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Full text of "A history of Van Buren County, Michigan a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests"

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A HISTORY 

OF 

VAN BUREN COUNTY 
MICHIGAN 

A Narrative Account of its Historical 

Progress, its People, and its 

Principal Interests. 



BY 
CAPTAIN O. W. ROWLAND 



VOLUME I 



ILLUSTRATED 



PUBLISHERS 

THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY 

CHICAGO AND NEW YORK 
1912 



PREFACE 



More than eighty years have elapsed since the first settlements 
were made within the limits of Van Buren county. None of those 
earliest pioneers are left to tell the story, which at this late day 
rests in tradition, in letters that chance to have been preserved, in 
ancient public documents that have been placed on the records of 
the county, and in former publications that have been issued. And 
while many facts set forth are within the personal knowledge of 
the author of this "History of Van Buren County/ 7 he has drawn 
liberally from all available and authentic sources. He has freely 
used the information contained in a history of the county pub- 
lished a generation ago, has corresponded with and interviewed 
many of his friends and older residents of the county in various 
localities, and has endeavored in all practicable ways to gather 
the most authentic matters in reference to the county of which 
he has been a resident for the past fifty-five years. His familiarity 
with the public records of the county enabled him to obtain many 
facts pertaining especially to the earliest records of the county 
that he might not otherwise have been able to set forth. 

The period which has been spent in the pleasant task involved in 
the preparation of this work has been all too limited, although even 
if the period covered by the author's labors had been longer, the 
history, doubtless, would still have been incomplete and faulty. 
This is the nature of everything human, especially the writing of 
history. Yet the author believes that the work, as a whole, is cor- 
rect, and knows that his labors, and those of his associates, have 
been conscientiously performed. 

Many things have been omitted that might have been recorded if 
time and space had permitted. As it is, by the courtesy of the 
publishers, the compiler has been permitted to quite largely exceed 
the original plan of the work. In style of illustration, printing 
and binding, also, all pains have been taken to make the work at- 
tractive to its patrons. 

To all those friends who have come to his assistance, the author 
here extends his grateful acknowledgments. Space will not per- 
mit special mention of each to be made, but to his able assistants, 
Hon. Charles J. Monroe, Hon. Jason Woodman, Dr. George H. 
Cornish, Hon. C. H. Engle and Hon. Thomas J. Cavanaugh, he 
tenders his sincere thanks for the invaluable advice and assistance 
they have rendered in the preparation of the work, which the au- 
thor trusts may prove of interest to its readers, of value to the citi- 
zens of the county, instructive to the rising generation, helpful 
in commemoration of the early pioneers, and preservative of histori- 
cal matters that ought not to be forgotten. 

Oran W. Rowland. 



111 



Contents 

CHAPTER I 

ABORIGINAL HISTORY 

First Church Built by Indians — Chief Pokagon's Address— 
Pokagon's Last Wigwam— Julia Pokagon's Address— Old 
Wapsey — Do Indians Cry, Laugh or Joke? — Algonquin Le- 
gend of Man's Creation— Legend of Paw Paw and the Paw 
Paw Valley — Algonquin Legends of South Haven — After 
Me-me-og (Squabs) in Van Buren County— The "Buck 
Pony" Ride— "Never Carry a Revolver, Boys"— Saw-Kaw's 
Love Story — Me-me-og, the Wild Pigeons 1-52 



CHAPTER II 

FOREIGN AND AMERICAN GOVERNMENT 

French Period (1634-1764)— English Period (1760-1796) — 
Territorial (American) Period— Michigan as a State- 
Population of the State (1810-1910)— Population of the 
County (1840-1910)— Property Valuation of State and 
County (1851-1911) 53 " 76 



CHAPTER III 

CIVIL AND EARLY HISTORY 

First Michigan County— Van Buren County Created— Civil 
and Judicial Organization— Township Organization— Pioneer 
Pictures— Van Buren County Pioneer Association— Edwin 

Barnum's Poem — Oslerism Reviewed 77-97 

v 



vi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER IV 
ROADS AND RAILROADS 

Noted Indian Trails — First Michigan White Man's Road — 
Territorial and State Roads — The Old Stage Routes — 
Plank Roads — The Paw Paw River — Railroads — The Michi- 
gan Central — Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad — The 
Paw Paw Railroad — Toledo and South Haven Railroad 
(Fruit Belt Line) — The Pere Marquette Railway 98-114 



CHAPTER V 

EDUCATIONAL HISTORY 

Act of 1827 Modified — Harassed School Inspectors — The 
Teachers' Qualifications — Mrs. Allen Rice's Reminiscences 
— The Old and the New 115-127 



CHAPTER VI 

THE COUNTY SEAT 

Lawrence as the County Seat — Paw Paw Displaces Lawrence 
— Proposed County Buildings — Old Court House Com- 
pleted — South Haven Bids for County Seat — Popular Vote 
for Paw Paw — New County Buildings — Court House Corner- 
stone Laid — Cost of Present County Buildings 129-158 



CHAPTER VII 

BENCH AND BAR 

State Supreme and Circuit Courts — County Courts — First 
Circuit Judge — Successors of Judge Ransom — Judge Fla- 
vtus J. Littlejohn — Thirty-sixth Circuit Created — Probate 
Judges — Van Buren County Bar 159-167 



CONTENTS vii 

CHAPTER VIII 

POLITICS OF THE COUNTY 

General Elections — The Parties in the County — County 
Officers — Members of the State Legislature— Chairmen 
of the Board of Supervisors — Other Important Officials 
from Van Buren County — Constitutional Conventions — 
Proposed Constitutional Amendments — Van Buren County 
and the Liquor Traffic 168-182 



CHAPTER IX 

CIVIL WAR INFANTRY 

Sixth Michigan Infantry — Twelfth Michigan Infantry — 
Thirteenth Michigan Infantry — Stone River — Seven- 
teenth Michigan at South Mountain — Nineteenth Michi- 
gan — Twenty-Fourth Regiment — Twenty-Fifth Michigan 
Infantry — Twenty-Eighth Michigan Infantry — Spanish- 
American War 183-231 



CHAPTER X 

CIVIL WAR CAVALRY 

First Michigan — Third Cavalry — Justice to Cavalry Regi- 
ments — Fourth Michigan Cavalry — Capture of Jefferson 
Davis — Ninth Michigan — Capture of Morgan — First and 
Last 232-273 



CHAPTER XI 

OTHER COMMANDS 

First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics — First Regiment 
Michigan Light Artillery — Van Buren County Soldiers in 
Other Michigan Regiments — Birge's Western Sharpshooters 
— Company C, Seventieth New York Infantry — Other Com- 
panies or Regiments 274-310 



vin CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XII 

GEOLOGY OF COUNTY 

The Cambrian — Obdovician — The Silurian Age — Devonian — 
Lower Carboniferous — The Pleistocene (Last Chapter). 
311-317 

CHAPTER XIII 

AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE 

Western Van Buren — Lake Michigan, a Benefactor — Fruit 
Raising at South Haven — Fruit Belt Widens — Cooperation 
through Societies — "Master L. H. Bailey' ? — A. S. Dyckman 
and T. T. Lyon — Crops of the County — Semi-Agricultural In- 
dustries — Agriculture in Eastern Van Buren — "Oak Open- 
ings" First Cultivated — Pioneer Farm Implements — After 
The Civil War— Live Stock— Golden Era (1865-90)— The 
Lean Years of the Nineties — Development of the Grape In- 
dustry 319-331 

CHAPTER XIV 

TALES OF THE OLDEN DAY 

Decatur War Scare — Snow Not Turned to Oil — -Fight with 
a Wolf Pack — Wolf Bounties — Woods Full of "Painters" 
— Mrs. Rice's Reminiscences — Narrow Escape of Edwin 
Mears — Indian Mounds in Lawrence Township — Joseph 
Woodman Locates at Paw Paw (1835) — Stories by Mrs. 
Nancy (Hicks) Bowen — "Good Times" of the Olden Day. 
332-341 

CHAPTER XV 

FINANCIAL AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS 

First National Bank, Paw Paw — The Paw Paw Savings Bank — 
First National Bank, South Haven — The Citizens State 
Bank, and First State Bank, South Haven — Banks of Deca- 
tur — Hartford Banks — West Michigan Savings Bank, Ban- 
gor — The Peoples Bank of Bloomingdale — At Gobleville, 



CONTENTS ix 

Covert, Lawrence and Lawton — South Haven Loan and Trust 
Company — Van Buren County Farmers Mutual Fire Insur- 
ance Company — Telegraph and Telephone Lines 342-353 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE PRESS 

'Paw Paw Free Press' 7 — "Paw Paw Free Press and Courier 7 ' 
— "The True Northerner 77 — "Decatur Republican 77 — "The 
Lawton Leader 77 — "Hartford Day Spring 77 — "The Bangor 
Advance 7 7 — Early Lawrence Newspapers — ' 'Lawrence 
Times 7 ' — ' ' Bloomingdale Leader 7 7 — ' ' Gobleville News 7 7 — 
South Haven Newspapers 354-368 



CHAPTER XVII 

MEDICINE AND SURGERY 

Medical Scientific Research — Preventive Medicine — Surgery — 
The Country Physician and the Trained Nurse — Early Phy- 
sicians of Van Buren County — Paw Px\w Physicians — Ban- 
gor — Gobleville — Hartford — Covert — Lawrence — Lawton — 
The Profession in South Haven — South Haven City Hos- 
pital — Decatur — The Veterinary School 369-392 

CHAPTER XVIII 

TOWNSHIP OF ALMENA 

General Description — Pioneer Settlers and Institutions — 
Busy Period (1836-42) — Settlement in the Northern Sec- 
tions — Churches — Schools, Supervisors, Etc 393-400 

CHAPTER XIX 

TOWNSHIP OF ANTWERP 

General Description — Railroads, Property and Population — 
Early Settlement — Settlers of 1836-8 — Settlers in South- 
ern Antwerp Township — Post Offices, Roads and Hotels — 



: CONTENTS 

Pioneer Mills — Township Elections and Officials — Educa- 
tional Statistics — Glen Springs Trout Hatchery — Village 
of Lawton — Village of Mattawan — Retrospect 401-423 



CHAPTER XX 

TOWNSHIP OF ARLINGTON 

First Election — First Settler Arrives — Major Heath, First 
Supervisor — The Dangerous Briggs Brothers — Other New 
York Men — The Hogmire Family — Rugged Work of the 
Pioneers— M. H. Hogmire on Pioneer Times — New Times Bet- 
ter than Old 424-436 



CHAPTER XXI 

TOWNSHIP OF BANGOR 

Natural Features — Early Settlers — Pioneer Tax Payers — 
Civil and Educational — Sketch by Hon. John S. Cross — In 
the Civil War — Progress and Prosperity — Village of Ban- 
gor — Village of Deerfield 437-447 



CHAPTER XXII 

TOWNSHIP OF BLOOMINGDALE 

First Settlements and Settlers — Taxes and Township Govern- 
ment — Population and Education — Village of Blooming- 
dale — Mr. Haven's Sketch of the Village — Churches and 
Societies — Village of Gobleville 448-463 

CHAPTER XXIII 

TOWNSHIP OF COLUMBIA 

Physical Features and Railroads — Site of Breedsville Settled 
— Property Holders and Taxes (1839) — Settlers Prior to 
1845 — Civil and Political — Present Village of Breedsville 
— Berlamont — Columbia — Grand Junction 464-473 



CONTENTS *i 

CHAPTER XXIV 

TOWNSHIP OF COVERT 

The Original Township — Physical Features — Earliest Set- 
tlers — Roads and Schools — Statistical and Political — The 
Village of Covert 474-481 

CHAPTER XXV 

TOWNSHIP OF DECATUR 

First White Settler of the County — First Native White 
Child — First Gospel Sermon and Pioneer School — A. B. 
Copley on Early Days — Various Pioneers — Civil and Polit- 
ical — Statistics — Village of Decatur — Retrospect ... 482-494 

CHAPTER XXVI 

TOWNSHIP OF GENEVA 

Roads and Physical Features — Political and Educational — 
Pioneers of the Township — Village of Lacota — Village of 
Kibbie — General Township Progress 495-501 

CHAPTER XXVII 

TOWNSHIP OF HAMILTON 

Civic and Political Matters — Physical Features — Taxpayers 
and Taxes of 1839 — First Building and First Permanent 
Settler — Also Settled Prior to 1844 — Illustrative of the 
Pioneers and Their Times — Schools, Then and Now — The 
Hamilton Township Fair 502-512 

CHAPTER XXVIII 

TOWNSHIP OF HARTFORD 

First Things and Events — Allen's Paper Town — First Ac- 
tual Settlers — Territorial and Official — "When the 



X11 CONTENTS 

World Goes Wrong With Me" — The Village of Hartford — 
Educational and Professional — Churches and Societies — 
Business and Industries 513-532 



CHAPTER XXIX 

TOWNSHIP OF KEELER 

Lakes and Resorts — Civil Organization — First Settlers of 
Township — Wolcott H. Keeler — Settlers of 1836-44 — Tax- 
payers, Property and Schools — Keeler and Other Towns — 
General View 533-542 

CHAPTER XXX 

TOWNSHIP OF LAWRENCE 

Streams and Lakes — Early Pioneers and Settlements — The 
Branch Family — Judge Jay R. Monroe — First Marriage, 
Birth and Death — Roads and Mails — Flat-Boat Traffic — 
Paper Town of Van Buren — Civil, Educational and Polit- 
ical — Looking Backward — Village of Lawrence — Churches 
and Societies — Business and General Features 543-563 

CHAPTER XXXI 

TOWNSHIP OF PAW PAW 

Original Township of La Fayette — Becomes Paw Paw Town- 
ship — Lakes — The Hardy Pioneers — "Mr. and Mrs." Pe-pe- 
yah — David Woodman 's Pioneer Pictures — The Paw Paw 
Irrevocably Crooked — Statistical, Political, Horticultural 
— Village of Paw Paw 564-590 

CHAPTER XXXII 

TOWNSHIP OF PINE GROVE, 

Township Organized — Shingles as Legal Tenders — Marital and 
Legal — Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad — General 
Progress — Gobleville — Pine Grove — Kendall — Mentha. 
591-597 



CONTENTS xni 

CHAPTER XXXIII 

TOWNSHIP OP PORTER 

First Settlements and Settlers — The Kinney Settlement — 
The Adams Family — Township Named and Organized — Educa- 
tional and Political — A Retrospect 598-602 

CHAPTER XXXIV 

TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH HAVEN 

Early Elections and Officials — Property and Population — 
Jay R. Monroe, First White Settler — Clark and Daniel 
Pierce — A. S. Dyckman's Story — Pioneer Steam Sawmills — 
First Institutions and Pioneers — Village (now City) of 
South Haven — The Summer Resort Business — Schools, 
Churches and Societies — Municipal and Business Matters — 
Pomologtcal Society and Board of Trade 603-619 



CHAPTER XXXV 

TOWNSHIP OF WAVERLY 

Physical Features— Township Named — The Myers Family — 
First Wedding Between Pioneers — Covey Hill — John Scott 
— Other Early Settlers — From the Official Records — Vil- 
lage of Glendale 620-627 



INDEX 



Abbe, Jesse, 410 

Abbott, Elisha, 468 

Abell, Charles E., 943 

Abrams, Albert H., 1154 

Abrams, James E., 759 

Ackley, D. C, 467 

Ackley, Levi, 468 

Ackley, William, 567 

Adams, Frank A., 470 

Adams, Franklin B., 112, 412, 602 

Adams, Homer, 432 

Adams, Horace H., 600 

Adams, Norman H., 468, 470 

Adams, Oscar, 634 

Adriance, William H., 625 

Agard, John, 567 

Agriculture and horticulture — Lake Michigan 
a benefactor, 319; fruit raising at South 
Haven, 320; fruit-belt widens, 321; coopera- 
tion through societies, 322; " Master L. H. 
Bailey," 323; A. S. Dyckman and T. T. 
Lyon, 324; crops of the county, 324; semi- 
agricultural industries, 325; agriculture in 
eastern Van Buren, 325 ; l ' Oak openings ' ' 
first cultivated, 326; pioneer farm imple- 
ments, 327; after the Civil war, 327; live 
stock, 328; golden era (1865-90), 328; the 
lean years of the nineties, 329; development 
of the grape industry, 329 

Albright, Henry H., 986 

Alexander, Daniel, 484 

Alexander, William, 483, 488 

Allen, D. B., 480 

Allen, Daniel M., 791 

Allen, Daniel W., 1106 

Allen, Howard S., 468 

Allen, John, 515, 544, 553, 558 

Allen, Joseph C, 778 

Allen, Eeuben E., 625 

Allerton, Charles B., 729 

Almena township — Mention, 83; general de- 
scription, 393; pioneer settlers and institu- 
tions, 394; busy period (1836-42), 396; set- 
tlement in the northern sections, 397; 
churches, 398; schools, supervisors, etc., 399 

Alpena (Hamilton) township, 83, 503 

Anderson, A. Throop, 468 

Anderson, Charles E., 521 

Anderson, Charles J., 908 

Anderson, David, 166, 468, 471 

Anderson, Doctor H., 468, 471 

Anderson, Edgar A., 527 

Andrews, Josiah, 89, 94 



Anderson, Julian H., 527, 829 

Anderson, LeGrand, 485 

Anderson, Marion O., 527 

Anderson, William, 527. 602 

Andrews, John, 526, 556, 605 

Andrews, Josiah, 134, 239, 3S0 

Andrews, William H., 61.3 

Annable, Edward B., 396 

Annable, Fernando C. C, 395, 400, 621 

Antwerp township — Mention, 80, 81 ; general 
description, 401; railroads, property and 
population, 402; early settlement, 403; set- 
tlers of 1836-8, 406; settlers in southern 
Antwerp township, 409; postoffices, roads 
and hotels, 410; pioneer mills, 411; township 
elections and officials, 411; educational sta- 
tistics, 412; Glen Springs trout hatchery, 
413; village of Lawton, 413; village of Mat- 
tawan, 419; retrospect, 422 

Appleton, Ephraim S., 764 

Arlington township — Mention, 84; first elec- 
tion, 424; drainage, timber and products, 
425; first settler arrives, 426; Major Heath, 
first supervisor, 426; the dangerous Briggs 
brothers, 428; other New York men, 429; 
the Hogmire family, 430; rugged work of the 
pioneers, 431 ; official records, 432 ; M. H. 
Hogmire on pioneer times, 433; new times 
better than the old, 435 

Armstrong, E., 625 

Arnold, G. W., 983 

Ashbrook, Charles W., 892 

Austin, Charles, 683 

Austin, Jonah, 623 

Austin, Samuel J., 1005 

Avery, Charles B., 178 

Avery, Charles R., 710 

Avery, Mrs. H. M., 615 

Avery, R., 575 

Avery Beach, 616 

Babbitt, J. M., 467 

Baggerly, Chester P., S^n 

Bailey, Ed. M., 715 

Bailey, John, 844 

Bailey, Liberty H., 320, 1145 

Bailey, Prof. Liberty H., 1148 

Baker, Andrew, 1155 

Baker, C. I., 391 

Baker, Fred II., 535 

Baker, John E., 105, 535, 560, 571 

Balch, Luther C, 625 

Balfour, Herbert F., 989 



XVI 



INDEX 



Balfour, Vannie, 989 

Ball, Abraham, 570 

Ball, Jesse, 605 

Bangor, 114 

Bangor, Lyman S., 253 

Bangor township — Mention, 85; natural fea- 
tures, 437; early settlers, 438; pioneer tax- 
payers, 439; civil and educational, 440; 
sketch by Hon. John S. Cross, 441 ; in the 
Civil war, 443; progress and prosperity, 443; 
village of Bangor, 444; village of Deerfield, 
447 

Bangs, Joshua, 134, 404, 412, 595 

Bangs, Nathaniel H., 1133 

Bangs, Theophilus, 405, 412 

Bank of Covert, 351 

Banks (see Financial and other institutions) 

Banks, Fred W., 1144 

Banks, Jacob F., 1011 

Banks, Nancy B., 1012 

Baptist church, Bloomingdale, 457 

Baptist church, Law ton, 418 

Barber, Jonas, 394, 398 

Barber, L. A., 454 

Barber, M. A., 365 

Bark and quill work, 3 

Barker, George H., 474, 849 

Barker, Harvey, 600, 601, 602 

Barker, Irwin M., 1097 

Barker, John, 602, 1096 

Barker, Wesley T., 1124 

Barner, Silas N., 734 

Barnes, Adelia (Mrs. Allen Rice), 440 

Barnes, Anson TJ., 556 

Barnes, Ella, 611, 616 

Barnes, Joseph B., 135, 575 

Barnes, Uriel T., 335, 548 

Barney, Aaron, 507 

Barnum, Edwin, 89, 90, 568, 575 

Barnum, Henry, 399, 400 

Barnum, Humphrey P., 80, 335, 516, 549, 552, 
553< 556 

Barrington, David, 594 

Barrett, Enoch L., 566, 567 

Barrows, John, 466 

Bartholomew, George, 490, 539 

Barton, Anne S., 809 

Barton, Jesse S., 807 

Bartley, Robert, 475 

Basket making, 30 

Bass, William W., 556 

Bates, Israel P., 94, 731 

Baxter, J. H., 351 

Beach, Adam, 716 

Beach, Ray W., 1069 

Beach, William, 1068 

Beals, Alpheus, 1082 

Beebe, Eri, 488 

Beers, Joseph D., 489 

Bell, Rezin, 623, 624, 625 

Bellows, C. F. R,, 360 

Bench and Bar — Circuit courts, 159; county 
courts, 161; first circuit judge, 161; succes- 
sors of Judge Ransom, 162 ; Judge Flavius 
J. Ldttlejohn, 163; thirty-sixth circuit 
created, 165; probate judges, 165; Van 
Bnren county bar, 166 



Benedict, Amos C, 136, 137, 556 

Benevolent Eastern Star Lodge No. 46, Hart- 
ford, 530 

Bennett, George, 488 

Bennett, William, 693 

Bentley, George A., 135, 503, 504 

Benton, Burr, 1140 

Berlamont, 110, 471 

Bidwell, H. E., 323 

Bierce, James M., 430 

Bierce, Norman^ 336 

Bigehrw, Calvin J., 431 

Bigelow, Rufus, 431 

Bigelow, Samuel, 431 

Bilsborrow, Cora W., 784 

Bilsborrow, Edward F., 783 

Bingham, John, 411 

Bingham, John K., 411 

Birge's Western Sharpshooters, 294 

Bishop, Arch W., 461 

Bitely, Nathan H., 330, 412 

Bixby, M. H., 344 

Blackinton, Albert B., 1129 

Blackmail, E. A., 356, 360 

Blackman, Samuel IL, 178, 358 

Blair, Austin, 73 

Blaisdell, William, 1016 

Blakeman, M. J., 625 

Blashfield, Timothy E., 890 

Bleecker, L. B., 358 

Bliss, J. J., 420 

Bloomingdale, 110, 453 

Bloomingdale creamery, 459 

Bloomingdale township — Mention, 84; first set- 
tlements and settlers, 449; taxes and town- 
ship government, 451; population and edu- 
cation, 452; village of Bloomingdale, 453; 
Mr. Haven's sketch of the village, 454; 
churches and societies, 456; village of Goble- 
ville, 459 

' ' Bloomington Leader, " 365 

Boardman, Silas R., 344, 611 

Bockius, Fannie, 420 

Bonfoey, Horace, 394, 395 

Booth, William A., 613 

Borden, I. 8., 412 

Bowen, Frank, 608 

Bowen, Henry F., 592 

Bowen, Mrs. Nancy ( Hicks j, 338 

Boyce, George D., 602 

Boyer, Seymour A., 1014 

Boynton, Cyrus, 523 

Bradley, William S., 813 

Branch, Eaton, 94, 546, 552, 553 

Branch, Francis, 556 

Branch, Israel, 546 

Branch, Lemuel J., 445, 446 

Branch, Luther, 546 

Branch, Vine, 546 

Breed, B. L., 352 

Breed, Joshua B., 400, 662 

Breed, Marie C, 663 

Breed, A. Silas, 397, 400, 404, 467, 470, 603, 
605, 697 

Breeding, William P., 352, 834 

Breedsville, 114, 470 

Bregger, Louis A., 994 



INDEX 



xvii 



Bridges, Lyman, 521 

Bridges, William, 429 

Briggs, Allen, 84, 424, 427 

Briggs, Duane P., 428, 468 

Briggs, Emory O., 343, 355, 424, 428, 432, 575 

Briggs, Mansel M., 438, 439, 440, 605 

Brockway, Hugh, 655 

Broadwell, William, Sr., 350, 810 

Brookfield, William, 484 

Brooks, George E., 859 

Brooks, Philip M., 495 

Broughton, Aaron W., 510 

Broughton, Emma J., 914 

Brown, Amasa M., 468 

Brown, Amos S., 467, 468 

Brown, Charles K., 164 

Brown, E. W., 392 

Brown, George, 392 

Brown, Green H., 400 

Brown, Isaac, 625 

Brown, James A., 530 

Brown, J. W., 452 

Brown, Levi A., 400 

Brown, Luman, 467 

Brown, Orlando, 441 

Brown, Rufus M., 453 

Brown, Walter A., 400 

Brush Creek (Lawrence), 560 

Bryant, Asahel, 602 

Bryant, C. T., 322, 323 

Buck, George M., 164, 165 

Buck, Lucius E., 535 

Buck, Orrin, 412 

Buel, B. G., 511 

Buffington, H. C, 360 

Billiard, James F., 259 

Burdick, C. E., 751 

Burdick, John Q., 782 

Burger, Francis A., 982 

Burkette, F. Z., 446 

Burkette, G. F., 363 

Burlington, George, 1056 

Burrows, O. H., 496 

Burton, William S., 239 

Butler, John B., 357 

Butler, Oramel, 569 

Butterfield, Chauncey W., 625 

Butterfield, Frank A., 1112 

Buys, Archibald, 567 

Byers, C. W., 504 

Byers, Tobias, 536 

Cadillac, Antoine de la Mothe, 55 

Caldwell, H., 625 

Camp, Joel, 468 

Camp, Thomas S., 544 

Campbell, Andrew H., 741 

Canning, James, 1094 

Cargo, George A., 1023 

Carleton's (Will) "Country Doctor," 391 

Carney, Malcolm S., 490 

Carpenter, Frank A., 1048 

Carroll, Thomas, 1007 

Carter, E., Jr., 470 

Cash, Erastus, 815 

Cass, Lewis, 67, 78 

Cate, Lorenzo D., 469 



Catholic church, Decatur, 492 

Caughey, John, 455 

Central Hotel, Bloomingdale, 459 

Chadwick, Benjamin F., 134, 534, 535, 538, 
556 

Chadwick, Charles, 555 

Chairman of the board of supervisors, 176 

Chamberlain, H., 468 

Chandler, Alonzo H., 361, 362, 526, 611 

Chapman, Alvin, 350 

Chapman, George W., 1117 

Chapman, William H., 993 

Charles, Clifton B., 746 

Charles, William S., 1051 

Chase, A. B., 350, 351 

Chase, Edwin A., 625, 769 

Chesebro, Nathaniel, 419 

Chicago road, 99 

Christian church, Bloomingdale, 456 

Christian church, Decatur, 491 

Christian church, Hartford, 530 

Christian church, Paw Paw, 584 

Christie, Robert, 555, 556 

Church, Jesse L., 553 

Church of Latter Day Saints, Hartford, 530 

Churchill, Lewis E., 461 

Churchill, Reuben E., 133, 135 

Circuit court associate judges, 171 

Circuit court commissioners, 173 

Civil war — Sixth Michigan Infantry, 183; 
Twelfth Michigan Infantry, 188; Thirteenth 
Michigan Infantry, 197; Stone River, 198; 
Seventeenth Michigan Infantry, 215 ; at South 
Mountain, 216; Nineteenth Michigan Infan- 
'try, 218; Twenty-fourth Michigan Infantry, 
225; Twenty-fifth Michigan Infantry, 226; 
Twenty-eighth Michigan Infantry, 227; First 
Michigan Cavalry, 232; Third Michigan 
Cavalry, 239; justice to cavalry regiments, 
241; Fourth Michigan Cavalry, 256; capture 
of Jefferson Davis, 259; Ninth Michigan 
Cavalry, 267; capture of Morgan, 268; first 
and last, 269; First Michigan Engineers and 
Mechanics, 274; First Michigan Sharp- 
shooters, 278; First Regiment Michigan 
Light Artillery, 279; Van Buren county sol- 
diers in other Michigan regiments, 282; 
Birge's Western Sharpshooters, 294; Com- 
pany C, Seventieth New York Infantry, 300; 
other companies or regiments, 307; troops 
and money from the county, 309 

"Citizens Advocate," 368 

Citizens Bank, Decatur, 349 

Citizens State Bank, South Haven, 345 

Clapp, John T., 722 

Clapp, Sarah A., 723 

Clark, James J., 447 

Clark, Joel H., 351, 505, 1039 

Clark, Thomas, 397 

Clark, William H., 996 

Clarson, George, 492, 585 

Clement, James L., 961 

Clements, George W., 758 

Cleveland, Edward, 385 

Cleveland, Frank G., 432, 1009 

Cleveland, Jewett, 708 . 

Clinch township, 80, Si, 84, 591 



XV111 



INDEX 



Deerfield, 447 

Deerfield township, 85, 86 

DeHaven, Levi, 432 

DeLand, C. V., 278 

Dell, William A., 474, 478 

DeLong, Francis, 519 

DeLong, Henry, 520 

DeLong, Nathan, 520 

DeLong, Silas, 520 

Densmore, J., 367 

Densmore, Randolph, 320, 605 

Derosier, Joseph, 394 

Des Voignes, L.< Burget, 165 

Dewey, Henry E., 605 

Dilley, Marshall, 500 

Dilley, Varnum H., 496, 500 

Dillman, Adam, 978 

Dillman, Peter J., 136 

Disbrow, Lavoisier W., 988 

Disciple (Christian) church, Bangor, 446 

Dobbyn, Henry L., 1115 

Dobbyn, James, 477 

Dodge, Daniel O., 80, 82, 567, 57;» 

Dodge, Mrs. Daniel O., 582 

Dodge, Henry J., 1130 

Donavan, Bartholomew, 1001 

Donovan, Andrew, 1015 

Doty, Charles, 529 

Doty, Sarah, 529 

Douglas, Edwin S., 695 

Dow, Joseph, 320 

Downing, Asahel S., 396 

Downing, Selina, 593 

Doyle, Stephen, 521 

Drake, Lawrence, 996 

Drummond, Frank, 355 

Drury, E., 361 

Duncombe, Albert O., 869 

Duncombe, Charles, 177, 178, 53o, o40, 8/1 

Duncombe, Moses, 540 

Duncombe, Stephen W., 540 

Dunham, Carey, 418, 684 

Dunkley, S. J., 113 

Durkee, Elisha, 165, 57i) 

Dyckman, Aaron S., 320, 324, o92, 60:>, 608, 
610 

Dyckman, Barney H., 605, 609 

Dyckman, Evert B., 406, 578, 579 

Dyckman, Evert S., 579, 931 

Dyckman, William, 430 

Dyer, Adoniram J., 518 

Dygert's Sharpshooters, 288 

Eagan, James, 1024 
Eagle Lake, 565 
Fames, Aaron, 320 
Earl, Francis, 530 
Earl, Palmer, 504, 539 
Earle, William, 539 
Earle, William H. H., 362 
Eastman, Jacob S., 897 
Easton, Glenn S., 365, 686 
Easton, Sylvester G., 521 
Eaton, Charles L., 178, 358 
Edgerton, Abel, 496 
Educational (see Schools) 
Eleventh Michigan Cavalry, 292 



Eleventh Michigan Infantry, 285 

Elliott, Mary, 490 

Ely Park, 527 

Engle, Genius H., I, 6, 24, 26, 29, 514, ul9, 

523, 524, 526, 529 
Engle, W. A., 383, 526 
English period (1760-1796), ~)(\ 
Enlow, Michael, 812 
Enos, A. I)., 468 
Ewald, Edward W., 886 

Farmers and Merchants Bank, Lawrence, 351 
Farnum, Matthias, 477 
Farrow, Phineas, 1121 
Fausnaugh, Adelbert, 1103 
Fen ton, Matthew, 538 
Ferguson, James, 407 
Ferguson, James D., 1149 
Ferguson, James E., 381 
Fields, Calvin, 504 
Fifteenth Michigan Infantry, 286 
Fifth Michigan Cavalry, 290 
Fifth Michigan Infantry, 283 
Financial and other institutions— First Na- 
tional Bank, Paw Paw, 342; the Paw Paw 
Savings Bank. 343; First National Bank, 
South Haven, 344; Citizens State Bank, 
South Haven, 345; banks of Decatur, 348; 
Hartford banks, 349; West Michigan Sav- 
ings Bank, Bangor, 350; the People's Bank, 
Bloomingdale, 351; at Gobleville, Covert, 
Lawrence and Lawton, 351; South Haven 
Loan and Trust Company, 352; Farmers 
Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 3o2 ; tele- 
graph and telephone lines, 353 
Finch, Charles A., 720 
First Baptist church, Hartford, 529 
First Baptist church, Lawrence, 561 
First Baptist church, Paw Paw, 584 
First Michigan Cavalry, 232 
First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, 1/4 
First Michigan Infantry, 282 
First Michigan Sharpshooters, 278 
First National Bank, Decatur, 348 
First National Bank, Paw Paw, 342 
First National Bank, South Haven, 344 
First Regiment Michigan Light Artillery, 2/9 
First Presbyterian church, Lawrence, 561 
First state convention, 69 
Fish, Ellen, 497 
Fish, Hiram, 86, 474, 477 
Fisher, Everett A., 880 
Fisk, Stephen W., 398, 400 
Fitch, George A., 357 
Fitch, Henry, 412 
Fitch, Lyman A., 412 
Fitch, Morgan L., 406, 412 
Fitzsimmons, Michael, 863 
"Fonetic Klips," 367 
Foote, S. J., 575 
Forbes, Fred, 1099 
Ford, Henry, 112 
Foster, Dwight, 535, 771 
Foster, George S., 525 
Foster, Ida, 858 
Foster, Josephine, 858 
Foster Sisters, The, 856 



INDEX 



xix 



Cobb, Alonzo, 398 
Cobb, Vera P., 365 
Cochran, Andrew M., 1019 
Cochrane, Donald F., 362, 703 
Cochrane, H. F., 362 
Cochrane, James G., 430, 466 
Colburn, Byron H., 553 
Cole, Hiram A., 356, 700 
Coleman, Henry 13., 83, 503, 504, 509 
Coleman, Sheldon, 412, 792 
Collins, John H., 504 
Columbia, 110, 472 

Columbia township— Mention, 85; physical fea- 
tures and railroads, 464; site of Breedsville 
selected, 465; property holders and taxes 
467; settlers prior to 1845, 468; civil and 
political, 468; as a resort region, 469; pres- 
ent village of Breedsville, 470; village of 
Berlamont, 471; village of Columbia, 47*; 
village of Grand Junction, 472 
Com ley, Maria, 508 

Company C, 70th N. Y. Infantry, 300 
Compton, John D., 486 
Comstock, Albert, 445 
Comstock, Darius E., 178 
Comstock, Horace H., 109 
Cone, Mehitable, 514 
Congdon, William L., 1093 
Congregational church, Bangor, 446 
Congregational church, Covert, 480 
Congregational church, Hartford, 530 
Congregational church, Lawrence, 561 
Congregational church, Mattawan, 4 4)< > 
Conklin, David, 883 
Conklin, Luke, 517 
Conklin, Mrs. Martha, 521 
Conklin, Mary E., 883 
Conklin, Thomas, 517 
Connery, George B., 895 
Conway, Austin J)., 504 
Conway, S. Tallmadge, 89, 94, 355 358 
Cook, John E., 1105^ 
Cook, Sarah, 490 
Cook, Sullivan, 363 
Cooley, Franklin, 957 
Cooper, John, 409 
Copley, Alexander B., 86, 389, 484 
Copley, E. B., 349 
c °pley, G. N., 483 
Corey, Anthony, 405 
Corey, Sanford, 602 
Corey, Warren S., 601, 602 
Cornish, George W., 369, 1101 
Cornish, John H., 602, 1098 
Cornish, Thomas J., 1044 
Corwin, Jacob, 29 
Coterie Club, 586 
County buildings (new), 141-158 
County clerks, 172 
County commissioners, 171 

174 



County commissioners of schools, 

County judges, 171 

County seat-Lawrence as the seat of justice, 
*», raw Paw displaces Lawrence, 130; 
Proposed county buildings, 132; old court- 
count™™? 1 ^ 1 ' 134; South Haven bids f °r 
county seat, 136; popular vote for Paw Paw 



138; new county buildings, 141; courthouse 

County surveyors, 174 
County treasurers, 173 
Courthouse (see County buildings) 
Courts (see Bench and Bar) 
Covert, 113, 479 
Covert Resort Association, 478 
Covert township— Mention, 186; the original 
township, 4,4; physical features, 475; farli- 
est settlers, 475; roads and schools, 477; 
statistical and political, 478; the village of 
Covert, 479 & 

Covey Hill, 623 

Covington township— Mention, 80 81 8° 8? 
Cox, Elisha C, 84 ' " , 

Cox, Isaac J., 535 
Cox, Joseph, 625 
Cox, O. E., 432 
Coy, Daniel, 737 
Crandall, J. C, 523 
Crandall, Wallace W., 954 
Crane, Alonzo, 569 
Crane, Loyal, 569-575 
Crane, Jane, 569 
Crane, James, 342, 569 
Craw, Joseph W., 443 
Cronin, M. C., 381 
Cronkhite, Jo,hn, 420 
Crops of the countv, 324 
Cross, Alfonso, 1030 
Cross, Calvin. 442, 444, 526 

Cr 603 ° harleS U " 438 ' 439 ' 440? ** 2 > 444 ' 496 > 

Cross, Samuel P., 442 

Crouse, Conrad, 472 

( 1 ulver, Samuel, 766 

Currier, Jacob, 397 

Curry, David, 485 

Ourtenius, Frederick W., 184 

Cushman, Charles M., 470 

Cutter, Frank F., 681 



Haines, G. W., 457 
Daniels, Lyman I., 576, 578 
Danks, Richard B., 549 
Danneffel, Adolph, 535, 877 
Danneffel, George J., 535 
Danneffel, Henry H., 999 
Darling, James H., 400 
Darling, Loren, 575 
Davey, George, 992 
David, James I., 267 
Davis, George W., 725 
Davis, Jefferson (capture ofh 259 
Dayton, Edwin J., 1139 
Decatur, 109 

" Decatur Republican," 359 
Decatur township— Mention, 80, 81 82- first 
white settler of the county, 482; first native 
white child, 483; first Gospel sermon and 
pioneer school, 483; A. B. Copley on early 
days, 484; various pioneers, 485; civil, and 
political, 486; statistics, 488; village of De- 
catur, 489; retrospect, 494 
Decker, Milton L., 343, 496, 713 



INDEX 



xx 

Foster, Truman, 504, 557 

Fountain, Stephen, 544 

Fourteenth Michigan Infantry, 285 

Fourth Michigan Cavalry, 256 

Fowler, Orville, 885 

Free, John W., 94, 112, 343, 575 

Free Will Baptist church, Gobleville, 4b_. 

Free Will Baptist church, Waverly, 398 

Freeman, John D., 555 

Freese, George S., 487 

French, Milford T., 605 

French, Warren F., 400 

French period (1634-1764), 53 

Fruit Belt line, 402 

Fuller, Frank H., 432 

Fuller, Ora F., 828 

Fuller, Sidney, 432 

Funk, Charles, 836 

Gage, Walter O., 521 
Gantt, James N., 356 
Gantt, Samuel N., 354 
Gault, John, 625 
Gay, William I., 825 
Gaynor. Andrew, 468 

Geneva township— Mention, 85; descriptive, 
495; roads and physical features, 496; polit- 
ical and educational, 496; pioneers of the 
township, 498; statistical and physical^ 500; 
village of Lacota, 500; village of Kibbie, 
501: general township progress, 501 
Geology—The Cambrian age, 311; Ordovician 
age, 312; the Silurian, 313; the Devonian, 
314; Lower Carboniferous, 315; the Pleis- 
tocene (last chapter;, 315 
George, Charles G., 535 
George, Edward, 847 
Gerow, Isaac, 655 
Gibbs, Dexter, 551, 554 
Gibbs, Elizabeth, 551 
Gibney, Henry E., 882 
Giffen, John R., 381 
Gilbert, Henry C, 218 
Gillett, Charles, 363, 443 
Gleason, Bert, 1064 
Gleason, William H., 6/5 
Glendale, 626 
Glendale creamery, 626 
Glen Springs Trout Hatchery, 415 
Glidden, Asa C, 412 
Glidden, E. M., 575 
Glidden, O. D., 575 
Goble, Edna, 382 
Goble, Hiram E., 459, 461 
Gobleville, 110, 459, 596 
Gobleville creamery, 463 
"Gobleville News," 366 
Godfrey, Stafford, 133, 135 
Goodenough, Fanny, 529 
Gorton, Frank E., 1132 
Goss, Henry, 447 
Goss, John P., 968 
Goss, M. O., 969 
Gould, Gilbert, 864 
Grand Junction, 110, 114 
Grant, George, 474 
Grant, Boland B., 832 



Grape industry, 329 

Graves, Benjamin F., 163 

Gray, Emily, 594 

Gray, James, 545, 552, 553, 557 

Gray, James M., 468, 470 

Gray, Wells, 406 

Green, Sanford M., 162 

Gregory, Albert E., 535 

Gregory, Don F., 958 

Gremps, Peter, 161, 575, 576, 578, o81, 582 

Grover, Nathaniel, 611 

Gunton, Samuel, 80, 550 

Gunsaul, Jacob, 475 

Hadsell, O. D., 356, 361, 362 
Hagar, Solomon B., 504 
Hale & Company, 345 
Hale, George, 475, 977 
Hale, George N., 345, 974 
Hall, Alvin, 395 
Hall, Benoni, 575 
Hall, Charles G., 689 
Hall, Clair G., 749 
Hall, David P., 1075 
Hall, Elmer W., 412 
Hall, Freeman, 395 
Hall, Gideon, 496 
Hall, Isaac, 601 
Hall, J. M., 366 
Hall, Syrena B., 705 
Hall, Walter A., 1102 
Hall, Wesley M., 781 
Hall, Willis V., 642 
Halleck mill, 610 
Hamilton, Alexander, 1062 
Hamilton, A. & Sons, 1062 
Hamilton, Horace E., 1064 
Hamilton, William L., 1064 # 

Hamilton township— Mention, 83; civic and 
political matters, 502; physical features, 
504; taxpayers and taxes of 1839, 505; first 
building and first permanent settlers, 505; 
also settled prior to 1844, 507; illustrative 
of the pioneers and their times, 508; schools 
then and now, 510; the Hamilton township 
fair, 511 

Hammond, Catharine, 517 

Hammond, Henry, 514 

Hammond, James H., 1070 

Hammond, John, 514 

Hammond, Mary G., 1071 

Hannahs, George, 611, 613 

Hannahs, Marvin, 472, 499, 552 

Hard, James T., 426 

Harper, Harvey, 801 

Harris, Alvinsy, 429, 432 

Harris, Floyd, 1111 

Harris, Jefferson D., 432 

Harris, Leonard M., 1111 

Harris, Percy F., 1049 

Harrison, Aaron, 793 

Harrison, George M., 343, 688 

Harrison, Thaddeus E., 358 

Harrison, William Henry, 66, 67 

Hart, Roswell, 521, 523 

Hartford, 112, 113, 114, 523 

"Hartford Day Spring," 361 



INDEX 



xxi 



Hartford township — Mention, 83; named and 
organized, 513; first things and events, 514; 
Alien 's paper town, 515; first actual settlers, 
517; a soldier of the Revolution, 519; terri- 
torial and official, 520; "When the World 
Goes Wrong with Me," 522; the village of 
Hartford, 523; educational and professional, 
525; churches and societies, ~r28; business 
and industries, 531 

Harvey, Edward H., 742 

Harvey, E. P., 441 

Harvey, H. D., 796 

Harvey, Henry W., 744 

Harvey, Marshall J., 1108 

Harwick, Allen, 736 

Harwick, Frank, 736 

Harwick, Harman, 412 

Harwick, Peter, 412 

Haskin, Albert S., 94, 548, 549, 679 

Hathaway, George, 1100 

Hathaway, William B., 605, 611 

Haven, Augustus, 451, 454 

Haven, Davis, 454 

Haven, Edward A., 900 

Havens, Charles W., 1116 

Hawes, Josiah L., 164 

Hawley, G. W., 462 

Hawkins, Nathan, 1086 

Hawkins, W r illiam R., 581 

Haydon, Arthur W., 349, 507, 51], 668 

Haydon, Philotus, 134, 504, 507 

Hayne, John D., 1087 

Haynes, Alonzo M., 613 

Haynes, John R., 80, 335, 544, 545, 553, 5o6 

Hazard, Enos E., 677 

He'agy, George, 535 

Heath, Arvin, 432 

Heath, Charles E., 427 

Heath, Major, 424, 432 

Heath, Morrison, 429 

Heckert, Benjamin F., 73, 166, 179 

Hempstead, C. J., 345 

Henderson, Port H., 788 

Hendryx, Josiah, 511 

Herron, Ashbel, 449 

Herron, John W., 945 

Herzog, Adolf, 1109 

Hicks, Evart B. D., 608 

High, Leon, 1066 

High, Mary R., 1067 

High, William A., 490 

Hill, E. Parker, 349, 488, 490 

Hill, James, 534, 537 

Hill, Justus, 537 

Hill, L. Dana, 349 

Hill, Lyman G., 535 

Hilliard, Weare, 523 

Hilton, George V., 387 

Hilton, Orrin N., 165 

Hinckley, Asa G., 569 

Hinckley, Isaac, 612 

Hinckley, Jonathan, 135, 404, 465, 569 

Hinckley, Marvin, 488 

Hinckley, Peter, 406 

Hinckley, Rodney, 567, 612 

Hinckley, Roy, 753 

Hipp, Benton W., 400 



Hipp, E. M., 350, 443 

Hoag, Charles N., 495 

Hoag, Mrs. Harriet, 497 

Hoag, Mrs. Orrin S., 497 

"Hog Creek" (Roseville), 516 

Hogmire, Conrad, 431 

Hogmire, Daniel, 430 

Hogmire, Henry, 431 

Hogmire, John, 431 

Hogmire, Mitchell H., 432, 433, 1016 

Hollister, Chauncey, 488, 602 

Hollon, Joseph A., 343 

Holmes, Reason, 410, 411 

Hood, Charles, 659 

Hood, George, 723 

Hopkins, Josiah, 809 

Horticulture (see Agriculture and Horticulture) 

Hoskins, Myron, 466-7 

Hosmer, C. F., 749 

Houghton, Hiram T., 449 

Houseknecht, Jacob D., 1104 

Hover, Josephus S., 1026 

Howard, Barnard M., 465 

Howard, Harvey H., 898 

Howard, Jonathan, 455, 467, 468 

Howard, Nancy, 466 

Howard, Turner W., 831 

Hoyt J., 529 

Hoyt, Wilbur P., 768 

Hudson, Frank G., 659 

Hudson, G. J., 575 

Hudson, J. B., 400 

Hudson, Thomas, 450 

Hull, Moses, 359 

Hull, William, 63-66 

Humphrey, Horace, 467, 468 

Humphrey, Luther, 561 

Hungerford, Benjamin, 538 

Hungerford, Volney R., 773 

Hunt, Adeline P., 725 

Hunt, Benjamin F., 605 

Hunt, Charles F., 344 

Hunt, Garrie W., 724 

Hunt, Isaiah F., 432 

Hunt, John, 405, 412 

Hunt, John A., 975 

Hurlbut, William H., 440, 442, 574, 605, 608 

Hutchins, Elias, 1000 

Hutchins, George G., 833 

Hutchins, George W., 937 

Ihling, John, 111, 112, 412 

Indian mounds in Law r rence township, 337 

Indian trails, 98 

Indians — First church built by, in Van Buren 
county, 4; Chief Pokagon 's address, 5; Poka- 
gon 's last wigwam, 12; Julia Pokagon 's ad- 
dress, 12; "Old Wapsey," 14; Do Indians 
cry, laugh or joke?, 20; Algonquin legend of 
man's creation, by Pokagon, 21; legend of 
Paw Paw and the Paw Paw valley, by Poka- 
gon, 24; Algonquin legends of South Haven, 
by Pokagon, 26; after me-me-og (squabs,) in 
Van Buren county, by C. H. Engle, 29; In- 
dian basket-making, 30; the "buck pony'' 
ride, 33 ; i ' never carry a revolver, boys, ' y 37 ; 
Saw-kaw's love story, 38; me-me-og, the wild 
pigeon, by Pokagon, 45 



XX11 



INDEX 



Indiana territory formed, 62 

Ingalls, J., 349 

Irwin, Thomas B., 556 

Isabella Club, 417 

Ives, Joseph, 429 

Jennings, James G., 365 
Jennings, Ralph E., 965 
Jewell, James, 1002 
Johns, Thomas J., 521 
Johnson, Andrew, 360 
Johnson, James H., 166, 605 
Johnson, Lewis, 507 
Johnson, L. S., 362 
Johnson, Smith, 83, 520 
Johnstone, W. A., 457 
Jones, A..B., 330 
Jones, M. Adelia, 719 
Jones, Sylvester H., 719 
Jordan, James F., 356 

Kalamazoo & South Haven .Railroad, 109, 595 

Karmsen, Oscar, 795 

Kaw-kee, Joe, 33-37 

Keeler, 541 

Keeler, E. H., 502, 534 

Keeler, Wolcott H., 80, 83, 161, 536-7 

Keeler township — Descriptive, 533; lakes and 
resorts, 534; civil organization, 534; first set- 
tlers of township, 535; Wolcott H. Keeler, 
537; settlers of 1836-44, 537; tax payers, 
property and schools, 540; Keeler and other 
towns, 541; general view, 542 

Keith, Henry S., 535 

Kelley, Patrick H., 177 

Kelley, James, 1128 

Kemp, Thomas, 514 

Kendall, 597 

Kendall, Lucius B., 453, 454 

Kennedy, Almus, 997 

Kennedy, John C., 400, 706 

Kern, Julius M., 1060 

Kern, Menasseh, 602 

Ketcham, E. B., 320 

Ketchum, James, 397 

Ketchum, OlivefP., 702 

Kibbie, 110, 501 

Kietzer, Charles, 1113 

Killefer, Henry, 453-4 

Killefer, William, 575, 717 

King, Edward H., 1143 

Kingsley, Henry M., 951 

Kinney, Elijah, 598 

Kinney, Luther, 602 

Kinney, Stephen, 487 

Kinney, Uri, 602 

Kitzmiller, W. K., 456 

Klett, John M., 692 

Klock, Ernest G., 365 

Knapp, Royal R., 685 

Knowles, Elijah, 466, 467, 468 

Knowles, William H., 468 

Krogel, Fred, 1029 

Krohne, Sophie, 698 

Krull, Frederick, 395 

Labadie, Anthony, 568 
Labadie, Joseph, 672 



Lacota, 110, 500 

Laduke, Nelson, 1024 

La Fayette township, 79, 80, 81, 82, 86, 564, 565 

Lake Cora, 565 

Lake Mills (Gobleville), 461 

Lake of the Woods, 488, 504 

Lake Park, 566 

Lamb, Frank, 861 

Lampson, Truman A., 475 

Landphere, K A., 355 

Lane, W. K., 361 

l^angdon, George, 709 

Langdon, Phoebe F., 709 

Langelau, Herman, 1138 

Lannin, J., 323 

Lanphear, Oel E., 902 

Lawrence, 111, Il3, 129, 130, 135, 558-63 

Lawrence, Robert R., 712 

1 i Lawrence Times, ' } 365 

Lawrence township — Mention, 80, 81, 82, 337; 
streams and lakes, 543; early pioneers and 
settlements, 544; the Branch family, 546; 
Judge Jay R. Monroe, 547; first marriage, 
birth and death, 551; the food problem, 552; 
roads and mails, 552; flat-boat traffic, 554; 
paper town of Van Buren, 555; civil, educa- 
tional and political, 556; looking backward, 
558; village of Lawrence, 558; churches and 
societies, 561 ; business and general features, 
563 
Lawton, 109, 111, 113, 401, 413 
Lawton, Charles D., 120, 177, 412, 415, 754 
Lawton, George W., 112, 165, 361, 415 
Lawton, Nathan, 413, 416 
"Lawton Leader," 361 

Lawton Lodge, No. 216, A. F. & A. M., 417 
Lawton Lodge No. 83, I. O. O. F., 417 
Lee, Bert, 1081 
Lee, Hiram, 489 
Lee, James, 570 
Lee, James A., 535 
Lee, Uriel C, 570 
Lee, William H., 570 
Leedy, William, 1125 
Le Fevre N., 487 
Lemont (Glendale), 626 
Lewis, Abram, 432 
Lewis, C. E., 361 
Lewis, Cyrus H., 475 
Lewis, Marshall, 538 
Lincoln, F. T., 367 
Linderman, I. S., 323 
Linton, Charles, 455, 894 
Littlejohn, Flavius J., 163 
Live stock, 328 

Lobdell, Howard, 136, 137^ 521 
.Local option in the county, 180 
Lockard, E. D., 470 
Lockman, DeWitt C, 592 
Longcor, Wesley N., 1058 
Longstreet, Andrew, 411, 412, 413, 415 
Longstreet, Samuel, 406 
Longwell, James M., 959 
Longwell, Phoebe A., 960 
Loomis, Russell F., 970 
Lord, Frederick, 165 
LotErop, Edwin H., 109 
Luce. Charles W., 468 



INDEX 



xxm 



Lurkins, Harry J'., 058 
Lyle, Jason J., 057 
Lyle, John, 328, 568 
Lyle, Lemuel, 1123 
Lyle, Levi N., 850 
Lyle, William, 328 
Lyle, William G., 1046 
Lyon, T. T., 324 
Lytle, Charles, 1088 
Lytle, David, 739 
Lytle, E. IL, 484 
Lytle, John, 1067 

Me Adams, Edward, 1092 
Me Adams, Leslie, 1092 
Mc Alpine, John, 521, 535 
MeAlpine, John G., 837 
McCon, Frank, 830 
McDonald (Deerfield), 447 
McKee, Darwin, 1090 
McKeyes, Frank, 351 
McKeyes, Juan, 351, 467, 787 
McKinley, Napoleon B., 412 
McKinney, John, 177, 355, 487, 602 
McKinney, Lewis, 445 
McLain, James C, 1050 
McLain John C, 602 
McNeil, Henry, 415 
McNeil, Harry L., 641 

McNight, Jane (Mrs. Dr. A. S. Haskin), 548 
McNight, Mary Nancy, 548 
McNitt, Alpheus A., 816 
McNitt, Leslie A., 818 
McWilliams, Archibald P., 521 
Madill, R. J., 347 
Maguire, Phillip, 1095 
Malbone, John 8., 605, 920 
Mallory, Merlin M., 449 
Manley, C. B., 113.1 
Manley, Hervey, 467 
Maple lake, 565 
Marble, Elisha, 624 
Markillie, John J., 768 
Markillie, William, 397 
Marshall, John, 602, 1054 
Marshall, Nelson S., 549 
Martin Edwin, 112 
Martin, Francis, 1022 
Martin, Harry A., 690 
Martin, Mrs. A. C, 358 
Martindale, Samuel, 445 
Marvin, A. E., 361 
Marvin, J. P., 561 
Mason (Lawrence), 544, 560 
Mason, Stevens T., 70-72 
Mason, Williamson, 133, 579, 580 
Mather, Eusebius, 468 
Mather House, 555 
Mattawan, 109, 111, 113, 401, 419 
Matthews, G. W., 355 
Maxwell, James E.. 504 
Maxwell, John C, 765 
May, Charles J., 938 
Maynard, Charles, 359 
Mead, Hannah, 582 
Wears, Edwin, 337 

Medicine and Surgery — Medical scientific re- 
search, 370; preventive medicine, 371; sur- 



gery, 375; the country physician and the 
trained nurse, 376; early physicians of Van 
Buren county, 377; Paw Paw physicians, 
379; Bangor,' 381; Gobleville, 381; Hartford, 
382; Covert, 383; Lawrence, 384; Lawton, 
386 ; the profession in South Haven, 387 ; 
South Haven City Hospital, 388 Decatur, 
390; the Veterinary school, 392 

Me-me-og (wild pigeons), 45-52 

Mentha, 110, 597 

Meuig, Ferdinand, 734 

Menig, Mary S., 735 

Merrifield, Edwin ,)., 455 

Merriman, George VV., 846 

Merriman, Harry J., 847 

Merriman, Marcus, 503 

Merry, Elizabeth, 399 

Merwin, Jesse, 453 

Methodist church, Almena township, 399 

Methodist church, Bangor, 443 

Methodist church, Bloomingdale, 456 

Methodist church, Decatur, 491 

Methodist church, Gobleville, 462 

Methodist church, Hartford, 529 

Methodist church, Keeler, 541 

Methodist church, Lacota, 500 

Methodist church, Lawrence, 562 

Methodist church, Lawton, 418 

Methodist church, Mattawan, 422 

Meyer, Herman, 794 

'Michigan Central Iron Company, 416 

Michigan Central Railroad, 107-109 

Michigan Fruit Exchange, 418 

Michigan Provost Guard. 289 

Michigan territory formed. 63 

Middletown (Rosevillo), 515 

Miller, II. B., 354 

Miller, Samuel O., 411 

Miller, William IT., 774 

"Millerism," 332 

Mills. Alfred J., 164, 165, 178 

Miner, Caroline, 497 

Mintv, Robert H. G., 240, 256 

Mitchell, Alonzo S., 412, 1083 

Mitchell, Gilbert, 496 

Mitchell, Jacob, 915 

Mitchell, J. W., 412 

Molby, Charles B., 774 

Monroe Bank, 350 

Monroe, Charles E., 1028 

Monroe, Charles J., 94, 177, 323, 325, 344, 350, 
352, 605, 611, 802 

Monroe, George C, 351, 822 

Monroe, Hattie E., 1029 

Monroe, Isaac, 556 

Monroe, Jay R., 80, 89, 93, 161, 344, 352, 442, 
496, 547,' 606 

Monroe, L. S., 352 

Monroe, Miles, 1026 

Monroe, Moses, 599 

Monroe, S. E., 432, 441, 607 

Monroe Realty Company, 352 

Moon, E. B.,'387 

Moon, Peter, 405 

Moon. Philip, 405 

Moore, David F., 605 

Moore, Henry, 948 

Moore, Volney A., 551 



XXIV 



INDEX 



Morehouse, Edward A., 740 

Morehouse, Stephen B., 320, 605, 611 

Morgan, John (capture of), 268 

Morrill, Charles M., 399, 400, 592 

Morris, Dolphin, 326, 482, 483, 485, 488, 536 

Morris, Elias, 484 

Morris, Lewis Creighton, 483 

Morris, Samuel, 485 

Morrison, A. H., 114 

Morrow, Henry A., 225 

Moses, Charles A., 990 

Moulton, Arba N., 360, 387, 490 

Munger, George, 259 

Munn, Benjamin S., 912 

Murch, William, 622, 625 

Murdock, Benjamin A., 94, 650 

Murdock, Benjamin F., 570 

Murdock, Mary V., 651 

Murphy, Norman D., 381 

Murray, Mary E., 594 

Mutchler, George, 760 

Myers, Mallory H., 449, 621, 625 

Myers, Merlin M., 621 

Myers, Keuben J., 449, 621, 624, 625 

Myers, Kuth Ann, 621 

Myers, Sarah, 622 

Myers, William H. H., 449, 621, 626 . 

Myhan, George H., 665 

Nash, Augustus W., 165 

Nash, Eufus C, 358, 359 

Xesbitt, James, 507, 536 

Nesbitt, John, 599 

Xesbitt, Mary, 508 

Xesbitt, Minnie, 776 

Xesbitt, Robert, 504, 506, 508, 509, 510 

Xesbitt, Sophia L., 775 

Xewbre, F. IX, 748 

Xewcomb, Mary, 398 

Xewcomb, Orlando H., 450 

Xewcomb, Willard, 83, 394, 395 

Xewspapers (see Press) 

Nichols, John V., 887 

Nichols, John J., 1004 

Nicholas, Wesley E., 1008 

Xik-a-nong (South Haven), 28 

Niles, F. L., 529 

Ninth Michigan Cavalry, 267 

Ninth Michigan Infantry, 284 

Northrup, Caleb, 138, 439, 442 

Northrup, Emmett, 1079 

Northrup, Mehitable, 440 

Northrup, Perrin M., 439, 440 

Northrup, Willard S., 445 

Norton, Hiram E., 799 

Noud, John R, 922 

Nower, Charles L., 824 

Xoye, J. F., 134 

Noyes, Kirk W., 605 

Nutting, Bansom, 488 

Nyman, Joseph, 444 

Nyman, Joseph H., 442 

Nyman, R. C, 862 

"Oak openings," 326 
Ocobock, Mrs. Emma, 531 
Ocoboefc, George W., 888 
O'Dell, Allen, 952 



O'Dell, Barnabas, 356, 357, 785 

Olds, Estella M., 528 

Olds, Ferdino, 513, 517 

Olds, Hezekiah, 517 

Olds, L. T., 490 

Olds, Orson, 517 

Olds, Volney W., 528, 889 

Olney, Burrell A., 514 

Olney, Burrill A., 517, 521 

Olney, Horace M., 343, 349, 527, 528 

Olney National Bank, 349 

Oppenheim, Jacob, 349, 886 

Ordinance of 1887, 59-61 

Orton, Edwin P., 1078 

Orton, Samuel J., 956 

Osborn, Erastus, 762 

Osborn, Lester E., 874 

Oslerism, 94 

Overton, Miller, 981 

Overton, S. E., 1127 

Packard, Alfred IT., Jr., 479 

Packard, William O., 474 

"Painters," 334 

Page, Thomas P., 468 

Palmer, Chauncey B., 400 

Palmer, Ephraim, 558 

Palmer, Ezra A., 383 

Palmer, Frank W., 445 

Palmer, Lewis, 1042 

Palmer, Milton F., 382, 526 

Palmer, Russell, 395 

Parker, Thomas E., 1043 

Parks, E. F., 343, 355 

Parmeter, J. F., 420 

Parsons, L. E., 345, 346 

Paw Paw, 24, 113, 130, 136, 138, 158, 576-590 

"Paw Paw Courier," 356 

' i Paw Paw Democrat, ' ' 354 

"Paw Paw Free Press," 354 

"Paw r Paw Free Press and Courier," 355 

Paw r Paw Fruit Growers Union, 587 

Paw Paw Lodge No. 18, I. O. O. F., 585 

Paw Paw Railroad, 111 

Paw r Paw river as a carrier, 105, 554 

Paw Paw Savings Bank, 343 

Paw Paw township — Mention, 62, 86; original 
township of La Fayette, 564; becomes Paw 
Paw township, 565; lakes, 565; the hardy 
pioneers, 566; Mr. and Mrs. Pe-Pe-Yah, 571; 
David Woodman's pioneer pictures, 571; the 
Paw Paw irrevocably crooked, 574; statisti- 
cal, political and horticultural, 575; village 
of Paw Paw, 576 

Pease, Anson I)., 699 

Pease, Enoch M., 500 

Peck, J., 467 

Peoples Bank, Bloomingdale, 351 

Pe-Pe-Yah, "Mr. and Mrs.," 571 

Pere Marquette Railway, 113 

Perkins, Roy D., 365, 455 

Peters, John, 477 

Phelps, Alexander H., 549 

Phelps, Horatio N., 555 

Phelps, Theodore E., 134, 535 

Phillips, Benjamin, 411 

Phillips, Charles C, 362, 363 

Phillips, David M., 366 



INDEX 



XXV 



Phillips, Eugene, 1134 
Phillips, M. F., 5<fc 
Phillips, Norman, 323 
Phillips, Solomon, 408, 411 
Phillips, Waldo E., 504 
Pierce, Almon J., 444, 500 
Pierce, Clark, 498, 607 
Pierce, Daniel, 498, 607 
Pierce, H. M., 443 
Pierce, Eansom T., 991 
Pine Grove, 110, 597 

Pine Grove township — Mention, 85; organized, 
592; shingles as legal tender, 592; marital 
and legal, 594; Kalamazoo & South Haven 
Railroad, 595; general progress, 595; Goble- 
ville, 596; Pine Grove, 597; Kendall, 597; 
Mentha, 597 ' 

Pioneer farm implements, 327 
Place, Clarence E., 605 
Plank roads, 103 
Pokagon, Julia, 8, 11, 12-14 
Pokagon, Simon (chief,), 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11 p> 
21 K 24, 26, 99 >>>>>-> •, -, 

Politics of the county— General elections 
(1837-1910), 168; the parties in the county, 
169; presidential vote in the county, 170; 
county officers, 171; members of the state 
legislature, 175; other important officials 
rrom Van Buren county, 177; constitutional 
conventions, 178; proposed constitutional 
amendments, 179; Van Buren countv and the 
hquor traffic, 180 
Pomeroy, George B., 605 
Pontiac, 56-58 
Poole, Olive, 514, 521 
Poole, Watson, 55u 
Poor, Charles N., 510 
Poor, Melvin H., 674 
Poor, Simon B., 673 
Poorman, Byron M., 1073 
Population of county (1840-1910) 74 
Porter, George G., 68 

Porter township— Mention 82, 84; first set- 
tlers, 598; the Kinney settlement, 598; the 
Adams family, 600; township named and or- 
ganized, 600; educational and political, 601- 
a retrospect, 602 ' 

Potter, Allen, 110 
Potter, John B., 556 
Pratt, Warren, 610 
Presbyterian church, Decatur, 492 
£resbyterian church, Paw Paw, 585 
J^ress of Van Buren county— " Paw Paw Free 
Press, » 354; "Paw Paw Free T Prels and 
Courier » 355; "The True North^ er"" 
f^>, Decatur Republican," 359; the 
Lawton Leader," 361; "Hartford Day 
Spring 361; the „ Bang ' or Ad „ s ^ 

TSp.^^ Ce ,cS W8pa . perB ' 364 ' " La ™nce 
" Cn% -n 65 ; v BIoomin g d ale Leader, " 365 ; 

n^SsS™''' Wi «outh 'Haven 

Prl Ch . ard .' ? oIone ^ 258, 259, 260 
Probate judges, 171 

Prohibition in the county, 180 

prosecuting attorneys, 173 

^ospect lake, 544 

^ugsley, C Ray, 649 



Pugsley, Henry M., 569 
Pugsley, John K., 568, 575 
Pugsley, Milton H., 352, 653 
Pugsley, Nathaniel M., 569 
Pugsley 's Lake, 565 

Quackenbush, Elizabeth, 408 
"Queen of the Woods," 6 
Qui mi, Francis, 188 

Radtke, Charles, 800 

Hailroadah-.Michigau Central, 107; Kalamazoo 
& South Haven 109; the Paw Paw Railroad, 
111, loledo & South Haven Railroad (Fruit 
way, n3 e) ' ' thC P0re M «q"ette Rail- 

Randall, V. F., 468 

Ranney, John A., 395, 400 

Ranney, William, 395 

Ransom, Epaphroditus, 109, 161 16'> 

Ransom, Thomas IT., 455 904 

Reams, Fred W., 797 ' 

"Red Man's Greeting/' 3 

Register of deeds, 172 

Reid, James L., 320 

Remington, J. M., 453, 454 

Renfer, Alfred, 1003 

Rennie, James IT., 652 

Reynolds, Benjamin, 84, 505, 601 

Reynolds, George, 544, 545, 558 

Reynolds, Jane, 551 

Reynolds, John, 358, 544, 545, 556, 558 

Reynolds, Sarah, 551 

Reynolds, Theodore L., 364 

Rhoads, James O., 967 

Rhodes, II. W., 13*5 

Robinson, Daniel G., 450 

Ridlon, John M., 638 

Rice, Allen, 336 

Rich', Davi.f E P : ^ deUa) ' 12 ' 8M ' 383 ' ™ 

Richards, Chandler, 16'y, 556 

Risley, C. S., 446 

Rix, George H., 412 

Roads-^-Indian trails, 98; first Michigan white 
man's road, 99; territorial and state roads, 
yy, old stage routes, 101; plank roads lo4 

Robertson, Burrifl A., 1159 ' S 

Robbins, John, 1021 

Robinson, Almiron, 838 

Robinson, Claude D., 876 
Robinson, Daniel G., 454 
Robinson, John A., 1085 
Rockwell, Charles, 556 
Rogers, Joseph, 348 
Rogers, Laura, 497 
Rogers, Robert, 56 
Rogers, Samuel, 472 
Rood, Frank E., 1037 
Root, Edson V., 445 
Root, Herbert L., 925 
Rose, Gilbert L., 390 
Rosevelt, John V., 535 
Roseville, 516 
Ross, Thomas L., 575 
Ross, Volney, 344 
Rowe, George U., 667 
Rowe, Nelson, 384, 556, 666 



XXVI 



INDEX 



Rowe, Kufus, 384 

Rowe, Sylvanus, 385 

Rowland, Marion O., 177, 358, 300 

Rowland, Oran W., 94, 343, 358, 360, 1.156 

Ruggles, Joseph, 514, 521 

Runyan, Arthur C, 926 

Russell, L. S., 363 

Russell, M. F., 363, 852 

Ryan, .John, 521 

Saekett, Stanley, 949 
Sage, Richard 11, 826 
St. Clair, Arthur, 61 

St. Mary's Church of the Immaculate Concep- 
tion, Paw Paw, 585 
Sanford, Lyman, 487 
Savage, Levi, 409 
Saw-kaw's love story, 38-45 
Sawtelle, Elemucl, 468 
Sayres, Rufus, 517 
Schermerhorn, William, 1035 
Schmidt, O. C, 366 

School statistics, 125, 126 

Schoolcraft, George W., 963 

Schoolcraft, William, 941 

Schools — Act of 1827 modified, 117; harassed 
school inspectors, 118; the teachers' qualifi- 
cations, 120; Mrs, Allen Rice's reminis- 
cences, 122; the old and the new T , 125 

Scott, Charles, 419 

Scott, James, 622 

Scott, John, 623 

Scott, Leslie, 1034 

Scott, Thomas, 486 

Scott, William R., 891 

Scott Club, South Haven, 617 

Searls, Charles C, 661 

Sebring, Horace, 415 

Sebring, J. E., 350, 745 

Second Michigan Cavalry, 290 

Secord, W. W., 363, 365 

Selkirk, Matthew V., 935 

Selleck, Charles, 575 

Sellick, F. W., 343 

Sellick, George F., 355 

Sellick, William J., 343 

Sellick, W. R., 343 

Semi-agricultural industries, 325 

Seventeenth Michigan Infantry, 215 

Shaefer, Charles S., 412 

Shanahan, Joseph K., 1076 

Shattuck, Shepard H., 475, 798 

Shattuck, William J., 475 

Shaw, Orrin S., 474 

Sheffer, C. M., 320 

Sheffer, S. G., 320 

Sheldon, Charles P., 521, 1101 

Sheldon, L. B., 575 

Sheldon, Oliver H. P., 412 

Sheldon, Thomas C, 613 

Shepard, Henry, 867 

Shepard, L. E., 575 

Shepard, William W., 523, 525 

Sheriffs, 171 

Sherman, Alonzo, 342, 727 

Sherman, John D., 733 

Sherman, Joseph H., 729 

Sherrod, Burtes M., 445 



Sherrod, G. B., 575 

►Snerrod, Hiram, 761 

Sherwood, George, 490 

Sherwood, Samuel, 489 

Shine, George, 854 

Showerman, David, 397 

Showerman, J. B., 343 

Shuver, John H., 1027 

Sibley, Solomon, 78 

Sikes, Orendo M., 535, 538 

Sikes, Zenas, 538 

Simmons, Jeremiah H., 80, 165, 575 

Simmons, Leander, 933 

Simon, Ellis, 351 

Sirrine, William R., 625 

Sisson, Orrin, 602 

Sister Lakes resort, 534 

Sixteenth Michigan Infantry, 287 

Sixth Michigan Infantry, T~83 

Skinner, Edward, 884 

Smith, Augusta, 497 

Smith, C. F., 365 

Smith, David H., 625 

Smith, Edmund, 343, 581 

Smith, George P., 625 

Smith, Harsen D., 165 

Smith, Hattie B., 367 

Smith, Henry, 511 

Smith, Hiram A., 879 

Smith, H. B., 432 

Smith, Ira A., 367 

Smith, James, 523 

Smith, John, 438, 439 

Smith, R. A., 311 

Smith, Sherman D., 455 

Smith, W. E., 359 

Smith, Wilbur G., 367 

Smolk, John, 412 

South Haven, 28, 110, 136-138 

South Haven and Casco Pomological Soeietv, 
322 

South Haven Board of Trade, 619 

South Haven City Hospital, 388 

"South Haven Daily 'Gazette," 366, 367 

"South Haven Daily Tribune," 367 

South Haven fruit raising, 320 

South Haven Gazette Company, 368 

South Haven Loan and Trust Company, 352 

South Haven Pomological Society, 322, 619 

"South Haven Record," 367 

"South Haven Sentinel," 366 

i ' South Haven Tribune-Messenger, ' f 367 

South Haven township — Mention, 80, 81, 84, 
85; early elections and officials, 603; prop- 
erty and population, 605; Jay R. Monroe, 
first white settler, 606; Clark and Daniel 
Pierce, 607; A. S. Dyckman 's story, 608; 
?>ioneer steam sawmills, 609; first institu- 
tions and pioneers, 610; village (now city) 
of South Haven, 613; the summer resort 
business, 615; schools, churches and societies, 
616"; municipal and business matters, 618; 
Pomological Society and Board of Trade, 619 
South Mountain (battle J, 216 
Southard, John, 438, 439 

Southern Michigan Fruit Association, 417, 418 
Southwell, Enoch, 556 
Spanish- American war, 310 



INDEX 



XXVll 



Spaulding, Henry, 521, 1119 

Spayde, Emerson D., 452 

Spencer, Frank L., 694 

Sprague, William, 483 

Squier, David A., 488 

Squier, Emory H., 488, 1091 

Srackangast, Ezra, 1032 

Stage routes, 101 

Stainton, William II., 412 

Starbuck, William, 1013 

Starkweather, Nathaniel B., 80 

State representatives, lT5 

State roads, 100, 101 

State senators, 175 

Stearns, Sidney, 509 

Stearns, Zebina, 507, 509 

Stephens, Frank E., 726 

Stevens, F. E., 343 

Stevens, F. H., 575 

Stevens, French & Company, 342 

Stevens, Harrison, 592 

Stevens, James, 429 

Stevens, "William H., 400 

Stewart, Gardner L., 455 

Stewart, Nellie, 366 

Stewart, W. E., 366 

Stimson, Horace, 82, 546, 553, ooij 

Stoddard, John IL, ry50 

Stone, William, 592 

Stone River (battle), 198 

Stoughton, Antoinette, 525 

Stratton, Truman, 523 

Stratton, Wiilard, 523 

Streator, Prenett T., 625 

Stuart, Charles E., 109, 197 

Sturgis, Joseph, 609 

Summers, William, 980 

Summy, Eri, 468 

Surdam, Nathaniel L., 407 

Sutton, Luther, 362, 515, 546 

Sutton, Orrin, 546, 556 

Sweet, Charles P., 358, 359 

Sweet, William, 1019 

Swift, H. D., 485 

Taft, Geraldine, 478 

Tanner, E. A., 529 

Tarbell, Henry Y., 820 

Tarbell, John' 348 

Taylor, Charles A., 439 

Taylor, Daniel, 84, 439 

Taylor, Ephraim, 549 

Taylor, F. W., 367 

Taylor, Howland C, 521 

Taylor, N. S., 350 

Taylor, "William N., 407, 426 

Tedrow, Frank J., 1117 

Teed, Jeremiah, 488 

Teed, Philip N., 400 

Telephone lines, 353" 

Tenth Michigan Cavalry, 291 

renth Michigan Infantry, 284 

1 emtorial road, 99, 553 

Tliayer, Haviland, 450 

Third Michigan Cavalry, 239, 242 

ihird Michigan Infantry, 283 

thirteenth Michigan Cavalry, 293 

Ihirteenth Michigan Infantry, 197 



Thirtieth Michigan Infantry, 288 

Thomas, Jesse, 521 

Thomas, Nathan, 751 

Thomas, William, 521 

Thompson, Albert, 605 

Thompson, Edwin A., 358 

Thompson, Jasper II., 521 

Thorn, John S., 521 

Three Mile lake, 565 

Thresher, W. E., 364 

Tittle, George, 485 

Tobev, Samuel, 366 

Todd, A. M., 597 

Toledo & South Haven Railroad, 111 

Tolles, Goodwin S., 496, 1109 

Tolles, James T., 136, 496 

Tolles, William R., 496 

Tomlinson, Joel, 403 

Torrey, A. W., 454 

Torrey, Arthur, 1133 

Townsend, Charles, 81 

Townsend, Loren D., 470 

Trafford, William F., 474 

T raver, William M., 670 

Traver canning factory, 531 

Travis, J. B., 366 

Traxler canning factory, 531 

Trim, Charles E., 455 

Tripp, John H., 939 

Tripp, Robert H., 985 

Trowbridge, S. M., 496 

"True Northerner," 356 

Truesdell, Merritt J., 1041 

Truex, John M., 1033 

Tubbs, Nathan, So, 495, 496 

Turner, George, 1059 

Turner, Samuel, 400 

Tuttle, William, Jr., 535 

Twelfth Michigan Infantry, 188 

Twell, Joseph, 361 

Twenty-fourth Michigan Infantry, 225 

Twenty-fifth Michigan Infantry,* 226 

Twenty-eighth Michigan Infantry, 227 

Tyner, Thomas C, 556 

Universalist church, Decatur, 491 
Upton, John B., 556 

Valleau, Peter T., 624 

Valleau, Theodore W 7 ., 624, 908 

Valuation of county property (1851-1911), 75 

Van Antwerp, Daniel, 407, 412 

Van Antwerp, Daniel C, 841 

Van Antwerp, Mrs. Harriet (Cook), 600 

Van Blaricon, Frank, 664 

Van Buren (paper town), 555 

Van Buren county— Population of (1840-1910) , 
74; property valuation (1851-1911), 75 

Van Buren County Farmers ' Mutual Fire In- 
surance Company, 352 

Van Buren County Pioneer Association, 89 

"Van Buren County Press, M 355 

"Van Buren County Republican, " 360 

Van Fleet, William Norris, 551 

Van Fossen, Isaac W., 355, 356, 645 

Van Hise, Joseph, 486, 487 

Van Hise, Stephen O., 490 

Van Hise, William O., 488 



XXV111 



INDEX 



Van Horn, James, 911 
Van Nise, William K., 488 
Van Ostrand, Spencer, 839 
Van Ostrom, John, 529 
Van Ostrom, Maggie, 529 
Van Kiper, Charles A., 602 
Vaughan, Orley M., 1077 
Veterinary practitioners, 392 
Vickers, Robert E., 452 
Vining, G. M., 364 
Vining, Lewis H., 1031 

Waber, George T., 929 
Waber, Thomas, 923 
Wagner, Amos B., 504 
Wagner, Joseph S., 610 
Wagner, L. R., 811 
Waite, Caroline M., 739 
Waite, Henry, 738 
Waite, Kufus M., 400 
Wakefield, Mason, 508 
Wakeman, Frank N., 359, 631 
Wakeman, Seth L., 1010 
Waldo, Campbell, 395 
Waldron, Elver E., 602, 1089 
Walker, Lewis P., 678 
Wallace, George A., 1040 
Wallace, William, 1006 
Walter, James A., 110 
Wapsey, 14-19, 40 
Ward, Thomas O., 358 
Warner, Bangs F., 643 
Warner, Elam L., 94 
Warner, Elijah, 602 
Warner, Frank E., 496 
Warner, Glenn E., 634 

Warner, Jerome C, 575, 632 

Warner, Junia, Jr., 80, 394, 395, 398, 584 

Warner, Levi H., 379 

Warren, Grace F., 680 

Warren, Nellie M., 819 

Warren, Robert L., 360, 364 

Waterford road, 552 

Waterman, J., 467 

Waters, Harlan P., 412, 779 

Watkins, Andrew J., 1002 

Watson, Jerome B., 496 

Watson, Leonard, 467 

Watson, M. P., 445 

Watson, Ralph F., 496 

Waverly Grange No. 37, P. of H., 399 

Waverly township— Mention, 83; physical fea- 
tures, 620; the township named, 621; the 
Myers family, 621; first wedding between 
pioneers, 622; Covey Hill, 623; John Scott, 
623; other early settlers, 624; from the of- 
ficial records, 625; village of Glendale, 626 

Weber, Henry F., 980 

Weeks, James M., 504 

Weidenfeller, Charles A., 455 
Welch, J. L., 351 
Welch, O. T., 488 
Weldin, George, 1142 
Weldin, Joel M., 1047 



Welker, Jeremiah, 1080 

Wells, Hiram K., 432 

Wenban, W. W., 496 

Weso, 33-37 

Westgate, Orlo, 605 

"West Michigan Advance," 363 

West Michigan Savings Bank, Bangor, 350 

Whipple, Charles W., 162 

Wicksall, Guy J., 73, 179 

Wickwire, J. H., 361 

Wiggins, Milan D., 351, 1151 

Wigglesworth, C. H., 323 

Wilcox, John B., 1036 

Wild pigeons, 45-52 

Wildey, Albert R., 327, 328, 570, 574 

Wildey, Edwin A., 177, 178, 327, 359, 575 

Wildey, W. C, 327, 575 

Willard, Isaac W., 73, 105, 109, 178, 574, 576, 

578, 580 
Williams, Charles W., 917 
Williams, Henry S., 358 
Williams, John, 323, 612 
Williams, Nathan, 397 
Williams, Norris A., 987 
Williams, Oscar J., 412 
Williams, Orsimus, 602 
Williams, Philip, 410, 411 
Williams, William R., 551 
Williamson, Mrs. Prudence, 540 
Willis, Lewis E., 984 
Wilmot, Marlin L., 906 
Wilson, Eugene A., 177 
Wilson, S. H., 367 
Wilson, Samuel P., 605 
Wise, Abram S., 504 
Withington, William H., 215 
Wolcott, James, 523 
Wolf stories, 333 
Wolfs, C. A., 343 
Wood, Walter A., 1094 
Woodman, David, 327, 571, 575 
Woodman, David, Jr., 571, 572 
Woodman, Edson, 327, 328 
Woodman, Jason, 325, 574 
Woodman, Jonathan J., 94, 177, 404, 412 
Woodman, Joseph, 337, 403, 404, 571, 5/8 
Woodman, Lucius C, 239, 380 
Woodman, Olivia J., 404 
Woodruff, George, 163 
Woodward, Marquis, 432 
Wooster, A. M., 360 
World's Fair (Chicago), 3, 6 
Worthington, Henry, 541 
Wygent, John, 477 

Yates, James A., 445 
Yeckley, George G. B., 504 
Young, Benoni, 476 
Young, Charles W., 575 
Young, David, 472 
Young, George F., 946 
Young, Merle H., 576, 707 

Zook, William E., 1012 




The above are supposed to have been made by the mound builders who had 
sway in V r an Buren county long before the Algonquin race had taken posses- 
sion of Michigan, from the fact that many of these implements are found buried 
with their dead in the mounds scattered throughout the county. The cuts 
which have no notches at the base were used for various purposes as we use 
our knives. All notched at the base were used for arrow points. They were held 
in place in a split in one end of the arrow, securely held by the sinews of ani- 
mals. Although our present Indians knew nothing about how they were manu- 
factured, still when found they were successfully used by them. 

The above illustrations were furnished by E. B. Starks, an old settler of 
Van Buren county— and considered good authority iu aboriginal matters. 








The above cuts, excepting those notched at the base, were used as we use 
axes or pick axes. They were securely fastened to the helves made of a 
crotched stick of proper size, securely held in place by animal thongs. The 
specimens from which the illustration was made were found in Van Buren 
county, and furnished by Conklin & Smith. 



HISTORY OF 

VAN BUREN COUNTY 



CHAPTER I 

ABORIGINAL HISTORY 

First Church Built by Indians — Chief Pokagon's Address — 
Pokagon's Last Wigwam — Julia Pokagon's Address — Old 
Wapsey — Do Indians Cry, Laugh or Joke? — Algonquin Le- 
gend of Man's Creation — Legend of Paw Paw and the Paw 
Paw Valley — Algonquin Legends of South Haven — After 
Me-me-og (Squabs) in Van Buren County — The "Buck 
Pony" Ride — "Never Carry a Revolver, Boys' ' — Saw-Kaw's 
Love Story — Me-me-og, the Wild Pigeons. 

By C. H. Engle, Associate Editor. 

"Is not the Redman's wigwam home 
As dear to him as costly dome? 
Is not his loved ones smile as bright 
As the dear ones of the man that's white? 
Freedom — this self-same freedom you adore — 

Bade him defend his violated shore. 

* * * 

1 l The past can never be undone. 

The new day brings the rising sun 
To light the way of duty now 

To children with the dusky brow. ' ' 

While we leave on record the history of our own people, let us 
not forget the Red Man who once owned this beautiful land and 
welcomed our pioneers when they first came to this county, and 
when in need sheltered and shared with them "man-do-min and 
suc-see" (corn and deer). 

It is a lamentable fact that those who know least of the Indian 
race cry out against them most bitterly, as being vindictive, treach- 
erous and cruel; while those who have lived among them and as- 
sociated with them for years, frankly acknowledge that as a race 
they are no worse than we are. Of course when their lands were 

1 



2 HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

invaded they fought like demons for home and native land: and 
so we might say of every race. General Sherman, when he led 
the boys in blue to the Sea, during the late rebellion, witnessed 
so much wantonness and cruelty that he cried from his heart, 
"War is Hell!" and truthfully he might have added "alike with 
savage and with sage." As far as we can learn from history Pere 
Marquette was the first white man who visited Southwest Michi- 
gan about two hundred and fifty years ago. A few years after he 
was followed by La Salle who built a fort at the mouth of St. 
Joseph river, Michigan, on the highlands west of the junction of 
Paw Paw and St. Joseph rivers, the main object of which seems 
to have been to monopolize the trade in buffalo hides. The na- 
tives of Michigan were firm in the belief that the country many 
years before their time was inhabited by a race much further ad- 
vanced in the arts and sciences than were they. Their legends 
show it and the domestic implements and weapons of warfare which 
they found scattered broadcast over the land clearly proved it. 
Again, it was generally talked of and known among the Indians 
of Michigan, as near as they could estimate time, that about two 
hundred and fifty years ago one of their chiefs, We-me-gen-de-bay, 
while hunting in the wilderness discovered a great copper kettle 
which was partly underground. The roots of large trees had 
grown over it, and when taken up it appeared as if it had never 
been used, but seemed to be just as it came from the maker, as 
there was yet a round bright spot in the center of the bottom of 
it. This kettle was large enough to cook a whole deer or bear in. 
For a long time the Indians kept it as a sacred relic. They did 
not keep it near where they lived, but securely hidden in a place 
most unfrequented by human beings. They did not use it for any- 
thing except great feasts. Their idea was that it was made by 
some deity who presided over the country where it was found 
and that a copper mine must be near that place. It had no iron 
rim around it, nor bail for hanging while in use, but the edge of % 
the upper part was much thicker than the rest and was turned 
out square about three fourths of an inch, as if made to rest on 
some support while in use. When the Indians began to be civil- 
ized they used it in common to boil down maple sap to sugar, in- 
stead of cooking bear for feast. 

I first read an account of this magical kettle in the writings of 
the late Chief Blackbird, an educated Ottawa Indian. I have 
talked with him frequently since regarding this strange find. 
He told me that while a young man he worked in a government 
blacksmith shop, that it was brought to him to have a bail put in 
it, and that he fixed it up according to order. When I talked with 
him he was nearly one hundred years old and confirmed in full 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 




Bark and Quill Work 

Having presented our readers with photo-cuts of implements made by a pre- 
historic race of this country, we now present them photo-cuts of the present- 
day work of our Michigan Indians, showing their artistic creations in bark and 
porcupine quill work, etc. 

About the time of the opening of the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1S93, our 
late Chief Pokagon published a booklet on the manifold bark of the white 
birch tree, entitled "The Red Man's Greeting;" afterwards it was called bv 
the public "The Red Man's Rebuke; " also "The Red Man's Book of Lamenta- 
tion." In order that future generations of our county may understand the 
Indian love and appreciation of the white birch tree, I deem it best to here 
publish the preface of the bark book in full. 

Preface of "The Red Man's Greeting" 
My object in publishing "The Red Man's Greeting" on the manifold bark 
of the white birch tree is out of loyalty to my own people and gratitude to 
the Great Spirit, who, in his wisdom, provided for our use, for untold genera- 
tions, this most remarkable tree with manifold bark, used by us instead of 
paper and being of greater value to us, as it could not be injured by sun or 
water. Out of the bark of this wonderful tree were made hats, caps and dishes 
for domestic use, while our maidens tied with it the knot that sealed the mar- 
riage vow. Wigwams were made of it, as well as the largest canoes that out- 
rode the most violent storms on lake and sea. It was also used for light and 
fuel at our war dances and spirit councils. Originally the shores of our north- 
ern lakes and streams were fringed with it and evergreen; and the white, 
charmingly contrasted with the green mirrored from the waters, was indeed 
beautiful; but, like the Red Man, this tree is vanishing from our forests. 

' ' Alas for us ! our day is o 'er, 

Our fires are out from shore to shore; 

No more for us the wild deer bounds; 

The plough is on our hunting grounds; 

The pale man's axe rings through our woods. 

The pale man's sails skim o'er our floods, 

Our pleasant springs are dry. 

Our children — look by power oppressed! 

Beyond the mountains of the "West, 

Our children go to die! " 



4 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

the above account of the kettle. He further added: "From this 
evidence of working in metals and from many other relics of 
former occupants, it is evident that this country has been in- 
habited for many ages by a people further advanced in the arts and 
sciences that are we." 

Our own people who have investigated as far as possible the 
prehistoric race that occupied this country long before the Al- 
gonquins, are of the opinion that they were the mound builders 
who have left so many earth works of various <• sizes scattered 
throughout this continent, traces of which still may be seen in 
nearly every township of Van Buren county; and that the flint 
arrow points, knives, spears, stone axes, etc., which are so pro- 
fusely scattered throughout the county are the handiwork of those 
people. Whence they came or where they went no one knows, but 
some conjecture that for ages they slowly migrated southward 
and finally established the ancient kingdom of Mexico. Cortes, the 
Spanish conqueror who invaded Mexico in 1519, declared that the 
natives were just about as far advanced in the arts and sciences as 
were the Spaniards, except in the implements of warfare and the 
manufacture of gunpowder, of which they had no knowledge 
whatever. 

First Church Built by Indians 

The Pottawattamies claim to have erected the first church in 
Van Buren county. It was built of logs on the south side of Rush 
lake, township of Hartford, in 1840. In 1856 they built a frame 
church, forty feet by sixty, just east of the log church. Both were 
Catholic churches. The frame church is still standing. I well 
remember when it was built from this fact : They came to me to 
get a job of cutting down about ten acres of timber that they 
might obtain money with which to buy shingles. They agreed to 
commence the job on the following day. I told them I would be 
over in the afternoon to see what kind of a job they were doing. 
I was rather late and did not get there until nearly sundown. 
When I was within eighty rods of the job I was surprised to hear 
what I thought must be a war-whooping pow wow. I hardly could 
decide whether to go ahead or retreat. While I paused I heard 
the falling of the great trees as if a cyclone was abroad in the 
timber. Advancing in haste I saw the timber crashing down the 
whole width of the ten-acre job. Again I paused, for the crashing 
of the falling timber, intermixed with the pow wow war-whoops, 
created such confusion of sounds, 

"As if all the fiends from Heaven that fell 
Had pealed the banner cry of Hell." 



HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 5 

As I met the tribe starting home, they informed me that the whole 
tribe had turned out and commenced cutting the timber part way 
down on the east side of the job and when they reached the west 
side they had formed in line across the entire front and felled 
the timber eastward and that one tree had pushed down the next 
and all had fallen, saving them much chopping. But what a job ! 

It is generally believed by the best men and women who have 
made a careful study of the issues between the two races that if 
the Indians had been treated under the golden rule, "Do to others 
as you would that they should do to you," they would have been 
the best kind of Christians. They never worshiped idols from the 
fact than they believed in one Great Spirit, known by them as 
"Ki-tchi Man-i-to," and one Great Spirit called "Mau-tchi Man- 
i-to." The first they believe to be all wisdom and goodness, who 
created all things and governs all. The other was bad and did 
all the evil he could. Hence it was that they loved and adored the 
first missionaries who taught them that the Great Spirit had re- 
vealed His will to man through Christ, His only Son. But when 
bad designing white men went among them to steal and rob, they 
naturally thought that all our race, of course, were Christians, 
and in their innocence looked upon their acts as the offspring of 
their religion; hence concluded that the white man's God was not 
"Ki-tchi Man-i-to" who loved and cared for them and their chil- 
dren. 

In considering the natural character of the red man from what 
we read about him in our books, we must bear in mind that his his- 
tory has been written by white men — by a race that invaded his 
country for conquest and settlement — and that it is a hard matter 
for the historian to write a correct history of a race that his own 
people are trying to subdue. 

In order that future generations of this county may have un- 
prejudiced views of the natives who were the former occupants 
of this beautiful land which they inherit, I will introduce them 
to the writings of x the late Chief Pokagon, an educated Indian 
who spent over seventy years in this county. I will first present 
his address given under the auspices of Oricono Tribe No. 184, 
I. 0. R. M., at Liberty, Indiana, on January 7, 1898. Read it 
carefully and note his opinion regarding the issue between the 
two races. 

Chief Pokagon 's Address 

For many years I have had a warm heart for the pale-faced ' ' Redmen, ' ' but 
never expected to be invited to address them. I would not have you think 
that I flatter myself that I have been invited here on account of my intelli- 
gence or reputation, as I most keenly realize you have looked forward to my 
coming here with a sort of novel pride that you might point me out to your 

(Continued on page 7) 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 




Chief Pokagon 



A correct likeness of Chief Pokagon in his tribal attire as he appeared at 
the World's Fair on Chicago Day, October 9, 1893, as painted by M. O. Whit- 
ney. Being an invited guest of the city on that day, the old veteran rang the 
new liberty bell for the first time, and was honored by addressing the vast 
throng in behalf of his race. 

The old chief gained, while a guest of the World's Fair, a national reputa- 
tion for native ability. He wrote in his lifetime several articles for leading 
magazines, which were highly eulogized by the press, both in this country and 
abroad. He is the only Indian who ever wrote his own courtship and married 
life, which is most touchingly told in his < < Queen of the Woods. ' ' His words 
came from his heart and apparently never fail to reach the heart of the reader. 
It is the only book written by an Indian that was ever dramatized. This won- 
derful book has been so well received that the third edition is now being closed 
out. Van Buren county has just reasons to be proud of having produced the 
most remarkable Indian writer in America. " Queen of the Woods" was in 
the press at the time of the old chief's death in 1899. 

Published and for sale by C. H. Engle, Hartford, Van Buren county. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 7 

children and say: "Behold a living specimen of the race with whom we 
once neighbored— a race we sometimes loved; and yet that love was mingled 
with distrust and f ear. " No greater compliment could have been bestowed 
upon our vanishing race than by naming one of the grandest orders after 
them. And that compliment was made perpetual in giving each officer of 
the Red Men's order Indian names pure and simple, as well as by giving 
each lodge some appropriate Indian name. 

My heart is always made glad when I read of the Daughters of Pocahontas 
kindling their council fires. I have often thought if they dressed as be- 
comingly as our maids and matrons did in their native style, I would be glad 
indeed to see them confer the Pocahontas degree work. The name Poca- 
hontas and my own name were derived from the same Algonquin word, 
"Poka," meaning a << shield,' ' or " protector. ' ' 

And again we are highly complimented by the order of Red Men in dating 
their official business from the time of the discovery of America. I suppose 
the reason for fixing that date was because our forefathers had held for un- 
told ages before that time, the American continent a profound secret from 
the white man. Again, the Red Men's order highly compliments our race 
by dividing time into suns and moons, as our forefathers did. All of which 
goes to show that they understood the fact we lived close to the great heart 
of Nature and that we believed in one Great Spirit who created all things 
and governed all. Hence that noble motto, born with our race, "Freedom, 
Friendship and Charity!" Yes, freedom, friendship, charity! Those 
heaven-born principles shall never, never die! It was by those principles our 
fathers cared for the orphan and unfortunate, without books, without laws, 
without judges; for the Great Spirit had written his love and law in their 
hearts and they obeyed. Tradition, as sacred to us as Holy Writ, has taught 
us that our forefathers came here from the Atlantic coast. When they first 
entered these woodland plains they said in their hearts "surely we are on 
the border-land of the happy hunting grounds beyond." Here they found 
game in great abundance. The elk, the buffalo and the deer stood unalarmed 
before the hunter's bended bow. Fish swarmed in the lakes and streams close 
to shore. Pigeons, ducks and geese moved in great clouds through the air, 
flying so low they fanned us with their wings, and our boys whose bows 
were scarcely a terror to the crows would often with their arrows bring them 
down. Here we enjoyed ourselves in the lap of luxury. 

But our camp fires have all gone out! Our council fires blaze no more! 
Our wigwams and they who built them, with their children, have forever dis- 
appeared from this beautiful land, and Pokagon alone of all the chiefs is 
permitted to behold it once again! But what a change! Where our cabins 
and wigwams once stood, now stand churches, school houses, cottages and 
castles. And where we walked in single file along our winding trails, now 
locomotives scream, and as they rush along their iron trails like monstrous 
beasts of prey, dragging after them long rows of palaces with travelers 
therein outstripping the flight of eagles in their course! As I behold the 
mighty change all over this broad land, I feel about my heart as I did in 
childhood when I saw for the first time the rainbow spanning the departing 
storm ! 

T do not speak of the past complainingly. I have always taught my people 
not to sigh for years long gone by, nor pass again over the bloody trails 
our fathers trod. I have stood all my life as a peacemaker between the 
white people and my own people. 

Without gun or bow, I have stood between the two contending armies, 
receiving a thousand wounds from your people and my own. 



8 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

I have continued to pray the great Father at Washington to deal justly 
with my people. When they were robbed of their homes and lands, and felt 
mortally offended, I said to them: "Wait and pray for justice; the war 
path will lead you but to the grave ! ' ' 

At the beginning of the present century my father became chief of the 
Pokagon tribe. At that time the heroic Tecumseh with his great eloquence 
stirred up the Algonquin tribes to unite as one and strike for liberty. My 
father most emphatically declared in all their war councils that they might 
as well attempt to stay a cyclone in its course as to beat back the onmarch- 
ing hordes of civilization toward the setting sun. But in their loyal zeal 
they could not comprehend their own weakness and strength of the dominant 
race, but, being pressed onward by as noble motives as ever glowed in mortal 
hearts, they fought most desperately for home and native land. 

Historians have recorded of us that we are vindictive and cruel, because 
we fought like tigers when our homes were invaded and we were being pushed 
toward the setting sun. When white men pillaged and burned our villages and 
slaughtered our families, they called it honorable warfare; but when we 
retaliated they called it butchery and murder! When the white man's re- 
nowned statesman, Patrick Henry, proclaimed in the ears of the English 
colonies "Give me liberty, or give me death," he was applauded by his peo- 
ple; and that applause still rolls on, undying, to freedom's farthest shore. 
When William Tell pierced the apple on the head of his son, Gesler noticed 
a second arrow drop from his vest. In tones of thunder he demanded, "Slave! 
why didst thou conceal that arrow?" As quick as lightning came the bold 
response, "To shoot the tyrant, if I had harmed my son." And all the 
civilized world since then, through the centuries of time, have continued to 
applaud that sentiment. But let Pokagon ask, in all that is sacred and dear 
to mankind, why should the red man be measured by one standard and the 
white man by another? The only answer I can give is that "mine and thine" 
the seed of all misery, predominates in the hearts of men when they become 
civilized and wealthy. 

In conclusion, permit Pokagon to say: I rejoice with the joy of child- 
hood that you have granted a son of the forest a right to address you; and 
the prayer of my heart, as long as I live, shall ever be that the Great Spirit 
will bless you and your children, and that generations yet unborn may learn 
to know that we are all brothers of the same fold under one Shepherd and 
that the Great Spirit is the father of all. 

Chief Pokagon seemed to glory in the fact that Van Buren was 
the banner temperance county in the state of Michigan. In view 
of that fact, in justice to his temperance proclivities, I wish to 
leave on record an extract from his last speech delivered at Ply- 
mouth, Indiana, near Twin Lakes, from which his people were 
banished in 1838. Since then the state of Indiana has erected a 
splendid monument in memory of the unjust banishment of his 
people from that commonwealth. His granddaughter, Julia Pok- 
agon, a graduate of Lawrence Indian school, Kansas, delivered 
the unveiling address. I was present on that occasion. Her 
speech was wonderfully eloquent, insomuch the great crowd was 
moved to tears. That night I said to her " Julia, during your 
talk, I saw not a dry eye." She simply said "I wept too." 



HISTOEY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 9 

The old chief, in his speech referred to, in conclusion said : "My 
dear friends ; listen ! Is there a father or mother among you who 
have laid in the grave all your children but the youngest of the 
flock, cut down by that fatal disease consumption, just as they 
were about to step upon the stage of manhood or womanhood? 
And have you looked upon that one spared you with bright hopes 
and prayers that he might live to support and comfort you in old 
age; and has that hope been cut short as the dreaded monster, 
consumption, has fallen like lead upon your heart ? If so you can 
form some faint shadowy idea of my feelings at the thought of that 
accursed 'fire water' ever falling like death upon my heart, mor- 
tally wounding my highest hopes which, like a soaring eagle by a 
poisoned arrow pierced, fluttering falls ! 

