the latter instead. 

Alfred L. Driggs came to Constantine in 1831 and bought land on Broad 
street, but went to Branch county and built a saw-mill, where he remained 
until 1836, when he returned to Constantine and went to clearing-up and 
cultivating his land. He was supervisor of the township for eleven years, 
and representative from the county to the legislature in 1846. John Harri- 
son was a leading citizen, too, of the township, holding the position of