"By adoption I am a citizen of these United States, therefore I 
beg of you, my white countrymen, who now occupy and enjoy 
this loved land of my infancy, draw near me in your hearts as a 
mother to her sorrowing child, and tell Pokagon frankly, 'Do you 
know of any good reason why that loathsome monster, born of your 
race, which is coiling about the vitals of your children and ours, 
should not be utterly destroyed?' You send missionaries across 
the great deep to save Hindu children from being drowned in the 
Ganges, or crushed under the wheels of the idol Juggernaut, and 
yet in your own Christian land, thousands yearly are being 
drowned in the American Ganges of Firewater, while the great 
Juggernaut of King Alcohol is ever rolling on night and day, 
crushing its victims without mercy. Hark ! Do you not hear the 
agonizing wails on every side ? Fathers and sons are falling into 
drunkards' graves. Mothers and daughters are weeping over 
them. Wives are lamenting as they bend over the bruised heads 
of their husbands as they return from their midnight brawls. 
Maidens weep in shame as they wipe the death damp from the 
brows of their drunken lovers, and briars of the deepest disap- 
pointment encumber the bridal chamber. Brave men and women 
who have fought long and well to redeem and save the fallen 
shrink before the power of the saloon and its votaries, and the 
pious are almost beginning to doubt the favor of God. But a 
few more words and I must close. 

"My dear white friends, listen! This place is the cradle of my 
infancy. As Pokagon thinks of it and considers it, there comes 
creeping through his old and feeble frame an electric inspiration 
not born of earth but of Heaven. The Great Spirit whispering 
m my soul tells me to say to you who now own and occupy this, 
my native land: 'All of you from the least to the greatest join 
hands with Pokagon. ' Let us kindle here a great temperance fire 
and commence at once with sledge and anvil of total abstinence 



10 HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 




Chief Simon Pokagon 

The photograph of the above portrait was taken at the request of the gover- 
nor of Michigan on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the city of Hol- 
land, Michigan. The guests of honor were The Holland Society, of Chicago, 
and many important residents of Michigan. The orators of the day were Gov- 
ernor Pingree, Hon. Alden Smith, and Chief Pokagon. The rosette which ap- 
pears in the picture was the badge of the day, and was pinned on by the gover- 
nor. 

to forge the greatest chain on earth. Shrink not from the task. 
Then others about you, seeing your good works, will join hands 
with you by the millions and help you complete one mighty chain 
which will reach from sea to sea and from the gulf to the great 
lakes. Then shall appear that angel spoken of in your Holy Writ 
who carries the key of the bottomless pit, descending out of Heaven 
crying with a loud voice, saying: 'Well done ye workers for God 
and humanity ;' and grasping in his hands the mighty chain you 
have forged, he will lay hold of the dragon, that cruel serpent, 
which is King Alcohol, the devil, and bind him and cast him into 
the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal over his mouth 
that he shall deceive the sons of men no longer. Then shall ap- 
pear the worshippers of the beast, and those who fought against 
him, and they shall shake hands with each other, and rejoice to- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 



11 




Pokagon 's Wigwam 

This is a photo of the late Chief Pokagon 's wigwam, which stood for several 
.years after his death on the lawn of C. H. Engle at Hartford. Last summer 
(1911) it was purchased by the State Normal School at Ypsilanti, and now 
stands in front of the science building protected from relic vandals by an iron 
tubular fence. The granddaughter of the old chief, Julia Pokagon, appears 
in the door of the wigwam, which is made of two thicknesses of the manifold 
white birch bark. It is a pyramidal decagon, sixteen feet base and twenty-four 
feet high. 



gother: and their voices shall be like the mingling of many waters 
as they roll on undying to freedom's farthest shores. And their 
joyous song shall be 'Glory to God in the highest. Who hath re- 
deemed and saved us, and on earth peace and good will to all 
men ! ' 

11 And now farewell! Remember the words I have spoken in 
weakness are words of soberness and truth, and by reason of old 
age, envy, malice, hatred and revenge have long since faded from 
my heart. Hence Pokagon 's words should be received as the con- 
fessions of a dying man; for already with one hand I have pulled 
the latch string of time and one foot is passing over the threshold 
of the open door of the wigwam of life into the happy hunting 



12 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

grounds beyond. Soon Pokagon will stand in the presence of the 
Great Spirit, where I shall plead with Him as I have pleaded on 
earth, that he will lead all by the hand who have so bravely fought 
that old Dragon, Mautchi Manito (the Devil), the destroyer of 
your children and ours and lead them on to glorious victory ! ' " 

Chief Pokagon 's Last AVigwam 

On the preceding page is a picture of Chief Pokagon 's last Wig- 
wam. It stood for several years on the lawn of C. H. Engle, op- 
posite the Hartford public park. It is a pyramidic decagon in 
shape, made of the manifold bark of the white birch tree, being 
sixteen feet at the base and twenty-four feet high. During the 
past summer it was procured by the advanced class of the study 
of nature at Ypsilanti, and now stands on the campus in front of 
the science building in the grounds of the State Normal School of 
Michigan. It is protected from relic fiends by a high tubular fence. 
When dedicated, C. II. Engle, of Van Buren County, after giving a 
brief history of the chief and his wigwam, introduced to the vast 
audience the granddaughter of the late chief, Julia Pokagon, who 
gave the 'dedicatory address, a portion of which is given below. 

Julia Pokagon 's Address 

I am glad that I am here; indeed glad that you have granted to a child 
of the forest an opportunity to address the teachers and students of the 
greatest institution of Michigan; am glad this college has honored my race 
by placing on these grounds the wigwam of my fathers. There is nothing 
more sacred to our people than "wigwam." It is as dear to our hearts as 
"home" to the white race. It brings to us all the kindred ties of father, 
mother, sister, brother, son and daughter. We too can sing with overflowing 
hearts "Wigwam, Sweet Wigwam: there is no place like Wigwam!" About 
one year since I was honored, by making the unveiling address of an Indian 
statue erected in memory of the unjust banishment of my people from the 
state of Indiana in 1838. As I there stood in the presence of a great multi- 
tude gathered to atone as far as possible for the wrongs their fathers had 
dealt out to our people through the influence of bad men, my heart mourned; 
for well I knew that the broad stretch of land about me, with its beautiful 
lakes and streams, just seventy years before was wrenched without cause from 
my ancestors. As I stepped down from the platform to unveil the Indian 
statue, I realized it stood on the very spot where my people had built a 
church in the wilderness after their conversion to Christianity, and that the 
last time they met there for worship it was surrounded by an army of white 
soldiers, who barred the windows and door and demanded that the worshipers 
surrender as prisoners of war. They were then marched out between lines 
of soldiers into the smoke of their burning wigwams and the church, where 
they had taught their lisping children to repeat "Our FATHER, who art in 
HEAVEN, hallowed be Thy name" was burned to the ground before their 
eyes. As I thought of that great wrong my heart was sad and I wept. Thank 
Heaven, not so here on this occasion; for my heart is joyous as I 



con- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 13 

template the fact that the Pokagon band at that time fled into this state to 
escape banishment. They were here received with open arms. Michigan at 
that time, as a state, was less than one year old. Indiana had passed her 
twenty-first birthday. She demanded of infant Michigan that we should be 
given up and exiled with the rest of the Pottawattamie tribe. All praise to in- 
fant Michigan! She boldly said to her sister state "Stand back! You shall 




Julia Pokagon 

not molest a single child of the forest within all our borders!" and a few 
years thereafter every Indian in Michigan was granted the right of citizen- 
ship, so we now can sing with you 

"Michigan, Michigan, our Michigan! 

Long may she wave the flag 

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. " 
I must frankly confess I am sorely vexed regarding certain publications 
read m the home and schools of our state, the authors of which depict our race 
as vindictive and cruel, illustrating their works with war dances and bleeding 
scalps, and yet some of these authors never saw an Indian in their life; but 
the sole purpose of their mischievous publications has been to make money, 
irrespective of the result of creating a prejudice against our race. Again, 
many parents use their tongue instead of the whip to frighten their children 
mto obedience by telling them, "Look out or the Inguns will git you » 



14 HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 

thereby creating a prejudice against us in the minds of their children that 
cannot be eradicated. 

\gain I thank you for this opportunity to address you, and please do not 
forget that 1, a child of the forest, will ever pray that all you teachers who 
go forth from this school may be imbued with such noble principles that you 
cannot fail to impress upon the young that we are all brothers and sisters and 
that the Great Spirit is God of all. 

Old Wapsey 

Having given Chief Pokagon's address in full before the Order 
of Red Men and his last, speech in part at Plymouth, Indiana, as 
well as his granddaughter's address at the dedication of her grand- 
father's wigwam at Ypsilanti, Michigan, I will now introduce you 
to old Wapsey, an unlettered Indian who was known in Van Buren 
county among the Pottawattamies as a mighty bear hunter. It 
was said of him that he killed more bears than any ten of his tribe 
and that he always drove them near to his wigwam to kill them. 
He was a better shot with his bow and arrow at a distance of two 
hundred feet than any of his white neighbors with their rifles. In 
order that my readers may better understand the peculiar char-, 
acter of this Nimrod among his people I will give an account of 
my visit to his wigwam fifty-five years ago. 

What though his form was bent with age. 
What though he never read a single page, 
His heart was full of native lore. 
He shared with me his muskrat dish 
With Ingen soup and fine dogfish — 
All he had; — a King could do no more. 

When I first became acquainted with the Pottawattamie Pokagon 
tribe of Van Buren county in 1856, I was frequently told that old 
Wapsey was the most successful hunter among them, and that he 
killed more large game with his bow and arrows than any ten of 
their tribe could with the best white man's gun. Among other 
things the Indians told me he never left a bear's track night or 
day until he got his hide; and further, that he always drove the 
bears near to bis wigwam to kill them. Hence it was frequently 
said "Wapsey drives bears home to kill them." Mr. Northrup, a 
white man who lived near these Indians several years before I 
knew them, told me of a remarkable bear chase in which he took 
a hand with old Wapsey. He said: Early one morning late m 
December, old Wapsey routed me out of bed telling me he had 
treed a big bear up a large white-wood tree which stood just below 
my clearing. He said "Now Norup, me want to git um your gun to 
shoot 'im ma-kwa (a bear). Me shoot um, my arrows in top of 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 



15 




Old "Wapsey" (Sees All) 



Pottawattamie Indian who participated in the massacre of Fort Dearborn 
m 1812. This photograph was taken in January, 1897, when he was 110 years 
old. 



16 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

tree and they no come back. ' ' I told him to go back and watch the 
bear and just as soon as I could dress myself I would come down 
with the gun. Arriving at the tree I said "Wapsey, I have al- 
ways wanted to kill a bear. Let me shoot him. You can have his 
meat and hide the same as if you had shot him yourself. " Wap- 
sey said "You shoot um, in odo (heart) — shoot um dead, or meby 
um get away — meby kill us." I shot, grazing his head, he came 
tumbling to the ground and started off on the run. In passing 
Wapsey, he straddled the bear as a farmer would a hog in butch- 
ering time, sticking him in the neck until he fell for loss of blood. 
While he lay dying Wapsey said "Dare Norup: me tells you to 
shoot um dead, but you no do it." We found three arrows in the 
bear. One was shot clear through his side protruding three or 
four inches. 

After hearing so much about this wonderful hunter and stirred 
up by Northrup's account of his straddling and killing the bear, 
I determined I would go and spend one night at least with the 
remarkable Redskin Nimrod of America. Learning that he lived 
north of Paw Paw lake, about ten miles west, with an Indian boy 
as guide, late in November I started through the unbroken wil- 
derness. Arriving at the lake, the boy pointed out to me his 
wigwam just across a little bay. There he left me, remarking 
"me be afraid to go fader for Wapsey meby take us for ma-kwa 
ond-gans (bear and cub) and kill us both." 

About sunset I stood before the wigwam of the mighty hunter. 
It was rudely built of elm bark with a smoke-hole at the top. I 
saw at a glance that the old man used a bear skin for a door. As 
I carefully approached I said "Hello! Hello! Hello!" The third 
time the bear skin was pushed aside, and before me stood a short 
thick set Indian. On his head was a coon skin cap, with the ani- 
mal 's ringed tail in the place of feathers. He had on a fur blouse 
of musk rats' hide, and buck skin pants, with moccassins of bear- 
skin with the hair outside. In his left hand he held a bow as long 
as he was tall, with some arrows in his quiver that no doubt had 
pierced many a bear. I asked, in my heart, "Is it possible they 
will pierce me?" He eyed me apparently with much distrust, as 
silent as the grave. 

I said "Bo-sho Ni-con?" (How do you do, my friend?) 

He slowly responded "Bo-sho?" omitting ni-con, as if he 
doubted my friendship. 

I then said "Your chief, Pokagon, has told me much about you 
being the greatest hunter in his tribe. I am C. H. Engle, of Hart- 
ford. I have come to stay all night with you." 

He then walked up to me, and we shook hands. He asked if 1 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 17 

knew certain Indians who lived in Hartford in certain places that 
he described very particularly. I said I did. 

He asked "What be them called ?" 

"Well," I said "Jo Kaw-kee, John Mix, Bert-rand, Little and Big 
Weso." 

He again grasped my hand saying "You know um. Come in 
wigwam. ' ' 

I was pleased, for well I knew I had won his confidence and I 
have never known an Indian to betray a true friend. He seated 
me on a large bearskin in front of the fire in the center of the 
wigwam. 

I asked him if he could speak white man's talk? 

He replied "Me can little." 

I then said "Wap-sey, I have come to stay all night with you. 
Will you let me?" 

He replied "Guess meby me will." He then asked "Can you 
sleep um in wigwam?" I replied I was something of an Indian 
myself and had slept in all kinds of places. "Meby you be hun 
gry," he said. I frankly said "I am." "Me lib alone," he said, 
"and me fear you no like um my stuff and cooking." I replied 
"I can eat anything, except musk rats, that goes on four legs." 
He said ' * Me will feed you. Me am cooking to eat um now. ' ' He 
then went to a wooden trough that would hold perhaps eight gal- 
lons, stirred up the contents with a wooden paddle, took out 
a piece of meat, tasted it, shook his head. He then took a red-hot 
stone out of the fire about the size of his head and plunged it into 
the trough. It sizzled and soon filled the wigwam full of steam. 
He waited a few minutes and asked "Do um smell good?" I 
answered "Fine." In a short time he said "Sit um down here 
and eat um." I reclined on one side of the trough and he on the 
other, and handing me a wooden spoon saying "eat um, good 
cooked. ? ' I dipped into the rude dish drawing out the hind leg of 
some small animal. I said "I like squirrel." "Me be glad of dat," 
he said, "me do too." I ate several fore legs and hind legs. 

I thought it the finest squirrel I had ever eaten, and such nice 
soup I never expected to eat again. 

Wapsey, seeing how I enjoyed the soup, handed me a gourd- 
shell, saying "Drink um like water." I did as he said, drinking 
down the soup like coffee until I was pleasantly satisfied. Supper 
over Wapsey asked "What meby you bin eatin?" "Squirrels, of 
course," I said. He straightened back and laughed so heartily 
that I could see all his double grinding teeth. "What you laugh so 
about?" I asked. He answered "No, no, no um squirrel — mush 
rat! mush rat!" handing me two green musk rats' tails. I was 
astonished! I never before nor since felt so completely sold. I 

Vol. I— i 



18 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

walked out of the wigwam, for I began to feel sea sick. Coining 
back into the wigwam Wapsee said "Me be sorry yon feel urn so 
bad." Putting on a bold front I said "I am feeling good," and 
added "I came here to learn from your own lips if in chasing bear 
you can drive them home to kill them. Come tell me all about it." 

"Well, " said the old man, "at sun-up tomorrow, me be goin' to 
hunt um bear. Me ready now. Here see urn dis mokak (bark 
box)." He put his hand into it and took out three or four pounds 
of jerked venison and a lot of popped corn. "Now/' said he, 
"when me find um bear track me f oiler im till dark, den me lay 
um down and sleep um till day, sun-up. When me get hugry me 
eat um deer and corn. Meby foller his track two day ; then ma-kwa 
start um back towards im wigwam. When im get where me first 
find um track, me run bery fast after im. Me tire im out. He 
git bad tired. He find um big tree and climb um, and say 'come 
old Wapsey or come Mau-tchi Man-i-to (the Devil). Me can go 
no furder. ' And Wapsey kill im close to wigwam." Remaining 
silent for a few moments with that stoical look peculiar to his race, 
he said "Yes, good many Ingun tink Manito help Wapsey drive 
ma-kwa near wigwam to kill um. Me tell um to foller um day 
and night as Wapsey do and dey will kill um ma-kwa as Wapsey 
do." 

He then stepped outside of the wigwam, took a stick, marked 
out on the ground a small circle, making a number of them starting 
from the same point, increasing their size until the last one was 
very large. He then said "The small circle wa-boos (the rabbit) 
take when chased. Next sized circle es-si-kan (the raccoon) take, 
next sized circle him de wa-gosh (the fox) take. Next larger, him 
de ma-in-gam (the wolf) um take and next larger um suc-see (the 
deer) take. Next larger him ma-kwa (the bear) take. And dis 
longest line him mons (the moose) take. Foller track, im will 
go and go; you tink im neber will come back. Stick to im night 
and day, three times, and im will start back toward wigwam where 
im track am first found." 

"Is it possible," I said, "that all animals will come round in 
that way when they are chased? Why do they do so?" I asked. 

He replied "All me can tell is dat the Great Spirit made um 
so. Should dey keep goin' farder and farder away from wigwam, 
when killed poor Ingun w T ould die before he got um pulled home." 

I asked no more questions, accepting his version of what the 
Great Spirit had done for the Indians. 

We slept that night between two green bear skins next to the 
hair. When I got up in the morning I found the old man cooking 
fish. He was just hauling them out of the ashes. I noticed he 
scaled them after they were cooked. I said "Where did you get 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 19 

your fish?" "Me went to de lake before sun-up," he said, "and 
killed um." I ate them with a fair relish, as they were very soft 
and juicy. After eating I asked what kind of fish they were. He 
replied very stoically "O-nim gi-go (dog fish)." 

The last time I saw old Wapsey was in July, 1893. Chief Poka- 
gon had just come from Chicago, where he had been a guest of the 
city at the World's Fair, and requested me to go with him to see 
Uncle Wapsey, as he called him, as he had been requested to bring 
him to the fair, from the fact, it had been learned, that he was 
the only surviving Indian who took part in the massacre of Fort 
Dearborn in 1812. The Chief told me the old man was one hun- 
dred and ten years old. Arriving at his wigwam, we found the 
old man smoking a big cigar he had made out of home-grown to- 
bacco. It was a foot long and he offered us each another. He 
seemed pleased to see the chief and he asked him "If he had killed 
any ma-kwa lately?" He said "No kill um any more. Wapsey 
gitting bery old." 

The chief began to talk to him in his native tongue. He told 
him he was the only Indian now living who took part in the Fort 
Dearborn massacre and that he had been sent to bring him to the 
World's Fair at Chicago. Then he asked "You took part in that 
massacre did you not?" 

He replied "Me did." 

"How old were you at that time?" inquired the chief. 

The old man began to count his fingers out loud, in his native 
tongue, taking hold of each finger as he counted it — "Be-gig, Nig, 
Nis-wi, Ni-win, Na-nan, Nin-get-w T as-wi, Nin-gwas-wi, Nish-was-wi, 
Jang-as-wi, Mi-das- wi" up to ten. He then raised his hand up 
three times, repeating "Mi-das-wi (ten) :" then said "Nis-si-mi- 
da-na Bi-bon (thirty years)." 

The chief then said "You must then bo certainly one hundred 
and ten years old ! Will you go to Chicago with us?" 

He replied "Me fear to. They want to kill Wapsey." 

Up to this time the old man had been walking about telling how 
well he felt. But now he sat down and humped up saying "Nind 
a-ki-we-si Nind-a-kos (I am old, I am sick). Nind be-si-ka (I can 
hardly crawl about ) . " 

The chief then said "Come go with us, won't you?" 

He shook his head firmly, saying "Kaw r -es-so mika (No. I will 
not go.) Win-a-wa nish-i-we Wapsey (They will kill Wapsey). 
Nin-da-i-we tchi Smo-ka-man an-am-a-ka-mig (and send him to the 
white man's hell)." 

I never saw the old man again. He passed away soon after- 
ward, to the happy hunting ground of his race. 



20 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Do Indians Cry, Laugh or Joke? 

I am often asked, Do Indians ever joke, cry or laugh ? They cer- 
tainly do just as much among themselves as we do. Get well ac- 
quainted with them and that stoical characteristic for which they 
are noted disappears almost entirely. I have known Indians in 
the prime of life with whom I have hunted but a few days to shed 
tears as they bid me "An-a-mi-ka (good-bye)." Many times I 
have been present when friends meet each other, taking hold of 
each other's right hands and grasping with their left hands each 
others elbows, warmly shaking each other's arms, laughing and 
shedding tears at the same time. 

As regards joking, they are the greatest jokers of any race I 
have ever met and many times their jokes are very effective. Mr. 
Brown, a white man in this place, one morning found his axe gone. 
Prom where it was taken he found moccasin tracks. He followed 
them into the woods where he found an Indian cutting down a 
bee tree. He openly charged him with stealing his axe, saying to 
him "I have been told that Indians did not steal, but certainly 
this is my axe and you stole it. ' ' The Indian looked him square in 
the face saying "Yes, me steal im. No steal im before white men 
come, but now Ave am gitting cibilized!" 

One of our bishops stayed all night with an Indian chief in 
Minnesota, and as he was about leaving in the morning to visit a 
distant charge with the old chief he asked, "Do you think my 
valise will be safe left here until our return V 

"Ob cose it will," he responded, "Not a white man lives within 
forty miles of here." 

While I was acting as magistrate in the early days, an Indian 
claimed that a white neighbor had stolen his geese. He was ar- 
rested and brought into court. On the day of trial he brought a 
goose with him for evidence. He swore he had found the geese as 
goslings when hunting, and raised them; that they were the only 
domesticated wild geese in the country. He proved clearly that 
he had lost part of his flock, and that they were found shut up in 
an old smoke house where the defendant lived. The defendant's 
attorney from Bangor had him repeat several times how and where 
he got them and that there were none others like them in the 
country. The attorney finally faced down poor "Lo, " telling him 
he had sworn falsely and stating to him with great pomposity, ' ' Sir, 
I have a pair of geese marked exactly as the goose you brought to 
this court ! What have you to say for yourself for the oath you 
have taken ? ' ' 

The Redskin looked at the lawyer as if surprised beyond measure 
and turning to the court said, "Me tink, him big law man, tellum 



HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 21 

truth. Me hab two more of dem goose stole afore (lis man steal 
urn." 

It is unnecessary to state the uproar in the court room. The jury, 
after due deliberation, brought in a verdict of " guilty.' ' An old 
man in the court room piped out "Who is guilty, the defendant or 
his lawyer ?" 

The three following Indian legends entitled "Legend of Man's 
Creation/' "Legend of Paw Paw and the Paw Paw Valley" and 
"Legend of South Haven" were published by the late Pokagon in 
booklets made of the manifold bark of the white birch tree. Only a 
few copies are now 7 known to be in existence and they will be valu- 
able relics in the fututre. This is the first time any of them were 
ever printed on paper. They came into my possession as adminis- 
trator of the old chief's estate. I am indeed glad that I have the 
opportunity of publishing them for the perusal of the people of 
Van Buren county, believing they will be highly appreciated, com- 
ing as they do from an Indian citizen of our county who was highly 
educated. 

Algonquin Lp;gend of Man 's Creation 

By Pokagon* 

Within the inmost recess of the native soul 
There is a secret place, which God doth hold ; 
And though the storms of life do war around, 
Yet still within, his image fixed, is found. 

There is an old Pottawattamie tradition among our people, dimly 
seen through the mists of time, that Ki-ji Man-i-to (the Great 
Spirit) after he had created No-mash (the fish of the waters), bo- 
nes-sig (the fowls of the air) and mo-naw r -to-auk (the beasts of the 
land), his works still failed to satisfy the grand conceptions of his 
soul. Hence he called a great council of Man-i-to-og (the spirits) 
that ruled over land and sea, his agents, and revealed unto them 
how it was the great desire of his heart to create a new being that 
should stand erect upon his hind legs, and possess the combined 
intelligence of all the living creatures he had made. Most of these 
spirits whom he had delegated to hold dominion over the earth, when 
they met in the grand council, encouraged his divine plans, but the 
head leading spiritual chiefs, when they considered the great power 
the proposed being might wield, /quietly sneaked away from the 
council and held a private pow-wow of their own to frustrate, if 

*Used by permission of C. H. Engle, administrator of the estate of the late 
Chief Pokagon. 



22 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

possible, How-waw-tock (the Almighty). The loyal Man-i-to-og who 
remained at the grand council stood aghast as Ki-ji Man-i-to re- 
vealed unto them his divine plan, that awaited the new creature he 
had conceived in his heart to create. 

The divine council was prolonged by debate, from the set of sun 
until morning dawn. Ke-sus (the sun) arose in greater brilliancy 
than ever before. The spirits anxiously began to inquire of His Ma- 
jesty, how many suns and moons would pass before he could ac- 
complish His wonderful work ? While yet the inquiry hung on * ' ki- 
o-don-o (their lips,) He said unto them "Follow me." He led 
them into a great wilderness to Sa-gi-i-gan, a most beautiful inland 
lake, and as he stood upon the shores thereof in presence of them 
all. His eyes flashed " Waw-saw-mo-win (lightning)." The lake 
began to boil; hissing streams rose high in the air; the earth 
trembled. He then spake in tones of thunder: "Come forth ye 
lords of Au-kee (the world!)" The ground opened and from out 
the red clay that held the lake came forth Au-ne-ne wa-ga-e i-kwe 
(man and woman) like flying fish from out the waters. In pres- 
ence of the new-born pair, all was still as death. A dark cloud 
hung over the lake. Again it began to boil. Again Ki-ji Man-i-to 
said: "Come forth, ye servants of Au-nish-naw-be ! " Forth leaped 
at once from out waters "Ni-ji Wa-be gon O-nim-og (a pair of 
snow white dogs") and lay down where stood the new made pair, 
kissing their feet and hands. The bride and groom then each 
other fondly kissed, as hand in hand they stood in naked innocence 
in the full bloom of youth, perfect in make and mold of body and 
of limb. "Ki-gi-nos maw-kaw mis-taw-kaw (their long black hair) " 
almost reached the ground which gently waving, in "nip-nong oden 
(the morning breeze,)" in contrast with their rich color, grace, 
and forms erect, they outrivaled in beauty all other creatures he 
had made. They gazed all about in wonder and surprise ; surveyed 
all living creatures that moved in sight ; gazed upon the trees, the 
grass, the flowers, the lake, the sunshine and the shade. Again 
each other fondly kissed, as their eyes looked love to eyes, with no 
other language their feelings to express. At length I-kwe, the 
maiden fair, slyly let go Os-ki-naw the young man's hand, and 
stole away into the dark shades and hid herself that she might 
watch and test his love, and learn thereby if it was akin to hers. 
With unbounded joy she watched him as vainly he sought to find 
her. At length the snow-white dogs following her trail, joyfully 
howled out "Here she is." Now when "Mau-tchi Manito (the dis 
loyal spiritual chiefs) " first learned that Ki-ji Manito had finished 
his crowning works, as he had proposed to do, they sought diligently 
for the new made pair until they found them. As they surveyed 
the beauty of their forms standing erect and their surpassing love- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 23 

liness of body and of limb, their wonder and admiration was un- 
bounded. But when they saw the soul of the Divine reflected in 
their faces, like the noonday sun, their hearts were stung through 
and through by "mutchi a-mog (the cruel wasps) " of envy and 
jealousy, they were mortally offended. Hence they resolved in 
"nin-o-daw (their hearts) " that instead of trying to live in peace 
with them, as they had done with the first creation, they would 
do all they could to make them discontented, unhappy and miser- 
able. 

As time rolled on, " O-nig-go-maw (our first parents) " and gen- 
erations after them began to realize there w r ere bad and good spirits 
that held dominion over mountains, lakes, streams and plains, and 
that they were in a measure controlled by them. They also began 
to learn that " au-nish-naw-be " possessed the nature and intel- 
ligence of all the combined animal creation, and that he was en- 
dowed with a spiritual nature, given by the creator of all things 
on earth and in heaven. Hence, when they were unfortunate in 
securing game, or unsuccessful in battle, it was all attributed to 
bad spirits that held dominion over the country wherein they 
dwelt. 

But when successful in the chase or battle it was attributed to 
good spirits that had control over the country in which they lived. 
In order to appease the bad spirits, they often made offerings of 
fruit and grain ; but they sacrificed animals to Man-i-to Wew-quin 
(the God of Heaven) who alone they recognized as the great crea- 
tor and ruler of all things in heaven and on earth. Our fathers 
and mothers in their primeval state, did not name their children 
as do the civilized races simply that they might be known and 
designated by them. When a child was born whatever animal or 
bird they imagined it most resembled they called it by that name 
and, strange as it may appear to the white race, in after genera- 
tions those bearing the name claimed to have descended from the 
animal bearing their name. It might be maw-qua, wa-gos or mi- 
gi-si (the bear, fox, or eagle). And so it was in after generations, 
each tribe or clan adopted as their totem the animal whose name 
the patriarch of the tribe was called when a child. Sometimes, 
when in war, the animal was taken with them alive, but generally 
it was painted on a tanned hide, and used as white men use their 
flags. It was an emblem of royalty, as well as a symbol of loyalty, 
and when engaged in battle a warrior would rather die than sur- 
render his totem. It matters not how foolish our legends may ap- 
pear to those races who call themselves civilized, they were as 
sacred to us as holv writ to them. 



24 HISTORY OF VAN BURBN COUNTY 

Legend of Paw Paw, and the Paw Paw Valley 
By Chief Pokagon* 

His was this broad and grand domain. 
The hills and vales, the sweep of plain, 
The hunting grounds, the rivers wide — 
They all belonged, before he died, 
To Abel, my brother. 

•'Me-wi-ja, Me-wi-ja (Long, long time ago) " a great inland lake 
covered all the lands where Paw Paw village now stands, except 
the higher undulating lands extending as far as the village of Law- 
ton, and westward near to the village of Decatur. At that time the 
Paw Paw valley was occupied by a race of Indians who manu- 
factured flint arrow points and all those utensils made of flint 
found so profusely scattered throughout the valley. That pre- 
historic race is designated by the whites as the ' ' Mound Build- 
ers.' ' They must have occupied this country at least "Mi-das-wak 
Bi-bon (a thousand years ago)." Paw Paw river was called "Si- 
bi-gan (River of Lakes.) " In fact, it appears from various leg- 
ends that this once noted river, was a succession of small and 
great lakes, from source to mouth. 

On the highlands just south of Paw Paw village, covering Pros- 
pect hill and beyond, was "Ki-tchi O-de-na (Big village of the 
valley). " This lake was called "Nib-i-wa (Lake of Plenty)" 
and supposed to be on the border-land of the spiritual kingdom, 
"wa-kwi (the happy hunting grounds)." Deer, moose, elk and 
buffalo roamed in multitudes around all its shores. Swans, geese 
and ducks moved like clouds over its surface, while myriads of all 
kinds of fish swarmed in its waters close to shore. It might well 
have been called the great commercial city of the Lower Peninsula 
of Michigan. Here, from the north and west, came the different 
tribes to exchange ' ' sis-i-ba-kwat (maple sugar)," smoked fish, 
dried meats and all kinds of flint utensils then in use. The tribes 
also came from the east and from the south to exchange "Man- 
do-min and Naw-ni-maw (corn and tobacco)" for flint work, and 
Sis-i-ba-quat, of which large quantities were always kept in store, 
as sugar was generally used by many tribes in place of salt. 

While O-de-na was in all its glory, receiving tribute from the 
surrounding tribes, it's commercial importance was suddenly cut 
short. One night about midnight, in the full of the moon, its in- 
habitants were aroused by a deep roaring sound as though a cy- 

*Used by permission of C. H. Engle, administrator of the estate of the late 
Chief Pokagon. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 25 

clone or earthquake was being- born. The alarming sound ap- 
peared to be located at the west end of the lake near its outlet. 
A large number of the inhabitants, followed by crying children and 
whining dogs, started cautiously in the direction of the alarming 
sound. To add new fears to their imagination, all the waterfowls 
appeared to rise as one and circle to and fro about the lake in the 
utmost confusion, apparently screaming the cry of "ni-saw! ( mur- 
der!). " 

At length the outlet of the lake was reached, and to their amaze- 
ment they saw at a glance that the shore, which for ages had 
bound the lake at its outlet, had given way, and great forest trees 
were plunging into the abyss, with commingled rocks and masses 
of earth. Ever now and then a canoe with its occupant would 
plunge into the vortex to certain death. In dismay they returned 
to their village, there to await the consequences. When morning 
came they beheld, not "Nib-i-wa," their beautiful lake, but (where 
it lay the night before in all its sunset glory) a slimy mass of mud, 
alive with struggling, dying fish, while overhead the fowls of the 
air were still flying, uttering their notes of deepest sorrow. Their 
navy of canoes that were left unanchored the night before were 
swept away, and those that were tied to the shore were on dry land 
far from the water's edge. As the people stood on the line that 
marked the ancient shore, looked far out into the basin of the 
lake, and only saw in place of it a winding stream that, like some 
great serpent, was slowly moving on half concealed by mud and 
dying fish, they were so wrought upon by the change that they 
wept. 

Be-mi-ba-tod-og, their fastest runners, were sent by the chief to 
go down the valley as far as Lake Michigan and report as soon as 
possible what effect the deluge of water from their lake had on 
those lakes farther down the stream. On the third day they re- 
turned saying "All the lakes in the valley below have been swept 
into lake Michigan. The Miami (the St. Joseph) river is dammed 
up at its o-don (mouth) and flowing inland forming a great lake. 
The big lake, three hours' travel from here, that no one could paddle 
round betwixt sun and sun, is gone, and the river flows through 
where it was ; and nearly all the people w r ho lived there are gone too. 

We suffered much from decaying fish which without number 
were steaming in the sunshine; the stench was so bad that all 
animals except "ehi-kog (the skunk) " fled away; and all the fowls 
of the air except "ka-ga-gi and an-dek (the buzzard and the 
crow)" had disappeared. Mountains of stone and gravel and 
trees appeared on every hand; nothing remains of our loved "wa- 
cli-na (valley) " but mud and desolation. 

This report so worked on the minds of the natives that they were 



26 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

led to believe that evil spirits that were envious of their prosper- 
ity were the cause of the great catastrophe. And so it was, that one 
of the most beautiful valleys of Michigan became depopulated, and 
so remained for hundreds of years, all on account of their perverted 
spirituality. 

Pokagon fully realizes that some who read the above Legend 
will say of our race, "How spiritually weak they are." That is 
true, and it can be as truthfully said of the whole human family. 
Many times since I have been educated in the white man's books, 
I have been astonished to witness well informed men of the domi- 
nant race show, without blushing, an old dried rabbit's foot, or 
an old horse chestnut, or withered potato, and say, as if proud of 
it, "This is my mascot; it brings good luck." How or why it is 
that a Christian people can put their trust in such ridiculous 
things, ignoring their God, contrary to all the precepts of their 
religion, Pokagon cannot say. The only excuse he can give is that 
spiritual superstition is akin, alike, with savage and with sage. 

I once camped out with a white preacher several days, hunting 
deer. He called me a red heathen because I refused to shoot at 
a white deer, which our people regarded sacred, and yet he would 
sit around the wigwam fire and shiver all day on Friday, claiming 
it was an unlucky day and he might get killed if he went out. 

Algonquin Legends of South Havkn 

By Chief Pokagon* 

No more for us the wild deer bounds; 
The plough is on our hunting grounds. 

Our traditional account of South Haven given us by ki-os-ag 
(our forefathers) was held as sacred by them as Holy Writ by 
the white man. Long, long bi-bong (years) ago Ki-ji Man-i-to (the 
Great Spirit) who held dominion over Mi-shi-gan (Lake Michigan) 
and the surrounding country, selected Haw-waw-naw a place at the 
o-don (mouth) of Maw-kaw-te (Black river) as his seat of govern- 
ment. His royal throne (Ki-tchi-wik) was located on the highest 
point of that neck of land lying between Maw-kaw-te river and 
Lake Michigan. This high point of land was called Tsb-pem-ing, 
meaning a high place. 

Here it was that Ki-ji Man-i-to worked out the grand concep- 
tions of his soul. With giant strides he scattered broadcast along 

*Used by permission of C. H. Engle, administrator of the estate of the late 
Chief Pokagon. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 27 

the shore, a day's journey northward, a multitude of beautiful 
stones of various colors, shape and size, that in sunshine outshone 
tchi-be-kan-a (the galaxy on high). No such charming stones 
elsewhere could be found around all the shores of the Great Lake. 
He also planted in saw-kaw T (the forest) the most beautiful wood- 
land flowers that ever bloomed on earth and filled all the trees with 
birds that sang the sweetest songs that ever fell on mortal ears. 
He also made a great rnit-ig-wa (bow) at least ten arrow flights in 
length and laid it along the beach. He then painted it from end 
to end with beautiful lines, of various hues, that outshone the 
countless stones he had scattered along the shore. While thus at 
work a cyclone from the setting sun swept across the great lake. 
Waw-saw mo-win (lightning) flashed across Waw-kwi (the heav- 
ens) An-a-mi ka (thunder) in concert with ti-gow-og (the roaring 
waves) rolled their awful burden on the land. The earth shook. 
Hail and rain beat against Him. But he stood in his majesty, 
smiling in the teeth of the storm. At length the gloom clouds 
rolled away and the setting sun lighted up the passing storm. He 
then picked up the giant bow he had made, bending it across mi- 
ka-tik (his knee). Then with his breath he blew a blast that swept 
it eastward between, the sun and clouds. As there as it stood each 
end resting upon the trees, it painted them all aglow, which, in 
contrast with their robes of green, added still more glory to the 
scene. 

As he gazed upon its beauty and grandeur, arching the depart- 
ing storm, He shouted in triumph above the roaring waves, saying 
in tones of thunder "Kaw-ka-naw in-in-i nash-ke nin-wab-sa aw- 
ni-quod (All men behold my bow in the cloud) . See it has no mit-ig 
; ' Bim-ins-kwan ke-ma pin-da-wan (bow, arrow, string or quiver). It 
is the bow of peace. Tell it to your children's children that Ki-ji 
Man-i-to made and placed it there, that generations yet unborn, 
when they behold it, might tell their children that Ki-ji Man-i-to 
placed it there, without arrow, string or quiver, that they might 
know he loved peace and hated war." The tradition above given 
was handed down to us by a tribe of Au-nish-naw-be-og (Indians) 
that lived in Michigan before my people, the Pottawattamies. They 
were called Mash-ko-de (Prairie tribe), on account of their clear- 
ing up large tracts of woodland and living somewhat as farmers. 
They were said to be very peaceful, seldom going on the war-path. 
The Ottawas, who have always been very friendly with our peo- 
ple tell us they drove them out of this country and nearly exter- 
minated them about four hundred years ago. We had great rever- 
ence for their traditions, as we occupied the land of their principal 
odena (village) about Black river. We named it Nik-onong, which 



28 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

was derived from two Algonquin words "nik" (sunset) and 
o-nigis ( beautiful ) . 

It was a lovely, as well as an important place, Ki-tchi Mi-kan, 
the great trail, over which for ages all the northern and western 
tribes went around Lake Michigan to and from the great prairies 
of the west passed near this place. Traces of that great highway 
may still be seen along the grand sweep of country near the great 
lake between the Black and Kalamazoo rivers. In the dense for- 
est north, south and east of us w r ere great numbers of deer, elk 
and bears ; while ducks, geese and swans clouded our waters, which 
were swarming with fish. 

One half a mile walk north of our village was a sacred camping 
ground where we celebrated "Tchi-be-kan A-ke-win (our yearly 
six days' feast for the dead). During this feast bonfires were 
built along the shore, casting a lurid light far out into the lake and 
painting the crested waves all aflame. Children, young men and 
maidens, fathers and mothers, went about the camp, feasting and 
saluting one another, throwing food into the fire, and as it was 
being consumed, would sing, "Nebaw-baw tchi baw win (We are 
going about as spirits feeding the dead)." This feast kept alive 
the memory of the dead, as do the stones, that rise above the white 
man's tomb. 

Nik-a-nong, in its day, was quite a manufacturing town. Large 
quantities of white birch bark were brought there by canoe loads 
and, as it never decays, was buried in the earth for use or trade 
when called for. Out of this wonderful manifold bark our fathers 
made canoes, hats, caps, wigwams and dishes for domestic use, and 
our maidens tied with it the knot that sealed the marriage vow. 
Sis-si-ba-kwat (maple sugar) was also made and kept in large 
quantities near this place and sold to southern and western tribes 
for wampun or in exchange for pi-jis-ki-we-win (buffalo robes). 
South Haven of the white man, with all its shipping, docks and 
cottage-crowned shores, does not compare with Nik-o-nong of the 
red man, with its deep w r ildwoods, and wigwamed shores. As 
tradition informs us, here our fathers lived for many generations 
in the lap of ease and plenty; but after the advent of the white 
man Nature frowned upon us; our forests were cut down; the 
game became scarce and kept beyond the arrow's reach; ke-go (the 
fish) hid themselves in deep waters; the woodland birds no more 
cheered us with their songs; the wild flowers bloomed no more. 
All, all has changed, except the sun, moon and stars ; and they have 
not, because their God, and Ki-tchi Man-ito (our God), hung them 
beyond the white man's reach. Pokagon does not wish to com- 
plain; still, in nin-o-de (his heart) there lingers a love for Nik- 
o-nong, the o-de-na of his fathers. And now in old age, as with 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 29 

feeble steps and slow he is passing through the open door of his 
wigwam into Waw-kwin (the world beyond) he must sing in his 
mother tongue, his last song on earth: "Nik-o-nong, nik-o-nong 
nin-im-en-dam mi-notch-sa bi-naw ki-kaw-ka-kaw-ka-naw kike- 
tchi-twan-in nin-sa-gia. Nik-o-nong, nik-o-nong, nik-o-nong (I yet 
shall behold Thee in all Thy glory)." 

After Me-me-og (Squabs) in Van Buren County 

By 0. II. Engle 

In the spring of 1858 in company with Jacob Corwin, late of 
Keeler township, this county, an old hunter, seventy-five years of 
age, I went on a wild pigeon chase towards Lake Michigan. At 
that time there was a vast body of these birds nesting for miles 
along the lake south of South Haven, extending easterly along the 
north part of the county to and beyond Saddle lake, covering many 
square miles where every tree was spotted with their nests. Many 
times, while going out to feed, they moved in such clouds that they 
would obscure the sun. One hearing them, not knowing the cause, 
would imagine a whirwind was abroad in the land. 

After netting over one thousand dozen of these birds near Hart- 
ford, we noticed that they were changing their flight, and the 
main body was moving northward. From our knowledge of these 
strange birds, we were convinced that their young were nearly 
ready to leave their nests. 

Learning that a large band of Indians were encamped on the 
edge of their nesting grounds, we procured an old shingle-w r eaver 
with an ox team and double wagon to take us to the nesting 
grounds. We started in a northwest direction, cutting our way 
through underbrush as we advanced into the unexplored forest. 

On our way we passed an Indian shooting arrows into the top 
of a high tree. I said to him : * * What are you shooting at ? ' ' " No- 
fin," he replied. I shook my head with a doubtful look. He then 
motioned for me to come to him. I did so. He told me in broken 
English, as well as he could, how r he had lost an arrow shooting at 
a me-me and as he watched to see where it fell, he lost his arrow, 
and was shooting to find it. His scheme was this — to stand as 
near as possible in the same place from which he shot the bird and 
shoot other arrows in the same direction with like force, carefully 
noting where they fell with the hope that they would show where 
the missing arrow might be expected to be found. After shooting 
the third arrow he motioned me to follow him and I did so. Point- 
ing out to me three arrows he exclaimed "There im am." And 
sure enough there in plain sight lay the lost arrow. It was made 



30 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 




Indian Basket Making 



hi winter time our present girls and women of the Indian race are most in- 
dustriously engaged in manufacturing splint baskets of mixed colors in all im- 
aginable designs, varying in size from ladies' thimbles to hampers holding two 
bushels or more. They are quick to originate designs Their finest work is made 
of white birch bark, sweet grass and porcupine quills. You can scarcely name 
an article in domestic use among the white people which they do not pattern 
after; tablets, napkin rings, w r ateh cases, and even miniature houses and 
churches — all fall from their nimble fingers with equal skill. The porcupine 
quills are stained in all the colors of the rainbow. These they work into the 
bark of which the articles are made, representing leaves and flowers in all their 
natural colors. Some western tribes decorate with colored beads, but our In- 
dian women will use only such material as they can get from Nature's store, 
which speaks volumes for their ingenuity and originality. They use sweet grass 
on account of its fragrance, which it retains for many years. Their work is 
much sought for by summer tourists, for which good prices are paid. No true 
lover of the beautiful can look through a well arranged collection of their 
goods without feeling they must have been washed in the rainbow and dipped in 
the sun. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 31 

of hickory, with a triangular, bluntish head for killing small game 
so as not to tear the skin. I bought it of him and still keep it as 
a relic of native shrewdness. 

On nearing the camping grounds we met an Indian boy who 
certainly must have been Yankeeized. He was almost naked, 
wearing only a breech clout, showing clearly that he was a full 
blooded Indian, and yet he could speak broken English quite well 
for one of his years. He ran along the side of the wagon crying 
out "Stop, stop! Me want to talk wid you." "Whoa," said the 
ox driver and the cattle stopped. The little redskin climbed into 
the wagon and grabbed me by the hand saying "You am my fader; 
muder want to talk wid you bad." "What do you mean" I said, 
"you little red skin?" Still holding my hand he said, "Do come 
and see muder." Uncle Corwin and the shingle-weaver both said 
"Go, Engle; the boy knows what he is talking about." 

A few feet away, in the door of a wigwam, stood one of the 
dirtiest, greasiest looking squaws I had yet seen. I held back but 
the little rascal still held fast, repeating "Do come fader; muder 
want to see you bad." Suddenly it occurred to me that he had 
learned a Yankee trick to extort money. So I quickly handed him 
out a quarter, and he jumped out of the wagon handing it to the 
squaw who stood by the wigwam. I was astonished, as well as 
chagrined. 

I have lived with several of the Algonquin tribes; hunted, fished 
and dealt with them for over fifty years; and yet I have never 
known one of them, to resort to trickery, to extort money, except 
that little rascal; and where he came from, where he went, or how 
he fared, I never knew and I never cared. 

We soon reached the camping ground which was located on the 
south side of the nesting grounds, on either side of a small stream. 
I inquired if Kek-kek, their interpreter, was there? All shook 
their heads, saying "me no see im." I afterward learned that he 
had been arrested a few days before and they feared we might be 
after him again. Finally they came up around the wagon, ex- 
amined the boxes and barrels filled with ice, and asked "Meby wat 
you want?" We explained to them that we wanted to buy a wagon 
load of me-me-og (squabs). An Indian then asked, "Do you want 
to see im Kek-kek?" I nodded "yes," and again asked if he was 
there? They then pointed out to me a tall Indian, a middle aged 
man, saying "There im be." He had a sort of stoical grin on his 
face. I said "Come here." He walked slowly up to the w r agon, 
as if he doubted whether he should come or not. He could speak 
fair English and we made arrangements with him that we would 
pay then one shilling per dozen for all the squabs they would get 
us, dead or alive. Kek-kek, now being convinced that no harm was 



32 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

meant for him, took much pride in giving us an insight into their 
domestic affairs. He took us all about the camp, pointing out to 
us long racks of poles and bark on which were spread hundreds 
of dozens of squabs, being smoked and dried over a slow fire. 

As we expressed our surprise over such great quantities of birds, 
he said "Look um dis way," and pointed out to us many mokets 
(bark boxes) that would hold a bushel or more, each packed full of 
these young birds cured for future use. I asked him if they would 
keep. ' i Dem vill neber rot, ' ' he replied. 

"Are they good eating?" I asked. He nodded his head saying 
"Num! Num! Num!" and handed me a mummy squab, saying 
"Eat um. It be gooder than white man's doves." 

I did so with a relish, for I was hungry. "How you like im?" 
he asked. "It is all right," I replied. He then pointed out to me 
some mokets that he said were filled with "me-me bi-mi-da (squab 
butter;) "gooder," he said, "than cow butter." He then handed 
me a piece of corn bread and wooden knife, saying, "Eat um it 
wid de squab butter." I did so finding it quite pleasant to the 
taste. I finally said "Say, Kek-Kek, we are waiting here for your 
people to bring us in a wagon load of squabs. ' ' He then went and 
held a long pow-wow with the tribe; then came and told us, "De 
Inguns no no um shilling dozen. Da say give one cent, one pigeon, 
two cent, two pigeon, three cent, three pigeon; then um vill go." 
"Well," I said, "we will pay then one cent for each squab. Kek- 
kek then gave a sort of war whoop and in less than five minutes 
the camp was all astir. The men formed in single file moving 
northward, followed by the women on pony back, with their pa- 
pooses strapped to their backs, while the children and dogs fol- 
lowed behind and we, with our stag team, brought up the rear. 
About one mile distant they halted among thick hemlock trees, not 
far from where the Packard mills were afterward built in the 
township of Covert. Here they started in all directions, the squaws 
sitting their papooses up against the trees leaving them in our 
charge. Uncle Corwin said he was "mighty glad there was no 
hogs running in the woods. ' ' 

The squabs at this time were as large as the parent birds, though 
still in their nests. In less than two hours, the band began to re- 
turn, each one with a back load of me-me-og. It was a hot day and 
there was no water in that locality. They were thirsty, and 
began to climb into the wagon, helping themselves to ice. We pro- 
tested, telling them we could not buy their birds without ice to 
pack them in. One old Indian said, "We can lib with no muny, 
but die come wid no vater. ' ' They continued to take our ice until 
every pound was gone. We then counted their birds and paid for 
them. There were two hundred and ten dozen and they filled the 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 38 

wagon box chock full. The old shingle weaver declared it would 
kill his team to draw them home. On our way back we came to a 
stream where we poured water onto the load until the birds were 
cooled off. We sent them to Boston and New York where they 
were sold for $1.50 per dozen. 

The "Buck Pony" Ride 

In order that the reader may more fully understand the joy, 
love and fear of the red man I place the following experience on 
record. 

T,he rude Indian with untutored mind. 

To all our pride and glory blind, 

Could we his inward feelings gain 

We'd find affection, in white and red the same. 

In the autumn of 1856 an Indian known as Little Weso came to 
see me on pony back saying "The chief has sent me to get you meby 
to go wid me to go on pony back, Saddle Lake to find um Joe Kaw- 
kee." "Is he lost," I inquired? With a tremulous voice he re- 
plied "Bad, very bad! Some white man say him be killed by a 
white hunter cause im kill um so many deer and make him mad." 
"Say Inglam, will take your pony and go wid me? Poor Joe, him 
good man, kill um lots of deer." 

I got out my pony, a tall lank lean horse, and we started to find 
Joe. My horse was a fast walker and I laughed at Weso, telling 
him his pony was lazy and could not keep up. He said "Say Ing- 
lam, dis pony am very smart. Him can outrun your big pony." 
I said "we will try it," and started my big pony on the run. As 
he galloped off at full speed and I was beginning to think I would 
get out of sight of the Indian, I heard him give a loud war cry for 
me to clear the way. I urged my horse on with whip and heels, 
but all in vain. Poor Lo passed me like the wind and was soon out 
of sight among the trees. I felt dumfounded and stopped my 
horse in amazement. Soon I saw the redskin galloping back to- 
wards me. As he came up he said, "Inglam, what tink now of my 
pony?" "He can keep up all right enough," I said. 

As we rode on deeper into the north woods, Weso asked if I was 
hungry ? I told him I was, for in my haste to start I had forgotten 
to eat dinner. He asked "Do you like um jerk venson?" I re- 
plied that I had never seen any. He took from an old bark sack 
about his shoulders something that looked like a dark clay ball, 
gnawed at it a few times himself and then handed it to me saying 
"Take im; eat im; it am jerk venson; very good." I grabbed it 
with half closed eyes so as not to spleen against it, but as I dimly 

ToL 1—3 



84 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

saw teeth prints all around it, 1 closed my eyes, gnawed at it 
several times and handed it back to the Indian, telling him he had 
saved me from starving. It had a kind of sweetish smoky taste 
and tasted fairly well to a hungry man. 1 thought if it had been 
salted it would have been very palatable. We rode on in silence, 
with the redskin ahead, until darkness began to close about us, 
when all at once the monotony was broken, as the Indian cried out 
"Me see urn light. Me tink it am Kaw-kee 's wigwam. Me know it 
am, for me see Saddle lake, dat way and de small lake de uder way, 
and me know Kaw-kee 's wigwam am tween um. ' ' We dismounted, 
walked to the wigw r am and, in true Indian style, peeked in to see 
if anyone was there. 

The redskin said, "Me see um Joe's wife, but no Joe." We then 
rapped at the door. A tall white woman opened it and Weso 
asked, ' 4 Am Joe alive. " " Why yes, he is gone to the spring for a 
pail of water." Weso then told her: "We heard him am killed, 
and Inglam, with me, hab come good ways from Hartford to know 
if so." I now began to realize that she was his wife, for she was 
wonderfully excited and threw up her arms exclaiming "De Lord 
will punish um for lying about Joe! De Lord will punish um! 
Yes He will. This be the fourth time they have had poor Joe 
killed ! ' ' Kaw-kee came in as the last words were spoken, but his 
wife was so excited that she continued to do all the talking, telling 
Joe all about our mission there, until Kaw-kee said : ' ' Shut up ! 
Sit down, you old squaw ! ' ' She did so and cried like a child. I 
concluded she felt mortally offended to think she had made such 
a big fool of herself in marrying an Indian. 

The two Indians talked for an hour in their native tongue, of 
which I could understand but little. I understood he had killed 
fifty deer, three bears, and one wolf in four weeks and that the 
white hunters had stolen five of the deer, and were mad because he 
had killed so much game, I know I thought they could hardly be 
blamed for their feelings of bitterness. 

About ten o'clock, Kaw-kee told his wife she had pouted long 
enough and to get up and get supper. She sprang to her feet 
like a jumping-jack, soon having a deer liver and tongue stew, 
with corn soup on the table and announced : l i Your supper is 
ready. ' ' I was indeed glad to hear that, as I had eaten nothing in 
twelve hours but a little jerked venison. We three men sat down 
on a log before a slab table while the hostess waited on us as best 
she could under the circumstances. We had but two plates and 
two knives and forks to accommodate three, but the good wife cut 
the meat up for us in fine shape so we could handle it to the best 
advantage. The two Indians ate off of one plate, that I might enjoy 
the other all to myself. I must admit that I never before or since 



HISTORY OF VAN BUKEN COUNTY 35 

enjoyed a better supper. In fact, I congratulated Kaw-kee on be- 
ing so lucky in procuring a wife, but she kindly kicked it over by 
saying, "And you old Ingun don't know enough to know it!" 

We slept that night on hemlock boughs between green deer skins. 
[ slept soundly all night. At breakfast we finished what was left 
of the evening meal. Kaw-kee, after our meal, said "Me want you 
come out dis way." Following him a short distance, he said "See 
urn big buck. Him am yours, to take home wid you." We both 
told him w r e did not think it possible to take him on pony back. 

Kaw-kee looked sad and finally said, "Me feel um bad if you no 
take im. You be good to come way up here in de storm to find um 
Kaw-kee dead, and find me live Ingun." "How can we take im?" 
asked Weso. 

"Me will load im on pony back as tight as an arrow point to 
um arrow." So saying he stepped to a small basswood tree and 
stripped off some long pieces of the inner bark. Then he re- 
quested Weso to bring his pony forward, telling him to take hold 
of the buck's hind legs and he at the same time grasped the fore 
legs, throwing the big buck astride of the pony, when he fastened 
him so securely one might think they were born together. The 
deer's big horns reached just above the pony's head, while their 
noses reached out about the same distance. Both pony and deer 
had short tails which extended behind nearly the same distance. 
The two Indians laughed aloud as they surveyed the double mon- 
strosity and so did I. 

Weso proposed to lead his pony home, but I persuaded him to 
straddle the buck and he did so. That put on the capsheaf and so 




The Start from Saddle Lake 



36 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

pleased Kaw-kee, that he yelled out to Polly Ann, his wife, to come 
out and see the sight. She did so, exclaiming ' ' Holy Moses and all 
the saints!" It had a good influence over Polly Ann for that 
sober face of hers, which had not smiled since the night before when 
she was ordered to shut up her mouth, now grinned from ear to 
ear until she laughed so loud that Kaw-kee told her to quiet down 
or she would scare all the game out of the woods, and all the fish 
out of Saddle Lake ! 

I went and brought my horse out from the underbrush so as to 
start home, but when he caught sight of the monstrosity, he broke 
into a run and beat the record for all past time. I finally got him 
stopped and turned him round to be sure the pony, passenger and 
baggage were coming behind. As I glimpsed the oncoming train, 
my horse snorted like an engine, wheeled and ran again as if to 
escape death. After much coaxing I got him quieted down so as 
to get within speaking distance of Weso. Kaw-kee was coming 
along with him carrying a long strip of bass-wood bark. He yelled 
to me to hold on and after much careful maneuvering he got 
within fifty feet, telling me that Weso had given up a riding buck 
back and wanted to know if my pony would carry double ? I re- 
plied ' ' I thought so. ' ' He then ran back to Weso, helped him dis- 
mount, tied a long strip of bark to the pony's halter, came forward 
with Weso, and after carefully petting my horse, assisted Weso to 
mount behind me on the blanket. Then handing him the end of 
the long bark halter, he said "Now start, and go bery slow, and 
yous will be home wid deer meby by sunset. ' ' 

We obeyed instructions, reaching Bangor a little after noon 
where we found a sort of wagon road. About a mile south of this 
place we met an old man and woman, driving a rack-a-bone horse. 
The horse no sooner saw us than he gave a snort, ran into the 
woods and tipped over the wagon, spilling out the passengers with 
a load of pumpkins. Leaving my horse in care of Weso, I ran to 
assist the unfortunate couple. No one was seriously hurt, but my, 
how mad! The old man said "You will pay dear for this. I will 
put you in state prison!" I said "Uncle, you should not drive 
such a skittish young horse." "Young horse" said he, "I have 
driven him twenty-five years. I brought him with me from York 
State. I never saw him scart before. That rig, or whatever it is, 
is enough to scare any animal or man!" His wife who had re- 
mained quiet until now, piped out in a sharp nasal tone, "Pa says 
that thing would scare any animal or man. I say it is enough to 
scare the Divil himself!" I finally, with their help, got things to- 
gether in good shape, reloaded the pumpkins and they started off 
quite good naturedly. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 37 

We reached home about sunset, as predicted, with our big buck. 
For forty years after, I never met Weso without a broad grin, say- 
ing "Well, Inglam, how you like um now, buck pony ride?" 

"Never Carry a Revolver, Boys" 

Often when our fears are greatest 

There are no dangers near us 
And sometimes when we feel the safest 

A sword may hang above us 
Suspended by a single hair! 

In the fall of 1856, while buying fur among the Indians in Ban- 
gor township, I was obliged to stay all night with an Indian family. 
It was in a log house with one room below and an upper room above 
that might be called a garret. In this room I lodged. The only 
access to it was by a ladder through a small opening in the ceiling 
large enough to let a medium-sized man pass through. Climbing 
into this room I found there was a sort of bed and an open place 
in one end of the chamber. 

The old Indian said to me before retiring, "Yous vil have to lay 
down widout candle, for poor Ingun haint got im." 

I have always made it a rule in life to conform to circumstances 
as cheerfully as possible ; and so I did in this case. I found in the 
place of a bed-stead a few poles laid across some small logs. On 
these were piled a quantity of hemlock brush, over w T hich was 
spread several wolf robes, with a large bear skin in place of sheets 
and quilts. Into this strange nest I crawled, wondering what red- 
skin had last rested there. Soon I was fast asleep, enjoying my 
slumbers just as well as though I were in the best kind of a white 
man's bed. 

At midnight I awoke, feeling fully convinced that some one was 
climbing the ladder into my room. I watched and listened. My 
heart beat like a snare drum. Instead of one person, I w r as con- 
vinced there were two. Then, to still add a new feature, I could 
see something was being hauled up the ladder into the chamber 
and, as I listened more intently, I heard a sort of whining noise, 
and dimly saw by the light of the moon two big Indians pull up a 
great dog into the room. That almost paralyzed me. The dog 
snuffed and w T hined as though he expected to be pounced upon by 
a catamount. 

The two men walked very slow T ly towards me and the slab floor 
squeaked out at every step the cry of murder ! Oh how I did wish 
I had my revolver with me, which I had left at home. I placed my 
back firmly against the wall and drew the old bear skin close about 
me, preparing for my last struggle on earth. The intruders 



38 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

reached the bed and there stood still, as it* to pause before taking 
my life. Their eyes glared like cats' eyes in the night time. 

Suddenly it occurred to me that it might be barely possible that 
I was in their nest. Trembling I said "Nin ni-baw o-maw? (Do 
you sleep here?) " Slowly a voice replied "E-n-c-h, E-n-c-h (Y-e-s, 
Y-e-s)." I now asked "Can you talk white man's talk?" An an- 
swer came: "Me am a white boy." A great burden was lifted. I 
unrolled the bear skin from my body and spread it out to its full 
bigness, saying "get into bed." Both laid down with their clothes 
all on, as I had done the night before. 

And we, brave foemen, with the dog, lay side by side, 
Peacefully like four brothers tried, 
But slept not until the morning beams, 
Purpled the woodlands and the streams. 

I learned during the night that they were boys about fourteen 
years old ; that the white boy had been brought up among the In- 
dians; that the day previous the Indian boy went to stay with him 
all night so they might go out on a coon hunt in the evening, 
that the dog had treed a coon a short distance from w r here I was 
staying, so they concluded to come and stay there ; and the reason 
why the parents did not let me or the boys know the situation was 
because the boys avoided waking up the old folks. 

They said when they pulled the old coon dog into the room he 
gave a sort of whining sniff, which convinced them something was 
wrong in the room and that they dimly saw the bear skin moving 
about and feared the old old bear himself had come back and was 
crawling into his hide again! They further said "We be scared 
most to def !" I was mighty glad they did not know how I felt at 
that time, as I rolled the bear's hide about me. 

Since then I have often wondered what the result would have 
been if I had had my revolver with me. It is possible I might 
have been tried for murdering the whole household and have to 
show I did it in self-defence, in order to save myself from a life 
sentence, or on the other hand I might have been scalped or killed. 

On my return home I disposed of my revolver, and have never 
owned or carried one since, and am fully convinced that in a coun- 
try like ours one is much safer without a revolver than with one ; 
hence my advice to boys ever since then has been "Never carry a 
revolver. ' ' 

Saw-kaw's Love Story 

From Saw-kaw 's own story : * ' The course of true love never does 
run smooth" even in the natives heart; under the most favorable 
circumstances, its joys are marred with many doubts and fears. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 89 

Se-gitan Saw-kaw I-kwe (Listen to the child of the forest). 

My grandfather, during my early girlhood, took great pride in 
teaching me and a boy chum of mine how to bend the bow and di- 
rect the arrow in its course. Almost daily this little boy and 1 
would contest in archery for a prize to be awarded by grandfather. 
It was generally conceded I was the best shot. White boys of the 
neighborhood often joined in our sports, contesting with powder 
and ball for the prize at a distance of one hundred feet or less. 
An old white man was sure to be present on such occasions to act 
as umpire. 

Our arrows seldom failed to win the prize. I can now see the old 
man limping along to see who had centered the mark and hear 
him say ' ' Wall, wall, — I do declare ! The little redskins have won. ' ' 
Or "Wall, wall, I do declare! The little redskins have lost this 
time. ' ' In order that we might know our arrows apart, Kaw-kee 's 
were painted red and mine white. The old man gave each prize as 
it was won — a turkey, goose or pheasant was generally provided 
by some white man. 

All these endearing sports were suddenly cut short as, at four- 
teen years of age, it had been decided that I should be sent to 
the Indian school at Lawrence, Kansas. I felt almost mortally of- 
fended, I feared to meet strangers in a strange land. 

I continued to sob and cry until my parents feared my heart 
would break. Grandfather was consulted. He said "Nin Saw- 
kaw (my dear child) weep no more. It is best that you should go. 
I have visited the school many times. You will like the children 
there and find the teachers good and kind." In vain I plead not 
to be sent away. Finally I opened to him the full burden of my 
soul. I told him how much I loved my people and our woodland 
home ; how ardently I loved my bow and arrows which he gave and 
all my sports. "Is that all?" he asked. I replied: "Oh! Do for- 
give my childish heart, and do tell me how I can leave my dear 
Kaw-kee and see him no more. I love him far beyond my power 
to tell; you have the secret of my heart. Do be good and let me 
stay here." 

Nodding his head, he finally said "Is it possible that one so 
young can love so great?" With astonishment he looked me square 
in the face and asked "Does he love you?" "He has never told 
me so ' ' said I. " Have you ever told Kaw-kee that you loved him ? ' ' 
he asked. ' * I never have. " " Why not ? " he asked. I made reply : 
"Because deep down in my heart I felt his feelings were akin to 
mine." Thoughtfully he bowed his head. Then looking up, the 
dear old man seemed filled with pity and finally said, as he kissed 
me, "My dear child, I well remember the days of my youth. T 
know full well how wicked it is to trifle with the cords of heaven- 



40 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

born love. The best I can promise is that after you have spent two 
years at school I will send for you to come home, and we will all go 
into the north woods for several months and there dress and hunt 
as our fathers did before the white men came. "Can Kaw-kee go 
too?" I asked. "Yes," he replied, "he can go too. Think of it, 
Saw-kaw; that will give you both a chance to hunt and test your 
skill in shooting game with bows and arrows!" 

A soothing feeling of reconciliation came over me as the rain- 
bow over the departing storm. I had full faith in grandfather's 
promise. Cheerfully I went forth to a strange land, and there 
pored over the white man's books, cheered on day by day with 
the bright promise from the lips of one who failed not to do as he 
agreed. 

Two long years had nearly passed. I began to wonder if it 
could be possible for grandfather to forget his promise. One 
morning my teacher handed me a letter. I looked it over; it was 
post-marked Hartford, Michigan. I felt sure it must be from grand- 
father. As soon as school was out for noon I ran to my room. 
Quickly I opened the letter. Saw-kaw was indeed proud that she 
could read it for herself. In it I heard dear grandfather say- 
"My dear Saw-kaw: — Find enclosed twenty dollars to bring you 
home. I have found good hunting grounds and, as I promised, on 
your return we will go there, hunt and fish, dress and live as our 
fathers did before the white man came." Again and again I read 
the letter, but, alas ! Kaw-kee, no Kaw-kee, was there. 

Saw-kaw slept not that night. The night following I dreamed 
of going home. All seemed overjoyed to meet me, but no one 
lisped the name of Kaw-kee. I felt him in my heart. Just then 
I heard him say "Bo-sho nic-con Saw-kaw." I answered back 
"Bo-sho nic-con Kaw-kee," and tried to grasp his hand, when lo ! 
his form was changed into an angry wolf. Upright he stood, so 
close that I could smell his sickening breath. I awoke while yet 
his growls and snarls rang in my ears. So real it seemed, I could 
not believe it all a dream. 

Three days later I reached our wigwam. None of our people at 
first knew me, but when I greeted them "Bo-sho nic-con?" (how 
do you do, my friends?) " an old time pow-wow ensued, all trying 
to embrace and greet me first in broken English. 

During the evening, old Wapsee, a noted bear hunter who had 
the reputation of driving bears to his wigwam to kill them, called 
to see me. This old man thought he could speak better English 
than the young Indians who had been to the white man's school. 
Grasping my hand he said : ' ' Saw-kaw, me am eber so glad to see 
you. Me tink you tink meby, you can speak all de white man's 
words. Me no like urn white talk much ; dem say ebry ting wrong. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 41 

Ingun call ebry ting right. You know um all him talk about, De 
young Inguns come from school and can't tell nofin. If dem be 
sick or well and try to tell um, de old folks can't guess um what 
dey mean. " Owing to his deafness he could not understand a 
word I said: When leaving he said, "You know um Kaw-kee. 
Him talk much bout you him do ; me tink him lub you bery much. " 
However embarassing his parting words, I drank them in ; for I 
was starving ! starving in my soul ! * 

Grandfather came at last. We kissed each other with joy and 
gladness. Frankly he assured me I had greatly improved both in 
appearance and conversation. With a tremulous voice he said 
"Saw-kaw, how I have missed you!" Then he added "I still hold 
the promise made you sacred. All things are now ready. To- 
morrow we start for the hunting grounds. I am anxious to have 
you try your skill among the deer with the bow and arrows 
which I gave. I said : ' k Say grandfather, what has become of 
Kaw-kee?" He simply made reply: "After you left he went 
away to live with the Ottawas over two hundred miles north of 
here." 

Early the next morning our family with their ponies well 
loaded took their line of march along an ancient trail through 
dense forests of hemlock and pine, where the day, through lofty 
archways of overhanging boughs, could scarcely find its way. 
Now and then our arrows brought down me-me-og and as-sana-go 
(pigeons and squirrels) from the trees, and frequently the dogs 
brought to us maw-boos (the rabbit). At nightfall we reached 
Mat-a-won, a point where two streams meet, pouring their waters 
into one and forming the Great Se-be. As we surveyed the ro- 
mantic scene before us and listened to the voice of a mighty cata- 
ract just below, my grandfather said with great feeling in his 
soul "It was on the shores of this stream I first met my dear 
Lonida, the wife of my youth that long since passed to the happy 
hunting grounds beyond." I said not a word but thought in my 
heart "I wish I knew if Kaw-kee has gone there too." Here we 
unloaded our ponies and prepared lodgings for the night. Fire 
was built and soup made out of the game we had secured on our 
way, mixed with man-do-w T in (dried corn) and salt, which we 
ate with a relish that can only be enjoyed after a long march 
through evergreen forests. 

At break of da}^ our little camp was all astir. Grandfather 
superintended laying out the grounds and building the wigwam, 
which was made of bark and poles with a smoke hole at the top, 
according to our ancient custom. No prince or king could have 
felt prouder of his castle than we did of our wigwam. The day 
following grandfather called the family together telling them 



42 HISTORY OF VAN BUKEN COUNTY 

that before commencing a general hunt, according to ancient cus- 
tom, we must enjoy a regular corn dance which he said eight 
could do in fine style. "Further," he said, "I have a little sur- 
prise for you." Judge if you can of our surprise as he opened a 
large mo-cot (birch bark box) and handed each of us a clean 
new Indian buckskin suit of clothes that fitted each perfectly. 

When all were dressed, grandfather started off with a swaying 
motion to lead the dance. I* laughed saying, "Hold on grand- 
father, you said it required eight to give the corn dance. There 
are but seven of us." "Well," said he, "Saw-kaw, as you have 
no partner, go stand in the door of the wigwam and enjoy see- 
ing the rest of us dance." 

I did as he requested and ran into the wigwam. As I entered, 
to my great surprise, before me stood a tall Indian dressed like 
a chief in a new buckskin suit, with fur cap trimmed with eagle 
feathers. Trembling, I gazed at him in fear and astonishment; 
still as a statue and as dumb. Finally he broke the silence and in 
soothing tones said, "Saw-kaw, don't you know me?" I finally 
replied, "Oh! Kaw-kee, is that you?" and rushed weeping into 
his arms. 

After recovering from my great excitement, he explained to me 
how grandfather originated the whole scheme, so as to give me a 
joyful surprise, and that the whole family were on the joke except- 
ing myself; and I was "innocence abroad." As we walked out 
to join the dance, the little party gave cheer on cheer until the 
echoes made the welkin ring. Within my heart T felt "One hour 
like this is worth more than I have learned in two years at school." 

The following day grandfather arranged the distribution of 
his forces. At that time of the year a still hunt was necessary 
and only father was allowed to use the white man's gun. The 
rest of us — that is, Kaw-kee, grandfather and I, — our bows and 
arrows. Mother, two sisters and my little brother, not loving the 
chase, w T ere to fish and keep things about the wigwam in order. 
Grandfather took his point farthest down the stream, while Kaw-kee 
and I watched the trail above him, a few rods apart. All reported 
seeing deer the first day, but no shots were made. x\ week passed ; 
many dear had been seen, but none killed and I was deeply dis- 
appointed and called to mind grandfather's saying of years be- 
fore — that since the advent of the white man, "all game is wild 
and keeps beyond the arrow's reach, and the fish hide themselves 
in deep water." 

That night grandfather gave orders: That all must be on their 
runways at peep of day the next morning. He then told the fol- 
lowing story which he said was of white man's origin: "A re- 
nowned statesman passed over a bridge at sunrise. On it sat a man 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 43 

fishing. At sunset he reerossed the same bridge, finding the man 
still fishing. He said he had fished there all day. 'Well/ in- 
quired the statesman 'have you caught any fish?' 'Oh no/ he 
replied, 'but I have had one glorious nibble.' Now that man had 
the pluck. Go and do likewise." 

Morning dawn found us all at our stations. Just as the sun 
had tinged with red the highland trees, I was startled by the 
report of a rifle, which, in the morning stillness, was repeated 
back from shore to shore until it died away the merest whisper. 
My heart fluttered like a caged bird struggling to get free. I 
well knew it was my father's gun, and if he had missed a deer it 
might pass me any moment. Listening and peering through the 
underbrush that fringed the stream, I faintly heard a crackling 
sound. On towards me came a monstrous buck with antlers broad 
and white as snow. He stopped so close, that I could see him wink 
and hear him breathe. Summing up all the powers within me, in 
two heart beats of time I sent two successive arrows deep into his 
right side. He made one monstrous leap, falling in mid stream. 
"Kaw-kee! Father, Father!" I cried. "Come quick!" Soon both 
came on the run, with grandfather in the rear, fearing some great 
disaster had befallen me. But when I pointed out the monarch 
of the woods struggling in the water, their fears were turned to 
joy. Kaw-kee jumped headlong into the stream and hauled the 
noble deer upon the shore. 

It was found that a ball had pierced one ear. "My rifle ball 
did that," my father said. From his neck an arrow dangled. "I 
shot that arrow," Kaw-kee explained. See it is painted red." 
Transfixed in his right side were two arrows painted white. 
"Now who killed the deer?" grandfather asked. "Saw-kaw killed 
the deer!" Kaw-kee and father both exclaimed. "Her white ar- 
rows cannot lie." Tt is unnecessary for me to say that the great- 
est ambition of my life was now a reality. 

We remained in camp several weeks longer and each killed sev- 
eral deer. Besides Kaw-kee killed a wolf, and grandfather (bless 
the dear old man!) killed a bear and caught two cubs. 

During our stay a French trader came down the stream and 
landed at our shore. He appeared pleased to meet grandfather, 
addressing him as "chief." "Who is that?" I asked. Father 
made reply "Ish-cot-a-wa-bo (whiskey)." His real name is 
L/apaz. He smiled on me in such a bold manner that I avoided 
having any conversation with him. He remained with us sev- 
eral days. One morning he started to go with me to my runway. 
I slighted him, and Kaw-kee went with me. He was mad and 
called Kaw-kee "the smallest end of the red trash." The next 
day he grew much more bolder in his attention to me, which I 



44 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

avoided at every point. Stung by "a-mo (the wasp of jealousy) " 
he opened his heart to father, telling him how much he admired 
my skill, how dearly he loved me; then boldly asked, "Can I 
marry Saw-kaw?" Father said, "Saw-kaw is under her grand- 
father's control. Lay your case before him." 

Now grandfather well knew Lapaz. The year before he told 
some of his people that the needle maker was dead and thereby 
induced them to pay him one dollar per needle. On his next 
trip among them he sold them for five cents each. An old squaw 
told Lapaz, "Me gib you when here before one dollar for one 
needle 'cause you say 'needle maker am dead.' " "He did die," 
said the trader, "but another man learned how to make them." 
From this and other tricks grandfather hated him as * * Satan hates 
holy water." So he concluded to get rid of the nuisance forever. 
He told Lapaz that Saw-kaw was engaged to young Kaw-kee; 
that the two had been bosom companions since childhood, but 
that in-as-much as he had keen sympathy for an ardent lover, 
he found it in his heart to give him a chance to secure the darling 
of his heart. Encouraged by this promise, Lapaz was very happy. 
He told Lapaz: "Tomorrow we will arrange for a contest between 
Kaw-kee and you for the hand of Saw-kaw. I will suspend a live 
duck by one leg to a limb, by a string at the distance of one hun- 
dred feet and you may have the first chance with your rifle ; then 
Kaw-kee with his bow and arrow. The one that cuts the string 
and lets fall the duck, shall claim the girl." "That's fair," said 
Lapaz ; i Saw-kaw is mine ! " " Hold on, ' ' grandfather said, ' ' you 
are too hasty. Now listen ! In case the loser wishes another chance 
he can have it by taking a square-hold wrestle with his opponent. 
If he wins in the second contest, Saw-kaw shall be his wife. " " All 
right," said Lapaz. 

Morning came and the family met on the river's bank to wit- 
ness the contest. All understood the come-out but Lapaz. A duck 
hung dangling in the air from the branch of a tree. Lapaz took 
aim and fired. No duck fell. Kaw-kee then drew his bow and 
let the arrow fly. Down came the duck! Lapaz seemed con- 
founded, but without a word, rushed at Kaw-kee clinching him 
for a square-hold wrestle, big with hope to win the prize. Now 
came the tug-of-war. Kaw-kee stepped backward near the river 
bank and there on his shoulders he backward fell, followed by La- 
paz, muttering between his teeth "I've got you now." Quick as 
thought Kaw-kee planted both his feet between the hips of his rival, 
then with a mighty spring with both legs hurled his adversary 
headlong into the stream at least ten feet below r . Poor Lapaz, like 
a drowning rat, crawled into his boat, looking as though he hated 
everybody and himself as he floated down the stream and disap- 
peared. Where he went and how he fared nobody knew and no- 
body cared. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 45 

A few days after this, while we were making preparations to 
break camp, grandfather called the family together. He spoke of 
the glorious time we had enjoyed, living as our fathers lived. He 
referred to the true love which had existed so long between Kaw-kee 
and myself without being interfered with. He further said, ''It is 
a fact that among our people in their native state, they regarded 
true love so sacred that they never tried to plague their children 
about it. Hence, in after years, they were consulted by them in 
all such affairs." "But," said he, "with the white man it is not 
so. Their little children are so much laughed at about the oppo- 
site sex, that in after years they hide their true feelings as if it- 
were a great sin to fall in love. I am indeed glad that none of 
you have tried to plague Saw-kaw and Kaw-kee, thereby living up 
to the customs of our fathers." He then said, pointing at Kaw- 
kee and myself, "I propose that now, and here, we close our out- 
ing with a marriage between Kaw-kee and Saw-kaw, according 
to native custom." After consulting each other we both stood up 
at the same time and there, under the evergreen archways above 
us, we promised grandfather, in the presence of the family, that 
as we had loved each other in the past, so we would in the fu- 
ture. He then said, "Face each other; clasp your hands together." 
And we did so. As there we stood, face to face, he said: "As your 
hands are joined together, so may your hearts be, in true love, 
that faileth not. Now in the presence of Ki-tchi Man-i-to (the 
Great Spirit) I declare you 'In-aw-kaw ne-naw (husband and 
wife).' " The family then, in subdued tones, repeated, "Maw- 
ge-ong, Maw-ge-ong! (Amen! Amen!)" The streams below and 
trees above murmured ' ' Maw-ge-ong ! Maw-ge-ong ! ' ' Then we two 
were known as one, and so have lived. 

Me-me-og, The Wild Pigeon 

In springtime when the rosy hand of morning light 

Unfolds the curtain of an April night. 

And golden clouds float in the liquid blue. 

As guardian spirits, weeping crystal dew, 

The frightened woodsman, in wonder list 'ning stands ! 

Thinks a whirlwind is abroad in the land! 

Darkness increases, his eyes grow dim. 

And as he seeks shelter from the impendirg wind, 

Suddenly his fears are turned to joy, for he sees 

Sweeping through and high above the forest trees 

Millions of pigeons, on their north-bound way, 

Almost shutting out the morning light of day! 

In closing the aboriginal sketch of Van Buren county, I deem 
it appropriate to present an article written by the late Chief Poka- 
gon entitled " Me-me-og' ' (the migratory or wild pigeon of North 



46 HISTORY OF VAN JHJREN COUNTY 

America). It was published by the Chautauqua Magazine of New 
York which paid nearly one hundred dollars for the contribution. 
It is acknowledged by our best ornithologists to be the most ex- 
haustive article ever published regarding those wonderful birds, 
which, for unknown centuries had one of their main breeding 
grounds in Van Buren County, generally every other year, dur- 
ing April and May. 

Audubon, the great American ornithologist, declared their num- 
bers were absolutely countless both at their roosts and breeding 
places. In his exhaustive work on ornithology he states that in 
1813, near Henderson, Kentucky, he made a careful computation 
of a body of birds that passed northward in spring, estimating 
that it contained not less than one billion one hundred and fifty 
millions one hundred and thirty-six thousand pigeons and, as 
each pigeon would consume at least half a pint of mast per day, 
it would require to feed such a flock eight millions seven hundred 
and twelve thousand bushels per day. Think of it! 

Residents of this county under forty 3^ears of age will probably 
read the old chief's account of them with many doubts, but those 
past that age will verify its truth. Notwithstanding the count- 
less millions of these birds thirty-five years ago, there has been a 
standing offer for years of five hundred dollars for a single pair of 
them ; yet no one has been able to produce them. 

Many theories have been advanced regarding their total dis- 
appearance. One is that they undertook to cross one of the Great 
Lakes in a body, were overtaken by a tornado and drowned. Others 
claim they must have been wiped out by some contagious disease. 
While it seems to be well authenticated by some old sailors, that 
they witnessed, about the time of their disappearance, great bodies 
of these birds moving south across the Gulf of Mexico, in such 
great clouds that they shut out the light of day for several hours, 
and that in their opinion, unless they were drowned in the 
gulf, they are located somewhere in South America. Prom all I 
have been able to learn, for ages, they generally wintered in Ar- 
kansas, where mast was wonderfully plenty, and that in spring 
time they moved northward, nesting in Tennessee and Kentucky 
in February, in Indiana in March and Pennsylvania and Michi- 
gan in April and May. Their great wintering places in the south 
being broken up and the timber in the north that supplied them 
with such great quantities of mast, being cut down, so demoral- 
ized them that they could no longer exist in such vast bodies. Thus 
they scattered, and, like bees that abandon their hive, most of them 
could not survive an unsocial condition and finally died. 

When our western plains in the spring and fall were covered 
with vast herds of buffalo moving north or south, migrating to 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 47 

their summer or winter feeding grounds, they were followed by 
immense tiocks of wolves and other animals that fed on the calves 
and the old animals that were left in their rear, but with the 
pigeons it was not so. No birds of prey were swift enough to fol- 
low them in their flights. They were only preyed upon by such 
birds as lived where they located. They were followed and 
preyed upon by cruel man, who had knowledge of their breeding 
places, as described by the old chief in his article. 

Some years since while ploughing, close in front of me a hawk 
swooped down and carried off in his talons a robin. It awakened 
in me an intricate train of thought. I began to inquire ' ' How can 
an all-wise creator excuse himself for creating one creature to live 
upon another? " While my feelings were wrought upon by this 
thought, I heard in a thicket close by a touching sound like the 
crying of a strangling babe. Quickly I ran to see what it was. 
To my surprise 1 found a large black snake coiled about a rabbit 
that was begging for its life. Quick as thought, with my knife I 
severed the coils of the snake and released its victim so quickly 
that it escaped without a "thank you." I then sat down on a 
log to consider and analyze my acts. Result : I had saved the in- 
nocent rabbit through sympathy and had butchered the snake 
through revenge ! I finally concluded not to meddle further with 
great Nature's laws, but to accept the Darwinian theory of the 
survival of the fittest, which, physically speaking, is true. 




Male and Female Pigeons 
The female on the right shows the size of the dove 

[From photo furnished by Prof W. B. Burrows, Michigan Agricultural 
College.] 



48 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The migratory or wild pigeons of North America, were known to our race 
as ' ' me-me-og. 7 ' Why the European race did not accept that name, was, no 
doubt, because the bird so much resembled the domesticated pigeon; as they 
called us, w T ild men. 

This remarkable bird differs from the dove or domesticated pigeon, which 
was imported into this country, in the grace of its long neck, its slender bill 
and legs, and its narrow wings. Its length is seventeen inches. Its tail is 
eight inches long, having twelve feathers, white on the under side. The two 
center feathers are longest, while five arranged on either side diminish gradu- 
ally each one-half inch in length, giving to the tail when spread an almost 
conical appearance. Its back and upper part of its wings and head are a 
darkish blue, with a silky, velvety appearance. Its neck is resplendent in 
gold and green, with royal purple intermixed. Its breast is reddish brown, 
fading towards the belly into white. Its tail is tipped with white, inter- 
mixed with bluish black. The female is one inch shorter than the male, and 
her color less vivid. Its length of wings when spread is twenty-eight inches. 
It was proverbial with our fathers, that if the Great Spirit, in his wisdom, 
could have created a more elegant bird in plumage, form and movements, he 
never did. 

When a young man I have stood for hours admiring the movements of 
these birds. I have seen them fly from horizon to horizon, from morning until 
night, in unbroken columns, like an army of trained soldiers pushing to the 
front, while detached bodies of the birds appeared in different parts of the 
heavens, pressing forward in haste like raw recruits preparing for battle. 
At other times I have seen them move for hours in one wide unbroken line 
across the sky, like some great river, ever varying in course and as some 
mighty stream, sweeping on at sixty miles an hour, reached some deep valley, 
it would pour its living mass headlong down hundreds of feet, sounding as 
though a cyclone was abroad in the land. I have stood by the grandest cata- 
racts of America and witnessed their descending torrents in w r onder and as- 
tonishment, yet never have I been so moved and awakened in admiration as 
when I have seen these living columns drop from their course like meteors 
from heaven. While feeding they always have guards on duty, to give alarm 
of danger. It is made by the watch bird as it takes its flight, beating its 
wings together in quick succession, sounding like the rolling beat of a snare 
drum. Quick as thought each bird repeats the alarm, as the flock struggles 
to rise, leading a stranger to think a young cyclone is being born. 

I have visited in the southern states many roosting places of these birds, 
where the ground under the great forest trees for thousands of acres was 
covered with branches torn from the parent trees, some from eight to ten 
inches in diameter. At such a time so much confusion of sound is caused 
by the breaking of limbs and the continued fluttering and chattering that a 
gun fired a few feet distant cannot be heard, while to converse, so as to be 
heard, is almost impossible. 

About the middle of May, 1850, w T hile in the fur trade, I was camping on 
the headwaters of the Manistee river in Michigan. One morning while leav- 
ing my wigwam I was startled by hearing a gurgling, rumbling sound, as 
though an army of horses laden with sleigh bells was advancing through the 
deep forests toward me. As I listened more intently, I concluded that in- 
stead of the tramping of horses it was distant thunder; and yet the morning 
was clear, calm and beautiful. Nearer and nearer came the strange com- 
mingling sounds of sleigh bells, mixed with the rumbling of an approaching 
storm. While I gazed and listened, in wonder and astonishment, I beheld 
moving toward me in an unbroken front millions of pigeons, the first I had 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 49 

seen that season. They passed like a cloud through the branches of the high 
trees, through the underbrush and over the ground, apparently overturning 
every leaf. 

Statue-like I stood, half concealed by cedar boughs. They fluttered all 
about me, lighting on my head and shoulders. Gently I caught two in my 
hands and carefully concealed them under my blanket. I now began to 
realize that they were mating, preparatory to nesting. It was an event which 
I had long hoped to witness, so I sat down and carefully watched their move- 
ments, amid the greatest tumult. I tried to understand their strange lan- 
guage and why they chattered in concert. In the course of the day the great 
on-moving mass passed by me, but the trees were still filled with them sitting 
in pairs in convenient crotches of the limbs, now and then gently fluttering their 
half spread wings and uttering to their mates those strange bell-like wooing 
notes which I had mistaken for the ringing of bells in the distance. On 
the third day after, this chattering ceased and all were busy carrying sticks 
with which they were building nests in the same crotches of the limbs they 
had occupied in pairs the day before. On the morning of the fourth day 
their nests were finished and eggs laid. The hen birds occupied the nests in 
the morning while the male birds went out into the surrounding country to 
feed, returning about 10 o'clock, taking the nest, while the hens went out to 
feed, returning about 3 o'clock P. M. Again changing nests, the males went 
out the second time to feed, returning at sundown. The same routine was 
pursued each day, until the young were hatched and nearly half grown, at 
which time all the parent birds left the breeding grounds about daylight. On 
the morning of the eleventh day after the eggs w*ere laid, I found the nest- 
ing grounds strewn with egg shells, convincing me that the young were 
hatched. 

In thirteen days more the parent birds left their young to shift for them- 
selves, flying to the east about sixty miles, where they again nested. The 
female lays but one egg during the same nesting. Both sexes secrete in their 
crops milk or curd, with which they feed their young, until they are nearly 
ready to fly, when they stuff them with mast and such other raw material as 
they themselves eat, until their crops exceed their bodies in size, giving to 
chem an appearance of two birds with one head. Within two days after the 
stuffing they become a mass of fat (a squab). At this period the parent 
birds drive them from their nests to take care of themselves, while they fly 
off within a day or two, sometimes hundreds of miles, and again nest. It 
has been well established that these birds look after and take care of all 
orphan squabs whose parents have been killed or are missing. These birds 
are long lived, having been known to live twenty-five years while caged. When 
food is abundant they nest each month in the year. Their principal food is 
the mast of the forest, except when curd is being secreted in their crops, at 
which time they denude the country of snails and worms for miles around 
the nesting grounds. Because they nest in such immense bodies, they are 
frequently compelled to fly one hundred miles for food. 

During my early life I learned that these birds in spring and fall were 
seen in their migrations from the Atlantic to Ki-tchi-se-be (the Mississippi 
river). This knowledge, together with my personal observation of their 
countless numbers, led me to believe they were almost as inexhaustible as the 
great ocean itself. 

Of course, I had witnessed the passing away of the deer, buffalo and elk, 
but I looked upon them as local in their habits, while these birds spanned the 
continent, frequently nesting beyond the reach of cruel man. Between 1840 
and 1880 I visited in the states of Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. 

Vol. 1—4 



50 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Many breeding places were from twenty to thirty miles long and from three 
to five miles wide, every tree in its limits being spotted with nests. Yet not- 
withstanding their countless numbers, great endurance and long life, they 
have almost entirely disappeared from our forests. We strain our eyes in 
spring time and autumn, in vain, to catch a glimpse of these passing pil- 
grims. White men tell us they have moved in a body to the Rocky mountain 
region, where they are as plenty as they were here, but w 7 hen Ave ask red men 
about them, who are familiar with that region, they " we-we-bi-kwen " (shake 
their heads) in disbelief. A pigeon nesting was always a great source of rev- 
enue to our people. Whole tribes would wigwam in the breeding places. We 
seldom killed the old birds, but made great preparations to secure their young, 
out of which the squaws made "bi-mi-de" (squab butter) claimed by them 
to be better than "cow butter." 

They also smoked and dried them by thousands for future use. Yet 
under our practice of securing them they continued to increase. White men 
commenced netting them for shipping to market between 1830 and 1840. 
These men were known as professional pigeoners, from the fact that they 
banded themselves together, so as to keep in touch with these great moving 
bodies. In this w r ay they managed to keep almost continually on the borders 
of their breeding places. As they were always prepared with trained stool 
pigeons and flyers which they carried with them, they were enabled to call 
down the passing flocks and secure as many by net as they wished to pack 
in ice and ship to market. In 1848 there were shipped over one hundred tons 
of these birds from western New York and from that time to 1878 the whole- 
sale slaughter continued to increase and in that year there must have been 
shipped to market over five hundred tons of these birds. Think of it! Dur- 
ing that time hunters from all parts of the country were killing them with- 
out number; demoralizing them in their breeding places without mercy. A 
great cry has gone up at the north because the robins which breed in the 
northern states are killed as game birds in the south and no law to protect 
them. They, too, will become extinct like the pigeons, unless stringent law r s 
are passed to protect them. 

These traveling experts above referred to finally learned that the pigeons, 
while nesting, were frantic for salt, so they frequently made, near the nesting 
what they called salted mud beds, to which the pigeons flocked by the mil- 
lions. In April, 1876, I was invited to see a net sprung over one of these 
death pits. It was near Petoskey, Michigan. I think I am correct in saying 
that the birds piled upon each other at least three feet deep. When the net 
was sprung, it appeared that nearly all escaped, but when killed and counted 
there were over three hundred dozen, all nesting birds. When squabs in a 
nesting become fit for market, these experts prepared wdth climbers would 
get into some convenient place in a tree top loaded with nests and with long 
poles punch out the young, which would fall with a thud like lead, to the 
ground. In May, 1880, I visited the last nesting place of any size known in 
the United States. It was in Benzie County, Michigan, on Plat River. There 
were on these grounds many large white birch trees filled with nests; these 
trees have manifold bark, which, when old hangs in shreds like rags, along 
the trunks and limbs. This bark will burn like paper soaked in oil; here for 
the first time I saw with shame and pity, a new mode for robbing these birds ' 
nests, which I looked upon as being devilish. These outlaws to all moral 
sense would touch a lighted match to the bark of the trees, when, with a 
flash more like an explosion, the blast would reach every limb of the tree 
and while the affrighted young birds would leap simultaneously to the ground, 
the parent birds would rise high in air amid flame and smoke. I noticed 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 51 

that some of the squabs were so fat and clumsy they would burst open on 
striking the ground. Several thousand were obtained during the day by this 
cruel process. 

That night I stayed with an old man on the highlands just north of the 
nesting. In the course of the evening I explained to him the cruelty that 
was being shown to the young birds in the nesting. He listened to me in 
utter astonishment and said "My God, is it possible \" Remaining silent a 
few moments with bowed head, he looked up and said "See here, old Ingun; 
you go out with me in the morning and I '11 show you a way to catch pigeons 
that will please any red man and the birds too. ' ' Early the next morning I 
followed him a few rods from his hut, where he showed me an open pole 
pen about four feet high, which he called his bait bed. Into this he scattered 
a bucket of wheat. We then sat in ambush so as to see through between the 
poles into the pen. Soon the pigeons began to pour into the pen and gorge 
themselves. While I was watching and admiring them, all at once, to my 
surprise they began fluttering and falling on their sides and backs and kick- 
ing and quivering like a lot of cats with paper tied over their feet. He 
jumped into the pen saying "Come on, you red skin! " I was right on hand 
by his side. A few birds flew out of the pen apparently crippled, but we 
caught and caged about one hundred live birds. After my excitement was 
over I sat down on one of the cages and thought in my .heart "Certainly 
Pokagon is dreaming, or this long haired white man is a witch. ,? I finally 
said 1 1 Look here old fellow, tell me how you did that. ' ' He gazed at me, 
holding his long white beard in one hand and saying with one eye half shut 
and a sly wink with the other ' ' That wheat w T as soaked over night in whisky. ' ' 
His answer fell like lead upon my heart. We had talked temperance together 
the night before and the old man wept as I told him how my people had 
fallen by the intoxicating cup of the white man, like leaves before the blast 
of autumn. In silence I left the place, saying in my heart "Is it possible? 
Is there some of the white race in league with Maw-tchi-manito (the Devil) to 
deal out Ish-kot-i-wa-be (whiskey) to even the animal creation V 

I have read recently in some of our game sporting journals: "A war- 
whoop has been sounded against some of our western Indians far killing 
game in the mountain region. f ' Now if these red men are guilty of a moral 
wrong which subjects them to punishment, I would most prayerfully ask in 
the name of Him who suffers not a sparrow to fall unnoticed, What must 
be the nature of the crime and degree of punishment awaiting our white 
neighbors who have so wantonly butchered and driven from our forests these 
wild pigeons, the most beautiful flowers of the animal creation of North 
America? 

In closing this article I wish to say a few words relative to the knowl- 
edge of things about them that these birds seem to possess. In the spring 
of 1866, there were scattered throughout northern Indiana and southern 
Michigan vast numbers of these birds. On April 10th, in the morning, they 
commenced moving in small flocks in diverging lines toward the northwest 
part of Van Buren county, Michigan. For two days they continued to pour 
into that vicinity from all directions, commencing at once to build their nests. 
I talked with an old trapper who lived on the breeding grounds, and he as- 
sured me the first pigeons he had seen that season w r ere on the day they com- 
menced nesting and that he had lived there fifteen years and never knew 
them to nest there before. 

From the above instance and many more I could mention, it is estab- 
lished in my mind beyond a reasonable doubt, that these birds, as well as many 
other animals, have communicated to them by some means unknown to us, a 



52 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

knowledge of distant places and of one another when separated and that 
they act on such knowledge with just as much certainty as if it were con- 
veyed to them by ear or eye. Hence we conclude it is possible that the Great 
Spirit, in his wisdom, has provided them a means to receive electric com- 
munications from distant places and with one another. 

The buffaloes have gone, the pigeons are extinct and other game, 
once so abundant, is rapidly disappearing and the Indians them- 
selves are a disappearing race, rapidly journeying to their " happy 
hunting ground." If Mr. Engle is right, and he must be, for he 
speaks from observation and many years of experience and inti- 
mate acquaintance with them, the often-heard saying that "the 
only good Indians are dead Indians,' ' is a base slander of a sadly 
maligned and misunderstood people. While there were bad Indians, 
as there are bad white men, they were by no means all bad. Among 
them, as among the Caucasian race, the good, no doubt, was pre- 
dominant. 



CHAPTER II 

FOREIGN AND AMERICAN GOVERNMENT 

French Period (1634-1764)— English Period (1760-1796) — 
Territorial (American) Period — Michigan as a State — 
Population of the State (1810-1910) — Population of the 
County (1840-1910) — Property Valuation of State and 
County (1851-1911). 

Any history of the county of Van Buren would be incomplete 
without an historical sketch in the outline of the early history of 
the great state of which it forms so important a constituent part. 

Michigan, the twenty-sixth state of the Union, became a full 
fledged commonwealth by an act of congress, approved January 
20, 1837. 

French Period (1634-1764) 

Like many other historical occurrences not absolutely authentic, 
it is alleged that the first white man who ever set foot within the 
present boundaries of the state was Jean Nicolet, who was in the 
service of Governor Champlain, and that he first landed at the 
site of the city of Sault Ste. Marie, at which place he arrived in 
the summer of 1634. After remaining there for a short time he 
descended the strait and made a short stop at Michilimackinac, 
the Moche-ne-mok-e-nung of the Indians, and which is now known 
as Mackinac or, as it is sometimes written, Mackinaw. 

Following Nicolet were the two Jesuit missionaries, Rambault 
and Jougues. who arrived at the Sault seven years later, in 1641. 
They found a large assembly of Indians there who received them 
in a very friendly manner and desired that they should remain 
among them, but their stay was brief and they soon returned to 
eastern missionary points. 

In 1660 Pere Menard undertook to form a mission on the shores 
of Lake Superior and in October of that year he reached the head 
of Keweenaw bay, where he spent the winter among the Indians 
and in the spring he resumed his travels. He was accompanied by 
an Indian guide, but was either lost or murdered, as nothing fur- 
ther was ever heard of him. 

53 



51 HISTORY OF VAN BUKEN COUNTY 

Five years afterward a mission was established and a chapel 
erected by Pere Claude Allouez, at La Pointe, the first house of 
worship ever built west of Lake Huron. 

The second mission was founded at the Sault Ste. Marie, in 1668 
by Pere Marquette, whose name is identified with Michigan his- 
tory and is perpetuated in one of the great railways that have so 
largely aided in developing the marvelous resources of the state. 
A year later, Marquette was joined at the Sault by Pere Dablon 
and they speedily established themselves in a fort constructed of 
cedar pickets, enclosing both the chapel and a residence for their 
personal occupancy, as well as a space for the growing of grain 
and vegetables — probably the first attempt at agriculture by white 
men within the boundaries of the state. In the fall of the same 
year that Marquette assumed charge of the La Pointe mission Al- 
louez went to Green Bay and Dablon remained at the Sault. 

Since the time of the founding of these missions, the Sault has 
been inhabited by Europeans and Americans and is the oldest 
settlement in Michigan. 

Special messengers were sent out among the tribes, in the 
spring of 1671, for the purpose of calling a great council of the 
Indians at the Sault. Fourteen tribes sent representatives to 
this council to meet the French officers, who, with all due formality 
and ceremony, took possession of the country. Pere Allouez raised 
the cross and lilies of France and delivered an address on the oc- 
casion representing his King, Louis XIV, as ''the chief of chiefs 
having no equal in the world. " 

During the same year Marquette's mission at La Pointe was 
practically abandoned and himself accompanied a band of Hurons 
to the straits of Mackinac, w T here he founded the mission of St. 
Ignatius (now St. Ignace). Father Marquette was buried near 
this mission which he founded nearly two hundred and fifty years 
ago. A monument to his memory is erected there, but his mortal 
remains have been deposited at the Marquette college, Milwaukee. 

For the next nine years, 1671 to 1680, Pere Druilletes was the 
leading spirit at the Sault, Several times his chapel was destroyed 
by fire, but the aged missionary was full of energy and continued 
his w r ork until his advancing years and increasing infirmities com- 
pelled him to abandon it. He returned to Quebec, where he died 
in 1680. 

The first settlements made in this new land were largely under 
the auspices of companies organized for the purpose of engag- 
ing in the fur trade and for years there was little development of 
the country. On the 7th day of August, 1679, the schooner, " Grif- 
fin" set sail for the first voyage ever made on any of the great 
lakes that wash the shores of the Peninsular state. This vessel was 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 55 

commanded by Chevalier La Salle (who was accompanied by 
Father Hennepin, the missionary) and manned by a crew of fur 
traders. They were entirely ignorant of the waters over which they 
sailed and felt their way with great caution, finally reaching 
the mouth of the Detroit river on the 10th of August, and sailing 
northerly passed the Indian village of Teuchsagrondie, now the 
site of the great city of Detroit. This place had been previously 
visited by the French missionaries and traders but no attempt 
had been made to form a settlement. They continued their voyage 
through Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair river, into Lake Huron, 
where they experienced a severe storm, but finally succeeded in 
reaching the harbor of St. Ignace. 

Soon afterward La Salle, resuming his voyage, crossed Lake 
Michigan and cast anchor in Green Bay, where the " Griffin" was 
loaded with furs and sailed for Niagara, under orders to return 
to the mouth of the St. Joseph river as soon as possible, but she 
never reached her destination. A terrible storm swept over the 
lake almost immediately after her departure and it is altogether 
probable that she found a watery grave at the time. 

La Salle, with a few men, followed the coast of Lake Michigan 
to the mouth of the river, now the site of the city of St. Joseph, 
where he built a rude fort and shortly afterward was joined by 
a party from Mackinac under Tonty, La Salle's trusted agent. 
Losing hope of the return of the "Griffin" with the sorely needed 
supplies, the near approach of winter made further delay danger- 
ous and they began the ascent of the St. Joseph river. Near the 
present site of the city of South Bend, Indiana, they made a 
portage and continued their explorations, going down the Illinois 
river to the point where they built Fort Creve Coeur. 

The first European settlement at Detroit was founded by An- 
toine de la Mothe Cadillac on the 24th day of July, 1701. He 
brought with him a company of fifty soldiers and fifty traders 
and artisans, and proceeded at once to the construction of a fort 
which he named Fort Ponchartrain ; around the fort w T ere soon 
erected log houses thatched with grass in which the settlers found 
shelter and a home. Cadillac remained in charge of the new set- 
tlement until 1710. The colony continued to exist, but did not 
increase very much during the period of French control. 

In the meantime the rival claims of the French and English, 
in this valley of the Ohio and elsewhere, led to disputes which 
eventually culminated in a war, during which the French lost 
control of Forts Niagara, Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Finally 
the fall of Quebec decided the contest and all the vast territory 
was abandoned to English rule and New France became a memory. 

The most prominent feature of the French rule of the territory 



56 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

was the neglect to develop the resources of the country, agricul- 
tural and otherwise. Very little land was cleared, few permanent 
improvements were made and the settlements were of little import- 
ance. The fur trade was the chief occupation of the people and 
this was not calculated to build up and sustain thriving commun- 
ities. Hence, at the close of the French and Indian war, the little 
trading posts of Sault Ste Marie, Michilimackinac and Detroit 
were the meager results of a hundred years of French coloniza- 
tion and control of the great state of Michigan that was destined 
soon to be. 

English Period (1760 to 1796) 

Shortly after the surrender of the territory to the British Major 
Robert Rogers took possession of the " post at Detroit, which at 
that time contained an estimated population of about 2,500 in- 
habitants. The posts of Michilimackinac, Sault Ste. Marie and 
St. Joseph were not occupied by the English until the fall of 1761. 

Although the French had abandoned the territory and their 
chief military leaders had returned to France, the English were 
not destined long to remain in peaceful occupation of their new 
possessions. Less than three years of intercourse w 7 ith the Indian 
tribes aroused intense hostility against the new occupants of the 
country. Many of the French inhabitants remained and, as they 
had little love for the English, they made common cause with the 
red men, and with them hoped for a speedy downfall of British 
domination. 

A conspiracy was formed for the purpose of attempting the 
overthrow of English rule. An able leader was found in the per- 
son of Pontiac, an Ottaw r a chief. He was well fitted for the dar- 
ing enterprise; an eloquent orator, a brave and crafty warrior 
w T ho had won first place among the Indians of his day, and, what 
was more than all the rest, he was a real military genius, thought- 
ful and far seeing and able both to originate and manage compli- 
cated plans. In this latter respect, he was probably the greatest 
chief of his race ever produced. His plan was to simultaneously 
attack all the English posts west of the Alleghany mountains and 
to accomplish the massacre of all the garrisons at a single stroke, 
hoping thus to rid the country of a people whom they hated and 
whom they regarded as intruders in the valleys of the west which 
had, from time immemorial, been the possession of the Indians 
themselves. There were at this time twelve posts scattered from 
Niagara to Chicago, three of which, Detroit, Michilimackinac and 
St. Joseph, were within the boundaries of the present state of 
Michigan. Pontiac sent his ambassadors throughout the west and 
south and all the various tribes, from the Ottawa to the lower 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 57 

Mississippi, were visited, and all the Algonquins, most of the Wyan- 
dottes and some of the southern tribes were enlisted in the enter- 
prise. 

A great council was held at a point on the River E corse, near 
Detroit, on the 27th day of April, 1763, at which arrangements 
were made for an attack on the posts in May. 

The attack on Detroit was led by Pontiac in person. The 
crafty chief sought an interview w T ith Major Gladwin, commander 
of the post, on the 7th day of May and' was admitted, accompanied 
by a band of some sixty warriors, who, to all appearances were un- 
armed, their weapons being carefully concealed beneath their 
blankets. The plan was for Pontiac to make an address to the 
commander of the fort and the presentation of a string of wam- 
pum was to be the signal for the beginning of the massacre. This 
plan would, without doubt, have been successfully carried out, had 
it not been revealed to Major Gladwin by an Ojibwa maiden the 
evening previous to the intended attack, and he was prepared for 
it. When the red men were admitted to the fort they found the 
garrison under arms and ready to meet any hostile demonstration 
that might be attempted. Being convinced that the commander 
had been made aware of his plans, Pontiac was at a loss what 
course to pursue, or what to say and made his speech very brief. 
Major Gladwin told the Indians that the English would be their 
friends as long as they merited it, but that any hostile act would 
meet with instant vengeance. Two days later Pontiac sought to 
gain an entrance with a greater number of warriors, but did not 
succeed. The Indians then set up a war-whoop and murdered a 
number of the English who were outside the fort. 

The garrison were expecting reinforcements and on the 30th of 
May a sentinel reported that a fleet of boats w r as approaching, but 
the hopes of the garrison for assistance and supplies were not to 
be realized, for the Indians had learned of the approach of the 
fleet, consisting of twenty-three batteaux, and had captured all the 
supplies and massacred all but one officer and thirty men who es- 
caped in a boat and crossed the lake to Sandusky bay. The siege 
lasted from May until late in October, when scarcity of food in 
the camp of the Indians compelled them to withdraw. In an- 
ticipation of a possible renewal of hostilities on the part of the 
Indians, the commandant laid in a good supply of provisions, but 
the savages made no further demonstration, and in the spring 
the negotiations of Sir William Johnson and the opportune ar- 
rival of General Bradstreet induced them to refrain from further 
hostilities. 

Fort St. Joseph, which was garrisoned by Ensign Schlosser and 
fourteen men, was captured on the 25th of May, 1763, by a band 



58 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

of Pottawattamies, who gained admission through pretended 
friendship and massacred all the little band except the commander 
and three men, who were afterward taken to Detroit and ex- 
changed. 

Fort Michilimackinac, which was situated on the south side of 
the strait a short distance southwest of the present site of Mack- 
inaw City, was garrisoned by a force of nearly a hundred soldiers 
under the command of Major Etherington, who had full and 
ample warning of the hostile intentions of the Indians, but, dis- 
believing the reports, carelessly and foolishly neglected to take 
any precaution against possible attack, and on the second day of 
June, 1763, the Indians engaged in a game of ball just outside the 
gates of the fort, the officers and soldiers being interested specta- 
tors of the sport. About noon the ball was thrown into the fort 
and the red assassins rushed after it through the open gate. The 
Indians were furnished with tomahawks by the squaws who stood 
near the gate with the weapons concealed within their blankets. 
The garrison was taken completely by surprise and had little or 
no opportunity for defense. Lieutenant Jamette and seventy men 
were killed. Major Etherington and twenty-six men were taken 
prisoners and subsequently released. 

After burning the fort and appropriating all the supplies therein, 
the savages for greater security from deserved retribution en- 
camped on Mackinac Island. 

As a result of this Indian uprising, eight of the twelve English 
posts were captured, hundreds of Englishmen were slain and a 
reign of terror prevailed throughout the valleys of the west. But 
as far as accomplishing the real object of the conspiracy, the re- 
moval of the English from the interior of the country, the scheme 
of the great red chieftain was a complete failure. In the summer 
of 1764, General Bradstreet arrived at Detroit with an army of 
three thousand men. The Indians, realizing that it was useless for 
them to contend against so great a force, laid down their arms 
and thus the war was ended. From this time forth, the settle- 
ments grew slowly during the remainder of the English occupa- 
tion. Being so far removed from the scenes of conflict, the few 
settlers in this then far west had no occasion or opportunity to 
participate in the War of Independence, and although the treaty 
of peace between the colonies and the mother country, concluded 
at Paris in 1783, provided for the surrender of the English posts 
to the United States, it was not until July, 1796, that Detroit and 
Michilimackinac were given over into the possession of the new re- 
public and Michigan for the first time became an American posses- 
sion. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 59 

Territorial (American) Period 

Although the ordinance creating the Northwest territory was 
passed by congress in 1787, the retention of the Michigan posts by 
the English until 1796 made the latter date the practical begin- 
ning of the American territorial period. 

The anti-slavery clause contained in this ordinance was at first 
rejected by the committee having it in charge, but was subse- 
quently accepted, although a majority of the committee were from 
the then slave states. Except the Declaration of Independence, 
it was, at the date of its adoption, the most important declaration 
of fundamental law ever adopted by a free people. It provided 
for the government of the vast territory lying between the Ohio 
river and Lake Superior, and was framed with such wisdom that 
a modern jurist, Judge Cooley of the Michigan Supreme court, 
has said of it : " No charter has so completely withstood the tests 
of time and experience. It was not a temporary adaptation to a 
particular emergency, but its principles were for all time and 
worthy of acceptance under all circumstances. ' ' 

The ordinance was a compact between the original states and 
the people and states of the territory, and it provides that these 
articles shall forever remain unalterable, except by common con- 
sent. This ordinance is the second of the four great and immortal 
documents that insure to the American people their religious and 
political freedom, viz: The Declaration of Independence, the Or- 
dinance of 1787, the Constitution of the United States and the 
Proclamation of Emancipation. 

Of these four documents, the ordinance is less generally known 
among the people at large than either of the others, although it 
might as well be instilled into the minds of the rising generation 
as the Declaration itself. 

The important provisions of the ordinance were embodied in 
the six following articles: 

Art. T. No person demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly man- 
ner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious 
sentiments, in the said territory. 

Art. II. The inhabitants of said territory shall always be entitled to the 
benefits of the writ of habeas corpus and of the trial by jury; of a propor- 
tionate representation of the people in the legislature, and of judicial pro- 
ceedings according to the course of the common law. All persons shall be 
bailable unless for capital offenses, where the proof shall be evident or the 
presumption great. All fines shall be moderate, and no cruel or unusual 
punishments shall be inflicted. No man shall be deprived of liberty or 
property, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land, and should 
the public exigencies make it necessary for the common preservation to take 
any person's property, or to demand his particular services, full compensa- 



60 HISTOEY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

tion shall be made for the same. And in the just preservation of rights 
and property, it is understood and declared that no law ought ever to be 
made, or have force in the said territory, that shall in any manner whatever, 
interfere with or affect private contracts or engagements, bona fide and with- 
out fraud previously formed. 

Art. III. Eeligion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good gov- 
ernment and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education 
shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be observed 
towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from 
them without their consent and in their property, rights and liberty, they 
shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars author- 
ized by congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity, shall, from time 
to time, be made for preventing wrongs being done to them and for pre- 
serving peace and friendship with them. 

Art. IV. The said territory and the states that may be formed therein 
shall forever remain a part of this confederacy of the United States of 
America, subject to the articles of confederation and to such alterations 
therein as shall be constitutionally made, and to all the acts and ordinances 
of the United States in congress assembled, conformable thereto. The in- 
habitants and settlers in the said territory shall be subject to pay a part of 
the federal debts contracted or to be contracted, and a proportional part of 
the expenses of government, to be apportioned among them by congress ac- 
cording to the same common rule and measure by which apportionments 
thereof shall be made on other states, and the taxes for paying their propor- 
tion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legisla- 
tures of the district or districts, or new states, as in the original states, within 
the time agreed upon by the United States in congress assembled. The legis- 
latures of those districts or new states shall never interfere with the primary 
disposal of the soil by the United States in congress assembled, nor with any 
regulations congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to 
the bona fide purchasers. No tax shall be imposed on lands the property of 
the United States, and in no case shall non-resident proprietors be taxed higher 
than residents. The navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and St. 
Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common high- 
ways and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of the said territory as to 
the citizens of the United States and those of any other state that may be 
admitted into the confederacy, without any tax, impost or duty therefor. 

Art. V. There shall be formed in the said territory not less than three 
nor more than five states and the boundaries of the said states, as soon as 
Virginia shall alter her act of cession and consent to the same,* shall be- 
come fixed and established as follows, to-wit: The western state in the said 
territory shall be bounded by the Mississippi, Ohio and Wabash rivers, a 
direct line drawn from the Wabash and Post St. Vincent's due north to the 
territorial line between the United States and Canada and, by the said ter- 
ritorial line, to the Lake of the Woods and Mississippi. The middle states 
shall be bounded by the said direct line, the Wabash from Post St. Vincent 's 

* In the Virginia act of cession of December, 17 83, the cession was made on condition that the 
territory so ceded should be laid out and formed into states, containing suitable extent of territory, 
not less than one hundred nor more than one hundred and fifty miles square.' or as near thereto as 
circumstances would permit. Five years later, in December, 1788. Virginia altered her act of 
cession and consented to the boundaries of the new states as fixed in the ordinance of 17 87. 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 61 

to the Ohio, by the Ohio, by a direct line, drawn due north from the mouth of 
the Great Miami to the said territorial line, and by the said territorial line. 
The eastern state shall be bounded by the last mentioned direct line, the Ohio, 
Pennsylvania and the said territorial line: Provided, however, and it is 
further understood and declared, that the boundaries of these three states 
shall be subject, so far to be altered that, if congress shall hereafter find it 
expedient, they shall have authority to form one or two states in that part of 
said territory which lies north of an east and west line drawn through the 
southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan. And whenever any of the said 
states shall have sixty thousand free inhabitants therein, such state shall be 
admitted, by its delegates, into the congress of the United States, on an 
equal footing with the original states in all respects whatever, and shall be 
at liberty to form a permanent constitution and state government: Provided, 
the constitution and government so to be formed shall be republican and in 
conformity to the principles contained in these articles; and, so far as it can 
be consistent with the general interest of the confederacy, such admission 
shall be allowed at an earlier period, and when there may be a less number of 
free inhabitants in the state than sixty thousand. 

Art. VI. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the 
said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party 
shall have been duly convicted: Provided, always, that any person escaping 
into the same, from w r hom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one 
of the original states, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to 
the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid. 

The congress that adopted the foregoing ordinance was the old 
continental congress, which, under the articles of confederation, 
had carried the new nation through the War of the Revolution. 
However, as soon as the colonies had won the contest with the 
mother country and had secured their independence, it was per- 
ceived that the loosely draw r n articles of confederation were not 
sufficient to hold the several colonies together under one govern- 
ment, and steps were taken by the people of the several states 
"to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic 
tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general 
welfare and secure the blessings of liberty. " At the very time 
when the Ordinance of 1787 was adopted, the constitutional con- 
vention which would "secure a more perfect union " was in ses- 
sion. The ordinance and the constitution each contains the same 
patriotic conditions and both of the great documents were the 
product of practically the same w T ise Fathers, who laid so broad 
and deep the foundations of the new republic that it has ever 
since been able to successfully resist all assaults from without, as 
w r ell as to survive all domestic contention and discord. 

By the adoption of the Ordinance of 1787, at the very begin- 
ning of its political existence, this vast region was pledged to edu- 
cation, freedom and equal rights for all. 

In the fall of 1787 congress appointed General Arthur St. Clair 
governor of the Northwest territory, but owing to the failure of 



62 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

the British to surrender the posts in this section until 1796 the 
first pages of territorial history have only slight connection with 
Michigan affairs. 

Indiana territory was formed by act of congress in 1800, and 
two years later the lower peninsula of the present state of Michi- 
gan was made a part of the new territory and so remained until 
1805. The most important event that occurred in the history of 
Michigan during the period while it was attached to Indiana ter- 
ritory, was an act of congress enacted in 1804, providing for the 
disposal of public lands within the territory, by which section 
sixteen, in each township, was reserved for the use of schools, and 
one entire township in each of the districts afterwards forming 
the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, was to be located for 
the benefit of a seminary of learning. This act was the germ of 
the primary school fund in the state of Michigan and was the 
original source from which sprang the great university of the 
state, which has become one of the world's foremost educational 
institutions. 

Several different plans were evolved for the division of this 
great Northwest territory into states, besides the Virginia plan, 
in the original deed of cession, and the plan embodied in the 
Ordinance of 1787. The first congressional plan contemplated the 
formation of seventeen individual states, eight states to be be- 
tween the Mississippi and a line due north from the Falls of the 
Ohio, at Louisville, eight more to be between the Ohio Falls line 
and a parallel line running north from the western side of the 
mouth of the Kanawha river. On the extreme east was to be 
the seventeenth state. This plan did not meet with favorable con- 
sideration. 

What is called the Jeffersonian plan, because Thomas Jeffer- 
son was one of its chief originators, proposed a division into ten 
states. This plan is of interest chiefly for the names by which 
the proposed states were to have been called. Some of these names 
were Latin, some were Greek and some were of Indian derivation. 
The proposed states were to be about two degrees in width, north 
and south, and bounded on the east and west, as nearly as prac- 
ticable, by the north and south lines of the first congressional 
plan, above noted. 

That part of the territory north of the forty-fifth parallel, cov- 
ering the then heavily timbered regions of northern Michigan, 
Wisconsin and Minnesota, was to be called Sylvania. The re- 
mainder of the present state of Michigan was to be called Cher- 
sonesus, a Greek word signifying peninsula. South of Sylvania 
and covering a part of the present state of Wisconsin was to be 
the state of Michigania. South of Michigania and extending to 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY m 

the forty-first parallel was to be the state of Assenisipia, an In- 
dian word signifying Rock river. East of Assenisipia and extend- 
ing north to the shore of Lake Erie, was to be the state of Meso- 
potamia. South of Assenisipia, to the 39th parallel, w T as to be the 
state of Illinoia. To the east of Illinoia was to be the state of 
Saratoga, and east of Saratoga, bounded by the Ohio river, the 
west line of Pennsylvania and the eastern part of the south shore 
of Lake Erie, was to be the state of Washington. South of Illi- 
noia and Saratoga and lying along the Ohio river, was to be a 
state called Polypotamia. East of Polypotamia was to be the 
tenth state called Pelisipi, from a Cherokee word sometimes given 
to the Ohio river. While all these proposed state lines have dis- 
appeared and most of the proposed names are recalled only as mat- 
ters of curiosity, it will be noticed that the name of the Father of 
his country has since been conferred on the extreme northwest 
state of the Union lying on the border of that greatest of oceans, 
which, at that date, no man had ever dreamed would one day be- 
come the western boundary of the United States and that even 
that ocean itself would not stop the westward march of the 
American people, but that they would cross to the islands of the 
sea and still farther onward, until the far west should have be- 
come also the far east and American civilization should have prac- 
tically encircled the earth and that the "sun should never set" 
upon the flag of the free. 

Two of the other proposed names, Illinoia and Michigania, have 
been preserved with only slight changes in orthography. Had 
the proposed plan been adopted Van Buren county would now be 
located, not in the state of Michigan, but in the state of Chersone- 
sus. 

On the eleventh of January, 1805, congress passed an act for the 
organization of Michigan territory, which was to embrace all 
that portion of Indiana territory lying north of a line drawn east 
from the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan until it 
intersected Lake Erie, and lying east of a line drawn from the 
same southerly bend through the middle of Lake Michigan to its 
northern extremity and thence due north to the northern boun- 
dary of the United States, general William Hull was appointed 
governor of the newly organized territory and arrived at Detroit 
in the month of July, 1805. A few weeks previous to his arrival 
the town had been destroyed by fire and he found the inhabitants 
encamped in the fields with a scanty supply of food and little 
shelter. But they were an indomitable people, not discouraged 
by their misfortune, and they immediately began to rebuild the 
town, which was made the capital of the new T territory. Detroit, 
which at the last census (1910) contained a population of 465,766 



64 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

souls, was then a hamlet of not to exceed 4,000 inhabitants, and 
at that time there appeared to be little inducement for immigra- 
tion into the new territory, the great natural resources of which 
were almost wholly unknown. 

About two years after Governor Hull had assumed control of 
the territory, signs of Indian troubles became manifest. Insti- 
gated by British fur traders, a plan similar to that of Pontiac was 
devised, but was not then ready to be put into execution, although 
well-founded rumors of ill-feeling, discontent and evil designs 
came to the governor and the people from time to time, causing 
much anxiety and greatly retarding the settlement of the territory. 
Tecumseh and his brother, commonly called the Prophet, being 
the Indian leaders. Such was the condition of territorial affairs 
when the impressment of American seamen and other British in- 
sults brought on a second conflict with Great Britain. 

Encouraged by the gathering war clouds, the Indians, long 
before the beginning of actual hostilities, assembled in great num- 
bers on the banks of the Wabash river, but, fortunately, not only 
for Indiana, but for Michigan and the entire northwest, General 
William Henry Harrison, afterward president of the United 
States, was the governor of that territory. Governor Harrison was 
an able, brave and energetic officer and took no chances and lost 
no time in instituting vigorous measures for the protection of the 
people against the redskins. With an army of about nine hun- 
dred men, he marched to the camp of the Indians called Prophet's 
Town. There he was met by a delegation of chiefs who professed 
to be greatly surprised at the visit, and assured the general that 
their intentions were peaceful and that they had no thought of 
fighting and asked for a conference on the morrow. The general 
replied that he would be glad to give them an opportunity to 
show their peaceful intentions and would grant them the de- 
sired council. But, being somewhat versed in the treacherous na- 
ture of the savages, on going into camp for the night, every pre- 
caution was taken to prevent a surprise in case the redskins should 
attack the camp. As the general had anticipated, the savages had 
only requested a council for the purpose of throwing the command 
off its guard and gaining an easy victory by means of a night at- 
tack. About four o 'clock in the morning the Indians assaulted the 
camp, but, contrary to their expectations, they found the soldiers 
fully prepared for them. The engagement that followed is known 
in history as the battle of Tippecanoe and resulted in the complete 
rout of the Indians. This battle played no small part in elevating 
General Harrison to the presidency. There are yet surviving a 
considerable number of people who well remember the refrain of a 
campaign song of 1840 which ran as follows: "Tippecanoe and 



HISTORY OF VAN BUKEN COUNTY 65 

Tyler too," John Tyler being General Harrison's running mate 
in the presidential campaign of 1840, known as the "hard-cider 
campaign/ ' 

Governor Hull, of the Michigan territory, was given command 
of a military force for the protection of the frontier and the in- 
vasion of Canada, should war ensue. With an army of about fifteen 
hundred men, he started from Dayton, Ohio, and after a tedious 
march of three weeks, reached Detroit on the sixth day of July, 
1812. War had been declared on the 18th day of June, but Gov- 
ernor Hull did not receive notice of that fact until the second day 
of July. 

At that time, Fort Mackinac was garrisoned by a little band of 
fifty-seven men, under the command of Lieutenant Porter Hanks. 
The British commandant on St. Joseph 's island learned of the dec- 
laration of war about the middle of July and immediately started 
for Mackinac with a force of about one thousand men, with which 
force he landed and took up a commanding position above the fort. 
Being at the mercy of the foe with his little garrison, Lieutenant 
Hanks was. obliged to surrender and, with his men, was paroled 
and sent to Detroit. Thus, on the 17th day of July, 1812, the 
post at Mackinac again passed under English control. 

Orders were given to General Hull to cross the Detroit river, 
take possession of Canada and dislodge the British at Fort Maiden, 
which was garrisoned by only a small force and probably would 
have been easily captured had General Hull moved forward in the 
same vigorous manner as did General Harrison at the battle of 
Tippecanoe. But Commander Hull was not a man of the same 
caliber and mental vigor as General Harrison, and "under pre- 
text that heavy artillery was necessary to an attack on the fort at 
Maiden, the army lay inactive at Sandwich from the 12th of July 
to the 8th of August." During this interval, while Hull was 
"marking time" at Sandwich, General Brock moved toward Fort 
Maiden with a considerable military force. On the ninth day of 
August, General Hull recrossed the river, entered the fort at 
Detroit and abandoned Canada. No man can say what different 
history might have been written if Hull had pushed forward and 
taken possession of Maiden, as he was ordered to do. It is pos- 
sible, perhaps probable, that in that event Canada might have 
become a constituent part of the United States, instead of being, 
as it is, a foreign country on our northern border, identical in in- 
terest with her great southern neighbor and separated from this 
nation only by an imaginary line. 

The next day after his arrival at Maiden General Brock moved 
up to Sandwich and summoned General Hull to surrender. This 
summons being refused, a cannonade was at once opened on the 

Vol. I— 5 



66 HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

American fort and the fire was returned, little damage being done 
to either side. 

On the morning of the 16th day of July General Brock crossed 
the river and repeated his demand for the surrender of the post. 
The English commander had a force of about thirteen hundred 
men, and Hull had not less than a thousand. Without holding 
any council of war or in any way consulting with his officers, and 
without waiting to make any stipulation as to terms, General Hull 
at once hoisted a white flag and sent word to the English general 
that he would surrender the fort. The American officers were in- 
censed beyond measure at the cowardly action of their commander. 

Hull was accused of treason, cowardice and criminal neglect of 
duty, and, although he was acquitted of the charge of treason, he 
was convicted of the second and third offenses and, by a court 
martial, was sentenced to be shot. This sentence was not car- 
ried into execution, as, in consideration of valuable service he had 
rendered the country in the War of the Revolution, he was par- 
doned by the president. 

Hull's name was for many years held in contempt by the people 
of the country and was regarded a synonym of cowardice and 
poltroonery. 

Let General Hull be counted null, 

And let him not be named, 
Upon the rolls of valiant souls, 

Of him we are ashamed. 

was a quatrain that was familiar to every school boy in the 
early part of the nineteenth century. 

With the surrender of Detroit, the territory of Michigan be- 
came for a time a British province. General Brock placed 
Colonel Proctor in command of both the fort and the territory. 
Proctor assumed the title of governor and proceeded to organize 
the civil government. He appointed Judge Woodward as his sec- 
retary. Woodward had considerable influence with Proctor and 
was of great service to the people, whose interests he was instru- 
mental in protecting in a large degree. 

In the fall and winter following Hull's surrender of Detroit, 
General Harrison organized an army and moved northward for 
the recapture of the frontier posts, sending General Winchester 
in advance to the Maumee river. A few days later General Win- 
chester moved forward and encamped on the River Raisin, where 
on the 22d of January, 1813, he was attacked by the British and 
Indians under the command of Proctor. The American force was 
taken by surprise and compelled to surrender. During the night 
following the surrender, the savages butchered the wounded sol- 
diers and defenseless inhabitants without mercy. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 67 

The great naval victory at Put-in-Bay, won by Commodore 
Oliver Hazard Perry, on the 10th day of September, 1813, by 
which the entire naval force of the British commander, Commo- 
dore Barclay, was captured, was a decisive stroke and paved the 
way for the recovery of Michigan territory and the entire north- 
west. This victory was the most complete in naval history up to 
that date, and the only naval battles comparable to it in after 
years are the victories of Admiral Dewey at Manila bay and the 
capture of the Spanish fleet by Admirals Schley and Sampson at 
Santiago, during the war with Spain. 

The captured vessels were used by General Harrison for the 
transportation of his command across Lake Erie, preparatory to a 
vigorous Canadian campaign, but the British forces evacuated 
Maiden and Detroit, Colonel Proctor making a speedy retreat. He 
was overtaken and defeated at Moravian town, Tecumseh, the 
great Indian leader, was killed, and Proctor fled. On the 29th 
of September, 1913, Detroit again passed into the possession of 
the Americans and Colonel Lewis Cass was placed in command, 
and on the 9th of October next he was appointed by President 
Madison as governor of the territory. 

An attempt was made, in the summer of 1814, to regain posses- 
sion of Mackinac island, which was still held by the British. Lieu- 
tenant Croghan was sent with a force to effect its capture, but he 
delayed his movements so long that the English commander was 
enabled to strengthen his position and to increase his force to such 
an extent that the expedition ended in an ignominious failure. It 
was not until the close of the war that the island came once more 
into the possession of the Americans, the post being evacuated in 
the spring of 1815 and being again occupied by a force of Ameri- 
can soldiery. 

At the beginning of the administration of Governor Cass, there 
was but a small population in the entire territory and that was 
confined to a few settlements on the eastern border. The entire 
interior of what was destined to be, in the not distant future, one 
of the great and most prosperous states of the Union, was prac- 
tically an unknown wilderness, and, what was greatly to its dis- 
advantage, it was regarded as being an almost impenetrable 
swamp and of little value, possessing no attraction for other than 
trappers and hunters. Some of the civil engineers sent out by the 
general government to make the survey of bounty lands for the 
soldiers were responsible, in a large degree, for reports that served 
to injure the territory and retard its settlement. Governor Cass 
took great pains to counteract these reports and to remove the er- 
roneous impressions that had been created thereby. He made 
treaties with the Indians, dealt with them fairly and honorably, 



68 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

secured cession of their lands to United States, and by his un- 
tiring efforts in behalf of much maligned territory, he won imper- 
ishable renown. After the necessary treaties had been concluded, 
the country was opened for settlement. The survey of public 
lands was begun in 1816, and after the lapse of two years the au- 
thorities began their sale. Farmers would not come in any con- 
siderable numbers until there was an opportunity to procure lands 
to which they could obtain a sure title, and, without tillers of the 
soil, there could be little growth or prosperity, but, with the set- 
tlement of the interior, which really began in 1818, the territory 
commenced to make a substantial growth. 

The first steamboat that ever sailed on the great lakes, the 
"Walk-in-the- Water," arrived at Detroit in the summer of 1818, 
and from that time forth, westward bound settlers had less dif- 
ficulty in coming to Michigan. The " Walk-in-the-Water ' ' was 
wrecked three years afterward, but the " Superior " and other 
steamers soon took her place and steam navigation contributed 
in no slight degree to increasing prosperity of the growing ter- 
ritory. 

Another pressing need was the matter of roads. Immigrants 
could not come in any considerable numbers to the new territory 
as long as the only method of finding their way through the for- 
ests was by trails or by roads cut out, but never worked, and 
which were often practically impassable. Roads around the west 
end of Lake Erie to Detroit, and from the latter place to Chi- 
cago, and other highways of importance, were constructed as soon 
as practicable through the energetic work of Governor Cass and 
his efficient secretary, Woodbridge. The opening of the Erie canal 
in 1825 was also an event of great importance to Michigan. 
Steamers and sailing craft rapidly increased in number and it is 
estimated that at least three hundred passengers a week were 
landed in Detroit during the fall of that year. 

George G. Porter, of Pennsylvania, succeeded Cass as governor 
of the territory and Stevens T. Mason became his secretary. As 
Governor Porter was absent for a considerable portion of the time, 
his duties were performed by Secretary Mason. When Porter died 
in 1834, no change was made and Mason continued to perform the 
duties of governor during the remainder of the territorial period. 
In the meantime, the population of the territory had reached and 
passed the number (60,000) prescribed in the Ordinance of 1787, 
and the people desired admission into the Union. 

It was about this time that a serious dispute arose in regard to 
the boundary line between Michigan and the state of Ohio, which 
had. been admitted in 1802 with an indefinite northern boundary. 
The act of 1805, by which the territory of Michigan was organ- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 69 

ized, fixed the southern boundary of the territory at a line run- 
ning due east from the southern bend of Lake Michigan. This line 
included Toledo and a considerable strip of land to which) Ohio 
laid claim, and of which, by proclamation of Governor Lucas is- 
sued in 1835, the Ohio authorities assumed control, the legisla- 
ture of that state passing an act for its organization as the county 
of Lucas. This action was resented by the Michigan authorities 
and Acting Governor Mason called out the militia and proceeded 
to Toledo for the avowed purpose of preventing the Ohio officials 
from taking possession and exercising control over the disputed 
strip. Although some shots were fired it was a bloodless war, as 
nobody was injured. 

Congress, anxious for a peaceable solution of the matter, offered 
Michigan all that portion of the present state lying north of the 
straits known as the Upper Peninsula, on condition that she should 
relinquish all claim to the land claimed by Ohio. This compro- 
mise was reluctantly accepted by the Michigan authorities, prac- 
tically nothing being known of the resources of the territory 
which she received in exchange for that which she abandoned to 
the state of Ohio. Subsequent events, however, proved that it 
was a most valuable exchange, the mineral resources of the Upper 
Peninsula, especially iron and copper, which were then entirely 
unknown, having added many millions of dollars to the value of 
the state. 

The first state convention looking to the adoption of a constitu- 
tion for the embryo state was held at Detroit in May, 1835. The 
document framed by the convention was submitted to a vote of 
the people and adopted on the first Monday of the following Oc- 
tober, state officers being chosen at the same time. Stevens T. 
Mason was elected governor and Edw T ard Mundy, lieutenant gov- 
ernor. Mason is distinguished in Michigan history by the title 
of the "boy governor/' he being but nineteen years of age when 
he first assumed gubernatorial duties as acting executive of the 
territory, and but twenty-three years old when elected as the first 
governor of the new state that was soon to be. He was born in the 
state of Virginia in 1812 and died January 4, 1843, aged not quite 
thirty-one years. 

The Michigan legislature met in November, 1835, and elected 
Lucius Lyon and John Norvell as United States senators. Every- 
thing was ready for her admission, but the dispute with the state 
of Ohio as to the southern boundary of the state prevented favor- 
able congressional action at that time, and it was not until Jan- 
uary 26, 1837, that congress acted favorably on the question and 
Michigan became the twenty-sixth state of the Union. 



70 HISTOKY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

Michigan as a State 

Under the first constitution of Michigan, the governor and the 
lieutenant governor were elective. The other state officers — secre- 
tary of state, attorney general, auditor general, superintendent of 
public instruction and the judges of the supreme court — were to be 
appointed by the governor by and with the consent of the senate, 
except as to the superintendent of public instruction, whose ap- 
pointment was to be ratified by both houses of the legislature, in 
joint session. A state treasurer was also provided for, who re- 
ceived his appointment from the legislature by a joint vote of the 
two houses. The governor also had the appointment of a prosecut- 
ing attorney for each county, subject to the approval of the senate. 
Another peculiar provision of the constitution of 1835, deserving 
of especial notice, was that in regard to internal improvements, 
which was as follows : ' * Internal improvements shall be encouraged 
by the government of this state and it shall be the duty of the 
legislature, as soon as may be, to make provision by law for 
ascertaining the proper objects of improvement in relation to 
roads, canals and navigable waters; and it shall also be their 
duty to provide by law for an equal, systematic, economical ap- 
plication of the funds which may be appropriated to these ob- 
jects." 

Governor Mason was in full sympathy with the proposed system 
of internal improvement by the state, and as his recommendation 
and with his approval the scheme was speedily put into execution. 
Arrangement was made for the issue of five million dollars of 
state bonds and the governor was given authority to negotiate the 
loan. Among the more important projected improvements were 
two lines of railway, the Michigan Central and the Michigan 
Southern. The former was projected to begin at Detroit, extend 
across the state and end at St. Joseph on the eastern shore of 
Lake Michigan. Of this project we shall have occasion to speak 
further in another chapter. The other line was projected to ex- 
tend from Monroe to New Buffalo. After an unsuccessful ex- 
perience of five years in the prosecution of these enterprises and 
others of lesser note, it became evident that it would be for the , 
best interests of the state to dispose of these railroads, neither of 
which was completed, to private corporations. They were accord- 
ingly sold in 1846 for the sum of two and a half millions of dol- 
lars, which was very much less than the state had invested in 
them, but which was, doubtless, a very good sale for the interests 
of the people. Under the management of the purchasers the roads 
were soon completed, but some changes were made along the west- 
ern portion of their routes. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUB-EN COUNTY 71 

The new state also had an unique and disastrous experience with 
its banking system which afterward came to be known as and 
called "wild-cat banking/ 7 Among the crude and ill-digested 
theories of that primitive day was the notion that banking, like 
farming, store-keeping and other ordinary business, should be free 
to all. When the state was admitted there was fifteen banks doing 
business within its borders, and, in the spring of 1837, the legis- 
lature passed a general banking law. This act provided that any 
ten or more freeholders might engage in the business of banking 
with a capital of not less than $50,000, nor more than $300,000. 
This law was loosely framed and without proper safeguards, and 
proved in practice to be utterly worthless. Among other things, 
it was provided that not less than thirty per cent of the entire 
capital should be paid in, in specie, before commencing business; 
that debts and bills issued should be secured by mortgages on 
real estate, etc. Banks were to be subject to examination and 
supervision by commissioners, but all these statutory provisions for 
safety were successfully evaded. Banks were started by irre- 
sponsible parties, mere adventurers, who were wholly destitute of 
either capital or credit. Whenever the banking commissioners 
started on their tours of investigation, bags of coin were secretly 
carried from one bank to another, so that the commissioners were 
constantly deceived. It is said that nails, with specie in the tops 
of the kegs were palmed off on the commissioners as full kegs 
of coin, but as this is not properly vouched for, it may not be 
true. At all events every possible ruse was made use of to make 
a showing of the legal amount of coin, and by means of the speedy 
and surreptitious transfer of specie from bank to bank, the same 
coin was made to do duty over and over again, and in the mean- 
time these wild-cat institutions were putting into circulation a 
vast amount of utterly worthless currency. 

The year 1837 is memorable as a time of great financial panic 
throughout the entire United States. In June of that year the 
Michigan legislature passed an act authorizing the suspension of 
specie payment until the middle of May of the following year, 
hoping thereby to relieve in some degree the financial stress that 
prevailed, not only in Michigan, but in the entire country. But 
as the wild-cat banking law remained unrepealed, banks con- 
tinued to be organized and a constant stream of worthless cur- 
rency continued to be issued, and was put into circulation as 
rapidly as possible. Banks were located anywhere and every- 
where. One was found doing a flourishing business in an old saw 
mill, and it was humorously asserted that a hollow stump served 
as a vault. The bank of Singapore, located in the woods where 
now is the site of the flourishing village of Saugatuck, in 



72 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

the county of Allegan which adjoins Van Buren county on the 
north, was a typical institution of the kind. The writer has a 
bill of that bank in his possession that was issued in 1837. By 
the close of the year 1839, most of these wild-cat banks had gone 
out of business, but more than a million dollars of worthless cur- 
rency, which was a total loss to the people, had been put into 
circulation. In 1844 the banking law was declared to be uncon- 
stitutional, and that decision closed out the last of the ' ' wild-cats. ' ' 

One of the first steps of interest taken by Governor Mason, after 
the admission of Michigan into the Union, was the appointment of 
a superintendent of public instruction. Rev. John D. Pierce was 
selected for this important office. He was the founder of the 
Michigan primary school system, a system that is acknowledged 
to be second to that of no other one of the states of the Union. 

Father Pierce, as he is affectionately termed, wished to place the 
primary school within the reach of every child of school age in the 
state, and also to establish a state university for the higher cul- 
ture of the more advanced students. How well he succeeded in 
his efforts along these lines the present admirable Michigan system 
of educating her children bears ample testimony. The plan which 
he developed contained most of the essential features of the pres- 
ent school system, and when it is remembered that he was the first 
superintendent of public instruction in the United States, and that 
he had to formulate the entire educational plan, we are better 
prepared to appreciate the wisdom and foresight displayed by this 
founder of the justly celebrated Michigan school system. 

A majority of the pioneers who settled in the interior of Michi- 
gan came from the New England states, New York and Ohio. Some 
of them came from the very birthplace of the town meeting, and 
all of them took an active and earnest interest in the good govern- 
ment of the state of their adoption. They w T ere an intelligent and 
public spirited people, prudent and industrious, desirable citizens 
in any community. Their style of living was unavoidably plain; 
their dwellings were structures built of logs from the forests, 
primitive, but comfortable; their clothing cheap and coarse, but 
that mattered not to the hardy settlers, so long as it possessed the 
qualities of wear and comfort. Hard work was the order of the 
day and while neighbors were few and far between, genuine friend- 
ship ancl hospitality were marked characteristics of the "path- 
finders" of the vast Michigan wilderness. 

From 1701, when Cadillac first occupied Fort Pontchartrain, 
until 1847, Detroit had been the seat of government, but in the 
latter part of that year, the legislature located the capital at 
Lansing, which was then an unbroken forest forty miles distant 
from any railroad, but which is now a flourishing city of upwards 



HISTOKY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 78 

of 30,000 inhabitants. This action of the legislature met with 
much ridicule and opposition, but the event justified the location, 
which has proved to be satisfactory to the people of the state. The 
township of Lansing, in which the capital city is situated, was 
organized by an act of the legislature of 1842, as follows: "That 
all that part of the county of Ingham designated by the United 
States survey as township number four north, of range number 
two west, be set off and organized into a separate township, by 
the name of Lansing, and the first township meeting shall be held 
at the shantee near the cedar bridge in said township/ ' 

After an experience of more than a dozen years under the con- 
stitution of 1835, it became manifest that some radical changes 
were needed in the fundamental law of the state, and a convention 
was called to meet at Lansing in June, 1850, for the purpose of 
preparing and submitting a new constitution. This duty was 
performed and the work of the convention submitted to the peo- 
ple at the general election held on the 5th day of November, 1850.* 
Hon. Isaac W. Willard, a man prominent in the development of 
Van Buren county, was a delegate to this convention. The con- 
stitution of 1850 remained as the supreme law of the state until 
1908, when it was superseded by the present constitution which 
was adopted by a vote of the people at the general election 
of November in that year. The present constitution was framed 
by a convention that met at Lansing, October 22, 1907, and re- 
mained in session until March 3, 1908. At this convention, Hon. 
Benjamin F. Heckert and Hon. Guy J. Wicksall were delegates 
from Van Buren county. 

At the time of the admission of Michigan into the Union, the 
Democratic party was in power and the first governor of the state 
was affiliated with that party. He was succeeded by Governor 
Woodbridge, a Whig, for a single term, after which the Democrats 
again came into control of the state and remained as the dominant 
party until the organization of the Eepublican party in 1854, since 
which date that party has, with the exception of two terms, been 
in full control of the state government. 

During the Civil war the state was fortunate in having Hon. 
Austin Blair, known as her great "war governor," as her chief 
executive. No state was more earnest in supporting the general 
government and in upholding the hands of the immortal Lincoln, 
than was Michigan. None made greater sacrifice for the suppres- 
sion of the Rebellion and none sent better or braver soldiers into 
the field. Altogether, Michigan furnished 93,700 men, of whom 



* Among other changes, this constitution made judges of the supreme court 
and state officers, heads of departments, elective instead of appointive. 



74 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 



14,855 died in the service of their country. Upwards of 4,000 
Michigan men were enlisted in the more recent Spanish-American 
Avar. 

The first half century of the history of Michigan witnessed 
many wonderful changes. In 1837 the interior of the state was 
almost wholly an unbroken wilderness, inhabited only by the In- 
dian tribes and the beasts of the forest, and there were very few 
signs of civilization to be seen. Postal arrangements were of the 
crudest character and correspondence was an expensive luxury. 
The entire population of the state at that time was but x 174,467, 
and that largely alpng the borders of the state next the great 
lakes. The census of 1910 places Michigan, in point of numbers, 
as the eighth state in the Union, giving to her a population of 
2,810,173, an increase of sixteen-fold in seventy-three years. De- 
troit, the metropolis of the state, is now the ninth American city, 
having by the last census a population of 465,766. 

The following table shows the population of the state at each 
decennial year, for the past century, and of the county of Van 
Buren at each decennial census since the admission of Michigan 
as a state. 



Michigan 

Date. Population. Increase. 

1810 4,762 

1820 8,896 4,134 

1830 31,639 22,743 

1840 212,267 180,628 

1850 397,654 185,387 

1860 749,113 351,497 

1870 1,184,282 435,869 

1880 1,636,937 452,655 

1890 2,093,889 456,952 

1900 2,420,982 327,093 

1910 2,810,873 389,191 

V^n Buren County 
Date. Population. 

1840 1,910 

1850 5,800 

1860 : 15,224 

1870 28,829 

1880 ' 30,807 

1890 30,541 

1900 34,965 

1910 33,185 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 75 

While there has been the above remarkable increase in the popu- 
lation of the state, there has been a corresponding increase in its 
financial prosperity, as may be seen by the following tabulation, 
showing the valuation of the state and also of Van Buren county 
for the past sixty years, as fixed by the state board of equalization. 

Date State. County. 

1851 $ 30,976,270 '" $ 541,663 

1853 120,362,470 1,683,561 

1856 137,663,009 2,132,374 

1861 172,055,805 2,591,490 

1866 307,965,842 4,926,238 

1871 630,000,000 11,550,000 

1876 630,000,000 11,000,000 

1881 810,000,000 14,000,000 

1886 945,459,000 14,000,000 

1891 1,130,000,000 15^000,000 

1896 1,105,100,000 14,500,000 

1901 1,578,100,000 16,000,000 

1906 1,734,100,000 17,000,000 

191.1 2,390,000,000 27,300,000 

A glance at the foregoing tables will show that during the past 
sixty years the state of Michigan has increased in wealth seventy- 
seven fold and, that during the same length of time, from 1850 to 
1910, its population has been multiplied nearly eight times, while 
Van Buren county during the same period increased in wealth fifty- 
two fold, probably as great an increase as would be shown by any 
other rural county in the entire state; its population during the 
same time has increased nearly six-fold. 

When we realize something of the greatness of our state and take 
cognizance of its various industrial interests, its mines of iron, 
copper and coal, its beds of cement, its magnificent orchards, vine- 
yards and farms, its unsurpassed manufacturing industries, its salt 
and its sugar, its beautiful cities and villages, its great transporta- 
tion facilities, both by land and by water, its fisheries around the 
great lakes that lave its borders, its beautiful inland lakes and 
streams, its thousands upon thousands of handsome and commo- 
dious dwellings, in country as well as in city, and a thousand and 
one other attractions, it would seem that there is no other state 
in the Union that can excel it, or that can bestow upon its fortunate 
inhabitants more of the comforts and luxuries of life. If Michigan 
were to be cut off from all communication with the rest of the 
world, her people would still be a prosperous people and would 
lack none of the real necessities and* few of the luxuries to which 
they have been accustomed. It was indeed a happy thought when 
her pioneer statesmen chose for her motto, that most appropriate 
legend Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice. 



76 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 



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The County of Today 



CHAPTER III 

CIVIL AND EARLY HISTORY 

First Michigan County — Van Buren County Created — Civil 
and Judicial Organization — Township Organization — Pioneer 
Pictures — Van Buren County Pioneer Association — Edwin 
Barnum's Poem — Oslerism Reviewed. 

I hear the tread of pioneers, 

Of nations yet to be, 
The first low wash of waves where soon 

Shall wave a human sea. 
The rudiments of empire here 

Are plastic yet and warm, 
The chaos of a mighty world 

Is rounding into form. 

It is popularly supposed that Van Buren county once formed a 
part of the county of Wayne, but this supposition, strictly speak- 
ing, is incorrect. It is true, however, that on the 15th day of July, 
1796, General Arthur St. Clair, at that time governor of the 
Northwest territory, issued an executive proclamation by which 
he assumed to organize the county of Wayne, and in which he in- 
cluded the northwestern part of Ohio, the northeastern part of 
Indiana and the whole of Michigan, which at that time included 
a part of the state of Wisconsin, truly a magnificent extent of ter- 
ritory to be included within the boundaries of a single county. 
But at that time the county of Van Buren had not been named or 
thought of as a distinct entity, and the Indian title to a large 
portion of the widely extended county thus attempted to be created 
had not been extinguished, so that the proclamation of Governor 
St. Clair, in-so-far as the territory which subsequently became Van 
Buren county was involved, was a mere nullity, it being then, as it 
has always since been, the policy of the general government to rec- 
ognize the title of the Indian tribes to the lands occupied by them 
and not to attempt to exercise jurisdiction therein until such time 
as their title should be extinguished and vested in the United 
States. 

77 



78 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

First Michigan County 

The first actual county organization within the territory of 
Michigan was created by proclamation of General Lewis Cass, 
governor of the territory, dated November 21st, 1815, as follows: 
' ' To all to whom these presents may come, greeting : Know ye, that 
I do hereby lay out that part of the territory of Michigan to which 
the Indian title has been extinguished into a county to be called 
the County of Wayne, and the seat of justice of said county shall 
be at the City of Detroit." (Territorial Laws, Vol. I. p. 323). 

The proclamation of Governor Cass, above quoted, makes the 
new county cover all the territory to which the "Indian title has 
been extinguished, ' ' and as the title to the territory included with- 
in the boundaries of Van Buren county remained in the Pot- 
tawattamies until what is called the Chicago treaty of 1821, some 
six years after the proclamation creating the county of Wayne, 
such proclamation did not affect the territory now included within 
boundaries of this county. 

This treaty was signed by General Cass and Solomon Sibley, as 
commissioners of the United States, and had attached to it the 
totemic signatures of Topinabee, Wesaw and fifty-three other 
chiefs of the Pottawattamies. By this treaty the Indian title was 
extinguished to all the present county of Van Buren, as well as 
to certain other lands, being nearly all of Berrien county; nine 
entire counties and a part of five others, all in southwest Michi- 
gan, and also a strip of land ten miles in width south of the state 
line between Michigan and Indiana. 

By executive proclamation, dated September 10, 1822, made by 
Governor Cass, it was ordered that "All the country within this 
territory to which the Indian title was extinguished by the treaty 
of Chicago shall be attached to, and compose a part of the coun- 
ty of Monroe,' ' so that for municipal purposes the territory after- 
ward organized as the county of Van Buren was first within the 
jurisdiction of Monroe county. (Territorial Laws, Vol. I. p. 
335-336). 

Van Buren County Created 

The first act of the legislature of the territory affecting Van 
Buren county was placed upon the statute books in 1829 and was as 
follows: "That so much of the territory included within the 
following limits— viz., beginning where the line between ranges 
twelve and thirteen west of the meridian intersects the base line, 
thence west to the shore of Lake Michigan, thence southerly along 
the shore of said lake to the intersection of the line between town- 
ships two and three south of the base line, thence east on the 
line between said townships to the intersection of the line between 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 79 

ranges sixteen and seventeen west of the meridian, thence south 
on the line between said ranges to the intersection of the line 
between townships four and five south of the base line, thence east 
on the line between said townships to the intersection of the line 
between ranges twelve and thirteen west of the meridian, thence 
north on the line between said ranges to the base line be and the 
same is hereby set off into a separate county and the name thereof 
shall be Van Buren/ ' (Territorial Laws, Vol. II. p. 736). 

This act embraced the territory included within the present coun- 
ty of Van Bur en. 

In the same year, the legislature passed an act organizing the 
county of Cass, establishing a county court therein and provid- 
ing for the holding of two terms of court in said county each year. 
Section four of the same act provided "that the counties of Ber- 
rien and Van Buren and all the country lying north of the same 
to Lake Michigan, shall be attached to and form a part of the 
county of Cass." (Territorial Laws, Vol. II. p. 745). By this 
act Van Buren. still unable to stand alone, found her second 
municipal copartner. 

By the same act of the legislature the counties of Calhoun and 
Jackson came into existence, thus placing with others, in the two 
southern tiers of counties, Van Buren, Cass, Calhoun, Jackson and 
Monroe, the names of these noted Democratic statesmen plainly 
indicating the prevailing political sentiment in the territory. Just 
why Michigan was not, at the same time, honored by having a 
county named Jefferson, as well as after these other distiguished 
statesmen, is a little singular. 

Civil and Judicial Organization 

In 1835 the legislative council of the territory ordained "that 
the county of Van Buren shall be a township by the name of La 
Fayette, and the first township meeting shall be held at the school- 
house near Paw Paw mills, in said township." (Territorial Laws, 
Vol. III. p. 1403). 

However, it was not until Michigan had been admitted as a 
state that the county was fully organized and endowed with the 
necessary political machinery for the management of her own 
municipal affairs. 

In 1837 the first legislature of the newly admitted state en- 
acted a law providing, among other things "that the county of 
Van Buren be, and the same is hereby organized, and the inhabit- 
ants thereof entitled to all the rights and privileges to which by 
law the inhabitants of the other counties are entitled. 

"All suits, prosecutions and other matters now pending before 



80 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

any court, or before any justice of the peace of the county to 
which said county of Van Buren is now attached for judicial 
purposes, shall be prosecuted to final judgment and execution, and 
all taxes heretofore levied shall be collected in the same manner 
as though this act had not passed. 

"The circuit court for the county of Van Buren shall be held 
for one year from the first day of November next, at such place 
as the supervisors of said county shall provide in said county, on 
the first Monday in June and December in each year, and after 
the first day of November, 1838, at the seat of justice in said 
county. 

"There shall be elected in said county of Van Buren, on the 
second Monday of April next, all the several county officers to 
which by law the said county is entitled, and whose terms of office 
shall expire at the time the same would have expired, had they 
been elected on the first Monday and the next succeeding day of 
November last, and said election shall in all respects be conducted 
and held in the manner prescribed by law for holding elections 
for county and state officers. 

"In case the election for county officers shall not be held on 
the second Monday of April, as provided by the eighth section of 
this act, the same may be held on the first Monday of May next." 
(Laws of Michigan, 1837, pp. 97-98.) 

In those early days, it will be observed, it was the practice to 
hold elections on two successive days and should they not be so 
held the statute gave the people another opportunity to exercise 
their right of franchise. Just imagine, if such a thing be pos- 
sible, the voters of the present day neglecting an opportunity to 
hold an election. And they do not need two days for it at that. 

The election was held at the appointed date, to-wit, on the 11th 
day of April, 1837, and resulted in the choice of the following 
named officers: First county judge, Wolcott H. Keeler, of Cov- 
ington; second county judge, Jay R. Monroe, of South Haven; 
county treasurer, Daniel 0. Dodge, of Lafayette ; judge of probate, 
Jeremiah H. Simmons, of Lafayette ; sheriff Samuel Gunton ; reg- 
ister of deeds, Jeremiah H. Simmons, of Lafayette ; county clerk, 
Nathaniel B. Starkweather; county surveyor, Humphrey P. Bar- 
num, of Lafayette; coroners, John R. Haynes, of Lawrence, and 
Junia Warner, Jr., of Antwerp. 

The highest number of votes cast for any candidate was ninety 
and the least number was sixty-two. 

At that date the county consisted of seven townships, viz., 
South Haven, Clinch, Lawrence, Lafayette, Antwerp, Covington 
and Decatur. The vote by townships, as returned and canvassed, 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 81 

was as follows: South Haven, 10; Lawrence, 13; Lafayette, 23; 
Antwerp, 17; Covington, 27. 

No returns were received from the townships of Decatur and 
Clinch, and the presumption is that no election was held in those 
townships. 

Pursuant to the requirements of the statute above quoted the 
board of supervisors of the newly organized county convened on 
the 27th day of May, 1837, for the purpose of designating the 
place where the circuit court in and for said county should be 
held. 

This was the first meeting of that august body, which is some- 
times designated as the county legislature. The record of this 
meeting is very brief and reads as follows: "The supervisors of 
the towns of Van Buren County met at the village of Paw Paw, 
on the 27th day of May, A. D. 1837, and organized by appointing 
D. 0. Dodge clerk. 

"The business of said meeting being for locating the place for 
the circuit courts of said county: Whereupon, it is decided that 
the courts of said county be held at the schoolhouse in the village 
of Paw Paw. 

"D. O. Dodge, Clerk. 7 ' 

This action of the board of supervisors, while having no special 
reference to the final location of the county seat of the county, 
may well be considered as the entering w T edge to a long and more 
or less bitter and hard fought contest over that matter which 
eventually resulted in the permanent location of the county build- 
ings at Paw Paw, where they are likely to remain indefinitely. 
This matter is presented at length in its proper place in this work. 

Township Organization 

To further provide for the complete organization of the coun- 
ty, the legislature of 1837 enacted as follows: "All that portion 
of the county of Van Buren known as township number three 
south of range number thirteen west, be, and the same is hereby 
set off and organized into a separate township by the name of 
Antwerp ; and the first township meeting therein shall be held at 
the house of Philip Williams, in said township. (This is the only 
town in the county that has undergone neither change of name 
nor territory since the organization of the county.) 

"All that portion of the county of Van Buren designated by the 
United States survey as townships one and two south of range 
thirteen and fourteen west, be, and the same is hereby set off and 
organized into a separate township by the name of Clinch, and the 
first township meeting therein shall be held at the house of Charles 



82 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Townsend, in said township. (The township of Clinch disap- 
peared from the map of Van Buren county so many years ago that 
very few of its citizens are aware that there ever was a township 
by that name. The territory embraced within the boundaries of 
this ancient township now constitutes the townships of Pine Grove, 
Bloomingdale, Waverly and Almena). 

"All that portion of the county of Van Buren, designated by 
the United States survey as township three south of range four- 
teen west, be and the same is hereby set off and organized into 
a separate township, by the name of Lafayette ; and the first town- 
ship meeting therein shall be held at the house of D. O. Dodge, in 
said township. (This township, as above designated, is now the 
township of Paw Paw. Few people are aware that Berrien county 
first had a township named Paw Paw, but such is the fact.) (Laws 
of Michigan, 1837, p. 38.) 

"All that portion of the county of Van Buren designated by the 
United States survey as townships four south in ranges thirteen 
and fourteen west, be, and the same is hereby set off and organized 
into a separate township by the name of Decatur, and the first 
township meeting, shall be held at the schoolhouse near Little 
Prairie Ronde in said township. (The west half of the territory so 
organized into a township still remains as the township of Decatur, 
w r hile the east half of the same constitutes the present township of 
Porter). 

"All that portion of the county of Van Buren designated in the 
United States survey as township one south in ranges fifteen, six- 
teen and seventeen west, and township two south in ranges sixteen 
and seventeen west, be, and the same is hereby set off and organ- 
ized into a separate township by the name of South Haven; and 
the first township meeting therein shall be held at the house of 
J. R. Monroe, in said township. (The territory so organized into 
a single township now comprises the townships of South Haven, 
Geneva, Columbia, Bangor and Covert). 

"All that portion of the county of Van Buren, designated by 
the United States survey as township two south in range fifteen 
west, and township three south in ranges fifteen and sixteen west, 
be, and the same is hereby set off and organized into a separate 
township by the name of Lawrence; and the first township meet- 
ing therein shall be held at the house of Horace Stimpson in said 
township. (The territory so organized now comprises the present 
townships of Lawrence, Arlington, and Hartford). 

"All that portion of the county of Van Buren designated by the 
United States survey as township four south in ranges fifteen and 
sixteen west, be, and the same is hereby set off and organized into 
a separate township by the name of Covington ; and the first town- 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 88 

ship meeting therein shall be held at the Keelerville postoffice in 
said township ' ' ( Covington, which covered the present townships of 
Keeler and Hamilton, sank into oblivion, as did its sister township 
of Clinch, and is not now even a memory save only to a few of the 
oldest inhabitants of the county). 

The foregoing quotations are from the Laws of Michigan for 
1837, pages 35, 37 and 38. 

The legislature of 1839 (Laws of Michigan, 1839, p. 27) enacted 
that townships number three and four south, of range number six- 
teen west, should be set off and organized into a separate township 
to be called Keeler, and that the first township meeting should 
be held at the house of W. H. Keeler in said township. This new 
township comprised the present township of Hartford, then a 
part of Lawrence, and the west half of the then township of Cov- 
ington. 

At the same session of the legislature (Laws of Michigan, 1839, 
p. 24) an act was passed organizing township number four south, 
of range number fifteen west, into a separate tow T nship to be known 
as the township of Alpena, and providing that the first township 
meeting should be held at the house of Henry Coleman in said 
township. By these two acts the township of Covington was en- 
tirely wiped off the map of the county. 

Another law r , enacted in 1840, changed the name of the town- 
ship of Alpena to Hamilton, and as such it still remains. (Laws 
of Michigan, 1840. p. 80.) ' 

By the same legislature township number three south, of range 
number sixteen west, was organized into a new township to be 
known as Hartford, and the first township meeting was ordered 
to be held at the house of Smith Johnson in said township. (Laws 
of Michigan, 1840, p. 79.) This township comprised the north 
half of the township of Keeler. 

The legislature of 1842 (Laws of Michigan, 1842, pp. 83 and 84) 
passed an act organizing three new townships in the county of 
Van Buren ; to-wit, tow 7 nships number one and two south, of 
range number fourteen west, then a part of the township of Clinch, 
were set off and organized into a township to be called Waverly, 
the first township meeting to be held at the schoolhouse near Ash- 
bel Herring's, in said township. (The name should have been Her- 
ron, instead of Herring. ) 

Townships number one and two south, of range number thir- 
teen west, also a part of the township of Clinch, were set off and 
organized into a township to be called Almena, the first town 
meeting to be held at the schoolhouse near Willard Newcomb's 
in said township. By the organization of these two tow r nships, 



84 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

the township of Clinch ceased to exist and has been practically for- 
gotten. 

By the same act of the legislature township number two south, 
of range number fifteen west, at that time a part of the township 
of Lawrence, w T as set off and organized into a separate township 
under the name of Arlington, the first town meeting to be held at 
the house of Allen Briggs in said township. 

In 1845 (Laws of Michigan, 1845, pp. 50 and 51) the following 
township organizations were effected, viz. : Township number one 
south, of range number fourteen west, then constituting the north 
half of the township of Waverly, was set off and organized into a 
township to be known as and called the tow r nship of Bloomingdale, 
the first town meeting to be held at the house of Elisha C. Cox in 
said township. 

Townships number one south, of ranges number fifteen and six- 
teen west, then being a part of the township of South Haven, were 
set off and organized into a township under the name of Colum- 
bia, the first township meeting to be held at the schoolhouse in 
district number four in said township. 

Township number four south, of range number thirteen west, 
being the east half of the then township of Decatur, was set off 
and organized as the township of Porter, the first township meet- 
ing to be held at the schoolhouse near the residence of Benjamin 
Reynolds. 

This same act also provided that township number two south 
of range number sixteen west, should be organized into a town- 
ship to be called South Haven,, the first town meeting to be held at 
the house of Daniel Taylor in said township. This embraced what 
is now the present township of Bangor, and was already a part 
of the township of South Haven, as theretofore organized, which 
organization was left intact, except that the township of Colum- 
bia had been detached therefrom, as hereinbefore noted. 

It is evident that there must have been some mistake in this 
matter. This township does not border on Lake Michigan and 
there was nothing in the situation that could possibly have sug- 
gested the name "Haven," south or in any other direction, and 
it has never been known as the township of South Haven, nor in 
any way treated as such, except as it formed a part of said town- 
ship as originally organized in 1837. The legislature of the next 
year, 1846, appears to have been informed of the error and so 
passed a new law, the third, for the organization of the township 
of South Haven. This statute provided that fractional townships 
number one and two south of range number seventeen west, frac- 
tional township number two south of range number eighteen west, 
and township number two south of range number sixteen west, 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 85 

should be organized into a township by the name of South Haven, 
and that the act of 1845, above noted, be repealed. This left the 
township of South Haven the same as originally organized in 
1839, except that township number two south of range number 
eighteen west, a small triangular piece of land jutting into the 
lake, containing about one section, was added, and that townships 
number one south of ranges numbers fifteen and sixteen west had 
been detached and organized into the township of Columbia, as 
above noted. (Laws of Michigan, 1846, p. 126.) 

The legislature of 1849 enacted that township number one south, 
of range number thirteen west, the north half of the then township 
of Almena, should be set off and organized into a township to be 
called Pine Grove, and that the first town meeting should be 
held at the house of Henry F. Bowen in said township. (Laws of 
Michigan, 1849, p. 105.) 

The townships of Bangor, Geneva and Deerfield were organized, 
not by act of the legislature, but by resolution of the board of 
supervisors. On the 11th day of October, 1853, at the annual 
session of the board, a resolution was adopted, reading in part 
as follow r s: "Resolved, that township number two south of range 
number sixteen west, situate at present in and belonging to the 
township of South Haven, be and the same is hereby set off from 
said township and organized into a new tow T nship by the name of 
the township of Bangor, and that the time and place of holding 
the first annual meeting in said township of Bangor shall be on 
the first Monday of April next, 1854, at the schoolhouse situated 
on section twelve, in said township/ ' 

At a special meeting of the board of supervisors held on the 5th 
day of January, 1854, a similar resolution, in part as follows was 
adopted: "Resolved, that township number one south of range 
number sixteen west, situate at present in and belonging to the 
township of Columbia, be and the same is hereby set off from said 
tow T nship and organized into a new township by the name of Geneva, 
and that the time and place of holding the first township meeting 
in said township of Geneva shall be on the first Monday of April 
next, 1854, at the dwelling house of Nathan Tubbs, on section two 
in said township/ ' 

At a session of the board of supervisors, held on the 8th day of 
October, 1855, a resolution reading in part as follows was adopted : 
"Resolved, that township number two south of range number 
seventeen west, situated at present in and belonging to the town- 
ship of South Haven, be and the same is hereby set off and organized 
into a new township by the name of Deerfield, and that the time 
and place of holding the first annual township meeting in said 
township of Deerfield shall be on the first Monday of April next, 



86 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

1856, at the dwelling house of Hiram Fish, on section number 21 
in said township." 

This action on the part of the board of supervisors of the county 
completed the organization of the county into eighteen townships, 
each of which, with the exception of the fractional townships of 
South Haven and Deerfield, (now Covert) was six miles square and 
contained thirty-six sections of land. No change has been made 
in the boundaries of any township since the date last mentioned, 
except that, by action of the board of supervisors at their October 
session, 1871, section number thirty-two and the west half of sec- 
tion number thirty-one of the township of Waverly was set off 
from said township and attached to the township of Paw Paw, 
and the southeast part of the township of Arlington, south of the 
Paw Paw river about one-third of section thirty-six, has been set off 
and attached to the township of Lawrence. The only other changes 
that have taken place have been changes of name, the township of 
Lafayette having been changed to Paw Paw and the township of 
Deerfield having been renamed Covert. It is altogether unlikely 
that any other alterations will be made, at least for many years to 
come. 

Pioneer Pictures 

The following extracts from an article written by Hon. Alex- 
ander B. Copley, and read at the meeting of the Van Buren Coun- 
ty Pioneer Association in 1894, will serve to give some idea of the 
customs, the difficulties and the hardships encountered by the brave 
and hardy pioneers to whom we are indebted for this prosperous 
and beautiful land they have bequeathed to us. He says: "At 
the time of which I am writing, (the early thirties) it is doubtful 
if there was a cabin with rafters and board gable in either Cass or 
Van Buren county, and for years thereafter one could distinguish 
the eastern settler from the southern by the board gable with 
rafters, the logs squared at the corners, and the chimney built on 
the inside without jams and supported on the curved timbers of 
a natural crook. 

"The farming tools of the pioneer were of the simplest kind, 
hardly differing from their ancestors of fifty to a hundred years 
before. An ax, iron wedge, bar share plow (which was a plow 
with share and landslide combined) to which a wooden mould 
board was attached, shovel plow (sometimes iron harrow teeth, more 
often wooden ones), a heavy hoe, and a sickle for cutting grain, 
which, after being cut, was stacked around a circular threshing 
floor of dirt, upon which it was tramped out by horses and win- 
nowed by one man throwing it into the air, while two men flopped 
a sheet to fan it. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREX COUNTY 87 

kk The first fanning mill in the settlement was in 1831. The 
wheat was in poor condition for flour, the smut and dirt were 
mixed with it, and the rude mills of that day had few appliances 
to clean and scour the grain as compared with the complicated 
machinery of modern days. The result was a leaden-colored 
product much unlike, in appearance, taste or smell, the snow-white 
roller process flour of today, and owing to the difficulty of thresh- 
ing, on account of stormy weather at times, bad roads and the 
mills a long distance away, the settlers were often entirely out of 
flour and borrowing was the rule and general practice. Sometimes 
even borrowing was unavailable, as, for instance, Dolphin Morris 
(of Decatur township) and his brother were gone fourteen days 
to mill, Lacey's mill, near Niles, although the distance was but 
thirty miles. Some difficulty at the mill at first, then a severe storm 
of rain and sleet and snow, compelled them to abandon their loads 
and wagons, except the forward wheels of one wagon upon which 
they placed a small supply of flour for temporary use; and even 
then they were three days in going twenty miles to reach their 
families, who were out of bread and fearing the worst that could 
have happened to the absent husbands. 

k 'The spring of 1832 was particularly unfortunate; the Sac war 
for one thing, when everyone expected an uprising of the resi- 
dent Indians and nearly all the settlers were called out to resist 
the threatened invasion of Blackhawk and his warriors. Happily 
this scare soon passed away and the settlers returned to their 
families, but the weather was very unfavorable for crops, the corn 
having been twice cut dow r n by frosts and there being no seed for 
replanting. As a last resort, Mr. Morris sent a boy of fifteen with 
pack horses to Defiance, Ohio, a distance of over a hundred miles, 
to procure seed corn. The lad was successful in procuring two 
bushels, arriving home late one Saturday night and the next day 
all hands turned out and planted it, the product of which was all 
the corn raised in the neighborhood that year. 

"The dress of the settlers was of the most primitive style, both 
as to fashion and material. With the men the old time hunting 
shirt had given way to a garment called a 'wamus,' a loose blouse 
with a narrow binding at the top and a single button at the throat, 
the skirt reaching to the hips when loose, or to the waist when 
tied by the corners as it was usually worn. The material w r as 
Hnsey, a homespun cloth of cotton and wool woven plain. Pan- 
taloons were of jeans, blue or butternut, with different shades of 
color as the different skeins of yarn took on a light or dark hue 
in the dyeing. Occasionally buckskin trousers were worn, or 
trousers faced with buckskin, fore and aft, as a sailor would say, 
where the protection would be the most serviceable. 



88 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

"Feminine fashions were at a standstill, and it would be pre- 
sumptuous for me to attempt to describe them, still it would be 
an easier task then than now, for as I look on this beautiful scene 
before me, who could describe the lovely toilets which meet the eye 
on every side, their style, color and material eclipsed only by the 
cha'rms of the wearers? Suffice it to say that notwithstanding the 
poke bonnets from five to ten years old, the belles and matrons who 
wore them were worthy of being the mothers and grandmothers 
of the radiant maidens of today. 

' i The chief business of the pioneer was to live. Speculation and 
money-making was not considered, as their locations and first set- 
tlements show. An easy place to farm was sought for; hence a 
choice location on a prairie was taken without taking into con- 
sideration the distance from market. Rich lands were available 
near the St. Joseph river, navigable to the lake and thence by 
water, but the emigrant passed on for thirty miles to a prairie, 
even if it took several days to get a barrel of salt. What was 
time to men whose wants were so few? The forests, the swamps 
and the lakes were to them vast storehouses furnishing both amuse- 
ment and subsistence. Game of many kinds abounded in the for- 
est, the streams and lakes teemed with fish, wild honey from the 
woods, huckleberries and cranberries from the swamps, and vari- 
ous other kinds of wild fruits in plenty, all served to make life 
at times a holiday. Not all sunshine, however. In 1835 there was 
a great frost in June, almost totally destroying a promising crop 
prospect and very nearly causing a famine, only a few favored 
localities escaping the general destruction. The roads of those 
early days were execrable, especially in the timbered lands. Wa- 
gons were generally covered, and an axe and log chain were al- 
ways taken on trips of any considerable distance, such as going 
to mill or market, as the roads were liable to be obstructed by 
trees blown down during heavy rain storms or high winds. 

"As an example of the early roads and teaming in Van Buren 
county, on the 21st day of September, 1834, John Shaw, a promi- 
nent settler of Volinia, with a wagon and a team of three horses 
and a hired man sent by my father with a wagon and two yoke of 
oxen, started on a trip from Little Prairie Ronde to St. Joseph 
with wheat. The first day they reached Paw Paw; the second 
day Prospect Lake; the third day camped in the woods, and the 
fourth day reached St. Joseph. The fifth day they sold their loads, 
made their purchases, started home, and reached Rulo's, a French 
settler ten miles from St. Joseph ; the sixth day they got to Paw 
Paw, and the next day they reached home, having camped out 
every night except the two nights at Dodge's tavern, Paw Paw, 
which at that time was little more than a shanty, he having just 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 89 

commenced building his hotel. My father's account book says: 
36 bushels of wheat at 60 cents, $21.60; one barrel of salt, $2.50; 
expenses, $1.94; cash brought home, $1.82; the rest in sundries. 
This year (1834) was the first opening up of trade and business 
between the prairie and Paw Paw. The next year, the winter of 
1835, I accompanied my father on a trip to St. Joseph, with a 
load of oats to be exchanged for salt. The oats sold for 37 y 2 cents 
a bushel and the salt cost $2.62% per barrel. We accomplished the 
round trip in six days. The only settler at that time between 
Paw Paw and St. Joseph, was John B. Rulo, the Frenchman above 
mentioned, who lived in the township of Bainbridge, Berrien 
county. A log barn had been built at Prospect Lake and several 
miles farther west was a log house, but no roof; otherwise no im- 
provements whatever. But the snows of that winter had hardly 
melted before the road, so desolate at that time, had become an 
artery of life to the thronging settlers overrunning A r an Buren 
county to found homes for themselves and their posterity.' ' 

Van Buren County Pioneer Association 

The Van Buren County Pioneer Association was organized at 
the village of Lawrence, on the 22d day of February, 1872. Pur- 
suant to a call, which had been previously issued, a large number 
of the older settlers of the county assembled at Chadwick's hall in 
that village, for the purpose of effecting some kind of an organiza- 
tion in honor of the pioneers of the county and to commemorate 
the scenes and days of pioneer life. 

General Benjamin F. Chadwick was chosen chairman of the 
meeting, Hon. Morgan L. Fitch, assistant chairman, and S. Tall- 
madge Conway, secretary. 

A committee was appointed on permanent organization, consisting 
of Messrs. Chas M. Morrill, John Smolk, William Markillie, Silas 
Breed and Orrin Sisson. 

Hon. Jonathan J. Woodman and Charles IJ. Cross were ap- 
pointed to draft a constitution. 

The committee on permanent organization recommended that 
the officers of the association be Judge Jay R. Monroe, president ; 
Edwin Barnum, vice-president, and S. Tallmadge Conway, secre- 
tary, which recommendations were adopted. Dr. Josiah Andrews 
was elected treasurer. 

The committee appointed to draft a constitution presented its 
report, of which the following is the preamble: "We, the pioneer 
residents of Van Buren County, in order to perpetuate the memory 
of old associations and interesting events of our pioneer life, do 
hereby organize ourselves into an association to be called 'The 



90 HISTORY OF VAN BUBEN COUNTY 

Van Buren County Pioneer Association/ ,? The constitution pro- 
vided for annual meetings, for keeping record of the age, nativity, 
etc., of each member, outlined the duties of the officers, and pre- 
scribed that all persons who had been residents of the county for 
twenty years should be eligible to membership in the association. 

The following executive committee was appointed: David D. 
Wise, Pine Grove ; Silas Breed, Almena ; Charles M. Morrill, Ant- 
werp; Sanford Corey, Porter; Ashbel Herron. Bloomingdale ; 
Reuben J. Myers, Waverly; Nathaniel M. Pugsley, Paw Paw; 
Elisha Goble, Decatur; Jonathan N. Howard, Columbia; Duane 
D. Briggs, Arlington; Eaton Branch, Lawrence; Calvin Fields, 
Hamilton ; Clark Pierce, Geneva ; Charles U. Cross, Bangor ; Lewis 
Miller, Hartford; Roderick Irish, Keeler; D. T. Pierce, South 
Haven ; Miram Pish, Deerfield. Of the gentlemen above named as 
officers and committeemen, not one remains. All have passed into 
the great Beyond. 

Edwin Barnum's Poem 

The second meeting of the association was held in the Town 
Hall in the village of Paw Paw, on the 22d day of February, 1873. 
At this meeting the date of holding the annual meetings was 
changed to the second Wednesday in June of each year. The 
feature of this meeting was the following address of welcome 
written and read by Edwin Barnum of Paw Paw. 

The old settlers have a meeting ; we have it every year. 
Last year we met at Lawrence; to-day we have it here. 
We've made the preparation and sent abroad the call* 
We give you all a welcome here in this spacious halL 

These old pioneers who assemble here to-day, 

Mostly had their birthplace in lands now far away: 

Some came from merry England, and some were born in Cork; 

Some had their birth in Canada and some in old New York. 

New England sent us Yankees from off her rocky coast, 

And like the frogs of Egypt, there came a mighty host. 

New Jersey sent a few, about a half a score — 

Virginia doubled that, perhaps a trifle more. 

Her noble hardy sons were first upon the ground, 

And four and forty years ago took Little Prairie Ronde — 

Our sister, Indiana, that's just across the line, 

Sent up a troop of Hoosiers, all stalwart men and fine. 

Ohio furnished Buckeyes, their help we needed much ; 

While Pennsylvania sent up to us the honest Dutch. 

No matter where your birthplace, no matter in what land, 
We welcome you as brothers in this ' ' Old settlers ' land. ' ' 
We welcome you, our brothers in labor, toil and care; 
We welcome you, our sisters, you've nobly done your share. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 91 

The hardships we have suffered have served like iron bands 
To bind us firm together, to bind our hearts and hands. 
Together, o 'er life 's journey, we 've traveled on the road 
And shared each other 's trials and borne each other 's load ; 
We drank the cup of sorrow with many a bitter sigh, 
We drank it all together, we drank the fountain dry. 

Although your forms are bending, your step in somewhat slow, 
Your faces much more wrinkled than thirty years ago; 
Although you lean on crutches, your heads are silvered o 'er, 
Old pioneers, we love you as loved in days of yore. 
We hail you, noble brother, as the early pioneer 
I know your early history, for I was with you here. 
1 've met you in your cabins, I 've slept upon your floor ; 
Your house had not a window, a blanket formed the door. 
It scarcely was one story, no help to raise it higher 
Your wives they did the cooking outdoors there by a fire. 
Sometimes you had a plenty at morning, night and noon ; 
Sometimes your store was shortened to a squirrel or a coon. 
But though your stock was scanty, I ne'er among you come, 
But that you raised the blanket — I felt myself at home. 

I 've seen you in your sorrow, your hunger and despair, 

When corn meal and potatoes made up your humble fare. 

You had a little clearing around the cabin door — 

It might have been an acre, perhaps a little more. 

You turned away the brush heaps, the logs you did not heed. 

But planted right among them your corn and pumpkin seed. 

The soil was rich and fertile, quite free from clods and lumps, 

And pumpkin vines for want of room, crept over logs and stumps; 

And then for their protection you hedged it. round about 

With jampiles made of timber to keep the cattle out. 

And then with patient waiting the spring and summer rains 

Came oft upon your labor, rewarding all your pains — 

And when the crop was ripened and gathered in the fall, 

Of all the crops you ever raised, you praised it most of all. 

I 've seen the sturdy axmen, with well directed blow, 
Attack the mighty forest and lay the monarchs low. 
I 've seen the hungry fire consume your heaps of logs, 
And seen the ditcher 's spade remove the marshy bogs ; 
And here upon the openings, no timber in the way, 
I've seen the patient oxen move on from day to day. 
The sod was quite unyielding, the roots were tough and long, 
To draw the heavy "breaker," the team it must be strong. 
Sometimes eight yoke of cattle were tethered in a row, 
Their march across the breaking was powerful, but slow. 
The steady, watchful driver made each perform his toil; 
The father held the plow that turned the virgin soil, 
For he had early learned that by the plow to thrive. 
Himself must either hold, or take the whip and drive. 

Thus by your patient labor and well directed skill 
You have subdued the county and conquered it at will; 
Have swept away the forests, removed the stumps and stones. 



92 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Torn down your lowly cabins and built your stately homes; 

Have planted fruitful orchards whose tops now kiss the breeze. 

Have made our pleasant highways and lined them well with trees; 

Have drained the stagnant marshes and bridged the brooks and rills, 

Threw dams across our rivers and built thereon our mills. 

As said an ancient prophet, although 'twas said in prose, 

You have removed the bramble and planted there the rose; 

Cut down the noxious thistle, removed the ugly thorn, 

And planted out the fir tree, your dwellings to adorn. 

We know your task was arduous and troubles thick and fast. 

We welcome you as victors; you overcame at last. 

We welcome you, our brothers, as men of good renown. 

We welcome you from Keeler, our southwest corner town ; 

From Hamilton and Hartford, Bangor and Waverly too, 

Columbia and Geneva, we gladly welcome you. 

You're welcome from South Haven, the town of boats and oars; 

You 're welcome, too, from Deerfield, where Thunder mountain roars- — 

From Arlington, from Lawrence, the home of Judge Monroe, 

Who settled in this county some forty years ago. 

You're welcome from the hilltop, you're welcome from the vale — 

From Porter and Almena, Antwerp and Bloomingdale. 

Our brothers from Decatur, we 're glad to meet you here ; 

The pioneers of Paw Paw all hail you with a cheer. 

We meet today in friendship, as in the days of yore. 
We meet today as neighbors to talk our conquests o 'er. 
We meet today as veterans who have subdued the land. 
We meet today as brothers to clasp the friendly .hand. 
We meet to live in memory those early stirring scenes, 
Through which w T e passed together, becoming Wolverines. 

Among the early settlers it very soon was found 
We had a modern Egypt ( 'twas Big Prairie Eonde) 
On which we were dependent and thither had to go, 
Whenever flour w T as minus or meal was getting low. 
The wheat there grew T abundant, potatoes large and fine, 
And like the land of promise, it yielded corn and wine. 
The father loved his children — for bread he heard the cry — 
He yoked old Buck and Brindle and went for fresh supply. 
The corn he had to husk, 'twas standing on the hill, 
The wheat he helped to thresh, then took it off to mill. 
The tiresome road was long, the mill was far aw r ay, 
And when the father would return, he could not set the day. 
He started early Monday, above him shone the stars, 
Behind, his wife and children stood weeping at the bars. 
They saw him drive away, their love for him did burn; 
Back to the cabin then and prayed his safe return. 

There in the lonely forest, with not a neighbor near, 
The wife and children waited, each day seemed like a year. 
The week would wear away and Saturday would come 
Before that absent father could reach his lonely home. 
Meanwhile, the faithful wife the last crust would divide, 
Then told her children dear "the Lord must now provide." 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY m 

Those quizzing little ones, to their dear mother said 

1 ' Has the Lord an oven got, and can the Lord make bread ? ' ' 

God bless these noble women, our glory and our pride, 
God bless these noble women who labored by our side! 
When neighbors were far distant and laborers were few, 
You helped to build our cabins, did all that you could do. 
You .helped us roll the log heaps, you helped us burn the brush, 
You baked for us the johnnycake, you cooked for us the mush. 
You patched our worn-out garments, our trousers and our coats. 
And some you patched so often that we were left in doubts — 
The mending was so frequent, the work was done so well, 
That which was coat and which was patch, it puzzled us to tell. 
You guarded well our cabins and saved with jealous care 
The scanty little comforts that we had gathered there. 
You helped us tend our gardens, you helped us plant the corn, 
And from such worthy mothers our children all were born. 
And when the burning fever was coursing through our veins, 
Or when the shaking ague was racking us with pains, 
By day and night you watched us and stood beside our beds, 
Like watchful angels ever, and fanned our aching heads. 
God bless these noble women, Van Buren county's pride, 
We welcome you as equals — you labored by our side! 

But some who started with us, I see not here today; 
The road was long and weary, they faltered by the way. 
We stood around their bedside and heard th' expiring breath, 
And wiped from off their foreheads the cold damp dews of death. 
We did what e'er we could, their precious lives to save, 
Then closed their weary lids and laid them in the grave. 

Until the current year the association has never missed holding 
its annual meeting, although the real pioneers of the county have 
nearly all passed over the "great divide, " gone to join the great 
majority on the other side. A meeting was advertised to be held 
last summer at the usual time, but other matters caused it to be 
postponed and afterward it was permitted to go by default. 

Judge Monroe continued to hold the position of president of the 
association until his death, which occurred in the fall of 1876. At 
the next meeting of the association after his decease, which was 
held at the village of Paw Paw, the following resolutions in part, 
were adopted: "Whereas, since our last meeting, our worthy 
friend and late president, has entered upon that long journey we 
must also soon undertake ; therefore 

* i Resolved, that in his death we recognize the loss of a good man, 
a worthy member, an efficient officer of this association and a 
sturdy old pioneer; that as we see our friends and brothers, full 
of years, falling around us like the tall trees of the forests they 
helped to subdue, we realize the fact that ere long our reunions 
will be held, not in the houses of earth, but in a house not made 
with hands, eternal in the heavens." 



94 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The committee that drafted these resolutions was composed of 
the following named gentlemen: Fernando C. Amiable, Samuel 
H. Blackman, Charles M. Morrill, Eaton Branch and Irving W. 
Pierce. The first four of the committee have gone to find a home 
in that 4i house not made with hands." Mr. Pierce still remains 
on this side of the stream that divides Time from Eternity. 

Eaton Branch succeeded Judge Monroe as president of the as- 
sociation. He continued to occupy the office until the meeting in 
June, 1885, at which Charles M. Morrill was chosen as president. 
Mr. Morrill filled the office for two years, when he w r as succeeded 
by Hon. Jonathan J. Woodman, who held the office for the next 
nineteen years, when he was compelled to decline further service 
on account of failing health. Mr. Woodman died within a few 
weeks afterward. His successor in the office of the presidency of 
the association was Hon. Charles J. Monroe. 

The other officers of the association have been as follows: Vice- 
presidents — Edwin Barnum, Jonathan J. Woodman, Alexander B. 
Copley, Charles J. Monroe, E. Parker Hill, A. W. Haydon, and 0. 
W. Rowland. 

Secretaries — S. Tallmadge Conway, Josiah Andrews, Benjamin A. 
Murdock, John W. Free, Elam L. Warner, and Israel P. Bates. 

Treasurers — Josiah Andrews, Franklin M. Manning, Benjamin 
A. Murdock, William R. Hawkins, and Albert S. Haskin. 

The present officers are Charles J. Monroe, president ; Oran W. 
Rowland, vice-president; Israel P. Bates, secretary; Albert S. 
Haskin, treasurer. 

The association has not only been a source of gratification to its 
members, but it has also been of great utility as well, by way of 
preserving for future generations many interesting facts, scenes 
and incidents of the pioneer days of the county, valuable historical 
matter that otherwise would have been wholly lost and forgotten. 

And while it is true that there is left only here and there a per- 
son who is entitled to be classed as a real pioneer, it is altogether 
likely that the association will be continued in remembrance of 
those brave and noble men and women whose labors and sacrifices 
gave us this prosperous and beautiful land which is the heritage of 
those who succeeded them. 

Oslerism Reviewed 

Besides, these annual meetings, are a source of much pleasure 
and profit to those who attend them. On these occasions they have 
listened to addresses from senators and representatives, judges and 
lawyers, state officers and laymen, all of which were interesting 
and more or less profitable and instructive. Some of these ad- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 95 

dresses were sedate and replete with wisdom, while others were 
amusing and humorous. 

A brief skit of the latter kind was read by the vice president of 
the association at the thirty-sixth annual meeting held at Bangor 
in 1906. This was just at the time when the public press was ex- 
ploiting what was said to be the advice of the celebrated Dr. Osier, 
that men should be quietly and painlessly passed into the future 
w r orld on arriving at the age of sixty years, and it was this that 
inspired the sketch, as follows: "Long, long years ago, when you 
and I were young, there were no telegraphs, no ocean cables, no 
electric railways, no automobiles, no lighting of our dwellings by 
the simple push of a button, no Marconigrams sent through earth 
and air, no standard oil octopus, no beef trust, no steel trust, no 
multimillionaries, no financial 'system,' no daring Wellman had 
conceived the astounding idea of sailing to the pole in a dirigible 
airship and, strange as it may appear, there was no such fashion- 
able ailment as appendicitis; the people did not even know that 
among them all there was such a thing as a vermiform appendix ! 

"In those days, people were born as they are today, lived out 
their three-score years and ten, more or less, as the case might be, 
and died what was called a natural death. They lived in a simple 
manner, ate of the fat of the land and recked not of the risk they 
ran in the consumption of their daily diet. They knew naught of 
the lurking poison concealed in their daily bread, of the deadly 
ptomaines lying in wait for them in the meat they ate, or of the 
fatal tyro-toxicon hidden in the milk they drank. They did not 
know, as do the so-called scientists of these modern days, that there 
is not a single article of diet that is not dangerous to life. They 
only knew that a man would die if he didn't eat. They did not 
know that he would, if he did. And yet, they seemed to have a 
glimmering of modern, scientific teaching along this line, for they 
had, even then, a saying that 'what is one man's meat is another 
man's poison.' And more than all else, they knew naught of the 
'germ theory' of disease. They had not even dreamed of the 
malignant bacillus and were absolutely ignorant of the deadly 
bacteria that abound in earth and air and sky, that permeate the 
food we eat, that pollute the water we drink. Bacteria and bacilli, 
all lying in wait to seize upon our vital organs and to bring upon 
us dire disease, suffering and pain and death ! Creatures so minute 
that if one were magnified so as to appear an inch in length, an 
ordinary man. under the same magnifying power, would appear 
to be a towering giant twenty-five miles in altitude! Creatures 
that possess such marvelous powers of reproduction that, unmol- 
ested, a single pair would soon fill the whole earth ! 

"And then there are so many varieties of these diminutive little 



96 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

demons— the bacillus of rabies, the bacillus of yellow fever, which 
is said to be so carefully planted beneath the human epidermis by 
that villainous little songster, Stegomya Fasciata; the bacillus of 
diphtheria ; the bacillus of small pox, which has as yet eluded 
capture; the bacillus of tuberculosis, of cancer, of typhoid fever, 
and nobody knows how many others. The marvel is not that the 
population of earth does not increase more rapidly, but rather 
that the human race has not been wholly destroyed by the great 
multitudes of these malicious mites that are constantly preying 
upon it. 

"Perhaps the time may come when those scientists who claim 
that they have originated some of the lower forms of life, will, 
contrary to the expressed preference of Mrs. Partington, succeed 
in producing men and women in the chemical laboratory, instead 
of Nature's laboratory, and in endowing the newly invented race 
with power to absolutely resist the horde of malignant germs that 
now seems to have it in for us all. 

"Methinks, however, that before that time shall have arrived, 
some great German savant, born and bred, probably, in the Nut- 
meg State, will have astonished the world by the discovery or in- 
vention of an universal germ panacea. In my mind 's eye, I can see 
his initial announcement: 'The Greatest Discovery Since the 
World Began! A Boon for all Mankind! Professor Von Hom- 
bogg's Great German Germicide, Bacilli Balm and Bacteria Bus- 
ter! Warranted to destroy all Disease Germs, Bacteria and Bacilli 
and to render the Human System Absolutely Immune to all 
Disease of Whatsoever Kind or Character! One Bottle only is 
Required to produce the desired result; Satisfaction Guaranteed 
or Money Refunded ! ' 

"What a rush there will be for Professor Von Hombogg's new 
elixir of life, and what an immense fortune will be his ! No future 
Rockefeller, or Morgan, or Carnegie, will be in the same class 
with Von Hombogg. Just think of it! No more pain, no more 
sickness, no more disease, no more death ! Just one everlasting, 
unending era of good health ! This will beat even Bob Ingersoll, 
who said if he had the ordering of things on this mundane sphere, 
he w r ould have made good health catching, instead of disease. 

"When this time shall have arrived, Oslerization will be the 
only remaining method of shuffling off this mortal coil. Perhaps, 
after the lapse of a thousand years or so, life may become a bur- 
den too grievous to be borne and one may have an insatiable desire 
to depart and be at rest. 

"When trouble and care are weighing us down 
And pleasures are minimized — 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREX COUNTY 97 

Oh, then, but one refuge remains, 
We'll gladly be Oslerized. 

' ' When the burdens of life so great have become 
That death is a boon to be prized, 
How cheerfully we'll lay them all down 
And gladly be Oslerized. 

4, When life on this earth is no longer desired, 
A truth by us all recognized, 
How good it will seem to escape 
And quickly be Oslerized ! 

' * But, hold ! No death save a death by violence will be possible. 
The guillotine, the hangman's rope, the electric chair, the stilleto 
or the musket! Which will you choose? Ah, me! Will Prof. 
Yon Hombogg ? s discovery prove a blessing, or will it prove a curse ? 
I don 't know — do you ? 

"And so, old pioneers, farewell, adieu, good bye. Soon there 
w r ill be none of you remaining. May you all reap a rich reward 
in the world beyond for the good you wrought in your earthly 
lives." 



VoL 1—7 



CHAPTER IV 
ROADS AND RAILROADS 

Noted Indian Trails — First Michigan White Man's Road — 
Territorial and State Roads — The Old Stage Routes — 

. Plank Roads — The Paw Paw River — Railroads — The Michi- 
gan Central — Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad — The 
Paw Paw Railroad — Toledo and South Haven Railroad 
(Fruit Belt Line) — The Pere Marquette Railway. 

When the first settlers came to Van Buren county there were, 
of course, no roads other than Indian trails. Certain portions of 
the county, however, that consisted of what were termed "oak 
openings" permitted of travel, even with teams, in almost any di- 
rection, and this was one attractive feature to the pioneer. Other 
parts of the county were heavily timbered with beech, maple, elm, 
oak, walnut, pine, hemlock, whitewood and other varieties of tim- 
ber, so that the making of roads was almost a Herculanean under- 
taking. Getting rid of this timber was one of the first objects of 
the pioneer, for upon these timbered lands no crops could be 
grown until the • timber was removed. On many of the finest 
farms in the county, now in the highest state of cultivation, the 
timber would be worth more at the present time, as it stood sixty 
or seventy years ago, than the same farms, with all their fine 
buildings and modern improvements, are worth today. Road 
building was one of the first matters that necessarily engaged the 
attention of the pioneers. Even in the "openings" it was some- 
times necessary to clear a way through intervening thickets, to 
construct some kind of bridges for crossing the streams, or to 
lay causeways across marshes and low-lands, while in the heavily 
timbered portions of the county the task of constructing even 
the rude roads of those primitive days was a stupendous one. 

Noted Indian Trails of the Region 

The first roads were the Indian trails, two of the principal 
ones passing through the county. One of them, coming from Lit- 
tle Traverse bay, extended southward and passed through the 

98 



HISTOKY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 99 

counties of Kent, Allegan and Van Buren to the Pottawattamie 
villages on the St. Joseph river. Another, starting from the vicin- 
ity of Saginaw, passed up the Saginaw and Shiawassee rivers 
to the present location of the City of Ionia, thence southwesterly 
through the counties of Barry and Van Buren to the same Potta- 
wattamie villages. Another, and the most important of these 
great Indian highways, which, however, did not enter Van Buren 
county, started southward on the west side of Lake Michigan and 
led toward the south from Green bay and the rivers of Wisconsin, 
around the southern extremity of the lake, thence northeasterly 
through the headquarters of Chief Pokagon in the southeastern 
part of Berrien county and on easterly through the wilderness to 
the Detroit river. It was over this trail that the w f arriors of the 
tribes had passed from time immemorial, and it was along this 
primitive highway that for many years the red men with their 
entire families passed to Maiden in Canada to receive from the 
British government the small pension paid them (to men, women 
and children alike) for services rendered in the War of 1812. 

First Michigan White Man's Road 

It was over this route that the old "Chicago road" was con- 
structed, which was commenced in 1825, under authority of an 
act of congress, and was the first laid-out thoroughfare that tra- 
versed the state of Michigan. The road was not completed until 
1836, and it was over this thoroughfare that many of the early 
settlers of southwest Michigan passed, finding their way into Van 
Buren county, as w T ell as elsewhere. 

A mania for the construction of roads seems to have possessed 
the authorities of the territory of Michigan and this spirit was 
equally evident after it became a state, as was manifest by the 
internal improvement clause embodied in the constitution of 1835 
and by the acts of the legislatures immediately following. From 
1833 to 1840, at least two hundred and fifty territorial and state 
roads were authorized by legislative enactment. 

Territorial and State Eoads 

The road that is known to the inhabitants of Van Buren county 
and all along the line of the route as "the Territorial road," a 
highway passing through the state from east to west, was sur- 
veyed in 1836 and opened the following year. This road enters 
Van Buren county near the northeast corner of Antwerp and 
passes through that township and the townships of Paw Paw, 
Lawrence, Hamilton and Keeler into the township of Bainbridge, 
Berrien county, thence through that county to the cities of Ben- 



100 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

ton Harbor and St. Joseph. It is still the Territorial road, al- 
though along a very considerable part of the original route it 
has been taken up and relaid on the section lines, or the east and 
west division lines of the sections through which it passes. 

Other territorial and state roads in which Van Buren county had 
or might have had an interest, if they had ever been constructed as 
authorized, are as follows: Authorized by the legislative council 
of 1833: "A road from the village of Schoolcraft, in Kalamazoo 
county, on the most direct and eligible route, by Paw Paw Land- 
ing, to the mouth of Black river.' 7 The statute authorizing these 
roads also appointed commissioners to lay out and establish them. 
Joseph Smith, John Perrine and Abiel Fellows were so appointed 
for this road. "A road from Adamsville in Cass county, by the 
most direct and eligible route to the Paw Paw river, at or near 
the center of Van Buren county." Sterling Adams, Charles Jones 
and Lyman I. Daniels, commissioners. 

Authorized by the legislative council of 1834 : ' ; A road from 
Marshall, Calhoun county, through Climax Prairie, by the most 
direct and eligible route to the county seat of Van Buren county. ' ' 
Michael Spencer, Benjamin F. Dwinnell and Nathaniel E. Mat- 
thews, commissioners. 

Although Michigan was not admitted until 1837, the first con- 
stitution was adopted in 1835 and the first legislature convened 
on the second day of November, 1835, and remained in session 
until the 14th of the same month. Two sessions were held in 1836, 
the first from February 1st to March 28th, and the second from 
July 11th to July 26th. During the sessions of 1836, quite a num- 
ber of state roads were authorized to be laid out and constructed. 
Among them were the following: "A state road from Edwards- 
burg, in Cass county, via Cassopolis, Volinia and Paw Paw Mills, 
to Allegan in Allegan county." David Crane, Jacob Silver and 
John L. Shearer, commissioners. 

"A state road from Paw Paw Mills, in the village of Paw Paw, 
Van Buren county, leading through the village of Otsego, to the 
Falls of Grand river, in the county of Kent." John Wittenmeyer, 
Jacob Enos and Fowler Preston, commissioners. 

Authorized by the legislature of 1837: "A road from Berrien in 
Berrien county, through Bainbridge to South Haven, in Van 
Buren county." Pitt Brown, John P. Davis and E. P. Deacon, 
commissioners. 

Authorized by the legislature of 1838: "A state road from the 
village of Niles, in the county of Berrien, to the village of Kalama- 
zoo, in the county of Kalamazoo, making the Twin Lakes in sec- 
tion sixteen of town five south, in range fifteen west, at Henry 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 101 

Barney's, a point on said road." Uriel Enos, Richard V. V. 
Crane and Isaac W. Willard, commissioners. 

Authorized by the legislature of 1841: "A state road leading 
from Centerville, in the county of St. Joseph, to Waterford, in 
the county of Van Buren, through the villages of Three Rivers, 
Little Prairie Ronde and Keelersville. ' ' W. H. Keeler, J. Moffit 
and John H. Bowman, commissioners. (The western terminus 
of this road was evidently intended to be Watervliet, in the county 
of Berrien, as that village used to be called "Waterford;" it is 
not and never was within the boundaries of Van Buren county.) 

It should be remembered that a statute directing that a road 
should be laid out and established — particularly in the earlier 
years — did not necessarily mean that such road would be promptly 
constructed. In numerous instances years elapsed after the pass- 
age of an act authorizing a road and after it was laid out by the 
commissioners, before it would be made passable for vehicles, and 
frequently such roads were never opened. The collapse of the 
"wild cat" banking business seriously crippled the state finances 
and materially delayed the many plans for contemplated internal 
improvements. 

Tup: Old Stage Routes 

For many years, in fact until the railroads of the county super- 
seded them, stages carried passengers from Lawton to St. Joseph 
and from Decatur to South Haven. Great Concord coaches, 
drawn by four horses were used and the passenger traffic car- 
ried on by them was no small item. Until the completion of the 
Michigan Central Railroad to Chicago the stage lines between the 
above mentioned towns embraced the most feasible and the direct 
routes between that city and eastern points. In addition to the 
passenger traffic, mail was also transported over the same lines 
which was an additional source of revenue to the proprietors of the 
routes. The completion of the Toledo and South Haven Railroad, 
as it was then called, between the villages of Lawton and Hartford, 
sent the last stage coach in the county to the scrap heap. 

As an illustration of the value of the stage routes to the com- 
munity the following statute enacted by the legislature of 1845 
is apropos, and serves to emphasize the changes that time has 
wrought and to show the different conditions that exist in this 
twentieth century from those that obtained even as late as the 
middle of the nineteenth century. 

"Whereas, The regular stage road leading from the village of 
Paw Paw, to the village of St. Joseph, passes through a thinly set- 
tled district of country where the highway taxes are insufficient 
to keep the road in good repair; and whereas, the revenue of the 



102 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Central Railroad depends in a great measure upon said stage road 
being kept in good repair for the safe and comfortable transmis- 
sion of passengers to and from the western termination of said 
railroad : 

''Therefore, Be it enacted that all the non-resident highway 
taxes which shall be assessed upon non-resident lands within one 
and a half miles on each side of said stage road, between the vil- 
lage of Paw Paw in the county of Van Buren and the village of 
St. Joseph in the county of Berrien, be and the same are hereby 
appropriated to be expended in improving said stage road between 
the village of Paw Paw and the village of St. Joseph aforesaid for 
the period of two years from the date of this act. " 

A similar statute was passed in 1847 appropriating non-resident 
highway taxes to apply on the road * * commencing on the east side 
of section ten, town three south, range fifteen west, thence west- 
erly through the village of Brush Creek (Lawrence) in Van Buren 
county and Waterford (Watervliet) in the county of Berrien/ 7 
and thence westerly to St. Joseph. 

In 1857, a similar act of the legislature appropriated for three 
years all the non-resident highway tax within two miles of the 
center of the road leading from Dowagiac, county of Cass, to the 
territorial road in Van Buren county, for the improvement of 
such road. 

In 1859 the road leading from Breedsville to South Haven, one 
of the principal stage roads of Van Buren county, was given the 
non-resident highway tax assessed within one mile on either side of 
such road. 

The congress of 1841 appropriated and set apart to the state 
half a million acres of public lands for internal improvement pur- 
poses, the minimum price of which was fixed by act of the legis- 
lature of 1844 at $1.25 per acre. In 1848 the legislature appro- 
priated seven thousand acres of such lands for opening and im- 
proving the state road from Constantine, St. Joseph county, 
through Cassopolis, Cass county, to Paw Paw, in Van Buren 
county. 

But few of these old lines of road now remain as originally laid 
out. Most of the statutes authorizing them provided that they 
should be laid on the most direct and eligible route. This resulted 
in many crooked and angling roads, most of which have been 
changed and relaid on section, half section or quarter section 
lines, so that there are comparatively few roads in the county but 
run parallel with or at right angles to each other ; and such is the 
general rule throughout the state. Of course there are exceptions. 
Lakes, of which there are many scattered throughout Van Buren 
county, and other localities as well, and other natural obstructions 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 103 

have prevented some roads from being laid on direct lines, but 
such highways are the exception and not the rule. 

Plank Roads 

The next transportation idea that seems to have struck the peo- 
ple of Michigan was that of plank roads, and the craze was about 
as virulent as that of territorial and state roads had been; but 
the fever did not last as long. 

The legislature of 1848 enacted a general plank road law, au- 
thorizing the incorporation of plank road companies, permitting 
them under certain conditions to occupy the country highways and 
the streets of villages, prescribing that the planks used in the 
construction of such roads should be not less than three inches in 
thickness and fixing the following maximum rates of toll: For a 
vehicle or carriage drawn by two animals, two cents per mile, and 
one cent per mile for every sled or sleigh so drawn, if drawn by 
more than two animals ; three-quarters of a cent per mile for every 
such additional animal ; for any kind of a vehicle drawn by one 
animal, one cent per mile; for every score of sheep one half a cent 
per mile; for every score of neat cattle, two cents per mile — 
there was no provision in the statute fixing toll for less than a 
score of domestic animals — and for every horse and rider or led- 
horse, one cent per mile. Farmers were exempt from toll in pass- 
ing from one part of the farm to another while engaged in the 
business of the farm. Toll gates might be erected at such points 
as the company chose and the penalty for illegally passing any 
toll gate was a forfeiture to the company of the sum of twenty -five 
dollars. It will be noticed that it cost a person driving his own 
team and carriage along one of those roads exactly the same sum 
that he now has to pay for riding in a palace car along the great 
railroad lines of the state. Timber was plenty in those days and 
planks were cheap, and yet the plank road companies,* with very 
few exceptions, were not a financial success. To build such roads 
in these modern days when lumber has become so scarce and valu- 
able would cost many times more than in those early days. 

Van Buren county had her full share of plank road corpora- 
tions, but only comparatively few plank roads. 

The "Paw Paw Plank Road Company' ' was chartered by the 
legislature of 1848, "with power to lay out, establish and construct 
a plank road from the village of Paw Paw, in the county of Van 
Buren, to some point on the Central Railroad, at or near where 
the Little Prairie Ronde road crosses said railroad/ ' The capi- 
tal stock of said company was fixed at $10,000, in shares of twenty- 
five dollars each. Isaac W. Willard, James Crane and Nathan 



104 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Mears were appointed commissioners to receive subscriptions of 
stock. 

By the legislature of 1849 a charter was given to the " Decatur, 
Lawrence and Breedsville Plank Road Company, " which w 7 as au- 
thorized ' k to lay out, establish and construct a plank road and all 
necessary buildings from the village of Decatur to the village of 
Lawrence, thence to the village of Breedsville, in Van Buren 
county." Aaron W. Broughton, Marvin Hannah, William B. 
Sherwood, Henry Coleman, Jonathan N. Hinckley, Milo J. Goss, 
Benjamin F. Chadwick, Horatio N. Phelps, Israel Kellogg and 
John Andrews were appointed commissioners to receive subscrip- 
tions to the stock of the company, which w r as fixed at the sum of 
$40,000, divided into forty dollar shares. 

Seven companies, the line of whose proposed roads lay wholly 
or in part within Van Buren county were incorporated by the 
legislature of 1850, as follows: The Breedsville and South Haven 
Plank Road Company, with power to "lay out, establish and con- 
struct a plank road and all necessary buildings from Breedsville 
to the mouth of Black River, Van Buren county, by the most elig- 
ible route." The capital stock of this company was fixed at the 
sum of $25,000 divided into twenty-five dollar shares, and Mar- 
vin Hannah, Elijah Knowles, Joseph B. Sturgis, Smith Brown 
and Jonathan N. Hinckley were appointed commissioners to re- 
ceive stock subscriptions. 

The Paw Paw and Lawrence Plank Road Company, with like 
power to lay out and construct a plank road from the village of 
Paw Paw to the village of Lawrence in Van Buren county. The 
capital stock of this company was fixed at the sum of $25,000, in 
shares of twenty-five dollars each. Fitz H. Stevens, John R. Baker 
and Nelson Phelps were appointed commissioners. 

The Paw Paw and Schoolcraft Plank Road Company, with au- 
thority to lay out and construct a plank road from Paw Paw Sta- 
tion (now Lawton) on the Central Railroad, in the county of Van 
Buren, to the village of Schoolcraft in the county of Kalamazoo. 
Capital stock, $20,000, divided into twenty-five dollar shares. 
Commissioners, Edward A. Parks, Uriah Kenney, Evert B. Dyck- 
man and Isaac W. Willard. 

The Paw Paw and Allegan Plank Road Company was empow- 
ered to lay out, establish and construct a plank road company 
from the village of Paw Paw, to intersect with the Kalamazoo and 
Grand River Plank Road Company at the most eligible point in 
the county of Allegan. Capital stock, $25,000 ; shares twenty-five 
dollars each. Commissioners, Isaac W. Willard, James Crane, 
John R. Baker, Henry H. Booth, Joseph Fisk, Abraham Hoag, 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 105 

Joshua Hill, Charles Parkhurst, D. W. C. Chapin, Eber Sher- 
wood and A. Rossman. 

The Decatur and St. Joseph Plank Road Company was created 
and empowered to lay out, establish and construct a plank road 
from the village of Decatur, Van Buren county, to the village of 
St. Joseph, Berrien county. Capital stock $30,000 ; shares twenty- 
five dollars each. Commissioners, Solomon Wheeler, B. C. Hoyt, 
Henry Morton, Samuel McRoys, Henry Coleman and W. II . 
Keeler. 

The Lawrence and St. Joseph Plank Road Company w r as char- 
tered and authorized to lay out, establish and construct a plank 
road from such point in the township of Lawrence, in Van Buren 
county, as the commissioners should determine, to St. Joseph, in 
the county of Berrien. Capital stock, $50,000; shares twenty-five 
dollars each. 

The Kalamazoo and Breedsville Plank Road Company was in- 
corporated and given pow r er and authority to lay out, establish 
and construct a plank road from the village of Kalamazoo, in the 
county of Kalamazoo, to the village of Breedsville, county of Van 
Buren. Capital stock, $30,000 ; shares fifty dollars each. Commis- 
sioners, D. B. Webster, B. Drake, T. P. Sheldon and Marvin 
Hannah. 

The term of all these corporations was fixed at sixty years, but 
they were all dead long before the lapse of that period of time. 

Out of this multiplicity of roads authorized, the only plank 
roads constructed in Van Buren county w r ere the road from Paw 
Paw to the Central Railroad, which was controlled by Hon. Isaac 
W. Willard of Paw Paw, and that from Paw Paw^ to Lawrence, of 
which John R. Baker, also of Paw Paw, was the controlling 
spirit. Both of these roads went out of commission about the 
year 1853, and neither of them was the source of any gain to 
the stockholders. The remains of them, however, were visible 
for many years thereafter. Indeed some of the planks are yet in 
evidence — not as part of the highway, however. Van Buren, the 
eastern part of the county in particular, has numerous gravel 
beds which afford excellent road material and there are many miles 
of fine gravel roads in the county. 

The Paw Paw River 

Perhaps it would not be strictly correct to call a river a road, 
but as a not very successful attempt was made to make the Paw 
Paw river a highway of commerce and an avenue of transporta- 
tion between the villages of Paw Paw and St. Joseph, on the shore 



106 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

of Lake Michigan, there is no impropriety in mentioning it in 
connection with the "roads and railroads" of the county. 

Before the days of railroads, the subject of water transporta- 
tion was a much more important matter than at the present day. 
The idea of the Paw Paw as a navigable stream was born at an 
early date, and was not abandoned for a considerable number of 
years. With this idea in mind, the territorial government, in 
1833, authorized the construction of roads connecting the "Forks 
of the Paw Paw" (which was supposed to be the head of the nav- 
igable waters of the stream) with Schoolcraft, and other places in 
Kalamazoo, Van Buren and Barry counties. In 1840 Isaac W. 
Willard built two large fiat boats and loaded them with flour from 
the "Paw Paw Mills" and dispatched them for the village of St. 
Joseph. It was a comparatively easy matter to make the run down 
the river, but the labor of poling the boats back to Paw Paw 
against the current was a difficult matter and only accomplished 
by a great expenditure of time and muscle. These two boats of 
Mr. Willard 's were named the "Daniel Buckley," Albert R. Wil- 
dey, commander, and the "Wave," commanded by William H. 
Hurlbult. It is not to be supposed that the exalted position of 
"flat boat commander" was, by any means, a sinecure. There was, 
however, for a time, a considerable flat boat traffic on the river 
from Paw Paw to Lake Michigan, but it did not prove to be very 
profitable. Interest in the matter was revived in 1848 by the 
enactment of a statute appropriating ten thousand acres of the in- 
ternal improvement lands of the Lower Peninsula "for the im- 
provement of the navigation of the Paw Paw river." Nothing of 
value to the people resulted from this legislation and the river re- 
mains to this day a beautiful, winding stream, passing through 
forest, field and farm, one of the crookedest streams in Michigan, 
and watering as fine a stretch of country as may be found in the 
entire Peninsular state. 

Railroads 

It has been said and has been recorded as an historical fact that 
the act of the legislative council incorporating a railroad from De- 
troit to St. Joseph was the first official movement looking to the 
construction of a railroad within the territory of Michigan, but 
such is not the fact. 

The first railroad corporation in the territory was that of the 
Pontiac and Detroit Railway Company, which was approved July 
31, 1830, nearly two years before the date of the act of incorpora- 
tion looking to the construction of a line of railroad across the 
state, from east to west. 



HISTOKY OF VAN BUKEN COUNTY 107 

The legislative council of 1832 passed the act that created a rail- 
road corporation for the construction of a railroad to be known as 
the Detroit and St. Joseph Railroad, with authority to "construct 
a single or double railroad from the city of Detroit to the mouth 
of the St. Joseph river, commencing at Detroit, and passing 
through, or as near as practicable, to the village of Ypsilanti, and 
the county seats of the counties of Washtenaw, Jackson and Kala- 
mazoo, with power to transport, take and carry property and per- 
sons upon the same, by the power and force of steam, of animals, 
or any mechanical or other power, or any combination of them." 

The company was bound, under penalty of forfeiture of its char- 
ter, to begin the work within two years, and within six years to 
construct and put in operation thirty miles of the road, within 
fifteen years to complete one-half the line and to have the entire 
road in operation within a period of thirty years. 

The proposed line was surveyed by Lieutenant Berrien, a regu- 
lar army officer, and some work, enough to retain the corporate 
rights of the company for the two years prescribed in the act, 
was done on the eastern end of the route. The question of whether 
the company could have completed thirty miles of road within the 
prescribed six years was never solved, as before the expiration of 
that time new and important official action was taken. 

The Michigan Central 

One of the first things that engaged the attention of tfie state, 
after its admission, was an extended system of internal improve- 
ments. With this policy Governor Mason was in full sympathy. 
A Board of Internal Improvements was authorized by statute and 
appointed by the governor, upon which large discretionary powers 
were conferred, and a magnificent scheme of such improvements 
was at once entered upon by the state. Among them three lines 
of railways across the entire breadth of the state were authorized, 
to be known as and called the "Northern" the "Central" and the 
" Southern" — a magnificent scheme, indeed, for the young state, 
and one that eventually came to full fruition, by the construction 
of the Michigan Central, the Michigan Southern and the Detroit 
and Milwaukee lines of road, the latter being now a part of the 
Grand Trunk system. 

Special authority was conferred upon the Board of Internal 
Improvements to purchase for the state the rights of the Detroit 
and St. Joseph company. The legislature made an appropriation 
of $400,000 for the Central road and lesser sums for the other two. 
In order to procure the necessary funds for carrying out the ex- 
tensive improvements planned, the legislature authorized the ne- 



108 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

gotiation of a loan of five millions of dollars. This provided means 
with which the commissioners undertook the work of constructing 
the Southern and Central roads. 

The roads of that day were laid with strap rail, that is, with a 
flat rail spiked onto wooden stringers, and ''snake heads" were 
not of infrequent occurrence. These so-called snake heads were 
occasioned by the end of the iron straps becoming loosened, curl- 
ing up and coming through the floor of the coaches, endangering 
the lives and persons of travelers. 

An illustration of the primitive character of those early roads 
is afforded by the following joint resolution of the legislature of 
1842: ik Resolved, That the commissioner of internal improvement 
be instructed to cause a train of passenger cars to run over the 
Central railroad on the first day of the week, at the same hours 
that it does on other days." 

Another joint resolution, adopted by the same legislature, re- 
quired the Board of Commissioners of Internal Improvements to 
restrain Sunday trains, when, in their opinion, it was not for the 
interest of the state to run them. 

The progress made in the construction of the road was slow 
and in 1846, after the lapse of nine years, the Central line had 
only been completed to Kalamazoo, a distance of 144 miles. In 
the meantime the state had exhausted its funds, and the people 
had become heartily tired of having its railroads built by its 
politicians, some of whom, without doubt, had waxed fat while 
the "d£ar people" had to foot the bills. 

By an act of the legislature approved March 28, 1846, the Michi- 
gan Central Railroad Company was organized and given authority 
to purchase the road from the state for the sum of $2,000,000, 
which was much less than it had cost the people, but neverthe- 
less a good bargain, for by it the state disposed of a property that 
bade fair to become a financial incubus on its prosperity. By the 
terms of the purchase and sale of the road to the company it was 
not compelled to follow the route originally planned, to make St. 
Joseph its western terminus, but was only required to construct 
the road to some point within the state of Michigan, on or near 
Lake Michigan and accessible to steamboats. This was an unfor- 
tunate provision for Van Buren county, as the new company at 
once changed the route, making New Buffalo the western terminus 
instead of St Joseph. By this action, instead of passing diagonally 
through the central part of the county, the road merely cut off a 
small portion from the southeastern corner thereof, and instead 
of reaching St. Joseph, one of the best harbors on the east shore 
of the lake, it stopped at New Buffalo, which had no harbor of con- 
sequence and never can have. The road was completed to Niles in 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 109 

1848, to New Buffalo in 1849, to Michigan City, Indiana, in 1851 
and to Chicago the next year. Van Buren county stations on the 
Central are Mattawan, a small unincorporated village; Lawton, 
at first called Paw Paw Station, four miles southeast of Paw Paw, 
with a population according to the census of 1810, of 1,042 ; and 
Decatur, with a population of 1,286, according to the same census. 

Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad 

A line of railroad from the village of Bronson, now the flourish- 
ing city of Kalamazoo, to the mouth of Black river, now the site 
of the prosperous city of South Haven, was one of the dreams of 
the early pioneers — a dream that was destined to complete fulfil- 
ment in the course of time. 

On the 28th day of March, 1836, an act was passed by the legis- 
lature incorporating the Kalamazoo and Lake Michigan Railroad 
Company and authorizing it to construct a line of road ' ' from the 
mouth of the South Black river, in the county of Van Buren, to 
the county seat of Kalamazoo county. 

The parties mentioned in the articles of association were Epa- 
phroditus Ransom, Charles E. Stuart, Edwin H. Lothrop, Horace 
II. Comstock and Isaac W. Willard. The capital stock of the 
company was fixed at $400,000. However, before anything was 
done looking to the building of the road, the panic of 1837 came 
on, the banking system of the state reached an inglorious end, and 
the powers of the company lapsed because of non-user. Although 
there may have been more or less discussion of the project there- 
after, it was more than thirty years before new life was infused 
into the scheme, and when it was again revived there was much 
discussion as to whether the road should be built direct from 
Kalamazoo to South Haven or whether it should start at Lawton 
on the main line of the Central and run thence to South Haven. 
Railroad meetings were held in various localities to discuss the 
project. At a meeting held in Paw Paw to take into consideration 
the matter of giving aid to a line over the latter route, which would 
have been entirely within the county of Van Buren, one prominent 
man remarked that he would give the devil his head for a foot- 
ball whenever the road should be built direct from Kalamazoo to 
South Haven. The prevailing sentiment seemed to be that the 
Van Buren county route would be chosen in any event and noth- 
ing in the way of aiding the project was offered by the citizens 
of Paw Paw and vicinity, although they had been found willing 
at various times to help other and less promising schemes, which 
had all come to naught. Perhaps that was the reason that they 
would offer nothing on this occasion. They had been victimized 



110 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

too often. This would seem to have been the one time when they 
missed the mark, for no place in the county would have received 
greater benefit from such a line than Paw Paw. 

On the 14th day of April, 1869, articles of association were filed 
organizing the Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad Company, 
and the following named gentlemen were named as directors: 
Allen Potter, Lucius B. Kendall, John Dudgeon, David Fisher, 
Stephen W. Fisk, Charles D. Ruggles, Amos S. Brown, Samuel 
Hoppin, Stephen Garnet, John Scott, Samuel Rogers, Daniel G. 
Wright and Barney H. Dyckman. Allen Potter was chosen presi- 
dent of the company, but resigned soon afterward and was suc- 
ceeded by James A. Walter. During Mr. Walter's administration, 
arrangements were perfected by which the Michigan Central Com- 
pany guaranteed the bonds of the new company to the amount 
of $640,000, the people of Kalamazoo aided the project by bonds 
and subscription and the townships along the line also voted a 
large amount of aid in the way of township bonds. Such bonds 
were held to be unconstitutional by the supreme court of the state, 
but were upheld by the United States supreme court, and where 
such bonds were held by non-residents who could bring suit in the 
federal court they were collectible and were eventually paid. 

By these various means money was obtained for the construction 
of the road which was opened as far as Pine Grove, in Van Buren 
county, in the month of January, 1870, and was completed to 
South Haven in December of the same year. And, as far as heard 
from, the devil got nobody's head for a football. 

The road has been of great benefit to the county, has been es- 
pecially helpful in developing the northern tier of townships 
through which it runs, and has been the principal cause of the 
building up of a number of flourishing villages along the line. 

The road long since passed into the hands and under the control 
of the Michigan Central and is now designated as the South Ha- 
ven division of that company. 

The Van Buren county stations along the line are Mentha, a lit- 
tle burg so named from the large peppermint interests that were 
the sole reason for its birth; Kendall, an unincorporated village; 
Pine Grove, likewise unincorporated; Gobleville, a village of 537 
inhabitants according to the census of 1910 ; Bloomingdale, popu- 
lation 501; Berlamont, Columbia, Grand Junction, Lacota, Kib- 
bie, all unincorporated villages; and South Haven, with a popula- 
tion of 3,767 inhabitants, the largest place and the only city in 
the county. 



HISTOEY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 111 

The Paw Paw Railroad 

From the days of the pioneers the people of Paw Paw had de- 
sired and expected some kind of railroad connection. It was a 
great disappointment to them when the route of the Michigan 
Central was changed so as to run to New Buffalo instead of to St. 
Joseph. Paw Paw was to be a point on that road, as originally laid 
out, and had the route not been changed the history of the county 
would, without doubt, have been far different from what it is at 
the present time. Numerous projects had been presented that 
seemed to promise the desired railroad connection, but none of 
them had been realized. The town had even undertaken to build 
a little road of its own, connecting with the line of the Central, 
between the villages of Lawton and Mattawan, instead of running 
direct to the latter village as it obviously should have done. The 
real reason of this action grew out of jealousy between the two 
towns. Lawton did not care so very much about the matter as she 
had the Central and could get along very well without a little road 
to Paw Paw. This project proceeded as far as the grading of a 
considerable portion of route, w r hen for some reason, probably a 
lack of funds, it was abandoned and was afterward derisively 
named the "calico grade." Afterward, in 1867, the citizens of 
the vicinity became convinced that if they ever had a railroad, 
they must make one for themselves. A local company was organ- 
ized and the Paw Paw Railroad was constructed direct from Paw 
Paw to Lawton, connecting at the latter place with the Michigan 
Central. The road was a short line, only four miles, but it gave 
the people of Paw Paw r an outlet and its opening was an occasion 
of great rejoicing. It continued in operation for a period of ten 
years before any change was made. One engine and one passenger 
coach comprised its principal equipment and the memory of the 
old "Vulcan," as the engine was named, still remains with many 
of the older inhabitants. The means for the building of this road 
came principally from Paw Paw township ten per cent bonds 
which were voted to the amount of $50,000, in aid of the project, 
and which, before they were fully canceled, cost the town double 
that sum, as, under the decision of the supreme court, a tax could 
not be legally levied for their payment until after suit had been 
brought and judgment rendered in the federal court. 

Toledo and South Haven Railroad (Fruit Belt Line) 

This road, with the high sounding name, was at first only a 
narrow gauge road nine miles in length extending from Paw Paw 
to the village of Lawrence on the west. The company that built 
it was organized in the winter of 1866-7. The late John Ihling 



112 HISTORY OF VAN BUREX COUNTY 

was the moving spirit in the construction of this road. Without 
means and associated with F. B. Adams, Henry Ford and George 
W. Lawton of Lawton, and John W. Free and Edwin Martin of 
Paw Paw, who were all public spirited citizens, comfortably situ- 
ated, but none of them wealthy enough to finance much of a rail- 
road project, Mr. Ihling commenced the work of building the road. 
Local subscriptions were solicited and some considerable amount 
secured, the larger amount from citizens of Lawrence, who were 
anxious to have some kind of railroad connection with the outside 
world. 

By the help thus acquired and by indomitable energy and 
"push," by what is sometimes aptly designated as "cheek," the 
road was completed to Lawrence, and on the first day of October, 
1877, was opened for traffic. The writer had the pleasure of be- 
ing a guest of Mr. Ihling on the first passenger trip over the road. 

The only one of the gentlemen above named as promoters of the 
road that is yet in the land of the living is John W. Free, now 
president of the Paw Paw Savings Bank. 

But this road was only a three feet gauge, while the Paw Paw 
road was of standard gauge, which necessitated much unloading 
and reloading of freight at Paw Paw, and it was desirable that 
the gauge of the latter road should be narrowed up so that this 
extra handling of freight and change of cars could be avoided. To 
this plan there was a good deal of opposition and it was sought 
to be blocked by injunction of the court. To avoid this, a gang 
of men were assembled one Sunday morning when legal process 
could not issue and be served, and before the close of the day there 
was a narrow gauge road all the way from Lawton to Lawrence. 

The road did not stop permanently at Lawrence, but within a 
few years was extended to Hartford, connecting there with the 
Chicago and West Michigan, now the main line of the Pere Mar- 
quette, and eventually was continued on to South Haven. So at 
last there was a line of railway from the Michigan Central to 
South Haven, just as years before it had been hoped there might 
be; but it was a narrow gauge and this proved to be unsatisfac- 
tory. So it was determined that the road should be widened, and 
again Paw Paw came to the aid of the project with ten thousand 
dollars of bonds to be devoted to "public improvements," which 
really meant the improvement of this road. A proceeding to hold 
up the payment of these bonds was begun in the circuit court, 
which sustained their validity. The case was appealed to the su- 
preme court, where the decision of the lower court was reversed, 
but the bonds had found their way into the hands of innocent ( ?) 
non-resident parties, were beyond the jurisdiction of the Michi- 
gan court and were eventually paid. The road was converted into 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 113 

a standard gauge and has since been doing good service for the 
people. It passed from the control of the building company into 
the hands of the bondholders, and its ambitious name was 
changed to the "South Haven and Eastern/' possibly because it 
ran easterly from South Haven. It was uncertain just how far 
east it would eventually get, but there was no probability that it 
would ever reach the City of Toledo, its first paper terminus. 
Eventually it passed into the control of the Pere Marquette Com- 
pany and was run as a feeder for that road at Hartford. 

In 1905 a company had been formed, of which S. J. Dunkley 
of South Haven was a prime mover, with the avowed object of 
constructing an electric interurban railway between the cities of 
Kalamazoo and South Haven. The company purchased the right- 
of-way for a large part of the route through Van Buren county, 
built a line between the villages of Paw Paw and Lawton and 
operated it as a steam road for one season (1906), and so for a brief 
period of time Paw Paw actually had two railroads. This new 
road utilized, for part of its route, the old "calico grade. " Mean- 
while, the Michigan Central had relayed and double tracked its 
road between Kalamazoo and Lawton, leaving its old road bed and 
a considerable portion of its iron unoccupied. This passed into 
the hands of the new company and they actually operated the road 
from Paw Paw to Kalamazoo. Some sort of a deal was eventually 
made by which the line first occupied by the old Paw Paw road 
between Paw Paw and Lawton passed into the possession of this 
new company, and not needing two lines between these points the 
newly laid iron was taken up and Paw Paw once more had but one 
railroad. This road again changed its name and assumed one as 
ambitious as its first, being called the "Kalamazoo, Lake Shore 
and Chicago/ ' but it is popularly known as "the Fruit Belt Line." 
Recently another change of ownership has taken place and the 
road is now controlled and operated by the "Michigan United 
Railways Company/ ' which has announced its intention to elec- 
trify the line in the near future, thus providing an *interurban 
line across the state from Detroit to South Haven. The principal 
Van Buren county stations along this line are the villages of Mat- 
tawan, Lawton, Paw Paw, Lawrence, Hartford, Covert and South 
Haven. Lawton has a population, according to the last census of 
1,042; Paw Paw, 1,643; Lawrence, 663; Hartford, 1,268; Mattawan 
and Covert are unincorporated. 

The Pere Marquette Railway 

In 1869 a company was organized under the general railroad 
law of the state, called the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Rail- 



114 HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

road Company, the object of which was to build a railroad along 
the lake shore from New Buffalo northward. A. H. Morrison, of 
Berrien county, was the first president of the road. This was es- 
sentially a Berrien county project, although the route of the pro- 
posed road passed through the townships of Hartford, Bangor 
and Columbia in Van Buren county. The road was opened for 
traffic from St. Joseph to New Buffalo in February, 1870, and one 
year later had reached Grand Junction near the north line of Van 
Buren county, at which point it intersects the South Haven 
division of the Michigan Central. The road was continued to the 
north, reaching Pentwater on the first day of January, 1872, and 
being subsequently extended to Petoskey. Another part of the 
line was built from Holland to Grand Gapids. The road con- 
tinued in possession of the original company until 1874, when it 
was surrendered to the bondholders and its name changed to the 
Chicago and West Michigan Railroad. A considerable number of 
years since it was purchased by the Pere Marquette and by that 
company extended from New Buffalo to Chicago. The road has 
become a part of the main line of the Pere Marquette system, one 
of the great railroad systems that "gridiron" the state of Michi- 
gan. 

The principal Van Buren county stations on this line are the 
villages of Hartford, Bangor, Breedsville, Grand Junction. Hart- 
ford is a village of 1,268 inhabitants, as shown by the census of 1910, 
Bangor has a population of 1,158, and Breedsville has a population 
of 219 souls. Grand Junction is not incorporated. 

Of the eighteen townships in the county there are but three that 
no railroad touches — Almena, Keeler and Waverly ; although there 
are three others, — Arlington, Hamilton and Porter — that have only 
a small corner cut off, Porter being barely touched. 

Two of these roads make close connection with steamship lines 
to -Chicago: the South Haven branch of the Central at South Ha- 
ven, and the Fruit Belt Line at the same place, and also, by rea- 
son of its connection with the Pere Marquette at Hartford, at Ben- 
ton Harbor and St. Joseph in the county of Berrien, thus giving 
the people of the county the benefit of water transportation to 
the great metropolis of the west during the season of navigation. 



CHAPTER V 

EDUCATIONAL HISTORY 

Act of 1827 Modified — Harassed School Inspectors — The 
Teachers ' Qualifications — Mrs. Allen Rice's Reminiscences 
— The Old and the New. 

Schools went hand in hand with the pioneers and their support 
was regulated by statute at an early day. By an act of the legis- 
lative council of the territory of Michigan for the establishment 
of common schools, approved April 12, 1827, it was provided 
among other things: ''That every township within this territory 
containing fifty families or householders shall be provided with a 
good schoolmaster or schoolmasters, of good morals, to teach chil- 
dren to read and write and to instruct them in the English or 
French language, as well as in arithmetic, orthography and decent 
behavior, for such time as shall be equivalent to six months for 
one school in each year. And every township containing one hun- 
dred families or householders shall be provided with such school- 
master or teacher for such time as shall be equivalent to twelve 
months for one school in each year. And every township con- 
taining one hundred and fifty families or householders shall be 
provided with such schoolmaster or teacher for such term of time 
as shall be equivalent to six months in each year, and shall, in ad- 
dition thereto, be provided with a schoolmaster or teacher as above 
described, to instruct the children in the English language for 
such term of time as shall be equivalent to twelve months for one 
school in each year. And every township containing two hun- 
dred families or householders shall be provided with a grammar 
schoolmaster of good morals, well instructed in the Latin, French 
and English languages, and shall in addition thereto be pro- 
vided with a schoolmaster or teacher, as above described, to in- 
struct children in the English language, for such term as shall be 
equivalent to twelve months for each of said schools in each year." 

The statute also provided penalties for refusal or neglect to 
comply with its provisions, as follows: The penalty imposed on 
any township having fifty and less than one hundred families or 
householders was a forfeiture of fifty dollars; on the next grade, 

115 



116 



HISTORY OP VAN BUBEX COUNTY 




High School, Paw Paw 




Lawtcn High School 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 117 

comprising townships from one hundred to one hundred and fifty 
families or householders, a forfeiture of one hundred dollars; 
and on the higher grade of one hundred and fifty families or house- 
holders or more, a forfeiture of one hundred and fifty dollars. 
These penalties were all made proportionable for any neglect for 
a less time than one year. 

The same statute provided that a board of inspectors, not ex- 
ceeding five in number, should be chosen in each township, three 
or more of whom should be competent to examine both the teach- 
ers and the schools; that no person should be employed as a 
teacher without a certificate issued to him by the board of in- 
spectors; and "that if any person shall presume to keep such 
school, without a certificate as aforesaid, he or she shall forfeit 
and pay a sum not exceeding two hundred dollars to be recovered 
in any court having jurisdiction thereof, one moiety thereof to 
the informer and the other moiety to the use of the poor of the 
township where such school may be kept. 

"Provision was likewise made for the division of townships into 
school districts, for the election of a board of trustees in each dis- 
trict to have control of the concerns of the district and for the elec- 
tors of the township to vote a tax for the support of schools. 

"Schools and the means of education shall forever be encour- 
aged. " These words are found in the ordinance of 1787. which 
provided that section sixteen in each township should be set apart 
as school land ; and by act of the legislative council approved 
July 3, 1828, townships were authorized to choose a board of trus- 
tees to have charge of such school lands and to lease the same or 
any part thereof and to apply the proceeds toward the payment 
of the school teachers employed in their several townships. 

Act of 1827 Modified 

By an act of the legislative council of the territory, approved 
November 5, 1829, the system inaugurated in 1827 was modified 
in a considerable degree. This act provided, among other things, 
that a board of "commissioners of common schools" consisting of 
five members should be elected in each township, who should lay 
out and number the school districts of their several townships and 
perform certain other prescribed duties; that three school direc- 
tors should be chosen in each district whose duty it should be to 
levy a tax for the building of schoolhouses where such structures 
had not been previously provided ; to employ qualified teachers 
in their respective districts for a term of three months at least 
in each year and for such longer time as the inhabitants in public- 
school meeting should direct, said schools to commence on or be- 



118 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

fore the tenth day of December in each year; to make out a rate 
bill for the collection of the wages of the teacher, to be levied on 
the inhabitants of the district, proportional to the number of days' 
attendance of the pupils from the family of each patron of the 
school. Provision was also made for the same proportional furnish- 
ing of fuel for the school, which might be delivered in kind, other- 
wise to stand as a personal tax. 

These early laws may be considered as the beginning of Michi- 
gan's magnificent common school system, which i& universally ac- 
knowledged to be second to none. 

Harassed School Inspectors 

It may well be supposed that in those pioneer days it was not 
always easy to find teachers fully equipped as the law required, 
and still less easy to fill the position of school inspectors duly quali- 
fied to pass upon the qualifications of those persons who applied 
for the necessary certificates. And this was not only true in those 
territorial days, but it continued in a greater or less degree long 
after Michigan became a state, indeed as long as the township sys- 
tem of examination of teachers continued in existence. 

The following well authenticated anecdote will illustrate this 
matter : It is said to have transpired in the township of Pine Grove, 
where William Adair, an American citizen of Irish descent, being 
considered well equipped for the office, was elected as a school in- 
spector and was the only one of the three chosen who took the oath 
of office, and he, if he had been better posted as to his official 
duties, would, without doubt, have declined the honor. 

One morning, while "Billy" was industriously attending to his 
more congenial duties in his saw-mill, word was sent to him that 
a young lady had presented herself at his residence and wished to 
interview him. "Eh," said Billy, "What furl" "To be ex- 
amined for a certificate to teach school,' ' was the reply. "Ain't 
got no time to attind to it this mornin'. Tell her to come agin," 
said Billy. "No," was the response, "you are sworn in and must 
examine her now." After some hesitation, Billy finally stripped 
off his "wamus," went to his house, washed and shaved, combed 
out his bushy locks, donned his Sunday-go-to-meeting garments and 
a pair of new moccasins, and bashfully presented himself before 
his fair visitor. "Are you Mr. Adair, the school inspector?" 
asKed the young lady. "Indade, mum," said Billy, reaching up 
and pulling the "cow lick" that graced the top of his head, "I 
suppose I be, mum." "I have come to be examined for a cer- 
tificate to teach school," continued the lady. "Surtificut, is ut?" 
said Billy. "Yes, sir," she replied. "I must surtify ye kin?" 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 119 

enquired Billy, "Nade it be a paper, a writing ' he continued with 
a groan. 4 ' I think it should be, ' ' was the reply. ' ' Kin ye write ? ' ' 
responded Billy. The lady informed him that she possessed that 
necessary qualification. "Well thin," said Billy, "jest ye write it 
out and let me see ye do it." The applicant wrote what she 
thought would answer the purpose. "Rade it if ye will," said 
Billy, with a show of confidence that he was for from possessing. 
The lady complied and read over what she had written. "Now," 
said Billy, "let me see ye write William Adair on it if ye plase." 
The young lady, after some hesitation, did as directed. "Now," 
said Billy, "will ye take thot as yer surtificut and go yer way?" 
"No," was the reply, "you must sign it or it will do me no good, 
they will dispute it." "They will?" said Billy. "Show me the 
mon that dare dispute the word of a lady and I will tach him 
better manners." But the young woman persisted, and Billy 
finally set to work to write his name. Beginning well at the left 
side of the sheet in order that he might have plenty of room, he 
succeeded in spelling out ' ' William Adair, ' ' in letters that nearly 
obliterated the calligraphy of the applicant for the neces- 
sary document, but he would have preferred that she had asked 
him to tackle the largest monarch of the forest or thrash a school- 
house full of doubters as to the regularity of his certificate, which 
was the only one he ever gave, but it served its purpose. Billy 
resigned his office shortly afterward. 

Another instance is recalled of the perspicuity of a member of 
a board of school inspectors which was exhibited as late as 1860. 
The writer was at that time a young man, barely turned twenty- 
one, and his fellow citizens had done him the honor of choosing 
him for an inspector of schools. The two other members of the 
board were elderly men — one of them a teacher of years' standing, 
the other a minister of the Gospel, highly educated. A class of 
young ladies and gentlemen were being examined before the board, 
when this question was propounded by the gray haired school- 
master member: "Why is a nautical mile longer than a statute 
mile?" None could answer. Indeed the only correct answer that 
could have been given would have been, "Because it is;" but the 
schoolmaster proposed to enlighten the class on the matter, and 
proceeded to explain that the nautical mile was measured over the 
level sea, while the statute mile was measured over hill and valley 
and therefore does not reach as far as it would on a level and 
that the difference in their length was an allowance made for the 
inequalities of the earth's surface. Being scarcely more than a 
boy, we did not dare to dispute the absurd proposition of the 
schoolmaster. No so, however, with the preacher, who, to the 
great confusion of the would-be savant, promptly replied "It 



120 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

isn't so. It isn't so. There isn't a word of truth in such a propo- 
sition. ' ' 

The following quoted extracts from a paper written in 1899 by 
the late Charles D. Lawton, one of the regents of the Michigan Uni- 
versity, will serve to illustrate the methods of conducting the 
schools of early pioneer days. "Every old pioneer/' said Mr. 
Lawton, "and all who have passed the three-score mark, will vividly 
recall the primitive educational facilities of their early school days 
in Van Buren county, if perchance, they were so fortunate as to 
have their lot cast so long ago in this far away wilderness. But, 
whether here or elsewhere, the experiences of school life in this 
northern or western country, where the conditions were the same, 
did not greatly differ. So long as memory retains its grasp upon 
any of the past events of life, the lights and shadows of school 
days in the little old log schoolhouse will remain among the most 
permanent of one's reminiscences. 'Memory reveals the rose, but 
secretes the thorn,' and thus we are apt to recall the lights and 
ignore the shadows of those early school days, when in truth, school 
life was not a period of unalloyed delight. We did not, at that 
time, consider it so very much fun to sit all day on the high 
benches made without backs that extended around three sides of 
the school room." So high in fact were these seats that were sim- 
ply slabs with legs under them— tempting, indeed, to the pocket 
knives of the lads — that the younger pupils could not "touch bot- 
tom" so to speak, but were compelled to sit during the long hours 
of school with their feet just aching to touch the floor. Back of 
these seats, or in front of them, it depended how one sat, was a 
wide board for a desk, with a shelf underneath to hold the few 
books that the pupils were so fortunate as to possess. The usual 
position for the more advanced scholars who had attained to the 
dignity of studying the three R's was facing these desks with 
their backs toward the teacher, which gave the schoolmaster or 
ma'am what seemed to be an undue advantage, enabling him or 
her to see without being seen, save only by an occasional furtive 
glance. 

The Teachers' Qualifications 

To quote again from Mr. Lawton: "Unfortunately for the hap- 
piness of the pupil, the teacher was generally chosen for his mus- 
cular development, for his ability to punish and from his willing- 
ness to put this ability into constant practice, rather than for his 
superior mental acquirements and ability to impart instruction." 
Especially was this the case with the winter schools, which were 
practically the only terms attended by the "big" boys and girls. 
"As a rule, in the schoolhouse of pioneer days, the whip and fer- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 121 

ule predominated and the chief ingenuity shown by the teacher 
was in his methods of administering punishment, Many an elderly 
man can recall the torture he endured by being compelled to hold 
his finger on the head of a nail in the floor, or forced to lie over 
a chair and grasp the lower rungs with the hands, thus placing 
himself in the best possible position for application of rawhide or 
birch. Possibly, to vary the method of punishment in the case 
of girls, resort was had to the ferule applied to the hand until 
it was blistered. There was sometimes a sequel to these punish- 
ments, the scene of which was laid in the home, where, if the 
school episode became known, there resulted a further trouncing 
administered by the paternal hand, so that it became an important 
matter for the pupil to suppress information." 

And sometimes there was a good deal of ingenuity displayed 
on the part of the pupil in trying to kk get even." Occasionally the 
master w T ould sit down on a bent pin or receive a severe thrust 
from a darning needle, which by some device would be vigorously 
projected through a hole in his chair causing him to make a sud- 
den spring from his seat, much to the amusement of those who were 
in the secret and to the great surprise and mystification of those 
who were not. 

In some districts the pupils asquired an unenviable reputation 
for "cleaning out" the teacher, the "big boys" being too many 
for him. When a teacher was disposed of in this way another and 
more muscular one was procured if possible. 

An instance of this kind is related as follows: Two or three 
teachers had been turned out in this manner by the unruly pupils, 
and the officers of the district were beginning to despair of find- 
ing anybody who could "keep" the school successfully. Finally 
, an application was made by a young man who did not appear to 
be particularly "husky." The directors explained the condition 
of things to him and suggested that his appearance did not seem 
to indicate that he would be able to fill the bill. The young man 
insisted that he could manage the school and as a last resort was 
given a trial. Things moved along very smoothly for two or 
three days, when the ringleaders concluded the time had arrived 
to test the teacher's mettle. Standing by the fire near the mas- 
ter, one of the boys picked up the poker, and, assuming a military 
attitude, brought it briskly to his shoulder and in a loud voice 
commanded "shoulder arms." Instantly the schoolmaster's fist 
came in contact with the point of the young man's chin, and, as he 
went down, the master commanded "ground arms." This speedy 
adaptation to the situation so pleased the boys that they became 
the teacher's firm friends, and the entire school term was com- 
pleted without, further trouble. 



122 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The lot of a teacher in those early days was not a * * bed of roses ' ' 
and he had to put up with many unpleasant experiences. He had 
to "board around ;" that is, board and lodge with each of the 
families patronizing the school, apportioning his stay according to 
the number of children that attended from each particular family. 
Some of his boarding places would prove to be very pleasant and 
agreeable, while others were — well, let us say not quite so satis- 
factory. Teachers were prone to overstay their time in the pleas- 
ant homes, where they were always welcome, and cut short their 
allotted time at the other places, but these latter could not be 
wholly ignored, as that would be the cause of immediate trouble, 
and if he delayed too long he was sure to receive a message sent 
by one of the little boys or girls, as follows: "Teacher when are 
you coming to our house?" And that was a question that it would 
never do to ignore. 

Frequently the sleeping accommodations in these pioneer homes 
were very limited; the teacher would have to sleep with the chil- 
dren, and often the space was too limited for any great degree of 
privacy. The schoolmaster was paid but a meager salary — the 
school ma'am a good deal less — the major portion of which had 
to be collected by a "'rate bill" and came very slowly, the people 
of those days not usually having very much ready money at their 
command and some of the patrons of the school furnishing only 
children and promises. Text books were crude and scarce, consist- 
ing principally of the "English Reader," "Daboll's Arithmetick" 
(as it was spelled), "Kirkham's Grammar" and a "Webster's Ele- 
mentary Spelling Book," with an occasional copy, perhaps, of 
"Hale's History of the United States," which was not studied as 
a history, but used as a "reading book." One set of these books 
had to serve for the entire family, if indeed they were fortunate* 
enough to possess them all. 

Mrs. Allen Rice's Reminiscences 

The following sketch written by Mrs. Allen Rice, of Lawrence, 
one of the very, very few remaining pioneers of those early days, 
is a fair illustration of pioneer schools. Mrs. Rice, teaching a 
summer school, did not have any unruly "big" boys and girls, 
who so often made the teacher's life a burden grievous to be 
borne. She says: "In my sixteenth summer it was my fortune to 
teach the first school in the township of Bangor, which was then 
known as South Haven, as that township embraced all the terri- 
tory from the west line of Arlington to the lake, the town of Ar- 
lington being included in Lawrence. 

"Some six or eight families had settled in the southeast corner 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 123 

of the town and across the line in Lawrence, and they were anxious 
that their children should be sent to school. Accordingly, in the 
spring of 1840, they were organized as the first fractional district 
of Lawrence and South Haven. As there was no money with which 
to build, they proceeded in pioneer fashion to roll up a log cabin 
about fourteen by eighteen feet in dimension. They had no money 
with which to buy shingles and lumber was scarce, as it was a 
long way to a saw-mill, and so the cabin, which was shanty roofed, 
was covered with troughs — that is, with logs hollowed out, one 
tier being placed hollow side up and the other hollow side down, 
breaking joints and thus effectually excluding the rain. Two 
holes were cut for windows, but they were guiltless of either sash 
or glass; a rude door was made, and a table constructed by nail- 
ing a board across a frame made of poles. They did not have quite 
boards enough to complete the floor and so a space about two feet 
wide was left on one side. Seats were made by putting legs into 
a couple of thick slabs ; a little shelf was made in one corner near 
the door, by driving pins into the logs ; lastly some one furnished 
an old chair for the use of the teacher. 

"When these preparations were complete, they looked around 
for a teacher. The director came to me and said: 'We want you 
to teach our school this summer. The schoolhouse is all ready and 
we want school to begin next Monday. ' I told them I did not feel 
competent and, besides, I thought my mother could not spare me. 
My objections were overruled, and, with my mother's consent, it 
was agreed that I should begin school the first Monday in July 
and teach three months at a salary of one dollar per week, which 
was the usual pay of pioneer teachers, although in some districts, 
where there were thirty or forty pupils, they paid $1.50 per week. 

"The following Monday found me at my task with nine pupils 
ranging from five to fourteen years of age, five of them being 
members of one family. The books used were 'Webster's Ele- 
mentary Spelling Book,' Cobb's First Reader,' 'Peter Parley's 
Geography,' 'Daboll's Arithmetic,' and the 'English Reader,' all 
of which are unknown to the present generation. 

"After I had begun my school I was informed that I was ex- 
pected to teach six days every week and thirteen weeks for a 
three-months' term, so that the district could draw public money. 
Of course I boarded around, and so I had about six weeks to board 
in one place. 

"One day near the close of August I was surprised by the en- 
trance of three stalwart men into my little school room, who an- 
nounced themselves as the township school inspectors. I gave one 
of them my chair and seated the others on the bench with the 
pupils and proceeded with my work as well as my embarrassment 



124 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

would allow, and, I must say, never were better behaved pupils. 
Well, the time passed at length, and I dismissed my little charges. 
Then the inspectors proceeded to ask questions, and, after about an 
hour of questioning, I found myself in possession of a document 
certifying that I had been examined as to moral character, learn- 
ing and ability to teach a common school, etc. The names at- 
tached to this certificate were Nelson S. Marshall, George Par- 
malee and Mansell M. Briggs. These men, as I afterward learned, 
reported my little school as a model school, at which I was not a 
little vain. 

"As the season advanced and the weather became rainy and 
chilly, I procured some cotton cloth and nailed it over the window 
spaces; then w r e built large fires, using the dead wood that lay all 
about, and carried coals in an iron kettle into the school room to 
warm it. 

"Teachers' wages had to be collected by a rate bill and the law 
allowed sixty days for collection, but I did not get my pay until 
New Year's, and then I found myself in possession of twelve dol- 
lars and two pigs. The possession of the pigs is a part of my 
story. 

"Soon after I began my school, my two little brothers came to 
see me and w r ent home with one of the little boys who told them 
that their father had a swine that had more young than she could 
care for, and he was going to kill a couple of them. My brothers 
begged that they might not be killed until they had asked their 
father if they might get them, and the next day they returned and 
got the pigs. Nothing more was thought about the matter until I 
received my pay for teaching the school, w r hen I found myself 
charged with two pigs at fifty cents each. I did not like it very 
much, but the pigs had grown to thrifty swine and my father 
said 'let it go,' but we had more than a dollar's worth of fun over 
my pigs. 

"Although this term of school did not leave me in possession 
of much money, it was not an unprofitable season. Books were not 
abundant in the pioneers' cabins, but I found a number of valu- 
able ones and I read all I could get hold of from 'Scott's Pirate' 
to a volume of sermons, and I even took a dip into the 'Book of 
Mormon, ' which I should have read through, if the owner had not 
gone away taking the book with him." 

Occasionally a teacher like Mrs. Rice, would be secured who was 
broad minded, resourceful and really in love with the work. Such 
a teacher was a power for good in the community that was so 
fortunate as to secure his services, and the time under his in- 
struction passed all too swiftly. In those days the teacher was 
without the aids that are provided in these modern days. He had 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 125 

no books different from those studied by his scholars, no maps, 
no globes, no apparatus, no aids of any sort, but was thrown en- 
tirely on his own resources. What wonder that so many failed 
to make a success of the work they had undertaken. An abundance 
of books of reference, convenient rooms, suitable seats and desks, 
maps, globes and scientific apparatus, together with an enlight- 
ened public sentiment to support him, make the profession of a 
present day teacher altogether different from those days in the 
little old log schoolhouse, and although a much more efficient equip- 
ment is required at the present time, the work is not as difficult 
as it was seventy-five or even fifty years ago. 

The Old and the New 

It is doubtful, however, if the scholars or the parents of these 
modern days enjoy themselves any better or are any happier than 
they were in those primitive times. Who that ever participated 
in them will ever forget the old fashioned spelling schools, the 
singing schools and the debating schools — they would be termed 
"lyceums" in modern parlance — when, packed closely in the box 
of the big sled half filled with straw, wrapped in blankets and 
robes, hitched behind old ' ' Buck and Bright ' ' the family ox team, 
they traveled miles over the sparkling snow, with the mercury 
down to the zero mark (they knew nothing about zero in those days 
and cared less) to attend a spelling school? How eagerly they 
looked forward to the longed-for victory in the final "spelling 
down," a victory that was the source of as great degree of satis- 
faction to the victors as the winning of the game is to a lot of mod- 
ern baseball fans ! In nothing are the wonderful changes that have 
taken place within the past seventy-five years more marked or 
more strongly emphasized than in the progress made by the com- 
mon schools of the county. 

As the first settlers began to overcome the difficulties incident 
to converting the wilderness into productive farms, the primitive 
structures of logs and shakes gave way to the "little red school- 
house," and as the people increased in prosperity and financial 
ability, these in turn, w T ere superseded by the present modern 
schoolhouse, with all of its up-to-date equipment and appliances 
to aid both teacher and pupil in their labors — buildings which, in 
many instances well deserve the honorable distinction of being 
"temples of education." At the present time there are 149 school 
districts in the county and the number of school children, which in- 
cludes all persons between the ages of five and twenty, at the 
school census of 1911 was 9,065. 

The number of school houses is 154, and, with very few excep- 



126 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

tions, they are all modern buildings, fully equipped with every- 
thing needful to assist the student in acquiring a knowledge of 
the arts and sciences, beginning at the kindergarten and end- 
ing with his graduation from the high school, with a diploma en- 
titling its owner to enter into the Michigan University at Ann 
Arbor, an institution conceded to be the peer of any educational 
institution in America, upon presentation of his certificate of 
graduation, without further examination or other condition. 

These schoolhouses are so plentifully scattered throughout the 
county that a person passing through it scarcely leaves one out of 
sight before another comes within the range of his vision. And 
some of these school buildings are among the finest buildings in 
the county, costing thousands of dollars. There are eleven "high 
schools/ ' from five of which the graduates are entitled to enter 
the university on presentation of diploma of graduation. 

Almost every school district in the county maintains a district 
library. These various libraries contain about 24,000 volumes, 
thus giving pupils easy access to much of the first class literature 
of the world and aiding them greatly along the pathway of knowl- 
edge. 

The value of the school property, as returned by the various 
school boards in reports for 1911, is $343,475. 

During the school year ending on the tenth day of July, 1911, 
there were 269 teachers employed in the schools of the county, 
35 men and 235 women. There was paid for teachers' wages dur- 
ing the past school year the sum of $111,985.25. The salaries 
ranged from $30 to $166.66 per month. The average salary of 
the teachers in the country schools was about $40 per month, the 
higher salaries being paid to superintendents and principal teach- 
ers in the city and village schools. The aggregate number of 
months taught in the various schools was 2,219. 

The ordinary English branches, reading, writing, orthography, 
grammar, arithmetic, geography, physiology, civil government and 
United States history, were taught in all the country schools, with 
an occasional class in agriculture, algebra and music. The cur- 
riculum of the high schools embraced all the foregoing studies and, 
in addition thereto, higher mathematics, languages (ancient and 
modern), botany, manual training, physics, astronomy, domestic 
science, agriculture and all other studies required to prepare the 
student for a course in the university. 

Van Buren county has just reason to be proud of her school 
system. The graduates of her schools are filling many important 
positions in the business world. They are doctors, lawyers, 
merchants, divines, agriculturists, horticulturists, insurance men, 
bankers, public officials, journalists and other equally honorable 



HISTORY OF VAN BUKEN COUNTY 127 

and responsible positions, and few, very few indeed, have been the 
instances in which they did not "make good." They are scattered 
all over this broad land, from the far east to the distant west, from 
the frozen north to the sunny south ; perhaps not a single state in 
the Union where some of them may not be found, and in foreign 
countries as well. 

The Peninsular state has certainly obeyed the injunction of the 
famous old ordinance of 1787, that "schools and the means of 
education shall forever be encouraged" and Van Buren county 
has kept fully abreast of her sister counties in carrying on this 
grand work of educating the generations that have been born 
within her jurisdiction, or that have sought her hospitable bord- 
ers from other counties, states and nations. 



128 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 




CHAPTER VI 

THE COUNTY SEAT 

Lawrence as the County Seat — Paw Paw Displaces Lawrence 
— Proposed County Buildings — Old Court House Com- 
pleted — South Haven Bids for County Seat — Popular Vote 
for Paw Paw — New County Buildings — Court House Corner- 
stone Laid — Cost of Present County Buildings. 

As hereinbefore intimated, there was much contention and con- 
troversy over the location of the county seat of Van Buren county. 
The county was not organized until the spring of 1837, although 
it had been set off and named nearly eight years before. As has 
been said: "The formation of a county at that period, by no 
means necessitated the exercise of the usual functions pertaining 
to a county, nor even made it certain that there were any people 
within the designated boundaries. It merely indicated that, in the 
opinion of the state authorities, the territory described in the act 
would, at some future time, make a good county." No mistake in 
that regard was made in organizing Van Buren county. 

Lawrence as the County Seat 

The citizens of the village of Lawrence, nine miles west of the 
village of Paw Paw, claimed strenuously and vigorously that there 
was the proper place for the location of the seat of justice of the 
county, a claim not without reasonable foundation and not en- 
tirely abandoned for a period of sixty years. When that pretty 
and pleasant village was platted, in 1846, an entire block in the 
center of the plat was set apart and dedicated as a public square, 
upon which for many years the people of that town and vicinity 
fondly hoped some day to see the county buildings erected. The 
town was centrally located and, in those early days, was the most 
prominent village in the county except Paw Paw. It is, perhaps, 
not generally known that the county seat was originally located 
at Lawrence, although that claim has often been made and as often 
denied, but such was the fact. 

In 1835, a year before the organization of the county, the gov- 

Vol. I -9 

129 



180 HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

ernor of the territory, acting under the provisions of a general 
statute, appointed three commissioners — Charles Hascall, Still- 
man Blanchard and John W. Strong — to locate the county seat. 
These commissioners selected Lawrence as the proper place and 
stuck the stake that designated the site in the center of the block 
subsequently designated as the "public square/' 

On the 28th day of March, 1836, the following statute was 
passed: "Be it enacted, that the governor be and he is hereby 
authorized to issue his proclamation confirming and establishing 
the seat of justice for the county of Van Buren at the point fixed 
for the said seat of justice in said county by Charles Hascall, Still- 
man Blanchard and John W. Strong, commissioners appointed for 
that purpose, as appears by their report on file in the office of the 
secretary of state; provided, that the proprietors of said seat of 
justice for said county shall pay into the treasury of this state the 
amount advanced from the territorial treasury for said location, 
with interest thereon from the date of such advance and shall 
produce the certificate of the said payment to the governor within 
sixty days. ' ' 

But, as hereinbefore noted, the legislature authorized the board 
of supervisors of the county to designate for a limited period the 
place where the circuit courts should be held and at the first meet- 
ing of that body, held in 1837, the village of Paw Paw was so 
designated. 

The legislature of 1838 again directed that "all circuit courts to 
be held in and for the county of Van Buren, previous to the first 
day of January, 1840, shall be held at such place within said 
county as the board of supervisors shall direct.' ' (Laws of Michi- 
gan, 1838, p. 99.) 

Acting under authority of this statute, the board of supervisors, 
at their annual meeting in October, 1838, adopted the following 
resolution: "The supervisors of the county of Van Buren direct 
that the circuit court for said county shall be held at the school- 
house in the village of Paw Paw. ' ' 

It is a fair presumption, perhaps, that Paw Paw was selected by 
the board because the accommodations were better there than at 
Lawrence, although they were meager enough in either place. 

Paw Paw Displaces Lawrence 

Previous to this action, however, at a special meeting held on 
the twenty-third day of June, 1838, the board of supervisors had 
directed "That the sheriff be authorized to build a suitable build- 
ing to serve as a jail for said county, the expense of said building 
not to exceed four hundred dollars. That the said jail shall be 



HISTOKY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 131 

built on the ground appropriated for that purpose by the pro- 
prietors of the village of Paw Paw in said county.' 7 

That the legally established county seat was understood as be- 
ing at the village of Lawrence is evidenced by the fact that in 
1840, the legislature passed the following act entitled "An act to 
provide for the vacation of the present seat of justice of Van 
Buren county, and to locate the same in the village of Paw Paw, 
in said county. 

"Section 1 — Be it enacted by the senate and house of represent- 
atives of the state of Michigan that the county seat of Van Buren 
county be and the same is hereby vacated and removed to the 
village of Paw Paw in said county, upon such land as shall be 
deeded to the county for that purpose : Provided, that the quan- 
tity of land shall not be less than one acre, to be located under 
the direction of a majority of the county commissioners, or board 
of supervisors, as the case may be, who are hereby required to 
make such location and fix the site for such county seat in said 
village, within one year from the passage of this law, and to take 
a deed of the land aforesaid to them and their successors in office 
for the use and purpose of the county of Van Buren, and shall 
have the deed recorded in the register's office in that county; And 
provided further, that the title to said land so conveyed shall be 
good, absolute and indefeasible and the premises free from all 
legal incumbrances. 

"Section 2 — All writs which have been or may be issued out of 
the circuit court of said county since the last term thereof, whether 
the same were made returnable at the village of Paw Paw or at 
the present county seat, shall be returned to, and heard and tried 
at the village of Paw Paw T aforesaid, at the time they were made 
returnable/' (Laws of Michigan, 1840, pp. 36-37. ) 

By this act of the legislature, Paw Paw became the legal, as 
it had previously been the actual seat of justice for the county. 
No session of the circuit court was ever held elsewhere and no 
county buildings wore ever erected at any other place. 

But it did not follow, by any manner of means, that the ques- 
tion was settled beyond all controversy by the enactment of the 
foregoing statute. The citizens of Lawrence were not disposed 
to abandon the fight, They believed that they had been unjustly 
deprived of that which rightfully belonged to them, and the ques- 
tion of the removal of the county seat from the village of Paw Paw 
became a vital one, and many unsuccessful efforts were made to 
have such removal submitted to a vote of the people. In order to 
secure such submission, the law required a two-thirds vote of the 
board of supervisors in favor of such proposition, and although 
this was frequently attempted every such effort met with failure 



132 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

until the lapse of sixty years after its location at Paw Paw. It 
is a matter of much uncertainty as to what would have been the 
result if the question of the removal of the county seat from Paw 
Paw to Lawrence had been submitted to a vote. Only a majority 
vote would have been necessary to decide the matter, and there 
were times very probably, when a majority in favor of such removal 
might have been obtained, but the electors of the county never 
had an opportunity to express their choice as between those two 
villages. 

Proposed County Buildings 

Immediate steps were taken after the above noted action of the 
legislature, looking to the erection of county buildings at the newly 
established county seat. At a meeting of the board of county 
commissioners held at the office of the county clerk on the first 
day of April, 1840, the following resolutions were adopted, to- wit : 
"Resolved, that the site for the seat of justice for the county of 
Van Buren be and the same is hereby located and fixed on that 
portion of block number eleven known and described as lots num- 
ber one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight, in the village 
of Paw Paw, being the same land appropriated for that purpose 
by the proprietors of said village, the aforesaid location being 
made agreeable and in conformity with the act of the legislature 
of the State of Michigan, approved March 6, 1840. 

"Resolved, that the clerk of said county be and he is hereby 
required to procure a quit claim deed from the proprietors of said 
village for the land mentioned in the foregoing resolution and 
cause the same to be recorded in the register's office of this coun- 
ty." 

However, the county buildings were not erected on the site so 
designated, although the present court house and jail now occupy 
the same. 

At a special meeting of the board of county commissioners held 
on the 30th day of January, 1841, the following action was taken : 
"It appearing that the title for the county seat, as located and 
fixed by the board of commissioners on the first day of April, 1840, 
not having been perfected, therefore it is 

"Resolved, that the act or resolution of the commissioners lo- 
cating and fixing the site for the seat of justice in the county of 
Van Buren on block number eleven in the village of Paw Paw is 
hereby annulled and vacated. 

"Then, resolved and determined that the site lor the seat of 
justice for said county of Van Buren (title having been given) be 
and the same is hereby located and fixed on block number forty 
in the village of Paw Paw, in this county.' ' 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 133 

But neither were the proposed county buildings ever erected on 
this site which for many years has been occupied by the Free Will 
Baptist church of Paw Paw and private residences. 

On March 6, 1841, the board of county commissioners passed 
the following resolution: " Resolved, that the sum of four thou- 
sand dollars be and the same is hereby appropriated for the pur- 
pose of building a court house in and for the county of Van Buren. 

"The board directed W. Mason to draft or cause to be drafted 
a plan for a court house.'' 

This action of the county commissioners seems to have accom- 
plished nothing, except to make an appropriation of funds, 
and at a meeting held April 3, 1842, the same body, having ap- 
parently come to the conclusion that four thousand dollars for a 
court house was a piece of unwarranted extravagance, adopted 
another resolution in reference to the matter, as follows : ' ' Re- 
solved by the board of commissioners to contract for the building 
a court house, provided that some responsible person or persons 
contract to furnish materials, build and furnish a good and sub- 
stantial house for a sum not to exceed three thousand dollars. 

"The board directed R. E. Churchill to make a draft, etc." 

Four days later the board gave notice that the "county board 
will continue to receive proposals for building a court house until 
twelve o'clock noon, on the 8th inst." 

On the afternoon of that day, the following entries appear on 
the official record, to-wit : "On examination of the several pro- 
posals for building the court house, it was ascertained that Reuben 
E. Churchill and Stafford Godfrey had proposed to furnish mate- 
rials, build and finish the woodwork of said house for the lowest 
sum — that is, for the sum of $2,410, and that Henry W. Rhodes had 
proposed to furnish materials and do the mason work for the low- 
est sum — that is, for $494. 

"Whereupon, Reuben E. Churchill and Stafford Godfrey en- 
tered into a stipulation or agreement, with a penal sum of five 
thousand dollars with approved security, to build said court house 
and complete the same (agreeably to draft and specifications lodged 
in the county clerk's office) in eighteen months from this date; 
for which an order on the treasury was given to said Churchill and 
Godfrey for two thousand four hundred and ten dollars to be paid 
out of the money appropriated by the county board of commis- 
sioners at their meeting at the clerk's office, March 1, 1841, for 
the building of a court house." 

Also Henry W. Rhodes gave a bond, with approved surety, to 
furnish materials and finish the mason work of said house in 
eighteen months from date, for which an order on the treasury was 
given for four hundred and ninety-four dollars, to be paid out of 



134 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

the money appropriated for building a court house, March 1, 1841, 
by the county board of commissioners. 

"The county board then procured a warranty deed of I. W. 
Willard to the county of Van Buren for lots 5, 6, 7, and 8, in 
block No. 12, in the village of Paw Paw, on which to build said 
court house, and in consideration thereof quit claimed to said Wil- 
lard, block 40, the present site; also gave an order on the county 
treasury for $331 to J. F. Noye to clear the above lots from in- 
cumbrance, and received the security of Willard, Gremps & Com- 
pany for the repayment of the same to the treasury. (It was on 
this site that the court house and jail were built.) 

"The county board then appointed Josiah Andrews to oversee 
(on the part of the county) the building of said court house.' ' 

After allowing a few miscellaneous claims, the board of county 
commissioners adjourned "never to meet again," having been 
legislated out of existence by an act passed by the legislature of 
1842, which took effect on the second Monday of April of that 
year, the duties theretofore devolving on such board being con- 
ferred upon the board of supervisors. 

The first meeting of the board of supervisors under the new 
regime was held at the office of the county clerk in the village of 
Paw Paw, on the fourth day of July, 1842, as required by the new 
statute, and was organized by choosing Gen. Benj. F. Chadwick 
as chairman. The only action taken at that meeting relative to 
the building of the court house was as follows: "Resolved, that 
this board call upon the county treasurer for a statement of the 
financial concerns of the county, information respecting the erec- 
tion of the court house, the amount of funds paid out, and all other 
information relative to the office and that the treasurer report to 
this board at their next meeting." 

The next entry on the records relative to the new building ap- 
pears at the meeting of the board of supervisors on the 13th day 
of October, 1842, at which time Theodore E. Phelps, Philotus Hay- 
don and Joshua Bangs were appointed as a committee "to paint 
the court house, the same to be painted when the outside is finished, 
ready to receive the paint, also for the building a fence or yard 
around the court house when the said committee in their opinion 
deem it necessary." 

Old Court House Completed 

The contractors, evidently, did not get their job completed in 
the stipulated eighteen months, as on the 14th day of August, 1844, 
considerably more than two years after the date of their contract, 
we find the following entries on the proceedings of the board for 



HISTORY OF VAN BITREN COUNTY 135 

that year: "Resolved, that we will appoint a committee to ex- 
amine the work which Messrs. Churchill & Godfrey have done on 
the court house and report to the board relative to the materials 
and workmanship of the same, and that T. E. Phelps and George A. 
Bentley be appointed said committee. 

"The committee appointed to examine the court house reported 
the workmanship and materials on the house was according to 
contract, as far as it had progressed, which report was received by 
the board. 

"Resolved, that there shall be a gallery built in the south end 
of the court house and that Mr. Godfrey and Mr. Mason be re- 
quested to draft a plan for the same/' 

On the 7th day of January, 1845, almost three years after the 
contract for building the court house was entered into another 
committee consisting of Messrs. Humphrey P. Barnum, Jonathan 
N. Hinckley and George A. Bentley were appointed to examine the 
building. 

After receiving the report of this committee, the board adopted 
the following resolution: "Resolved, that the report of the com- 
mittee on examination of the finishing of the court house be re- 
ceived, which is as follows, viz: That the finishing of the joiner 
work of the court house be accepted from the hands of Stafford 
Godfrey and Reuben E. Churchill as finish el agreeable to their 
contract and the committee be discharged." 

With the exception of some of the inside work and the building 
of the gallery, the house at this time appears to have been finished. 
The board, however, apparently had some difficulty in getting the 
plastering all completed. Several times attention was called to 
the matter at different sessions of the board. Finally, on the 7th 
day of March, 1845, the official record shows that the following 
action was taken: "On motion, Resolved, that Joseph B. Barnes 
be appointed a committee to see H. W. Rhodes and inform him 
that he must have the remainder of the court house finished — that 
is, the plastering— by the first of May next or suffer damage for 
the same. ,, 

It is impossible to ascertain from the records when the first term 
of court was held in the new court house, but it is probable that 
it was at the June term, 1845. 

This court house served the county for fifty-five years before 
any action was taken looking to new county buildings. There had 
been kept up, however, a constant agitation for the removal of 
the county seat from Paw Paw to some other place, Lawrence be- 
ing the point generally under consideration, although some of the 
other villages of the county that had outstripped that place in 
growth began to have aspirations to become the favored site. 



136 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Meantime the population of the county had increased from less 
than 2,000 in 1845 to more than 33,000 in 1900, the county build- 
ings which had served for more than half a century had become 
old and entirely inadequate for the needs of the people, and the 
board of supervisors realized, as did the citizens of the county in 
general, that new and more commodious accommodations for the 
transaction of the public business had become an absolute neces- 
sity and that action looking to a new and modern court house and 
jail could not longer be delayed. 

South Haven Bids for County Seat 

In the meantime the village of South Haven had become the 
largest town in the county and was about ready to don city garb, 
and her people thought that her importance as a thriving manu- 
facturing town and as a lake port, entitled her to be considered as 
in the running for the proposed new location of the county seat of 
justice. 

At the session of the board of supervisors held in January, 1900, 
Supervisor Peter J. Dillman, of Bangor, offered the following 
resolution: ''Whereas, the county buildings of Van Buren Coun- 
ty are in condition requiring the building of new ones, therefore, 

"Resolved, by the board of supervisors of this county, that the 
county seat of Van Buren County be removed to some other place 
in Van Buren County." 

This resolution was first laid on the table by a vote of ten to 
eight, but, on reconsideration, was adopted by a vote sixteen to 
two, the only supervisors voting in the negative being D. A. Squier 
of Decatur and Dwight Foster of Keeler, and thus for the first 
time, after many trials, a two-thirds vote of the board was secured 
favorable to a submission of the question to a vote of the electors 
of the county. 

Following this action of the board, Supervisor J. T. Tolles of 
Geneva, offered the following resolution: "Whereas, this board 
has passed a resolution providing that the county seat of Van Buren 
County be moved from its present location, therefore: 

"Be it resolved, that the county seat of Van Buren County be 
removed from its present location to the village of South Haven, 
and this board does hereby designate the village of South Haven as 
the place to which it shall be removed.' ' 

Supervisor Amos Benedict of Lawrence moved to amend the 
resolution by substituting Lawrence in the place of South Haven. 

Supervisor Howard Lobdell of Hartford moved to amend the 
proposed amendment by substituting Hartford in the place of 
Lawrence. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 137 

Mr. Lobdell's amendment was lost by a tie vote, nine to nine; 
Mr. Benedict's motion shared the same fate by the same vote, and 
in that vote vanished the hope that Lawrence had cherished for 
sixty years, that some day she might become the county seat of 
Van Buren county. 

The board then proceeded to vote on the resolution of Supervisor 
Tolles providing that the county seat be removed to South Haven, 
which was adopted by a vote of twelve to six, exactly the required 
two-thirds. 

The vote by townships was as follows : Yeas — Supervisors Brown 
of Almena, Mitchell of Antwerp, Dillman of Bangor, Smith of 
Bloomingdale, Gaynor of Columbia, Lampson of Covert, Tolles of 
Geneva, Wildey of Paw Paw, Waber of Pine Grove, Cornish of 
Porter, French of South Haven and Chase of Waverly. 

Nays— Supervisors Monroe of Arlington, Squier of Decatur, 
Byers of Hamilton, Foster of Keeler, Benedict of Lawrence, and 
Lobdell of Hartford. 

It required the vote of the supervisor from Paw Paw to make 
the necessary two-thirds. His vote, like that of several others, 
was not cast in favor of the proposition, because he favored a re- 
moval from Paw Paw, but because he realized that the time had 
come when new buildings must be erected and when the people 
themselves must finally settle by their votes, beyond all further 
agitation, where the county seat should be located. 

Immediately following this action of the board, Supervisor Wil- 
dey offered a resolution providing "That there be submitted to 
the qualified electors of said county at the annual spring election 
to be held on the first Monday in April, A. D., 1901, the proposi- 
tion to borrow on the faith and credit of the county and to issue 
its evidence of indebtedness therefor the sum of sixty thousand 
dollars, the proceeds to be used solely for the purpose of erecting 
a suitable building to be used as a court house, and a suitable 
building or buildings to be used and occupied as a county jail, 
and a suitable building or buildings to be used and occupied as a 
sheriff's residence in said county of Van Buren.' ' 

This resolution was adopted by a vote of fourteen to four. 

Immediately the "county seat war" was on in earnest. Meet- 
ings were held in different localities, either favoring or opposing 
one or both of the propositions submitted ; but the battle was fought 
largely through the columns of the public press. The two Paw 
Paw papers led the opponents of removal, while the South Haven 
papers took charge of the other side of the contest, and from then 
until the vote was taken there was no cessation of the battle. A 
majority of the newspapers of the county opposed the plan to re- 
move the county buildings to South Haven, some of them because 



138 HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

they wanted no change and others, perhaps, because they hoped 
if the proposition was defeated that "county seat lightning" 
might possibly strike their own town. During the three months 
that elapsed before the vote was taken, the county seat question 
was the principal topic of discussion and conversation throughout 
the county and also occupied the most prominent position in the 
columns of its newspapers. 

It was not expected when the proposition was submitted that 
any locality would be called upon to offer any pecuniary consid- 
eration to secure the location of the new court house, but South 
Haven was determined to win out if there was any possible chance, 
and Paw Paw was equally determined to retain what had been 
hers for more than sixty years, so neither of the contestants left 
anything undone that would tend to settle the fight in its own 
favor, and, as it chanced, the legislature of the state was in ses- 
sion, and so South Haven procured the passage of an act author- 
izing that township to issue bonds to an amount not exceeding 
fifty thousand dollars, "which shall be expended for the purchase 
of a site for and to aid in the construction of a court house and 
jail for the county of Van Buren, to be located in said township 
of South Haven, * * * provided that a majority of the elec- 
tors of said township * * * shall vote in favor of the said 
loan in the manner specified in this act." 

Paw Paw realized that this move on the part of the enterprising 
lakeside village would be a body blow unless its effect could be 
counteracted, and so immediately secured the passage of a pre- 
cisely similar act, except that Paw Paw was mentioned therein in 
place of South Haven. 

South Haven called a special election to be held on the 25th day 
of March, at which the question of issuing township bonds should 
be submitted to a vote of the people, and Paw Paw followed suit 
by calling an election for the same purpose to be held two days 
later. 

The result of the South Haven election was 765 votes in favor 
of bonding and 44 against the proposition. 

Paw Paw voted 587 for the bonds and 56 against. 

Popular Vote for Paw Paw 

Immediately after this the battle waged hotter than ever. Each 
party accused the other of bluffing and of not intending to issue 
the bonds so voted. As the date of the election drew near (April 
1st) the excitement increased and practically nothing else was 
heard but " county seat." The result was an overwhelming de- 
feat for the $60,000 county bonding proposition, the majority 



HISTORY OF VAN BUBEN COUNTY 139 

against it being 2,797. The proposition to remove the county 
seat from Paw Paw was also defeated by a majority of 356 in a 
vote of 8,520, the largest vote ever polled in the county, either 
before or since. It is not likely that anybody 's vote was challenged 
on that day. The vote in detail was as follows : 

Township. Yes. No. 

Almena 7 259 

Antwerp 174 415 

Arlington 186 147 

Bangor 554 90 

Bloorningdale 262 193 

Columbia 345 41 

Covert 359 30 

Decatur 106 400 

Geneva 407 21 

Hartford 102 485 

Hamilton 20 183 

Keeler 65 176 

Lawrence 71 361 

Porter 17 230 

Pine Grove 147 263 

Paw Paw 13 841 

South Haven 1213 26 

Waverly 33 277 

Total vote 4082 4438 

As soon as possible after the result of the vote was known Paw 
Paw issued and negotiated $50,000 of bonds, and when the board 
of supervisors met on the 18th day of April to canvass the vote, 
the money was in the hands of the treasurer and was by him ten- 
dered to the board to aid in the construction of new county build- 
ings at Paw Paw. The bonds having sold for a premium of $356.- 
44, the town had more than fulfilled its financial pledge. 

After the canvass of the vote had been completed, Supervisor 
Chase of Waverly offered the following resolution, which was 
adopted by a vote of 12 to 6: "Whereas, the treasurer of Van 
Buren County has in his hands the sum of fifty thousand three 
hundred and sixty-six and 44-100 dollars donated by the township 
of Paw Paw for the purpose of purchasing a site and to aid in the 
construction of a court house, jail and sheriff's residence in the 
village of Paw Paw in said county, and 

''Whereas, said buildings are necessary and essential and should 
be built by said county with all convenient speed ; now therefore 
be it, 



140 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

''Resolved by the board of supervisors of Van Buren County 
at a session thereof held at the court house, on Thursday, the 18th 
day of April, A. D. 1901, that a site for such building be pur- 
chased and that a new, modern and commodious court house, jail 
and sheriff's residence be constructed and erected in said village 
of Paw Paw ; that to carry out the provisions of this resolution said 
sum of money so offered and donated by the township of Paw Paw 
be accepted and placed to the credit of the county of Van Buren 
in a separate fund to be known and designated as the 'Court House 
construction fund.' " 

A building committee was appointed with power to interview 
architects, and receive bids, plans and specifications for the pro- 
posed buildings. 

A resolution was presented and adopted providing that the 
board should not, in any case, use more that seventy-five thousand 
dollars, including the sum donated by the township of Paw Paw. 
This resolution was never rescinded, but a much larger sum was 
expended. 

A special meeting of the board was held June 3d and 4th, 1901, 
at which several bids were received for the construction of the 
new county buildings, the lowest being that of George Rickman 
& Sons of Kalamazoo, for the sum of $54,500 for the court house 
and $22,700 for the jail and sheriff's residence, and the county 
clerk and building committee were authorized and instructed to 
enter into a contract with that firm for the construction of the 
proposed buildings according to the plans and specifications that 
had been placed on file in the office of the county clerk. 

A resolution was adopted by the board, reading in part as fol- 
lows: '* Whereas, the building now occupied and used as a court 
house in and for Van Buren County, is no longer suitable for 
such purpose ; now therefore : 

"Be it resolved by the board of supervisors of the county of 
Van Buren, that it is necessary to raise the sum of thirty-five thou- 
sand dollars in addition to the sum above mentioned (the money 
received from Paw Paw) and that the same be raised by a loan: 

"Be it further resolved, that there be submitted to the quali- 
fied electors of said county at a special election to be held on the 
15th day of July, 1901, the proposition to borrow on the faith and 
credit of said county the sum of thirty-five thousand dollars, the 
proceeds to be used solely for the erection of a suitable building 
to be used as a court house and a suitable building or buildings to 
be used and occupied as a county jail and sheriff's residence in 
said countv of Van Buren." 



HISTORY OF VAN BUBEN COUNTY 141 

New County Buildings 

The board voted to purchase the block immediately south of the 
block on which the county buildings then stood as a site for the 
new court house and jail. This block was at the time almost en- 
tirely occupied by residences and is the same block upon which the 
old buildings were first ordered to be located some sixty years be- 
fore. This site cost the county about $10,000. 

The board again met on the 24th day of June, 1901 , at which 
action was taken looking to the condemnation of certain private 
property on the newly designated site for the conveyance of which 
the committee and the owners had failed to come to an agreement. 

Again, on the 29th day of July the board met for the purpose 
of canvassing the vote of the special election on the county bond- 
ing question and ascertained that the proposition to issue $35,000 
of county bonds had carried by the following vote: Yes, 1,355; 
No, 1,097. The result of this vote placed a little more than $85,000 
in the building fund. 

Court House Corner-Stone Laid 

The corner-stone of the new court house was laid with appro- 
priate ceremonies on the second day of September. 1901, and was 
attended by a large concourse of people from all parts of the 
county. No event in the history of the county is more worthy to 
be preserved in its annals than the laying of that corner-stone. 
The following is a full and complete report of the ceremonies of 
the day as contained in the report of the building committee made 
to the board of supervisors one week thereafter : 

li Gentlemen — 'Your building committee beg leave to submit the following 
report : 

In accordance with the resolution submitted by Supervisor French and 
passed by the board of supervisors on June 25th A. D. 1901, your chairman 
appointed the following executive committee to make the necessary arrange- 
ments for the laying of the corner stone of the new court house: 

Executive Committee.— R. W. Broughton, E. F. Parks, B. F. Heckert, T. 
J. Cavanaugh, M. O. Rowland. 

Soon after the appointment of said committee we conferred with the con- 
tractors, Messrs. George Rickman Sons & Co., to ascertain the date upon which 
the building would be ready fcr the corner stone ceremony. 

Being assured that labor day, Sept. 2, would be a convenient time and the 
earliest date they could safely name, said date was accepted and agreed 
upon as the day for said ceremony. 

The executive committee appointed the following sub-committees and began 
active preparations for the proper observance and celebration of said day. 

Reception Committee — W. J. Thomas, L. H. Titus, Daniel Spicer, 1. B. 
Conner, B. F. Warner, W. J. Sellick, J. H. Johnson, G. W. Longwell, O. W. 
Rowland, H. A. Cole, C. W r . Young, C. R. Avery, John Marshall, J. M. Long- 
well, F. B. Ocobock, J. C. Warner, Wm. Butler, A. C. Martin. 



142 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Business Committee — Geo. M. Harrison, E. B. Longwell, E. F. Parks. 

Committee on Archives — F. N. Wakeman, J. W. Free, J. C. Maxwell, C. S. 
Maynard, H. L. McNeil, W. F. Hoyt, L. W. Curtiss, C. E. Thompson. 

Decoration Committee — David Anderson, M. D. Buskirk, W. E. Sellick, H. 
C. Waters, W. L. Miller, Elmer Downing. 

Arrangement Committee — Wm. Killefer, E. A. S.hoesmith, A. H. Dodge. 

Transportation Committee — I. Jay Cumings, J. D. Holmes, H. W. Shower- 
man, D. H. Patterson, W. H. Longwell. 

Entertainment Committee — W. C. Y. Ferguson, J. A. O'Leary, E. S. Briggs. 

Music Committee — J. F. Taylor, W. J. Barnard, E. A. Aseltine. 

The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Michigan 
were invited to lay the corner stone of the building which invitation was ac- 
cepted by Mr. Frank O. Gilbert, grand master. 

Hon. Frank T. Lodge of Detroit was engaged to deliver the address for 
the occasion. 

The Peninsula Commandery Knights Templar of Kalamazoo, all organized 
societies of the county and citizens in general were invited to be present and 
assist in the exercises of the day, which invitation was accepted. 

On Monday, September 2, A. D. 1901, at half past one o'clock in the after- 
noon, the various societies that took part in the parade assembled at the school 
house park and there awaited the arrival of the Peninsular Commandery 
Knights Templar, of Kalamazoo. 

On the arrival of the said commandery the parade started at once and 
proceeded over the course previously arranged and from thence directly to the 
court house grounds where a vast crowd was assembled and the Grand Lodge 
of F. & A. M. of Michigan, proceeded to lay the corner stone with the follow- 
ing ceremonies: 

The Grand Marshal commanded silence as follows: 

"In the name of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted 
Masons of the state of Michigan I do now command all persons .here as- 
sembled to keep silence and to observe due order and decorum during the 
ceremonies. This proclamation I make that each and every person may govern 
himself accordingly. f ' 

Mr. T. J. Cavanaugh invited the Grand Master in these appropriate words 
to lay the corner stone: 

' ' Most Worshipful Grand Master — The people of this county have under- 
taken to erect on the place where we now stand an edifice to be devoted to the 
uses of the county. We .hope it may long serve the purposes for which it is 
being constructed; that strength and beauty may adorn all its parts, and wis- 
dom continually go forth from within its walls to enlighten the community. 
On behalf of those engaged in its erection I now most respectfully request- 
that you lay the corner stone thereof according to the forms and ceremonies of 
your ancient and honorable f raternity. ' ' 

Grand Master: — "From time immemorial it has been the custom of Free 
Masons to join their operative brethren upon occasions such as this, and to 
lay with fitting ceremonies the corner stones of important public buildings. 

"In accordance with that custom we accept your invitation so graciously 
given. We have assembled our Grand Lodge in special communication for that 
purpose and will now proceed to lay this foundation stone according to an- 
cient Masonic usage. 

"One of the first lessons which Free Masonry teaches is that in all our 
work, great or small, begun or finished, we should first seek the aid of Al- 
mighty God. It is therefore our first duty upon this present occasion to ask the 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 143 

aid of the Supreme Architect of the Universe upon the undertakings in which 
we are now about to engage and request that everyone present will unite with 
our grand chaplain in an address to the Throne of Grace. ' ' 

Grand Chaplain: — "Let us Pray. Almighty God who hath given us 
grace at this time, with one accord, to make our common supplication unto 
Thee, we most heartily beseech Thee to behold with favor and bless this as- 
semblage. Pour down thy mercies like the dew that falls upon the mountains 
upon thy servants engaged in the solemn ceremonies of this day. Help us wisely 
and well to do the work assigned to us, and may this corner stone, be safely 
deposited in its allotted place. Well and fittingly may it be laid. 

"May there be erected upon it a structure worthy of the purpose it is de- 
signed to fill and may this building so auspiciously begun progress to its com- 
pletion under Thy gracious care. As to-day with exultant hearts we lay its 
corner stone, so with ever heightening joy may we witness its progress until 
safely and happily the top-most stone shall be laid and those who work and 
those who behold shall rejoice together in its completion. Bless, we pray Thee, 
all the workmen who shall be engaged in its erection ; keep them from all forms 
of accident and of harm and grant them in health and prosperity to live. Ful- 
fill the desire of all Thy servants as may be most expedient for them, granting 
unto all of us in this work, knowledge of the truth, and in the world to come 
everlasting life. Amen." 

Response by brethren: — "So mote it be." 

The Grand Marshal introduced the chairman of the building committee as 
follows : 

i ' Most Worshipful Grand Master, I now present W. C. Wildey ; chairman of 
the building committee to whose hands has been intrusted the work of erecting 
this building. " 

The chairman of the building committee then addressed the Grand Master 
as follows: 

"Most Worshipful Sir: — The Committee charged with preparing the foun- 
dation stone for this building have completed that part of their labors and it- 
is now ready to be made the chief foundation stone of this building. ' ' 

Grand Master: — "It has ever been the custom to deposit within the cavity 
in corner stones, certain memorials of the period at which the building was 
erected, so that in the lapse of ages, if the fury of the elements or the slow 
but certain ravages of time should lay bare its foundation, an enduring record 
may be found by succeeding generations to bear testimony to the industry, 
energy and culture of our time. 

"Have you prepared any articles to be deposited in this stone! If no, 
please present them and a copy thereof. ' ' 

W. C. Wiley: — "Most Worshipful Sir: They are safely sealed within 
this box and here is a list of them." 

Grand Master: — "Right Worshipful Grand Secretary, you will read the 
list. ' ' 

Grand Secretary: — "Most Worshipful Grand Master, with your permission 
I will cause the list to be published without reading as it is somewhat lengthy 
and the hour is late." 

Grand Master: — "Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer, assisted by the Grand 
Deacons you will deposit this box in the stone and may Almighty God in His 
wisdom grant that ages and ages shall pass away ere it shall again be seen by 
men. ' } 

Grand Treasurer: — "Most W r orshipful Grand Master, your orders have been 
duly executed." 



144 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The box which was at this time placed in the corner stone, was a small 
copper box, six by six by ten inches, securely sealed and containing the fol- 
lowing articles to-wit: 

1 Holy Bible. 

2 United States flag. 

3 True Northerner, date Aug. 30, 196l. 

4 Free Press & Courier, date Aug. 22, 1901. 

5 Morning Sentinel, date Aug. 29, 1901. 

6 South Haven Sentinel, date July 22, 1899. 

7 South Haven Messenger, date Aug. 23, 1901. 

8 Weekly Tribune, date Aug. 23, 1901. 

9 Daily Tribune, date Aug. 30, 1901. 

10 Bangor Advance, date Aug. 30, 1901. 

11 Van Buren Co. Visitor, date Aug. 30, 1901. 

12 Hartford Day Spring, date Aug. 28, 1901. 

13 People's Alliance, date Aug. 29, 1901. 

14 Lawrence Times, date Aug. 30, 1901. 

15 Decatur Republican, date Aug. 29, 1901. 

16 Bloomingdale Leader, date Aug. 23, 1901. 

17 Lawton Leader, date Aug. 30, 1901. 

18 Gobleville News, date Aug. 23, 1901. 

19 List of officers Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of Michigan. 

20 Autograph letters from President McKinley's private secretary, Vice 

President Theodore Roosevelt, Governor Aaron T. Bliss, Senator James 
McMillan, Senator Julius C. Burrows and Congressman Edward L. 
Hamilton. 

21 Proceedings of first board of supervisors in Van Buren county, May 27th, 

1837. 

22 Proceedings of first term of circuit court in Van Buren county June 6th, 

1837. 

23 List of first county officers in Van Buren county, April, 1837. 

24 Copy of first marriage recorded in Van Buren county, George L. Reynolds 

to Rebecca Luke, by D. O. Dodge, justice of the peace, July 24, 1836. 

25 Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Gremps who came to Paw Paw in 1833. 

Mr. Gremps was one of the founders of Paw Paw, its first merchant and 
first post-master. 

26 Sketch of county buildings, old and new. 

27 Official canvass of vote for November election, 1900. 

28 Election returns by townships for November, election, 1900. 

29 Proceedings of board of supervisors, October, 1900 and January, 1901. 

30 List of jurors for September term of court, 1901. 

31 Standing committee of board of Supervisors for year 1901. 

32 Picture of old court house and county buildings. 

33 Circuit court calendar, September term, 1901. 

34 List of state officers, senators, representatives in congress, and members 

of Michigan state legislature for 1901-2. 

35 List of county officers for state of Michigan for years 1901-2. 

36 List of township officers in Van Buren county, 1901. 

37 List of village officers in Van Buren county, 1901. 

38 List of qualified teachers in Van Buren county, 1901. 

39 Autographs of Van Buren county officials, deputies, clerks, etc., 1901. 

40 Autographs of village officers of Paw Paw, 1901. 

41 List of officers Decatur Hive No. 540, L. O. T. M. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 145 

List of officers Lawton Hive No. 427, L. O. T. M. 
List >f officers Paw Paw Hive 418, L. O. T. M. 

42 List of officers Decatur lodge No. 112, K. of P. 
List of officers Vienna lodge No. 48, K. of P. 

List of officers Maple Grove lodge No. 198, K. of P. 

43 List cf officers Edwin Colwell Post No. 23, G. A. R. 
List >f officers A Lincoln Post No. 19, G. A. R. 
List of officers Brodhead Post No. 31, G. A. R. 

List of officers L. C. Woodman Post No. 196, G. A. R. 

44 List of officers Lacota lodge No. 33, I. O. O. F. 
List of officers Paw Paw lodge No. 18, I. O. O. F. 

List of officers Paw Paw Encampment No. 30, I. O. O. F. 
List of officers Fidelity Rebekah lodge No. 70, I. O. O. F. 
List of officers Hartford Rebekah lodge, I. O. O. F. 
List of officers Lawton lodge No. 83, I. O. O. F. 

45 List of officers Lawton Chapter No. 246, O. E. S. 

List of officers Bloomingdale Chapter No. 185, O. E. S. 
List of officers Acacia Chapter No. 211, O. E. S. 
List of officers Paw Paw Chapter, O. E. S. 

46 List of officers L. C. Woodman, W. R. C. 
List of officers Hartford, W. R. C. 

List of officers Ellsworth No. 46, W. R. C. 

47 List of officers Hartford Division Court No. 29, Patricians. 
List of officers Paw Paw Court No. 33, Patricians. 

List of officers Lawrence Division Court No. 131, Patricians. 

48 List of officers Van Buren county, W. C. T. U. 

49 List of officers Bangor Grange No. 60, P. of H. 

List of officers Van Buren county Pomona Grange No. 18, P. of H. 

50 Rising Sun Lodge No. 119, F. & A. M. 
Paw Paw Lodge No. 25, F. & A. M. 
Paw Paw Chapter No. 34, R. A. M. 
Lawrence Chapter, R. A. M. 

51 So. Haven Lodge, A. O. U. W. 

Paw Paw lodge No. 37, A. O. U. W. 

52 Lawrence Camp No. 3219, M. W. A. 
Paw Paw Camp No. 3103, M. W. A. 

53 So. Haven tent, K. O. T. M. 

Paw Paw tent No 108, K. O. T. M. 
Lawton tent No. 307, K. O. T. M. 

54 Glendale camp, R. N. A. 
Maple camp No. 36, R. N. A. 

^■) last of officers and number of members of the Free Will Baptist church 
of Van Buren County. 

List of officers and number of members of M. E. Church of Paw Paw. 

List of officers and number of members of M. E. Church of Mattawan. 

List of officers and number of members of M. E. Sunday school of Mat- 
tawan. 

56 List of members of Lawton school board. 
Annual of Lawrence public schools, 1901-2. 
Teachers of Covert public schools, 1901-2. 
Announcement of Paw Paw public schools, 1901-2. 
List of teachers of Hamilton township. 

57 Historical notes of Lawrence township. 

vol. r -io 



146 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

58 Program of Up-to-date Farmers club. 

59 Program of Farmers Association. 

60 Roster Lafayette Light Guard. 

61 Corner stone poster program. 

62 Officers of Van Buren County Pioneer Association. 

63 Copy of Patrician August, 1901. 

64 List of Corner stone celebration committees. 

65 Copy of Michigan Manual for year 1901. 

66 Copy proceedings Michigan Grand lodge I. O. O. F. for 1900. 

67 Copy McClure's Magazine for Sept., 1901. 

68 Copy Cosmopolitan for Sept.. 1901. 

69 List of Coins as follows: 
Copper cent date 1847. 
Ancient copper penny. 
Three-cent piece date 1852. 
One-cent piece date 1899. 
Five-cent piece date 1901. 
Ten-cent piece date 1900. 
Twenty-five cent piece date 1898. 

70 List of postage stamps as follows: 

1 cent, 2 cent, 3 cent, 4 cent, 5 cent, 6 cent, 8 cent, 10 cent and 15 cent. 
Pan-American Postage stamps: 1 cent, 2 cent, 5 cent. 
IT. S. Revenue stamps, 1 cent, 2 cent, 5 cent. 

71 Names of architect, contractors, and mechanics employed on new court 

house. 

72 List of articles deposited in corner stone. 

The craftsmen, under direction of the Grand Marshal brought forth the 
cement, a portion of which was spread upon the stone by the Grand Master and 
the l l Public grand honors ' ' Avere given by the grand officers. 

Grand Master: — "Almighty and Eternal God, maker of all things, grant 
that whatsoever shall be builded upon this stone shall be builded to Thy honor 
and the glory of Thy name to which be praise forever more. Amen. ' ' 

Grand Master: — "Worshipful Grand Architect, present your working 
tools. ' ' 

"Grand Marshal, you w T ill present these working tools to the proper 
officers. ' ' 

This being done the Grand Master addressed the grand officers as follows: 

Grand Master: — "Deputy Grand Master, what is the proper implement of 
your office?" 

Deputy Grand Master: — "The square. 7 ' 

Grand Master: — "What are its moral and Masonic uses?" 

Deputy Grand Master: — "To square our actions by the square of virtue 
and prove our work." 

Grand Master: — "Apply the square to that foundation stone and make 
report. ' ' 

The deputy grand master received the square from the grand master, tried 
the stone and reported: 

' i Most Worshipful Grand Master, I find the stone to be square. The crafts- 
men have performed their duty. 

Grand Master: — "Senior Grand Warden what is the proper implement of 
your office?" 

Senior Grand Warden:— "The level." 

Grand Master: — "What are its moral and Masonic uses?" 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 147 

Senior Grand Warden: — "Morally it teaches equality and we use it to lay 
horizontals. ' ' 

Grand Master: — -"Apply the level to this foundation stone and make report." 

Senior Grand Warden, received the level from the Grand Master, tried top 
of stone and reported: 

"Most Worshipful Grand Master, I find this stone to be level. The 
craftsmen have performed their duty. ' ' 

Grand Master: — "Junior Grand Warden, what is the proper implement of 
your office?" 

Junior Grand Warden: — "The plumb." 

Grand Master: — "What are its moral and Masonic uses?" 

Junior Grand Warden: — "Morally it teaches rectitude of conduct. We use 
it to lay perpendiculars. ' ' 

Grand Master: — "Apply the plumb to the several edges of this foundation 
stone and make report." 

Junior Grand Warden received the plumb from the Grand Master, tried 
sides of stone and reported. 

' ' I find the stone to be plumb. The craftsmen have performed their duty. y ' 

Grand Master: — "This stone has been tested by the proper implements of 
Masonry. I find that the craftsmen have faithfully and skillfully performed 
their duty, and I do declare the stone to be well formed square, level and 
plumb; and correctly laid according to the rules of our ancient order. Let the 
elements of consecration be now presented." 

The Grand Marshal presented the vessel of corn to the Deputy Grand Mas- 
ter, the wine to the Senior Grand Warden and the oil to the Junior Grand 
Warden, each of whom advanced separately to the stone consecrating it as fol- 
lows: — 

Deputy Grand Master: — '"I scatter this corn as an emblem of plenty. May 
the blessings of bounteous Heaven be showered upon this and all like patriotic 
and benevolent undertakings and inspire the hearts of the people with virtue, 
wisdom and gratitude. Amen." 

Senior Grand Warden: — "I pour this wine as an emblem of joy and glad- 
ness, may the Great Ruler of the Universe bless and prosper our national, 
state and city governments, preserve the union of the states and may it be a 
bond of friendship and brotherly love that shall endure through all time. 
Amen." 

Junior Grand Warden: — "I pour this oil as an emblem of peace. May its 
blessings abide with us continually and may the Grand Master of Heaven and 
Earth shelter and protect the widow and orphan, shield and defend them from 
the trials and vicissitudes of the world and so bestow His mercy upon the 
bereaved, the afflicted and the sorrowing that they may know sorrow and 
trouble no more. Amen." 

Grand Master: — "May the All Bounteous Author of Nature benevolently 
bless the inhabitants of this place with the necessaries, comforts and con- 
veniences of life, assist in the erection and completion of this building, pro- 
tect the workmen against every accident; long preserve the structure from 
decay, and grant to all of us a bountiful supply of the corn of nourishment, 
the wine of refreshment and the oil of joy." 

Response of the Brethren : — ' ' So Mote it Be. ' ' 

The Grand Master being in his place the Grand Marshal presented the 
architect as follows: 

' l Most Worshipful Grand Master, I now present to you the architect of this 



148 HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 

building. He is ready with craftsmen for the work and asks the tools for his 
task. ' ' 

The Grand Master then gave him the square, level, plumb, and plan of the 
building saying: 

i ' Having as Grand Master of Masons, laid the corner stone of this struc- 
ture, I with pleasure return to you, your working tools and confide to your 
hands the plan of this building. Labor on, my brother, in this task and be 
blest in your work. May there be wisdom in the plans, strength in the 
execution and beauty in the adornment and wiien completed, may there be wis- 
dom within its walls to enlighten, strength to encourage and support its rulers 
and the beauty of holiness to adorn their work. ' ' 

Grand Master: — ''Men and Brethren here assembled. Be it known unto 
you that we be lawful Masons true and faithful to the laws of our country 
and engaged by solemn obligations to erect magnificent buildings to be ser- 
viceable to all men and to love God, the Great Creator of the Universe. We 
have among us certain secrets which cannot be divulged, but which are lawful 
and honorable and not repugnant to the laws of God or man. They were in- 
trusted in peace and harmony to our ancient brethren and having been faith- 
fully transmitted by them it is now our duty to convey them unimpared to the 
latest posterity. Unless our craft was good and our calling honorable, we 
should not have lasted for so many centuries, nor should we have been honored 
by the patronage of so many illustrious men in all ages who are ever ready 
to protect our interests and defend us against any adversary. 

We are assembled to-day to lay the corner stone of a building, which we 
pray God, may deserve to prosper by becoming a place of concourse for good 
men and promoting peace and brotherly love throughout the world until time 
shall be no more. Amen. ' ' 

* ' Worshipful Grand Marshal, make your proclamation. ' ' 

Grand Marshal: — "In the name of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of 
Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Michigan, I proclaim that this 
corner stone has this day been found to be square, level and plumb and has 
been laid in ample and ancient form by most worshipful Frank O. Gilbert, 
Grand Master of Masons according to the ancient custom of the ancient craft. ' ' 

Hon. B. F. Heckert presented to the Grand Master on behalf of Paw Paw 
Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, a handsome silver trowel bearing the fol- 
lowing inscription: 

1 1 Presented to Frank O. Gilbert, Grand Master F. & A. M. at the laying of 
the corner stone September 2d, A. D. 1901, from Paw Paw Chapter, Order 
of the Eastern Star. ' J 

Mr. Heckert in making the presentation spoke as follows: 

* ' Most Worshipful Grand Master, the pleasing duty of speaking for the 
Paw Paw Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, on this occasion has been as- 
signed to me. 

1 i The time has come in the history of our ancient and honorable institu- 
tion, when the sisters of this order occupy no unimportant position. While 
they are not admitted to seats of our council chamber and are not invested 
with the unwritten work of the order, yet they are recognized by the several 
grand bodies of masons throughout our country as valuable auxiliaries. 

' ' Their intelligence, sympathy and affection are fully enlisted in behalf of 
our fraternity and their earnest efforts have contributed no small part to the 
growth and present prosperous condition of the subordinate lodges throughout 
the masonic jurisdiction, over which you have the honor to preside. 

* ' They appreciate in a large degree the objects and aims of our order, and 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 149 

are proud of the distinction conform] upon thorn in being grafted as scions 
onto the trunk of the ancient tree of Masonry, whose spreading branches have 
extended and grown until they overhang the civilized world. 

"As a slight token of this appreciation and to signify in a small degree the 
honor they feel by your presence here to-day they have delegated me to pre- 
sent to you this silver trowel, with the hope that from your commanding posi- 
tion in the order, you will use it in spreading liberally the cement of brotherly 
love. When you depart from this place you will bear with you not only the 
best wishes of the chapter of this order but of the whole community for the 
memorable services you have rendered here to-day, and the honor which you 
have conferred upon the people and this entire county. Accept this as a token 
of our appreciation of your presence here to-day and the valuable services you 
have rendered us. ' ' 

The Grand Master replied as follows: 

"My Dear Brother, I realize the honor conferred upon myself and my 
brother grand officers in being invited to participate in the ceremonies of lay- 
ing the corner stone of this court house and we deem it still more of an 
honor because it is in the home of our honored and respected Senior Grand 
Warden where we have all wanted to come. 

"I accept this little token from the sisters of the Eastern Star, and, by th/ J 
way, I might say T am a member of the Eastern Star — and will treasure it as 
long as anything that I have in my possession in a masonic line and I would 
simply delegate you, my brother, to pay my honest respects to the sisters of 
this chapter on my behalf, if you will be so kind." 

The Grand Marshal introduced the Hon. Frank T. Lodge of Detroit, as 
orator of the day, who in an eloquent manner delivered a masterly address as 
follows : 

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen : — The interesting ceremonies of this 
occasion have been important only as types and symbols. From a material 
standpoint, the stone we .have just laid is no different from any other of the 
many stones which will become a part of this beautiful building. To the mate- 
rialist 's eye, it will not be even so important as the keystone in the entrance 
which binds the whole arch into one beautiful, stable curve, upon which may 
be safely laid the great weight of the stately walls. But, to the finer, keener 
eye of the mind, this granite block is the chief stone of the building. It shapes 
and determines the character of the whole fabric, and the imposing structure 
will take its entire tone and significance from this, its "chief corner stone." 

It is, then most appropriate, when the time has come for this important 
part of the chief public building of this great county to be placed in its 
permanent position, that its laying should be marked with public ceremonials, 
that the citizens of this community should witness those ceremonies, that the 
finer, spiritual things for which this corner stone stands should be publicly 
mentioned, that souvenirs indicative of the character of this age and historical 
memorials of this occasion should be deposited in this secure hiding place, to 
be transmitted to future generations, and that the lessons of this occasion 
should be recounted for our entertainment and instruction. For these reasons 
those who have charge of ceremonies have endeavored to secure the attendance 
of as large a number of the citizens of this county as possible; and it is a 
fortunate coincidence that they invited to lay the corner stone of this temple, 
wherein justice is to be impartially administered to rich and poor alike, the 
great Fraternity of equality, which is the oldest institution of organized 
labor in the world, that those representing the first class of laborers, the 
tillers of the soil, should be present in such large numbers, and that these cere- 



150 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

monies should be celebrated on the day which has been set apart by law as a 
legal holiday, devoted to the interests of the great hosts of labor in this com- 
monwealth. 

The building whose corner stone we lay to day will be one of the choicest 
products of the skill of the operative workman. The public spirit of this 
flourishing county will demand of the builders their choicest handiwork. Here 
will be found the cunning tracery of the artist. The finest stones of the 
quarry, the polished woods of the forest, the choice products of the loom, will 
be wrought by skillful hands, into its fabric, that it may be worthy of the 
wealth and munificence of the community which it represents. It is fitting, 
then that its chief corner stone should be laid with appropriate ceremonies 
by the great Fraternity, which was framed, reared and dedicated by its 
founders to the great work of building. 

The first Masons were operative workmen — builders, manual users of the 
Plumb, Square and Level. In the dim, traditional past, the world's greatest 
and most imposing architectural piles were built by our ancient brethren. 
One of our first known Grand Masters, Sir Christopher Wren, was the father 
of English architecture, and in the stone cutter's sheds around the splendid 
monument to his memory — St. Paul's Cathedral in London — the operative 
workmen formed the first of the modern Masonic lodges. 

Since then the progress of our art has developed as from operative unto 
speculative Masons. From toiling workmen, handling the actual tools of the 
Mason's craft, we have become laborers in a spiritual field, using the work- 
men 's tools as symbols of moral truths. The buildings we now erect are human 
characters; the temples we now build are the temples of the soul. The plans 
we draw, the specifications we construct, are to be good men and true, in the 
State to be quiet and peaceful subjects, true to our government and just to 
our country; not countenancing disloyalty nor rebellion, but patiently submit- 
ting to legal authority, and conforming with cheerfulness to the government of 
the country in which we live. Our tenets are obedience to God, fairness and 
loyalty to our brothers, and just care for our bodies and souls. It is these 
things that make good citizens, and wherever men have banded themselves to- 
gether for the accomplishment of these lofty aims, the moral tone of that com- 
munity has received sensible uplift. 

The modern representatives of this ancient association of laborers across 
the great gulf which separates the venerable past from the youthful, vigorous 
present, join hands in fraternal greeting with the hosts of operative laborers 
on this, labor's festal day, and ask that together we con the lessons of this 
occasion. 

What do these ceremonies mean? for what does this corner stone stand? 
What will be the future of the building which we have launched to-day? 

To no one else is the even handed, impartial, unbiased, inexpensive and 
equitable administration of the law so important as to the workingman, the 
members of the great middle classes. His sole capital and stock in trade is 
his hands and his brains. He has absolutely no time to cultivate friendship 
among judges, jurymen and other court officers. His duties are onerous and 
exacting; they keep him at work in the factory, the foundry and the workshop 
during business hours; the nature of his occupation is such as to engross his 
entire attention and prevent him from learning the arts by which the ver- 
dicts of juries are manipulated and the opinions of judges biased. When the 
misfortunes of life force him into court, his cases are relatively insignificant 
in amount compared with the vastly larger sum over which the business men 
and the capitalist litigate. But to him these small amounts are even more im- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 151 

portant than the larger sums of the capitalist, for they represent all that he 
has in the world. His cases are about exemptions of household goods from 
execution, the protection from garnishment of his small weekly earnings, the 
loss" of which means starvation to himself and family; or the settlement of a 
dispute between himself and his landlord as to the tenure upon which he holds 
the house he calls his home. And the saying is a true one, that the working- 
man 's lawsuit is located very close to the fibers of his heart. 

His scanty earnings will not permit him to employ the skillful and high- 
priced leaders of the bar to defend his interests in court; and unless the judge 
upon the bench is clear-sighted, broadminded and impartial, unless the jurymen 
in the box are absolutely honest, fearless and unbiased, the justice which the 
workingman invokes when he goes into court, is but a mockery, the bitter 
Dead Sea fruit, the unsubstantial apples of Sodom which turn to ashes in his 
grasp. No one, then, is more deeply interested in making and keeping the 
administration of justice absolutely honest and impartial than is the working- 
man, the poor man, the farmer, the member of the great middle classes. Now, 
the theory of the law is absolutely perfect, and that theory deserves the high- 
est encomiums which the greatest thinkers and scholars of every age have paid 
it. Some of the choicest gems of ancient classic literature are the beautiful 
diction in which the sages of the past have eulogized the perfection of munici- 
pal law. 

But we live in a practical age. We care nothing for fine spun, elegant 
theories, unless the practical reality corresponds with them, and we ask our- 
selves, "Does to-day's practical administration of the law deserve the high 
praise which has been paid it in the past?" And to this question every prac- 
ticing lawyer, no matter how optimistic, must answer with an unqualified 
negative. In every court room in this land, it frequently happens that men 
either forget their solemn oath to testify to the truth, the whole truth and 
nothing but the truth or else intentionally violate that oath. How many wit- 
nesses lose sight of every one of the three parts of the oath, and wilfully re- 
fuse to tell either the truth, the whole truth or nothing but the truth. How 
many even conscientious witnesses, on cross examination, bear in mind only the 
first injunction of the oath, to tell the truth, but do not tell the whole truth, 
unless a skillful cross-examiner, armed with a perfect knowledge of every de- 
tail of the transaction, forces the whole truth from their unwilling lips. How 
many witnesses, while telling the truth, evade the last part of the oath, to tell 
nothing but the truth, and so shade and color the truth to suit the purpose of 
their side of the case as to totally distort and pervert their entire testimony. 

There was a time when judges of the courts delighted to call to their aid 
expert witnesses to help them in the great task of establishing the exact 
truth in matters which were in controversy before them, but to-day the courts 
of last resort have taken judicial notice of the fact that the expert witness is 
too often nothing more nor less than the paid attorney for the side on which 
he is called; that he too often expresses not facts and opinions, but argu- 
ments under oath, suppressing those facts and opinions that are unfavorable 
and exaggerating those that are favorable to his side; that his entire testimony 
is too often not a lucid exposition and explanation of complicated, scientific 
facts, but a cunning, sophistical perversion of the truth regarding those facts. 
Then, again, the defects of our present jury system have become a crying 
evil, which is deplored by every class of citizens. Theoretically, the jury sys- 
tem is well nigh perfect. Tt recognizes that judges on the bench, whose sole 
occupation it is to hear cases, and who are withdrawn from the every day 
walk of life, are very apt to fall into a rut, to have incomplete knowledge of 



152 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

practical affairs, to have warped and distorted ideas where the practical man 
of affairs would have more just views. For this reason the jury system takes 
men for short periods from different walks of life, and asks them to bring 
to the decision of the matters in controversy before them their practical knowl- 
edge of similar affairs. These jurymen bring to the discharge of their duty 
the ardor and freshness of men who are dealing with new experiences, and are 
then dismissed before the monotony of constant reiteration has palled upon them 
and dulled their keen perception of the little things which go so far toward 
indicating the truth or falsity of testimony. It requires that they must be 
kept free from any acquaintance with the parties, their attorneys, or the 
facts in dispute, which would in any way bias their verdict, and theoretically, 
no better system could be devised for administering justice impartially, in 
the decision of questions of fact, than the jury system. 

Yet, today, this splendid system theoretically, as it is practically carried 
out, is a shame and a scoff to those who know it best. Ignorant men are 
frequently, more frequently in large cities than in an intelligent community 
like this — -but nevertheless drawn upon our juries, who while they may have 
political influence with their ignorant fellows which makes the placing of 
them upon the jury panel a shrewd political move, yet they are unable to 
fairly understand either the testimony of the witnesses, or the arguments of the 
lawyers, much less making a righteous decision of the case. 

Again, too many jurors are easily susceptible to artful appeals to passion 
or prejudice, and many a shrewd lawyer has won his case by throwing aside 
argument, losing sight of facts, disregarding reason, and simply inflaming the 
passions and prejudices of the jurors, while the jurors forgetting that they 
were impartially to decide the cases submitted to them upon the law and the 
evidence, have rendered grossly unjust verdicts. 

Again, in our large cities, many a juror has added to the faults of ignor- 
ance and prejudice the absolute crime of dishonesty. In some of our larger 
cities, it soon becomes known to the lawyers who have many cases at the bar 
that certain jurors are for sale, and that their verdicts may be secured for a 
consideration. Certain classes of corporations which have much business in 
the courts have, naturally enough, made it their business to learn the charac- 
teristics of every man who has been drawn as a juryman, and those who are 
interested notice that the cases against those corporations which are tried at 
the first of the term are decided partly for and partly against those corpora- 
tions, as one would naturally expect in such cases, while it has become pro- 
verbial that towards the last of each term, after the agents of these parties 
have had opportunities to become acquainted with the jurymen, these same 
corporations win every case that is submitted to certain jurors and soon after 
the term of court ends certain of the members of these same juries receive 
lucrative situations from those same corporations. 

I may go one step further and say that, in a few cases, judges are elected 
to the bench who forget that their duty is to stand out fearlessly against pub- 
lic opinion when the public opinion is at variance with the principles of law 
and equity, and whose decisions of certain cases are biased by the effect which 
those decisions w T ill have upon their political future.* 

Then, too, charges of corruption in legislative halls are now-a-days so com- 
mon as to cause no special comment. And in certain communities it is as 
much as a high-minded honest and honorable man's reputation is worth to 
become interested in politics and become a member of a city council or a state 
legislature. No one who is familiar with legislative assemblies can truthfully 
deny that the legislature is subjected to a fierce fire of temptation and cor- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 153 

ruption, which requires heroic virtue successfully to withstand, and many a 
law is upon our statute books and must be administered in our courts whose 
enactment has been purchased by a special class influence using the arts of the 
lobbyist and the corruptionist in legislative halls. 

Now, all of these evils mean trouble for the future unless they are suc- 
cessfully remedied. That man was never yet cheated, who knew he was cheated, 
and yet was perfectly satisfied. That man was never yet defeated in a law- 
suit, who felt pleased and complacent when he was absolutely certain that, 
his defeat was due to a dishonest jury or a weak, incompetent or dishonest 
judge. The instinct for fair play has been planted by the God of Justice deep 
in the heart of every man. no matter how mean his station or humble his rank, 
and when the instinct is thwarted, when the body of our citizenship are fully 
aware that there is dishonesty in courts and legislative halls, the punishment 
will be swift and it will be effective. It takes the people a long time to 
become thoroughly aroused, but when once the common sense of the whole 
community is aroused, something must give away. Public opinion is slow in 
action, but swift in execution. It breathed upon the crime of slavery, and 
slavery vanished like a foul mist before the King of Day. It suffered long 
under the misrule of Boss Tweed and his cohorts in New York; but. one day, 
it arose in its might and the King of the Metropolis dies disgraced, in fetters 
in a felon 's cell. 

Now, my friends, I am not here on this great day of rejoicing to drape 
your horizon in black; to give you pessimistic view T s of things, but we are here 
to take note of the future, to see how that future may be brightened, to make 
our generation better than any generation ever was before, and we can only do 
this by discovering where are our weak points and how they may be strength- 
ened; and- on this occasion, when we are laying the corner stone of a new 
Temple of Justice, it seems to me the best and most important lesson is to see 
in what respect our judicial system may be strengthened and improved. 

Now, if you have thoughtfully considered each one of the evils I have re- 
counted to you, you will have noticed the trouble has been, not with the system, 
but with the persons by whom that system must be worked out. Our sys- 
tem of giving evidence in court, the oath which is administered to the witness, 
and the punishment prescribed for perjury, arc all the best than can be de- 
vised. The trouble is with the persons who take the oath and who violate it, 
with the dishonest litigants and lawyers who suborn those witnesses to swear 
falsely, with the weak and incompetent prosecuting attorneys and judges who 
fail to punish perjurers when their perjury is palpably apparent. 

The jury system is perfect in theory; the trouble is with the jury com- 
missioners and other like officers who put ignorant and dishonest men upon the 
panels; with the judges who allow these ignorant or dishonest men to sit as 
jurors; with the jurors who are swayed by passion and prejudice, or who take 
bribes as the price of their verdicts; with the dishonest litigants who offer those 
bribes, either directly or indirectly; with the prosecuting attorneys and judges, 
to whom these indications of bribery are so manifest, and yet who weakly re- 
fuse to set in motion the grand jury, or other means provided by law for 
punishing dishonesty. 

Our system of electing legislators, and passing laws is perhaps as good as 
can be devised; the trouble is with the dishonest legislators, and those who cor- 
rupt them, and with the weak and incompetent judges and prosecuting attor- 
neys who fail to investigate cases where bribery is suspected. The fault is 
not wdth the system, but with the persons who abuse the system; and the les- 
son to you and me, my friends, on this momentous occasion, is not, how shall 



154 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

we reform the systems, but how shall we reform the persons, to whom we en- 
trust the carrying out of these systems? 

This can only be done by the aggressive, persistent action of every honest 
man and every honest woman. So long as the dollar is deified and no questions 
are asked as to how that dollar has been acquired, so long as success is wor- 
shipped and men's eyes are tightly closed to the means by which that success 
has been attained, just so long will unscrupulous men continue to do the wicked 
things which we deplore. There is no force, save that of Diety Himself, which 
is so potent as that of enlightened determined public opinion. Thrones have 
crumbled before it; statutes and constitutions derive their binding force from 
its powerful sanction. It will cleanse public places when, without it, press 
and pulpit may plead in vain for the cleansing. To it, w r hen thoroughly in- 
spired with earnest purpose, the greatest autocrat must bend the suppliant 
knee. From it, when inflamed with righteous wrath, the most strongly in- 
trenched political scoundrel will flee in trembling haste. 

Suppose the glib perjurer should be arrested on a bench warrant for his 
perjury as soon as he leaves the witness stand, and should be brought to speedy 
trial for his false swearing. Do you think he or those who knew of his case 
w T ould repeat the offense? Suppose the suborner of perjury should be brought 
to swift and sure punishment. Would not the subornation of perjury soon be- 
come a very unpopular method of winning lawsuits? Suppose the weak judge 
and the spineless prosecuting attorney realized that their constituents were 
watching their failure to prosecute, and that those constituents despised them 
for it, and would show their disapproval in no uncertain tones at the next elec- 
tion. Would not the official be speedily rendered more ardent? Suppose that 
the members of legislative bodies should feel that every suspicious vote would 
be examined by a watchful constituency, that any suspicion of bribery would 
be promptly examined by the proper authorities and that criminal prosecutions 
would be instituted should there be a fair prospect of conviction. Suppose they 
were given to understand that their official record was as fragile as a woman's 
reputation, and that the slightest breath of suspicion would blast it forever. 
Would there not be a speedy stiffening up of official backbone and a sudden 
and tremendous awakening of official consciences? 

I tell you, my friends, the men and women of every community have its 
official honesty and ability in their own keeping. If every man, by his voice 
and by his vote, should sternly rebuke official wrongdoing wherever he sees it, 
and, besides, should vigilantly scrutinize the official action of the public servants 
to see whether it meets his conscientious approval; if every woman, instead of 
blindly worshipping the possessors of wealth, should closely scrutinize the 
methods by which that w r ealth has been acquired, if she should refuse to honor 
with her friendship any person, rich or poor, the history of whose life is not 
clean and the pedigree of whose dollars is not stainless, the future of our offices 
and officeholders, the honor of our government and the purity of our judicial 
ermine would be safe. 

This, then, is the lesson of this day. The kind of official action which will 
emanate from the walls of this new building will depend upon the character 
of the citizenship of this county. The stream never rises higher than its 
source and public servants are seldom more virtuous than their masters. 

We lay here to-day something besides a mere material block of senseless 
stone. We also commence to erect an unseen but none the less substantial tem- 
ple of human character, which is more stable than the strongest ramparts the 
cunning workmanship of man can build. In the unseen structure every man 
and woman of this county must fill his own place. We lay its invisible corner 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 155 

stone on the broad foundation of respect of law. We bind it fast to the bed- 
rock of liberty with the binding cement of love for our fellows and justice 
in our dealings with them. We dedicate it to the great God above, whose gov- 
ernment is mercy and peace, wisdom, justice and righteousness. 

The watchful care of this community will attend the erection of the ma- 
terial building. The welfare of the unseen structure rests upon the heart and 
conscience of every man and woman in this county. If they have lighted the 
altar-fires of consecration to the duties of citizenship, the future of the county 
is safe. 

' ' Build to-day, then, strong and sure 
With a firm and ample base, 
And, ascending and secure, 

Shall to-morrow find its place. " 

When completed, may this building be a veritable Temple of Justice. Here 
may the important business of the county be carefully and honestly transacted. 
May no spot soil the ermine of the judges nor stain mar the verdict of the 
juries within these walls; but may evenhanded justice be promptly and fear- 
lessly administered. May wrongdoing here meet swift and condign punish- 
ment, and honesty and virtue receive their just reward. Here may wisdom here 
find her welcome home and the revolving years see naught by the purest good 
issue from these walls. 

The ceremonies attending the laying of the corner stone of. Van* Buren 
county court house were now at an end and the vast multitude of Van Buren 
county's citizens dispersed. 

This report is respectfully submitted and signed by the building committee. 

W C Wildey, 
E A Chase, 

P J DlLLMAN, 

Geo T Waber, 
Chas W Byers, 
Building Committee. 

Cost of Present County Buildings 

The new court house was first occupied in February, 1903, the 
first case tried in the circuit court after such occupancy being an 
action for damages begun by William Culver against the South 
Haven & Eastern Railroad Company for damages on account of 
the loss of both legs by being drawn beneath the wheels of a freight 
car, and which became a cause celebre in the state, resulting, after 
every legal recourse was exhausted by the railroad company and 
its surety, in a judgment in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of 
$25,000, which was eventually paid. 

At a session of the board of supervisors held on the 9th day of 
February, 1903, the contractors submitted the following itemized 
bill which was allowed and ordered paid: 

Contract price for court house $54,500.00 

Contract price for jail 22,700.00 



156 



HISTORY OF VAX HITREX COUNTY 




Cor nt y Jail and Sheriff's Residence, Paw Paw 




County Hotse, Hartford 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 157 

Finishing entire basement of court house complete and 
placing tile roofing on court house and jail instead of 

slate $3,000.00 

Changing cornice and other gal v. iron work on court- 
house and jail to 16 oz. copper 3,175.00 

Wiring basement duct and attic C. II 200.00 

4479 lbs. galv. iron pipe ventilating attic court house and 

jail at 20c put up 895.80 

Cove base for marble wainscoting 175.00 

Extra foundation in jail 22 perch, excavating included 

at $3.00 66.00 

Carving bust 25.00 

Lowering coal and boiler room 900.00 

Changing iron door from register of deeds office to new 

court house 11.50 

Carving gables 250.00 

One dry well and connections from cistern at jail 33.00 

Oiling floor 37.50 

Building cistern, dry well and connecting same C. H. . . 195.00 
Building wall and finishing same, public toilet closet base- 
ment court house 87.00 

Putting in cement steps jail to duct 11.50 

Building stone porch, jail 235.00 

Marble thresholds 100.00 

Extra work on mantels 50.00 

Extra copper globe ventilator on west side court house. . 35.00 

Enlarging one on east side 20.00 

Building new stack complete 971.50 

Cutting strips in floor account gas pipe 37.50 

Copper ventilator in jail, complete 273.00 

Taking down and rebuilding boiler room smoke stack. . 220.00 

Lettering corner stone 35.00 

Speaking tube from clerk's office to judge's desk 15.00 

Lumber for judge probate's platform desk 4.40 

Five steel shutters put up complete, basement 125.00 

Changing food opening in jail 20.00 

Changing juvenile female hospital cell and cutting addi- 
tional slots in wall 50.00 

Drilling holes for clock dial 20.00 

Extra for gilding iron stairways and railings and railing 

around well hole 43.50 

One cess pool for sewer connection 25.00 

Piping and heating basement court house, plumbing and 

urinals, bronzing radiators, painting pipes, etc 688.12 

Building duct from court house to jail 1,400.00 

Total .$90,630.32 



158 HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

This sum included only the cost of the unfurnished buildings. 
The furniture cost $5,000, the architect was paid $600 and the 
site cost about $10,000, in addition to which was the expense of 
electric lighting, water works, sewers, grading of the court house 
yard, putting down cement walks and other miscellaneous and un- 
avoidable items which made the total cost of the new buildings 
and their surroundings about $120,000. 

For many years Van Buren had been pointed out as having 
about the poorest public buildings of any county in Michigan, but 
she then became possessed of one of the finest and most up-to-date 
court houses and jails in the state, and which are excelled only 
by the public buildings of some of the larger cities. And not a 
hint of graft or tinge of dishonesty attached to anybody or any- 
thing from the time the plan was originated until all was com- 
plete, which is more than can be said of the construction of many 
public buildings. 

And the county seat war in Van Buren county is forever ended 
and while some were disappointed, which was inevitable, all are 
proud of the new buildings and the prestige which they give the 
county as being one of the front-rank counties of the Peninsula 
state. 

The old court house, removed from the proud position it once 
occupied, stands on the main street of the village reduced to the 
humble status of a feed and seed store. It is likely to last many 
more years, a testimonial to the substantial manner in which the 
buildings of a former generation were constructed. The old jail, 
removed to another street, has been converted into a dwelling and 
boarding house. What harrowing tales it could relate, if it were 
endowed with a voice to utter them ! 



CHAPTER VII 

BENCH AND BAR 

State Supreme and Circuit Courts — County Courts — First 
Circuit Judge — Successors of Judge Ransom — Judge Fla- 

vius j. llttlejohn thirty-sixth circuit created probate 

Judges — Van Buren County Bar. 

The first constitution of Michigan vested the judicial authority 
in a supreme court and such other courts as the legislature might 
from time to time establish. 

The judges of the supreme court were nominated and appointed 
by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate. 
This court consisted of one chief justice and three associate jus- 
tices. Their term of office was seven years. The terms of this court 
were held at different places, as follows: Twice a year at Detroit, 
twice at Ann Arbor, once at Kalamazoo and once at Pontiac. 
When in session at Kalamazoo the supreme court exercised ap- 
pellate jurisdiction in all cases originating in the counties of 
Branch, St. Joseph, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Cal- 
houn and Allegan. 

Circuit Courts 

This constitution also provided for a separate court of chancery, 
the pow T ers and authority of which were vested in the chancellor. 
There were three chancery circuits in the state, Van Buren being 
in the third circuit, together with the counties of Branch, Cass, 
St. Joseph, Berrien, Kalamazoo, Kent, Ionia and Allegan. The 
sittings of this court for the third circuit were held twice each 
year, at Kalamazoo. 

The state was further divided into four judicial circuits for the 
purpose of holding the circuit courts. The statute provided that 
each of the justices of the supreme court, twice in each year, should 
hold a term of circuit court in each of the counties designated in 
his appointment, with this peculiar exception, that in certain 
counties (Van Buren among the number), a second term need 
not be held " unless the sheriff and county clerk of any or either 
of said counties shall, at or before the time fixed by law for the 

159 



160 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

drawing of jurors, determine that it is necessary. ' ' While holding 
the circuit courts, the supreme justices were by statute designated 
circuit judges. 

In 1848 the legislature increased the number of judges of the 
supreme court to five and directed them to divide the state into 
five circuits, and again, in 1851, the number of circuits was by 
legislative act increased to eight in number, Van Buren being in 
the fifth circuit with Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Eaton and Allegan. 

In 1867 a partial reorganization of the judicial circuits of the 
state took place, the number being increased to fourteen and the 
counties of Allegan, Van Buren and Kalamazoo being placed to- 
gether in a circuit numbered as the ninth. This arrangement con- 
tinued until 1873, when a new arrangement of circuits was made, 
Allegan county being placed in another circuit (the twentieth), 
leaving Kalamazoo and Van Buren as the ninth. In-so-far as Van 
Buren county is concerned that arrangement continued until 1899, 
when it was joined with Cass county, the two composing the thirty- 
sixth circuit. The number of circuits in the state has been in- 
creased from time to time as the population increased until at the 
present time there are thirty-nine circuits in the state. 

The constitution of 1850 made the circuit judges elective and 
provided that for a term of six years, and thereafter until the 
legislature should otherwise provide, the judges of the circuit 
courts should constitute the supreme court of the state. In 1857 
the legislature enacted a statute creating a supreme court, to con- 
sist of one chief justice and three associate justices, entirely sep- 
arate and distinct from the circuit court, the office of justice of 
such court being made elective. This system still continues, ex- 
cept that the number of justices has been increased to eight, the 
one whose term of office soonest expires always filling the position 
of chief justice. 

The circuit courts, as at first constituted consisted of the pre- 
siding supreme court justice and two associate judges by the 
voters of each county, but who were more ornamental than useful, 
for the decisions of the presiding judge were invariably coincided 
in by his associates on the bench. 

The revised statutes of 1846 contain the following provisions : 
' ' The several circuit courts of this state shall be courts of chancery 
within and for their respective counties, the powers of which shall 
be exercised by the circuit judges thereof." 

' 4 The court of chancery as now established by law is hereby 
abolished." 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 161 

County Courts 

Prior to the adoption of the constitution of 1850, there was also 
a county court in each county, which was a court of record with 
limited jurisdiction, being an intermediate court between the jus- 
tice courts and the circuit courts, but that constitution provided 
that "The judicial power is vested in one supreme court, in cir- 
cuit courts, in probate courts and justices of the peace. Municipal 
courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction may be established by the 
legislature in cities/ ' and such has continued to be the judicial 
system of the state. The date when the constitutional provisions 
concerning the changes made in the judicial system should go into 
effect was fixed in the schedule of the then new constitution as Jan- 
uary 1, 1852. 

The bar of Van Buren county has always been composed of 
men who were an honor to their profession and seldom, indeed, 
has there been any just cause for criticism, either as to ability, 
probity, or faithfulness to the ethics of the profession. 

The men who have sat upon the judicial bench of the county have 
been men who were learned in the law and who have been an honor 
to themselves and a credit to their constituents. 

First Circuit Judge 

The first judge to hold a circuit court in Van Buren county was 
Hon. Epaphroditus Ransom, who w r as subsequently governor of 
Michigan, having been elected to that office at the general election 
in 1848. The first entry made upon the journal of the court was 
made on the 6th day of June, 1837, and reads as follows : 

" State of Michigan, Van Buren County, ss. : Be it remembered that at a 
session of the circuit court of the state of Michigan, within and for the 
county of Van Buren, begun and held pursuant to law at the court in La Fay- 
ette in said county on the first Monday (being the sixth day) of June, in the 
year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven; present Hon. 
Epaphroditus Ransom, Cir. Judge, Wolcott H. K'eeler and Jay R. Monroe, Esqrs, 
associate judges. 

' ' The grand jury being called, the following persons appeared and answered 
to their names, to-wit : Peter Gremps, Jeremiah H. Simmons, Joseph Woodman, 
Rodney Hinckley, Joshua Bangs, Edwin Barnum, John Reynolds, John D. Free- 
man, George S. Reynolds, Dexter Gibbs, Joseph Luce, Asa G. Hinckley and 
Enoch L. Barrett. 

"Peter Gremps was appointed by the court as foreman of this grand jury 
and authorized to issue subpoenas for and to administer oaths to witnesses. The 
grand jurors having been sworn and having received the charge of the court, 
retired to consider the business before them. 

1 1 The grand jury having been a short time absent, came into court and in- 
formed the court that they had no business before them and knew of none for 

Tol. I— 11 



162 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

their consideration; whereupon they were discharged from further attendance 
at this term of court. 

' ' Eule — Ordered by the court that in all cases now pending in this court 
and not at issue, declaration shall be filed within forty days from the present 
term and pleas within forty days from the time limited for filing declaration, 
and all causes appealed from the judgment of justices of the peace shall be 
deemed at issue at the first term after the appeal so taken, unless otherwise 
ordered by the court in particular cases. 

il There appearing to be no further business, the court then and there ad- 
journed without day. 

"Read, corrected and signed in open court this sixth day of June, 1837. 

"Epaphro. Ransom, 
"Presiding Judge. " 

Judge Ransom's signature being rather unusually long, it was 
his custom to abbreviate his Christian name to "Epaphro. " 

The files and records of the court, prior to 1844, are so imperfect 
and incomplete that it is impossible to ascertain the titles of the 
first suits that were begun, either law T , criminal or chancery. 

The first civil case tried in the circuit court was at the Decem- 
ber term, 1837, and was an appeal from the justice's court (Robert 
Nesbitt, plaintiff, and George S. Reynolds, defendant), in which 
the jury rendered a judgment of sixteen dollars and forty-two 
cents with costs, to be taxed in favor of the plaintiff. 

The first criminal case tried was that of the People vs. Nathan 
Mears, at the same term of court, the respondent being charged 
with assault and battery. The jury in this case returned a verdict 
of "not guilty." 

Judge Ransom continued to preside over the circuit court of 
the county for the first ten years of its existence, his last term be- 
ing held in April, 1847. 

Successors of Judge Ransom 

The next term of the circuit court for the county was held in 
March, 1848, and was presided over by Hon. Sanford M. Green, as- 
sociate justice of the supreme court of the state. Judge Green is 
best remembered by the legal profession as the author of "Green's 
Practice," a work that was of great value in its day to both bench 
and bar, and which has recently been revised and brought down 
to date. 

Three terms of the court were held during the years 1849 and 
1850, at which Judge Charles W. Whipple, circuit judge and as- 
sociate justice of the supreme court presided. Judge Whipple was 
the first speaker of the house of representatives of the state after 
it was admitted into the Union. Very little legal business was 
transacted, either by Judge Green or Judge Whipple. 

In-so-far as the journal shows, there was no session of the circuit 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 163 

court during the year 1851, the next entry after the close of Judge 
Whipple's record, October 3, 1850, being on the second day of 
March, 1852, when Judge Abner Pratt, another associate justice 
of the supreme court, began his administration as judge in the 
Van Buren circuit and continued to officiate in that capacity for the 
succeeding five years. 

Judge Pratt was succeeded on the circuit bench of the county 
by Judge Benjamin F. Graves, who was elected to office of circuit 
judge by the electors of the fifth judicial circuit, to which Van 
Buren was at that date attached. Judge Graves' bold signature, 
characteristic of the man, adorned the records of the court for the 
next nine years, he being re-elected in the spring of 1863 for 
another six years but resigned before the expiration of his term 
of office. Judge Graves was a man of much more than ordinary 
ability and the people of the state, recognizing that fact, promoted 
him to the supreme bench in the spring of 1867, where he became 
known to fame and to the legal profession throughout the entire 
country as one of the "big four" of the Michigan supreme court, 
which was composed of Justices Graves, Cooley, Christiancy and 
Campbell. Judge Graves was succeeded on the circuit bench by 
Judge George Woodruff, who was elected at a special election held 
July 14, 1866, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of 
Judge Graves. 

The county of Allegan had been in the fifth circuit with Van 
Buren and other counties, but the reorganization of the circuits 
of the state in 1851 placed that county in the ninth circuit, while 
Van Buren remained in the fifth. In 1867 the ninth circuit was 
made to consist of the counties of Allegan, Kalamazoo and Van 
Buren. 

Judge Flavius J. Littlejohn 

By this legislative action Van Buren ceased to be a part of the 
circuit presided over by Judge Woodruff and came under the 
jurisdiction of Judge Flavius J. Littlejohn of Allegan county. 
Judge Littlejohn was the presiding judge of the Van Buren cir- 
cuit court until 1869. He was a gentleman of the old school, the 
very personification of dignity when on the bench, genial and 
companionable when off duty. 

It was the good fortune of the writer to serve under this fine 
old gentleman, learned lawyer and upright judge during a por- 
tion of his term of office as clerk of the court, and he can see him 
even now as he ascended the bench and took his seat on the wool- 
sack at the opening of the court in the morning and hear him say, 
with all due solemnity, as soon as proclamation of the opening of 
court had been made "Mr. Clerk, read the journal.' ' Being at 



164 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

that time a young man entirely without knowledge or experience 
in court proceedings or other legal affairs, it was with great dif- 
fidence that the duties of clerk of the court were assumed by him, 
and he feels that right here he should acknowledge the great kind- 
ness and courtesy with which "His Honor' ' bore with his inex- 
perience, instructed him in the modus operandi of conducting the 
proceedings of a court of justice and initiated him into the mys- 
teries of the law, laying for him the foundations of a profession 
which he has followed with more or less assiduity for over forty 
years. No more upright, honorable man than Judge Flavius J. 
Littlejohn ever graced the judicial bench of Michigan. 

Judge Littlejohn was succeeded by Judge Charles R. Brown, 
who was elected at the April election in 1869 and who presided 
over the Van Buren circuit until the summer of 1874, when he re- 
signed the office and was succeeded by Judge Darius E. Comstock, 
who was appointed by Governor John J. Bagley to fill the unex- 
pired term of Judge Brown. There was another vacancy in this 
office before the expiration of the term caused by the death of 
Judge Comstock who died on the third day of February, 1875, 
but a few months after his appointment. Judge Comstock was 
the first Van Buren county man to occupy the circuit bench. He 
was succeeded by Judge Josiah L. Hawes, who was elected at the 
April election of 1875. 

Two years prior to this election, Allegan had been taken from 
the ninth judicial circuit and placed with Ottawa county, form- 
ing a new circuit and leaving the ninth composed of Kalamazoo 
and Van Buren. Both these counties were strongly Republican, 
but owing to a difficulty between the two counties as to which 
should furnish the Republican candidates, two Republicans were 
nominated — Judge Geo. W. Lawton of Van Buren, and Hon. 
Dwight May of Kalamazoo. This so divided the Republican 
strength that Hon. Josiah L. Hawes of Kalamazoo, the Demo- 
cratic candidate, won an easy victory. However, the people lost 
nothing by this, as Judge Hawes was a competent, able and up- 
right judge. He served his full term of six years and was suc- 
ceeded by Hon. Alfred J. Mills of Paw Paw, the second Van 
Buren county man to be honored by a seat on the judicial bench 
of the circuit court, 

Judge Mills was elected in the spring of 1881 by the closest 
vote ever cast in the circuit and it was not until the official count 
from every voting precinct had been received that the result was 
known. The manner in which he discharged the duties of his 
important office fully justified the choice of the voters, as he was 
one of the most efficient judges that ever served the county. 

Hon. George M. Buck, of Kalamazoo, was elected in the spring 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 165 

of 1887 as the successor of Judge Mills. The people of the cir- 
cuit showed their appreciation of the manner in which he ad- 
ministered his office, reelecting him to a second six-year term in 
the spring of 1893. 

Thirty-Sixth Circuit Created 

Judge Buck served the people of Van Buren county for a little 
more than five years of his second term, when a new judicial cir- 
cuit was formed by detaching the county from the ninth circuit 
and uniting it with Cass county, thus forming a new circuit, the 
thirty-sixth, which is still unchanged. There being no judge 
resident within the boundaries of either county of the new cir- 
cuit, Hon. Hazen S. Pingree, then governor of Michigan, appointed 
Hon. Harsen D. Smith of Cassopolis, to the judgeship until such 
time as the position should be filled by election. 

At the first election held in the new circuit on the first Monday 
of April, 1899, the rival candidates for the office were Hon. Ben- 
jamin F. Heckert of Van Buren county and Hon. John R. Carr 
of Cass, the former being a Republican and the latter a member 
of the Democratic party. Judge Carr was chosen, served for the full 
term of six years and was a prominent candidate for another term, 
his opponent being Hon. L. Burget Des Yoignes, of Cass county, 
who was elected to the office at the April election of 1905 and is 
now serving the last year of the term. That the people are well 
satisfied with his administration of justice is evinced by the fact 
that at the April election of 1911 he was chosen for a second 
term by a nearly unanimous vote, his only opponent being the 
candidate of the Socialists. 

No county in the state, perhaps, has been represented on the ju- 
dicial bench by a more able, upright and learned judiciary than 
has our own Van Buren. Those who still survive are Judges Mills, 
Buck, Carr and Des Voignes. 

Probate Judges 

The several probate judges of Van Buren county have been as 
follows : 
Jeremiah Simmons, two terms, 1837 to 1844. 
Frederick Lord, one term, 1844 " 1848. 
Elisha Durkee, two terms, 1848 " 1856. * 

Augustus W. Nash, two terms, 1856 " 1864. 
Chandler Richards, one term, 1864 " 1868. 
George "W. Lawton, two terms, 1868 " 1876. 
Alfred J. Mills, one term, 1876 " 1880. 
Orrin N. Hilton, two terms, 1880 " 1888. 



166 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 



Benj. F. Heckert, two terms, 1888 " 1896. 

James H. Johnson, two terms, 1896 " 1904. 

David Anderson, two terms, 1904 " . 

Judge Anderson is still serving on his second term which will 
expire on the 31st day of December, 1912. Judges Mills, Hilton, 
Johnson and Anderson, are the only ones living. 



Van Buren County Bar 

The bar of the county, for the first twenty years after the ad- 
mission of the state and prior to 1860, consisted of the following 
named gentlemen, as nearly as can now be ascertained from the 
records of the court, which, for those earlier years, is somewhat in- 
complete: John R. Baker, A. W. Broughton, S. H. Blackman, Na- 
than H. Bitely, Hiram Cole, Elisha Durkee, S. N. Gantt, J. W. 
Huston, Frederick Lord, Joseph Miller, Chandler Richards, T. H. 
Stephenson, J. B. Upton, William N. Pardee. None of these gen- 
tlemen is now living. 

Since 1860, the following named attorneys have been members 
of the bar of the county. Those marked by a star are still mem- 
bers and those marked (d) are deceased. 



E. R, Annable (d) 
David Anderson* 
Horace H. Adams* 
Isaac E. Barnum (d) 
W. Scott Beebe 
Win. C. Buchanan 
Geo. E. Breck (d) 
John I. Breck 

Wm. J. Barnard* 
AV. G. Bessey 
Earl L. Burhans* 

C. W. Benton* 

D. E. Comstock (d) 
Edgar A. Crane (d) 
Calvin Cross (d) 
Jerome Coleman (d) 

F. C. Cogshall* 
J. E. Chandler* 
Hiram T. Cook* 

A. H. Chandler* 
Wm. N. Cook (d) 
T. J. Cavanaugh* 
R. M. Chase 

B. H. Cockett 



B. F. Chase* 
Thos. Dorgan 
Andrew Donovan 
David Dillon 
Cenius H. Engle* 
G. M. Eggleston 
Newton Foster (d) 
Oscar Field (d) 
Chas. L. Fitch 
A. Lynn Free* 
D. F. Glidden 
Oliver A. Goss (d) 
Ashbel H. Herron (d) 
T. E. Hendrick (d) 
Orrin N. Hilton 
Samuel Holmes (d) 
Chas. A. Harrison 
Harry M. Huff (d) 
Benj. F. Heckert (d) 
Austin Herrick 
W. W. Holmes* 
Jas. H. Johnson* 
Albert Jackson 
John Knowles 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 



167 



Geo. W. Lawton (d) 
Geo. L. Linder 
O. C. Lathrop 
H. M. Lillie 
Suaby Lawton 
L. J. Lewis* 
Eugene W. Lawton 
Melancthon Millard 
Wra. H. Mason* 
Arthur L. Moulton* 
W. S. MeKinney 
Geo. W. Merriman* 
Harry L. McNeil* 
Chas. J. Monroe* 
S. B. Monroe* 
Alfred J. Mills 
J. G. Parkhurst (d) 
L. Myrl Phelps* 
Oran W. Rowland* 



Chas. Shier 
John J. Sherman 
J. C. Spencer (d) 
F. W. Smith 
Arthur Stevens 
Jos. L. Sturr* 
Win. H. Tucker (d) 
Lincoln H. Titus 
Lester A. Tabor (d) 
W. P. Traphagen 
Albert H. Tuttle* 
W. E. Thresher 
A. P. Thomas (d) 
C. M. Van Riper* 
Guy J. Wicksall (d) 
J. J. Wilder 
Thos. 0. Ward (d) 
F. E. Withey 
Glenn E. Warner* 



The foregoing list presents an array of legal talent that would 
compare favorably with any county in the state. 



CHAPTER VIII 

POLITICS OF THE COUNTY 

General Elections — The Parties in the County — County 
Officers — Members of the State Legislature — Chairmen 
of the Board of Supervisors — Other Important Officials 
from Van Buren County — Constitutional Conventions — 
Proposed Constitutional Amendments — Van Buren County 
and the Liquor Traffic. 

In the earlier years of the history of Van Buren county, and 
prior to the organization of the Republican party in 1854, under 
the historic oaks in the city of Jackson, Michigan, the political 
parties, Democratic and Whig, were rather evenly divided, the 
Democrats being slightly in the lead and gaining on their oppo- 
nents as the population of the county increased. Since that event 
the county has invariably cast its vote in favor of the Republican 
candidates. So strongly intrenched has been that party that, with 
only two exceptions, no county official has been chosen from any 
other organization, and it long ago passed into an axiom that a 
nomination on the Republican ticket in Van Buren county was 
equivalent to an election. 

General Elections 

It will, perhaps, be a matter of interest to note the total vote 
cast at each general election, a fair indication of the growth of 
the county. 

1837 90 1847 868 

1838 256 1848 979 

1839 320 1849 897 

1840 433 1850 954 

1841 402 1851 716 

1842 438 1852 1476 

1843 454 1854 1542 

1844 669 1856 2776 

1845 569 1858 2744 

1846 814 1860 3478 

168 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 169 

1862 3151 1886 7170 

1864 3640 1888 8247 

1866 3880 1890 6245 

1868 5930 1892 7045 

1870 4501 1894 5859 

1872 5654 1896 8724 

1874 4832 1898 7067 

1876 7155 1900 8443 

1878 6253 1902 6241 

1880 7287 1904 7246 

1882 6627 1906 4519 

1884 7609 1908 7228 

1910 4626 

The Parties in the County 

Prior to the adoption of the constitution of 1850, there was an 
annual general election held in November; subsequently the elec- 
tions were biennial. The principal partisan political contests in 
the county since 1854 have been between the Republicans and the 
Democrats, with the former constantly in the ascendency, but it 
has not always been a majority party. At two general elections, 
1878 and 1890, the candidates of the Republicans had only a plur- 
ality of the votes cast, not a majority. This was occasioned by the 
great political upheaval over the whole country over the currency 
question, greenbackism and free silver. In 1876 and 1878 the 
Greenback party was at its zenith and in the latter year actually 
became the second party in the county in point of numbers, polling 
double the number of votes that were cast for the Democratic can- 
didates. 

In 1890 the Republican party again cast only a minority of the 
entire vote, its candidates being elected, but only by a plurality. A 
new organization, under the name of the Industrial party, appeared 
on the scene of action and polled nearly a thousand votes in the 
county. 

The Prohibition party made its appearance as a political factor 
in 1882, polling about a hundred votes. In 1890 this party cast 
542 votes, since which date its vote has been gradually decreasing 
until at the last general election, in 1910, it was less than one hun- 
dred. 

The Democratic People 's Union Silver party as a successor of the 
Greenback party, became an important factor in the politics of the 
county, and in 1896 polled 3,976 presidential votes, reducing the 
regular Democratic vote to less than 100, and practically supplant- 



170 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

ing that party for the time being, but the course of events has again 
narrowed the contest to a fight between the former political foes, 
Republicans and Democrats, although there have been a number of 
other political organizations seeking the support and the votes of 
the people. Besides the parties already mentioned there are now, 
or have heretofore been, the Socialist party, Peoples' party, Na- 
tional party, Social Democrat party, Independent party and the So- 
cial Labor party, but none of these has, as yet, attained sufficient 
prominence to exercise any appreciable influence on the political 
situation in Van Buren county. 

Presidential Vote in the County 

1840— Harrison, Whig, 182; Van Buren, Democrat, 251. 

1844— Clay, Whig, 275; Polk, Democrat, 350. 

1848— Taylor, Whig, 353 ; Cass, Democrat, 508. 

1852— Scott, Whig, 683; Pierce, Democrat, 771. 

1856 — Fremont, Republican, 1710; Buchanan, Democrat, 1031. 

1860 — Lincoln, Republican, 2175; Douglas, Democrat, 1274; Bell 
Const. Union, 26. 

1864 — Lincoln, Republican, 1985; McClellan, Democrat, 1400 (a). 

1868— Grant, Republican, 3662; Seymour, Democrat, 2256 (b). 

1872 — Grant, Republican, 3549; Greeley, Liberal Democrat, 
1805; O'Connor, straight Democrat, 162. 

1876 — Hayes, Republican, 4046 ; Tilden, Democrat, 2599 ; Cooper, 
G. B., 509; Smith, Prohibition, 2. 

1880 — Garfield, Republican, 4131; Hancock, Democrat, 2004; 
Weaver, Greenback, 1062; Dow, Prohibition, 10. 

1884— Blaine, Republican, 4219 ; Cleveland, Democrat, 2933 ; But- 
ler, Greenback, 845 ; St. John, Prohibition, 361. 

1888 — Harrison, Republican, 4783; Cleveland, Democrat, 2986; 
Streeter, Union Labor, 13; Fisk, Prohibition, 458. 

1892— Harrison, Republican, 3788; Cleveland, Democrat, 2182; 
Weaver, People's, 635; Bidwell, Prohibition, 403. 

1896 — McKinley, Republican, 4510; Bryan, Silver Democrat, 
3982 ; Palmer, Gold Democrat, 93 ; Bentley, National, 24 ; Levering, 
Prohibition, 73. 

1900— McKinley, Republican, 4892; Bryan, Democrat, 3235; 
Debs, Social Democrat, 21; Wooley, Prohibition, 151; Maloney, 
Social Labor, 30; Barker, People's, 2. 

(a) Exclusive of Soldiers' vote in the field. 

(b) The rote of Van Buren county for this year, 1868, was not included 
in the official canvass of the state for the reason that it was not returned to 
the state canvassing board within the time required by law. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 171 

1904 — Roosevelt, Republican, 5254; Parker, Democrat, 1634; 
Debs, Socialist, 71; Swallow, Prohibition, 217; Watson, People's 
Party, 45 ; Corrigan, Social Labor, 9. 

1908— Taft, Republican, 4531; Bryan, Democrat, 2313; Debs, 
Socialist, 124 ; Chafin, Prohibition, 193 ; Gilhaus, Social Labor, 13 ; 
Hisgen, Independent, 36. 

County Officers 

Following is a list of the principal county officials chosen by 
the electors of the county since its organization. 

Associate judges of the Circuit Court: 1837, Wolcott H. Keeler 
and Jay R. Monroe ; 1840, Evert B. Dyckman and John R. Haynes ; 
1842, Henry Coleman; 1844, Wolcott H. Keeler and Daniel Van 
Antwerp. 

County Judges : 1846, Aaron W. Broughton, first judge, John R. 
Haynes, second judge; 1847, Frederick Lord, second judge; 1850, 
Jason A. Sheldon, first judge, and Lyman G. Hill, second judge. 

County Commissioners — Under the territorial laws of Michigan 
a board of three county commissioners was appointed by the gover- 
nor of the territory whose duty it was to have charge of the finan- 
cial concerns of their respective counties. This system was con- 
tinued after the admission of Michigan as a state until the duties 
of such board were conferred upon the board of supervisors and 
the office of county commissioner was abolished by statute. After 
the state was admitted this office became elective instead of ap- 
pointive, and the following named persons were chosen as commis- 
sioners by the electors of the county: 1838, Wolcott H. Keeler, 
Peter Gremps and Morgan L. Fitch; 1839, Jay R. Monroe; 1840, 
Andrew Longstreet; 1841, Lyman G. Hill. 

Probate judges : 1837, Jeremiah H. Simmons ; 1840, Jeremiah H. 
Simmons ; 1844, Frederick Lord ; 1848, Elisha Durkee ; 1852. Elisha 
Durkee; 1856, Augustus W. Nash; 1860, Augustus W. Nash; 1864, 
Chandler Richards; 1868, George W. Lawton; 1872, George W. 
Lawton; 1876, Alfred J. Mills; 1880, Orrin N. Hilton; 1884, Orrin 
N. Hilton; 1888, Benjamin F. Heckert; 1892, Benjamin F. Heck- 
ert; 1896, James H. Johnson; 1900, James H. Johnson; 1904 and 
1908, David Anderson. Of the before named probate judges 
Messrs. Mills, Hilton, Johnson and Anderson are living. 

Sheriffs: 1837, Samuel Gunton, resigned; 1837, Andrew Long- 
street (to fill vacancy) ; 1838, Andrew Longstreet; 1840, John Mc- 
Kinney; 1842, William Hill; 1844, John Smolk, Jr.; 1846, William 
Hill; 1848, Henry C. Clapp; 1850, William Hill; 1852, Henry C. 
Clapp; 1854, William Hill; 1856, Noble D. Richardson; 1858, John 
H. Stoddard; 1860, Calvin Durkee; 1862, Calvin Durkee; 1864, 
Noble D. Richardson; 1866, Edwin R. Farmer; 1868, William R. 



172 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Sirrine ; 1870, William R. Sirrine ; 1872, John E. Showerman ; 1874, 
John E. Showerman; 1876, Nathan Thomas; 1878, Nathan Thomas; 
1880, Aaron Van Auken ; 1882, Aaron Van Auken ; 1884, John G. 
Todd ; 1886, John G. Todd ; 1888, Hulett P. McFarlin ; 1890, Na- 
than Thomas ; 1892, Nathan Thomas ; 1894, Charles A. Lamberson ; 
1896, Charles A. Lamberson; 1898, Wesley J. Thomas; 1900, Wes- 
ley J. Thomas; 1902, John H. Britton; 1904, John H. Britton; 
1906, Charles C. Chappell; 1908, Charles C. Chappell, and 1910, 
Byron L. Sowle, the present incumbent. Of the before named gen- 
tlemen Messrs. Sirrine, Nathan Thomas, Van Auken, Todd, Lam- 
berson, Wesley J. Thomas, Britton, Chappell and Sowle are living. 

County clerks: 1837, Nathan B. Starkweather; 1838, Edward 
Shultz; 1840, Jeremiah H. Simmons; 1842, Joseph Gilman; 1844, 
James B. Crane ; 1846, Lyman Fitch ; 1848, S. Tallmadge Conway ; 
1850, S. Tallmadge Conway; 1852, Franklin M. Manning; 1854, 
Stillman F. Breed; 1856, Stillman F. Breed; 1858, S. Tallmadge 
Conway; 1860, Martin Ruggles; 1862, Martin Ruggles, resigned; 
1864, Ashbel H. Herron, to fill vacancy; 1864, Ashbel H. Herron; 
1866, Ashbel H. Herron; 1868, Oran W. Rowland; 1870, Oran W. 
Rowland; 1872, Samuel Holmes; 1874, Samuel Holmes; 1876, 
Henry S. Williams; 1878, Henry S. Williams; 1880, Charles E. 
Heath; 1882, Charles E. Heath; 1884, George W. Myers; 1886, 
George W. Myers; 1888, A. Throop Anderson; 1890, A. Throop An- 
derson; 1892, Harley E. Squier; 1894, Harley E. Squier; 1896, Jo- 
seph S. Buck; 1898, Joseph S. Buck; 1900, Frank N. Wakeman; 
1902, Frank N. Wakeman; 1904, William C. Mosier; 1906, William 
C. Mosier; 1908, William C. Mosier; 1910, Harry A. Cross, the pres- 
ent incumbent. Of the aforesaid county clerks, Messrs. Rowland, 
Myers, Anderson, Squier, Buck, Wakeman, Mosier and Cross, at this 
date are living. 

Registers of deeds : 1837, Jeremiah H. Simmons ; 1838, Jeremiah 
H. Simmons; 1840, Fitz H. Stevens; 1842, Fitz H. Stevens; 1844, 
Emory O. Briggs ; 1846, Elisha C. Cox ; 1847, John Smolk, Jr., va- 
cancy ; 1848, Joseph Cox, Jr. ; 1850, William H. Hurlbut ; 1852, Eu- 
sebius Mather ; 1854, Edwin A. Thompson ; 1856, Samuel H. Black- 
man ; 1858, Thomas B. Irwin ; 1860, Thomas B. Irwin ; 1862, Steph- 
en W. Duncombe ; 1864, Stephen W. Duncombe ; 1866, E. Parker 
Hill; 1868, Don C. Rogers; 1870, Milan U. Richardson; 1872, Kirk 
W. Noyes; 1874, Kirk W. Noyes; 1876, Samuel Ellis; 1878, Samuel 
Ellis; 1880, Samuel Ellis; 1882, Samuel P. Wilson; 1884, Samuel P. 
Wilson ; 1886, Joel D. Monroe ; 1888, Joel D. Monroe ; 1890, Thomas 
C. Tyner; 1892, Thomas C. Tyner; 1894, Thomas M. Harvey; 1896, 
Thomas M. Harvey ; 1898, John F. Taylor ; 1900, John F. Taylor ; 
1902, Milton L. Decker; 1904, Milton L. Decker; 1906, John Mutch- 
ler; 1908, John Mutchler; 1910, Henry E. Shaefer, the present in- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 173 

cumbent. Of the above named gentlemen Messrs. Noyes, Tyner, 
Decker, Mutchler and Shaefer are in the land of the living. 

County treasurers : 1837, Daniel 0. Dodge ; 1838, Joshua Bangs ; 
1840, Frederick Lord ; 1842, John McKinney ; 1844, John McKin- 
ney; 1846, Theodore E. Phelps; 1848, Emory 0. Briggs; 1850, Em- 
ory 0. Briggs; 1852, Emory 0. Briggs; 1854, Alexander H. Phelps; 
1856, John M. Ridlon ; 1858, John M. Ridlon ; 1860, Aaron S. Dyck- 
man ; 1862, Aaron S. Dyckman ; 1864, Samuel H. Blackman ; 1866, 
Edwin Barnum ; 1868, Edwin Barnum ; 1870, Edwin Barnum ; 1872, 
Stephen W. Duncombe; 1874, Stephen W. Duncombe; 1876, Han- 
nibal M. Marshall, resigned; 1878, Stephen W. Duncombe; 1880, 
Samuel H. Blackman; 1882, John C. McLain; 1884, John C. Mc- 
Lain; 1886, Charles H. Butler; 1888, Charles H. Butler; 1890, Hi- 
ram K. Wells; 1892, Hiram K. Wells; 1894, Gilbert Mitchell; 1896, 
Gilbert Mitchell ; 1898, John Marshall ; 1900, John Marshall ; 1902, 
Daniel M. Allen ; 1904, Daniel M. Allen ; 1906, Frank H. Fuller ; 
1908, Frank H. Fuller; 1910, Warner M. Stoughton, the present 
incumbent. Of the above named gentlemen the following are yet 
living: Ridlon (aged 93 years), H. M. Marshall, McLain, John Mar- 
shall, Allen, Fuller and Stoughton. 

Prosecuting attorneys : *1850, Frederick Lord ; 1852, William N. 
Pardee; 1854, Frederick Lord; 1856, Nathan H. Bitely; 1858, 
Chandler Richards; 1860, Chandler Richards; 1862, Hiram Cole; 
1864, Hiram Cole; 1866, John B. Upton; 1868, John B. Upton; 
1870, John B. Upton; 1872, Darius E. Comstock; 1874, Benjamin F. 
Heckert ; 1876, Benjamin F. Heckert ; 1878, Benjamin F. Heckert ; 
1880, Oran W. Rowland; 1882, Alonzo H. Chandler; 1884, Alonzo 
H. Chandler; 1886, Alonzo H. Chandler; 1888, John I. Breck; 1890, 
Oliver A. Goss (died in office) ; 1891, Edward R. Annable (ap- 
pointed to fill vacancy) ; 1892, Lincoln H. Titus; 1894, Lincoln H. 
Titus; 1896, James E. Chandler; 1898, James E. Chandler; 1900, 
David Anderson ; 1902, David Anderson ; 1904, Russell M. Chase ; 
1906, Russell M. Chase; 1908, Glenn E. Warner; 1910, Glenn E. 
Warner, the present incumbent. Eight of the above named gentle- 
men are living — Messrs. Rowland, A. H. Chandler, Breck, Titus, J. 
E. Chandler, Anderson, Chase and Warner. 

Circuit Court Commissioners: 1852, John R. Baker; 1854, Nathan 
H. Bitely; 1856, Nathan H. Bitely; 1858, Samuel H. Blackman; 
1860, Hiram Cole; 1862, John B. Upton; 1864, Joseph W. Huston; 
1866, George W. Lawton ; 1868, Ashbel H. Herron ; 1870, William 
H. Tucker and John Knowles ; 1872, Benjamin F. Heckert and John 
J. Sherman ; 1874, Oran W. Rowland and John J. Sherman ; 1876, 

*This office did not become elective until the adoption of the constitution 
of 1850. 



174 HISTOEY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Albert Jackson and James Manry ; 1878, John Knowles and John J. 
Sherman; 1880, James H. Johnson and John J. Sherman; 1882, 
James H. Johnson and John J. Sherman ; 1884, Arthur L. Moulton 
and Samuel Holmes ; 1886, John I. Breck and Samuel Holmes ; 1888, 
Oran W. Rowland and John I. Beck; 1890, James E. Chandler and 
Lincoln H. Titus; 1892, James E. Chandler and Stephen B. Mon- 
roe ; 1894, Oran W. Rowland and Stephen B. Monroe ; 1896, Guy J. 
Wicksall and Oran W. Rowland ; 1898, David Anderson and Guy J. 
Wicksall ; 1900, Oran W. Rowland and Russell M. Chase ; 1902, Fred 
C. Cogshall and Oran W. Rowland; 1904, Fred C. Cogshall and 
Oran W. Rowland ; 1906, Fred C. Cogshall and Oran W. Rowland ; 
1908, L. Myrl Phelps and Oran W. Rowland ; 1910, L. Myrl Phelps 
and Oran W. Rowland, the present incumbents. Of the gentlemen 
who have filled this office Messrs. Knowles, Rowland, Johnson, Moul- 
ton, Breck, Chandler, Titus, Monroe, Anderson, Chase, Cogshall and 
Phelps are still living. 

The revised Statutes of 1846 provided for the appointment of a 
circuit court commissioner in each organized county of the state, 
and in 1852, the office, by provision of law, became elective. Each 
circuit court commissioner is vested with judicial powers, not ex- 
ceeding the power of a circuit judge at chambers. No person but 
an attorney of the supreme court of the state is eligible to this of- 
fice. Since 1868 the county, by virtue of the statute, has been en- 
titled to two circuit court commissioners. 

County Surveyors: 1835, Humphrey P. Barnum; 1838, John D. 
Compton ; 1840, Eleazer Keeler ; 1842, Alonzo Crane ; 1844, Samuel 
H. Blackman ; 1846, Samuel H. Blackman ; 1848, Jeremiah H. Sim- 
mons; 1850, Jeremiah H. Simmons; 1852, Jeremiah H. Simmons; 
1854, William H. Harrison ; 1856, Samuel A. Tripp ; 1858, Samuel 
A. Tripp; 1860, Orville S. Abbott; 1862, Peter J. Speicher; 1864, 
Charles J. Monroe; 1866, Charles D. Lawton; 1868, Almon J. 
Pierce; 1870, Almon J. Pierce; 1872, Augustus J. Teed; 1874, Al- 
mon J. Pierce; 1876, Almon J. Pierce; 1878, Almon J. Pierce; 
1880, Charles D. Lawton; 1882, Albert Fosdiek; 1884, Albert Fos- 
dick; 1886, Albert Fosdiek; 1888, Albert Fosdiek; 1892, F. Percy 
Lawton; 1894, F. Percy Lawton; 1896, George Mutchler; 1898, 
George Mutchler; 1900, George Mutchler; 1902, Warren Goss: 
1904, Warren Goss; 1906, Warren Goss; 1908 and 1910, Whit- 
field V. Ackley, the present incumbent. There are living of the 
aforesaid gentlemen Messrs. Monroe, Pierce, F. Percy Lawton, 
Mutchler, Goss and Ackley. Fosdiek was murdered and his slayer 
was never brought to justice. 

County Commissioners of Schools: 1893, John A. O'Leary; 
1895, John A. O'Leary; 1897, Wells G. Brown; 1899, Wells G. 



HISTOEY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 175 

Brown ; 1901, Elmer A. Aseltine ; 1903, Elmer A. Aseltine ; 1907 
and 1911, Volney A. Hungerford, the present incumbent. 

The office of school commissioner was made elective by statute 
in 1893. By legislative enactment in 1895, the term of this of- 
fice was extended to four years. 

Members of the State Legislature 

Representatives: Henry Coleman, Fernando C. Annable, John 
Andrews, Philotus Haydon, Josiah Andrews, John McKinney, 
Amos S. Brown, Morgan L. Fitch, Charles P. Sheldon, Joseph Gil- 
man, Elisha J. House, Fabius Miles, Jonathan J. Woodman 
(speaker), Buell M. Williams, William H. Hurlbut, Samuel H. 
Blackman, Alexander B. Copley, Emery H. Simpson, William 
Thomas, James E. Ferguson, E. Parker Hill, George G. B. Yeek- 
ley, Harvey H. Howard, Robert L. Warren, John S. Cross, Jona- 
than G. Parkhurst, Milan Wiggins, Charles S. Eaton, Edwin A. 
Wildey, Charles C. Phillips, C. Spencer Adams, Nathan F. Simp- 
son, Benjamin F. Heckert (died in office). 

Senators: Philotus Hayden, John McKinney, Fitz H. Stevens, 
Lyman A. Fitch, Samuel H. Blackman, Nathan H. Bitely, George 
Hannahs, David Anderson, Albert Thompson, William 0. Packard, 
Henry Ford, Charles J. Monroe, George W. Merriman, Jason Wood- 
man and Milan Wiggins, the present incumbent. 

The constitution of 1835 provided that the state should be di- 
vided into not less than four nor more than eight senatorial dis- 
tricts. In 1838, the legislature placed Yan Buren county in the 
seventh senatorial district, together with the counties of St. Jo- 
seph, Berrien and Cass, and assigned two senators to the dis- 
trict, (Laws of Michigan, 1838, pp. 169-170.) 

In 1841 a new apportionment was made, Van Buren being 
placed in the fifth district, along with the counties of St. Joseph, 
Cass, Berrien, Kalamazoo, Allegan, Barry, Ottawa, Oceana, Kent, 
Ionia and such other counties as w r ere attached to the counties of 
Kent, Ionia and Ottawa, and three senators were assigned to the 
new district. (Laws of Michigan, 1841, p. 147.) 

The constitution of 1850 provided that the state should be di- 
vided into thirty-two senatorial districts, one senator to be chosen 
from each district. The state was reapportioned in 1851, Van 
Buren and Allegan being constituted the twenty-ninth district. 
(Laws of Michigan, 1851, p. 304.) 

The county remained districted with Allegan county until 1871 
when it became a district by itself and so remained until 1881, 
when it was again districted with Allegan county where it has 



176 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

remained until the present time, the two counties forming the 
eighth senatorial district. 

Prior to 1847 Van Buren and Cass counties constituted a single 
representative district, after which, and until 1864, the county 
alone constituted a district. From 1864 to 1892, two representa- 
tives were apportioned to the county and it was divided into two 
separate districts. In 1892, under a new legislative apportion- 
ment, it again became a single district, and so remains at the 
present time. Since the death of Representative Heckert the of- 
fice has remained vacant. 

Chairmen of the Board of Supervisors 

Prior to the abolishment of the board of county commissioners 
by the legislature of 1842 and the conferring of the duties of that 
board on the supervisors, there had been occasional and irregular 
meetings, but the only organization of such body was by select- 
ing one of their number to act as clerk for the time being. The 
statute of 1842 prescribed the dates at which the meetings of the 
board should be held and the manner of organization (which was 
by choosing one of their number as chairman of the board), and 
also provided that the county clerk should be clerk of the board 
and should perform his duties as such under its control and di- 
rection. 

Following is a list of the several chairmen of the board and 
the townships they represented: 1842, Benjamin F. Chadwick, 
Lawrence; 1843, Philotus Haydon, Hamilton; 1844, Isaac S. Bor- 
den, Antwerp; 1845, John R. Pugsley, La Fayette; 1846, Joshua 
Bangs, Antwerp; 1847, John McKinney, Porter; 1848, Henry Bar- 
num, Almena; 1849, Charles M. Morrill, Pine Grove; 1850, Fer- 
nando C. Annable, Almena; 1851, John McKinney, Porter; 1852, 
John Andrews, Lawrence; 1853, John Andrews, Lawrence; 1854, 
John McKinney, Porter; 1855, Philotus Haydon, Hamilton; 1856, 
L. G. Hill, Keeler ; 1857, Edwin Barnum, La Fayette ; 1858, Edwin 
Barnum, La Fayette; 1859, Nelson Rowe, Lawrence; 1860, Nelson 
Rowe, Lawrence; 1861, Nelson Rowe, Lawrence; 1862, Nelson 
Rowe, Lawrence; 1863, Nelson Rowe, Lawrence; 1864, E. Parker 
Hill, Decatur; 1865, E. Parker Hill, Decatur; 1866, E. Parker 
Hill, Decatur; 1867, Silas Breed, Almena; 1868, Charles Dun- 
combe, Keeler; 1869, John B. Potter, Lawrence; 1870, Kirk "W. 
Noyes, South Haven; 1871, Charles Duncombe, Keeler; 1872, 
George G. B. Yeckley, Hamilton; 1873, George G. B. Yeckley, 
Hamilton; 1874, Orsimus Williams, Porter; 1875, Prenett T. 
Streator, Waverly; 1876, Ransom Nutting, Decatur; 1877, Charles 
E. Heath, Bangor; 1878, Ransom Nutting, Decatur; 1879, Charles 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 177 

Rockwell, Lawrence; 1880, Amasa M. Brown, Columbia; 1881, 
Samuel P. Wilson, South Haven; 1882, Charles W. Young, Paw 
Paw; 1883, Warren F. French, Almena; 1884, Jefferson D. Har- 
ris, Arlington; 1885, Jefferson D. Harris, Arlington; 1886, Wil- 
liam Killefer, Bloomingdale ; 1887, Peter J. Dillman, Bangor; 
1888. Gilbert Mitchell, Geneva; 1889, William K. Van Hise, De- 
catur; 1890, Thomas C. Tyner, Lawrence; 1891, H. E. Dewey, 
South Haven; 1892, Harlan P. Waters, Antwerp; 1893, Jacob 
Gunsaul, Covert; 1894, John Marshall, Porter; 1895, John C. 
McFellin, Pine Grove; 1896, Adolph Danneffel, Keeler; 1897, E. 
A. Chase, Waverly; 1898, Varnum H. Dilley, Geneva; 1899, C. 
W. Byers, Hamilton; 1900, David A. Squier, Decatur; 1901, Wil- 
liam C. Wildey, Paw Paw; 1902, George T. Waber, Pine Grove; 
1903, John H. Cornish, Porter; 1904, Kirk W. Noyes, South Ha- 
ven; 1905, John C. Kennedy, Almena; 1906, Jerome C. Warner, 
Paw Paw; 1907, Milan D. Wiggins, Bloomingdale; 1908, George 
J. Danneffel, Keeler ; 1909, F. G. Cleveland, Arlington ; 1910, John 
McAlpine, Hartford; 1910, John Gault, Waverly*; and 1911, 
Shepard H. Shattuck, Covert. 

Other Important Officials from Van Buren County 

Presidential electors: 1880, Charles Duncombe; 1900, Charles 
J. Monroe. 

Lieutenant governor: 1907 to 1910, Patrick H. Kelley. 

Secretary of state: 1855 to 1858, John McKinney. 

State treasurer: 1859 to 1860, John McKinney. 

Commissioner of state land office: 1901 to 1904, Edwin A. 
Wildey. 

Superintendent of Public instruction : 1905 to 1906, Patrick H. 
Kelley. 

Members State Board of Education: 1892 (six years), Eugene 
A. Wilson; 1901, Patrick H. Kelley (a). 

Regent of University: 1898 to 1905, Charles D. Lawton. 

President pro tern state senate: 1887, Charles J. Monroe. 

Speakers of house of representatives: 1869 to 1872, Jonathan J. 

Woodman; 1867, Jonathan J. Woodman pro tern. 

Commissioner of insurance: 1911, Marion O. Rowland (b). 

Commissioner of mineral statistics: 1885 to 1891, Charles D. 
Lawton. 

* Appointed, vice McAlpine, who died before the expiration of his term of 
office. 

(a) Appointed to fill vacancy; elected 1902; resigned to accept office of 
superintendent of public instruction. 

(b) Appointed by governor to fill vacancy; resigned to accept presidency 
of Detroit National Fire Insurance Company. 

Vol. i— i 2 



178 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Adjutant General : 1893 to 1895, Charles L. Eaton. 
State salt inspector: 1905 to 1907, Edwin A. Wildey. 
Circuit judge, Ninth judicial circuit: 1874, Darius E. Corn- 
stock (c) ; 1882 to 1888, Alfred J. Mills. 

Constitutional Conventions 

The first constitution of Michigan was framed by a convention 
that convened at Detroit, May 11, 1835, and adjourned June 24, 
1835. Van Buren county was not represented at this eonvention, 
The proposed constitution was ratified by a vote of the people in 
October, 1835, the vote being 6,299 yeas and 1,350 nays. 

In 1836 congress passed the first act for the admission of Michi- 
gan into the Union. This act required the assent of the state to 
cutting off the city of Toledo and adjacent territory from the 
southern boundary of the state, assigning it to the state of Ohio 
and giving what is now the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in ex- 
change therefor, and required the assent of the voters of Michi- 
gan before the act of admission should become effective. 

A convention of assent met at Ann Arbor, September 26, 1836, 
and after remaining in session four days rejected the proposed 
terms of admission. Van Buren was also unrepresented at this 
convention. 

A second convention of assent assembled at Ann Arbor, Decem- 
ber 14, 1836, adjourning the next day. This convention ratified 
the conditions of admission proposed by the act of congress by 
what appears to have been a unanimous vote. Van Buren 's dele- 
gate to this convention was Hon. Charles B. Avery of Paw Paw. 

The next constitutional convention was held at Lansing from 
June 3 to August 15, 1850. This convention framed a new con- 
stitution which was adopted by a vote of the people in November 
of that year and it remained in force, with certain amendments, 
as the supreme law of the state until 1908. Van Buren was rep- 
resented in this convention by Hon. Isaac W. Willard of Paw 
Paw. 

In 1867 another constitutional convention was held at Lansing 
from May 15 to August 22. The constitution proposed by this 
convention was rejected by a vote of the people at the spring elec- 
tion of 1868. Hon. Samuel H. Blackman of Paw Paw and Hon. 
Charles Duncombe of Keeler, were delegates to this convention 
from Van Buren county. 

A constitutional commission consisting of two members from 
each congressional district of the state, at which Van Buren was 
unrepresented, assembled at Lansing, August 27, 1873, and ad- 

(c) Died in office. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 179 

journed October 16, 1873. This commission submitted a proposed 
constitution, but the people refused to ratify it when it came be- 
fore them at the general election held in November, 1874. 

On the 27th day of October, 1907, another constitutional con- 
vention assembled at the capital city and remained in session un- 
til the 3d day of March, 1908. Van Buren was represented in this 
convention by Hon. Benjamin F. Heckert of Paw Paw, and Hon. 
Guy J. Wicksall of South Haven, both of whom are since deceased. 
The constitution proposed by this convention was ratified at the 
next general election held November 3, 1908, by a vote of 244,705 
to 130,783, and is now the supreme law of the state. 

Proposed Constitutional Amendments 

A proposed amendment granting equal suffrage to colored per^; 
sons was submitted to a vote of the people in November, 1850, and 
rejected by the following vote: For 12,840, against 32,026, Van 
Buren V vote on this proposition was: Yes, 183; No, 583. 

An amendment providing "that in time of war, insurrection 
or rebellion, no elector shall be deprived of his right to vote by 
reason of his service in the army or navy at such time," was pro 
posed and adopted in November, 1866, although there were 13,094 
Michigan patriots (?) who voted against the proposition. Van 
Buren county voted as follows: Yes, 2,433; No, 239. The sol- 
diers of the Civil war, in 1864, had cast their vote in the field, but 
such was not included in the official canvass of the vote of the 
state. The soldiers' vote of the state for president cast that year 
was as follows: For Abraham Lincoln, 9,402: for George B. Me- 
Clellan, 2,959. 

By an amendment submitted and adopted by a vote of the 
people at the November election in 1869, the word " white" was 
stricken from section one of article seven of the constitution pre- 
scribing the qualifications of electors, thus conferring the right 
of suffrage on colored citizens under the same rules and restric- 
tions as upon the white voters. Van Buren county voted as fol- 
lows on this amendment: Yes, 1,810; No, 1,522. 

The question of woman suffrage was submitted to a vote of the 
people at the November election of 1874. This proposition was, 
in effect, to substitute the word "person" for the words "male 
inhabitant" in that article of the constitution prescribing the 
qualification of electors, thus conferring on the qualified female 
inhabitants of the state the same right of franchise as enjoyed by 
men. The proposition met with defeat in the state by the fol- 
lowing vote : Yes, 40,077 ; No, 124,034. Van Buren county voted : 
Yes, 1,166; No, 2,987. 



180 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Van Buren County and the Liquor Traffic 

Van Buren county occupies an unique position in reference to 
the traffic in intoxicating liquors, having constantly and consist- 
ently registered its vote in opposition thereto at every offered op- 
portunity. The first time the voters of the county had occasion 
to express themselves on this question at the ballot box was in 
the month of June, 1853, at a special election called for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining the will of the people in reference to a pro- 
hibitory amendment to the constitution of the state, which was at 
that time submitted to them for adoption or rejection. The total 
vote of the county at that election, as shown by the old records, 
was 1,112 : Yes, 707 ; No, 412 ; an affirmative majority of 295. 

This same question of a prohibitory amendment to the constitu- 
tion was submitted to a vote in 1868 and again Van Buren regis- 
tered an affirmative vote, as follows: Prohibition yes, 2,362; pro- 
hibition no, 1,982 ; a prohibition majority of 380. Both of the fore- 
going proposed amendments met with defeat at the hands of the 
voters of the state. 

The third test of public sentiment on this question was had in 
November, 1876. A law prohibiting the manufacture and sale of 
intoxicating beverages had been on the statute books of the state 
since 1855, but it was not so framed and had not been so enforced 
as to commend itself to the judgment of a majority of the electors 
of the state. The constitution of the state then contained the fol 
lowing clause : ' ' The legislature shall not pass any act authorizing 
grant of license for the sale of ardent spirits or other intoxicating 
liquors/ ' 

The question of striking this clause from the constitution was 
submitted to the voters of the state at the general election held in 
November, 1876, the result being that the prohibitory provision 
was stricken out. The vote of Van Buren county on this occasion 
was as follows: Yes, 1,044; No, 1,056; a majority of 12 votes in 
favor of the retention of the prohibitory clause. This was the 
closest vote ever recorded in the county on the liquor question. 

At the April election in 1887 another prohibitory amendment 
was proposed by the legislature and submitted to the people, and 
on this amendment Van Buren 's vote was as follows: Yes, 5,111; 
No, 1,549; a majority of 3,562 in favor of the proposition, which 
failed of adoption only because of the large adverse vote cast in 
the city of Detroit and Wayne county. 

The legislature of 1887 also enacted a local option law, the first 
of that class of legislation ever attempted in Michigan. Under 
the provisions of this law, an election was held in Van Buren 
county as soon as practicable. The vote was as follows: Yes, 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 181 

3,607 ; No, 456 ; a majority of 3,251 in favor of the new law. Be- 
fore any attempt was made to enforce its provisions the supreme 
court of the state declared the law to be in conflict with the consti- 
tution, thus making it null and void. 

Another local option statute which avoided the unconstitutional 
features of the law of 1887 was enacted by the next legislature in 
1889. Under the provisions of this act, an election was held in 
Van Buren county on the 24th day of February, 1890, which re- 
sulted in the adoption of the new law by the following vote: Yes, 
2,559; No, 1,320; a prohibitory majority of 1,279, every precinct 
voting in favor of the law. 

This law, by resolution of the board of supervisors, became 
operative on the first day of May, 1890, and since that date the 
manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors has been outlawed 
in Van Buren county, except as sale is permitted by druggists and 
registered pharmacists for medicinal, mechanical, scientific and 
sacramental purposes, and since that date such a thing as an open 
saloon has been unknown in the county. 

Two years later, at a special election called for that purpose, 
the question was again submitted to the electors of the county 
and the law was sustained by a vote of 2,918 to 2,450; a majority 
of 468 in favor of the retention of the statute. 

An unsuccessful attempt was made in 1895 and 1896 to have 
the question again tested by a vote of the electors of the county. 
However, in 1897, another vote was ordered by the board of su- 
pervisors and an election called to be held on the first day of No- 
vember of that year. Again the law w r as sustained by the follow- 
ing vote : Yes, 4,158 ; No, 2,613 ; a prohibitory majority of 1,545. 

Five years elapsed before the question was again submitted, the 
board of supervisors, in response to petitions presented, ordering 
an election to be held on the 6th day of April, 1903, to once more 
test the sentiment of the people in regard to the retention of the 
law. This election resulted as follows : Yes, 4,476 ; No, 3,077 ; thus 
sustaining the law by a majority of 1,399. 

Again, on the 2d day of April, 1906, the question was sub- 
mitted to a vote of the people, and the law was again sustained by 
a vote of 4,323 to 3,626 ; a majority of 677 in favor of its reten- 
tion. 

An attempt was again made in 1908 to submit the matter to a 
vote. This w r as unsuccessful and another petition was filed at 
the January session of the board in 1910. After an examination 
of the petition the board declared it to be insufficient and refused 
to order an election. An appeal w r as made to the circuit court 
for a writ of mandamus to compel the board to reverse its action, 
but that court sustained the board and refused to issue the writ 



182 HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The matter was then appealed to the supreme court which re- 
versed the decision of the circuit court and issued a writ ordering 
the board to reassemble and call an election according to the 
prayer of the petitioners. In obedience to this mandate of the 
court an election was called for the 4th day of April, 1910, and 
again the voters sustained the law by the following vote : Yes, 
4,410 ; No, 3,600 ; a majority of 810 in favor of retaining the law. 
By the operation of this law, Van Buren county has had legal 
prohibition for upwards of twenty-one years, and for a major 
portion of the time there was no other county in the state in which 
the provisions of the law were operative, although in several coun- 
ties it had been in force for limited periods. At the present time, 
however, nearly one-half of the state is under the operation of its 
provisions 



CHAPTER IX 

CIVIL WAR INFANTRY 

Sixth Michigan Infantry — Twelfth Michigan Infantry — 
Thirteenth Michigan Infantry — Stone River — Seven- 
teenth Michigan at South Mountain — Nineteenth Michi- 
gan — Twenty-Fourth Regiment — Twenty-Fifth Michigan 
Infantry — Twenty-Eighth Michigan Infantry — Spanish- 
-American War. 

The military history of Van Buren county really begins with 
the outbreak of the Civil war in the spring of 1861, although 
there was here and there a representative of the county in the 
war with Mexico, 1846 to 1848. It is wholly impracticable to 
give the name and service of every Van Buren soldier of the great 
conflict of 1861-5, as such an exhibit would necessitate not only a 
careful research of the records of every Michigan regiment, but 
also of numerous companies and regiments from the other north- 
ern states of the Union. The most that we can hope to do is to 
make a fair approximation to accuracy and completeness, and 
this we believe we have accomplished in the following pages that 
are devoted to this matter. 

When the news was received that Fort Sumter had been fired 
upon such a wave of patriotism swept over the entire northland as 
the world had never before witnessed, and Michigan was in-no- 
wise behind her loyal sister states in her readiness to resent the 
insult to the flag, and Van Buren county was no whit behind in 
its readiness to respond to its patriotic duty. 

Sixth Michigan Infantry 

The first Michigan infantry regiment in which the names of 
any considerable number of Van Buren county men appear was 
the Sixth. 

Onward then, our stainless banner. 
Let it kiss the stripe and star, 
Till in weal and woe united, 
They forever wedded are. 

183 



184 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The Sixth Infantry was organized at Kalamazoo under the 
command of Colonel Frederick W. Curtenius and was mustered 
into the service of the United States on the 20th day of August, 
1861. 

The regiment started from its rendezvous to join the army of 
the Potomac on the 30th day of August, 1861, having a total en- 
rolment of 944 officers and enlisted men. While this regiment ex- 
pected to become a part of the Army of the Potomac, the for- 
tunes of war transferred it to the southwest, and the greater part 
of its service Avas performed on the Mississippi and the Gulf of 
Mexico. The regiment was recruited for the infantry arm of the 
service and served in that capacity until July, 1863, when General 
Banks converted it into a regiment of heavy artillery. 

The regiment is therefore, frequently referred to as the Sixth 
Heavy Artillery. 

The regiment spent the winter of 1861-2 in camp at Baltimore, 
Maryland, and the following spring was embarked upon steamers 
for Fortress Monroe, where it arrived February 23, 1862. 

Again embarking with other Union troops, it proceeded by sea 
to Ship Island, Mississippi, and soon after was sent to join Gen- 
eral Butler 's forces in an attack upon New Orleans, Louisiana, 
and arrived at the city May 2d, after the fall of Forts Jackson and 
St. Phillips and the capture of the city. From this point the regi- 
ment, as a whole or in detachments, made many excursions into 
the surrounding country and up and down the Mississippi river, 
capturing and destroying public property and Confederate sup- 
plies, many of the excursions being of extremely hazardous nature. 

On August 5, 1862, the Sixth made a brilliant record in assist- 
ing to repulse a heavy attack on the Union forces at Baton Rouge, 
and in a desperate charge upon the enemy's works captured the 
flag of the Ninth Louisiana battalion. The regiment suffered se- 
verely in killed and wounded in this engagement and General 
Thomas Williams, IT. S. A., in command of the Union forces, was 
killed. 

In January, 1863, the regiment participated in an expedition 
under General Weitzel to Bayou Teche, destroying the rebel gun- 
boat " Cotton' ' and also took part in the expedition against Pon- 
chatoula in March, where the regiment had nine men wounded, 
but captured a number of the enemy. 

In April the Sixth was engaged at Amite river and Tickfaw 
river, and made a raid upon the Jackson railroad at Pangipabo, 
where it captured sixty prisoners and destroyed an immense 
amount of public property. 

From May until July the Sixth was engaged in the siege of 
Port Hudson, when it received special commendations for its gal- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 185 

lantry and daring. It made a desperate charge upon the enemy's 
entrenchments on the 27th of May and though the works were 
carried at the point of the bayonet, the attack was unsuccessful 
by reason of the overwhelming numbers of the Confederates. After 
the siege of Port Hudson the regiment remained there until March, 
1864, when 247 men re-enlisted and started for Michigan on 
veteran furlough. 

The regiment reassembled at its former camp at Kalamazoo 
after the expiration of the thirty days' furlough and returned to 
Port Hudson, where it arrived May 11. The Sixth moved to Vicks- 
burg, Mississippi, where it served as engineers, and then moved 
to White River and soon after to Ashton, Arkansas. The regi- 
ment was divided into detachments to serve as heavy artillery and 
was stationed at Fort Morgan, Fort Gaines, Dauphin island, and 
Mobile bay. 

The regiment performed valuable service under its assignments 
as heavy artillery until August, when it received orders to return 
to Michigan. It arrived at Jackson August 30th, and was paid off 
and discharged September 5, 1865. 

The regiment during its term of service met the enemy at Se- 
well's Point, Virginia, March 5, 1862; Fort Jackson, Lousiana, 
April 25, 1862 ; Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 20, 1862 ; Grand Gulf, 
Mississippi, May 27, 1862 ; Amite River, Mississippi, June 20, 1862 ; 
Baton Rouge, Lousiana, August 5 and 17, 1862; Bayou Teche, 
Lousiana, January 14, 1863; Ponchatoula, Lousiana, March 24, 
25 and 26, 1863; Barataria, Lousiana, April 7, 1863; Tickfaw 
River, La., April 12, 1863; Amite River, Mississippi, May 7, 1863; 
Ponchatoula, Lousiana, May 16, 1863; Siege of Port Hudson, May 
23 to July 8, 1863; Tunica Bayou, Lousiana, November 8, 1863; 
Ashton, Arkansas, July 24, 1864; Fort Morgan, Alabama, August 
23, 1864; Spanish Fort, Alabama, April, 1865; Fort Blakely, Ala- 
bama, April, 1865; Fort Huger, Alabama, April, 1865; Fort Tra- 
cey, Alabama, April, 1865 ; siege of Mobile, Alabama, from March 
20 to April 12, 1865. 

Total enrolment, 1992 ; killed in action, 45 ; died of wounds, 25 ; 
died in prison, 13; died of disease, 432; discharged for disability 
(disease and wounds), 327. 

Following is a list of the names of the Van Buren county mem- 
bers of the regiment : Ball, James ; Company C ; enlisted at 
Schoolcraft ; corporal ; discharged August 20, 1865. 

Davis, Benjamin F. ; Company F ; enlisted at Kalamazoo, Au- 
gust 20, 1861 ; died at New Orleans, August 31, 1862, of wounds 
received in action ; buried in National cemetery at New Orleans, 
grave No. 5601. 



186 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Schermerhorn, Cornelius ; Company F ; enlisted August 20, 1861, 
at Kalamazoo; discharged November 12, 1862, to enlist in regular 
army. 

Sparling, George W. ; Company F ; enlisted August 20, 1861, at 
Kalamazoo ; corporal ; discharged August 23, 1864. 

Company D: Alford, George W., Lawton; enlisted August 3, 
1861, at Dowagiac; corporal; died of wounds received in action, 
at Baton Rouge, July 28, 1863; buried in National cemetery at 
Baton Rouge, grave No. 2381. 

Argabrite, William J. ; enlisted August 10, 1861, at Dowagiac ; 
corporal; discharged August 20, 1864; reenlisted in Hancock's 
corps, March 28, 1865, at South Haven ; discharged March 27, 1866. 

Bankman, Charles K. ; enlisted August 8, 1861, at Dowagiac; 
died at Baltimore, Maryland, November 21, 1861 ; buried in Lon- 
don Park National cemetery, at Baltimore. 

Broadwell, William; enlisted August 10, 1861, at Dowagiac; 
corporal ; discharged August 23, 1864. 

Brooks, Bradford; enlisted August 20, 1861, at Dowagiac; dis- 
charged August 23, 1864; died November 15, 1895. 

Brown, Silas W. ; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiac; dis- 
charged August 23, 1864. 

Coggswell, Alanson H. ; enlisted August 8, 1861, at Dowagiac ; 
discharged for disability at Baltimore, October 18, 1861. 

Crabb, John H.; enlisted August 11, 1861, at Dowagiac; cor- 
poral; discharged August 23, 1864. 

Culver, Meeker M. ; enlisted August 12, 1861, at Dowagiac ; dis- 
charged August 20, 1865. 

Dopp, Harrison H. ; enlisted August 11, 1861, at Dowagiac ; cor- 
poral; discharged August 23, 1864; died September 17, 1901; 
buried at Paw Paw. 

Finch, Charles H., Lawton; enlisted August 3, 1861, at Dowa- 
giac ; wagoner ; died at Port Hudson, Lousiana, November 20, 1863. 

Finch, Nathan V., enlisted at Fort Wayne, Indiana, June 19, 
1861; corporal, promoted to sergeant; discharged for disability, 
May 7, 1864; died in 1901, buried at Lawton. 

Green, Orsemus; enlisted August 8, 1861, at Dowagiac; dis- 
charged September 6, 1865. 

Halsey, John; enlisted August 8, 1861, at Dowagiac; discharged 
for disability, February 10, 1863. 

Hawley, William C. ; enlisted August 4, 1861, at Dowagiac; 
killed on steamer " Ceres' ' by collision with gunboat, May 18, 1862. 

Hurlburt, Horace H. ; enlisted August 6, 1861, at Dowagiac; 
corporal ; discharged August 20, 1865. 

Heath, George F. ; enlisted August 4, 1861, at Dowagiac; cor- 
poral, promoted to sergeant; discharged August 29, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 187 

Jackson, Andrew; enlisted August 5, 1861, at Dowagiae; died 
at Camp Williams, Lousiana, September 4, 1862. 

Johnson, Abner L. ; enlisted August 2, 1861, at Dowagiae ; dis- 
charged August 23, 1864. 

King, Nathaniel H. ; enlisted August 3, 1861, at Dowagiae; dis- 
charged for disability, October 14, 1862. 

Kellogg, William R. ; enlisted August 8, 1861, at Dowagiae ; cor- 
poral; discharged August 20, 1865. 

McDonald, William; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiae; dis- 
charged August 23, 1864. 

Morrison, Oscar ; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiae ; corporal ; 
discharged August 20, 1865. 

Mather, George W. ; enlisted August 8, 1861, at Dowagiae ; dis- 
charged to enter regular army in December, 1862. 

Mullen, Samuel D. ; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiae ; 
died at Baltimore, Maryland, November 21, 1861; buried in Lon- 
don Park National cemetery, at Baltimore. 

Palmer, Thomas K. ; enlisted August 2, 1861, at Dowagiae; dis- 
charged August 23, 1864. 

Pease, John W. ; enlisted August 1, 1861, at Dowagiae; died at 
Baton Rouge, Lousiana, July 27, 1862. 

Perkins, Charles R. ; enlisted August 1, 1861, at Dowagiae; dis- 
charged for disability March 24, 1862. 

Porter, Tobias; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiae; discharged 
August 23, 1864. 

Scott, Francis M. ; enlisted June 19, 1861, at Fort Wayne, In- 
diana; corporal; died at New Orleans, Lousiana, August 12, 1862; 
buried in National cemetery at New Orleans, grave No. 5549. 

Steadman, John J., Hartford; enlisted August 8, 1861, at 
Dowagiae; died June 23, 1863, at Port Hudson, Lousiana, of 
wounds received in action; buried in National cemetery at Baton 
Rouge, grave No. 5432. 

Stevens, George E., Mattawan; enlisted August 7, 1861, at 
Dowagiae ; died at Port Hudson, Lousiana, August 2, 1863. 

Smith, Joseph, Lawton ; enlisted August 8, 1861, at Dowagiae ; 
died at New Orleans, February 22, 1863. 

Sweet, Thomas 0., Lawrence; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dow- 
agiae; discharged August 23, 1864; died at Lawrence, August 1, 
1911 ; buried at Lawrence. 

Van Ostran, Holley; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiae; dis- 
charged for disability October 22, 1861. 

Voorhees, Orlando ; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiae ; cor- 
poral; discharged August 23, 1864. 

White, George; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiae; died at 
Baton Rouge. La., June 5, 1862. 



188 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Wilcox, Seth D. ; enlisted August 7, 1861, at Dowagiac ; died at 
Camp Williams, Lousiana, September 18, 1862. 

Twelfth Michigan Infantry 

We're fighting for the Union, 

We're fighting for the trust, 
W T e 're fighting for the land 

Where sleeps our fathers' dust. 

The Twelfth Michigan Infantry was organized at Niles by Col- 
onel Francis Quinn of that city, and was mustered into service 
March 5, 1862, w r ith an enrolment of 1,000 officers and men. 

The regiment left the state, March 18th, going to St. Louis, 
Missouri, where it embarked for Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, 
joining General Prentiss' division of the Army of the Tennessee 
commanded by General U. S. Grant. The regiment, with others 
newly organized and wholly without any military experience, was 
pushed to the front, and on Sunday morning, April 6th, only 
one month after its organization, received its first baptism of blood 
in the attack made by the Confederate forces under the command 
of General Albert Sidney Johnston, in which that brilliant officer 
lost his life, being succeeded by General Beauregard. 

The troops lay upon their arms during the night, and before 
morning General Buell's army arrived, when the battle was re- 
sumed Monday, culminating in driving General Beauregard and 
his troops from the field. The losses of the Twelfth in this en- 
gagement were serious. 

The regiment during the rest of the year occupied stations at 
Bolivar, Tennessee, Iuka, Mississippi, and Metamora, and from 
November, 1862, to May, 1863, was guarding the Mississippi Cen- 
tral Railroad, with headquarters at Middleburg, Tennessee. 

At this place in December a detachment of the regiment was 
besieged in a block house which was gallantly defended against 
an attack by General Van Dorn's forces, estimated at 3,000 strong. 

Colonel Graves refused to surrender and succeeded after an 
engagement of two hours and a half with the assistance of a de- 
tachment of the Third Michigan Cavalry that came to his relief, 
in driving off the Confederate forces. The command was compli- 
mented by General Grant in General Orders for this brilliant work. 
The regiment was ordered to Vicksburg, Mississippi, in June, 

1863, where it took post at Haynes' Bluff and remained until the 
fall of Vicksburg. 

In July, 1863, the Twelfth comprised a part of the force under 
General Steele, when he invested Little Rock, Arkansas. At this 
point the regiment veteranized, 334 reenlisting, and in January, 

1864, started for Michigan on veteran furlough. After the expi- 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 189 

ration of the thirty days' furlough, the Twelfth reassembled at 
Niles and returned to Little Rock, Arkansas, where it arrived 
April 1st. The regiment was engaged in long marches and fre- 
quent skirmishes with the enemy, and in doing picket and guard 
duty until October, when it arrived at De Vall's Bluff, Arkansas. 

The regiment was then separated into detachments, the different 
companies occupying posts wherever their services were needed 
until January, 1866, when the detachments w r ere ordered to as- 
semble at Camden, where the regiment was mustered out of ser- 
vice February 15, 1866. 

The Twelfth started at once for Michigan, arrived at Jackson 
the 27th, and was paid off and disbanded the 6th of March. 

The Twelfth was engaged with the enemy at Pittsburg Land- 
ing, Tennessee, April 6, 7, 1862; Iuka, Mississippi, September 19, 
1862; Metamora, Tennessee, October 5, 1862; Middleburg, Tennes- 
see, December 24, 1862 ; Mechanicsville, Mississippi, June 4, 1863 ; 
siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, June and July, 1863 ; siege of 
Little Rock, Arkansas, August and September, 1863 ; Clarendon, 
Arkansas, June 26, 1864; Gregory's Landing, September 4, 1864. 

Total enrolment, 2357 ; killed in action, 29 ; died of wounds, 26 ; 
died in confederate prisons, 17; died of disease, 316; discharged 
for disability (wounds and disease), 221. 

Following is a list of the names of the members of this regiment 
from Van Buren County: 

Company A : Alexander, Horace N., Keeler ; enlisted February 
5, 1864, at Keeler; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Brown, Caleb J., Decatur; enlisted November 21, 1861, at Deca- 
tur; corporal; discharged February 13, 1866; died December 10, 
1895. 

Buckley, John ; enlisted February 24, 1865, at Geneva ; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866; died May 7, 1895; buried at Monk, 
Michigan. 

Freelove, Joseph, Hamilton; enlisted March 16, 1865, at Hamil- 
ton; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Horton, Samuel, Columbia; enlisted January 24, 1865, at Co- 
lumbia; discharged January 24, 1866. 

Hess, Calvin, Columbia; enlisted January 24, 1865, at Colum- 
bia; discharged January 24, 1866. 

Welcher, Albert, Decatur; enlisted November 23, 1861, at De- 
catur; discharged May 31, 1862. 

Welcher, John, Decatur; enlisted November 22, 1861, at Deca- 
tur; discharged May 31, 1862. 

Company B : Beal, Franklin, Covert ; enlisted November 6, 
1862; discharged November 11, 1865. 



190 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Bucknell, Uriah; enlisted February 14, 1865, at Antwerp, dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Evans, Robert K., Keeler; enlisted February 5, 1864, at Keeler; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Gates, Franklin D. ; enlisted March 27, 1865, at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Hall, James H., Lawton ; enlisted November 6, 1861, at Lawton ; 
sergeant and commissary sergeant, promoted to second lieutenant 
and to first lieutenant; discharged February 15, 1866; present 
residence, Lawton. 

Matran, Morgan W. ; enlisted December 20, 1863, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Lamson, William W., Covert; enlisted November 20, 1861, at 
Covert; died at Camp Prentice, Tennessee, April 21, 1862. 

Teachout, Henry, Covert; enlisted November 26, 1862, at Cov- 
ert; discharged June 20, 1865. 

Timmons, Bedient ; enlisted December 30, 1863, at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Company D : Davidson, Andrew L. ; enlisted March 6, 1866, 
at Keeler; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Dougherty, George W. ; enlisted March 15, 1865, at Hamilton : 
died at De Vall's Bluff, Arkansas, June 2, 1865. 

Keyes, Nathaniel; enlisted March 18, 1865, at Hamilton; dis- 
charged for disability, June 12, 1865. 

McMillan, John; enlisted March 6, 1865, at Keeler; discharged 
February 15, 1866. 

Smith, Estell H. ; enlisted March 7, 1865, at Keeler ; discharged 
February 15, 1866. 

Company E : Crippen, David G. ; enlisted February 15, 1865, 
at Antwerp; discharged May 22, 1865. 

Company F : Barrett, Charles ; enlisted February 29, 1864, 
at Kalamazoo; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Hamlin, Shadrach; enlisted September 6, 1864, at Hamilton: 
discharged September 9, 1865. 

Johnson, Elias V.; enlisted February 15, 1865, at Antwerp; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Smith, Eber A. ; enlisted April 4, 1865, at Antwerp ; discharged 
June 20, 1865. 

Tryon, Israel D. ; enlisted November 3, 1864, at Kalamazoo : 
died at Washington, Arkansas, July 22, 1865. 

Company G: Barnes, Robert; enlisted February 24, 1865, at 
Lawton; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Bratton, Andrew W. ; enlisted December 29, 1863, at Kalama- 
zoo; discharged for disability July 19, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 191 

Company H: Atkinson, William E., Lawton; enlisted Novem- 
ber 6, 1861, at Lawton; supposed to have been taken prisoner 
and murdered by guerrillas in May, 1863. 

Allen, Owen L. ; enlisted February 29, 1864, at Decatur; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Andrews, Wallace W., Lawton; enlisted November 29, 1861, 
at Lawton; discharged February 5, 1865. 

Armitage, Richard, Decatur; enlisted November 25, 1861, at 
Decatur; corporal; died at Washington, Arkansas, August 7, 1865. 

Barnes, George, Mattawan; enlisted December 14, 1861, at Law- 
ton; killed in action at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862. 

Baker, Franklin; enlisted February 22, 1865, at Antwerp; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Beals, William, Lawton; drummer; enlisted October 16, 1861, 
at Lawton; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Bitely, Stephen; corporal; enlisted November 1, 1861, at Law- 
ton; promoted to commissary sergeant, commissioned first lieu- 
tenant and quartermaster; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Bitely, Cyrus, Lawton; enlisted November 26, 1861, at Lawton; 
corporal, promoted to commissary sergeant; discharged February 
15, 1866. 

Bowman, James M., Lawton; enlisted October 20, 1861, at Law- 
ton; died April 17, 1862, on hospital boat opposite Cairo, Illi- 
nois, of wounds received in action at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 
1862 ; buried in National cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, 
section 53, grave No. 955. 

Brott, William, H., Porter; enlisted August 25, 1862, at Law- 
ton; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Burgess, David; enlisted February 18, 1865, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Burrell, Joseph ; enlisted February 15, 1864, at Paw Paw T ; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Case, Randall Z., Lawton; enlisted November 1, 1861, at Law- 
ton ; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Chase, Jonathan L., Lawton; entered service at Lawton as sec- 
ond lieutenant; resigned May 5, 1862, on account of wounds re- 
ceived in action at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862. 

Cole, Danford D. ; enlisted March 15, 1865, at Hamilton ; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Cole, John J., Lawton; enlisted November 6, 1861, at Lawton; 
supposed to have been taken prisoner and murdered by guerril- 
las, in May, 1863. 

DeBolt, William H., Decatur; sergeant and first sergeant, pro- 
moted to second lieutenant ; resigned August 20, 1864 ; died at De- 
catur, January 11, 1902. 

Dibble, David W., Lawton; enlisted October 28, 1861, at Law- 



192 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

ton; wounded at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862; discharged for 
disability, July 8, 1862. 

Dibble, Charles J., Lawton; enlisted October 28, 1861, at Law- 
ton; died at Little Rock, Arkansas, November 13, 1863; buried 
in National cemetery at Little Rock, grave No. 171. 

Dine, Adam, Lawton; enlisted October 26, 1861, at Lawton; 
corporal; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Dine, Benjamin F., Decatur; enlisted December 19, 1864, at 
Decatur; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Dine, Lewis, Porter; enlisted December 16, 1861, at Porter; 
discharged November 17, 1865, from Veteran Reserve corps. 

Doolittle, Alfred, Lawton; enlisted November 6, 1861, at Law- 
ton; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Durden, James E., Keeler, enlisted March 7, 1865, at Keeler; 
discharged June 20, 1865. 

Eggleston, Harvey, Porter; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Law- 
ton; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Eastman, George, Porter ; enlisted January 8, 1862, at Porter ; 
discharged May 8, 1863. 

Farrow, John; enlisted February 24, 1865, at Lawton; dis- 
charged for disability, May 3, 1865. 

Flanders, Edwin; enlisted March 15, 1865, at Hamilton; dis- 
charged February 25, 1866. 

Flanders, Milan; enlisted March 15, 1865, at Hamilton; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Follett, Luther D., Lawton; enlisted November 7, 1861, at 
Lawton ; died at St. Louis, Missouri, June 6, 1862 ; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery, Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, grave No. 823. 

Fuller, Isaac H., Arlington; enlisted February 15, 1864, at Ar- 
lington; died May 1.4, 1864, at Little Rock, Arkansas; buried in 
National cemetery at Little Rock, grave No. 451. 

Gustin, Clinton J., Keeler; enlisted March 17, 1865, at Keeler, 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Hall, James H., Lawton; enlisted November 6, 1861, at Law- 
ton; sergeant and commissary sergeant, second lieutenant Com- 
pany B and first lieutenant Company C ; discharged February 15, 
1866. 

Hall, Wesley M., Lawton; enlisted October 29, 1861, at Law- 
ton; corporal; wounded at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862; dis- 
charged for disability August 25, 1862; present residence, Paw 
Paw. 

Harper, Harvey, Lawton; enlisted December 10, 1861, at Law- 
ton, discharged August 18, 1863, for disability. 

Hartman, Conrad R., Hamilton; enlisted December 9, 1861, at 
Hamilton; discharged June 21, 1863. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 193 

Hawkins, Daniel, Lawton; enlisted February 1, 1862, at Law- 
ton; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Hincher, Eli J., Decatur ; enlisted March 18, 1865, at Hamilton ; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Hopkins, George P.; enlisted February 22, 1864, at Lawton; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Hopkins, Cyrus; enlisted March 31, 1865, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866 ; died July 21, 1903. 

Johnson, Gilbert D., Lawton; entered service October 14, 1861, 
at Lawton, as captain of Company H; wounded in action at Shi- 
loh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862; resigned October 8, 1862; dead, 
buried at Lawton. 

Johnson, Uriah, Decatur; enlisted February 10, 1862, at Deca- 
tur; died June 1, 1862; buried in National cemetery at Jefferson 
Barracks, Missouri, section 52, grave No. 912. 

Kennard, William, Lawton; enlisted November 6, 1861, at Law- 
ton; discharged for disability, June 20, 1862. . 

Kinney, George R. ; enlisted March 15, 1865, at Hamilton ; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Kidney, Samuel A. ; enlisted January 5, 1864, at Lawton ; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Lee, Henry W., Lawton; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Lawton; 
discharged September 30, 1865. 

Leet, Franklin, Porter; enlisted December 30, 1861, at Lawton; 
died at Pittsburg Landing, April 23, 1862. 

Longcor, William H. ; enlisted February 13, 1865, at Kalama- 
zoo; discharged February 15, 1866. 

McNeil, Livingston; enlisted February 9, 1864, at Lawton; died 
at Little Rock, Arkansas, July 21, 1864; buried in National cem- 
etery at Little Rock, grave No. 763. 

Mayo, Lyman, Lawton; enlisted October 24, 1861, at Lawton; 
discharged for disability October 24, 1862. 

Miller, Nicholas, Lawton; enlisted November 8, 1861, at Lawton; 
died at St. Louis, Missouri, June 1, 1862 ; buried in National cem- 
etery at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, section 52, grave No. 878. 

Minnick, William, Porter; enlisted November 29, 1861, at Law- 
ton ; died at Atlanta, Georgia, June 17, 1862, while prisoner of war. 

Monroe, Richard, Lawton; enlisted October 23, 1861, at Law- 
ton; discharged for disability, November 10, 1862. 

Munger, Alpheus D., Lawton; enlisted November 6, 1861, at 
Lawton; discharged for disability, July 18, 1862. 

Myers, Alfred, Lawton; enlisted November 6, 1861, at Lawton; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Nash, Samuel D., Hamilton; enlisted November 16, 1861, at 



194 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Hamilton; died at Little Rock, Arkansas; July 12, 1864; buried 
in National cemetery at Little Rock, section 2, grave No. 713. 

Nash, William A., Lawton; enlisted October 31, at Lawton; 
died at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 27, 1862. 

Nichols, Joseph; enlisted February 20, 1864, at Decatur; cor- 
poral; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Parker, Dyer, Porter; enlisted August 13, 1862, at Porter; died 
at Little Rock, Arkansas, August 17, 1863. 

Parker, Ira, Porter; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Porter; dis- 
charged for disability, November 23, 1862. 

Parker, James; enlisted December 21, 1862, at Kalamazoo; died 
at Lawton, Michigan, January 11, 1865. 

Parker, James M. ; enlisted January 5, 1864, at Kalamazoo ; 
died in Michigan, March 25, 1864. 

Parsons, Christopher; enlisted March 1, 1862; discharged for 
disability, July 14, 1862. 

Pattingill, Clark, Lawton; enlisted December 26, 1861, at Law- 
ton; discharged September 25, 1862. 

Prince, Daniel; enlisted February 25, 1864, at Lawton; died at 
Lawton; November 21, 1864. 

Rice, Edward H., Arlington; enlisted October 26, 1861, at Ar- 
lington; sergeant; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Robards, Barney S., Hamilton; enlisted November 22, 1861, 
at Hamilton ; wounded in action at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 
1862 ; discharged March 5, 1864. 

Robinson, Lucius K., Lawton ; enlisted October 14, 1862, at Law- 
ton ; discharged for disability, July 7, 1863. 

Robinson, Walter P., Paw Paw; enlisted October 23, 1861, at 
Lawton; discharged for disability, December 11, 1862. 

Rough, Uriah W. ; enlisted March 15, 1864; discharged Feb- 
ruary 15, 1866. 

Sams, James; enlisted February 25, 1864, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Scott, Thomas J.; enlisted February 17, 1864, at Kalamazoo; 
died at De Vall's Bluff, Arkansas, July 26, 1864; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery at Little Rock, Arkansas, section 10, grave No. 
407. 

Sheldon, Luther D. ; enlisted February 25, 1864, at Decatur; 
died at De Vall's Bluff, Arkansas, November 23, 1864. 

Showers, Jacob, Jr. ; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Antwerp ; 
discharged February 26, 1866. 

Smith, Allen; enlisted at Kalamazoo, February 9, 1864; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Smith, Bennett; enlisted February 9, 1864, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 195 

Stambrook, Samuel F., Lawton; enlisted October 30, 1861, at 
Lawton ; corporal ; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Stephens, George, Lawton; enlisted November 7, 1861, at Law- 
ton; died at Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee, May 11, 1862. 

Sternbergh, William, Lawton; enlisted November 2, 1861, at 
Lawton; discharged August 22, 1865. 

Stilwell, Isaiah, Lawton; enlisted October 16, 1861, at Lawton; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Stilwell, James; enlisted August 9, 1862, at Lawton; discharged 
September 30, 1865. 

Tomlinson, Clauson, Lawton; enlisted October 22, 1861, at Law- 
ton; died at Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee, June 6, 1862. 

Tomlinson, James H. ; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Kalama- 
zoo; discharged February 26, 1866. 

Tyler, James P. ; enlisted December 5, 1861, at Lawton ; dis- 
charged for disability, October 24, 1862. 

Van Hise, Jared P., Decatur; enlisted February 27, 1865; dis- 
charged June 17, 1865 ; died January 11, 1903 ; buried at Decatur. 

Van Hise, Runyan, Lawton; enlisted October 26, 1861, at Law- 
ton; taken prisoner April 6, 1862; returned to company, January 
26, 1863 ; promoted to commissary sergeant and to second lieuten- 
ant of Company K, commissioned first lieutenant Company H; 
resigned December 31, 1864. 

Van Hise, William K., Decatur; enlisted December 9, 1863, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Vannetten, William, Porter; enlisted November 16, 1861, at 
Porter; missing in action at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862; no 
further record. 

Vought, Samuel, Decatur; enlisted February 29, 1864, at De- 
catur; discharged June 17, 1865. 

Vought, Thomas A., Decatur; enlisted February 20, 1864, at De- 
catur; discharged February 15,* 1866. 

Wait, Stephen E.; enlisted April 19, 1864, at Lawton; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Wilson, Charles, Lawton; enlisted November 27, 1861, at Law- 
ton; died at De Vall's Bluff, August 23, 1863. 

Wilson, William, Lawton; enlisted November 22, 1861, killed in 
action at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1861. 

Wilson, William; enlisted February 13, 1865, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Wright, Adelbert; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Company K: Ames, Roswell, Lawrence; enlisted December 15, 
1861, at Lawrence; discharged January 7, 1865. 



196 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Blackmer, David C, Keeler; enlisted November 15, 1861, at 
Keeler; died at Little Rock, Arkansas, September 24, 1863. 

Blackmer, John R., Hamilton; enlisted November 12, 1861, at 
Hamilton; discharged for disability June 1, 1865. 

Barnum, Amos; enlisted March 18, 1865, at Hamilton; died at 
Washington, Arkansas, July 3, 1865. 

Barnum, William; enlisted March 18, 1865, at Hamilton; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Chubbuck, Russell L., Lawrence; enlisted November 4, 1861, at 
Lawrence; sergeant; discharged February 15, 1866; dead. 

Code, John; enlisted March 16, 1865, at Hamilton; discharged 
February 15, 1866. 

Corder, Eli M. ; enlisted March 5, 1864, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Earl, John T., Decatur; enlisted December 10, 1861, at Decatur; 
corporal; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Earl, Samuel E., Hamilton; enlisted March 15, 1865; discharged 
February 15, 1866. 

Field, Othniel H., Hamilton; enlisted November 13, 1861, at 
Hamilton; sergeant, discharged February 15, 1866. 

Geer, Charles M., Hamilton; enlisted November 15, 1861, at 
Hamilton; died at St. Louis, Missouri, May 10, 1862. 

Geer, William A., Hamilton; enlisted November 16, 1861, at 
Hamilton; died December 22, 1864,. while a prisoner of war at 
Camp Tyler, Texas. 

Hartman, Conrad R., Hamilton; enlisted December 9, 1861, at 
Hamilton; discharged June 21, 1863. 

James, William H., Hamilton; enlisted November 15, 1861, at 
Hamilton; discharged for disability October 25, 1864. 

Jordan, Allen J., Hamilton; enlisted November 15, 1861, at 
Hamilton; corporal; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Luce, Charles C, Arlington; enlisted October 18, 1861, at Ar- 
lington; discharged January 7, 1865. 

Morrison, John H., Decatur; enlisted November 21, 1861, at 
Hamilton; discharged for disability, July 18, 1862. 

Parker, Henry C. ; corporal ; discharged February 15, 1864. 

Peck, John A., Hamilton; enlisted November 22, 1861, at Hamil- 
ton; discharged January 7, 1865. 

Pletcher, Daniel E., Keeler; enlisted March 7, 1865; discharged 
February 15, 1866. 

Redding, John D. ; enlisted February 16, 1864, at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged February 15, 1866. 

Rider, William B., Keeler ; enlisted December 7, 1861, at Keeler ; 
died at Keeler, July 15, 1862. 

Roberts, Russell; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Kalamazoo; 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 197 

died at De Vall's Bluff, Arkansas, September 1, 1864; buried in 
National cemetery at Little Rock, Arkansas, section 10, grave No. 
373. 

Stearns, William W. ; enlisted March 15, 1865, at Hamilton ; 
discharged for disability, October 5, 1865. 

Sweet, Allen; enlisted February 16, 1864, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged for disability, June 12, 1865. 

Wilson, Burney 0., Hamilton; corporal; enlisted November 15, 
1861, at Hamilton; wounded in action at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 
6, 1862; died at Paducah, Kentucky, May 30, 1862. 

Thirteenth Michigan Infantry 

Onward, onward, then to Battle, 

For bright Freedom points the way, 
Though the grape shot thickly rattle, 

Onward, onward, to the fray. 

The Thirteenth Michigan Infantry was organized at Kalama- 
zoo, under the direction of Colonel Charles E. Stuart of that city, 
and was mustered into the service of the United States, January 
17, 1862, with an enrolment of 935 officers and enlisted men. It 
left the state February 12th, under command of Colonel Michael 
Shoemaker (Colonel Stuart having resigned), and proceeded to 
Nashville, Tennessee, where it was assigned to Wood's division of 
General Buell's army, and marched to Pittsburgh Landing to re- 
inforce General Grant, arriving just after the two days' battle 
w r ith the Confederate forces under Generals Johnston and Beau- 
regard. 

General Buell moved his headquarters to Dechard, north of 
Stevenson, on the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railway, 
and left the Thirteenth with a small garrison to hold Stevenson. 

The enemy attacked before the Union forces left Stevenson, but 
were repulsed, and then a long march continued night and day 
over horrible roads across the mountains until Cowan was reached, 
where Colonel Shoemaker learned the army had left Dechard. 
He pressed forward and reached Tullahoma September 2nd, where 
he joined General Smith's division of Buell's army. Colonel 
Shoemaker was highly complimented by the commanding general 
for bringing in all his forces, artillery, and baggage, without loss 
of either men or equipment. The Thirteenth, with the balance of 
the army, then fell back to Nashville and joined in the pursuit of 
General Bragg 's army to Louisville, Kentucky. In December the 
regiment belonged to the Third Brigade, First Division, General 
Thomas' corps, and joined the army commanded by General Rose- 
crans on his a'dvance upon Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 



198 HISTORY OF VAN BURBN COUNTY 

Stone River 

The regiment was engaged at Stone River the 30th and 31st of 
December, 1862, and in January, 1863, where it distinguished it- 
self by its desperate valor and w r as most warmly commended for 
the heroic work that checked the onward rush of the Confederate 
forces. 

The brigade of which the Thirteenth formed a part w r as com- 
manded by Colonel Charles G. Harker, and was detached from 
its division and sent to the extreme right of the Union line, where 
the enemy had crushed that wing, when it formed a line in the 
immediate front of the Confederates and a desperate conflict com- 
menced. The Union forces w r ere steadily pressed back by the 
enemy, but the Thirteenth held its position until nearly sur- 
rounded, when it fell back a short distance and reformed, con- 
tinually showing a bold front to the enemy. Colonel Shoemaker 
ordered a bayonet charge and the Thirteenth sprang forward with 
a yell, driving the enemy from the field in confusion and capturing 
a large number of prisoners. The regiment lost nearly one third 
of its strength in killed and wounded in the action on this part of 
the field. It recaptured two pieces of artillery of the Sixth Ohio 
Battery, which had been abandoned when the Union forces were 
driven back by the furious onslaught of the enemy. 

The Thirteenth commenced its advance toward Chattanooga in 
August and marched over the Cumberland mountains, crossed the 
Tennessee river at Shell Mound and was one of the first regiments 
to march into Chattanooga on the morning of the 13th of Septem- 
ber. It proceeded almost at once to Chickamauga, where it was 
engaged the 19th and 20th of September, coming in contact with 
the enemy near Lee and Gordon's Mills, and before the close of 
the battle lost 107 killed, wounded and missing, out of a total of 
217, the number of officers and men the regiment carried into 
action. Such a record tells how the Thirteenth sustained its part 
in this historic engagement far more eloquently than words can 
describe. 

After the battle of Chickamauga the regiment was in the 
trenches about Chattanooga and took part in the movements about 
Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge. 

In November, 1863, the Thirteenth was organized with other 
regiments into a brigade of engineers and w T as attached to the 
headquarters of the Army of the Cumberland. In January, 
1864, it veteranized and returned to Kalamazoo, where it arrived 
on the 12th and was furloughed for thirty days. 

It returned to Chattanooga on the 20th of April with a large 
number of recruits and was soon engaged in the construction of 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 199 

military hospitals on Lookout Mountain, and in the pursuit of 
Forrest's forces until the month of November, when it joined the 
army under the command of General Sherman, being assigned to 
the Second Brigade, First Division of the Fourteenth Corps. The 
regiment marched with Sherman to the sea and reached Savannah 
on the 16th of December. After the surrender of the city the 
regiment continued with Sherman's army through South Carolina 
and North Carolina, meeting with Johnston and Hardee's forces 
at Bentonville, on the 19th of March, 1865, where it sustained a 
severe loss. This was the last battle of importance fought by 
Sherman's army. 

After Johnston's surrender the regiment marched to Richmond 
and thence to Washington, where it participated in the grand re- 
view. 

On the 9th day of June the regiment proceeded to Louisville, 
Kentucky, where it was mustered out of the service, proceeding 
to Jackson, Michigan, where it was paid off and disbanded July 
27, 1865. 

The Thirteenth participated in the following engagements: Shi- 
loh, Tennessee, April 7, 1862; Farmington, Mississippi, May 9, 
1862; Owl Creek, Mississippi, May 17, 1862? siege of Corinth, May 
10 to 31, 1862; Stevenson, Alabama, August 31, 1862; Munfords- 
ville, Kentucky, September 14, 1862; Perryville, Kentucky, Octo- 
ber 8, 1862; Danville, Kentucky, October 17, 1862; Gallatin, Ten- 
nessee, December 5, 1862; Mill Creek, Tennessee, December 15, 
1862; Lavergne, Tennessee, December 27, 1862; Stewart's Creek, 
Tennessee, December 29, 1862; Stone River, Tennessee, December 
29, 1862 to January 3, 1863; Eagleville, Tennessee, January 20, 
1863; Pelham, Tennessee, July 2, 1863; Lookout Valley, Tennes- 
see, September 7, 1863; Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, September 
10, 1863 ; Chickamauga, Georgia, September 12, 18, and 19, 1863 ; 
Chattanooga, Tennessee, October 6, 1863; Mission Ridge, Tennes- 
see, November 26, 1863; Florence, Alabama, October 8, 1864; Sav- 
annah, Georgia, December 17 to 21, 1864; Catawba River, South 
Carolina, February 28, 1865 ; Averysborough, North Carolina, 
March 16, 1865; Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 1865. 

Total enrolment, 2092 ; killed in action, 47 ; died of wounds, 33 ; 
died in Confederate prisons, 7; died of disease; 253; discharged 
for disability (wounds and disease), 216. 

Following are the names of the Van Buren county members of 
the regiment: Culver, Joshua B., Paw Paw; entered service at 
organization of the regiment as first lieutenant and adjutant; 
major, July 4, 1862; lieutenant-colonel, February 26, 1863; col- 
onel, May 26, 1863 ; commanding brigade July 23, 1864 ; final dis- 
charge July 25, 1865. 



200 HISTORY OF VAN BUBEN COUNTY 

Whitcomb, Lewis J., Paw Paw; entered service as chaplain, 
commissioned August 7, 1863; discharged for disability March 17, 
1865 ; died August 10, 1903 ; buried at Milford, Michigan. 

Company A : Brown, Jesse M., Paw Paw ; enlisted August 16, 
1864, at Paw Paw; discharged June 8, 1865; died at Paw Paw, 
April 14, 1911. 

Bush, Philemon, Waverly; enlisted December 20, 1863, at Osh- 
temo; corporal; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Hoyt, Benjamin F., Paw Paw; enlisted February 26, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Merritt, Charles A., South Haven; enlisted February 24, 1864, 
at Sturgis; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Rice, Orville A.; enlisted February 24, 1864; discharged from 
hospital, May 23, 1865 ; present residence, Paw Paw. 

Whitford, De Forest A., Waverly; enlisted December 20, 1863, 
at Oshtemo; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Chapman, Dewey D., Columbia; enlisted August 19, 1864, at 
Columbia ; discharged July 25, 1865 ; died September 5, 1898 ; 
buried at Arlington. 

Waldron, Frederick; enlisted January 24, 1865, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Company B : Collins, Edgar ; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Coon, Carlton, Paw Paw ; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Paw Paw ; 
discharged June 8, 1865. 

Coon, Edwin H., Paw Paw; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 21, 1865. 

Loveland, George B., Paw Paw; enlisted August 26, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; discharged June 8, 1865. 

McGrady, James, Paw Paw; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 8, 1865. 

McVey, James W., Paw Paw; enlisted .September 3, 1864, at 
Jackson; substitute for Joshua Bangs; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Smith, Junius, Paw Paw ; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Paw Paw ; 
discharged June 8, 1865 ; died April 20, 1891 ; buried at Paw Paw. 

Woodbeck, David; enlisted December 31, 1863, at Waverly; dis- 
charged January 31, 1865. 

Company C: Austin, William F., Paw Paw; enlisted August 
13, 1864, at Paw Paw; died June 29, 1865; buried in National 
cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. 

Arnold, William W., Antwerp; enlisted February 16, 1864, at 
Antwerp; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Butler, William D., Mattawan; enlisted October 23, 1861, at 
Mattawan ; died at Nashville, Tennessee, May 20, 1863 ; buried in 
National cemetery, Nashville. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 201 

Britton, William H., Malta wan; enlisted February 24, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Calkins, Orlando W., Mattawan; enlisted December 6, 1861, at 
Mattawan; died at Mattawan, May 10, 1862. 

Covey, Hiram F., Waverly; enlisted April 29, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; died at Savannah, Georgia, March 18, 1865; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery, Beaufort, South Carolina, section 41, grave No. 
4655. 

Dailey, Ira IT., Lawton ; enlisted March 29, 1865, at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Dailey, William S., Lawton ; enlisted December 13, 1861, at Por- 
ter; corporal; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Davis, Andrew J., Hartford; enlisted September 1, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; discharged May 31, 1865. 

Dunbar, Edwin G., Decatur; enlisted October 9, 1861; sergeant; 
second lieutenant May 15, 1862; first lieutenant and quartermas- 
ter August 18, 1862; captain January 4, 1864;. major August 1, 
1865 ; breveted lieutenant-colonel for gallant services March 13, 
1865; discharged November 22, 1865. 

Edick, George W., Decatur; enlisted November 2, 1861, at Deca- 
tur ; musician ; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Fox, George N., Waverly; enlisted August 24, 1864, at Kalama- 
zoo; sick at Tilton November 1, 1864; no further record. 

Fox, Henry, Mattawan; enlisted October 23, 1861, at Mattawan; 
sergeant, color sergeant ; killed in action at Chickamauga, Georgia. 
September 19, 1863. 

Greenman, Miles, Decatur; enlisted December 23, 1861, at Deca- 
tur; died at Louisville, Kentucky, April 22, 1862; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery, Louisville. 

Griffith, Collins D. ; enlisted February 15, 1864, at Antwerp ; 
discharged July 17, 1865. 

Hand, Alden S., Decatur; enlisted December 21, 1861, at Al- 
legan; killed in action at Stone River, Tennessee, December 31, 
1862; buried in National cemetery at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 
grave No. 2911. 

Huff, Henry, Mattawan; enlisted February 23, 1864, at Ant- 
werp; discharged July 11, 1865. 

Huff, Marion, Mattawan; enlisted February 15, 1864, at Ant- 
werp ; discharged June 9, 1865. 

Johnson, Henry M., Porter; enlisted December 13, 1861, at 
Porter; died at Danville, Kentucky, November 20, 1862; buried 
in National cemetery at Lebanon, Kentucky. 

Lee, Edward; enlisted October 19, 1861, at Decatur; sick at 
Nashville, Tennessee; no further record. 



202 HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Lent, Champlin; enlisted at Antwerp, February 27. 1864; 
wounded in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 1865 ; 
discharged June 20, 1865. 

Lynden, Elbridge G., Lawton; enlisted February 25, 1864, at 
Porter; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Nash, Eugene D., Paw Paw; enlisted August 30, 1864, at Wa- 
verly; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Niles, Augustus; enlisted August 30, 1864, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged August 30, 1865. 

Oaks, Samuel E. ; enlisted February 27, 1864, at Antwerp ; died 
at Alexandria, Virginia, May 28, 1865; buried in National cem- 
etery at Alexandria. % 

Pratt, Warren, South Haven; enlisted December 24, 1861, at 
South Haven; transferred to U. S. Engineers; discharged Sep- 
tember 20, 1865. 

Price, Andrew A.; enlisted November 6, 1861; discharged for 
disability July 3.1, 1862. 

Prindle, Lawrence E., Waverly; enlisted August 30, 1864, at 
Waverly; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Stilwell, Tra, Porter; enlisted December 30, 1861, at Porter; 
wounded in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, September 20, 1863; 
discharged January 30, 1865. 

Van Wickle, William B. ; enlisted February 15, 1864, at Ant- 
werp : taken prisoner at Goldsboro, North Carolina : discharged 
June 3, 1865. 

Varnum, John, Mattawan; enlisted .August 21, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Welch, John A., Paw Paw; enlisted August 30, 1864; discharged 
June 15, 1865. 

Williams, Cantine R., Mattawan; enlisted February 15, 1864, 
at Antwerp ; corporal ; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Williams, Smith G., Mattawan; enlisted October 23, 1861, at 
Mattawan ; sergeant ; wounded in action at Chickamauga, Geor- 
gia, September 19, 1863; second lieutenant, March 19, 1864; first 
lieutenant, May 12, 1865; captain July 5, 1865; discharged July 
25, 1865. 

Company D : Allen, Anson, Paw Paw ; enlisted December 10, 
1863, at Bloomingdale; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Bell, Ephraim N. ; enlisted December 20, 1863, at Blooming- 
dale; died at Nashville, Tennessee, March 28, 1864; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery at Nashville. 

Bush, Sylvanus, Bloomingdale; enlisted December 16, 1863, at 
Bloomingdale; discharged July 12, 1865. 

Cadwell, Levi, Lawrence; enlisted September 3, 1864, at Cooper; 
discharged June 8, 1865. 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 203 

Doran, William, Decatur; enlisted November 1, 1861, at Deca- 
tur; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Foote, Cortes F., Paw Paw; enlisted October 19, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability July 16, 1862. 

Howard, Orange F., Paw Paw; enlisted February 3, 1863, at 
Bloomingdale ; died at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, August 13, 
1864; buried in National cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee, grave 
No. 1393. 

Joy, Andrew J.; enlisted December 14, 1863, at Waverly, died 
at Stevenson, Alabama, February 10, 1864. 

Lull, Abner, Mattawan; enlisted December 31, 1861, at Mat- 
tawan; died at Hillsboro, Tennessee, August 4, 1863; buried in 
National cemetery at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, grave No/ 3059. 

Northrup, John L., Lawrence; enlisted November 17, 1861, at 
Lawrence; discharged for disability, July 12, 1862; died May 7, 
1888. 

Reynolds, Oscar A., Bangor; enlisted September 7, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Reynolds, Simeon, Bangor; enlisted in September, 1864, at Ar- 
lington ; discharged June 8, 1 865 ; died February 6, 1903. 

Stedman, George, Paw Paw; enlisted December 10, 1863, at Wa- 
verly; died at Bridgeport, Alabama, January 14, 1865; buried in 
National cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, grave No. 10976. 

Vanderveer, Oscar D., Paw Paw; enlisted August 31, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; discharged June 28, 1865; died at Paw Paw. 

Vandervoort, Clark; enlisted November 21, 1861, at Hartford; 
died at Nashville, Tennessee, September 4. 1863 : buried in Na- 
tional cemetery at Nashville. 

Vaughn, George W., Bloomingdale; enlisted December 14, 1863, 
at Bloomingdale ; discharged May 20, 1865. 

Company E : Acker, Charles W., Hartford ; enlisted January 
5, 1862, at Kalamazoo; discharged for disability July 12, 1862. 

Brown, Orra S., Paw Paw; enlisted December 7, 1863, at Wa- 
verly; sergeant; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Burridge, George W., Keeler; enlisted October 13, 1861, at 
Hamilton; died at Nashville, Tennessee, December 6, 1862; buried 
in National cemetery at Nashville. 

Cannum, James; enlisted October 5, 1861, at Lawton; trans- 
ferred to Invalid Corps, September 30, 1863. 

Cotton, Joshua, Paw Paw; enlisted February 11, 1862, at Do- 
wagiac ; discharged in June, 1863. 

Fowler, John R. ; enlisted October 22, 1861, at Silver Creek; 
discharged January 16, 1865. 

Henry, William, Lawrence; enlisted December 12, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged September 12, 1862; dead. 



204 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Jay, Henry; enlisted October 5, 1861, at Decatur; transferred 
to Invalid Corps September 1, 1863. 

Johnson, Andrew, Jr.; enlisted September 19, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability October 8, 1863. 

Lillie, Arthur L., Waverly ; enlisted March 27, 1865, at AVaverly ; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

McNeil, David ; enlisted October 22, 1861, at Keeler ; discharged 
September 14, 1862. 

Parrish, Nathaniel C, Paw Paw; enlisted September 20, 1861, 
at Paw Paw ; died at Nashville, Tennessee, April 4, 1862 ; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Robbins, William; enlisted December 5, 1861, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged January 18, 1865. 

Rogers, Henry A.; enlisted October 6, 1861, at Lawtoii ; musi- 
cian; discharged October 5, 1862. 

Sams, George W. ; enlisted at Paw Paw, October 23, 1861 ; dis- 
charged for disability September 27, 1862 ; reentered service in 
Company II, Twelfth Infantry; discharged February 15, 1866. 

Saxton, Byron; enlisted September 10, 1861, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged January 20, 1863. 

Slocum, Henry E., Lawrence; enlisted February 11, 1862, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged for disability, July 22, 1862. 

Tatman, William S. ; enlisted October 22, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Trumbull, Guy E. ; enlisted February 11, 1862, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged for disability, July 29, 1862. 

Tyler, Elisha, Jr., Paw Paw; enlisted September 14, 1861, at 
Paw Paw ; discharged July 25, 1865 ; died at Paw Paw, November 
3, 1902. 

Wilson, James, Paw T Paw; enlisted October 19, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; sergeant ; transferred to Invalid Corps, September 30, 1863 ; 
discharged January 17, 1865; served in regular army from 1862 
to 1867. 

Wetherbee, John B. ; enlisted August 30, 1864, at Kalamazoo ; 
died at Savannah, Georgia, December 19, 1864. 

Company F: Beaman, Azor; drafted from Hartford, mustered 
September 24, 1864; died of disease at Savannah, Georgia, Jan- 
uary 12, 1865; buried in National cemetery at Beaufort, South 
Carolina, section 41, grave No. 4648. 

Cady, Philo; enlisted April 11, 1865, at Paw Paw; discharged 
May. 15, 1865. 

Hainmell, John H., Hartford; drafted, mustered September 
24, 1864 ; wounded in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, March 
19, 1865; discharged June 29, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 205 

Stratton, Hiram L., Hartford ; drafted, mustered September 24, 
1864; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Company G: Allen, Henry, Waverly; enlisted December 23, 
1863, at Waverly; discharged for disability May 16, 1865. 

Ashley, William H. ; enlisted August 30, 1864, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged for disability October 26, 1864. 

Babbitt, William A. ; enlisted February 25, 1864, at Paw Paw ; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Belden, George W., Breedsville; enlisted October 23, 1861, at 
Breedsville ; discharged January 16, 1865. 

Bell, James, Waverly; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Waverly; 
discharged July 15, 1865. 

Bewley, George W. ; enlisted November 16, 1861, at Breeds- 
ville; sick at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, March, 1863; no further 
record. 

Bewley, Timothy; enlisted October 26, 1861, at Breedsville; 
discharged February 25, 1863; died March 14, 1894; buried at 
Breedsville. 

Bogardus, Joseph L., Breedsville; enlisted February 10, 1864, 
at Columbia; corporal; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Bush, Levi, Waverly; enlisted December 14, 1863, at Waverly; 
corporal; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Campbell, Walter H., Waverly; enlisted August 29, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged May 26, 1865. 

Campbell, Willard N., Waverly; enlisted August 29, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo ; sick at Goldsboro, North Carolina ; no further record. 

Cleveland, Lucius, Breedsville; enlisted October 28, 1861, at 
Breedsville; corporal; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Dean, Euberto, Almena; enlisted August 30, 1864, at Almena; 
killed in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 1865. 

Dean, Marshall, Paw Paw; enlisted August 20, 1864; 'taken 
prisoner March 10, 1865 ; discharged July 29, 1865. 

Davis, John H. ; drafted from South Haven ; mustered Septem- 
ber 24, 1864; died at Indianapolis, Indiana, October 24, 1864; 
buried at Indianapolis. 

Fox, James P. ; enlisted March 27, 1865, at Waverly ; discharged 
May 15, 1865. 

Foster, Simon P. ; enlisted October 26, 1861 ; taken prisoner at 
Milledgeville, Georgia, November 25, 1864; released February 26, 
1865; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Hannah, John H. ; drafted from Hartford ; mustered Septem- 
ber 24, 1864; sick June, 1865; no further record. 

Hays, Daniel F., Waverly; enlisted December 18, 1863, at De- 
troit; discharged July 25, 1865. 



206 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Hooper, Charles I)., Porter; enlisted February 25, 1864, at Ka- 
lamazoo; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Howard, James M. ; enlisted February 23, 1864, at Columbia ; 
died at Tullahoma, Tennessee, June 16, 1864. 

Johnson, George; enlisted February 20, 1864, at Waverly; dis- 
charged July 25, 1865. 

Johnson, Henry B. ; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Paw Paw; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Johnson, William H. ; enlisted October 16, 1861, at Schoolcraft ; 
sergeant; wounded in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, Septem- 
ber 19, 1863 ; discharged July 29, 1865. 

Joy, Obadiah, Bloomingdale ; enlisted December 20, 1863, at 
Waverly; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Kent, George, Waverly ; enlisted February 20, 1864, at Waverly ; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Kidney, Byron II., Porter; enlisted January 13, 1862, at Ka- 
lamazoo; discharged for disability, August 4, 1863. 

Lyon, Amasa ; enlisted November 6, 1861, at Breedsville; dis- 
charged June, 1863 ; re-entered service in Company C, First Cav- 
alry, January 28, 1864; discharged for disability June 18, 1865. 

Murch, William; enlisted September 6, 1861, at Waverly; ser- 
geant, and first sergeant ; discharged for disability April 21, 1862 ; 
re-entered service January 11, 1864, as second lieutenant ; resigned 
on account of disability May 26, 1864. 

Myers, Chauncey A. ; enlisted February 23, 1864, at Waverly ; 
died at Jackson, Michigan, May 26, 1864. 

Niles, John W. ; enlisted October 23, 1861, at Breedsville; dis- 
charged January 16, 1865. 

Price, Andrew A. ; enlisted November 6, 1861 ; discharged for 
disability July 31, 1862. 

Rice; Charles H. ; enlisted December 12, 1861 , at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged for disability, July 8, 1862. 

Robinson, John T., Bloomingdale; enlisted December 14, 1863, 
at Bloomingdale; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Rundell, James S., Breedsville ; enlisted January 17, 1862 ; died 
at Gallatin, Tennessee, December 30, 1862; buried in National 
cemetery at Nashville. 

Smith, John P., Paw Paw; enlisted September 3, 1864, at Jack- 
son; died December 15, 1864; buried in National cemetery at 
Beaufort, South Carolina, section 48, grave No. 5799. 

Taylor, Ezekiel V. ; enlisted October 26, 1861, at Breedsville; 
discharged for disability, October 20, 1862. 

Valleau, William, Waverly; enlisted December 22, 1863, at Wav- 
erly, died at David's Island, New York, March 8, 1865, buried in 
National cemetery at Brooklyn, New York, grave No. 2355. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 207 

Walker, Robert; enlisted April 10, 1865, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged May 15, 1865. 

Company II: Abrams, Albert; enlisted August 31, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; died at Savannah, Georgia, January 10, 1865; buried 
at Detroit, Michigan. 

Barton, Nathan S., Lawrence ; enlisted January 1, 1862, at 
Lawrence ; corporal ; discharged June 26, 1865, on account of 
wounds received in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, March 
19, 1865. 

Bennett, James; enlisted at Waverly, February 27, 1864; dis- 
charged July 18, 1865. 

Bovier, James; drafted from Hartford; mustered September 
24, 1864 ; discharged June 13, 1865 ; died December 10, 1896. 

Brooks, George W., Hartford; enlisted February 10, 1863, at 
Hamilton, (substitute for Ansel Goodspeed drafted at Hartford, 
February 12, 1863) ; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Burch, Wilson; enlisted February 18, 1863, at Hamilton, (sub- 
stitute for Archibald Richardson drafted February 10, 1863, at 
Bloomingdale) ; discharged for disability, May 5, 1864. 

Clark, Joshua; enlisted February 27, 1864, at Paw Paw; 
wounded in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 
1865; discharged June 16, 1865. 

Coon, Edward M., Paw Paw; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Ant- 
werp; taken prisoner near Rockingham, South Carolina, March 
8, 1865; confined in prison at Danville, Virginia; discharged 
June 7, 1865. 

Davis, John H. ; drafted from South Haven; mustered Sep- 
tember 24, 1864; died of disease at Indianapolis, Indiana, October 
24, 1864. 

De Long, George, Hamilton; enlisted August 29, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged May 6, 1865. 

Dustin, William D. ; enlisted February 27, 1865, at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Dustin, Albert M. ; enlisted February 27, 1864, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Dunton, Edwin; enlisted April 6, 1865, at Almena; discharged 
May 15, 1865. 

Edson, Mortimer J., Paw Paw; enlisted February 27, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Ellison, James; enlisted February 27, 1863, at Hamilton, (sub- 
stitute for Milo J. Barton; drafted February 14, 1863, at Ham- 
ilton) ; discharged for disability November 15, 1863. 

Erkenbeck, Martin V., Mattawan ; enlisted February 26, 1864, 
at Kalamazoo; discharged May 25, 1865. 



208 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Gibson, Charles; drafted from South Haven; mustered Sep- 
tember 24, 1864; discharged July 13, 1865. 

Hale, Jerome; drafted from South Haven; mustered Septem- 
ber 24, 1864; discharged June 8, 1865; dead; buried at South 
Haven. 

Hill, Henry W. ; drafted from South Haven; mustered Sep- 
tember 24, 1864; sick, January 31, 1865; no further record. 

Hill, Ira M., Paw Paw; enlisted February 22, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 16, 1865. 

Holmes, Alvin P., Antwerp; enlisted October 5, 1861, at Ant- 
werp; discharged July 28, 1865. 

Holmes, Philemon B., Mattawan; enlisted February 26, 1864, 
at Kalamazoo ; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Huey, p]nos; enlisted February 27, 1864, at Waverly; died at 
Millen, Georgia, December 4, 1864. 

Hannah, John H. ; drafted at Hartford ; mustered September 24, 
1864 ; sick, June, 1865 ; no further record. 

Herron, Ashbel; enlisted March 9, 1864, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged July 25, 1865. 

Loveridge, John, Paw Paw; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Ant- 
werp; discharged June 8, 1865; died January 15, 1901. 

Lane, Irving H. ; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged July 25, 1865; died November 29, 1900; buried at 
Paw Paw. 

McGregor, Malcolm ; drafted from South Haven ; mustered 
September 24, 1864; discharged May 25, 1865; died July 11, 1899; 
buried at South Haven. 

Mather, Spencer; enlisted February 22, 1864, at Paw Paw; 
died at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, July 20, 1864; buried in 
National cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, grave No. 1300. 

Myers, Francis P., Paw Paw; enlisted February 27, 1864, at 
Bloomingdale ; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Myers, George W. ; enlisted February 20, 1864, at Waverly ; 
discharged July 20, 1865. 

Osborne, Eugene; enlisted August 20, 1864, at Paw Paw; died 
on march through Georgia ; buried in National cemetery at Beau- 
fort, South Carolina, section 41, grave No. 4645. 

Rhoades, Orrin, Almena; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Riehl, Charles; enlisted February 20, 1864, at Waverly; killed 
in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 1865. 

Sirrine, William R., Paw Paw; enlisted February 27, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; sergeant and first sergeant; commissioned second lieu- 
tenant, July 19, 1865; discharged July 25, 1865; present resi- 
dence Paw Paw. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 209 

Soules, George W., Mattawan; enlisted August 24, 1864, at 
Jackson; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Strong, Elijah; enlisted March 3, 1864, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged July 25, 1865. 

Warner, Jerome C, Paw Paw; enlisted February 26, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; corporal; wounded in action at Bentonville, North 
Carolina, March 19, 1865; discharged June 22, 1865; present 
residence Paw Paw. 

Welch, Charles, Waverly; enlisted August 30, 1864, at Wav- 
erly; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Woodman, Edson, Paw Paw; enlisted August 27, 1864; dis- 
charged July 22, 1865, on account of wounds received in action at 
Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 1865; present residence, 
Paw Paw. 

Wood, George, Paw Paw; enlisted August 20, 1864, at Kalama- 
zoo; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Company I : Byers, James A. ; drafted from South Haven ; 
mustered September 24, 1864; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Chapman, Alvin, Arlington; drafted from Almena; mustered 
September 26, 1864; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Cook, Joseph S. ; enlisted as substitute for Edwin Olds, (drafted 
from Hartford) ; mustered October 7, 1864; no further record. 

Culver, Arvis B. ; enlisted December 5, 1863, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged June 19, 1865. 

Fish, Miram ; drafted from South Haven ; mustered Septem- 
ber 24, 1864, discharged July 10, 1865. 

Freeman, David II.; enlisted March 31, 1865, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Gorham, Bradford C. ; enlisted December 29, 1863, at Keeler; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

Lee, James F. ; drafted from South Haven ; mustered Septem- 
ber 24, 1864; discharged June 8, 1865; died August 14, 1898. 

Kidney, Zenas, Lawton; enlisted February 29, 1864, at Law- 
ton; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Kinney, Warren G., Antwerp ; enlisted March 9, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged July 29, 1865. 

Martin, James; enlisted August 29, 1864, at Kalamazoo; died 
April 23, 1865, of wounds received in action at Bentonville, North 
Carolina, March 19, 1865 ; buried at New Berne, North Carolina. 

Company K : Allen, Edmund R. ; enlisted November 12, 1861, 
at Mattawan; sergeant; first sergeant; wounded in action at 
Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19, 1863; discharged January 
16, 1865. 

Allen, Erastus V. ; enlisted February 1, 1862, at Mattawan ; dis- 
charged for disability, November 1.5, 1863 ; died March 5, 1894. 



210 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Anderson, George E., Mattawan; enlisted February 27, 1864, 
at Antwerp; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Anderson, William, Mattawan; enlisted February 12, 1862, at 
Lawton; corporal, discharged July 25, 1865. 

Baker, Alverton, Lawrence; enlisted February 7, 1862, at 
Lawrence; died at Hamburg Landing, Tennessee, June 26, 1862; 
buried in National cemetery at Shiloh, Tennessee. 

Baker, Charles A. ; enlisted February 13, 1865, at Antwerp ; 
discharged July 19, 1865. 

Baker, Chester, Mattawan; enlisted March 15, 1862; at Mat- 
tawan; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Baker, Royal W., Hartford; enlisted December 12, 1861, at 
Bangor; discharged for disability, July 12, 1862. 

Baker, William M., drafted from Hartford, mustered Septem- 
ber 24, 1864, wounded and missing in action at Bentonville, North 
Carolina, March 19, 1865, no further record. 

Balfour, Harrison, Mattawan; entered service at organization 
of regiment as second lieutenant. First lieutenant, July 13, 1862 ; 
resigned on account of disability, March 5, 1863. 

Balfour, Harrison M., Lawrence; enlisted November 12, 1861, at 
Bangor ; corporal ; died at Cave City, Kentucky, November 5, 1862 ; 
buried in National cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee. 

Berzley, Francis A., Pine Grove; enlisted August 22, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Berzley, William R., Pine Grove; enlisted February 25, 1863, 
at Bloomingdale, (as substitute for Starr I. Butler, drafted Feb- 
ruary 10, 1863, from Bloomingdale) ; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Birge, Washington I. ; enlisted December 12, 1861, at Hartford ; 
corporal; discharged for disability May 30, 1863. 

Bishop, Joshua, enlisted December 14, 1861, at Mattawan; 
taken prisoner at Crawfish Springs, Georgia, September 20, 1863 ; 
discharged July 1, 1865; died January 13, 1910; buried at Paw 
Paw. 

Blandon, Othniel H., enlisted December 9, 1861, at Bangor; 
discharged June 9, 1862. 

Boss, Andrew J., Antwerp; enlisted November 23, 1861, at 
Mattawan ; discharged for disability June 25, 1865. 

Boss, William, Mattawan; enlisted November 15, 1861, at Mat- 
tawan; discharged for disability September 9, 1862; dead; buried 
at Fairgrove, Michigan. 

Bush, Elijah, Waverly; enlisted December 14, 1863, at Wa- 
verly ; died near Sister's Ferry, Georgia, January 20, 1865. 

Butler, Dimick, Mattawan; enlisted November 15, 1861, at Mat- 
tawan ; discharged July 25, 1865. 



HISTOKY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 211 

Butler, Ellis, Mattawan; enlisted February 13, 1864, at Ant- 
werp; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Byington, Elmore A., Bangor; enlisted November 14, 1861, at 
Breedsville; sergeant; died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, March 
22, 1863 ; buried in National cemetery at Murfreesboro ; grave No. 
5689. 

Brick, Jeremiah; (substitute for Andrew Monroe drafted,) 
mustered October 7, 1864; discharged June 9, 1865. 

Clark, Cyrus F. ; enlisted November 12, 1861, at Bangor; dis- 
charged for disability March 3, 1863. 

Cleveland, William; enlisted December 7, 1861, at Bangor; cor- 
poral; discharged January 16, 1865. 

Clugston, George; enlisted December 11, 1861, at Mattawan; 
died March 21, 1865, of wounds received at Bentonville, North 
Carolina, March 19, 1865. 

Cook, Joseph 0., Lawrence; enlisted November 29, 1861, at 
Lawrence; discharged for disability, July 12, 1862. 

Covey, Alphonso, Paw Paw; enlisted December 20, 1863, at 
Waverly ; taken prisoner March 4, 1865 ; discharged July 20, 1865. 
Curtis, Charles L. ; enlisted November 30, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged for disability September 8, 1862. 

Daggett, Danford; enlisted December 7, 1861, at Bangor; dis- 
charged January 17, 1861 ; died May 5, 1903. 

Dean, William W., Bangor; enlisted December 14, 1861, at 
Bangor; discharged July 25, 1865. 

De Long, Nathan, enlisted December 9, 1861, at Hartford; dis- 
charged for disability June, 1863; drafted from Hartford; mus- 
tered September 24, 1864; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Dyckman, Michael F. ; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Paw Paw; 
died at Savannah, Georgia, February 1, 1865; buried in National 
cemetery at Brooklyn, New York; grave No. 2388. 

Dye, Horace, Mattawan; enlisted February 27, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Earle, Adelbert T., Mattawan; enlisted December 15, 1861, at 
Mattawan; killed in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, September 
19, 1863. 

Earle, Albert, Arlington; enlisted December 13, 1861, at Ar- 
lington; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged July 25, 
1865. 

Earle, James L., Mattawan; enlisted November 12, 1861, at Mat- 
tawan; killed in action at Chickamauga, Georgia; September 19, 
1863. 

Fitch, De Witt C, Mattawan; entered service at organization 
of regiment as captain; promoted to major, September 22, 1862; 
resigned on account of disability April 12, 1864; died at Paw Paw. 



212 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Gilpin, William T. ; enlisted December 7, 1861, at Breedsville ; 
corporal; wounded in action September 19, 1863; discharged 
January 18, 1865. 

Griffin, Alexander; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Antwerp; 
discharged June 8, 1865. 

Hamlin, Amos M., Lawrence; enlisted August 29, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged July 11, 1865. 

Hamlin, Frederick J. D., Paw Paw; enlisted February 23, 
1864, at Paw Paw; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Hamlin, Julius P., Lawrence; enlisted August 29, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; died at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 25, 1864; buried 
in National cemetery at Chattanooga; grave No. 1477. 

Hamlin, William C. ; enlisted December 13, 1861, at Arlington; 
corporal ; missing in action at Chickamauga, Georgia ; September 
19, 1863; no further record. 

Handyside, Reuben; enlisted November 12, 1861, at Mattawan; 
discharged for disability November 8, 1862. 

Hoppin, Franklin; enlisted November 12, 1861, at Mattawan; 
wounded in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19, 1863 ; 
discharged April 4, 1865. 

Hosner, Sylvester, Mattawan; enlisted February 20, 1864, at 
Antwerp; wounded in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, 
March 19, 1865; discharged July 18, 1865; dead; buried at 
Geneva, Michigan. 

Hudson, Charles; enlisted December 24, 1863, at Almena ; dis- 
charged July 25, 1865. 

Hudson, Joel, Mattawan; enlisted December 13, 1861, at Mat- 
tawan; wounded in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, September 
19, 1863 ; corporal ; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Hurlbut, Chester, Lawrence ; enlisted August 27, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; died at De Camp hospital, New York harbor, March 7, 
1865 ; buried in Cypress National cemetery, Brooklyn, New York. 

Jackson, Joshua; enlisted November 23, 1861, at Mattawan; 
corporal; taken prisoner at Chickamauga, Georgia, September 
10, 1863; discharged March 10, 1865. 

Johnson, Aaron H. ; enlisted December 4, 1861, at Mattawan; 
discharged September 27, 1862. 

Johnson, William 0., Bangor; enlisted November 22, 1861, at 
Bangor; died at Nashville, Tennessee, June 7, 1862; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Kemp, Solomon, Hartford; enlisted February 25, 1863, at * 
Hartford (substitute for John Travis, drafted from Hartford) ; 
died at Nashville, Tennessee, June 30, 1863; buried in National 
cemetery at Nashville. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 213 

Ketchum, Oliver, Almena; enlisted December 10, 1861, at Mat- 
tawan; corporal; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Ketchum, John; enlisted February 27, 1864, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged July 26, 1865. 

Kidder, James F. ; enlisted December 19, 1861, at Arlington ; 
corporal; discharged March 10, 1865. 

Kidder, Moses L., Lawrence ; enlisted August 29, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; wounded in action December 28, 1864; taken to hospital 
at Savannah, Georgia; no further record. 

Kidder, Sherburne, Lawrence; enlisted December 13, 1861, at 
Arlington, corporal; promoted to sergeant and to first sergeant; 
discharged July 25, 1865. 

King, Samuel J., Mattawan; enlisted November 12, 1861, at 
Mattawan; died at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, April 22, 
1862; buried in National cemetery at Shiloh, Tennessee; grave 
No. 597. 

Layton, Harvey E., Arlington; enlisted November 26, 1861, at 
Arlington ; died at Nashville, Tennessee, December 1, 1862 ; buried 
in National cemetery at Nashville. 

Lett, Aquilla, Paw Paw; enlisted September 1, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 8, 1865; died February 20, 1902. 

McManigal, William H., Mattawan; enlisted December 10, 
1861, at Mattawan; died at Kalamazoo, February 21, 1862. 

McPherson, William; enlisted November 18, 1861, at Mattawan; 
discharged for disability August 20, 1862. 

Marcellus, Andrew, Bangor; enlisted November 18, 1861, at 
Bangor; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Marshall, Nelson S. ; enlisted December 12, 1861, at Bangor; 
discharged June 14, 1862. 

Miller, George F., Antwerp; enlisted November 15, 1861, at 
Mattawan; died at Lookout Mountain, May 17, 1864, buried in 
National cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee; grave No. 1199. 

Miller, Jeremiah, Mattawan; enlisted November 14, 1861, at 
Mattawan; corporal; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Monroe, Richard, Mattawan; enlisted February 10, 1863, at 
Hamilton (substitute for James Comley, drafted from Hamilton) ; 
discharged August 9, 1865. 

Nelson, Francis M., Lawrence; enlisted February 7, 1862, at 
Lawrence; died at Nashville, Tennessee, August 5, 1862; buried 
in National cemetery at Nashville. 

Nichols, Edmond, Mattawan; enlisted December 2, 1861, at 
Mattawan ; died October 19, 1863, of wounds received in action at 
Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19, 1863; buried in National 
cemetery at Nashville. 



214 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Nightingale, Anthony; enlisted December 10, 1861, at Matta- 
wan; discharged June 1, 1862. 

Palmer, Alfred B. ; enlisted August 29, 1864, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged July 25, 1865. 

Reynolds, Oscar G., Hartford; enlisted August 30, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Robinson, William H. H., Breedsville; enlisted Nov. 12, 1861, 
at Mattawan ; died at New Albany, Indiana, November 9, 1862 ; 
buried in National cemetery at New Albany; grave No. 1151. 

Rooker, Myron D. ; enlisted November 20, 1861, at Breedsville ; 
discharged October 6, 1862. 

Rowe, Rufus M., Lawrence; enlisted December 2, 1861, at 
Lawrence; corporal; promoted to sergeant and to first sergeant; 
discharged January 16, 1865. 

Samson, Edwin 0., Lawrence; enlisted February 7, 1862; dis- 
charged for disability July 25, 1862. 

Shaver, Isaac, Arlington; enlisted November 12, 1861, at Ar- 
lington; musician; died at Nashville, Tennessee, September 12, 
1862; buried in National cemetery, at Nashville. 

Shulters, David H., Mattawan; enlisted November 14, 1861, at 
Mattawan; killed in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, March 
19, 1865. 

Smith, Robert C. ; enlisted December 6, 1861, at Arlington ; 
discharged for disability October, 1862. 

Smith, Samuel H., Lawrence; enlisted January 25, 1862, at 
Bangor; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged July 25, 
1865. 

Spencer, Charles F. ; enlisted December 6, 1861, at Bangor ; 
discharged June 20, 1862. 

Story, Edgar; Mattawan; enlisted December 13, 1861, at Mat- 
tawan; died October 18, 1863, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, of 
wounds received in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, September 
19, 1863. 

Story, Lorenzo D., Pine Grove; enlisted December 9, 1861, at 
Mattawan; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged July 25, 
1865. 

Story, William R. ; enlisted December 9, 1861, at Mattawan ; 
discharged for disability January 26, 1864. 

Stover, Martin, Antwerp; enlisted November 21, 1861, at Mat- 
tawan; discharged for disability June 25, 1865. 

Sumner, Noble, Lawrence; enlisted November 21, 1861, at 
Lawrence; died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, March 9, 1863; 
buried in National cemetery at Murfreesboro; grave No. 7. 

Stanton, John L. ; enlisted April 12, 1865, at Kalamazoo; dis- 
charged May 15, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 215 

Taplin, George A., Lawrence; enlisted November 21, 1861, at 
Lawrence ; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Vandervoort, Nathan G. Hartford; enlisted September 3, 
1864, at Hickory Corners; died at Savannah, Georgia, January 
18, 1865 ; buried in National cemetery at Beaufort, South Caro- 
lina, section 41, grave No. 4652. 

Van Ostrom, Hawley; enlisted February 7, 1862, at Hartford; 
discharged December 15, 1862. 

Van Sickle, Benjamin, Lawton; enlisted December 9, 1861, at 
Paw Paw ; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Waite, Amos, Paw £aw; enlisted December 2, 1861, at Matta- 
wan; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Wallace, Henry C, Lawrence; enlisted August 29, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; wounded in action at Bentonville, North Carolina, 
March 19, 1865; died at De Camp hospital, New York Harbor, 
May 29, 1865 ; buried in Cypress Hill cemetery, Brooklyn, New 
York. 

Ward, Abram R., Mattawan ; enlisted November 12, 1861, at 
Mattawan; died at Town Creek, Alabama, June 27, 1862; buried 
in National cemetery at Corinth, Mississippi. 

Welker, John, Lawrence; enlisted November 29, 1861, at Ban- 
gor; killed in action at Stone River, Tennessee, December 31, 
1862. 

West, Hopkins; enlisted August 26, 1864, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged June 8, 1865. 

White, James, Jr., Lawrence; enlisted November 21, 1861, at 
Hartford; discharged for disability July 12, 1862. 

Williams, Daniel F. ; enlisted November 30, 1861, at Mattawan ; 
mustered January 17, 1862; no further record. 

Unassigned: Cannum, James; enlisted October 5, 1861, at Law- 
ton; transferred to Invalid Corps, September 39, 1862. 

Harris, George W. ; enlisted August 27, 1864, at Paw Paw ; 
discharged May 6, 1865. 

Heffron, Eugene; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Paw Paw; 
mustered same date; no further record. 

Seventeenth Michigan Infantry 

Then up with the Banner, let Southern breezes fan her, 

It shall float o 'er Columbia evermore, 
In glory we'll sustain her, in battle we'll defend her, 

With heart and with hand like our fathers before. 

The Seventeenth Infantry, the celebrated "Stonewall Kegi- 
ment," rendezvoused at Detroit in the spring of 1862 and started 
for Washington on the 27th day of the succeeding August under 
command of Colonel William H. Withington, with an enrolment 



216 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

of 982 officers and enlisted men, was at once assigned to the First 
Brigade, First Division, Ninth Army Corps, and continued to 
form a part of this celebrated corps during its entire period of 
service. 

At South Mountain 

Perhaps no other Michigan regiment had such a serious test 
of its patriotism, courage and soldierly qualities so soon after ar- 
riving in the field as the Seventeenth. Scarcely two weeks after 
it left the state it participated in one of the severest engagements 
of the war, considering the numbers engaged — the battle of South 
Mountain, Maryland, where the Ninth Corps attempted to cross 
the mountain through Turner's gap and drive the Confederates 
from the summit. 

The Seventeenth had been so recently organized and was so in- 
experienced in actual warfare that the men did not realize the 
desperate task they were assigned until the enemy's shot and 
shell were crashing through their ranks. 

Almost at a moment's notice the regiment was plunged into 
the horrible realities of a pitched battle. On the crest of the 
mountain, behind stone walls, the enemy awaited the advance of 
the Union forces. The orders came for the Seventeenth to charge, 
when with w r ild cheers the regiment rushed through a storm of 
lead, drove the enemy from his stone defences and sent him re- 
treating down the slope of the mountain. 

In this charge the Seventeenth secured the title of the "Stone- 
wall Regiment, " w r hich clung to it as an honorable distinction 
during the war. The regiment carried approximately 500 men 
into this engagement and lost 140 in killed and wounded. 

The Seventeenth had strenuous work during the entire period 
of its service. Some of the more important battles in which it 
participated w T ere South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, 
siege of Vicksburg, siege of Knoxville, The Wilderness, Spottsyl- 
vania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Weldon Railroad. 

After the battle of the Wilderness, in which the regiment was 
nearly annihilated, it practically lost its position in the brigade 
for want of numbers and lack of regimental organization and the 
few that remained were detailed in the engineer corps and at 
headquarters. After Lee's surrender, the regiment proceeded to 
Washington and participated in the Grand Review on the 23d of 
May, 1865, after which it was ordered to Michigan, arriving at 
Detroit, June 7th, where it was paid off and disbanded. 

Total enrolment, 1,224; killed in action, 84; died of wounds, 
48; died in Confederate prisons, 54; died of disease, 84; dis- 
charged for disability, wounds and disease, 249. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 217 

There were but comparatively few Van Buren county men in 
the Seventeenth. Following is a list: 

Company I: Bailey, Harry, Lawrence; enlisted May 29, 1862, 
at Lawrence ; died at Newport News, Virginia, March 8, 1863. 

Brotherton, Frederick, Decatur; enlisted May 29, 1862, at De- 
catur; died at Washington, District Columbia, September 12, 
1862. 

Combs, William, Lawrence; enlisted May 29, 1862, at Law r - 
rence ; discharged for disability, September 12, 1862. 

Dilts, Hezekiah, Lawrence ; enlisted May 29, 1862, at Lawrence ; 
wounded in action at South Mountain, Maryland, September 14, 
1862; sergeant; discharged June 3, 1865. 

Dunning, John T., Decatur; enlisted May 29, 1862, at Deca- 
tur; taken prisoner at Knoxville, Tennessee, November 20, 1863; 
returned to regiment April 30, 1864; promoted to sergeant; dis- 
charged April 20, 1865. 

Dexter, Norman; enlisted at Decatur May 29, 1862; discharged. 

Flanders, Henry, Paw Paw; enlisted August 12, 1862, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged June 3, 1865; died March 29, 1882; buried at 
Paw Paw. 

Grey, James, Decatur; enlisted May 29, 1862, at Decatur; died 
at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, November 11, 1863; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery at Camp Nelson; grave No. 1544. 

Griffin, Ross A., Lawrence; enlisted June 7, 1862, at Lawrence; 
discharged for disability November 5, 1862. 

Hodges, Herrick, Lawrence; first enlisted in Company C, 
Seventieth New York Infantry; discharged for disability Octo- 
ber 24, 1861 ; enlisted in Company I, Seventeenth Michigan In- 
fantry, May 29, 1862, at Lawrence; sergeant; wounded in action 
at Antietam, Maryland, September 17, 1862; discharged^ for dis- 
ability June 1, 1863; present residence, South Haven. 

Hodges, Orrin W., Lawrence; enlisted May 29, 1862, at Law- 
rence; corporal; wounded in action at Antietam, Maryland, Sep- 
tember 17, 1862; discharged for disability, April 14, 1863. 

Lindsley, Floyd, Lawrence; enlisted July 23, 1862, at Law 
rence; discharged for disability, January 5, 1863. 

McGann, Porter, Decatur; enlisted August 15, 1862, at Deca- 
tur; wounded in action at Sharpsburg, Maryland, September 17 
1862; discharged. 

Nichols, John, Lawrence; enlisted May 29, 1862, at Lawrence 
taken prisoner at Spottsylvania, Virginia, May 12, 1864; dis- 
charged June 3, 1865. 

Pritchard, George, Decatur; enlisted July 22, 1862, at Decatur 
discharged November 27, 1863. 

Robb, John, Lawrence; enlisted May" 29, 1862, at Lawrence 



218 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; discharged July 17, 1865; 
died at Paw Paw. 

Smith, John Philip, Lawrence; enlisted May 29, 1862, at Law- 
rence; discharged December 30, 1862; present residence, Waverly. 

Other Companies: Slover, John F. Waverly; enlisted in Com- 
pany B, July 22, 1862, at Niles ; discharged June 3, 1865. 

Hadsell, Stephen B., Bloomingdale ; drafted February 26, 1863; 
assigned to Company E ; discharged December 16, 1863. 

Nineteenth Michigan Infantry 

Come, come, ye braves — aye come! 

The battle dawn is nigh; 
The screaming trump and rolling drum 

Are calling you to die! 

The Nineteenth Michigan Infantry was organized at Dowagiac 
under the direction of Colonel Henry C. Gilbert, and was mustered 
into service September 5, 1862, with an enrolment of 995 officers 
and enlisted men. The regiment left its camp for Cincinnati, 
Ohio, September 14, 1862, and became a part of the First Di- 
vision of the Army of the Ohio. In January, 1863, it was incor- 
porated into Baird's Division of the Army of Kentucky, subse- 
quently absorbed by the Army of the Cumberland. 

The first serious engagement in which the Nineteenth partici- 
pated was at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, where it displayed 
those soldierly qualities of heroism and bravery that afterward 
distinguished it on many a hard-fought field of battle. The di- 
vision to which the regiment was attached was furiously assaulted 
by a Confederate force under General Yan Dorn, estimated at 
18,000 men, and a fierce conflict ensued. The Confederates made 
three separate charges which were gallantly repulsed, in one of 
which the Nineteenth captured the colors of a Mississippi regi- 
ment. The battle lasted five hours and until the ammunition was 
exhausted and the overwhelming number of the Confederates 
made it necessary to surrender. The loss of the Nineteenth in 
this engagement was 113 killed and wounded. Nor did the Union 
troops surrender until the enemy had paid dearly for his victory. 

After the officers had been exchanged and the enlisted men pa- 
roled, the regiment was reorganized at Camp Chase, Ohio, and in 
June returned to Nashville and took part in the advance upon 
Tullahoma. The Nineteenth assisted in fortifying McMinnville, 
Tennessee, in October, and at that time was in the Second Bri- 
gade, Third Division, Twentieth Corps. 

The regiment was employed on the fortification about McMinn- 
ville in building bridges and block houses until May, when it 
joined General Sherman's army on the Atlanta campaign. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 219 

At Resaca, Georgia, May 15, 1864, the Nineteenth made a des- 
perate charge upon the enemy's line and almost in the nature of a 
forlorn hope gallantly captured a battery, but at a fearful loss of 
life. Colonel Gilbert was mortally wounded and the regiment lost 
80 officers and men killed and wounded. Major E. A. Griffin suc- 
ceeded to the command of the regiment after the death of Colonel 
Gilbert, which occurred May 24th, and on the 25th of May, fought 
a severe engagement at New Hope Church, Georgia, with a loss of 
over 50 killed and wounded. The Nineteenth took an active part 
during the entire campaign, engaging the enemy at Golgotha 
Church, where Major Griffin was mortally wounded, at Culp's 
Farm and at Peach Tree Creek, near Atlanta, where it was as- 
sailed by the enemy and lost 40 in killed and wounded in repuls- 
ing the attack. Upon the surrender of Atlanta, the Nineteenth 
moved into the city and remained until October. 

Major Baker succeeded to the command of the regiment and 
w T hen General Sherman started with his army on his march from 
" Atlanta to the Sea," the Nineteenth was still a part of the Sec- 
ond Brigade, Third Division, Twentieth Corps, and moved by 
way of Madison, Louisville, and Millen upon Savannah. 

After the fall of Savannah, the Nineteenth, under command of 
Major Anderson, started on the campaign through the Carolinas. 
It shared the long marches and vicissitudes of Sherman's army 
and arrived befort Averysboro, North Carolina, January 16, 1865, 
where the Confederate Generals Johnston and Hardee had thrown 
up strong works and massed their infantry to oppose General 
Sherman's farther advance. The brigade of which the Nineteenth 
formed a part was ordered to storm the works and by a gallant 
charge carried them, taking many guns and prisoners. This was 
the last hard fought battle in which the Nineteenth was engaged, 
as General Lee surrendered the army of Northern Virginia to 
General Grant, April 9th, and General Johnston surrendered his 
army to General Sherman a few days later. 

The Nineteenth marched from Bentonville to Raleigh, and then 
to Alexandria, Virginia, and participated in the grand review of 
Sherman's army at Washington, D. C, May 24th. 

The Nineteenth was mustered out of service June 10, 1865, and 
arrived at Detroit, Michigan, the 13th, when it was paid off and 
disbanded. 

The Nineteenth was in engagements at Thompson's Station, 
Tennessee, March 5, 1863; Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, 
Tennessee, October 5, 1863 ; Resaca, Georgia, May 15, 1864 ; Cass- 
ville, Georgia, May 19, 1864 ; New Hope Church, Georgia, May 25, 
1864; Golgotha, Georgia, June 15, 1864; Culp's Farm, Georgia, 
June 22, 1864; Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 1864; siege 



220 HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 

of Atlanta, Georgia July 22, to September 2, 1864; Savannah, 
Georgia, December 11, 18, 20, 21, 1864; Averysboro, North Caro- 
lina, March 16, 1865; Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 
1865. 

Total enrolment, 1,206; killed in action, 54; died of wounds, 
81; died in Confederate prisons, 7; died of disease, 182; dis- 
charged for disability, wounds and disease, 182. 

Folio wing is a list of the names of Van Buren county soldiers 
who served in the Nineteenth : 

Company A: Brodhead, Daniel W., Lawrence; enlisted August 
24, 1864, at Kalamazoo; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Freelove, Joseph, Keeler; enlisted August 4, 1862, at Dowagiac; 
discharged for disability, March 24, 1863. 

Larzelere, Reuben B., Hamilton; enlisted at organization as 
second lieutenant; resigned August 8, 1868; died at Lansing, 
Michigan, in November, 1902. 

Lee, George, Keeler; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Dowagiac; 
discharged June 10, 1865. 

Stever, Charles E., Keeler; enlisted August 2, 1862, at Dow- 
agiac; killed in action at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 
5, 1863. 

Frost, Frank, Lawrence; enlisted August 15, 1864, at Law- 
rence; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Company G: Bailey, Augustus, South Haven; enlisted July 
16, 1862, at South Haven; sergeant; promoted to first sergeant; 
wounded in action at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 
1863 ; died at Murf reesboro, Tennessee, September 5, 1863 ; buried 
in National cemetery at Murf reesboro. 

Beechner, John, Decatur; enlisted August 9, 1862, at Decatur; 
died at Lynchburg, Virginia, March 22, 1863; buried at Lynch- 
burg. 

Bigelow, Charles W., South Haven; entered service as captain, 
July 17, 1862, at South Haven; died near Chattanooga, Tennes- 
see, of wounds received in action at New Hope Church, Georgia, 
May 25, 1864. 

Brainard, Clark D. ; enlisted August 9, 1862, at Decatur ; died 
at Lexington, Kentucky, December 30, 1862; buried in National 
cemetery at Lexington; grave No. 186. 

Breed, William, South Haven; enlisted July 14, 1862, at South 
Haven; taken prisoner at Thompson Station, Tennessee, March 5, 
1863; died at Richmond, Virginia, March 19, 1863; buried in 
National cemetery at Richmond. 

Brown, Charles H., South Haven; enlisted July 18, 1862, at 
South Haven; died at Nicholasville, Kentucky, December 15, 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 221 

1862; buried in National cemetery at Camp Nelson, Kentucky; 
grave No. 1574. 

Brown, Elijah M., Keeler; enlisted December 15, 1863, at Pon- 
tiac; discharged July 19, 1865. 

Company I: Brown, Elijah M., Keeler; enlisted November 28, 
1863, at Pontiac; discharged July 19, 1865. 

Buttrick, William L., Keeler; enlisted January 4, 1864, at 
Wayne; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Klett, John M., Keeler; enlisted December 30, 1863, at Kala- 
mazoo; wounded in action at Altoona, Georgia, May 26, 1864; 
transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; discharged July 23, 1865. 

Klett, George, Keeler; enlisted December 30, 1863, at Kala- 
mazoo; died at Chattanooga, Tennessee, of wounds received at 
Chattanooga River, Georgia, June 10, 1864; buried in National 
cemetery at Chattanooga. 

Linsenmeyer, Christian, Keeler; enlisted January 2, 1863, at 
St. Joseph; discharged July 19, 1865. 

Linsenmeyer, William, Keeler; enlisted January 4, 1864, at 
Keeler; discharged July 19, 1865. 

Palmer, John, Keeler; enlisted December 19, 1863, at Pontiac; 
discharged July 19, 1863. 

Brown, Erastus P. ; enlisted July 16, 1862, at Pine Grove ; dis- 
charged for disability November 24, 1863. 

Butterfield, Charles A., Paw Paw; enlisted September 12, 1862, 
at Hartford; wounded in action at Thompson's Station, Tennes- 
see, March 5, 1863 ; corporal ; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Carroll, Thomas W., South Haven; enlisted July 14, 1862, at 
South Haven, died at Covington, Kentucky, November 22, 1862; 
buried in National cemetery, Covington; grave No. 1895. 

Chambers, William, Decatur; enlisted August 8, 1862, at De- 
catur; discharged for disability, June 8, 1863. 

Chapman, New T ton F. ; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Decatur; 
corporal; promoted to sergeant; wounded in action at Resaca, 
Georgia, May 15, 1864 ; discharged June 5, 1865. 

Clark, Chester, Decatur; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Decatur; 
discharged for disability February 25, 1863. 

De Long, Silas B., Hartford; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Ar- 
lington; discharged August 1, 1865, on account of wounds re- 
ceived in action at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 26, 1864: 

Delongay, Henry, Breedsville; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Ar- 
lington; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Dopp, Cyrus B., South Haven; enlisted August 11, 1862, at 
South Haven; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Dunham, John A., Hartford; enlisted August 1, 1862, at Hart- 
ford; died May 17, 1864, of wounds received in action at Resaca, 



222 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Georgia, May 5, 1864; buried in National cemetery at Chatta- 
nooga, Georgia ; ^rave No. 8993. 

Eaton, Moses E. F.; enlisted August 2, 1862, at Covert; dis- 
charged for disability June 22, 1862. 

Evans, Isaac K., Keeler; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Dowagiac; 
discharged for disability, April 19, 1863; dead; buried at Grand 
Junction, Michigan. 

Evans, Selah L, Keeler; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Keeler; 
discharged for disability June 17, 1863. 

Foster, Jonathan W., South Haven; enlisted August 4, 1862, 
at South Haven; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged 
June 10, 1865. 

Freeman, Charles, South Haven; enlisted August 7, 1862, at 
South Haven; corporal; promoted to sergeant; wounded in ac- 
tion at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 1863; dis- 
charged May 19, 1865. 

Gilpin, Elias E. Geneva; enlisted July 18, 1862, at Geneva; 
corporal; wounded July 22, 1864; killed in action at Averysboro, 
North Carolina, March 16, 1865; buried in National cemetery at 
Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Gowers, George, Keeler; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Keeler; 
taken prisoner at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 1863; 
paroled ; died at Annapolis, Maryland, April 5, 1863. 

Graham, John, Decatur; enlisted August 15, 1862, at Decatur: 
wounded in action at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 
1863; sergeant and color bearer; second lieutenant, June 15, 
1865; dead; buried at Decatur. 

Hand, Patrick, Decatur; enlisted August 8, 1862, at Decatur; 
corporal; no further record. 

Harvey, Thomas M., Bangor; enlisted August 1, 1862, at Ban- 
gor; corporal; wounded in action at Resaca, Georgia; discharged 
June 19, 1865; died at Bangor. 

Heald, James, Hartford; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Hart- 
ford; transferred to Marine Brigade; discharged January 18 y 
1865. 

Hinckley, Gershom, South Haven; enlisted August 11, 1862, at 
South Haven; died at Nashville, Tennessee, March 20, 1863; 
buried in National cemetery at Nashville. 

Horton, Thomas Arlington; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Ar- 
lington ; corporal ; promoted to sergeant ; taken prisoner at 
Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 1865; confined in Libby 
Prison; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Hubbard, William H., South Haven; enlisted July 14, 1862, 
at South Haven; discharged June 12, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUKEN COUNTY 223 

Hughes, James, Arlington; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Ar- 
lington; corporal; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Hughes, Philip, Keeler; enlisted August 15, 1862, at Keeler; 
discharged June 10, 1865. 

Hugnin, Van Renssellaer R., Waverly; enlisted August 11, 
1862, at Columbia; sick at Camp Chase, Ohio, June, 1863, re- 
entered service in Co. H, 13th Infantry, February 25, 1864; dis- 
charged July 25, 1865. 

Kingston, John W., Breedsville; enlisted August 12, 1862, at 
Columbia; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Kleckner, Frederick, South Haven; enlisted August 7, 1862, a( 
South Haven; wounded in action at Thompson's Station, Ten- 
nessee, March 5, 1863 ; wounded in action at Peach Tree Creek, 
Georgia, July 20, 1864; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Lewis, Jacob H., Keeler; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Keeler; 
discharged June 10, 1865. 

McLaughlin, Archibald, Bangor; enlisted July 16, 1862, at 
Bangor ; first sergeant ; second lieutenant, January 6, 1863 ; re- 
signed on account of disability May 25, 1864; died 1890; buried 
at Goodrich, Tennessee. 

McNitt, Manley B. ; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Hartford; 
wounded in action at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 
1863; wounded in action at Resaca, Georgia, May 15, 1864; pro- 
moted to corporal; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Messenger, Aaron, Decatur; enlisted July 31, 1862, at Decatur; 
died at Columbia, Tennessee, March 31, 1863, while a prisoner, 
of wounds received at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 
1863. 

Nyman, A. J., Bangor; enlisted August 31, 1862, at Bangor; 
sergeant; second lieutenant, June 1, 1864; taken prisoner October 
27, 1864; paroled; resigned and honorably discharged April 24, 
1865. 

Olds, Albert J., Hartford ; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Hartford ; 
corporal; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Olds, Allen O., Hartford; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Hart- 
ford; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Olds, Almon H., Decatur; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Page, Ephraim R., South Haven; enlisted August 4, 1862, at 
South Haven; corporal; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Page, James L., South Haven; enlisted August 4, 1862, at 
South Haven; discharged June 5, 1865. 

Page, John, South Haven; enlisted August 4, 1862, at South 
Haven; died at Nashville, Tennessee, June 14, 1864, of wounds 



224 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

received in action at Resaca, Georgia, May 15, 1864; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Pierce, Almon J., South Haven; enlisted August 15, 1862, at 
South Haven ; transferred to Marine Brigade ; discharged Janu- 
ary 17, 1865. 

Rea, John, Bangor; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Bangor; cor- 
poral; wounded before Atlanta, Georgia, August 3, 1864; died 
April 9, 1898; buried at Taylor, Michigan. 

Reams, Uriah, Arlington; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Bangor; 
discharged for disability July 15, 1863; died at Bellevue, Michi- 
gan, March 3, 1904. 

Root, Henry D., Porter; enlisted August 12, 1862, at Porter; 
discharged for disability November 18, 1862. 

Sayles, Benjamin C, Decatur; enlisted August 12, 1862, at De- 
catur; died at McMinnville, Tennessee, May 23, 1864. 

Shaff, Andrew J., Geneva; enlisted July 15, 1862, at Geneva; 
discharged June 10, 1865 ; present residence, Lawton. 

Shearer, John M., enlisted March 4, 1864, at Hamilton; trans- 
ferred to 10th Infantry; discharged July 19, 1865. 

Shepard, Sears J., South Haven; enlisted August 9, 1862, at 
South Haven; wounded in action at Culp's Farm, Georgia, June 
22, 1864; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Smith, Charles D., Lawrence; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Law- 
rence; corporal; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Stafford, John A., Decatur; enlisted as second lieutenant at 
organization of regiment ; promoted to first lieutenant ; resigned 
on account of disability July 27, 1863. 

Stone, Jerome, Decatur; enlisted August 12, 1862, at Decatur; 
discharged June 10, 1865. 

Stone, Solomon R., Decatur; enlisted August 12, 1862, at De- 
catur; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Stone, William S., Decatur; enlisted August 9, 1862, at De- 
catur; discharged for disability November 14, 1862. 

Stuyvesant, Azariah D., Decatur; enlisted August 9, 1862, at 
Decatur; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Sweet, Aaron, Decatur; enlisted August 8, 1862, at Decatur; 
discharged for disability April 25, 1863. 

Sweet, Lyman S., Decatur; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Deca- 
tur; wounded in action at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 
1864; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Sweet, Samuel L., Decatur; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Deca- 
tur; discharged for disability April 23, 1863. 

Tittle, George W., Porter ; enlisted August 8, 1862, at Decatur ; 
accidentally killed at Porter, Michigan, June 2, 1863. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUBEN COUNTY 225 

Todd, Gilmore, Hamilton; enlisted August 12, 1862, at Hamil- 
ton; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Van Hise, Orlando, Decatur; enlisted July 31, 1862, at De- 
catur; sergeant; promoted to first sergeant; discharged Decem- 
ber 3, 1863, to accept promotion in 17th U. S. colored troops. 

Van Horn, Jared, Bangor; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Ban- 
gor ; died at Nashville, Tennessee, March 12, 1863 ; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery at Nashville. 

Vincent, John W., Decatur; enlisted August 9, 1862, at De- 
catur; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Watson, Phineas F., Geneva; enlisted August 14, 1862, at 
Geneva; fifer; discharged June 10, 1865. 

White, Henry, Columbia; enlisted August 8, 1862, at Breeds- 
ville; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Wilson, John, South Haven; enlisted July 14, 1862, at South 
Haven; first sergeant; first lieutenant November 1, 1864; dis- 
charged June 10, 1865. 

Other Companies: Crofoot, Benjamin, Porter; enlisted August, 
1862, in Company F, at Schoolcraft; discharged May 26, 1865. 

Graham, William A., Decatur; enlisted August, 1862, at De- 
catur, in Company H ; died at Richmond, Virginia, from exposure 
while a prisoner, April, 1863. 

Twenty-Fourth Michigan Infantry 

Our country! Forever Ave swear 'neath the blue, 
Thy name and thy fame spotless forever shall be. 
Thine honor we'll guard — hearts and hands ever true — 
Columbia! We owe all and give all to thee. 

The Twenty-fourth Michigan Infantry was largely recruited in 
the eastern part of the state and rendezvoused at Detroit. The 
regiment was mustered into service on the 15th day of August, 
1862, under command of Colonel Henry A. Morrow. Its service 
was almost wholly in the east and it participated in a large num- 
ber of battles, notably at Fredericksburg, Port Eoyal, Chancel- 
lorsville, The Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Har- 
bor and the siege of Petersburg. 

The regiment was eventually ordered to Springfield, Illinois, 
for special duty and while there acted as escort at the funeral of 
our first martyred president, the immortal Abraham Lincoln. It 
was mustered out of the service at Detroit, June 30, 1865. 

Total enrolment, 2,104; killed in action, 125; died of wounds, 
42; died in Confederate prisons, 28; died of disease, 109; dis- 
charged for disability, wounds and disease, 254. 

There were but few Van Buren county men in the Twenty- 
fourth. Their names were as follows : Campbell, David H. ; en- 
voi. 1—15 



226 HISTORY OF VAN BURBN COUNTY 

listed in Company F, July 30, 1862, at Detroit ; missing in action 
at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1, 1863; returned to regiment 
in August, 1863 ; corporal, promoted to sergeant ; discharged 
June 30, 1865. 

Daniels, Chester, Hamilton; enlisted in Company F, August 
25, 1864; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Dean, Porter A., Paw Paw; enlisted in Company H, March 
21, 1865, at Paw Paw ; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Hawkins, Anthony; enlisted in Company B, March 20, 1865, at 
Antwerp; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Head, Jerome, Decatur; enlisted in Company C, August 22. 
1864, at Kalamazoo; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Parrish, Isaac F., Lawton; enlisted in Company K, February 
14, 1865, at Kalamazoo; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Ward, Richard A., Lawton; enlisted in Company K, February 
14, 1865; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Twenty-Fifth Michigan Infantry 

The following named soldiers were members of the Twenty- 
fifth Michigan Infantry : Bennett, John J., Porter ; enlisted August 
12, 1862, at Lockport, in Company G; discharged June 24, 1865. 

Fitch, De Witt C, Mattawan; major, formerly captain Com- 
pany K, Thirteenth Michigan Infantry; resigned February 12, 
1864, on account of disability. 

Kinney, Stephen H., Porter; enlisted April 11, 1862, at Lock- 
port, in Company D; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Ridlon, John M., Paw Paw; enlisted August 27, 1862; first 
lieutenant and quartermaster; discharged June 24, 1865; present 
residence, Lawrence. 

Ryder, Jonathan, Keeler; enlisted August, 1862, at Keeler, in 
Company C; died of disease at Louisville, Kentucky, February 
29, 1864 ; buried in Cave Hill National cemetery, Louisville. 

Snow, Franklin C, Lawton; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Niles; 
in Co. F ; discharged for disability February 5, 1863. 

Stevens, Jared A., Almena; enlisted August 13, 1862, at Osh- 
temo, in Co. H ; discharged June 24, 1865. 

Vining, Leander O., Arlington; enlisted August 10, 1862, in Com- 
pany I, at Oshtemo; died at Washington, District Columbia, 
March 9, 1865; buried in National cemetery at Arlington, Vir- 
ginia. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 227 

Twenty-Eighth Michigan Infantry 

Ho! comrades, see the starry flag, broad waving at our head! 
Ho! comrades, mark the tender light on the dear emblem spread! 
Our fathers' blood has hallowed it, 'tis part of their renown, 
And palsied be the caitiff that would pull its glories down. 

The Twenty-eighth was organized by consolidating the Twenty- 
eighth, which rendezvoused at Marshall, and the Twenty -ninth, 
which rendezvoused at Kalamazoo. The several companies were 
mustered into service at different dates, and the organization of 
the regiment was completed at Kalamazoo, October 26, 1864, with 
an enrolment of 886 officers and men. 

The Twenty-eighth left Kalamazoo, October 26th, for Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, and upon arrival was sent to Camp Nelson, Ken- 
tucky, where it took charge of a wagon train en route for Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, where it arrived December 5th, and reported for 
duty to General Thomas. 

The regiment, under command of Colonel Wheeler who had 
formerly served in the Twenty-third Infantry, took a gallant 
part in the battle of Nashville Dec. 12th to the 16th, in repelling 
the Confederates under General Hood, who was defeated with 
great loss and driven in confusion out of the state. 

After the battle of Nashville, the Twenty-eighth was assigned 
to the Twenty-third Corps, and when at Louisville, Kentucky, was 
ordered early in January, 1865, to proceed w r ith its corps to Alex- 
andria, Virginia, where it embarked upon transports for More- 
head City, North Carolina. It then moved to Newberne and then 
to Wilmington, to cooperate with General Sherman's army, then 
marching north through the Carolinas. 

At Wise Forks, the Twenty-eighth was engaged for three days, 
the enemy making determined assaults on the Union lines, but 
were repulsed in every instance. The Twenty-eighth was in the 
thickest of the fighting, and lost during the engagements seven 
killed and thirteen wounded. The regiment then marched inland 
to Kingston and reached Goldsboro, North Carolina, on the 21st, 
where it was assigned to duty in guarding the Atlanta and North 
Carolina railroad. 

After General Lee and General Johnston surrendered, the Twenty- 
eighth was on duty at Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington and New- 
berne until it was mustered out of service, June 5, 1866, at Raleigh, 
North Carolina. The regiment at once returned to Detroit, Michi- 
gan, where it was paid and disbanded, June 8, 1866. 

Total enrolment, 980; killed in action, 7; died of wounds, 3; 
died of disease, 101 ; discharged for disability (wounds and dis- 
ease), 47. 



228 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The names of Van Buren County soldiers serving in the Twenty- 
eighth are as follows: 

Company G : Allen, Erastus V. ; enlisted September 3, 1864, at 
Hartford; acting sergeant major July, 1865; discharged June 5, 
1866. 

Andrews, Sherman; enlisted September 1, 1864, at Columbia; 
killed in action at Wise's Forks, North Carolina, March 10, 1865. 

Baldwin, Moses; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Hartford; dis- 
charged February 15, 1866. 

Bancroft, Daniel J.; enlisted September 24, 1864, at Hartford; 
died at Alexandria, Virginia, February 14, 1865; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery at Alexandria. 

Barnes, James; enlisted September 20, 1864, at Covert; dis- 
charged for disability, December 21, 1865. 

Bartlett, Andrew; enlisted September 9, 1864, at Hartford; 
sergeant; discharged April 14, 1866. 

Beebe, Eri, Decatur; entered service at organization of regiment 
as second lieutenant; promoted to captain; resigned September 
12, 1865 ; died at Decatur. 

Birge, Washington I. ; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Decatur ; 
discharged June 5, 1866. 

Blackmer, Daniel R. ; enlisted September 15, 1864, at Decatur ; 
discharged June 5, 1866. 

Butcher, Charles C. ; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Lawrence ; 
died at Newberne, North Carolina, March 26, 1865; buried at 
Newberne. 

Cannon, James; enlisted September 7, 1864, at Antwerp; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Clay, William H., Lawrence; enlisted September 5, 1864, at 
Lawrence; commissary sergeant; discharged Sept 13, 1865; died 
April 4, 1896; buried at Lawrence. 

Cooper, James L. ; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Decatur ; dis^ 
charged May 21, 1865. 

Cook, Joseph C. ; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Lawrence; dis- 
charged May 26, 1865. 

De Long, Henry, Hartford; enlisted September 3, 1864, at Ka- 
lamazoo; corporal; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Doty, Charles, Hartford; enlisted September 19, 1864, at Hart- 
ford, discharged June 5, 1866. 

Dowzer, John; enlisted September 6, 1864, at Antwerp; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Drake, Israel M., Arlington; enlisted August 31, 1864, at Arling- 
ton; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Drake, James N., Hartford ; enlisted September 1, 1864, at Law- 
rence ; discharged for disability, December 6, 1864. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 229 

Draper, Augustus H., Lawrence; enlisted September 20, 1864, 
at Lawrence; quarter-master sergeant; discharged May 14, 1866; 
died April 21, 1903; buried at Lawrence. 

Dyer, La Rue; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Decatur; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Earl, George H. ; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Decatur ; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Easton, Pulaski; enlisted September 12, 1864, at Hartford; dis- 
charged May 22, 1866. 

Farmer, Edwin R., Decatur; entered service as first lieutenant 
at organization of regiment ; promoted to captain ; discharged June 
5, 1866. 

Fitzpatrick, John; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Hartford; 
died at Alexandria, Virginia, February 1, 1865; buried at Alex- 
andria. 

Foreman, Edward, Lawrence; enlisted September 5, 1864; dis- 
charged June 7, 1865. 

Gibbs, Amos; enlisted September 14, 1864, at Bangor; died at 
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, February 9, 1864; buried in Alleghany 
cemetery at Pittsburg. 

Gray, Charles C. ; enlisted October 3, 1864, at Antwerp; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Herrington, Lewis; enlisted September 12, 1864, at Antwerp; 
corporal; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Irish, Justus A., Keeler; enlisted September 21, 1864; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Kelly, Charles ; enlisted September 3, 1864, at Bangor ; corporal ; 
discharged September 13, 1865 ; died April 14, 1890. 

McAllister, Ezra; enlisted September 1, 1864, at Decatur; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

McNitt, Orville F. ; enlisted September 13, 1864, at Lawrence ; 
first sergeant; promoted to second lieutenant; discharged June 5, 
1866. 

Mahard, John, Lawton ; enlisted September 13, 1864, at Lawton ; 
sergeant; discharged April 16, 1866; previously served in Com- 
pany C, Third Michigan Cavalry. 

Mahoney, Ned, Lawton ; enlisted September 2, 1861, at Antwerp ; 
discharged November 9, 1865 ; deceased ; buried at Dowagiac. 

Mance, Henry; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Waverly; cor- 
poral; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Mason, Marion; enlisted September 20, 1864, at Decatur; dis- 
charged November 15, 1864. 

Mentor, Russell W. ; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Decatur; 
discharged June 5. 1866. 



230 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Nesbitt, Thomas S. ; enlisted September 20, 1864, at Porter; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Nichols, Tyler; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Decatur; dis- 
charged June 14, 1865. 

Olcott, Orlin F. ; enlisted August 3, 1864, at Hartford ; dis- 
charged June 12, 1865. 

Olds, Ira C. ; enlisted September 23, 1864, at Decatur; died at 
Detroit, March 4, 1865 ; buried at Detroit. 

Page, Wallace H., Lawrence; enlisted September 5, 1864, at 
Lawrence; corporal; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Potter, Harvey ; enlisted September 24, at Bangor ; discharged 
May 26, 1865. 

Privette, Robert H. ; enlisted September 6, 1864, at Porter ; cor- 
poral; discharged August 25, 1865. 

Rhodes, Forice, Bangor; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Law- 
rence; discharged September 13, 1865. 

Root, Reuben, Lawrence; enlisted September 1, 1864, at Deca- 
tur; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Root, Stephen; enlisted September 27, at Bangor; discharged 
June 5, 1866 ; died September 5, 1889 ; buried at Bangor. 

Russell, Philo M. ; enlisted September 2, 1 864, at Lawrence ; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Ryan, William; enlisted September 5, 1864, at Antwerp; dis- 
charged June 5, 1866. 

Salisbury, Joseph ; enlisted September 15, 1864, at Ant/werp ; 
discharged June 5, 1866. 

Salisbury, Joseph A. ; enlisted September 3, 1864, at Antwerp ; 
discharged June 5, 1866. 

Shaffer, Jefferson D. ; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Decatur ; 
discharged May 10, 1865. 

Smith, Lyman T. ; enlisted September 28, 1864, at Bangor ; died 
on board of transport in New York harbor, August 22, 1865 ; buried 
in Cypress Hill cemetery at Brooklyn, New York, grave No. 3161. 

Spicer, Daniel, Lawton; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Antwerp; 
promoted to second lieutenant; discharged May 15, 1865, on ac- 
count of wounds received in action at Wise's Forks, North Caro- 
line, March 8, 1865 ; present residence Paw Paw. 

Stedman, Morris; enlisted September 2, 1864, at Lawrence; dis- 
charged June 8, 1865. 

Tillou, James D. ; enlisted September 10, 1864, at Antwerp; cor- 
poral ; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Traver, Cassius M. C. ; enlisted September 10, 1864, at Hart- 
ford; died at Charlotte, North Carolina, August 28, 1865. 

Upton, John B., Lawrence; entered service as first lieutenant 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 231 

and quartermaster at organization of regiment, discharged June 
5, 1866 ; died October 21, 1896 ; buried at Big Rapids, Michigan. 

Van Sickle, John M., Lawton; enlisted September 12, 1864, at 
Antwerp ; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Wells, George W. ; enlisted September 19, 1864, at Antwerp ; 
discharged June 13, 1865. 

Witter, William; enlisted September 20, 1864, at Porter; dis- 
charged May 25, 1865. 

Young, John G. ; enlisted September 1, 1864, at Decatur ; cor- 
poral; promoted to sergeant; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Other Companies: Gorham, Allen, Almena; enlisted in Com- 
pany C, October 4, 1864, at Kalamazoo ; sergeant ; promoted to first 
sergeant; discharged June 5, 1866; previously served in Company 
C, Seventh New T York Infantry. 

Cook, Joseph A., Lawrence; enlisted in Company A, xUigust 30, 
1864; discharged for disability, June 26, 1865. 

Conley, Dorey; enlisted in Company D, August 27, 1864, at 
Columbia; discharged June 5, 1866, 

Graham, Isaac, enlisted in Company D, September 3, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; died at Louisville, Kentucky, March 30, 1865; buried 
in Cave Hill cemetery, at Louisville. 

Storey, Barker C. ; enlisted in Company E, September 15, 1864, 
at Bloomingdale ; discharged for disability February 18, 1865. 

Wetmore, Edward M. ; enlisted in Company E, September 12, 
1864, at Kalamazoo; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Coburn, Delmont J.; enlisted in Company IT, September 10, 
1864, at Decatur, first sergeant; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Platts, George, Bloomingdale; enlisted in Company IT, Septem- 
ber 10, 1864, at Decatur; first sergeant; promoted to second lieuten- 
ant, aide-de-camp and acting assistant adjutant general; commis- 
sioned first lieutenant; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Gallegher, Daniel; enlisted in Company I, October 3, 1864, at 
Bangor; discharged July 13, 1865. 

Nichols, William H. ; enlisted in Company I, September 12, 1864, 
at Kalamazoo; corporal; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Smith, Abram A.; enlisted in Company I, September 27, 1864, 
at Kalamazoo; discharged June 5, 1866. 

Yalleau, Freeman, Waverly; enlisted in Company K, Septem- 
ber 30, 1864, at Kalamazoo; discharged June 5, 1866. 



CHAPTER X 

CIVIL WAR CAVALRY 
First Michigan — Third Cavalry — Justice to Cavalry Regi- 
ments — Fourth Michigan Cavalry — Capture of Jefferson 
Davis — Ninth Michigan — Capture of Morgan — First and 
Last. 

The combat deepens, On, ye brave, 
Who rush to glory or the grave! 
Wave, Michigan, all thy banners wave, 
And charge with all thy chivalry! 

The First Michigan Cavalry was organized at Detroit and mus- 
tered into the service of the government September 13, 1861, with 
an enrolment of 1,144 officers and enlisted men. 

The regiment left the state September 29, 1861, for Washing- 
ton, D. C, and went into camp at Frederick, Maryland, at which 
place it remained for several months. It comprised a part of Gen- 
eral Banks' forces and in February, 1862, moved to Harper's 
Ferry and later entered the Shenandoah valley, advancing as far 
as Winchester and pushing the enemy before them. The regi- 
ment distinguished itself in many skirmishes while advancing up 
the valley, and made a number of brilliant charges which at- 
tracted the attention of the commanding general and which re- 
ceived complimentary mention in orders. Banks had too meager a 
force to hold his advanced position and so fell back to Williams- 
port fighting most of the w T ay, as the enemy had succeeded in get- 
ting between him and Willamsport and at the same time were 
pressing his rear with a force that outnumbered his command. In 
this movement the First Cavalry did brilliant work and only fell 
back when greatly outnumbered by the Confederate forces. 

The regiment remained at Williamsport until June 12th, when 
it began to take part in General Pope's Virginia campaign. It 
was in Banks' command when he fought the battle of Cedar Moun- 
tain. 

The regiment was engaged in the battle of Manassas, August 
30, and suffered severely, the brave Colonel Brodhead losing his 
life on that occasion. 

The regiment afterward became a part of the famous Michigan 
Cavalry Brigade commanded by the brilliant young General Cus- 

232 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 233 

ter, and remained with that brigade until the close of the war. The 
regiment participated in Sheridan's celebrated raid in the rear of 
Lee's army, and took part in the severe fighting that occurred in 
the advance upon Richmond and upon the return. 

After the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, the 
First was ordered to North Carolina, but returned to Washing- 
ton in time to take part in the Grand Review at Washington on 
the 23d of May, 1865, after which it was ordered to the then far 
west and suffered many hardships in a campaign against the In- 
dians. This action on the part of the war department was the 
subject of severe criticism. The war was ended and the regiment 
had completed its term of service, which, like all the volunteer 
troops, was "three years or during the war" and to exact this 
further service after the brilliant record made by the regiment, 
was regarded as rank injustice. 

The official records show that the First Cavalry participated 
in seventy different battles and skirmishes with the Confederate 
forces, some of the principal ones being as follows: Winchester, 
March 23, 1862; Winchester, May 24, 1862; Cedar Mountain, Au- 
gust 9, 1862; Manassas, August 30, 1862; Gettysburg, July 3, 
1863; Culpepper Court House, September 14, 1863; Richmond, 
March 1, 1864; Wilderness, May 6 and 7, 1864; Cold Harbor, May 
30 and June 1, 1864, and again at the same place July 21, 1864; 
Winchester, August 11, 1864; Appomattox, April 8 and 9, 1865; 
and with the Indians at Willow Springs, Dakota, August 12, 1865. 

The regiment was paid off and disbanded at Salt Lake, Utah, 
March 10, 1866, after four and one-half years of hard and faith- 
ful service. 

Total enrolment, 2,490; killed in action, 96; missing in action, 
40 ; died of wounds, 52 ; died as prisoners of war, 58 ; died of di- 
sease, 172; accidentally killed, 4; drowned, 2; killed by Indians, 
1 ; discharged for disability, 209. 

Company D: Boudoin, Cyrus; enlisted January 20, 1864, at 
Bangor; discharged June 3, 1865. 

Cuthbertson, Thomas; enlisted January 15, 1864, at Bangor; 
discharged June 9, 1865. 

Defoe, John; enlisted January 15, 1864, at Bangor; absent 
without leave October 10, 1865; no further record. 

Donahue, Thomas; enlisted January 25, 1864, at Bangor; dis- 
charged June 6, 1865. 

Keating, Philip; enlisted January 20, 1864, at Bangor; dis- 
charged for disability, June 6, 1865. 

Company E: Beach, Levi S. ; enlisted February 27, 1865; died 
January 2, 1866; buried at Alexandria, Virginia, grave No. 2949. 

Bugby, Alvin M. ; enlisted March 2, 1865, at Columbia; died 



234 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

June 11, 1865 ; buried in National cemetery at Benton Barracks, 
Missouri, grave No. 1416. 

Burch, William H. ; enlisted February 15, 1865, at Porter; dis- 
charged March 25, 1866. 

Cleveland, Jewett; enlisted February 8, 1865, at Columbia; dis- 
charged October 7, 1865. 

Cleveland, Zelon; enlisted February 9, 1865, at Columbia; dis- 
charged July 17, 1865. 

Company I: Bentley, Augustus W., Paw Paw; enlisted Sep- 
tember 5, 1861, at Kalamazoo; corporal; killed in action at Get- 
tysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863. 

Eastman, Oscar A., Paw Paw; enlisted August 21, 1861, at Ka- 
lamazoo; sergeant: died October 25, 1864, of wounds received in 
action at Winchester, Virginia ; buried in National cemetery at 
Winchester, lot No. 73. 

Hungerford, Lucius E., Paw Paw; enlisted September 5, 1861, 
at Detroit; died at Washington, D. C, November 1, 1861. 

Judson, Lucius L., Paw Paw; enlisted September 4, 1861, at 
Kalamazoo; corporal; discharged May 1.1, 1866. 

Munger, Ira A., Paw Paw; enlisted August 21, 1861, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged for disability. 

Munger, Samuel E., Paw Paw; enlisted September 2, 1861, at 
Kalamazoo; wagoner; discharged August 23, 1864; died at Paw 
Paw. 

Rickard, Edward J., Paw Paw: enlisted September 2, 1861, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged June 30, 1866. 

Shaw, Richmond L., Paw Paw; enlisted September 7, 186.1, at 
Detroit, taken prisoner at Trevellian Station, Virginia, June 11, 
1864; discharged January 23, 1866. 

Skinner, Trving II., Paw Paw ; enlisted September 4, 1861 , at 
Kalamazoo; bugler; promoted to quartermaster sergeant; dis- 
charged for disability, November 14, 1862. 

Whitford, Alexander L., Paw Paw r ; enlisted September 5, 1861, 
at Kalamazoo ; died at Washington, D. C, July 10, 1862. 

Company K; Anger, Abner; enlisted October 31, 1863, at De- 
catur; taken prisoner at Trevellian Station, Virginia, June 11, 
1864; discharged June 16, 1865. 

Ayers, Hiram; enlisted November 23, 1863, at Columbia; dis- 
charged July 24, 1865. 

Bashford, Truman R. ; enlisted October 31, 1863, at Decatur; 
blacksmith ; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps ; discharged 
August 21, 1865. 

Bisbee, Floyd; enlisted February 22, 1865, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged March 10, 1866. 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 235 

Bronson, John G. ; enlisted November 21, 1863, at Columbia; 
discharged May 24, 1865. 

Caryl, Charles S., Columbia; enlisted November 23, 1863, at 
Columbia; discharged June 28, 1865. 

Conner, Isaac B., Paw Paw; enlisted February 17, 1865, at Ka- 
lamazoo; discharged March 10, 1866; died at Paw Paw. 

Cornell, David A.; enlisted February 22, 1865, at Paw Paw; 
discharged March 10, 1866. 

Dailey, Ebenezer; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Decatur; dis- 
charged March 10, 1866. 

Field, Cassius M. ; enlisted December 5, 1865, at Decatur; trum- 
peter; promoted to sergeant; discharged March 10, 1866. 

Finley, William, Jr.; enlisted November 6, 1863, at Decatur; 
promoted to regimental quartermaster sergeant; discharged March 
10, 1866. 

Flage, Martin; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Decatur; dis- 
charged July 10, 1865. 

Fonger, William ; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Decatur; died 
October 7, 1864; buried at Baltimore, Maryland. 

Gibbs, Hiram F. ; enlisted November" 30, 1863, at Decatur ; cor- 
poral ; died September 2, 1865; buried at Fort Leavenworth, Kan- 
sas. 

Creen, Clark II., Jr.; enlisted November 11, 1863, at Decatur; 
died at Andersonville, Georgia ; buried in National cemetery at 
Andersonville, grave No. 6482. 

Hammond, Henry M. C, Hartford; enlisted November 26, 1863, 
at Hartford; discharged June 16, 1865. 

Hanna, Hezekiah D. ; enlisted November 26, 1863, at Decatur; 
died at Washington, D. C, July 2, 1864; buried at Arlington, 
Virginia. 

Hayes, Orange, Decatur; enlisted December 10, 1863; discharged 
for disability, September 27, 1864. 

Hoard, Orlando; enlisted November 23, 1863, at Paw Paw, 
corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged June 30, 1866. * 

Hudson, Gilbert H. ; enlisted November 23, 1863, at Columbia; 
discharged July 7, 1865. 

Huntley, Cadmus C. ; enlisted October 21, 1863, at Hartford; 
corporal; discharged for disability May 3, 1865; died June 8, 1893; 
buried at Hartford. 

Trish, Charles II.; enlisted November 28, 1863, at Hartford; 
died at Point Lookout, Maryland, July 3, 1864. 

Johnson, Irving ; enlisted November 21 , 1 863 ; mustered Decem- 
ber 8, 1863 ; no further record. 

Jones, Joseph W. ; enlisted November 26, 1863, at Geneva; dis- 
charged June 16, 1865. 



236 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

June, Benjamin C. ; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Decatur; 
discharged March 10, 1866. 

Kenney, James; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Decatur; dis- 
charged July 10, 1866. 

Knowles, John; enlisted November 21, 1863, at Columbia; dis- 
charged July 7, 1865. 

Manuel, Peter ; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Lawrence ; died 
at Washington, D. C, July 29, 1864, of wounds received in ac- 
tion; buried in Arlington National cemetery at Washington. 

Manuel, William H. ; enlisted December 7, 1863, at Decatur; 
discharged March 10, 1866. 

Mather, Charles H. ; enlisted November 28, 1863, at Hartford; 
discharged June 21, 1866. 

Meachum, Simeon ; enlisted November 23, 1863, at Lawrence ; 
discharged May 18, 1865; died February 3, 1884; buried at Hart- 
ford. 

Munson, John, Decatur ; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Volinia ; 
saddler; promoted to first sergeant, second lieutenant and first 
lieutenant; discharged March 10, 1866. 

Northrup, Theodore G. ; enlisted October 29, 1863, at Decatur; 
quartermaster sergeant ; discharged May 19, 1865. 

Painter, Samuel H. ; enlisted December 14, 1863, at Arlington; 
died December 1, 1864; buried at Salisbury, North Carolina. 

Parmalee, Edward M. ; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Decatur; 
corporal; discharged July 10, 1865. 

Pierce, Charles H. ; enlisted October 29, 1863, at Paw Paw ; 
taken prisoner at Jericho Ford, Virginia, March 18, 1865; dis- 
charged June 1, 1865. 

Ransom, William W. ; enlisted November 17, 1863, at Hartford ; 
corporal; promoted to sergeant; died at Washington, D. C, Au- 
gust 3, 1864,. of wounds received in action; buried in Arlington 
National cemetery at Washington. 

Reed, Charles D. ; enlisted November 21, 1863, at Columbia ; 
corporal; killed in action August 20, 1864. 

Revere, Hiram; enlisted February 27, 1865, at Hartford; dis- 
charged August 18, 1865. 

Robinson, Walter; enlisted February 24, 1865, at Paw Paw; 
discharged July 29, 1865; died at Paw Paw. 

Shaul, Norman; enlisted November 17, 1863, at Decatur; ser- 
geant; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Smith, Luther J.; enlisted November 27, 1863, at Hartford; 
died at Washington, D. C, July 29, 1864. 

Smith, Topham; enlisted December 12, 1863, at Hartford; dis- 
charged June 16, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 237 

Southworth, Gillespie B. ; enlisted November 26, 1863, at Deca- 
tur ; discharged July 17, 1865. Present residence Paw Paw. 

Shattuck, Dewitt C. ; enlisted February 17, 1865, at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged December 5, 1865. 

Stephenson, Thomas H., Paw Paw; entered service as first 
lieutenant; commissioned October 3, 1862; discharged for dis- 
ability May 28, 1864; died at Paw Paw. 

Stoddard, Henry; enlisted March 11, 1865, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged March 10, 1866. 

Sutter, John; enlisted October 29, 1863, at Decatur; trans- 
ferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; discharged November 14, 1865. 

Taylor, Isaac ; enlisted December 10, 1863, at Decatur ; sergeant ; 
died August 30, 1864; buried in National cemetery at Philadel- 
phia, grave No. 293. 

Truesdale, Lewis B. ; enlisted November 21, 1863, at Geneva; 
corporal; promoted to sergeant; died at Winchester, Virginia, 
September 27, 1864, of wounds received in action. 

Tucker, William H. ; enlisted October 28, 1863, at Decatur ; first 
sergeant; promoted to second lieutenant and first lieutenant; dis- 
charged March 10, 1866. 

Wescott, James M. ; enlisted October 28, 1863, at Paw Paw ; 
killed in action at Hawes' Shop, Virginia, May 28, 1864. 

West, John; enlisted December 9, 1863; discharged for disabil- 
ity January 10, 1865. 

Williams, Isaac ; enlisted November 23, 1863, at Lawrence ; killed 
in action at Yellow Tavern, Virginia, May 11, 1864. 

Worix, William; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Decatur; killed 
in action at Yellow Tavern, Virginia, May 11, 1864. 

Wilson Charles; enlisted November 30, 1863, at Decatur; taken 
prisoner at Trevillian Station, Virginia, June 12, 1864; discharged 
July 7, 1865. 

Company M : Babcock, Henry B., Keeler ; enlisted August 20, 
1861, at Dowagiac; corporal; discharged March 25, 1866. 

Bartholomew, Benjamin F., Mattawan; enlisted August 10, 1861, 
at Dowagiac; discharged on account of wounds received in action 
October, 1862. 

Burgher, Matthew B., Decatur ; enlisted August 4, 1861, at Dowa- 
giac ; corporal ; wounded in action ; discharged for disability, March 
13, 1863. 

Cleland, Thomas; enlisted February 13, 1865, at Decatur; dis- 
charged December 5, 1865. 

Field, Onslow L., Lawrence ; enlisted August 20, 1861, at Dowa- 
giac ; discharged for disability October 6, 1862. 

Gregory, Stephen A., Keeler; enlisted December 5, 1862, at 
Keeler ; absent sick July, 1865 ; no further record. 



238 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Ilungerl'ord, Lester; enlisted February 9, 1865, at Elartlord; 
discharged December 5, 1865. 

King, John R., Porter; enlisted October 10, 1862; taken prison- 
er at Robinson River, September 23, 1863 ; died February 3, 1864 ; 
buried at Richmond, Virginia. 

Knight, Daniel, Keeler; enlisted August 15, 1861, at Dowagiac; 
wounded in action at Winchester, Virginia ; discharged June 19, 
1862. 

McElheny, James S., Mattawan; enlisted August 15, 1861, at 
Dowagiac ; corporal ; promoted to sergeant and to sergeant major ; 
commissioned second lieutenant and promoted to first lieutenant ; 
killed in action at Fairfield Gap, Maryland, July 4, 1863. 

Poor, Lorenzo D. F., Decatur; enlisted August 17, 1861, at 
Dowagiac; quartermaster sergeant; taken prisoner at Gettysburg, 
Pennsylvania; discharged August 22, 1864. 

Sirrine, Ezra, Decatur; enlisted August 16, 1861, at Dowagiac; 
discharged for disability May, 1862. 

Shaw, John N., Decatur; enlisted August 16, 1861, at Dowagiac; 
corporal; taken prisoner at Trevillian Station, Virginia, June 11, 
1864; discharged March 25, 1866. 

Shilling, Watson N. ? Decatur; enlisted August 22, 1861, at 
Dowagiac ; taken prisoner at Emmetsburg, Maryland, July 4, 1863 ; 
returned to regiment November 3, 1863; promoted to hospital 
steward; discharged November 7, 1865. 

Vincent, Albert, Decatur; enlisted August 20, 1861, at Dowagiac, 
corporal; taken prisoner at Trevillian Station, Virginia, June 11, 
1864; promoted to sergeant; died August, 1865. 

Vincent, Gilbert; enlisted August 20, 1861, at Dowagiac; dis- 
charged for disability November 1, 1862. 

Other Companies: Dailey, David M., Porter; enlisted in Com- 
pany A, February 22, 1863, at Detroit, substitute for Samuel 
Whitlock drafted from Hamilton; discharged July 10, 1865; died 
September 2, 1892. 

Mills, William R. ; enlisted in Company A, February 27, 1865, 
at Hartford; discharged February 18, 1866. . 

Ellenwood, Alonzo ; enlisted in Company B, February 24, 1865, 
at Paw Paw; discharged July 10, 1865. 

Galligan, Charles E., Paw Paw; enlisted in Company B, Feb- 
ruary 20, 1865, at Paw Paw; discharged August 11, 1865. 

Lamb, Charles C, Porter; enlisted in Company B, February 
10, 1863, at Detroit; substitute for Ransom J. Olds drafted from 
Hartford; discharged November 7, 1865. 

Hoover, George W., Porter; enlisted in Company C, February 
24, 1863; substitute for Pulaski Eaton drafted from Hartford, on 
detached service, July, 1865 ; no further record. 



HISTORY OF VAN J3UREN COUNTY 239 

Taplin, Nathan ; enlisted in Company C, February 27, 1865, at 
Hartford; discharged December 5, 1865. 

Terrill, Walter M., Porter; enlisted in Company C, February 
24, 1863, at Hartford ; substitute for Webster Goodenough drafted 
from Lawrence; taken prisoner near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 
July 4, 1863 ; returned to regiment October 4, 1863 ; discharged 
May 6, 1865. 

Amick, Charles; enlisted in Company F, March 2, 1865, at 
Columbia; discharged July 10, 1865. 

Ryan, Michael; enlisted in Company G, February 2, 1862, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged January 20, 1866. 

Sheldon, Benjamin; enlisted in Company G, February 9, 1865, 
at Hartford; discharged May 14, 1866. 

Clay, John P. ; enlisted in Company L, February 23, 1865 ; dis- 
charged December 1865. 

Baker, William; enlisted February 27, 1865, at Lawrence; un- 
assigned ; discharged July 10, 1865. 

Maxam, Horace W. ; enlisted February 13, 1865, at Lawton ; un- 
assigned ; discharged June 12, 1865. 

Webster, Anthony; enlisted February 7, 1865, at Decatur; mus- 
tered February 7, 1865; unassigned ; no further record. 

Third Michigan Cavalry 

The squadron is forming, the war bugles play, 

To saddle, brave comrades, stout hearts for the fray, 

Our commander is mounted, strike spurs and away. 

The Third Michigan Cavalry was organized at the city of Grand 
Rapids in September, 1861, and was mustered into the service of 
the United States, October 4th following, with an enrolment of 
1,163 officers and men. 

The following named members of the field and staff were from 
Van Buren County: Dr. Josiah Andrews, of Paw Paw, was the 
regimental surgeon; Dr. Lucius C. Woodman, of the same place, 
assistant surgeon ; William S. Burton, of South Haven, major of 
Third battalion. 

Dr. Andrews was mustered out of the service and honorably 
discharged October 24, 1864, a.nd died at Paw Paw, August 29, 
1886. 

Dr. Woodman w r as commissioned surgeon of the Eleventh Michi- 
gan Cavalry, October 7, 1863; taken prisoner October 2, 1864; con- 
fined in Libby prison; exchanged October 29, 1864; mustered out 
of service and honorably discharged, August 10, 1865. Died April 
11, 1883, buried at Paw Paw. 

Major Burton resigned and was honorably discharged, Decem- 
ber 2, 1864. 



240 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The regiment left Grand Rapids November 28, 1861, for St. 
Louis, Missouri, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. 
G. Minty. In March, 1862, the Third was in the army commanded 
by General Pope, who at that date was operating against Island 
No. 10, in the Mississippi river, the regiment being located at New 
Madrid, Missouri, and was constantly under fire for several days. 
The water at this place was extremely bad, and more sickness was 
contracted here than at any one period of the four and a half 
years' service of the regiment, the death rate being very heavy. 

Governor Blair commissioned Captain John K. Mizner, U. S. 
A., colonel of the regiment March 7, 1862, and he immediately as- 
sumed command. 

Its first engagement was at New Madrid, Missouri, where it be- 
gan a most creditable career, giving the foe a lively idea of the 
mettle of the Michigan cavalry boys, of which the southern troops 
were destined to have a large experience before the close of the war. 
After the evacuation of New Madrid and the surrender of Is- 
land No. 10 the regiment was sent up the Tennessee river to the 
battlefield of Shiloh and took part in the siege of Corinth, Mis- 
sissippi, which lasted until the end of May, and during that time 
the regiment performed most efficient service and was highly com- 
mended by officers in high command. 

After the fall of Corinth the Third served under General Rose- 
crans in the campaign in Mississippi and Alabama, which was 
directed by General Grant. It bore a conspicuous part in the 
battle of Iuka, September 19, 1862, and acted so gallantly that 
General Rosecrans acknowledged its meritorious services in gen- 
eral orders. 

One of its hardest fought battles was that of Corinth, Mississippi, 
October 3 and 4, 1862. For several days some portions of the regi- 
ment were in the saddle without intermission day and night. On 
the retreat of the rebels south the Third Cavalry were constantly 
on their flanks and rear, capturing many prisoners. This pursuit 
extended over seventy-five miles into the heart of Mississippi. 

During the following months of that year the regiment was 
constantly on scouting duty, and its marches and engagements 
with the enemy were continuous and incessant. During this period 
it was under command of Major Lyman G. Wilcox, Colonel Miz- 
ner having been made chief of cavalry for the Sixteenth Army 
Corps, while Lieutenant Colonel Minty was commissioned colonel 
of the Fourth Cavalry and returned to Michigan and organized 
that regiment. 

In November the Confederates destroyed telegraphic communi- 
cations between General Grant and General Sherman, the former 
at La Grange and the latter at Memphis, Tennessee. It was im- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 241 

portant that General Grant should communicate with General 
Sherman. Captain Cicero Newell, who had been commissioned 
captain of Company K, April 11, 1862, vice Davis, resigned, was 
selected, with his company, to carry the dispatches, although the 
country was held by the enemy in strong force and every road 
guarded. By persistent effort and marked tact and bravery Cap- 
tain Newell succeeded in delivering the dispatches and received a 
complimentary letter from General Sherman for the daring deed. 
This was only one of the many daring expeditions by the officers 
and men of this regiment during that momentous period. 

The regiment did efficient service in northern Mississippi and 
Tennessee during the winter of 1863, and took part in a severe 
engagement at Jackson, Tennessee, in July of that year. In Au- 
gust it was engaged with the enemy at Grenada, Mississippi, and 
destroyed an immense amount of railroad stock, including sixty 
locomotives and nearly five hundred cars. During the following 
months of the year, by, continuous marches and fighting, it suc- 
ceeded in driving from the country the notorious bands of guer- 
rillas that had long infested that section. It met on several oc- 
casions the forces under Generals Forrest and Chalmers, and severe 
engagements took place at Ripley, Orizaba and Ellistown, Miss- 
issippi, and at Purely and Jack's Creek, Tennessee. 

Justice to Cavalry Regiments 

A comprehensive history of a cavalry regiment can only be 
written by recording its daily movements. When not moving with 
its brigade it is often sent on dangerous and important missions 
far from its support, and has to depend upon the officer in command 
for a successful termination, and frequently he finds most exact- 
ing and trying conditions confronting him. 

The different companies of this regiment were daily sent on 
dangerous scouting duty, either separately or by detachments, and 
often secured information that was of vital importance to the 
commanding general. These separate companies or detachments 
had to rely upon themselves in critical situations, and they often 
displayed during the w r ar the genius of generalship that would 
have distinguished them in history were such circumstances not so 
frequent or were they written up at the time and made public. 

Tn the movements of a great army the minor movements of 
regiments and companies are overshadowed and unknown except 
to those who take part. A regiment of cavalry performs most in- 
cessant and arduous service during a campaign, but its recon- 
naissances and scouts, its skirmishes and charges, are only a part 
of the main army and are seldom mentioned with the importance 



242 HISTOEY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

they deserve. The frequent charges, marches, battles and skir- 
mishes of a cavalry regiment cannot be recorded with justice in 
a brief outline of its history. 

In January, 1864, the Third, was at La Grange, Tennessee, where 
the regiment reenlisted and was sent to Michigan on veteran fur- 
lough. The reputation it had attained drew a large number of 
recruits to its ranks at this time, and at the termination of the 
thirty-day furlough the regiment reassembled at Kalamazoo and 
again, under command of Colonel Mizner, returned to St. Louis, 
Missouri, where, in May, 1864, it was sent to Little Eock, Arkan- 
sas, and was soon engaged in scouting and driving General Shel- 
by and the Confederates he commanded beyond the Arkansas 
river. 

From November, 1864, to February, 1865, the headquarters of 
the Third were at Brownsville Station, Arkansas, and many 
marches and scouts were made in the surrounding country, secur- 
ing large supplies for the Union army, thus immeasurably crip- 
pling the Confederates, whose resources were constantly being 
curtailed. 

In March, 1865, the Third was transferred to the Military De- 
partment of the Mississippi commanded by General Canby, to 
operate against Mobile. After the fall of that city it marched 
across Alabama and Mississippi to Baton Eouge, Lousiana. When 
General Sheridan was sent west to command the Military Depart- 
ment of the Southwest the regiment was ordered to report to him 
for duty, and immediately joined the expedition to San Antonio, 
Texas, where it arrived August 2nd, after a long and fatiguing 
march. Here it was employed in guarding the Mexican border, 
where it performed garrison duty and engaged in constant scout- 
ing. Its headquarters were at San Antonio, Texas, until Febru- 
ary 15, 1866, when it was dismounted and marched to Indianola, 
where it took a steamer for Cairo, Illinois, via New Orleans. 

On its return to Michigan, March 10, 1866, the regiment was ren- 
dezvoused at Jackson, where it was paid off and disbanded. The 
veterans of 1861 in this organization saw four years and six 
months' service and a great majority of its recruits served well 
and faithfully for over three years. Its members, both officers and 
enlisted men, came from all sections of the state, and in a short 
time after their muster out could be found at their former avoca- 
tions, the better citizens for having been good soldiers. Their 
long and arduous service added luster to the lasting reputation 
won by the cavalry regiments from Michigan. 

From March, 1862, until December, 1863, the regiment took 
part in the following engagements and skirmishes: New Madrid, 
Missouri, March 13, 1862; siege of Island No. 10, Missouri, March 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 243 

14 to April 7,- 1862 ; Farmington, Mississippi, May 5, 1862 ; siege 
of Corinth, Mississippi, May 10 to 31, 1862; Spangler's Mills, 
Mississippi, July 26, 1862; Bay Springs, Mississippi, September 
10, 1862; luka, Mississippi, September 19, 1862; Corinth, Miss- 
issippi, October 3 and 4, 1862; Hatchie, Mississippi, October 6, 
1862; Holly Springs, Mississippi, November 7, 1862; Hudson- 
vine, Mississippi, November 14, 1862; Lumkin's Mill, Mississippi, 
November 29, 1862; Coffeeville, Mississippi, November 29, 1862; 
Oxford, Mississippi, December 2, 1862; Coffeeville, Mississippi, 
December 5, 1862; Brownsville, Mississippi, January 14, 1863; 
Clifton, Mississippi, February 10, 1863; Panola, Mississippi, July 
20, 1863; Grenada, Mississippi, August 14, 1863; Byhalia, Miss- 
issippi, October 12, 1863; Wyatt's Ford, Mississippi, October 13, 
1863; Ripley, Mississippi, November 29, 1863; Orizaba, Missis- 
sippi, November 30, 1863; Ellistown, Mississippi, December 3, 
1863; Purdy, Mississippi, December 22, 1863; Jack's Creek, Ten- 
nessee, December 24, 1863. 

Shortly after the engagement at Jack's Creek the regiment re- 
turned to Michigan on veteran furlough, and on its return to the 
front was closely identified with the skirmishes and battles in the 
southwest, including the battle at Mobile, and at the surrender of 
the last rebel troops under General Richard Taylor. It is the 
record of the regiment that it did active service in ten states, oc- 
cupying more territory and marching more miles than any regi- 
ment that left the state. The official records show that the regi- 
ment actually marched a distance of 10,800 miles exclusive of 
marches by separate companies and detachments. 

Volumes could be written from the few statistical lines recorded 
beneath, every figure of which represents an individual part taken 
by some soldier in the great War of the Rebellion. 

Total enrolment, 2,264; killed in action, 24; died of wounds re- 
ceived in action, 9 ; died in Confederate prisons, 8 ; died of disease 
contracted in the service, 333 ; discharged for disability (wounds 
and disease), 319. 

Company A: Baughman, Homer; enlisted September 9, 1861; 
saddler; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Bridges, Benjamin F., Bloomingdale ; enlisted September, 1,861, 
at Bloomingdale; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Brown, Charles M. ; enlisted August 31, 1861; discharged for 
disability December 9, 1862. 

Brown, Cyrus, Waverly ; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Waverly ; 
discharged, February 3, 1863. 

Brown, Lorenzo, Bloomingdale; enlisted October 3, 1861, at 
Bloomingdale; discharged for disability July 25, 1862. 



244 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Clark, Marcus F., Bloomingdale; enlisted September 9, 1861, 
at Allegan; discharged for disability, July 13, 1862. 

Colwell, Edwin A., Bloomingdale; enlisted September, 5, 1861, 
at Bloomingdale; on duty with Ninth Illinois Cavalry from Jan- 
uary 31 to May 30, 1864; discharged October 24, 1864. 

Coon, Charles M., Bloomingdale enlisted September 6, 1861, at 
Bloomingdale; discharged December 1, 1864. 

Coy, Daniel, Bloomingdale; enlisted September 3, 1861, at 
Bloomingdale; discharged July 24, 1861. 

Fowler, George, Bloomingdale; enlisted September 9, 1861, at 
Bloomingdale; died at St. Louis, Missouri, May 17, 1862; buried 
in St. Louis National cemetery, grave No. 979. 

Holbrook, William A.; enlisted September 3, 1861; corporal; 
discharged for disability, July 25, 1862. 

McMeeken, William, Bloomingdale; enlisted September 5, 1861, 
at Bloomingdale; discharged for disability March 28, 1864; died 
at Petoskey. 

Miller, James EL, Bloomingdale; enlisted September 4, 1861, at 
Bloomingdale ; promoted to sergeant ; discharged February 12, 
1866. 

Moore, John, Bloomingdale; enlisted August 25, 1863, at Bloom- 
ingdale ; died July 30, 1864. 

Parsons, Francis M., Bloomingdale; enlisted September 4, 1861, 
at Bloomingdale; discharged for disability. 

Quint, Obed W., Bloomingdale; enlisted September 25, 1.861, 
at Bloomingdale; on duty with Ninth Illinois Cavalry from Jan- 
uary 31 to May 30 ; discharged October 24, 1864. 

Richard, John, Pine Grove; enlisted February 29, 1864, at Pine 
Grove, died at St. Louis, Missouri, November 6, 1864; buried in 
National cemetery at St. Louis, grave No. 3140. 

Robinson, William A.; enlisted September 3, 1861, at Allegan; 
discharged for disability January 20, 1863. 

Scott, Aaron; enlisted August 31, 1861, at Allegan; discharged 
February 12, 1866. 

Smith, Marion M. ; enlisted August 15, 1862, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged June 2, 1865. 

Whaley, Ezra, Bloomingdale; enlisted October 7, 1862, at 
Bloomingdale; promoted to corporal and to sergeant; discharged 
February 12, 1866; dead; buried at Charlotte, Michigan. 

Company C : This company was, in the first place, wholly made 
up of Van Buren county men, although there were numbers of re- 
cruits from other parts of the State. There were over two hun- 
dred men in its ranks during its period of service. 

The following list contains the names of those from Van Buren 
County : Hudson, Gilbert J., Paw Paw ; first captain of the com- 



HISTORY OF VAN BDREN COUNTY 245 

pany, commissioned major November 1, 1862; honorably dis- 
charged, June 6, 1865 ; died at Paw Paw, December 19, 1881. 

Rowland, Oran W., Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawrence; appointed sergeant at organization of company; sub- 
sequently promoted to first sergeant; commissioned second lieuten- 
ant Company E, April 29, 1863; first lieutenant Company I, Octo- 
ber 24, 1864; acting assistant adjutant general at brigade head- 
quarters, January, February and March, 1865; captain Company 
C, November 17, 1864 ; honorably discharged, June 6, 1865 ; present 
residence, Paw Paw. 

Dyckman, Barney II., South Haven; entered service as second 
lieutenant Company C, at South Haven, September 17, 1861 ; pro- 
moted to first lieutenant January 13, 1862; captain Company A, 
May 25, 1862; resigned and honorably discharged October 31, 
1864; died November 25, 1890. 

Huston, Joseph W., Paw Paw ; entered service as first lieuten- 
ant September 17, 1861 ; resigned January 12, 1862 ; major Fourth 
Michigan Cavalry September 1, 1862; resigned and honorably 
discharged, August 25, 1863 ; died at Boise City, Idaho. 

Thompson, Albert H., Lawton; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawton; first sergeant and sergeant major; second lieutenant 
Company C, January 13, 1862 ; resigned and honorably discharged, 
October 12, 1862 ; died at Lawton. 

Chatfield, Henry, South Haven; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at South Haven; promoted to quartermaster sergeant; second 
lieutenant September 22, 1864; first lieutenant November 7, 1864; 
honorably discharged on account of disability, June 12, 1865 ; died 
at South Haven, August 20, 1906. 

Abbott, John, Bangor; enlisted December 21, 1863, at Bangor; 
discharged February 12, 1866 ; present residence, South Haven. 

Baker, Orson M., Lawrence; enlisted February 29, 1864, at Ka- 
lamazoo; discharged for disability, October 7, 1864; dead. 

Bates, Isaac L., Porter; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Porter, 
as corporal; promoted to sergeant, January 19, 1864; discharged 
October 5, 1865; present residence, Andover, South Dakota, 

Beardsley, Eli, Lawrence; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Law- 
rence; died at DeVall's Bluff, Arkansas, August 14, 1864. 

Beaver, Watson II., Bangor; enlisted October 16, 1862; dis- 
charged October 15, 1865 ; present residence, Bangor. 

Bedell, Edward R. ; enlisted January 1, 1862; taken prisoner 
August 24, 1864; returned to regiment January 2, 1865; dis- 
charged February 12, 1866. 

Benjamin, Marion D., Lawrence; enlisted February 26, 1864, at 
Lawrence; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Big Rock, Illi- 
nois, January 27, 1908. 



246 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Blaisdale, John, Arlington; enlisted as corporal; September 17, 
1861, at Arlington; discharged for disability November 22, 1862; 
died at Arlington, May 1, 1902. 

Bonesteele, John Q., Arlington ; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at Arlington ; discharged February 12, 1866 ; died at Evart, Michi- 
gan, March 5, 1907. 

Bowman, Walter, Lawton; enlisted June 20, 1863, at Lawton; 
missing in action at La Grange, Tennessee; reported prisoner of 
war; no further record. 

Branch, Charles, Lawrence; enlisted August 16, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; died at Washington, 
D. C, March 24, 1865. 

Branch, Frank, Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Law- 
rence ; corporal January 1, 1865 ; discharged February 12, 1866 ; 
present residence, Lawrence. 

Branch, Luther, Lawrence ; enlisted September 16, 1863, at Law- 
rence ; discharged February 12, 1866 ; present residence, Yaquina, 
Oregon. 

Bridges, George W., Bangor; enlisted February 23, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo ; discharged February 12, 1866 ; present residence, Ban- 
gor. 

Bridges, James, South Haven; enlisted February 15, 1864, at 
South Haven; discharged February 12, 1864; dead. 

Bunnell, Jabe C, Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 

Lawrence, as saddler ; discharged for disability, May 9, 1863 ; dead. 

Buss, Horace B., Paw Paw; enlisted February 20, 1864, at Paw 

Paw; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Evart, Michigan, 

September 25, 1907. 

Buys, Cornelius, South Haven; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
South Haven; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence, 
South Haven. 

Camp, Daniel S., Arlington; enlisted September 7, 1863, at Ar- 
lington ; discharged February 12, 1866 ; present residence, Bangor. 
Chandler, John D., Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Arlington; corporal; discharged February 12, 1866; present resi- 
dence soldiers' home, Orting, Washington. 

Chubbuck, John F., Arlington; enlisted February 20, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged October 5, 1865; dead. This soldier was 
in the South at the breaking out of the civil war and was con- 
scripted into the southern army, but availed himself of the first 
opportunity to escape and join the northern forces. 

Churchill, George W., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, 

at Paw Paw ; taken prisoner November 2, 1863 ; died at Anderson- 

ville; buried in Andersonville National cemetery, grave No. 5686. 

Cochrane, Andrew M., Bangor; enlisted February 29, 1864, at 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 247 

Kalamazoo; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence Ban- 
gor. 

Cross, Burrill A., Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Arlington; on duty with Ninth Illinois Cavalry, January 21 to 
May 30, 1864 ; discharged October 24, 1864 ; dead. 

Cross, George A., Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; corporal; discharged February 12, 1866; present resi- 
dence, Lawrence. 

Cross, Orrin W., Bangor; enlisted as corporal, September 17, 
1861, at Bangor; discharged September 26, 1863, to accept com- 
mission in Sixty-first Colored Troops; died September 26, 1865; 
buried at Bangor. 

Dailey, Andrew, Porter; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Por- 
ter; killed by guerrillas at Corinth, Mississippi, November 14, 
1863; buried in Union National, cemetery, Corinth, grave No. 
2552. 

Daskam, Charles S., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, at Paw 
Paw; promoted to corporal; quartermaster sergeant; first ser- 
geant; second lieutenant Company F, November 17, 1864; dis- 
charged February 12, 1866; died at Albion, Michigan, February 
14, 1904. 

De Haven, David, Arlington ; enlisted at Paw Paw, August 14, 
1862; wounded and died at Memphis, Tennessee, January 31, 
1864; buried in National cemetery, Memphis. 

Dolson, John H., Lawrence ; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged February 12, 1866; died 1876; buried near 
Covert. 

Donovan, Andrew, Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Arlington ; discharged February 12, 1866 ; present residence Ban- 
gor. 

Dopp, Amos, Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Law- 
rence ; discharged December 29, 1862 ; died at Lawrence, February 
12, 1908. 

Dow, Joseph, South Haven; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
South Haven; died of wounds received in action near Corinth, 
Mississippi, April 29, 1862; the first man killed in the regiment; 
buried in Union National cemetery at Corinth, Mississippi, grave 
No. 2555. 

Durkee, William H., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw ; corporal ; taken prisoner at Corinth, November 12, 
1 863, released December 16, 1864 ; discharged March 3, 1865 ; died 
at soldiers' home, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1911, buried at Paw 
Paw. 

Earl, Roswell A., Bangor; enlisted at Bangor, September 17, 



248 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

1861; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Wexford, Michigan, 
February 23, 1904, buried at Wexford. 

Ecklar, Wallace, Arlington; enlisted August 15, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; taken prisoner at Corinth, November 2, 1863; died August 
14, 1864 ; buried in National cemetery at Andersonville. 

Ewers, Ebenezer, Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Arlington; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Coloma, Michi- 
gan. 

Ewers, William, Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Arlington; missing in action at Brownsville, Arkansas; supposed 
to have been killed by guerrillas. 

Ewing, Benjamin F., Bangor; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Bangor; sergeant; discharged for disability,. November 30, 1863; 
died at Bangor. 

Ferguson, Philo N. ; enlisted at Paw Paw, September 17, 1861 ; 
bugler ; discharged October 3, 1864 ; died May 17, 1891 ; buried at 
Harbor Springs, Michigan. 

Finley, William W. ; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Bangor; 
farrier; discharged July 9, 1865; dead. 

Fassett, James S., Lawrence; enlisted August 17, 1863, at Law- 
rence; died at Corinth, Mississippi, November 8, 1863; buried in 
Union National cemetery, number of grave unknown. 

Foster, Abram F., Columbia; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Columbia; discharged for disability, March 28, 1864; dead. 

Fuller, Daniel P., Decatur; enlisted September 17, 1861, at De- 
catur; discharged January 2, 1866; died at Charlotte, Michigan, 
1898. 

Fuller, Solon P., Decatur; enlisted September 17, 1.861, at De- 
catur; died at Detroit, October 14, 1862, 

Gage, Delos, Lawrence; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Lawrence; 
discharged for disability, November 1, 1864; died at Lawrence. 

Geiser, Ernest, Lawton; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Law- 
ton ; discharged for disability, June 1863 ; died at Lawton, January 
21, 1903. 

Gilbert, James, Arlington; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability February 6, 1863; died at Ban- 
gor, March 9, 1901. 

Goodell, Oliver E., Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawrence; discharged October 24, 1864; dead. 

Goss, John P., Bangor; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Ban- 
gor; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence Bangor. 

Greenman, Columbus; enlisted July 10, 1864, at Lawton; dis- 
charged May 26, 1865; no further record. 

Harris, James; enlisted at Paw Paw, September 17, 1861; dis- 
charged for disability, November 8, 1862; dead. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUR-EN COUNTY 249 

Harvey, Samuel P., Bangor; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Bangor; promoted to corporal, sergeant and first sergeant; dis- 
charged February 12, 1866 ; present residence Bangor. 

Hennesey, James, Paw Paw; enlisted August 15, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; on duty with Ninth Illinois Cavalry from January 31 to 
May 30, 1864; discharged June 2, 1865; dead. 

Hilliard, Charles, Lawrence; enlisted August 17, 1863, at Law- 
rence; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence Hart- 
ford. 

Hilliard, Harris W., Lawrence; enlisted February 29, 1864, 
at Kalamazoo; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence 
Lawrence. 

Hogmire, Charles, Arlington ; enlisted February 26, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence Port- 
land, Michigan. 

Hogmire, Edwin S., Arlington; enlisted August 14, 1862, at 
Paw Paw ; discharged June 2, 1865 ; present residence, Breeds- 
ville. 

Hogmire, Mitchell H., Arlington; enlisted August 14, 1862, at 
Paw Paw ; promoted to corporal and to sergeant ; discharged 
June 2, 1865. 

House, Frederick A., Paw Paw; enlisted February 9, 1864; dis- 
charged July 5, 1865 ; dead. 

Howe, Martin A., Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawrence; wagoner; discharged February 12, 1866; present 
residence, Michigan City, Indiana. 

Hoxie, Orville C, Lawrence; enlisted February 26, 1864, at 
Lawrence; died at De Vall's Bluff, Arkansas, August 16, 1864. 

Hunt, Isaiah F., Arlington; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability December 31, 1862. 

Hurlbut, Albert F., Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Arlington; corporal; discharged February 21, 1866; present resi- 
dence, Paw Paw. 

Hurlbut, Spencer N., Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at Arlington; commissioned first lieutenant, Eleventh Cavalry; 
unassigned; discharged, special order war department, dated De- 
cember 1, 1863. Died in California, 

Huston, William H. II., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 
1861, at Paw Paw; promoted to sergeant and sergeant major; 
second lieutenant, Company B, October 3, 1864; first lieutenant, 
Company B, December 7, 1864; captain same company, July 4, 
1865; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence, San An- 
tonio, Texas. 

Ives, Charles, Arlington ; enlisted August 17, 1863, at Lawrence, 



250 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

discharged October 5, 1865; present residence, Hesperia, Michi- 
gan. 

Johnson, Freeman G., Bangor; enlisted May 29, 1862, at Jack- 
son; discharged June 2, 1865; subsequently served in Company 
C, Seventeenth United States Infantry. 

Kelly, Franklin N., Lawrence; enlisted August 17, 1863, at 
Lawrence; discharged June 9, 1865; died at Lawrence, April 21, 
1897. 

Kelly, Julius H., Lawrence, enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawrence; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Lawrence, 
March 20, 1906. 

Kinney, John R., Porter; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Por- 
ter; promoted to sergeant and quartermaster sergeant; dis- 
charged February 12, 1866. 

Kidney, Marvin N., Porter; enlisted November 16, 1863, at 
Porter; discharged February 14, 1865; present residence, Keno- 
sha, Wisconsin. 

King, Charles 0., Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Arlington ; promoted to corporal, sergeant and regimental com- 
missary sergeant ; second lieutenant, Company I, November 6, 
1865; discharged February 12, 1866; dead. 

Lamont, Hans, Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Paw 
Paw, discharged for disability June 14, 1863; died at Paw Paw. 

Lamphear, Dempster, Lawrence; enlisted February 17, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged June 19, 1865; present residence, Olivet. 

Lamphear, Otis E., Law T rence; enlisted February 24, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged February 12, 1866; no further record. 

Lamphear, Loren E., Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawrence; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Lawrence, 
January 12, 1911. 

Lamphear, Truman R., Lawrence; enlisted February 24, 1864, 
at Kalamazoo ; discharged October 5, 1865 ; dead. 

Lamphear, Truman, Lawrence; enlisted February 24, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged for disability November 19, 1865; died at 
Lawrence, October 21, 1904. 

Lewis, William H., Arlington; enlisted August 17, 1863, at 
Lawrence; died at Corinth, Mississippi, October 31, 1863; buried 
in National cemetery at Corinth, grave No. 255. 

Luce, Joseph W., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; discharged for disability November 7, 1862; present 
residence, Dwight, Kansas. 

Lutz, Samuel, South Haven; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
South Haven; discharged for disability October 22, 1865; dead. 

Mallory, Lemuel C, Bangor; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Bangor; discharged February 12, 1866; no further record. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 251 

Mahard, John, Lawton; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Law- 
ton ; discharged August, 1862 ; subsequently served in Twenty- 
eighth Michigan Infantry from 1864 to 1866. Present residence 
Lawton. 

Martin, Oscar D., Bangor; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Bangor; on duty with 9th Illinois Cavalry from January 31 to 
May 30, 1864; discharged October 24, 1864; present residence 
Lawrence. 

Marshall, Jerome B., Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at Lawrence ; discharged for disability July 20, 1862 ; died at Law- 
rence. 

McDonald, John; Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; corporal and sergeant; discharged February 12, 1866; 
dead. 

McDonald, Ronald, South Haven; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at South Haven; discharged February 12, 1866; died at San An- 
tonio, Texas, February 3, 1889; buried same place, National ceme- 
tery, grave No. 851. 

McNeil, Minard, Lawton; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Law- 
ton; discharged October 24, 1864; died at Lawton. 

Miller, Henry II., Lawton; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawton; discharged to accept appointment second lieutenant, 
Company II, Fourth United States Heavy Artillery, colored, 
August 17, 1864; honorably discharged at Little Rock, Arkansas; 
present residence, Marshall, Michigan. 

Mitchelson, Shortis, Paw Paw ; enlisted February 26, 1864, at 
Paw Paw; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Antwerp, May 
16, 1899. 

Monroe, Ebenezer, Porter ; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Por- 
ter ; corporal ; on duty with Ninth Illinois Cavalry, from January 
31 to May 30, 1864; discharged October 24, 1865; present resi- 
dence, Schoolcraft. 

Moon, Eugene F., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw ; discharged for disability July 19, 1863 ; no further 
record. 

Moses, Andrew F., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; died at Hamburg, Tennessee, May 27, 1862. 

Moses, Judson J., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; discharged for disability November 8, 1862; died at 
Arlington, May 17, 1909. 

Moon, William H., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw r Paw; discharged for disability April 16, 1862; dead. 

Musson, Thomas G., Lawrence ; enlisted August 14, 1863, at Law- 
rence; died at Corinth, Mississippi, October 16, 1863; buried in 
National cemetery at Corinth; number grave unknown. 



252 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Murch, Ford, Paw Paw; enlisted February 16, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence, Mattawan. 

Nyman, R. C, Bangor; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Bangor; 
prisoner of war from May to October, 1863 ; discharged February 
12, 1866; present residence, Bangor. 

Ormsby, Edwin B., Porter; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Porter; corporal; discharged February 7, 1865; present residence, 
Greenville. 

Osborn, Ozias, Lawrence; enlisted December 28, 1863, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged February 12, 1866; dead. 

Parrish, James, Porter; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Por- 
ter; discharged for disability, December 16, 1863; dead. 

Parker, James ; enlisted December 23, 1863, at Kalamazoo ; died 
May 30, 1864; buried in National cemetery at Memphis, Tennes- 
see, grave No. 4130. 

Patterson, William; enlisted February 16, 1864, at Paw Paw; 
discharged February 12, 1866 ; no further record. 

Peabody, George W., Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at Arlington; saddler; discharged February 12, 1866; died at 
Hartford, July 7, 1909 ; buried at Lawrence. 

Pease, Enoch M., Geneva; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Geneva; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Grand View, 
South Dakota. 

Pierce, Franklin M., Lawrence; enlisted September 10, 1862, at 
Lawrence; discharged for disability January 10, 1863; dead. 

Randall, Hiram A., South Haven; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at South Haven ; discharged for disability June 17, 1864 ; dead. 

Rhodes Fernando C. ; Arlington ; enlisted August 17, 1863, at 
Lawrence; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Lawrence, De- 
cember 29, 1908. 

Richardson, Milan IL, Arlington; enlisted at Lawrence, August 
1, 1863 ; discharged February 12, 1866 ; died at Paw Paw, December 
26, 1896. 

Richardson, Noble D., Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at Arlington ; discharged for disability, April 6, 1862 ; died Janu- 
ary 8, 1895; buried at Paw r Paw. 

Richmond, Andrew J., enlisted February 22, 1864, at Paw Paw; 
discharged February 12, 1866 ; dead. 

Rogers, Henry A., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; promoted to quartermaster sergeant and first sergeant, 
second lieutenant Company H, December 11, 1862; resigned and 
honorably discharged August 13, 1863 ; died at Paw Paw. 

Royal, Hiram L., enlisted September 17, 1861, at Antwerp ; dis- 
charged February 1, 1866; dead. 

Russell, Clark G., Bangor; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Ban- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 253 

gor; discharged to accept promotion in United States Colored 
Troops, September 16, 1864; assisted in the organization of a regi- 
ment of Kentucky State militia; seriously wounded April, 1865; 
present residence, Lansing, Michigan. 

Russell, Lyman S., Bangor ; enlisted September 17, 1861 ; dis- 
charged to accept promotion in regiment of colored troops ; as- 
sisted in organizing first colored soldiers ; first sergeant Company 
A, Sixty-first United States Colored Troops; sergeant major one 
year, second lieutenant and acting adjutant, October 30, 1864; 
discharged May 23, 1865; died at Lansing, Michigan. 

Shaver, Talcott A, Lawrence ; enlisted August 14, 1863, at Law- 
rence; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence, Benton 
Harbor. 

Showers, John, Lawton; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Law- 
ton; discharged for disability September 8, 1862; dead. 

Sinclair, Otis, Covert; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Covert; 
died at St. Louis, Missouri, August 19, 1862, of small pox; buried 
at St. Louis. 

Smith, Hudson D., Bangor; enlisted December 30, 1863, at 
Bangor; discharged February 12, 1866; removed to Missouri; no 
further record. 

Smith, John B., South Haven; enlisted August 15, 1863, at 
South Haven; discharged February, 1866. No further record. 

Smith, William J., enlisted December 19, 1863, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged for disability October 1, 1864; dead. 

Southwell, Silas J., Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawrence; died at St. Louis, Missouri, January 12, 1862. 

Stearns, Stacy N., Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Lawrence; discharged for disability October 30, 1862; died at 
Lawrence, March 21, 1879. 

Stickney, Daniel M., Paw Paw; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; discharged February 12, 1866; dead. 

Swan, John, Arlington; enlisted August 15, 1862, at Paw Paw; 
discharged for disability, January 11, 1863 ; dead. 

Travis, James B. ; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Bangor; died 
at New Madrid, Missouri, April 6, 1862 ; buried in National ceme- 
tery at Memphis, Tennessee. 

Tucker, George M. D., Arlington; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at Arlington; bugler; discharged February 12, 1866; dead. 

Utley, Urijah, Lawrence; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Law- 
rence; discharged for disability July 1, 1862; dead. 

Van Draiss, Frederick, Lawrence; enlisted September 17, at 
Lawrence; transferred to Ninth Illinois Cavalry, January 31, 
1864; no further record. 

Van Dusen, Henry, Paw Paw; enlisted August 18, 1862, at 



254 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Paw Paw; discharged for disability, April 21, 1863; no further 
record. 

Van Dyke, Joseph G., South Haven; enlisted September 17, 
1861, at South Haven; discharged March 28, 1864; died at South 
Haven, March 11, 1890. 

Voorhees, Augustus, South Haven; enlisted September 17, 1861, 
at South Haven; on duty with Ninth Illinois Cavalry from Janu- 
ary 31, to May 30, 1864; discharged October 20, 1864; died at 
South Haven, October 20, 1901. 

Ward, David M., Porter; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Por- 
ter; discharged February 12, 1866; present residence Lawton. 

Ward, John C, Porter; enlisted August 5, 1864, at Kalamazoo; 
discharged February 12, 1866; present residence Paw Paw. 

Ward, William H. H., Porter; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Porter; killed in action near Corinth, Mississippi, November 15, 
1863; buried in National cemetery at Corinth, grave No. 2555. 

Wells, Henry A., Lawrence; enlisted August 12, 1863, at Law- 
rence; promoted to regimental quartermaster sergeant, com- 
missioned second lieutenant Company D, October 17, 1865; dis- 
charged February 12, 1866; present residence Soldiers' Home; 
Grand Rapids. 

Wells, Hiram K., Lawrence; enlisted August 12, 1863, at Law- 
rence; discharged February 12, 1866; died July 20, 1893; buried at 
Lawrence. 

Widner, James, Lawrence; enlisted February 22, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged February 12, 1866; died at Lawrence, March 9, 
1908. 

Wood, Daniel, Bangor; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Bangor; 
died at Bangor, April 24, 1862; buried with military honors. 

Worallo, William H. ; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Bangor; 
discharged for disability, July 23, 1862; died at Bangor in 1866. 

Wright, Claudius D., Porter; enlisted September 17, 1861, at 
Porter; died at Kienzi, Mississippi, July 27, 1862; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery at Corinth, Mississippi, grave No. 2564. 

Company M: Brott, Charles, Geneva; enlisted February 13, 
1864, at South Haven; discharged February 12, 1866; died Janu- 
ary 26, 1905, at Geneva. 

Burnham, Gifford, Covert ; enlisted December 16, 1863, at Kala- 
mazoo; died at De ValPs Bluff, Arkansas, July 4, 1864, buried in 
National cemetery at Little Rock, Arkansas, grave No. 143. 

Buys, Redford, South Haven; enlisted February 22, 1864, at 
South Haven; died at Brownsville, Arkansas, November 30, 1864. 

Camp, Edgar N., Lawrence; enlisted February 23, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; died April 3, 1864, in Michigan. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 255 

Crakes, William, Geneva; enlisted February 15, 1864, at Ge- 
neva; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Hoag, Orrin S., Geneva; enlisted February 15, 1864, at Geneva; 
discharged February 12, 1866; died at Lacota, Michigan, Janu- 
ary 5, 1904. 

Hess, James S., South Haven; enlisted February 27, 1864, at 
South Haven; died at St. Louis, Missouri, March 28, 1864. 

Ingrain, Alfred T., Paw Paw; enlisted February 22, 1864, at 
Paw Paw ; discharged January 21, 1866 ; dead. 

Jones, James; South Haven; enlisted February 11, 1864; cor- 
poral; died at Brownsville, Arkansas, August 29, 1864. 

Long, Achilles, South Haven; enlisted February 11, 1864, at 
South Haven; died at De Vall's Bluff, Arkansas, July 12, 1864; 
buried in National cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas; grave No. 211. 

McDonough, John, Geneva; enlisted February 15, 1864; dis- 
charged February 12, 1866. 

McPherson, Hugh, Paw Paw; enlisted March 2, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo, discharged October 5, 1865; died at Paw Paw, September 
20, 1906. 

Matthews, Billings W., South Haven; enlisted February 16, 
1864; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Newman, Nicholas, South Haven; enlisted at Geneva, February 
18, 1864; died at De Vall's Bluff, July 20, 1864. 

Orr, Robert, Paw Paw; enlisted February 16, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Parker, William S., South Haven; enlisted at South Haven, 
February 15, 1864; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Paul, Jay, Lawrence; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Lawrence; 
died at De Vall's Bluff, Arkansas, August 8, 1864; buried at same 
place. 

Pease, Henry, South Haven; enlisted February 15, 1864, at 
South Haven; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Pike, Silas B., South Haven; enlisted February 11, 1864, at 
South Haven ; wounded in action May 15, 1865 ; discharged Febru- 
ary 12, 1866. 

Rathburn, Adrian, Lawrence; enlisted February 26, 1864, at 
Lawrence; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Seeger, Lorenzo, Columbia, enlisted February 23, 1864, at Co- 
lumbia; died in Michigan, May 25, 1864. 

Shepard, William M., Paw Paw; enlisted February 25, 1864, at 
Paw Paw ; discharged February 12, 1866 ; died at Paw Paw. 

Shoemaker, William W., South Haven; enlisted February 15, 
1864, at South Haven ; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Swick, William R., Paw Paw; enlisted February 24, 1864, at 



256 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Paw Paw; died at New Orleans, April 19, 1865; buried in New 
Orleans National cemetery. 

Van Tassell, Jason D., South Haven; enlisted February 26, 
1864, at South Haven; discharged February 12, 1866; died No- 
vember 19, 1896. 

Walker, Absalom, Bloomingdale ; enlisted August 20, 1861, at 
Bloomingdale ; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Other Companies: Hamilton, Julius, South Haven; Company 
F ; enlisted December 12, 1863, at South Haven ; discharged Febru- 
ary 12, 1866. 

Koons, John, Lawton, Company F; enlisted February 23, 1864, 
at Kalamazoo; discharged May 5, 1865. 

Mills, Lyman, Paw Paw, Company F; enlisted September 30. 

1861, at Kalamazoo ; discharged for disability August 24, 1862. 
Glidden, Harrison W., Paw Paw, Company H; enlisted Febru- 
ary 9, 1864, at Kalamazoo; discharged February 12, 1866; died 
at Antwerp, November 20, 1907. 

Stanton, Lyman, Lawrence; Company 1; enlisted August 27, 
1863, at Lawrence; died of wounds received in action, at Mem- 
phis, Tennessee, February 12, 1864; buried in National cemetery 
at Memphis, grave No. 4163. 

Carpenter, William, South Haven, Company K; died in Michi- 
gan, September 14, 1864. 

Sisson, Benjamin A., Decatur, Company E ; enlisted at Decatur, 
February 20, 1864; discharged February 12, 1866. 

Harmon, Asa, Paw Paw; enlisted September 15, 1861, at Paw 
Paw, in Company I, Second Michigan Cavalry; transferred to 
Third Cavalry, hospital steward ; discharged for disability May 30, 
1862; reentered service December, 1862, as chaplain; discharged 
February 12, 1866. 

Fourth Michigan Cavalry 

Let the flag of our country be flung to the sky; 

Our arm shall be bared for the glorious fight, 
As freemen we'll live, or like freemen we'll die! 

Our Union and Liberty, and God save the right. 

The Fourth Michigan Cavalry was authorized about July 1, 

1862, and rendezvoused at Detroit on July 29th. It was mus- 
tered into the service of the United States just a month afterward 
under command of Colonel Robert H. G. Minty. It left the state 
for Louisville, Kentucky, September 26th, fully armed and equip- 
ped, with 1,233 officers and enlisted men on its rolls. Colonel 
Minty, its commanding officer, had been a major in the Second 
Cavalry and lieutenant colonel of the Third Cavalry. He com- 
manded the brigade, of which the Fourth formed a part, for 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 257 

the greater part of the time it was in service, the command being 
known as "Minty's Brigade/' which became as famous in the 
west as was the Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the east. 

The first real engagement in which the regiment participated 
was with the Confederate General Morgan, at Stanford, Ken- 
tucky, which resulted in a Union victory. From that time to the 
end of the year the Fourth was constantly on duty, taking the 
advance of the Union forces from Nashville, and making recon- 
naissances and scouts in every direction, meeting the enemy al- 
most daily, and invariably was victor when not overwhelmed by 
superior numbers. 

During these months of active service the regiment as a whole, 
or by detachments, made a number of saber charges with bril- 
liant success, or fought on foot with the facility of veteran infan- 
try when occasion required. It routed the enemy on many a field 
and captured prisoners and destroyed vast amounts of public prop- 
erty which the south could ill afford to lose. 

In January, 1863, though the weather was severe and the roads 
almost impassable and rations scarce, the regiment started from 
Murfreesboro, met Forrest's and Wheeler's Cavalry and drove 
them back with considerable loss of killed, wounded and prisoners. 

The following month the regiment was in pursuit of Wheeler 
and Forrest near Fort Donelson. During this march of two hun- 
dred and eighty miles in snow, sleet and rain the regiment cap- 
tured 145 prisoners and 14 commissioned officers. 

On the 22d day of May, 1863, the regiment, with its brigade, 
marched to Middleton, and the Fourth charged through the town 
and a mile beyond, where it met the First Alabama. Quickly dis- 
mounting and advancing on the camp with their repeating rifles, 
the Confederates fled and the Fourth took possession, capturing 
the flag of the First Alabama and destroying a large amount of 
small arms, ammunition, saddles and clothing. The flag, by reso- 
lution of the regiment, was presented to the governor of Michi- 
gan and is now deposited in the Military Museum at the capitol. 

In April, 1864, the Fourth marched across the Cumberland moun- 
tains to the vicinity of Chattanooga and then crossing Lookout 
mountain and Taylor's ridge attacked the enemy at Rome, Georgia, 
on the 15th, where it routed a Confederate brigade. Joining in the 
Atlanta campaign with the army under General Sherman, the 
Fourth led the advance of the infantry and took part in all the en- 
gagements of the campaign in and around Atlanta. 

The regiment formed a part of General Kilpatrick's force of 
2,500 men in a raid south of Atlanta, and when the Union troops 
reached Flint river they found the enemy behind formidable en- 



258 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

trenehments, but dismounted and, fighting on foot, charged him into 
Jonesboro. 

Kilpatriek then marched for Lovejoy's Station to destroy the Ma- 
con railroad. Here the Union forces were surrounded and, being 
outnumbered five to one, were in a critical situation. 

Minty's Brigade was then massed by regiments and with drawn 
saber cut its way through the enemy's line, thereby securing the 
safety of the balance of the command. 

After the fall of Atlanta, the Fourth was engaged in scouting, and 
detachments of the regiment had several severe encounters with 
the enemy. In October, when General Hood commenced his march 
north with the intention of taking Nashville, Tennessee, the Fourth, 
with its brigade, followed in pursuit, and marching through Rome, 
Kingston and Resaca, Georgia, met Wheeler's cavalry at Little 
River, Alabama, on the 20th and drove the Confederates five miles, 
killing and capturing a large number. 

Early in March, 1865, the regiment started on a long raid 
through Alabama, meeting the enemy at numerous places, captur- 
ing guns and supplies, and arrived before Selma, April 2d, which 
was strongly fortified and defended by Forrest's men, estimated at 
9,000. 

The Fourth, witli its brigade, was dismounted and assaulted the 
Avorks, losing heavily in the advance, but, undaunted by the ter- 
rific fire, scaled the breastworks and with the balance of the com- 
mand captured the city and 25 pieces of artillery, a large amount 
of ammunition and stores, besides 2,800 prisoners. 

The Fourth then marched through Montgomery to Macon, Geor- 
gia, and the Union trops here received the surrender of Major Gen- 
eral Howell Cobb, with his entire Confederate force of 380 of- 
ficers, 2,000 men and 62 pieces of artillery, with all the arsenals, 
foundries and machine shops in the city. 

It was here that the commanding general of the Union forces 
received the news of the surrender of Generals Lee and Johnston, 
which terminated hostilities east of the Mississippi. 

It was soon learned that Jefferson Davis, president of the so- 
called southern Conferedacy, was trying to make his escape to the 
Atlantic coast. 

Lieutenant Colonel Pritchard was directed by Colonel Minty to 
proceed with the Fourth to the Ockmulgee river and try to learn 
the whereabouts of Davis. Colonel Pritchard learned that Davis 
was moving towards Irwinsville, Georgia, and, selecting 150 of his 
best mounted troopers, started in rapid pursuit. He found Mr. 
Davis encamped in the woods with members of his family and 
friends, and all were soon made prisoners. 



HISTORY OF VAN BURBN COUNTY 259 

Capture of Jefferson Davis 

The story of the capture of the Confederate chieftain is an in- 
teresting one. We give it substantially as related by the chief par- 
ticipants. 

At Irwinsville, Georgia, Colonel Pritchard learned that a train 
which probably belonged to the fleeing president of the fallen Con- 
federacy was encamped but a short distance away. Moving out 
into the vicinity of the camp, he sent Lieutenant Purinton with a 
small detail of men to wait on the other side of it. At the break 
of day Pritchard advanced and arrived within a few rods of the 
camp without being discovered, and then dashed forward and 
placed a chain of guards around it before the astonished inmates 
fairly realized the situation. 

While this was being done, Corporal George Munger of Com- 
pany C, Fourth Cavalry, a resident of Schoolcraft, Michigan, and 
Corporal James F. Bullard of the same company, then of Paw 
Paw, Michigan (now a resident of St. Cloud, Fla.), observed two 
persons, each dressed in feminine garb, moving rapidly away from 
one of the tents. 

"That ought to be attended to," said one of them. 

"Yes," replied the other, and Munger, closely followed by Bul- 
lard, rode in front of them and commanded them to halt. 

"This is my mother-in-law," said one of them. "Can't you let 
her pass? She is going to the spring for some water." Her com- 
panion, a tall, stooping person, wrapped in a woman's waterproof, 
with a shawl over the head and a pail in one hand, said nothing. 

"No, you can't pass," was the reply. 

Seeing that further concealment would avail nothing, the 
pseudo mother-in-law straightened up, dropped the waterproof and 
shawl revealing a tall man, with gray hair and w r hiskers and with 
but one eye. At first, no one recognized the fugitive as the presi- 
dent of the played-out Confederacy. Mrs. Davis (for the other 
party was the wife of the fleeing president), threw her arms around 
her husband's neck exclaiming "Don't shoot him! Don't shoot 
him!" 

"Let them shoot," said Davis. "Let them shoot, if they choose. 
I may as w T ell die here as anywhere." 

But it was not customary for Union soldiers to shoot prisoners of 
war, and there was no one who had the slightest inclination to 
slay the ex-Confederate president. 

Upon being questioned, Mrs. Davis admitted the identity of her 
companion, saying to Bullard : ' ' Mr. Davis is a very reverend man. 
I hope he will not be insulted." 



260 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

"I shall not insult him, if he behaves himself/' was the curt 
reply. 

Meanwhile Colonel Pritchard had gone to the assistance of Lieu- 
tenant Purinton, in whose front heavy firing was heard. The fight 
proved to be a most unfortunate occurrence. A detachment of 
the First Wisconsin Cavalry, which was also in pursuit of Davis, 
had met Purinton 's advanced guard and began firing on them 
before ascertaining their identity. In this lamentable affair sev- 
eral men were killed and wounded. 

As Colonel Pritchard rode up on his return to the camp he was 
accosted by Davis, who inquired if he was the commanding officer. 
The colonel replied in the affirmative and asked by what name he 
should address his interlocutor. 

"Call me whatever you please/' was the reply. 

"Then I shall call you Davis," said Pritchard, and after a mo- 
ment's hesitation, the prisoner admitted that was his name. 

Then, assuming an attitude of great dignity, he said to Prit- 
chard "I suppose you consider it bravery to charge a train of de- 
fenseless women and children ; but it is theft ; it is vandalism. ' ' 

Without inquiring whether his distinguished prisoner considered 
himself a woman or a child, the colonel at once set out for Macon, 
joining the rest of the command on the way. 

As to attacking a camp of women and children, there were with 
the captured party, two of Davis' aides-de-camp and several other 
Confederate officers, the entire party consisting of about thirty 
persons. 

The official records show that during its period of service the 
Fourth Cavalry met the enemy in nearly a hundred different bat- 
tles and skirmishes, some of the principal ones being as follows: 
Stone River, Tennessee, December 31, 1862; McMinnville, Tennes- 
see, April 21, 1863 ; Shelbyville, Tennessee, June 27, 1863 ; Chicka- 
mauga, Georgia, September 19, 20 and 21, 1863, Chattanooga, 
Tennessee, November 17, 1863 ; Mission Ridge, Tennessee, Novem- 
ber 25, 1863; Rome, Georgia, April 15, 1864; Atlanta, Georgia, 
August 1 to 14, 1864; Lovejoy's Station, Georgia, August 20, 1864; 
Macon, Georgia, April 20, 1865. 

The regiment left Macon at the close of the war and reached 
Nashville, June 17, 1865. On the first of July it was mustered out 
of service and returned to Detroit where it was paid off and dis- 
banded. 

Total enrolment, 2,006; killed in action, 30; died of wounds, 
15 ; died while prisoners of war, 7 ; died of disease, 283 ; discharged 
for disability, 230. 

The following is a list of the Van Buren county soldiers who 
served in the Fourth Cavalry. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 261 

Company C : Anderson, Return T., Porter ; enlisted July 8, 1862, 
at Porter; discharged July 1, 1865; deceased; buried at Porter. 

Austin, Benjamin F., Paw Paw; enlisted July 25, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; discharged May 30, 1865. 

Barker, Wesley T., Porter; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Porter; 
discharged July 1, 1865; present residence, Porter. 

Barnes, Charles W., Arlington; enlisted July 24, 1862, at Arling- 
ton; died December 29, 1862; buried in Cave Hill National cem- 
etery at Louisville, Kentucky. 

Bennett, John, Decatur; enlisted August 5, 1862, at Decatur; 
corporal ; promoted to commissary sergeant and tc first sergeant ; 
taken prisoner at Flint Hill church, July 10, 1864; commissioned 
second lieutenant and assigned to Company B ; brevet first lieuten- 
ant, United States Volunteers, for meritorious services in the cap- 
ture of Jefferson Davis; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Bierce, James M., Arlington; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Ar- 
lington ; died at Nashville, Tennessee, January 28, 1863 ; buried 
in National cemetery at Nashville. 

Bryant, John R., Porter; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Porter; 
discharged July 1, 1865. 

Buck, B. Franklin, Keeler; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Keeler ; 
discharged for disability April 28, 1863. 

Buck, R. Mortimer, Paw Paw; enlisted August 6, 1862, at 
Paw Paw; first sergeant; subsequently commissioned as second 
lieutenant, first lieutenant and captain; discharged July 1, 1865; 
died December 9, 1902 ; buried at Paw Paw. 

Buckle}^ James M., Lawrence; enlisted August 2, 1862, at Law- 
rence ; corporal ; wounded in action near Fairburn, Georgia, Au- 
gust 19, 1864; promoted to sergeant; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Bullard, James F., Paw Paw; enlisted August 2, 1862, at Paw 
Paw ; corporal ; was one of the immediate captors of Jefferson 
Davis and one of the detail of guards that accompanied him to 
prison; discharged July 1, 1865; present residence, St. Cloud, 
Florida. 

Burns, Robert, Paw Paw; entered service at organization of 
the regiment as first lieutenant; appointed adjutant, commis- 
sioned captain and acting assistant adjutant general, brevet lieuten- 
ant colonel United States Volunteers for gallant conduct during an 
assault on the enemy's works at Selma, Alabama; discharged July 
1, 1865. 

Burrell, Charles, Arlington; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Arling- 
ton; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Carr, Peter, Paw Paw; enlisted July 20, 1862, at Paw Paw; 
taken prisoner at Columbia, Tennessee, April 17, 1865; no fur- 
ther record. 



262 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Clark, Edwin L., Paw Paw; enlisted July 19, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; died at Nashville, Tennessee, December 13, 1863; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Colburn, Stephen A., Paw Paw; enlisted July 11, 1862, at Paw 
Paw ; discharged for disability December 27, 1862 ; re-entered ser- 
vice in Company C, Thirteenth Michigan Infantry, August 15, 
1864, at Paw Paw; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Collins, George W., Hamilton ; enlisted August 1, 1862, at Hamil- 
ton ; died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, February 17, 1863. 

Conklin, Luman, Porter; enlisted July 26, 1862, at Porter; dis- 
charged for disability August 6, 1863; deceased; buried at Law- 
ton. 

Crandall, James C, Hartford; enlisted July 21, 1862, at Hart- 
ford; sergeant; discharged January 26, 1863, by reason of ac- 
cidental wounds. 

Crane, Edgar A., Paw Paw ; enlisted July 5, 1862, at Paw Paw ; 
corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged July 1, 1865; died, 
PHI; buried at Kalamazoo. 

Crane, James M., Paw Paw; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability October 31, 1863. 

Crawford, Lester B., Arlington; enlisted August 5, 1862, at Ar- 
lington; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Curry, David Q., Decatur; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Decatur; 
corporal; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Dake, Hiram P., Paw Paw; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Darling, Gilbert II., Antwerp; enlisted August 5, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; taken prisoner November 12, 1862; paroled; discharged 
July 1, 1865. 

Davern, Timothy, Antwerp ; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Porter ; 
discharged for disability February 3. 1863; died January 16, 1902. 
Davis, Benajah M., Waverly; enlisted August 9, 1862, at ¥a- 
verly; discharged July 1, 1862. 

Dean, E. Rolla, Hamilton; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Hamil- 
ton ; discharged for disability March 8, 1863. 

Delano, Harvey, Paw Paw ; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Waverly ; 
died July 30, 1863 ; buried in National cemetery at Nashville, Ten- 
nessee. 

Denton, John, Lawrence ; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Lawrence ; 
wounded in action October 21, 1862; discharged June 5, 1865; 
died at Lawrence March 27, 1885; buried in Prospect Lake cem- 
etery. 

Dickinson, Egbert O., Antwerp ; enlisted July 12, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Dillon, David, Paw Paw ; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Paw Paw ; 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 263 

corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged July 1, 1865; present 
residence Paw Paw. 

Dolson, Elon G., Lawrence; enlisted July 21, 1862, at Lawrence; 
discharged for disability, September 30, 1863. 

Dopp, James, Lawrence; enlisted July 31, 1862, at Lawrence; 
sergeant; died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, January 18, 1863; 
buried in National cemetery at Stone River, Tennessee, grave No. 
4413. 

Eastman, Norman W.. Paw Paw; enlisted July 21, 1862, at 
Paw Paw; discharged for disability, March 25, 1863. 

Ecklar, Daniel, Columbia; enlisted July 30, 1862; discharged 
July 1, 1865. 

Engle, Allen, Paw Paw; enlisted August 12, 1862, at Paw Paw; 
discharged June 13, 1865. 

Farrow, John; enlisted February 4, 1863, at Keeler; discharged 
August 15, 1865. 

Fernam, August, Hartford; enlisted July 20, 1862, at Hart- 
ford; discharged for disability. June 21, 1864. on account of wounds 
received in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, September 18, 1863. 
Field, William A., Lawrence; enlisted July 22, 1862; trans- 
ferred to Invalid Corps November 1, 1863. 

Fisk, George W., Lawrence; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Law- 
rence; died at Nashville, Tennessee, January 26, 1863; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Harrington, Russell, Columbia; enlisted July 23, 1862, at Co- 
lumbia; died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, March 12, 1863. 

Harrison, George P., Antwerp; enlisted August 7, 1862, at 
Antwerp; corporal; taken prisoner September 30, 1863; discharged 
July 1, 1865. 

Hayes, Jeremiah C, Antwerp; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Por- 
ter; died at Nashvile, Tennessee. January 18, 1863; buried in Na- 
tional cemetery at Nashville. 

Hazard, Elijah C, Arlington, enlisted July 24, 1862, at Arling- 
ton; discharged for disability July 1, 1863; died February 27, 
1890; buried at Arlington cemetery. 

Holly, Henry A., Arlington, enlisted August 5, 1862, at Ar- 
lington; discharged for disability July, 1864. 

Horton, Charles D. ; drafted from Pine Grove; mustered No- 
vember 4, 1863; died at Columbia, Tennessee, May 20, 1864. 

Howard, Hosea L., Lawrence; enlisted July 31, 1862. at Law- 
rence; died at Nashville, Tennessee, February 2, 1863; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Howe, Harry T., Paw Paw; enlisted August 10, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability February 25, 1863. 

Huston, Joseph W., Paw Paw; entered service in Company C, 



264 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Third Michigan Cavalry, as first lieutenant; resigned January 12, 
1862; re-entered service in Fourth Cavalry as adjutant, August 
8, 1862, at Detroit; promoted to major, September 1, 1862; re- 
signed and honorably discharged on account of disability, Au- 
gust 23, 1863; died at Boise City, Idaho. 

Irwin, William G., Antwerp; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; discharged for disability July 18, 1863. 

Ismon, Aaron, F., Paw Paw; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Paw 
Paw ; quartermaster sergeant ; promoted to first sergeant ; commis- 
sioned second lieutenant ; resigned on account of disability, Decem- 
ber 16, 1863 ; died December 21, 1863. 

Jaquays, Oliver, Porter; enlisted July 29, 1862, at Porter; died 
at Nashville, Tennessee, January 5, 1863; buried in National cem- 
etery at Nashville. 

Jenkins, George, Arlington; enlisted August 9, 1862, at Arling- 
ton; died at Ooltewah, Tennessee, February 28, 1864; buried in 
National cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, grave No. 10844. 

Jenkins, Marcus D., Paw Paw r ; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Paw 
Paw T ; transferred to Invalid Corps, December 15, 1863; discharged 
June 6, 1865. 

Jones Allen, Antwerp ; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Antwerp ; 
discharged for disability September 30, 1863. 

Lane, Edward J., Arlington; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Ar- 
lington ; discharged July 1, 1865 ; died at Lawrence. 

Lanphear, Byron W., Lawrence; enlisted August 5, 1862, at 
Lawrente ; taken prisoner near Nashville, Tennessee, November 
2, 1862; paroled; killed in action at Latimer 's Mills, Georgia, June 
26, 1864; buried in National cemetery at Marietta, Georgia, grave 
No 2208, section C. 

Lawton, George W., Antwerp ; entered service at organization 
as second lieutenant, July 8, 1862, at Porter; commissioned first 
lieutenant and captain; wounded in action at Dallas, Georgia, 
May 24, 1864 ; brevet major United States Volunteers for gallant 
and meritorious conduct at Dallas, Georgia; discharged July 1, 
1865; died at Lawton; buried in the Lawton cemetery. 

Leathers, Charles L., Columbia; enlisted July 30, 1862, at Co- 
lumbia; corporal; promoted to sergeant and to commissary ser- 
geant ; discharged July 1, 1865 ; present residence Kalamazoo. 

Leonard, William, Decatur; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Deca- 
tur; died at Nashville, Tennessee, December 9, 1862; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Loveland, Henry J., Paw Paw; enlisted August 5, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged July 1, 1865; 
died at Paw Paw, July 9, 1908. 

McKinney, Thomas J., Porter; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Por- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 265 

ter; commissary sergeant; wounded at Latimer's Mills, Georgia, 
June 20, 1864; promoted to quartermaster sergeant; discharged 
July 1, 1865. 

MeLain, John C, Porter; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Porter; 
wounded in action at Winchester, Tennessee, September 30, 1863 ; 
corporal; discharged July 1, 1865; present residence in South 
Dakota. 

Melchor. Thaddeus W., Paw Paw; entered service as captain at 
Paw Paw, July 8, 1862; resigned on account of disability March 
31, 1863; died at Paw Paw. 

Merriman, Alfred M., Paw Paw; enlisted August 7, 1862, at 
Paw Paw: transferred to Invalid Corps, September 1, 1863; dis- 
charged as sergeant June 29, 1865. 

Merriman, Henry, Paw Paw; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Paw 
Paw ; died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, November 22, 1863 ; buried 
in National cemetery at Stone River, Tennessee. 

Moore, William, Columbia ; enlisted July 23, 1862, at Columbia ; 
corporal ; promoted to sergeant ; died at Murfreesboro. Tennessee, 
February 17, 1863. 

Munson. Stephen B., Columbia ; enlisted July 26, 1862, at Colum- 
bia ; paroled prisoner January 11, 1863; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Niles, Austin D. ; enlisted August 5, 1864, at Kalamazoo ; sub- 
stitute for Edmund Hewitt; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Niles, Gideon P.. Columbia; enlisted July 23, 1862, at Colum- 
bia; discharged May 24, 1865. 

Page, John F.. Columbia ; enlisted July 28, 1862, at Columbia ; 
discharged July 1, 1865. 

Palmerton, Reuben, Hamilton; enlisted August 1, 1862, at 
Hamilton; corporal; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Pierce. George W., Lawrence; enlisted August 5. 1862, at Law- 
rence; saddler; discharged May 13, 1865. 

Place, Howland, Lawrence; enlisted July 31, 1862, at Lawrence; 
discharged for disability May 27, 1863. 

Prince, John Jr., Antwerp ; enlisted August 5, 1862, at Antwerp ; 
transferred to Invalid Corps; discharged July 5, 1865. 

Prince, Pomeroy, Geneva; enlisted August 11, 1862, at Geneva; 
discharged July 1, 1865. 

Pritchard, Philo, Antwerp; enlisted August 7, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; discharged July 1. 1865. 

Pugsley, John S., Paw Paw; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; regimental quartermaster sergeant; promoted to first lieuten- 
ant and commissary, acting assistant brigade quartermaster; dis- 
charged July 1, 1865. 

Rawson, Silas M., Decatur; enlisted August 5, 1862, at Deca- 
tur; veterinary surgeon; discharged July 1, 1865. 



->m HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Rediker, George B., Porter; enlisted July 28, 1862, at Porter; 
wagoner; discharged July 1, 1865; deceased; buried at Porter. 

Rickard, Charles E., Bangor; enlisted August 18, 1862, at Ban- 
gor; killed in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, September 18, 1868. 

Riggs, Ranselaer, Porter; enlisted August 28, 1862; discharged 
for disability August 11, 1863 ; re-enlisted in same company Au- 
gust 18, 1864; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Rockwell, Jerome, Columbia; enlisted August 9, 1862, at Colum- 
bia; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Russ, Isaac P., Arlington; enlisted August 7, 1862; transferred 
to Invalid Corps. 

Ryan, John, Lawrence; enlisted August 7. 1862, at Lawrence ; 
discharged July 1, 1865; died at Lawrence, May 7, 1909. 

Sherwood, Henry, Columbia ; enlisted July 23, 1862, at Colum- 
bia ; wounded in action at Latimer's Mills, Georgia, June 20, 1864; 
honorably discharged. 

Smead, Thomas D., Antwerp; enlisted July 16, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Smith, Charles II.. Decatur; enlisted August 9, 1862, at Deca- 
tur; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Smith, William J., Antwerp; enlisted August 8, 1862, at Porter; 
farrier; discharged June 3, 1865. 

Stevens, Fitz E., Paw Paw; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; sergeant major; discharged July 1, 1865; present residence 
Paw Paw. 

Warner, Oliver W., Paw Paw; drafted; mustered November 4, 
1863; killed in action at Lovejoy Station, Georgia, August 20, 1864. 

Wilcox, Reuben O., Antwerp; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Woolsey, William F., Hartford; enlisted July 21, 1862, at Hart- 
ford ; died at Nash vile, Tennessee. January 1 3, 1 863 ; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Worthey, George, Arlington; enlisted August 6, 1862, at Arling 
ton; w r ounded in action at Latimer's Mills, Georgia, June 20, 1864; 
discharged July 1, 1865; died at Paw Paw, June 5, 1906. 

Other Companies; Baty, John; drafted from Hartford; mus- 
tered October 14, 1863; assigned to Company A; discharged Au- 
gust 15, 1865. 

Moon, Josiah B. ; drafted from Decatur ; mustered November 4 7 
1863; assigned to Company A; discharged August 15, 1865. 

Moon, Rodolphus ; drafted from Columbia ; mustered Novem- 
ber 4, 1863; assigned to Company A; died at Cartersville, Geor- 
gia, June 7, 1864. 

Cobb, Dennis H., Columbia; enlisted in Company F, August 11, 
1862, at Adrian; taken prisoner at Kingston Georgia, May 18, 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 267 

1864; died in prison at Florence, South Carolina, November 1, 
. 1864. 

Cross, Ira F. ; drafted from Paw Paw; mustered November 4, 
1863; assigned to Company G ; discharged December 27, 1864. 

Ward, John W. ; drafted from Antwerp ; mustered November 4. 
1863; assigned to Company G; in hospital at Edgefield, Tennes- 
see, July, 1865. 

Driskil, Noah, Porter; enlisted in Company I, August 11, 1862. 
at Dowagiac ; discharged April 2, 1863. 

Lewis, Francis F., Porter; enlisted in Company I, August 11, 
1862, at Dowagiac; wounded in action at Lavergne, Tennessee, 
December 26, 1862; died at Nashville, Tennessee, January 11, 1865. 

Morton, Charles L., Porter; enlisted in Company I, August 11, 
1862, at Dowagiac; discharged for disability February 27, 1863. 

Orr, Hugh; enlisted in Company T. March 14, 1864, at Decatur: 
discharged July 26, 1865. 

Armstrong, Worden ; drafted from Antwerp; mustered Novem- 
ber 4, 1863 ; assigned to Company E : died at Nashville. Tennessee, 
March 3, 1865; buried in National cemetery at Nashville. 

Derby, John L., Bloomingdale ; enlisted August 1, 1862, in Com- 
pany L, at Allegan; died at Nashville, Tennessee, February 16. 
1863; buried in National cemetery at Nashville. 

Burdette, Abraham; drafted from Hamilton; assigned to Fourth 
Cavalry, mustered November 4, 1863; no further record. 

Dyer, Andrew J.; drafted from Lawrence; assigned to Fourth 
Cavalry; mustered November 4, 1863; no further record. 

Finley, Andrew M. ; drafted from Geneva ; assigned to Fourth 
Cavalry; mustered November 4, 1863; no further record. 

Labadie, Joseph ; drafted from Almena ; assigned to Fourth 
Cavalry ; mustered November 4, 1863 ; no further record. 

Lawhorn, Henry ; drafted from Porter ; mustered November 4. 
1863; assigned to Fourth Cavalry; no further record. 

Nash, Albert H., Paw Paw; joined regiment October 10, 1862. 
as sergeant major ; commissioned as second lieutenant ; resigned 
on account of disability, February 17, 1863. 

Ninth Michigan Cavalry 

Bally, valiant soldiers, rally, 

'Tis the time for you and me, 
We will stand by one another, 

Round the standard of the free. 

The Ninth Cavalry was organized at Coldwater in 1862 under 
the supervision of Colonel James I. David and was mustered into 
the United States service in May, 1863. The total enrolment at 
organization was 1,073 officers and enlisted men. 



268 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Many of the officers of this regiment had seen service in the 
field with other regiments and their experience in military duties 
and discipline was of great advantage and served to place the 
Ninth on a war hasis much sooner than would have been possible 
under other circumstances. The regiment was splendidly equipped 
when it took the field, being armed with the Spencer carbine, 
a magazine gun that could be fired seven times without stopping 
to reload — the best cavalry weapon of that date. 

Capture of Morgan 

The Ninth was also furnished with fine mounts when it left the 
state and the personnel of the different companies was excellent. 
Ten companies of the regiment left Coldwater in May for Cincin- 
nati, Ohio, and its first camp in the field was at Covington, Ken- 
tucky. In June it was ordered to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, in pur- 
suit of a band of guerrillas and its first engagement with the 
enemy was at Triplett Bridge, w T here it routed Everett's guerrillas 
and wounded and captured a number of them. The Confederate 
General John Morgan was in Kentucky at the time the Ninth was 
sent in pursuit, but Morgan eluded his foes although the Ninth 
captured his chief of staff and a number of his men. The regiment 
returned to Danville, Kentucky, July 6, where all the cavalry pres- 
ent w r as placed under the command of Colonel AY. T. Saunders of 
the Fifth Kentucky. 

In the meantime the Confederate General Morgan had crossed 
the Ohio river into Indiana and made his celebrated raid through 
that state and Ohio, destroying property, burning bridges, looting 
villages, taking provisions for his men and capturing horses, 
spreading consternation along his march. 

The regiment soon assembled at Cincinnati, Ohio, and reported 
to General Burnside whose headquarters were in the city. Reports 
w r ere so conflicting as to the location of Morgan that the regiment 
was divided, companies A, B, F, L, C, and K eventually overtaking 
the enemy at Buffington Island, where a sharp engagement fol- 
lowed, resulting in a complete rout of Morgan's forces, capturing 
500 prisoners, a large quantity of small arms and three pieces of 
artillery. 

Companies C, D, E, H, I, and K left Cincinnati on the Little 
Miami Railroad, and arrived at Mingo Junction, Ohio, on the 25th 
and marched immediately to Steubenville. On the 26th Morgan 
was pressed into an engagement near Salineville, Ohio, by a charge 
of the detachment of the Ninth in which the Confederates were 
routed with a loss of 23 killed, about 50 wounded and 250 prison- 
ers. General Morgan was driven from the field and in his flight 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 269 

ran into the forces of General Shackleford, who was marching on 
the same road Morgan was retreating, and the Confederate Gen- 
eral surrendered to General Shackleford. General Morgan and 
staff were taken to Salineville where they were placed in a coach 
and sent to Columbus, Ohio. 

The Ninth took part in the expedition against Cumberland Gap 
and that stronghold surrendered to the Union forces, with 2.500 
men and 13 pieces of artillery. Then followed the East Tennessee 
campaign which probably was unequaled for hardships during the 
war on account of the severity of the climate, the want of cloth- 
ing and tents, and the scarcity of rations. The Ninth was con- 
stantly on duty and was in frequent contact with the enemy's cav- 
alry, as the Confederate General Longstreet encamped his corps 
in the valleys of Tennessee during the winter. The hardships im- 
posed upon the horses by constant marches and the want of for- 
age finally dismounted most of the companies, the men being 
obliged to see their faithful horses die of hunger, while they them- 
selves were often on the verge of starvation. 

In the spring of 1864, the regiment, having lost most of its 
horses, returned to Nieholasville, Kentucky, to remount and secure 
new equipments. The first of June found the regiment supplied 
with fine mounts and well equipped. On the 12th the regiment 
confronted the Confederate General John Morgan (who had es- 
caped from prison) once more, this time at Cynthiana, Kentucky. 
The Ninth attacked in a splendid charge, driving the enemy into 
the Licking river and capturing about 300 prisoners and a large 
supply of stores and small arms. 

First and Last 

The Ninth joined General Sherman's army on the Atlanta cam- 
paign, and before the fall of Atlanta was a part of the force under 
General Kilpatrick in a raid south of Atlanta on the Montgomery 
railroad. The Ninth formed a part of the Cavalry Corps com- 
manded by General Kilpatrick, and marched with Sherman from 
"Atlanta to the Sea/' being engaged in frequent combats with 
General Wheeler and General Wade Hampton's Cavalry. At 
Waynesboro, Georgia, the Ninth made a brilliant charge upon the 
forces of General Wheeler, driving the enemy in confusion and 
capturing 100 prisoners. This charge w r as especially mentioned by 
General Kilpatrick in his dispatch to the war department. When 
the regiment arrived at Savannah, Georgia, it was selected by Gen- 
eral Kilpatrick as his escort to march to St. Catherine's Sound on 
the Atlantic coast and open communication with the federal fleet. 
This gave the regiment the prestige of being the first regiment of 
Sherman's army to reach the coast. 



270 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The cavalry division started from Savannah, Georgia, on the 
Carolina campaign the 27th of January, 1865. It marched on the 
flanks in advance and in the rear of Sherman's army, whenever 
the enemy's cavalry might appear. The regiment met the enemy 
at many points as it moved through the states of South Carolina 
and North Carolina, and was at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, when 
the news of General Lee's surrender was received. In a skirmish 
with the Confederate General Johnston's forces just before the 
news of General Lee's surrender and the order came to "cease 
firing," it is asserted that the Ninth fired the last hostile shot of 
the war east of the Mississippi. The regiment was at Chapel Hill, 
North Carolina, when General Johnston surrendered to General 
Sherman. 

The official records show that the Ninth Cavalry was engaged 
in sixty battles and skirmishes, the following being some of the 
principal ones: Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, September 9, 1863: 
Zollicotfer, Tennessee, September 23, 1863; Knoxville, Tennessee, 
December 5, 1863; Fair Garden, Tennessee, January 24, 1864: 
siege of Atlanta, August 1 to September 3, 1864 ; Stone Mountain. 
Georgia, September 13, 1864; Lovejoy Station, Georgia, November 
16, 1864; Macon, Georgia, November 21, 1864; Cypress Swamp, 
Georgia, December 7, 1864; Averysboro, North Carolina, March 
14 and 15, 1865 ; Raleigh, North Carolina, April 12, 1865. 

The regiment was mustered out of service at Concord, North 
Carolina, and immediately started for Michigan, arriving at Jack- 
son, July 30, 1865, where it was paid off and disbanded. 

Total enrolment, 1,213 ; killed in action, 32 ; died of wounds, 8 ? 
died in Confederate prisons, 32; died of disease, 110; discharged 
for disability (wounds and disease), 59. 

Van Buren County soldiers in the Ninth Cavalry were as fol- 
lows. 

Company E: Banks, Will H. S., Lawton; captain Company II, 
Twelfth Infantry, September 17, 1861; resigned February 20, 
1862; re-entered service as second lieutenant Company E, Ninth 
Cavalry, at organization ; promoted to first lieutenant and to cap- 
tain ; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Bilby, George, Antwerp; enlisted January 12, 1863, at Ant- 
werp; taken prisoner February 4, 1864; died at Andersonville, 
Georgia ; buried in National cemetery at Andersonville. 

Bliss, Merritt, Antwerp ; enlisted January 2, 1863, at Antwerp : 
taken prisoner at Dandridge, Tennessee, January 16, 1864; died 
April 16, 1864; buried at Annapolis, Maryland. 

Bradford, Calvin P., Porter ; enlisted December 13, 1862, at 
Porter; discharged July 21, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 271 

Brott, Aaron, Antwerp ; enlisted December 14, 1862, at Antwerp ; 
discharged July 21, 1865. 

Brown, Charles W., Almena ; enlisted December 5, 1862, at 
Almena; commissary sergeant; discharged June 7, 1865. 

Brown, William, Almena; enlisted November 28, 1862, at Al- 
mena ; corporal ; taken prisoner in March, 1865 ; paroled in June, 
1865; discharged July 12, 1865. 

Buchanan, William, Columbia; enlisted January 2, 1868, at 
Jackson; discharged March 14, 1863. 

Clark, John, Almena ; enlisted December > 8, 1862, at Almena ; 
died at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, June 2, 1864; buried in National 
cemetery at Camp Nelson, grave No. 1432. 

Clark, Joseph, Antwerp; enlisted December 15, 1862, at An r - 
werp; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Cook, Willis C, Lawton; enlisted in Company D, Thirteenth 
Infantry, November 18, 1861 ; discharged for disability November 
3, 1862; enlisted in Company E, Ninth Cavalry, April 15, 186.".. 
at Antwerp; farrier; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Covey, Alphonso, Waverly; enlisted December 9, 1862, at W; - 
verly; discharged February 27, 1863. 

Earl, David, Pine Grove; enlisted December 19, 1862, at Pinv 
Grove; taken prisoner at Wadesboro, South Carolina, March 4, 
1865; paroled in June, 1865; discharged June 23, 1865. 

Ellison, Joseph, Antwerp ; enlisted December 18, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; taken prisoner in March, 1865; paroled; discharged August 
5, 1865 ; deceased. 

Finch, Alfred, Pine Grove; enlisted December 18, 1862, at Pirn* 
Grove; corporal; discharged July 21, 1865; died December 5, 1889. 

Finch, Edward E., Pine Grove; enlisted December IS, 1862. 
at Pine Grove; taken prisoner at Atlanta, Georgia, August 2K 
1864; paroled June 15, 1865; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Goff, Dewitt C, Porter; enlisted January 10, 1863, at Porter: 
discharged July 21, 1865. 

Hill, George B. A., Antwerp; enlisted December 27, 1862, at 
Antwerp ; sergeant ; promoted to second lieutenant and to first 
lieutenant; discharged July 21, 1865; died at Worcester, Mas- 
sachusetts, August 8, 1896. 

Hinchey, John J., Antwerp ; entered service at organization of 
regiment as captain; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Holden, Elmore, Antwerp; enlisted December 8, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; died at Knoxville, Tennessee, March 1, 1864; buried at 
Knoxville. 

Holden, Orrin, Antwerp; enlisted December 17, 1862, at Ant« 
werp; discharged July 21, 1865; died July 2, 1903. 

Holden, Samuel E., Antwerp; enlisted December 17, 1862, at 



272 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Antwerp; discharged July 21, 1865; deceased; buried at Lawton, 
Michigan. 

Lewis, Frederick L., Paw Paw; enlisted December 11, 1862, at 
Paw Paw ; veterinary surgeon ; taken prisoner December 14, 1863 ; 
died at Andersonville, Georgia, June 12, 1864 ; buried in National 
cemetery at Andersonville, grave No. 1882. 

Magoon, Edward; Lawton ; enlisted April 7, 1863, at Battery 
L, First Light Artillery ; transferred to Ninth Cavalry ; discharged 
July 21, 1865. 

McKay, Henry M., Porter; enlisted July 22, 1862, at Detroit; 
substitute for James V. Campbell; no further record. 

McLain, Hamilton H., Porter; enlisted January 12, 1863, at 
Porter; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Markillie, Jacob, Antwerp; enlisted December 5, 1862, at Ant- 
werp ; discharged February 4, 1864 ; died at Almena, Michigan. 

Markillie, John G., Almena; enlisted December 5, 1862, at Al- 
mena; corporal; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Marsh, James G., Antwerp ; enlisted December 27, 1862, at Ant- 
werp ; corporal; discharged July 21, 1865; deceased; buried at 
Newburg, Michigan. 

Morse, Manley M., Pine Grove; enlisted December 18, 1862, at 
Pine Grove ; corporal ; discharged June 12, 1865. 

Niles, Thomas L., Waverly; enlisted December 5, 1862, at Wa- 
verly; corporal; discharged May 18, 1865. 

Phelps, Edwin T., Pine Grove; enlisted December 20, 1862, at 
Pine Grove ; corporal ; promoted to sergeant ; discharged August 
5, 1865, from Veteran Reserve Corps. 

Rider, Truman, Antwerp ; enlisted December 9, 1862, at Ant- 
werp ; sergeant ; taken prisoner at Dandridge, Tennessee, January 
16, 1864; died while prisoner of war, at Richmond, Virginia, April 
4, 1864; buried at Richmond. 

Sheldon, Joseph F., Pine Grove; enlisted December 10, 1862, at 
Pine Grove ; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Simmons, Ellis D., Antwerp ; enlisted December 8, 1862, at Law- 
ton; first sergeant; discharged for disability June 9, 1865. 

Smith, Daniel W., Keeler; enlisted February 10, 1863, at Keeler; 
discharged July 13, 1865. 

Smith, Eugene E. ; enlisted in Company D, Sixth Infantry, 
June 19, 1861 ; discharged for disability June 25, 1863 ; re-entered 
service in Company 3, Ninth Cavalry, at organization as first 
lieutenant ; discharged for disability December 28, 1863. 

Smith, Silas A., Paw Paw; enlisted March 6, 1863, at Paw Paw; 
first sergeant; discharged July 21, 1865; deceased; buried at Paw 
Paw. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY * 273 

Stevens, Thomas, Antwerp; enlisted December 9, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Tillou, John B., Antwerp; enlisted December 26, 1862, at Ant- 
werp ; died at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, August 10, 1863 ; buried 
in National cemetery at Camp Nelson, grave No. 1533. 

Tuttle, George L., Paw T Paw; enlisted January 10, 1863, at Paw 
Paw ; sergeant ; discharged May 18, 1865 ; present residence, Paw 
Paw. 

Tuttle, Grant W., Paw Paw; enlisted December 19, 1862, at 
Paw Paw ; quartermaster sergeant ; promoted to second lieutenant ; 
acting regimental quartermaster; resigned November 24, 1864; 
present residence, Kalamazoo. 

Tyler, John B., Antwerp ; enlisted January 2, 1863, at Antwerp ; 
died at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, August 20, 1863. 

Tyler, Kimball, Antwerp ; enlisted January 2, 1863, at Antwerp ; 
discharged November, 1863. 

Veley, William, Pine Grove; enlisted December 17, 1862, at 
Pine Grove; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Waldo, Uriah, Antwerp; enlisted December 26, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Williams, Daniel, Antwerp; enlisted January 12, 1863, at Ant- 
werp ; taken prisoner May 10, 1865 ; discharged June 20, 1865. 

Other Companies : Blakely, Truman G. ; enlisted May 6, 1864, 
in Company K, at Bangor; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Linfear, George; enlisted May 6, 1864, in Company K, at Ban- 
gor; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Quinn, Martin; enlisted May 6, 1864, in Company K, at Ban- 
gor; corporal; discharged July 21, 1865. 

Sowders, Peter; enlisted May 12, 1864, in Company K, at Ban- 
gor; taken prisoner in March, 1865; discharged June 12, 1865. 

White, Owen C. ; enlisted May 8 ,1864, in Company K, at Ban- 
gor ; corporal ; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Baxter, Edward, Pine Grove ; enlisted August 15, 1864, in Com- 
pany C, at Kalamazoo; discharged May 3, 1865. 

Root, Maurice T., Keeler; enlisted in Company L, January 1, 
1863, at Keeler; sergeant; transferred to Invalid Corps; dis- 
charged August 30, 1865. 



CHAPTER XI 

OTHER COMMANDS 

First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics — First Regiment 
Michigan Light Artillery — Van Buren County Soldiers in 
Other Michigan Regiments — Birge's Western Sharpshooters 
— Company C, Seventieth New York Infantry — Other Com- 
panies or Regiments. 

Stand by the flag, all doubt and treason scorning; 

Believe with courage strong and faith sublime, 
That it will float until the eternal morning 

Pales in its glories, all the lights of time. 

The organization of the Michigan Engineers and Mechanics was 
especially authorized by the war department. The authority to 
raise it, with the sanction of Governor Blair, was delegated to Col- 
onel William P. Innes, a practical engineer of Grand Rapids. 

The regiment rendezvoused at Marshall, was mustered into the 
service on the 29th of October, 1861, and left for the front on De- 
cember 17th following: It was divided into four detachments 
and assigned to duty with the four divisions of General Buell's 
army. 

The service rendered by this regiment was very important and 
valuable. Ten of the companies were with Sherman on his mem- 
orable march from Atlanta to the sea and were required to keep 
pace with the army, moving at the rate of some twenty miles per 
day, and at the same time tearing up miles of railroad track, twist- 
ing the rails, burning bridges in the rear of the army, repairing 
and making roads in advance, laying pontoons and building bridges 
across the streams. 

After the surrender of Generals Lee and Johnston, the regi- 
ment proceeded to Washington where it participated in the Grand 
Review after which it was sent to Nashville where, on the 22nd 
day of September, 1865, it was mustered out of service and pro- 
ceeded to Jackson, Michigan, where it was paid off and disbanded, 
October 1, 1865. 

During its four years of service the regiment was engaged at 
Mill Springs, Kentucky; the siege of Corinth, Mississippi; Perry- 
ville, Kentucky; La Vergne, and Chattanooga, Tennessee; sieges 

274 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 



*-W0 



of Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and Averysboro, and Benton- 
ville, North Carolina. 

Total enrolment, 2,920; killed in action, 2; died of wounds, 4; 
died in Confederate prisons, 2 ; died of disease, 280 ; discharged for 
disability (wounds and disease), 270. 

Following is a list of the names of the Van Buren County men 
who served in the Engineers and Mechanics corps. 

Company A : Coons, George II., Columbia ; enlisted December 
29, 1863, at Columbia ; died at Bridgeport, Alabama, June 22, 1864 ; 
buried in National cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, grave No. 
10974. 

Coons, John T., Columbia ; enlisted December 23, 1863, at Co- 
lumbia ; died at Adairsville, Georgia, August 24, 1864; buried in 
National cemetery at Atlanta, Georgia. 

Grow, Benjamin J., Columbia; enlisted December 23, 1863, at 
Columbia; died at Bridgeport, Alabama, June 23, 1864; buried in 
National cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, 

Keeling, Thomas ; enlisted December 23, 1863, at Columbia : dis- 
charged September 22, 1865. 

Peterson, Harvey G. ; enlisted December 23, 1863, at Columbia ; 
discharged September 22, 1865. 

Silkworth, Cyrus, Columbia ; enlisted December 29, 1862, at 
Columbia; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged September 
22, 1865. 

Smith, William IT., Columbia ; enlisted December 23, 1863, at 
Columbia; died at Cartersville, Georgia, July 18, 1864; buried in 
National cemetery at Marietta, Georgia, grave No. 1726. 

Sparks, Tolbert W., Columbia; enlisted December 28, 1863. at 
Columbia ; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Whiting, Price ; enlisted in December, 1863, at Columbia : dis- 
charged January 1, 1865. 

Whitney, Asaph ; enlisted December 23, 1863, at Columbia : dis- 
charged for disability, April 9, 1864. 

Company G : Allen, Forbes, Waverly ; enlisted August 25. 1864, 
at Kalamazoo ; discharged June 6, 1865. 

Allen, Reuben IT.; enlisted November 26, 1861, at Waverly; 
corporal; discharged October 31, 1864. 

Austin, Alexander; enlisted October 30, 1862, at Waverly; dis- 
charged September 22, 1865. 

Austin, Darius F., Waverly; enlisted October 10, 1861, at Wa- 
verly; wounded in action at La Vergne, Tennessee, January 1, 
1863 ; corporal ; discharged for disability, July 23, .1863. 

Brewer, Clark K. ; enlisted September 28, 1861, at Kalamazoo ; 
artificer- discharged October 31, 1864. 

Brown, Barnabas. Waverly; enlisted December 16, 1861, at 



276 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Marshall ; died at Nashville, Tennessee, October 30, 1862 ; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Brown, Daniel D., Waverly; enlisted October 17, 1861, at Wa- 
verly; discharged October 31, 1864. 

Brown, James C. ; enlisted October 10, 1861, at Waverly ; arti- 
ficer; discharged for disability, August 18, 1862. 

Bush, Eli; enlisted September 6, 1861, at Waverly; artificer; 
discharged for disability, April 3, 1862. 

Brown, Cyrenus, Waverly; enlisted October 9, 1861, at Wa- 
verly ; died at Louisville, Kentucky, March 13, 1862. 

Carr, William H., Waverly; enlisted November 1, 1862, at Wa- 
verly; artificer; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Colburn, Eliphalet V., Waverly ; enlisted August 15, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged June 6, 1865. 

Dyer, Sylvester, Almena; enlisted October 18, 1861, at Kalama- 
zoo; corporal; promoted to sergeant; discharged October 31, 1864. 

Fosmire, Ezra H. ; enlisted September 20, 1861, at Kalamazoo ; 
discharged October 31, 1864. 

Gaines, Franklin J., Paw Paw; enlisted December 10, 1863, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Gault, David H. ; Waverly; enlisted September 6, 1861, at Kala- 
mazoo ; sergeant ; discharged for disability July 12, 1863. 

Gault, Truman H., Bloomingdale ; enlisted December 15, 1863, 
at Kalamazoo; died at Ringgold, Georgia, August 5, 1864; buried 
in National cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, grave No. 10369. 

Gobel, Eliel P. ; enlisted September 20, 1861, at Kalamazoo ; dis- 
charged September 16, 1862. 

Haydon, Edmond N., Almena; enlisted September 12, 1861, at 
Kalamazoo; corporal; died at Louisville, Kentucky, March 22, 
1864. 

Hayes, Alva; enlisted September 14, 1861, at Lawton; reported 
sick in hospital at Nashville, Tennessee, June 11, 1863 ; no further 
record. 

Jennings, Henry II., Antwerp; enlisted August 25, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo ; discharged June 6, 1865 ; died at Paw Paw. 

Libbe, Alonzo; enlisted October 19, 1861, at Marshall; dis- 
charged July 24, 1862 ; died March 9, 1895 ; buried at Paw Paw. 

Murch, Edwin A. ; enlisted September 21, 1861, at Waverly ; 
discharged October 31, 1864. 

Nash, Newland; enlisted September 11, 1861, at Kalamazoo; 
corporal ; promoted to sergeant ; discharged October 31, 1864. 

Palmer, John M., Waverly; enlisted September 6, 1861, at Wa- 
verly; artificer; discharged October 31, 1864. 

Reed, William, Almena; enlisted September 6, 1861, at Kalama- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 277 

zoo; died at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, April 23, 1863; buried in 
National cemetery at Stone River, Tennessee. 

Richardson, John; enlisted October 31, 1861, at Almena; arti- 
ficer; discharged October 31, 1864. 

Rogers, Lucius A., Paw Paw; enlisted January 4, 1864, at Kalar 
mazoo; artificer; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Root, James H. ; enlisted September 21, 1861, at Waverly ; dis- 
charged October 31, 1864. 

Root, Stephen V.; enlisted September 17, 1861, at "Waverly; 
artificer; discharged for disability June 23, 1862. 

Smith, David H., Waverly; enlisted August 25, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged June 6, 1865. 

Stanton, Bradley W. ; enlisted September 10, 1861, at Kalama- 
zoo; sergeant; discharged October 31, 1864; deceased; buried at 
Paw Paw. 

Stephens, Eliphay; enlisted October 10, 1861, at Lawton; no 
further record. 

Stephens, Uriah; enlisted September 14, 1861, at Lawton; died 
at Nashville, Tennessee; buried in National cemetery at Nash- 
ville. 

Stevens, Jesse ; enlisted August 25, 1864, at Kalamazoo ; dis- 
charged June 6, 1865. 

Van Tassell, Daniel S., Waverly; enlisted October 7, 1861, at 
Waverly ; artificer ; corporal ; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Van Tassell, David F., Waverly; enlisted January 4, 1864, at 
Columbia; died February 16, 1864. 

Vosburg, John M., Almena; enlisted October 19, 1861, at Mar- 
shall; died at Nashville, Tennessee, October 21, 1863; buried in 
National cemetery at Nashville. 

Wescott, Martin A.; enlisted September 17, 1861, at Kalamazoo; 
artificer; discharged October 11, 1864; re-entered service in Com- 
pany G, Thirteenth Infantry ; final discharge May 15, 1865. 

Whipple, John A., Pine Grove; enlisted September 12, 1861, at 
Kalamazoo; died in Tennessee, February 8, 1864. 

Other Companies : Scott, George, Decatur ; enlisted in Company 
D, August 27, 1864, at Kalamazoo; discharged June 6, 1865. 

Palmer, Hiram, Paw Paw; enlisted in Company H, August 22, 
1864, at Kalamazoo; artificer; discharged June 6, 1865. 

Chappell, Giles R., Decatur; enlisted in Company M, August 
29, 1863, at Bedford ; corporal ; died at Normandy, Tennessee, April 
12, 1864; buried in National cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee. 



278 HISTORY OF VAN BITREN COUNTY 

First Michigan Sharpshooters 

The First Michigan Sharpshooters under command of Colonel 
C. V. DeLand of Jackson, took the field in July, 1863. Van Buren 
county was not, numerically, largely represented in this organ- 
ization, following being a list of her soldiers. 

Company D: Berridge, John, Bangor; enlisted December 29, 
1862, at South Haven ; sergeant ; wounded in action June 15, 1864 ; 
promoted to sergeant major, to first lieutenant and to captain; 
discharged July 28, 1865. 

Bonfoey, Charles R., Antwerp; enlisted January 3, 1863, at 
Antwerp; taken prisoner at Petersburg, Virginia, July 30, 1864; 
returned to company April 29, 1865; discharged June 29, 1865; 
deceased; buried at Almena, Michigan. 

Briggs, Charles G., Porter; enlisted November 20, 1862, at Por- 
ter; discharged August 11, 1865. 

Earl, Alvin P., Geneva; enlisted January 12, 1863, at Geneva; 
discharged July 28, 1865. 

Meachum, David R., Geneva; enlisted February 7, 1863, at 
Geneva ; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Noyes, Kirk W., South Haven; enlisted December 27, 1862, at 
South Haven; wounded in action at Spottsylvania, Virginia, May 
31, 1863 ; promoted to first lieutenant, Company K ; again wounded 
in action and taken prisoner at Peebles Farm, Virginia, September 
30, 1864; paroled February 22, 1865; promoted to captain, Com- 
pany B ; discharged July 28, 1865 ; present residence South Haven, 
Michigan. 

Reynolds, John, Antwerp ; enlisted December 29, 1862, at Ant- 
werp; absent (sick) September, 1864; no further record. 

Storey, Nelson A., Almena ; enlisted February 11, 1863 ; at Al- 
mena; missing in action at Petersburg, Virginia, June 17, 1864; 
died on board transport at Hilton Head, South Carolina, Novem- 
ber 26, 1864. 

Taylor, Augustus E., Antwerp; enlisted December 8, 1862, at 
Grand Haven ; discharged July 8, 1865.. 

Waite, Levi IT., Antwerp; enlisted December 29, 1862, at Ant- 
werp ; killed in action at Petersburg, Virginia, June 17, 1864. 

Watson, Daniel W., Geneva; enlisted December 29, 1862, at 
Geneva ; corporal ; discharged July 28, 1865. 

Wildey, George M., Mattawan ; enlisted March 14, 1863 ; sergeant ; 
discharged July 7, 1865. 

Other Companies: Guiley, Henry, Paw Paw; enlisted in Com- 
pany A, July 9, 1863, at Paw Paw ; died at Andersonville, Georgia, 
September 1, 1864. 

Tozer, Webster E., Antwerp; enlisted in Company B, August 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 279 

23, 1863; died at Washington, D. C, June 13, 1864, of wounds 
received in action at Spottsylvania, Virginia, May 12, 1864. 

Tuthill, Francis H. Lawton; enlisted September 6, 1861, at Jack- 
son ; discharged for disability October 24, 1862 ; reenlisted in Com- 
pany E, same regiment, October 20, 1864; discharged July 28, 1865. 

Drake, Francis W., Columbia ; enlisted in Company E, Febru- 
ary 4, 1863, at Jackson; assigned to Company G, discharged July 
5,1865. 

First Regiment Michigan Light Artillery 

Then shook the hills with thunder riven, 
Then rushed the steeds to battle driven. 
And louder than the bolts of heaven, 
Far flashed the red artillery. 

The First Michigan Light Artillery consisted of twelve bat- 
teries, organized at different dates and assigned to duty in different 
localities, some being on duty with the Western armies and others 
with the armies of the east. 

Regiments of infantry and cavalry ordinarily are kept together 
as a unit and serve as a single organization, but such is not usually 
the case with an artillery regiment, each battery being attached to 
some distinct army, post or regiment, and it is seldom, if ever, that 
the regiment is all assembled together at one place. 

The several batteries of this regiment were engaged in many dif- 
ferent battles and skirmishes in all parts of the Southern Confeder- 
acy and some of the gunners developed a degree of marksmanship 
that would be creditable, even in these days, of such greatly im- 
proved guns and gunnery. The writer once was an eye witness to 
an example of this on the field of battle in the state of Mississippi. 
A running cavalry fight between the Federal and Confederate cav- 
alry forces had been in progress for several days, the Federals 
gradually forcing their opponents to retreat southward, although 
their progress was stubbornly contested. Coming to a valley some- 
thing like a half mile wide, as the Union soldiers were descending 
the northern slope, the Confederates suddenly and most unex- 
pectedly uncovered a field gun and opened up with a rapid and 
vigorous fire of grape and canister. Battery C, of the First Light 
Artillery, was with the Union cavalry, but had not been called into 
action. However, one of its guns w r as speedily unlimbered and 
gunner Chandler Hamlin, a Van Buren county soldier, told to 
send a solid shot across the valley, which he speedily did, his first 
shot striking the enemy's gun full in its muzzle and putting it en- 
tirely out of commission, resulting in a considerable degree of de- 
moralization in the ranks of the retreating foe. And this was but 



280 HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

a fair example of the skill with which the guns of this regiment 
were handled. 

Total enrolment of the regiment, 3,090 ; killed in action, 29 ; died 
of wounds, 13 ; died in prison, 4 ; died of disease, 207 ; discharged 
for disability, 390. 

Van Buren county was represented in the First Light Artillery 
as follows. 

Battery A: Carr, Jacob, Waverly; enlisted February 12, 1863, 
at Hartford (substitute for Huston Taylor, drafted from Hart- 
ford) ; discharged July 28, 1865; present residence, Paw Paw. 

Garrison, Daniel S., Hartford; enlisted February 12, 1863, at 
Hartford (substitute for Clark Sampson, drafted from Hartford) ; 
w r ounded in action at Chickamauga, Georgia, in September, 1863; 
discharged for disability July 22, 1864. 

Hill, Micajah, Porter; enlisted February 27, 1863 (substitute for 
Daniel Shein, drafted from Prairieville) ; killed in action at Chicka- 
mauga, Georgia, September 10, 1863. 

Hyde, Franklin W. ; enlisted February 25, 1863, at Hartford; 
discharged July 28, 1865. 

Lemon, John; enlisted September 6, 1864, at Hamilton; dis- 
charged July 28, 1865. 

Lemon, William; enlisted September 6, 1864, at Hamilton; dis- 
charged July 28, 1865. 

Munger, Ira A., Paw Paw; enlisted February 14, 1863, at Ham- 
ilton; (substitute for George W. Nesbitt, drafted from Hamilton) ; 
transferred to Invalid Corps, April 10, 1864. 

Battery B : Austin, George D. ; enlisted January 5, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 14, 1865. 

Beach, James, Antwerp; enlisted October 23, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged for disability, June 26, 1862. 

Brown, Roswell W., Antwerp ; enlisted October 15, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; corporal ; taken prisoner at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862 ; 
confined at Macon, Georgia ; promoted to quartermaster sergeant ; 
discharged June 14, 1865. 

Charles, William S., Bangor; enlisted October, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; corporal, promoted to sergeant and to second lieutenant; 
taken prisoner at Shiloh, Tennessee, confined at Macon, Georgia; 
discharged June 14, 1865 ; present residence, Bangor. 

Deremo, Earl, Paw Paw ; enlisted August 26, 1862, at Paw Paw ; 
discharged June 14, 1865. 

Freeman, Albert H., Paw Paw; enlisted January, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 14, 1865. 

Freeman, Brad. G. ; enlisted at Paw Paw, January 9, 1864 ; dis- 
charged June 14, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 281 

Holmes, Wesley, Antwerp ; enlisted October 23, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 14, 1865. 

Mills, Lucius W., Antwerp; enlisted October 1, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability October 25, 1862. 

Plumb, Nelson, Almena; enlisted October 25, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
corporal; taken prisoner at Shiloh; confined at Macon, Georgia; 
discharged June 14, 1865. 

Plumb, Winfield S. ; enlisted December 21, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged June 14, 1865. 

Shepard, Elijah L., Paw Paw ; enlisted October 13, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; taken prisoner at Shiloh, Tennessee; confined at Macon, 
Georgia, and other prisons for six months; corporal; discharged 
June 14, 1865. 

Teed, Lowell C, Antwerp ; enlisted October 5, 1861, at Paw Paw ; 
taken prisoner at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862; in prison at 
Memphis, Tennessee, Mobile and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Atlanta, 
Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee; released May 30, 1862; pro- 
moted to second lieutenant and to first lieutenant ; discharged June 
14, 1865. 

Thayer, Ransom O., Antwerp; enlisted October 8, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; taken prisoner at Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6, 1862 ; discharged 
for disability January 4, 1863 ; present residence Paw Paw. 

Tillou, Charles H., Antwerp; enlisted October 12, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; corporal; discharged December 24, 1864. 

Battery C : Griffin, James E., Paw Paw; enlisted October 7, 1861, 
at Grand Rapids; farrier; discharged April 20, 1862. 

Hamilton, Chandler, Arlington ; enlisted September 3, 1861 ; 
corporal ; discharged for disability, February 4, 1864. 

Percival, George W., Paw Paw; enlisted October 7, 1861, at 
Grand Rapids; discharged June 22, 1865. 

Percival, Stephen, Decatur; enlisted November 25, 1861, at 
Grand Rapids ; discharged June 22^ 1865. 

Ripley, Sterne L., enlisted October 7, 1861, at Grand Rapids; 
died at St. Louis, Missouri, October 10, 1863; buried in National 
cemetery at Benton Barracks, Missouri, grave No. 2827. 

Battery F: Barker, John P., Porter; enlisted August 27, 1862, 
at Coldwater ; corporal ; discharged June 9, 1865. 

Higbee, Charles 0.; enlisted December 30, 1861, at Coldwater; 
discharged for disability February 20, 1863. 

Battery G: Dunham, Caspar; enlisted September 3, 1864, at 
Bloomingdale ; discharged August 6, 1865. 

Killefer, William, Bloomingdale; enlisted September 3, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; substitute for James C. Clement; discharged August 
6, 1865 ; present residence, Paw Paw. 



282 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Battery H: Kinney, Elijah M., Porter; enlisted August 15, 1864, 
at Porter; discharged July 2, 1865; died November 21. 1889. 

Sherman, Lewis; enlisted November 28, 1861. at Decatur; dis- 
charged for disability, June 2, 1862. . 

Battery I: Carr, Moses, enlisted December 24, 1863, at Paw Paw; 
died at Chattanooga, Tennessee, May 19, 1864; buried in National 
cemetery at Chattanooga, grave No. 1377. 

Cash, Stephen, Lawrence; enlisted August 1, 1862, at Lawrence; 
discharged July 14, 1865 ; died at Lawrence. 

Clay, William H., Lawrence ; enlisted August 24, 1862, at Law- 
rence; discharged for disability January 24, 1863: died at Law- 
rence. 

Delong, Henry; enlisted August 24, 1862, at Lawrence; dis- 
charged for disability January 30, 1863 ; died April 14, 1896 ; buried 
at Arlington, Michigan. 

Delong, John, Arlington; enlisted September 15, 1862, at Ar- 
lington; died at Detroit, Michigan, December 14, 1862; buried at 
Detroit. 

Hurd, Eben C, Lawrence; enlisted August 24, 1862, at Law- 
rence ; corporal ; promoted to sergeant ; discharged July 14, 1865. 

Rathbun, James L., Lawrence; enlisted August 24, 1862, at 
Lawrence; died at Annapolis, Maryland, August 17, 1863. 

Skelton, Joseph, Lawrence; enlisted August 24, 1862, at Law- 
rence; corporal; promoted to sergeant; died at Chattanooga, Ten- 
nessee, July 19, 1864, of wounds received in action July 13, 1864; 
buried in National cemetery at Chattanooga, grave No. 1760. 

Battery M : Hare, William ; enlisted September 3, 1864, at Bloom- 
ingdale ; discharged August 1, 1865. 

High, Charles W., enlisted July 20, 1863, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged on account of being a minor. 

Y,\n Burex County Soldiers in Other Michigan Regiments 

Onward, then, our stainless banner. 

Let it kiss the stripe and star, 
Till in weal and woe united. 

They forever wedded are. 
We will plant them by the river, . 

By the gulf, and by the strand. 
Till they float, to float forever. 

O'er a free united land. 

First Michigan Infantry : Abbott, Howard ; enlisted in Company 
H, October 3, 1861, at Marshall ; killed in action at Fredericksburg, 
Virginia, December 13, 1862. 

Buss, William; drafted from Bangor. June 10, 1864; assigned 
to Company D; died at Jeffersonville, Indiana. July 27, 1864. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 283 

Gravratt, Abraham P. ; drafted from Geneva ; mustered June 10, 
1864; assigned to Company B; corporal; discharged June 9, 1865. 

Redner, Charles E., Columbia; enlisted in Company K, Septem- 
ber 14, 1861, at Ann Arbor; musician; discharged for disability, 
March 10, 1863. 

Strong, John J. ; enlisted in Company K, October 3, 1861, at 
Marshall; killed in action at Gaines' Mill, Virginia, June 27, 1862. 

Swartout, Louis ; drafted from Covert ; mustered June 22, 1864 ; 
assigned to Company D ; discharged for disability June 13, 1865, by 
reason of wounds received in action at Fort Steaclman, Virginia, 
March 5, 1865. 

Wilson, Isaac W. ; drafted from Geneva ; mustered June 10, 
1864; discharged July 9, 1865. 

Second Michigan Infantry : Colvin, Stephen G. ; enlisted in Com- 
pany I, April 22, 1861, at Kalamazoo ; killed in action at the Wilder- 
ness, Virginia, May 6, 1864. 

Moody, Oscar L. ; enlisted in Company I, April 22, 1861, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged July 21, 1864. 

Snell, Theodore W. ; enlisted in Company K, May 25, 1861, at 
Kalamazoo; taken prisoner at Petersburg, Virginia, October 27, 
1864; died of starvation, while a prisoner of war, in December, 
1864. 

Third Michigan Infantry : Munson, David A., Antwerp ; enlisted 
in Company D, August 28, 1862, at Lawton; discharged for dis- 
ability August 8, 1863. 

Fifth Michigan Infantry — Company A : Bachelder, Carlos C. ; 
enlisted August 10, 1861, at Fort Wayne ; sick in Michigan in May, 
1862 ; no further record. 

Burger, James; enlisted August 10, 1861. at Fort Wayne; 
wounded in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862 ; absent 
(sick) July, 1862; no further record. 

Everetts, Russell; enlisted August 10, 1861, at Fort Wayne; 
wounded in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862; dis- 
charged for disability September 23, 1862. 

Gallagher, Peter W. ; enlisted August 16, 1861. at Fort Wayne; 
taken prisoner at Spottsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 12, 
1864; no further record. 

Haven, Herman R. ; enlisted August 16, 1861, at Fort Wayne; 
wounded in action May 16, 1864; discharged July 5, 1S65. 

Nesbitt, William; enlisted June 19, 1861, at Fort Wayne; cor- 
poral; discharged August 28, 1864. 

Rockwell, James D. ; enlisted August 14, 1861, at Fort Wayne ; 
discharged August 27, 1864. 

Sherman, James ; enlisted August 9, 1861 ; died at Camp Michi- 
gan, Virginia, February 19, 1862; buried at Alexandria, Virginia. 



284 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Spencer, Myron T. ; enlisted August 10, 1861, at Fort Wayne ; 
discharged for disability September 14, 1862. 

Vandecar, Henry; enlisted August 5, 1861, at Fort Wayne; 
wounded in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862 ; in gen- 
eral hospital, September, 1862. 

Vought, Frank M. ; enlisted August 18, 1861, at Fort Wayne; 
corporal; discharged October 21, 1864. 

Seventh Michigan Infantry : Daniels, Julius W. ; enlisted Febru- 
ary 21, 1863, at Bloomingdale ; wounded in action at Ream's Sta- 
tion, Virginia, August 25, 1864 ; discharged July 5, 1864. 

Eighth Michigan Infantry: Morrison, John H., Decatur; en- 
listed February 24, 1863; unassigned; substitute for Seneca H. 
Abbott, drafted ; no further record. 

Mouser, John W. r Paw Paw ; enlisted in Company C, August 30, 
1862, at Flint; discharged for disability, March 14, 1863. 

Munson, John M., Paw Paw ; enlisted in Company A, October 3, 
1862, at Paw Paw; transferred to Invalid Corps; discharged Au- 
gust 11, 1865. 

O'Brien, John; enlisted in Company G, December 14, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo ; substitute for Andrew G. Coombs ; drafted ; discharged 
July 30, 1865. 

Ninth Michigan Infantry : Clark, James W. ; enlisted in Com- 
pany I, August 15, 1861 ; discharged August 6, 1862. 

Lee, Reuben, Covert ; drafted from Covert ; mustered September 
24, 1864 ; discharged for disability March 14, 1865. 

Place, James N., Paw Paw; enlisted in Company D, August 18, 
1864; substitute for Peter Smith; discharged June 20, 1865. 

St. Clair, James ; drafted from South Haven ; mustered Septem- 
ber 24, 1864; assigned to Company I; died at Chattanooga, Tennes- 
see, October 26, 1864 ; buried in National cemetery at Chattanooga, 
grave No. 1958. 

Saxton, Hiram G., Paw Paw; enlisted in Company C, April 27, 
1861, at Paw Paw; wounded in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, 
May 5, 1862, and at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1863; dis- 
charged April 27, 1864; reentered service September 30, 1864, in 
Company H ; substitute for Edwin M. Eaton, drafted ; discharged 
June 20, 1865. 

Swift, Le Grand E., Decatur; enlisted in Company B, August 
20, 1861, at Niles; corporal; died at Nashville, Tennessee, January 
9, 1863. 

Tuthill, Francis H., Lawton; enlisted in Company C, September 
6, 1861, at Jackson ; discharged for disability October 24, 1862. 

Tenth Michigan Infantry: Arms, Christopher (substitute for 
Jol|n Campbell, Jr.), Almena; mustered March 22, 1865: unas- 
signed; discharged May 15, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 285 

Findley, Andrew, South Haven; enlisted in Company II, Janu- 
ary, 1864, at South Haven; discharged June 19, 1864. 

Panard, Frederick; drafted from Arlington; mustered October 
22, 1864: assigned to Company E, January 1, 1863. 

Parsons, Johnson. Decatur; substitute for Peter Brinder, 
drafted; mustered February 6, 1862; corporal; promoted to hos- 
pital steward ; discharged July 19, 1865. 

Reynolds, Ansel E. ; drafted from Hartford ; mustered March 21, 
1865 ; unassigned ; discharged May 23, 1865. 

Trowbridge, Silas M., Geneva; drafted; mustered March 21 
1865 : unassigned ; discharged May 15, 1865 ; present residence 
South Haven. 

Van Scoy, George "W. ; substitute for George Drake, Hartford 
enlisted April 8, 1865 ; unassigned ; discharged May 15, 1865. 

Young, William, Geneva; drafted; mustered March 21, 1865 
unassigned : discharged May 15, 1865. 

Eleventh Michigan Infantry: Bronson, Elisha C, South Haven 
enlisted in Company G, July 8, 1861, at Flowerfield ; died at Bards- 
town, Kentucky, January 30, 1862. 

Brown, Loren W. : enlisted in Company G, July 8, 1861, at Flow- 
erfield; discharged for disability January 24, 1863. 

Clark, John; enlisted in Company C, January 17, 1865, at De- 
troit; discharged September 16, 1865. 

Clement, Allen E. ; enlisted in Company F, March 14, 1865, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged September 17, 1865. 

Crandall, Charles X. ; enlisted in Company F, March 6, 1865, at 
Hartford; discharged September 16, 1865; died April 14, 1886; 
buried at Hartford. 

Crandall, Edwin R. ; enlisted in Company F, March 6. 1865, at 
Hartford; discharged August 29, 1865. 

Freeman, A. I.: enlisted in Company G, July 14, 1861, at ¥a- 
verly; discharged September 30, 1864. 

Horning, Jacob: enlisted in Company G, February 20, 1865, at 
Jackson; discharged September 17, 1865. 

Rice, Charles H. ; Lawrence ; enlisted in Company D, January 23, 
1865, at Lawrence; discharged September 16, 1865. 

Webb, James P. : enlisted March 8, 1865, at Pine Grove ; mus- 
tered March 15, 1865: unassigned; no further record. 

Terrill, George T. : enlisted in Company K, February 20, 1865, 
at Geneva; discharged September 16, 1865; died June 2, 1895; 
buried at Geneva. 

Wright, Alfred G. ; enlisted in Company E, August 24, 1861, at 
Three Rivers; discharged September 30, 1864. 

Fourteenth Michigan Infantry : Austin, Harvey H.. Breedsville ; 
enlisted in Company B, November 25, 1861, at Breedsville ; cor- 



286 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

poral; promoted to sergeant; wounded in action March 16, 1865; 
discharged July 20, 1865. 

Barnes, Merrill "W. ; drafted from Arlington ; mustered Septem- 
ber 24, 1864; assigned to Company D; discharged July 18, 1865; 
deceased ; buried at Arlington. 

Freeman, Asa, Waverly; enlisted in Company B, February 1, 
1862, at Waverly ; died August 6, 1862 ; buried at Evansville, In- 
diana. 

Goodale, Hiram M. ; enlisted in Company B, January 4, 1862, at 
Cheshire; discharged for disability April 16, 1862. 

Jonkerman, Johannes; substitute for James Ellsworth, drafted 
from Arlington; mustered October 3, 1864; assigned to Company 
A; discharged May 31, 1865. 

Stewart. James A. ; enlisted in Company B, January 5, 1862, at 
Columbia ; corporal ; wounded in action March 16, 1865 ; dis- 
charged July 16, 1865. 

Fifteenth Michigan Infantry: Adams, John, Porter; drafted; 
mustered October 22, 1864; assigned to Company D; discharged 
August 13, 3865. 

Blass, Jesse C. ; substitute for James Hogmire, drafted from 
Arlington; mustered October 12, 1864; discharged August 13, 1865. 

Britten, Joseph N. ; drafted from Geneva ; mustered April 3, 
1865; discharged August 13, 1865. 

Chatfield, Darius ; drafted from Hartford ; mustered September 
24, 1864; assigned to Company G; discharged May 30, 1865. 

Chugnimer, Peter; drafted from Geneva; mustered September 
24, 1864; assigned to Company D; discharged May 30, 1865. 

Coleman, John ; enlisted in Company A, May 26, 1864, at Ham- 
ilton; discharged August 13, 1865. 

Cook, "William, Bangor; drafted; mustered March 21, 1865; dis- 
charged July 29, 1865. 

Disbrow, Lodwick; drafted from Bangor; mustered March 21, 
1865; assigned to Company G; discharged May 21, 1865. 

Eaton, Moses E. F. ; drafted from Bangor; mustered March 21, 
1865; assigned to Company G; discharged August 15, 1865. 

Fitzsimmons, Henry; enlisted in Company A, May 23, 1864, at 
Hamilton; discharged August 13, 1865. 

Fleming, James ; drafted from Lawrence ; mustered March 21, 
1865 ; discharged August 16, 1865. 

Goetz, Joseph; substitute for Eli Ruggles, drafted from Hart- 
ford; mustered November 2, 1864; discharged September 11, 1865. 

Gruber, Peter; drafted from Arlington; mustered October 22, 
1864 ; assigned to Company A ; no further record. 

Hancock, George; drafted from Porter; mustered October 26, 
1864; assigned to Company E; discharged August 13, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 2b7 

Ingersoll, Daniel S. ; drafted from Bangor; mustered March 21, 
1865; assigned to Company G; discharged August 11, 1865. 

Kingsbury. Lemuel : substitute for Lafayette Meachum, drafted ; 
mustered April 1 . 1865 ; discharged June 20, 1865. 

Kochey, Stephen; drafted from Hartford; mustered September 
26, 1864; assigned to Company E; discharged May 30, 1865. 

Lores, Eli ; substitute for Hiram Hale, drafted from South Ha- 
ven; mustered December 1, 1864; assigned to Company F; no fur- 
ther record. 

McGowan, George; drafted from Hartford; mustered March 21, 
1865 ; assigned to Company F ; discharged August 13, 1865 ; died 
October 17, 1895. 

May, John S. ; substitute for William H. H. Olds, drafted" from 
Hartford ; mustered October 18, 1864 ; assigned to Company I ; 
died at Baltimore, Maryland, June 23, 1865; buried in London 
Park National cemetery, Baltimore. 

Merrill, Portius: drafted from Paw Paw; mustered March 21, 
1865; no further record. 

Merriman, Burse; drafted from Bangor; mustered March 21, 
1865; assigned to Company G; discharged August 13, 1865; pres- 
ent residence Bangor. 

Russell, Carlton; drafted from Paw Paw; mustered March 21, 
1865 ; no further record. 

Snyder, Henry; substitute for Edwin DeLong, drafted from 
Arlington; mustered March 28, 1865; discharged August 13, 1865. 

Webb, Robert ; substitute for David Massey, drafted from Ar- 
lington; mustered October 13, 1864; no further record. 

Whipple, Thomas J. ; drafted from Arlington ; mustered October 
22, 1864 ; assigned to Company C ; discharged August 13, 1865. 

Sixteenth Michigan Infantry : Brown, George W., Pine Grove ; 
enlisted in Company K, February 26, 1863, at Otsego; substitute 
for Nier Nies, drafted ; discharged November 21, 1863. 

Carr, James; enlisted in Company I, February 9, 1864, at Ban- 
gor; corporal: discharged July 8, 1865. 

Cole Levi; enlisted in Company G, March 23, 1865, at Pine 
Grove; substitute for Charles Goodwin, drafted from Pine Grove; 
discharged July 8, 1865/ 

Cole, Nelson H. ; enlisted in Company G, March 23, 1865, at Pine 
Grove; substitute for Chauncey Wise, drafted from Pine Grove; 
discharged July 8, 1865. 

Kennicot, Henry S., Keeler; enlisted in Company I, March 20, 
1862, at Keeler ; killed in action at Manassas, Virginia, August 30, 
1862. 

Niles, Jerome R.: enlisted in Company I, March 15, 1865, at 
Kalamazoo (substitute for Abner Lewis) ; discharged July 8, 1865. 



288 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Smith, William; enlisted in Company H, February 21, 1865, at 
Paw Paw; substitute for Dela M. Lewis, drafted; discharged 
July 8, 1865. 

Sirrine, Peter, Geneva; enlisted in Company D, Lancers, No- 
vember 4, 1861 ; transferred to Company I, Sixteenth Infantry ; 
discharged for disability June 20, 1862. 

Van Scoy, William E. P. ; enlisted in Company G, March 28, 
1865, at Arlington, substitute for Miles Monroe, drafted from Ar- 
lington; discharged July 8, 1865. 

White, Charles ; enlisted January 4, 1865, at Arlington ; substi- 
tute for Philip Nicholas, drafted from Arlington: no further rec- 
ord. 

Dygert's Sharpshooters, attached to the Sixteenth Michigan: 
Beiber, George W. ; enlisted October 16, 1861. at Detroit: corporal; 
discharged October 15, 1864. 

Botsford, Robert G.; enlisted March 18. 1862. at Detroit; dis- 
charged October 22, 1862. 

De Bolt, Henry S. ; enlisted March 18, 1862, at Detroit; trans- 
ferred to Invalid Corps, November 16, 1863. 

Dick, Frank J. ; enlisted October 16, 1861, at Detroit ; sergeant ; 
promoted to second lieutenant ; discharged July 8, 1865. 

Farmer, Edwin R. ; enlisted October 14, 1861, at Detroit ; ser- 
geant; discharged October 28, 1862. 

Long, James B. ; enlisted October 16, 1861, at Detroit ; discharged 
October 15, 1864. 

Minnis, Frederick E., Decatur; enlisted October 16, 1861, at De- 
troit; corporal; wounded in action May 6, 1864; transferred to Vet- 
eran Reserve Corps ; discharged July 24, 1865. 

Vought, John C, Decatur; enlisted October 16. 1861. at Detroit; 
died at Washington, D. C, March 2, 1863. 

Wenner, Michael ; enlisted March 18, 1862 ; brigade saddler and 
corporal ; discharged July 8, 1865. 

Twenty-first Michigan Infantry : Dedrick, Philip : enlisted Sep- 
tember 3, 1864, at Kalamazoo; unassigned : discharged for disabil- 
ity November 13, 1864. 

Hilliard, George W., Lawrence ; enlisted in Company B, July 25, 
1862, at Grand Rapids; corporal; discharged June 8, 1865. 

Shepard, Daniel, Paw Paw; enlisted September 5. 1864. in Com- 
pany B, at Paw Paw; died January 2. 1865; buried in National 
cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee, grave No. 1563. 

Thirtieth Michigan Infantry : Gregory, Guy H. : enlisted Decem- 
ber 17, 1864, in Company B, at Waverly ; discharged June 30, 1865. 

Veder, Louis C. ; enlisted December 23, 1864, in Company H, at 
Kalamazoo ; discharged June 23, 1865. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 289 

Michigan Provost Guard: Barnard, John, Lawrence; enlisted 
December 9, 1862, at Lawrence ; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Burt, Elijah G., Paw Paw; enlisted December 9, 1863, at Paw 
Paw; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Chapin, Hiram A., Paw Paw; enlisted at Paw Paw, December 
10, 1862; discharged May 9, 1865; present residence, Paw Paw. 

Culver, Asahel B., Paw Paw; enlisted December 9, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Dunning, George A., Paw Paw; enlisted at Paw Paw, October 
26, 1863 ; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Dunning, Lester D., Paw Paw ; enlisted October 26, 1863, at Paw 
Paw ; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Francis, Simeon L., Paw Paw; enlisted December 4, 1862, at 
Paw Paw; discharged May 8, 1865. 

Frazee, Jacob S., Paw Paw ; enlisted December 17, 1862, at Paw 
Paw ; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Glidden, Orson J., Paw Paw; enlisted December 10, 1862, at 
Paw Paw; furloughed. 

Hayes, Ira, Paw Paw ; enlisted December 15, 1862, at Paw Paw ; 
detailed in Army of the West. 

Hennesey, John, Paw Paw; enlisted December 2, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Hurlbut, Spencer N., Paw Paw; enlisted January 4, 1863, at 
Flint ; originally in service in Company C, Third Michigan Cavalry, 
detailed at Annapolis, Maryland. 

1 Johnson, Thomas, Columbia; enlisted February 21, 1863, at Co- 
lumbia; discharged May 9, 1865. 

McCollum, Charles, Lawrence; enlisted October 24, 1863, at 
Lawrence; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Mather, Joseph, Paw Paw; enlisted October 24, 1863, at Paw 
Paw; discharged May 9, 1865. 

North, Joseph W., Paw Paw ; enlisted December 22, 1862, at Paw 
Paw; corporal; absent (sick). 

Parsons, Christopher, Paw Paw ; enlisted December 10, 1862, at 
Paw Paw; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Rawson, Fayette, Paw Paw; enlisted January 12, 1863, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability October 29, 1863. 

Salisbury, Joseph L., Paw Paw; enlisted December 10, 1862, at 
Paw Paw; discharged for disability March 23, 1863. 

Stoddard, William H., Decatur; enlisted October 24, 1863, at 
Paw Paw; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Stoughton, Frederick F., Paw Paw ; enlisted December 17, 1862, 
at Paw Paw; discharged May 9, 1865. 

Waldorff, Aaron, Antwerp; enlisted October 22, 1863, at Ant- 
werp; discharged May 9, 1865. 



290 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Second Michigan Cavalry: Brotherton, Albert: drafted from 
South Haven ; mustered November 4, 1863 ; assigned to Company K ; 
discharged August 15, 1865 ; died at Bloomingdale, Michigan. 

Caldwell, Oscar; enlisted in Company I, September 1, 1861, at 
Cooper; sergeant; discharged for disability May 18, 1862. 

Freeman, James F. ; drafted from Waverly ; mustered November 
3, 1863 ; assigned to Company K ; discharged August 17, 1865. 

Lamkin, Frank H., Paw Paw ; enlisted in Company I, September 
11, 1861, at Paw Paw; sergeant; died at Boonville, Mississippi, June 
30, 1862 ; buried in Union National cemetery at Corinth, Mississippi. 

Lamkin, Reuben R. ; enlisted in Company I, September 25, 1861, 
at Paw Paw; corporal; died March 29, 1863, at Nashville, Tennes- 
see, of wounds received in action at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, 
March 4, 1863 ; buried in National cemetery at Nashville. 

Stewart, George L. ; enlisted in Company I, September 7, 1861, at 
Texas, Michigan; corporal; promoted to commissary sergeant: dis- 
charged May 17, 1865. 

Fifth Michigan Cavalry : Babeock, Edwin J. ; enlisted in Com- 
pany D, March 20, 1865, at Paw Paw r , died at Fort Leavenworth, 
Kansas, September 17, 1865. 

Foote, Cortes, Paw Paw; enlisted in Company L, August 22, 
1862, at Kalamazoo; discharged April 15, 1863. 

Martin, Lawrence, Antwerp; enlisted in Company D, March 
20, 1865, at Antwerp; corporal; discharged March 10, 1866; died 
at Paw Paw. 

Rawson, Coleman P., Paw Paw; enlisted March 13, 1865, at Paw 
Paw; discharged March 10, 1866; died at Paw Paw, February 26, 
1902. 

Skinner, Hiram H., Paw Paw; enlisted in Company L, August 
22, 1862, at Kalamazoo ; discharged for disability April 30, 1863. 

Eighth Michigan Cavalry: Bell, Asa; enlisted in Company L, 
August 1, 1864, at Kalamazoo (substitute for Russell M. Stickney 
of Hartford); transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; discharged 
September 18, 1865. 

Brown, Rinaldo, Hamilton; enlisted in Company F, November 
25, 1862, at Hamilton ; taken prisoner on raid to Macon, Georgia, 
August 3, 1864; returned to company April 28, 1865; discharged 
September 26, 1865. 

Chamberlain, James H. ; enlisted in Company I, April 7, 1865, 
at Kalamazoo; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Cook, John C. ; enlisted in Company M, February 23, 1865, at 
Bangor; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Crandall, Leonard; enlisted in Company D, April 11, 1865, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged September 22, 1865; present residence 
Antwerp, Michigan. 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 291 

Davis, Louden II. ; enlisted in Company D, April 8, 1865, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Elliott, Martin; enlisted in Company II, February 2, 1865; at 
Bangor; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Flanders, Hiram, Paw Paw; enlisted in Company I), April 7, 
1865, at Coe; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Galligan, John; enlisted in Company L, April 7, 1865, at Paw 
Paw; discharged May 6, 1865. 

Leonard, George; enlisted in Company II, March 21, 1865, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Martin, James M. ; enlisted in Company H, April 13, 1865, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged September 22, 1865. 

McDowell, Helon, Paw Paw; enlisted in Company I, December 
12, 1862, at Paw Paw; missing on raid to Macon, Georgia, August 
3, 1864; returned to regiment January 14, 1865; corporal; pro- 
moted to sergeant; discharged September 22, 1865. 

McElheny, William D., Mattawan; enlisted in Company F, De- 
cember 22, 1862, at Prairie Ronde; sergeant; promoted to first 
lieutenant ; missing on raid to Macon, Georgia, August 3, 1864 ; dis- 
charged July 20, 1865. 

Mclntyre, John; enlisted in Company I, April 7, 1865, at Kala- 
mazoo ; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Perry, George; enlisted in Company L, April 6, 1865, at Kala- 
mazoo ; returned from missing in action May 10, 1865 ; discharged 
September 22, 1865. 

Powers, Richard; enlisted in Company D, April 4, 1865, at Paw 
Paw; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Price, James; enlisted in Company B, April 4, 1865, at Paw 
Paw; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Randall, William H., Kendall; enlisted in Company B, August 
11, 1864, at Kalamazoo; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Rose, John II., Decatur; enlisted; unassigned ; discharged for 
disability March 21, 1863. 

Smith, Augustus; enlisted in Company A, March 14, 1865, at 
Pine Grove; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Van Brunt, Nicholas J. ; enlisted in Company H, March 20, 1865, 
at Kalamazoo; died at Edgefield, Tennessee, April 1, 1865; buried 
in National cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee. 

Van Sickle, Harmon; enlisted in Company L, April 2, 1863, at 
Porter; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Willerton, John, Columbia; enlisted in Company F, November 
22, 1862, at Columbia ; missing on raid to Macon, Georgia, August 
3, 1864; no further record. 

Tenth Michigan Cavalry : Dedrick, Philip C. ; enlisted in Com- 
pany B, February 20, 1865, at Decatur; discharged July 7, 1865. 



292 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Knight, William ; enlisted in Company A, January 20, 1865 ; dis- 
charged November 11, 1865. 

Lewis, Jesse; enlisted in Company A, January 20, 1865; dis- 
charged September 16, 1865. 

Manly, Collins D. ; enlisted in Company A, March 2, 1865 ; dis- 
charged November 11, 1865. 

Ormsby, Edwin D. ; enlisted in Company B, February 25, 1865, 
at Decatur; discharged November 7, 1865. 

Ormsby, Newton F. ; enlisted in Company B, February 22, 1865 ; 
discharged November 7, 1865. 

Osborn, John H. ; enlisted in Company C, February 22, 1865, at 
Decatur; discharged November 22, 1865. 

Osborne, Rodolphus B. ; enlisted in Company A, February 24, 
1865, at Decatur ; discharged September 23, 1865. 

Rooker, Chester E. ; enlisted in Company F, February 16, 1865, 
at Columbia; discharged November 11, 1865. 

Ryan, Michael; first enlisted in Company C, Seventieth New 
York Infantry, at Paw Paw, May 22, 1861 ; transferred to Second 
United States Cavalry; discharged December 6, 1864; enlisted in 
Company B, February 22, 1865, at Decatur ; discharged November 
7, 1865. 

Sweet, Samuel S. ; enlisted in Company B, February 23, 1865, at 
Decatur; discharged November 11, 1865. 

Sherwood, Fred E., Breedsville ; enlisted in Company F, Febru- 
ary 16, 1865, at Columbia; discharged November 11, 1865. 

Vought, Jeremiah S. ; enlisted in Company A, February 24, 
1865, at Decatur; discharged November 11, 1865. 

Eleventh Michigan Cavalry : Anderson, John W. Covert ; en- 
listed September 19, 1863, at Kalamazoo ; first sergeant ; discharged 
September 22, 1864, to accept commission in colored regiment, 
captain Company A, Fifth United States Colored Cavalry. 

Bush, George W. ; enlisted in Company E, May 12, 1864, at Paw 
Paw; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Canning, Thomas; enlisted in Company I, September 19, 1863, 
at Lawton; discharged August 24, 1865. 

Colton, Thomas; enlisted in Company I, October 8, 1863, at Paw 
Paw; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Courtright, John T. ; enlisted in Company I, October 7, 1863, at 
Lawton; discharged for disability July 15, 1865. 

Donaldson, James E. ; enlisted in Company B, October 11, 1863, 
at Pine Grove; died at Mount Sterling, Kentucky, February 12, 
1865. 

Elliott, John; enlisted in Company G, October 12, 1863, at 
Waverly; killed in action at Clinch River, Virginia, December 6, 
1864. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 293 

George, William EL, Decatur; entered service at organization of 
regiment as captain; promoted to major; discharged August 10, 
1865. 

Eluey, Eli; enlisted in Company G, October 12, 1863, at Wa- 
verly ; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Lampson, Benoni; enlisted in Company G, November 3, 1863, 
at Waverly ; discharged July 20, 1865 ; died December 15, 1898. 

Plopper, Riley L. ; enlisted in Company I, October 23, 1863, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged May 22, 1865. 

Randall, Stephen; enlisted in Company I, October 6, 1863, at 
Lawton; sergeant; taken prisoner at Sandy Ridge, Virginia, Oc- 
tober 4, 1864 ; discharged for disability May 26, 1865. 

Reams, Zephaniah; enlisted in Company G, August 22, 1863, at 
Porter; died at Bowling Green, Kentucky, February 20, 1865; 
buried in National cemetery at Nashville, Tennessee. 

Shears, James H. ; enlisted in Company G, October 24, 1863, at 
Waverly; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Silkworth, George, Lawton; enlisted in Company A, September 
3, 1863 ; discharged July 20, 1863. 

Harvey, Henry W., Antwerp; enlisted in Company H, Septem- 
ber 23, 1863; discharged September 22, 1865; present residence 
Antwerp. 

Skinner, James A. ; enlisted in Company G, October 13, 1863, at 
Waverly; died at Lexington, Kentucky, February 13, 1864; buried 
in National cemetery at Lexington, grave No. 524. 

Van Ostrand, Holly; enlisted in Company G, August 27, 1863, 
at Hartford; discharged September 22, 1865. 

Waber, James ; enlisted in Company I, October 12, 1864, at Pine 
Grove ; taken prisoner at Pendleton, South Carolina, May 1, 1865 ; 
returned to regiment June 6, 1865 ; discharged July 15, 1865. 

Wigent, John; enlisted in Company G, November 3, 1863, at 
Waverly; discharged September 2, 1865. 

Woodman, Lucius C. ; surgeon of regiment ; first entered service 
as assistant surgeon of Third Cavalry ; died at Paw Paw. 

Thirteenth Michigan Battery: Parker, Samuel; enlisted Novem- 
ber 15, 1863, at Paw Paw ; discharged July 1, 1865. 

Fourteenth Michigan Battery: Crowley, Patrick; enlisted Oc- 
tober 13, 1863, at Kalamazoo ; blacksmith ; discharged for disability 
April 16, 1865. 

Coon, Robert; enlisted September 28, 1863, at Kalamazoo; died 
at Camp Barry, District of Columbia, March 18, 1864; buried in 
Military Asylum cemetery, District of Columbia. 

Drake, Benjamin; enlisted October 13, 1863, at Volinia; dis- 
charged July 1, 1865. 



294 HISTORY OP VAN BIIRBN COUNTY 

Welcher, John; enlisted September 28, 1863, at Decatur; mus- 
tered October 7, 1863; no further record. 

First Michigan Colored Infantry: Bowlin, James; drafted from 
South Haven; mustered November 4, 1864; assigned to Company 
G; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Gayton, Allen, Arlington; enlisted in Company B, October 21, 
1863, at Kalamazoo ; died at Annapolis Junction, Maryland, April 
24, 1864; buried in National cemetery at Baltimore, Maryland. 

Gayton, Nicholas, Arlington; enlisted in Company B, October 
21, 1863, at Kalamazoo ; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Hill, Stephen C. ; enlisted February 25, 1863, at Decatur ; unas- 
signed; no further record. 

Lett, Emanuel; enlisted in Company G, February 16, 1864, at 
Waverly; corporal; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Lewis, Cassius M. ; enlisted in Company H, March 2, 1865, at 
Paw Paw; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Maxwell, Foster H. ; enlisted in Company D, November 14, 1863, 
at Kalamazoo ; sergeant ; discharged October 27, 1865 ; present 
residence Paw Paw. 

Miller, James L. ; enlisted in Company D, March 6, 1865, at Paw 
Paw; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Robinson, James, Bloomingdale ; enlisted in Company C, March 
28, 1865, at Jackson; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Russell, John ; drafted from South Haven ; mustered September 
24, 1864; assigned to Company B; discharged September 30, 1865. 

Birge's Western Sharpshooters 

Whether on the scaffold high, 

Or in the battle's van, 
The finest place for man to die, 

Is where he dies for man. 

In September, 1861, a company of sharpshooters was enlisted in 
Van Buren and Berrien counties. It offered its services to General 
Fremont and was by him ordered to Benton Barracks, Missouri, 
where it was assigned to the above named regiment, which was af- 
terward designated as the Sixty-sixth Illinois. Company D was 
the only Michigan company in the organization. 

The accoutrements of this regiment were not of a kind pre- 
scribed by the army regulations, but consisted of a bullet pouch of 
bear-skin covering and a powder horn or flask. In the bullet pouch 
was a compartment where the soldier carried screw driver, bullet 
mould and patch cutter — singular implements for a soldier — but 
Birge's men moulded their own bullets, greased and patched them 
with as much care as would the most expert hunter and used them 
with the same effect, every man among them being an expert with 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 295 

the use of the rifle. The guns that these men carried were not 
of the regulation army pattern, but were hunters ' rifles of the 
very best that could be had — muzzle loaders of course, as were the 
best guns of that day — and each soldier selected such a weapon 
as best suited his judgment or fancy. 

It had been the intention of General Fremont to dress this regi- 
ment in a complete hunters' garb, but General Halleck, his su- 
perior officer, would not permit it to be so done and the only pe- 
culiar thing about the uniform worn by the men was the hat, which 
was a gray sugar-loaf shaped affair adorned by three squirrel 
tails peculiarly draped over the crown, by which feature they came 
to be known by both friend and foe as the * * Squirrel Tails. ' ' 

The regiment was in service nearly four years, during which 
time it was actively engaged in various battles and engagements 
in the states of Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, South 
Carolina and North Carolina. 

Following is a summary of the service of the Michigan com- 
pany: Total enrolment, 197; killed in action, 17; died of wounds, 
2 ; died of disease, 17 ; discharged for disability, 40. 

The following named members of Company D were from Van 
Buren county: Andrews, John II., Hartford; enlisted October 5, 
1861, at Hartford; sergeant; promoted to first sergeant, first lieu- 
tenant and captain; died at Allatoona, Georgia, June 24, 1864; 
from wounds received in action at Dallas, Georgia, May 27, 1864. 

Arbour, James M. ; enlisted September 24, 1861, at Keeler; ser- 
geant; discharged for disability, January 13, 1862. 

Arner, Benjamin W. ; enlisted at Keeler, September 21, 1861 ; 
corporal; discharged June 20, 1862. 

Baird, Omer A., Hartford; enlisted October 2, 1861, at Hart- 
ford; discharged on account of w T ounds in September, 1864. 

Baird, Walter A., Hartford; enlisted October 2, 1861, at Hart- 
ford; wounded in action at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee; dis- 
charged for disability August 3, 1862. 

Balfour, James, Lawrence; enlisted September 23, 1861, at 
Keeler; killed in action at Corinth, Mississippi, October 4, 1862. 

Barnes, Harlow G., Lawrence; enlisted November 9, 1861, at 
Lawrence ; corporal ; discharged for disability, October 8, 1862. 

Bidlac, George, Decatur; enlisted November 16, 1862, at Hamil- 
ton; wounded in action near Rome Cross Roads, Georgia, May 16, 
1864; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Bigelow, George M., Keeler; enlisted November 16, 1862, at 
Hamilton; killed in action at Corinth, Mississippi, October 4, 1862. 

Bliss, George M., Geneva; enlisted September 28, 1861, at Gen- 
eva ; taken prisoner by guerrillas December 11, 1862 ; released Oc- 
tober 19, 1863 ; discharged July 7, 1865. 



296 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Branch, Vine; enlisted October 12, 1861, at Hartford; dis- 
charged for disability July 9, 1862, on account of wounds received 
while doing picket duty May 14, 1862, at Monterey, Tennessee. 

Breese, Hiram T. Keeler; enlisted September 23, 1861, at Kee- 
ler; corporal; discharged September 16, 1864. 

Brewster, Samuel F., Keeler; enlisted September 21, 1861, at 
Keeler; died July 24, 1862, while home on sick leave. 

Brewster, Dallas, Hartford; enlisted September 23, 1861, at 
Keeler; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Bridgeford, George M., Keeler; enlisted September 23, 1861, at 
Keeler; corporal; wounded in action at Resaca, Georgia, May 9, 
1864; discharged June 7, 1865. 

Bridgeford, Henry, Keeler; enlisted February 15, 1864, at 
Keeler; died at Rome, Georgia, October 21, 1864. 

Burnett, Albert, Hartford ; enlisted February 14, 1864, at Hart- 
ford ; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Burton, James, Columbia; enlisted October 28, 1862, at Colum- 
bia; corporal; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Camp, Charles H., Lawrence; enlisted September 23, 1861, at 
Lawrence; discharged for disability July 5, 1862. 

Carris, Henry A., Lawrence; enlisted September 23, 1861, at 
Lawrence ; discharged September 17, 1864 ; died July 17, 1904. 

Caryl, Watson, Columbia; enlisted October 28, 1862, at Colum- 
bia; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Chatfield, Isaac, Hartford; enlisted October 5, 1861, at Hart- 
ford; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Cheney, Aaron D., Keeler ; enlisted November 4, 1864, at Kee- 
ler; musician; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Combs, John, Arlington; enlisted August 13, 1862, at Arling- 
ton ; discharged June 2, 1865 ; died October 15, 1884. 

Cook, Charles, Lawrence; enlisted August 16, 1862, at Detroit; 
discharged June 2, 1865. 

Crobaugh, William, Geneva, enlisted September 28, 1861, at 
Geneva; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Darrah, John; Hamilton; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Dedrick, Philip C, Lawrence; enlisted September 28, 1861, at 
Lawrence; first sergeant; wounded in action at Fort Donelson, 
Tennessee, February 14, 1862; promoted to second lieutenant; re- 
signed April 3, 1863. 

Disbrow, Edward J., Bangor; enlisted November 2, 1862, at 
Bangor; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Dix, Franklin M., Decatur; enlisted February 25, 1864, at De- 
catur; discharged July 6, 1865; died April 6, 1879. 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 297 

Doyle, Patrick, Hartford; enlisted September 23, 1861, at Hart- 
ford ; killed in action near Atlanta, Georgia, May 27, 1864. 

Draper, Willard E., Lawrence; enlisted March 11, 1862, at 
Dowagiac ; discharged April 4, 1865 ; died February 14, 1903 ; pre- 
viously in three months' service. 

Duncombe, Stephen W., Keeler; entered service September 16, 
1861, as second lieutenant; promoted to first lieutenant; resigned 
July 16, 1862. 

Dowd, Jefferson S., Hartford; enlisted September 23, 1861, at 
Hartford ; wounded in action at Shiloh, Tennessee ; discharged Sep- 
tember 17, 1864. 

Ellis, Daniel, Decatur; enlisted February 24, 1864, at Decatur; 
discharged July 7, 1865. 

Erwin, John T., Hartford ; enlisted February 24, 1864, at Hart- 
ford ; discharged July 7, 1865 ; died January 25, 1870. 

Foster, Morris B., Keeler; enlisted September 24, 1861, at Kee- 
ler; discharged September 17, 1864. 

Foster, Newton T. ; enlisted October 15, 1861, at Keeler; cor- 
poral; promoted to sergeant; discharged for disability May 20, 
1862. 

Goodenough, Calvin C. ; enlisted October 11, 1861, at Hartford ; 
discharged for disability February 5, 1862 ; died January 27, 1890. 

Goodenough, Daniel E., Hartford; enlisted October 11, 1861, at 
Hartford; corporal; killed in action at Corinth, Mississippi, October 
4, 1862. 

Gore, Albert; entered service at organization of company, Sep- 
tember 16, 1861, at Keeler, as first lieutenant; resigned on account 
of disability, June 11, 1862. 

Gould, Edwin G., Decatur; enlisted February 22, 1864, at De- 
catur; taken prisoner near Laurel Hill, South Carolina; dis- 
charged August 4, 1865 ; died October 28, 1900. 

Grimes, Milford D., Decatur; enlisted February 25, 1864, at 
Decatur; discharged July 7, 1865; died June 27, 1896. 

Gilson, Alonzo D. ; enlisted September 20, 1861, at Hartford; 
corporal; wounded in action at Atlanta, Georgia, August 1, 1864; 
discharged July 7, 1865 ; died December 2, 1889. 

Hammond, Luther H. ; enlisted October 5, 1861, at Hartford ; 
discharged for disability May 24, 1862 ; died May 30, 1862. 

Hard, Bartholomew, Columbia; enlisted November 1, 1862, at 
Columbia; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Hardy, Eben, Hartford; enlisted February 27, 1864, at Kala- 
mazoo; wounded in action near Dallas, Georgia, May 27, 1864; dis- 
charged July 7, 1865. 

Harris, Charles A., Lawrence; enlisted February 24, 1864, at 
Lawrence; discharged July 6, 1865. 



298 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Hazard, Asa D., Lawrence; enlisted March 10, 1862, at Law- 
rence; discharged for disability July 13, 1862; deceased. 

Henry, William; enlisted September 26, 1861, at Arlington; 
wounded in action at Corinth, Mississippi, October 4, 1862; dis- 
charged for disability, May 13, 1863; deceased. 

Hill, Oscar P., Keeler; enlisted September 24, 1861,* at Keeler; 
died at Owl Creek, Tennessee, April 29, 1862. 

Hurlbut, Albert D., Hartford; enlisted February 18, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Irish, Robert D., Hartford ; enlisted October 11, 1861, at Hart- 
ford ; corporal ; discharged July 7, 1865 ; died February, 1900. 

Jones, Francis M. ; enlisted September 18, 1861, at Geneva ; cor- 
poral; discharged for disability October 8, 1862; deceased. 

Jones, George W., Geneva; enlisted September 21, 1861, at Gen- 
eva ; died near Corinth, Mississippi, August 1, 1862. 

Jones, Orrin, Decatur ; enlisted February 10, 1864, at Hartford ; 
corporal; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Kennedy, James H., Hartford; enlisted February 23, 1864, at 
Hartford; discharged July 7, 1865; died May 31, 1888. 

Long, William W., Keeler; enlisted February 22, 1864, at Keeler; 
killed in action at Peach Tree, Georgia, July 22, 1864. 

Mather, William, Hartford ; enlisted February 26, 1864, at Hart- 
ford ; died at Marietta, Georgia, September 14, 1864. 

Mead, Gilbert E., Decatur: enlisted February 24, 1864, at De- 
catur; wounded near Atlanta. Georgia, August 11, 1864; dis- 
charged July 7, 1864. 

Miller, Martin, Keeler; enlisted September 23, 1861, at Keeler; 
corporal; died March 14, 1862, on board steamer Lancaster, be- 
tween Metal Landing and Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. 

Nelson, Marcus S., Lawrence; enlisted March 10, 1862, at Dowa- 
giac; killed in action at Corinth, Mississippi, October 4, 1862. 

Noble, Henry W., Decatur; enlisted February 23, 1864, at De- 
catur; killed in action near Dallas, Georgia, May 27, 1864. 

Northrup, Orrin M., Decatur ; enlisted February 26, 1 864, at De- 
catur; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Payne, George, Arlington; enlisted October 26, 1861, at Arling- 
ton ; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Phelps, Henry, Lawrence; enlisted August 14, 1862, at Detroit; 
taken prisoner by guerrillas January, 1863, returned to company 
October 14, 1863; discharged June 2, 1865; killed by cars in 1884. 

Polmantier, Seth; enlisted September 24, 1861, at Keeler; dis- 
charged for disability June 20, 1862. 

Prater, Giles W., Paw Paw; enlisted August 16, 1862, at Detroit ; 
corporal ; discharged June 2, 1865. 

Prosser, Henry L., Arlington; enlisted September 26, 1861, at 



HISTORY OP VAN BIJREN COUNTY 299 

Arlington; corporal; died near Corinth, Mississippi, July 20, 1863. 

Riley, George, Decatur; enlisted December 15, 1862, at Decatur; 
wounded in action at Dallas, Georgia, left leg amputated; dis- 
charged June 5, 1865; died February 13, 1888. 

■ Ritter, Philip, Jr.; enlisted October 14, 1861, at Hartford, 
wagoner; discharged for disability February 23, 1862. 

Robinson, Alfred D., Hartford; enlisted September 24, 1.861, at 
Hartford ; corporal ; promoted to sergeant ; discharged September 
16, 1864; died August 20, 1899. 

Root, Milo, Bangor; enlisted November 11, 1862, at Bangor: 
wounded May 9, 1864; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; died 
March 7, 1876. 

Rossman, Hiram; enlisted October 11, 1861, at Hartford; trans- 
ferred to secret service December 11, 1862. 

Rupert, William, Keeler; enlisted September 16, 1861, at Kee- 
ler; killed in action near Dallas, Georgia, May 27, 1864. 

Rupert, John, Keeler; enlisted September 24, 1861, at Keeler; 
died in hospital at Owl Creek, Tennessee, April 26, 1862. 

Sanborn, Leander, Hartford; enlisted February 16, 1864, at 
Kalamazoo; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Simmons, Hiram P., Hartford; enlisted February 24, 1864, at 
Hartford; discharged July 7, 1865; died at Lawrence, April 25, 
1904. 

Smith, James, Keeler; enlisted November 4, 1861, at Keeler; 
wounded in action near Decatur, Georgia, July 22, 1864; dis- 
charged July 7, 1865. 

Stowe, Freeman, Hartford; enlisted October 3, 1861, at Hart- 
ford; wounded in action near Dallas, Georgia, May 27, 1864; dis- 
charged July 7, 1865. 

Sutton, Luther; enlisted at Hartford, September 30, 1861; cor- 
poral; discharged for disability May 20, 1862; died at Hartford, 
October 5, 1903. 

Thompson, Albert C, Keeler; enlisted September 23, 1861, at 
Keeler; corporal; promoted to sergeant and to first sergeant; 
taken prisoner near Dallas, Georgia, May 31, 1864; discharged 
February 11, 1865. 

Tyler, Enos "W., Hartford; enlisted October 17, 1861, at Hart^ 
ford; discharged September 17, 1864; died August 24, 1903. 

Tyler, Humphrey P., Hartford; enlisted October 21, 1861, at 
Hartford ; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Van Auken, John L., Hartford; enlisted November 2, 1862, at 
Bangor; discharged July 7, 1865; died March 30, 1897. 

Van Ostrand, John G. ; enlisted October, 1861, at Hartford; dis- 
charged for disability October 25, 1862; deceased. 



300 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Van Brunt, Robert W., Lawrence; enlisted September 26, 1861, 
at Lawrence; discharged September 17, 1864; died August 10, 
1904. 

Vermette, Mason M., Hartford; enlisted September 24, 1861, at 
Keeler; taken prisoner at Corinth, Mississippi, October 3, 1862; 
returned to company March 21, 1863; wounded in action at At- 
lanta, Georgia, August 9, 1864; discharged July 7, 1865. 

Vincent, Horace L., Columbia; enlisted October 8, 1862, at 
Columbia; wounded near Atlanta, Georgia, July 31, 1864; dis- 
charged July 7, 1865. 

Vincent, Theodore C, Breedsville ; mustered December 2, 1862 ; 
no further record. 

Webster, Charles J., Bangor; enlisted November 2, 1862, at 
Bangor; killed in action near Decatur, Georgia, July 22, 1864. 

Whipple, Elias, Hartford; enlisted February 18, 1864, at Hart- 
ford ; discharged July 7, 1865 ; died in 1900. 

Whipple, Simeon W., Hartford; enlisted February 12, 1864, at 
Hartford; discharged February 17, 1864. 

Wygent, William II., Hartford; enlisted December 2, 1862, at 
Bangor; wounded at Dallas, Georgia, May 31, 1864; discharged 
July 7, 1865. 

Company C, Seventieth New York Infantry 

To arms! the voice of Freedom calls, 

Nor calls in vain: 
Up from the fields, the shops, the halls, 
The busy street, the city walls, 

Rush martial men. 

Company C, Seventieth New York Infantry, was organized at 
Paw Paw and w T as the first military organization of the Civil war 
from Van Buren county. A number of Paw Paw young men, in 
1859, organized themselves into a military company under the 
name of the LaFayette Light Guard, the township of Paw Paw be- 
ing at that time called LaFayette. 

Early in 1861, shortly after the outbreak of hostilities, they 
sought to enter the service in some Michigan regiment, but were 
not accepted, because, forsooth, Michigan needed no more troops. 
And so they offered their services to and were accepted by the 
state of New York; became a part of the celebrated Sickles' Bri- 
gade, commanded by General Daniel E. Sickles, and were mus- 
tered into the service in what was afterward called the Seventieth 
New York Infantry. Thus the state of Michigan lost one of the 
finest companies that was organized anywhere during the entire 
Civil war, and the state military authorities shortly afterward 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 301 

discovered that they needed, not only such a company as this, but 
a good many more like it. 

The Company left Paw Paw for New York City, June 13, 1861, 
from which place it was sent to Staten Island and there mustered 
into the United States service June 30, 1861. The company re- 
mained on Staten Island until July 23, 1861, at which time it 
received orders to leave for Washington, where it arrived July 24, 

1861. The regiment then went into camp on Meridian Heights. 
On April 16, 1862, it took part in the siege of Yorktown and on 

the evacuation of that city by the enemy it was ordered to Wil- 
liamsburg, Virginia, where it arrived May 5, 1862, and immediately 
became engaged with the enemy, suffering very severely and los- 
ing eight men killed and 23 wounded and missing. 

It participated in the engagement at Fair Oaks, again losing 
very heavily. It then remained in front of the White House, do- 
ing picket duty and skirmishing with the enemy until June 26, 

1862, when it was again ordered to the front, taking part in the 
Peninsular campaign and serving gallantly in the several en- 
gagements. The regiment was very badly cut up at Bristow Sta- 
tion and Bull Run and took part in Burnside's disastrous attack 
on Fredericksburg December 15, 1862, after which it received or- 
ders to follow General Lee, who was then moving northward 
through Maryland. It arrived at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 
time to participate in the three days' fighting near that place, be- 
ing attached to the Second Brigade, Second Division, Third Army 
Corps, commanded by Major General D. E. Sickles. It remained 
with this corps until April, 1864, when, on consolidation of the 
Third and Second Corps, it became a part of the Second Brigade, 
Fourth Division, Second Army Corps. 

It took part in the battles of Wapping Heights, Kelly's Ford, 
Mine Run campaign, and Locust Grove, Virginia. 

May 6, 1864, it entered upon the Grant campaign, being engaged 
at the Wilderness, May 5, 6 and 7; Spottsylvania, May 8, to 21 • 
North Anna river, May 22 to 26 ; Tolopotomy, May 27 to 31 ; Cold 
Harbor, June 1 to 12 ; siege of Petersburg to July 7, 1864, when it 
was mustered out of service, the veterans and recruits being as- 
signed to the Eighty-sixth Regiment, New York Infantry. 

Total number enrolled, 112; killed in action, 14; died of wounds, 
3 ; died of disease, 6 ; discharged for disability, 27. 

The following list comprises the name of the Van Buren county 
members of this company: Abrams, James E., Paw Paw; enlisted 
May 14, 1861, at Paw Paw; transferred to second United States 
Cavalry. 

Alden, Justin V., Breedsville ; enlisted May 2, 1861, at Paw Paw : 
died at Staten Island, New York, June 29, 1861. 



•302 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Barber, John \V. ; enlisted May 5, 1861, at Paw Paw; discharged 
July 6, 1865. 

Barnum, Alfred II., Paw Paw; enlisted May 13, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; killed in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862. 

Barnum, John H., Decatur; enlisted October 16, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability November 7, 1862. 

Branch, Elam, Lawrence; enlisted April 30, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
corporal ; discharged July 24, 1862, on account of wounds received 
in action. 

Briggs, David, Hamilton; enlisted May 15, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged July 1, 1864. 

Brown, Henry R. ; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw; wagoner; 
discharged June 27, 1865. 

Brown, Stephen F., Waverly; enlisted September 18, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; discharged June 6, 1865. 

Bullard, William II., Paw Paw; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw T ; drummer ; transferred to Invalid Corps ; present residence, 
Niles, Michigan. 

Burnham, Horatio, Lawton ; enlisted April 30, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; died at Wooster, Ohio, August 15, 1863. 

Butler, Cyrus II., Decatur; enlisted April 30, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability March 15, 1862. 

Carney, Edward, Decatur; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged July 1, 1864. 

Canoll, William H., Decatur; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw ; 
second lieutenant; resigned November 20, 1861. 

Case, Harvey S., Decatur; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged in July, 1864. 

Chaffee, Thomas J., Waverly; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; sergeant ; brevet second lieutenant and first lieutenant ; dis- 
charged July 20, 1864. Died at Paw Paw, December 30, 1910. 

Chamberlain, Henry, Decatur; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw ; 
sergeant; promoted to first lieutenant; killed in action at the 
Wilderness May 5, 1864; buried in National cemetery at Fred- 
ericksburg, Virginia, grave No. 330. 

Chevalier, John F., Decatur; enlisted April 30, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; sergeant; discharged July 1, 1864. 

Clark, James, Almena ; enlisted October 18, 1861, at Paw Paw ; 
wounded in action at Wapping Heights, Virginia, July 23, 1863; 
discharged December 10, 1864. 

Constable, William, Paw Paw; enlisted May 14, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged December 31, 1862, on account of wounds re- 
ceived in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862. 

Coon, Carlton, Paw Paw; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged for disability, January 5, 1862. 



HISTORY OF VAN J3UREN COUNTY 303 

Covey, Armand, Waverly ; enlisted April 27, 1861, at Paw Paw • 
killed in action at Fair Oaks, Virginia, June 25, 1862. 

Covey, Hiram P., Waverly; enlisted April 26, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability January 20, 1863; re-entered ser- 
vice in Company G, Thirteenth Infantry ; died at Savannah, Geor- 
gia, March 18, 1865; buried in National cemetery at Beaufort, 
South Carolina, grave No. 4655. 

Crandall, Henry, Keeler; enlisted May 14, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
transferred to United States Cavalry, October 28, 1862. 

Craw, Joseph W., Hartford; enlisted April 26, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; died at Mill Creek, Virginia, July 22, 1862, of wounds re- 
ceived in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862. 

Cockett, Charles S., Decatur; enlisted May 14, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; corporal; promoted to commissary sergeant; discharged July 
11, 1864. 

Crofoot, Edward J., Paw Paw; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged October 4, 1864. 

Cumings, Adelbert W., Paw Paw; enlisted May 2, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; fifer; discharged for disability, January 22, 1862; re-enlisted 
in Company II, Twelfth Infantry, September 2, 1864; discharged 
May 6, 1865; present residence Paw Paw. 

Dedrick, Philip C, Lawrence; enlisted April 29, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability August 3, 1861. 

Dolliver, David, Paw Paw; one of the original Company: no 
record. 

Dutton, Leonard, Decatur; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
wounded in action at Bull Run, Virginia, August 29, 1862; dis- 
charged July 1, 1864. 

Emerling, Anthony, Paw Paw; enlisted October 28, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; discharged October 7, 1864. 

Emery, John, Paw Paw; enlisted October 16, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged June 27, 1865; deceased. 

Fertig, Andrew N. ; enlisted April 23, 1861, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged July 1, 1864. 

Fitzsimmons, Philip; enlisted May 13, 1861, at Paw Paw; killed 
in action at Spottsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 12, 1864. 
Fitch, James, Decatur; one of original Company; no record. 
Garver, Samuel, Lawton; enlisted April 27, 1861, at Lawton; 
wounded in action at Williamsburg, Virginia ; transferred to Sec- 
ond United States Cavalry. 

Gorham, Allen, Almena ; enlisted October 18, 1861, at Paw Paw ; 
discharged for disability August 23, 1862; re-entered service in 
Company K, Twenty -eighth Infantry; first sergeant; discharged 
June 5, 1866. 



804 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Harrison, Alexander M., Paw Paw; enlisted April 25, 1861, at 
Paw Paw ; corporal ; discharged for disability July 26, 1862 ; died 
at Bangor. 

Hathaway, W. II., Waverly; one of original Company; no 
record. 

Hartman, Jeremiah, Hamilton; enlisted May 15, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged October 26, 1864, on account of loss of left arm 
in action at Salem Church, Virginia, May 31, 1864. 

Hayes, Richard, Paw Paw ; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; absent wounded at muster out of Company. Died at Paw 
Paw. 

Hinckley, Gilman, Antwerp ; enlisted November 1, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Hodges, Herrick, Lawrence; enlisted April 29, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability, October 24, 1861; re-enlisted in 
Company I, Seventeenth Infantry; wounded in action at An- 
tietam, Maryland, September 17, 1862; discharged for disability 
June 1, 1863; gunshot wound through lung and left leg; present 
residence South Haven, Michigan. 

Holt, Benjamin, Paw Paw; enlisted October 28, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability March 4, 1863; died at Paw Paw. 

House, Edward E., Paw Paw; enlisted May 15, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability, July 10, 1861. 

Hugo, William H., Paw Paw; entered service as captain June 
21, 1861, at Paw Paw ; promoted to major ; transferred to Twenty- 
fifth Infantry. 

Hulbert, Nathan, Waverly; enlisted October 18, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; corporal; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Kilburn, William H., Paw Paw; enlisted May 1, 18.61, at Paw 
Paw ; sergeant ; promoted to second lieutenant ; killed in action at 
Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862. 

Lamphere, Albert, Paw Paw; enlisted May 6, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; died November 21, 1862. 

Lewis, William II., Hartford; enlisted May 20, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; wounded in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania ; detailed at 
Harwood hospital, Washington, D. C; no further record. 

Longwell, James M., Paw Paw; entered service at organization 
as first lieutenant; promoted to captain; resigned November 21, . 
1862; died at Paw Paw. 

McDonald, William, Decatur; enlisted May 20, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged July 1, 1864. 

McGhan, Porter H., Decatur; enlisted April 29, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged January 21, 1863, on account of wounds re- 
ceived in action at Antietam, Maryland. 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 305 

McGill, Florence; enlisted May 25, 1861, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged for disability November 1, 1862. 

Melvin, Frederick, Bloomingdale ; enlisted April 12,- 1861, at 
Paw Paw; killed in action at Williamsburg Road, Virginia, June 
25, 1862. 

Miner, Charles W., Paw Paw; enlisted April 26, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; killed in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1863. 

Moon, Alvah F., Decatur; enlisted April 26, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
corporal; killed in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862. 

Loveland, Andrew, Paw Paw; one of original Company; no 
record. 

Moore, Charles W., Paw Paw; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged July 1, 1864. 

Myers, Henry B., Decatur; enlisted April 30, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; corporal; wounded in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 
5, 1862 ; discharged June 27, 1865. 

Newcomb, Seth B., Almena ; enlisted October 20, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; died July 28, 1864. 

Parliman, Byron, Paw Paw; enlisted April 27, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability January 26, 1863. 

Parrish, Herman S., Lawton; enlisted May 20, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; transferred to Invalid Corps. 

Patrick, Dexter D., Almena; enlisted April 2, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
died June 3, 1862, of wounds received in action at Williamsburg, 
Virginia, May 5, 1862. 

Perry, Stephen, Decatur; enlisted April 27, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged June 27, 1865. 

Price, William H., Paw Paw; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; died May 22, 1862, on account of wounds received in action 
at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862. 

Place, Willard, Hamilton; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged July 1, 1864. 

Priest, Albert, Decatur; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged for disability March 15, 1862. 

Putnam, Ira W., Hamilton ; enlisted May 20, 1861, at Paw Paw ; 
discharged May 20, 1863. 

Ransom, Albert II., Lawton; one of original Company; no 
record. 

Reese, Henry, Porter; enlisted April 30, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
transferred to Second United States Cavalry. 

Remalia, Stephen, Almena; enlisted November 1, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; drowned at Harrison's Landing, Virginia, August 8, 1862. 

Rickard, John, Paw r Paw; enlisted October 16, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged for disability February 14, 1863; died at Paw Paw. 

Vol. 1—20 



306 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Robb, Elias, Lawrence; enlisted May 20, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged for disability October 14, 1862. 

Robinson, Lyman, Paw Paw; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; transferred to Second United States Cavalry. 

Rogers, Don C, Decatur; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
sergeant; promoted to first lieutenant; discharged April 9, 1864, 
on account of wounds received in action. 

Roundy, Averill J., Lawrence; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged October 2, 1862, on account of wounds received 
in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, June 25, 1862; present resi- 
dence Paw Paw. 

Rowe, Daniel W., Lawrence ; enlisted May 20, 1861, at Paw Paw ; 
killed in action at Williamsburg Road, Virginia, June 25, 1862. 

Ryan, Michael, Lawrence; enlisted May 22, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
sergeant ; transferred to Second United States Cavalry ; discharged 
December 6, 1864; re-entered service in Company B, Tenth Cav- 
alry; discharged November 7, 1865; present residence Kalamazoo. 

Saunders, Silas, Paw Paw; enlisted October 30, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; died at Falmouth, Virginia, February 4, 1863. 

Saxton, Hiram G., Paw Paw; enlisted April 27, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; wounded in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862 
and at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1863; discharged April 
27, 1864; re-entered service in Company IT, Ninth Infantry; dis- 
charged June 20, 1865. 

Sherman, Walter L., Decatur; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; died at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 2, 1863. 

Sirrine, Art, Paw Paw; enlisted April 20, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
transferred to Second United States Cavalry. 

Sirrine, John, Paw Paw; enlisted April 25, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
transferred to Second United States Cavalry; wounded in action 
at Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864; discharged for dis- 
ability December 13, 1864; present residence Paw Paw\ 

Story, Parker, Almena; enlisted May 20, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
discharged for disability January 20, 1863. 

Swift, Francis M., Decatur; enlisted April 20, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; transferred to Sixteenth United States Infantry. 

Teale, Charles W. ; enlisted July 13, 1861, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged February 10, 1862. 

Timmons, Lewis G., Keeler; enlisted May 1, 1861, at Paw Paw; 
wounded in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, June 22, 1862; dis- 
charged July 1, 1864. 

Tucker, Augustus B., Breedsville ; enlisted May 3, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; killed in action at Williamsburg Road, Virginia, June 25, 
1862. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 307 

Van Fleet, William, Lawrence; enlisted May 6, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged for disability September 29, 1862. 

Van Ostran, Clare E., Hartford; enlisted April 24, 1861, at 
Paw Paw; corporal; discharged July 1, 1864. 

Walrath, Byron, Paw Paw; enlisted October 17, 1861, at Paw 
Paw ; killed in action at Williamsburg, Virginia, May 5, 1862. 

Whitehead, William; enlisted July 7, 1861, at Paw Paw; dis- 
charged August 15, 1861. 

Williams, John W., Paw Paw; enlisted April 22, 1861, at Paw 
Paw; discharged July 1, 1864. 

Wright, Alfred G., Paw Paw r ; member of original Company; 
no record. 

Other Companies or Regiments 

Forty-second Illinois Infantry: Mabury, James D., Paw r Paw; 
corporal ; Company E ; enlisted July 26, 1861 ; died at Nashville, 
Tennessee, September 20, 1863. 

Miller, Jesse, Paw Paw; enlisted Company E, July 26, 1861; 
discharged December 5, 1862. 

Mills, Andrew J., Hartford; assistant surgeon; enlisted August 
11, 1863; discharged April 16, 1865. 

Tanner, John, Mattawan ; Company H ; enlisted August 23, 1861 ; 
wmmded and taken prisoner at Stone River, Tennessee, December 
31, 1862; discharged September 10, 1864. 

Forty-fourth Illinois Infantry : Andrews, George B., Lawrence ; 
Company H; enlisted August 1, 1861; discharged September 15, 
1864. 

Bennett, John A., Columbia; Company II ; enlisted September 
1, 1861 ; discharged September 25, 1865. 

Benton, Sylvester, Antwerp; Company H; enlisted September 
1, 1861; discharged for disability June 2, 1862. 

Bliss, John, South Haven ; Company H, August 1, 1861 ; dis- 
charged September 25, 1865. 

Garver, Martin, Lawton; enlisted August 1, 1861; discharged 
September 25, 1865. 

Graham, Wells, Pine Grove; Company H; enlisted August 1, 
1861 ; died at Rolla, Missouri, January 20, 1862. 

Harris, Ira K., Pine Grove; Company H; enlisted August 1, 
1861 ; discharged September 25, 1865. 

Harris, James II., Waverly; Company H; enlisted August 1, 
1861 ; died at Rolla, Missouri, February 18, 1862. 

Harris, James W., Hamilton; Company H; enlisted August 1, 
1861 ; died of wounds, September 20, 1863. 

Johnson, Job, Columbia; Company H; enlisted September 1, 
1861 ; discharged February 28, 1865. 

Knowles, Charles, Columbia; Company H; enlisted September 



808 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

1, 1861; corporal; discharged for disability, June 14, 1865; gun 
shot wound. 

Meachum, Calvin, Arlington; Company H; enlisted September 
1, 1861 ; discharged September 25, 1865. 

Munson, Alfred, Columbia; enlisted March 31, 1864; corporal; 
discharged September 25, 1865. 

Orvette, Alvah, Decatur; Company H; enlisted August 1, 1861; 
died at Rolla, Missouri, March 7, 1862. 

Patterson, George C, Covert; Company B; enlisted September 
3, 1861; discharged for disability, March 31, 1863. 

Pitts, George W., Decatur; Company H; corporal; enlisted 
August 1, 1861 ; supposed to have been killed by guerrillas, at 
Forsyth, Missouri, April 18, 1862. 

Regan, Christopher, South Haven; Company H; enlisted Sep- 
tember 1, 1861; discharged for disability, February 6, 1863. 

Sickendick, George D., Columbia; Company II ; enlisted Sep- 
tember 1, 1861; discharged September 25. 1865. 

Thompson, George H., Arlington; Company H; enlisted August 
1, 3861; killed in action at Stone River, Tennessee, December 11, 
1862. 

Tibbitts, Eugene D., Pine Grove; Company II; enlisted August 
I, 1861 ; discharged September 25, 1865. 

Van Fleet, Samuel N., Lawrence; Company H; enlisted August 

I, 1861; discharged for disability February 28, 1862. Subse- 
quently became entirely blind as a result of his service. 

Miscellaneous Regiments 

Andrews, Isaac B., Hartford; Company G, Thirty-ninth Illi- 
nois Infantry; enlisted September 10, 1861; killed in action at 
Drury's Bluff, Virginia, May 16, 1864. 

Bard well, Joseph H., Paw Paw; Battery I, First Illinois Artil- 
lery; sergeant; enlisted February 10, 1862; discharged July 26, 
1865. 

Beddo, Horace, Paw Paw; Battery I, First Illinois Artillery; 
enlisted February 19, 1862 ; discharged July 26, 1865. 

Campbell, William W., Paw Paw; Twenty-first Indiana Bat- 
tery; enlisted September 9, 1862; discharged June 10, 1865. 

Dunham, Hiram G., Hartford; Company G, Thirty-ninth Illi- 
nois Infantry ; enlisted August 19, 1861 ; died at Cumberland, 
Maryland, February 23, 1862. 

Magoon, Edward M., Paw Paw; Battery I, First Illinois Artil- 
lery ; enlisted February 21 , 1862 ; discharged for disability July 

II, 1862. 

Mitchelson, Thomas F., Paw Paw; Battery I, First Illinois 
Artillery; enlisted February 10, 1862; died at Pittsburg Land- 
ing, Tennessee, July 11, 1862. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 309 

Moon, O. F., Decatur; Battery I, First Illinois Artillery; enlisted 
February 6, 1862; no further record. 

Pierce, Charles J., Decatur; corporal; Battery I, First Illinois 
Artillery ; enlisted February 12, 1862 ; discharged July 6, 1865. 

St. John, George, Hartford ; Battery I, First Illinois Artillery ; 
enlisted January 29, 1862; died at Moscow, Tennessee, July 2, 
1862. 

Smith, George, Decatur; Battery I, First Illinois Artillery; en- 
listed February 6, 1862 ; discharged July 26, 1865. 

O'Dell, Barnabas, Paw Paw; enlisted in United States navy, 
March 1, 1865; served on United States steamers, Collier and 
Great Western; discharged August 20, 1865. Present residence, 
Paw Paw. 

Teed, Augustus, Almena; enlisted United States navy, March 
1, 1865. 

Foster, Ebenezer; enlisted in Ninth United States Colored 
Heavy Artillery, August 13, 1864, at Decatur; mustered August 
13, 1864; no further record. 

Fowler, Galpin ; enlisted in Ninth United States Colored Heavy 

Artillery; mustered August 13, 1864, at Decatur; no further record. 

Good, Horace; enlisted in Ninth United States Colored Heavy 

Artillery, at Decatur; mustered August 13, 1864; no further 

record. 

During this great struggle for the life of the nation the state 
of Michigan furnished to the government something over 90,000 
troops, of whom nearly 15,000 lost their lives by sickness or in 
battle. Van Buren county furnished 1,884 men. When we re- 
member that the total population of the county in 1860 was only 
15,224; that the total enrolment of men liable for military duty 
in December, 1864, was only 1,540; that the war tax of the county 
was $155,637 and that nearly $100,000 was paid by the county for 
the relief of soldiers' families, we get some faint idea of the 
great sacrifices demanded and cheerfully made. Soldiers from 
Van Buren county were found in seventy regiments from Michi- 
gan and other states. 

But neither figures of arithmetic, nor figures of speech, can 
record the sacrifices and the suffering, nor the deep underlying 
current of patriotism that was the dominant spirit in those days 
that tried men's souls. That this great nation is once more united, 
that sectionalism and strife no longer exist, that all are animated 
by the spirit of patriotism that knows no north, no south, no east, 
no west, is sufficient cause for our everlasting gratitude and thank- 
fulness. 

We sometimes feel that faith in the perpetuity of our free in- 
stitutions that was manifested by the little lad when, during the 



310 , HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Civil war, he saw a rainbow spanning the eastern heavens. ' ' Moth- 
er, mother, oh! mother !" he exclaimed, pointing upward with his 
innocent little hands, "God is a Union man. I know he is a 
Union man because I saw his flag in the sky, and it was red, white 
and blue." 

Spanish- American War 

Van Buren county was well represented in the Spanish- American 
war. Perhaps no county in the state sent a greater number of young 
men, in proportion to population, to free the Cubans from Spanish 
oppression, than did Van Buren. Some were in Cuba, some were 
in the Philippines and some did not get beyond the borders of their 
own country. The author regrets that after diligent search, he has 
been wholly unable to procure a list of the names of the Van Buren 
county boys who volunteered in that struggle. There seemed to be 
no way in which a complete list could be procured, as the state has 
not, as yet, made any compilation of the names of its soldiers who 
participated in that contest as it did of those who served in the Civil 
war. Rather than mention a few names picked up here and there, 
it was thought best not to mention any. 



CHAPTER XII 

GEOLOGY OF COUNTY 

The Cambrian — Ordovician — The Silurian Age — Devonian — 
Lower Carboniferous — The Pleistocene (Last Chapter). 

By R. A. Smith, B.A., M.A., Assistant Geologist Michigan Geo- 
logical and Biological Survey 

In order to understand the geological history of Van Buren 
county, one must know the geological history of the rock forma- 
tions of Michigan itself, for Michigan may be considered as a geo- 
logical unit of which Van Buren county is but a small and insep- 
arable part. If the thick screen of unconsolidated sands, gravels, 
and clays which, almost everywhere, form the surface deposits of 
the state, could be removed, the bed-rock formations would appear 
lying one within the other like a pile of very shallow but gigantic 
basins. The rims of the outer basins are exposed in northern 
Michigan, on the western side of Green Bay, in northern Illinois, 
in Ohio, and on the eastern side of Georgian bay in Canada. The 
rims of the smaller basins occur successively toward the center in 
a more or less concentric manner, until the smallest basin, the Sag- 
inaw coal basin, lies wholly in lower Michigan and almost in its 
exact geographical center. These beds or formations are sediment- 
ary deposits of sandstones, conglomerates, shales, limestones, etc. 
Obviously, the lowest bed was deposited first and each successively 
higher bed followed in order, so that the oldest rocks are the low- 
est and the youngest are at the top. 

The Cambrian 

For a long time previous to the deposition of the lowermost 
paleozoic sediments, the region extending from the Arctic ocean 
to the Gulf of Mexico appears to have been land. Through geolog- 
ical forces, it was slowly depressed from the southwest and the sea 
slowly came in over Texas following the continued sinking of the 
land to the northeast, until all of the Mississippi valley and most 
of the Great Lakes region was occupied by a vast interior or epi- 
continental sea, which persisted all through Palaeozoic times to 

311 



812 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

the end of the Carboniferous, — a period equal to half the time scale 
since the Algonkian. This sea was, in the main, shallow, for the 
deposits were largely those of sands and gravels, which are the 
marks of wave action, shore currents and rivers. This period is 
known as the Cambrian. At the close of this period of encroach- 
ment by the sea, Michigan w r as covered by a shallow sea with prob- 
able land to the north and east of Georgian bay and to the north 
of Lake Superior. 

Since Michigan was the last region to sink beneath the water, 
only the upper beds of the Cambrian are found in Michigan. They 
are for the most part red sandstones and are known as the Lake 
Superior or Potsdam sandstone, of which the Pictured Rocks on 
the south shore of Lake Superior furnish a most picturesque ex- 
ample. These sandstones, if present at all under Yan Buren 
county, must lie buried beneath several thousand feet of later sedi- 
ments. 

The Ordovician 

The Cambrian period was one of steady encroachment of the 
sea from the southwest. The Ordovician age which followed was 
one of continued general depression with wider and clearer seas 
yet shallow and w r arm, so that, in Middle Ordovician time, enorm- 
ous deposits of limestone were laid down, now called the Trenton 
limestone. Naturally, the Lower Ordovician deposits are those of 
transition from the sandy shore deposits of Cambrian time to 
those of limestone in Middle Ordovician and show evidences of 
local emergences, represented by the Calciferous and St. Peters 
sandstones. The St. Peters is a true emergence sandstone, present 
in Wisconsin and Minnesota, but unfortunately it is hard to dis- 
tinguish it in Michigan from other underlying sandstones that are 
known to belong to the uppermost Cambrian. We find it present 
at Rapid river in the Upper Peninsula, but nothing definite is 
known concerning it in lower Michigan. 

The deposition of limestone was ended in Middle Ordovician 
time, however, by the raising up of a long low arch or anticline, 
extending northward from Nashville and Cincinnati through Ohio. 
This is known as the Nashville and Cincinnati anticline. In west- 
ern Ohio this arch divides into two branches, one passing north- 
ward into western Ontario and southeastern Michigan, and the 
other northwestward into Indiana. This anticline, together with 
the "Wisconsin Island' ' and the ancient Archean highland on the 
north and northeast, tended to make a great gulf over Michigan 
running northwest to southeast, thus separating the Michigan basin 
from the more open sea to the southwest in the Mississippi valley. 
This emergence resulted in the deposition of muds now represented 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 313 

by the Utiea, Lorraine and Richmond shales. The Utica shales in 
Michigan are black, while the others are mainly blue. 

The elevation of the Nashville and Cincinnati anticline was only 
an expression of a more or less general upward movement of the 
continent as a whole until the deposits were largely above water 
and exposed to the agents of erosion, so that when the land again 
sank below the water the six hundred feet of Utica, Lorraine and 
Richmond muds of lower Michigan were deposited unconformably 
upon an eroded and worn down surface. Little is known of this 
pre-Riehmond emergence in lower Michigan, as very little is known 
of Ordovician formations as a whole in the Lower Peninsula. They 
are all so deep that no wells in Van Buren county or in the south- 
western part of the state have positively reached them, though 
borings further from the center of the Michigan basin, as at South 
Bend, Indiana, at Cheboygan and at Manitoulin island, Lake 1 
Huron, indicate the Lorraine to be fairly uniform in thickness 
and persistent throughout the Lower Peninsula. The Trenton, the 
great oil horizon of Ohio, has been sought by oil prospectors in all 
parts of the state, but probably it has not been reached in the 
south western counties. 

The Silurian 

The emergence at the end of the Richmond ended the Ordovician 
and the succeeding submergence of the land and encroachment by 
the sea was the beginning of the Silurian age. The sea gradually 
became clearer until the muds, now the Medina, Clinton and Ro- 
chester shales — the latter often dolomitic — gave place to the thick 
(270-600 feet) deposits of dolomites and limestones of Niagaran 
age. 

During the period from the Richmond to the Medina and Clin- 
ton, there was an abundance of iron in the muddy sediments, es- 
pecially in the Clinton, which from New York to Alabama and in 
Wisconsin has an iron content that makes it locally of considerable 
commercial importance. In the southwestern part of the state, 
some of these ferruginous shales do not appear to have been de- 
posited. These formations, though often more than 2,000 feet be- 
low the surface, are much better known, as drillings at Kalamazoo 
and in many parts of the state have pierced them. 

As the Trenton marks the period of the greatest transgression 
of the sea upon the land in the Ordovician, so the Niagaran marks 
a similar period in the Silurian. All of Michigan seems to have 
been covered by the great sea, which extended from the Oulf of 
Mexico across the Arctic zone and southward into Europe. Vast 
as the Niagaran sea was, it was still a shallow sea with a fauna 



314 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

characteristic of clear, shallow, warm water. The Niagara is one 
of the thickest and most extensive deposits of coralline limestone 
known in any age. If forms the shore of western and northern 
Lake Michigan and of northern and eastern Lake Huron, and the 
precipice over which the waters of the Niagara river tumble. Its 
outcrops in Alabama, Iowa, Alaska, Greenland, Spitzenbergen, 
Great Britain, Scandinavia, Russia, China and Southern Europe 
give an idea of the enormous extent of the Niagara limestone. 
Wells in the southwestern part of the state show that the Niagara 
limestone occurs from about one thousand to nearly two thousand 
feet below the surface. 

Following the great limestone age, there came one of excessive 
aridity. The Michigan sea was nearly, if not quite, enclosed by 
land, so that great deposits of salt, anhydrite, and limestone were 
laid down. These form the Salina (or Lower Monroe) of the Mid- 
dle Silurian age, which carries most of the beds of rock salt in the 
southeastern part of the state. No rock salt occurs in the strata 
under Van Buren county and the Monroe is much thinner than it 
is in the eastern part of the state. This suggests the possibility 
that the western part of the state may have been out of water for 
a time, so that there may have been an erosion instead of a depo- 
sition of sediments. This western Michigan bar appears to have 
divided the Michigan sea into two parts, — a closed eastern sea like 
Great Salt lake, in which both gypsum and salt were deposited, 
and an open western one in which obviously conditions necessary 
for the deposition of gypsum or salt could not obtain. Toward the 
end of Silurian time, normal conditions gradually returned with 
a corresponding gradual transition upward in the deposits from 
salt and anhyrite to limestones, now the Lower Monroe dolomite. 

The Devonian 

At. the very end of the Silurian age or at the beginning of Dev- 
onian time, a very pure white sandstone, the Sylvania, was laid 
down. This bed is so pure that it is used for glass manufacture in 
some states. Toward the north, in Michigan, the bed grades into 
calcareous sand or into limestone. Above this bed, lie the lime- 
stones of the Middle and Upper Monroe formations. These carry 
beds of anhydrite or gypsum, indicative of the recurrence of arid 
and Mediterranean conditions. An emergence at the end of the 
Upper Monroe occurred, as shown by the superposition of the Dun- 
dee limestone unconformably upon the eroded surface of the 
former. This is significant in the explanation of the deposits of 
salt and anhydrite in the Middle Monroe, as just such an emer- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 315 

gence would cause the Michigan gulf to become a closed or Mediter- 
ranean sea. 

Middle and Upper Devonian rocks are mainly alternating beds 
of heavy limestones and shales, indicative of a somewhat variable 
character of the age as a whole, though the heavy limestone show 
that stable conditions existed for part of the period. The three divi- 
sions of these sediments are the Dundee limestones, the Traverse 
formation of limestones and shales, and the black Antrim shales. 
The latter have often been mistaken by the oil drillers for the black 
shales just above the Trenton. This error has been made in drill- 
ings in the southwestern part of the state. The Trenton horizon 
probably has never been penetrated in Van Buren county, nor in 
any of the southwestern counties. 

Lower Carboniferous 

The Berea grit at the base of the Mississippian or Lower Car- 
boniferous, is another very pure sandstone. It is indicative of a 
general emergence of the land, as it is so widespread in Ohio and 
Michigan. The brines, which it contains, are extremely salt, so 
that Mediterranean conditions must have obtained for a time, but 
the concentration was not carried to such an extent that salt 
was deposited. This bed, the Berea, is found all along the eastern 
side of the state in wells but it gradually disappears tow T ard the 
west, so that it has not been recognized in western Michigan. 

Very muddy seas prevailed for a long time after the deposition 
of the Berea as nearly one thousand feet of shales lie above it. 
These are the Coldwater shales, which everywhere underlie the 
loose surface deposits of Van Buren county. These^ shales, in the 
western, part of the state, are really shaly limestones rather than 
shales. The western part of the Michigan sea therefore seems to 
have been clearer, thus favoring the deposition of calcareous sedi- 
ments. 

The Pleistocene (Last Chapter) 

If other deposits were laid down upon the Coldwater shales of 
Van Buren county, they were afterwards eroded away so that 
no trace of them remains. At the end of the Carboniferous period, 
the land east of the Mississippi was elevated above water and Michi- 
gan was never covered by the sea again. Thus, during the enor- 
mous period elapsing between the end of the Carboniferous and 
the beginning of the Pleistocene, or Ice Age, a period represented 
by nearly half the time scale since the Algonkian, the land surface 
of Michigan was exposed to the agents of erosion, so that it may 
have been much eroded and worn down to base level by great river 
systems, which must have existed in what is now the Great Lakes 



816 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

region. Probably a thick mantle of soil had accumulated, but of 
this we know little or nothing, for in the Pleistocene or Ice age, 
great continental ice sheets from Canada invaded the whole region 
north of the Ohio and the Missouri rivers and removed the loose sur- 
face accumulations from nearly the whole region. One of the 
sheets spread from a center west of Hudson bay, and another from 
Labrador. The ice advanced in the form of tongues or lobes. The 
basins of Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Sag- 
inaw Bay, etc., were each occupied by one of these lobes which 
not only scoured their respective basins deeper but scraped the soil 
mantle clean from the adjacent lands. The bed rocks were also 
much ground and worn away. Their surfaces, where exposed, are 
nearly always found to be smoothed and polished, with grooves or 
striae cut in them, showing the direction of the ice movement. The 
ice movement in Van Buren county was chiefly from the north- 
west, as the ice moved radially outward from the Lake Michigan 
lobe. The hills in general were rounded off and, while valleys as 
a, rule were worn deeper, some were filled up with loose materials 
such as clays, sands, and gravels. 

With the melting away of the ice sheet, the glacial materials be- 
neath and within the ice were left in irregular masses, or in more 
or less level sheets, sometimes six hundred feet or more in thick- 
ness. In Van Buren county, the glacial drift is not nearly so thick, 
being sometimes less than one hundred feet, and rarely much more 
than three hundred feet in thickness. The irregular hilly tracts, 
the accumulation of glacial materials along the melting ice front, 
are called moraines, while the level or gently undulating tracts, the 
accumulations of glacial debris beneath the ice, are the till plains. 
The latter are mainly composed of clay, except where running 
water from the melting ice has more or less worked over the glacial 
material or drift, so that we have beds of sands and gravel. The 
till plains of clay form the finest of soils and the basis of much of 
the farming in Michigan. 

Wherever the water was for a time ponded in front of the ice 
or in the depressions we have lake sands and clays. A large lake 
called Lake Chicago occupied the southern end of the Lake Michi- 
gan depression, being ponded in front of the ice border to the 
north. The lake stood at so high a level that its waters flowed 
through an outlet near Chicago into the Mississippi. The waters 
of this lake covered much of Van Buren county and in the western 
part of the county near Lake Michigan there remains an area of 
the- resulting lake clays and, in the northern and northwestern, 
there are considerable areas of the light lake sands. Large streams 
from the melting ice front worked over a large part of the glacial 
material or drift and, in the eastern part of the county, spread it 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 317 

out into gravelly or sandy plains called outwash aprons. Most of 
the material in the central and western parts of the county is a 
boulder clay, or till, as it is called, and was a direct deposit under 
the ice. In places, it has been partially worked over by streams, giv- 
ing rise to sandy or gravelly strips. 

The long range of irregular hills running north and south 
through the western part of the county and an irregular hilly area 
in the central and northern part are morainic accumulations in 
front of the ice margin, when the latter remained stationary for a 
considerable time — that is, the ice advanced just about as fast as it 
was melted away. Thus a great deal of glacial debris would be 
left in irregular masses, forming a line of hills running parallel 
to the ice front for hundreds of miles. The moraine, or the range 
of hills mentioned above, extends from Muskegon county through 
Van Buren county and around the southern end of Lake Michigan 
into Wisconsin. It marks the position of the ice front in one of its 
many halts during its retreat. The materials of these deposits 
are mainly clays, sandy loams, clay loams, etc., and form good 
soils, but their hilly character often renders them less adapted to 
ordinary farming than the till plains. 

With the deposition of this material from the retreating ice 
sheet, and its partial reworking by water, the last chapter in the 
geological history of Michigan was closed. 



318 HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 




Orchards in Bloom 




Corn From Reclaimed Swamp Land 



CHAPTER XIII 

AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE 

Western Van Buren — Lake Michigan, a Benefactor — Fruit 
Raising at South Haven — Fruit Belt Widens — Cooperation 
through Societies — "Master L. H. Bailey" — A. S. Dyckman 
and T. T. Lyon — Crops of the County — Semi-Agricultural In- 
dustries — Agriculture in Eastern Van Buren — "Oak Open- 
ings" First Cultivated — Pioneer Farm Implements — After 
The Civil War— Live Stock— Golden Era (1865-90)— The 
Lean Years of the Nineties — Development of the Grape In- 
dustry. 

Fruit has been grown on a commercial scale in the western part 
of Van Buren county for over fifty years. 

The first orchards in this section were set sixty years ago, and 
for the greater part of those six decades fruit-raising has been its 
chief industry. It has always been more important in this section 
than either grain-farming or stock-raising, and this is increasingly 
true as one approaches Lake Michigan. 

Except for the earlier years of the community, from its first 
settlement to the close of the Civil war, during which period the 
timber industry in its various branches was the leading one, the 
fruit industry has held undisputed sway as the chief interest and 
principal support of this thriving and prosperous community. 

Lake Michigan, a Benefactor 

Natural causes brought about this condition. Chief among them 
was the proximity of Lake Michigan which acts as a vast regulator 
of temperatures. The lake modifies the extremes of heat and cold 
all through this region; it protects the fruit trees by checking a 
premature development of their buds in spring, and by retarding 
their growth in the fall; it prevents in a large degree frosts in 
spring and fall, and in times of drought is. a great reservoir for 
disseminating needed moisture. 

During the earlier days of the fruit industry, and particularly 

319 



;}20 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

in the decade of the seventies during which it forged to the front, 
these influences of the lake were carefully observed and records 
kept that showed the advantages derived from that body of water. 
And Van Buren county, situated as it as at the eastern edge of the 
broadest part of the lake, gains the fullest measure of benefit from 
this source. 

Contour of the land for favorable water and air drainage and 
suitable soil have also been elements contributing largely to the 
development of the fruit industry, and a no less potent factor has 
been the nearness and accessibility to markets, particularly the 
magic city of Chicago, which not only consumes vast quantities of 
the fruit and other farm products from this section, but affords a 
center for the speedy and economical distribution of the surplus 
to sub-centers serving millions of people in the middle west, north- 
west, southwest and south, and even east and southeast. 

Fruit Raising at South Haven 

Orcharding at South Haven dates from 1852 when Stephen B. 
Morehouse and Randolph Densmore set out apple orchards, and the 
former also set out a peach orchard. 

Mr. Morehouse came to South Haven from Albion for the pur- 
pose of engaging in the fruit business His peach orchard stood 
in what is now the business district of South Haven city, in the 
block bounded by Center and Phoenix streets and the main ravine. 
His apple orchard was on the property now owned by E. B. Ket- 
cham along North Shore Drive, and many of the original trees are 
still standing and in bearing. The orchard set by Mr. Densmore 
was just south of that, its southern boundary being about where 
Wells street now runs. 

These orchards were set only two or three years after the old 
Parmelee orchard of seven acres at St. Joseph, so that the birth of 
the industry in the two localities was nearly simultaneous. It grew 
more rapidly at St. Joseph for the first few years because of the 
greater extent there of lands already cleared and ready for trees 
and vines, while around South Haven were the forests that had 
first to be removed. 

Among the other early orchardists of this section were James 
L. Reid, Joseph Dow, S. G. Sheffer and C. M. Sheffer. The first 
vineyards were set in 1858 — one and one-half acres by Orris Church 
and one acre by A. S. Dyckman — and Aaron Eames was another 
early grape grower. Mr. Dyckman was also among the pioneer 
peach growers, having set an orchard of four acres in 1857. 

In 1855 and 1856 L. H. Bailey set out the apple orchard that is 
notable not only as one of the first and one of the largest in this 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 321 

section but as the school in which his son, Liberty H. Bailey, Jr., 
received the practical training that started him on the way to be- 
coming the foremost authority on horticulture in this country if 
not in the world. 

From these beginnings along and near the lake shore have spread 
the orchards and vineyards that cover so large a portion of the 
western part of the county. As the forests receded before the axe 
of the lumberman and the settler, fruit trees and vines sprung up 
to replace them and to provide the means through which the set- 
tlers should derive so much of their sustenance from the soil that 
had long been given over to the "forest primeval. " 

Fruit Belt Widens 

Receding from the lake the proportion of fruit to grain and 
stock lessened steadily. This was due in large measure to the belief 
in the earlier years that the beneficent influence of the lake only 
extended over a narrow strip, estimated by some to be as narrow as 
two miles in width, but with the gradual dispelling of this notion 
and the continuing prosperity of the fruit growers, the " Fruit 
Belt" has been increasing in width until it is now fair to say that 
the fruit industry is the leading one of the western half of the 
county. 

It was just about the close of the Civil war that the fruit in- 
dustry began to compete with the timber business for supremacy 
in this section, and for a few years they kept on fairly even terms. 
But with the fruit steadily gaining and the other standing still or 
falling behind, it was only a few years before the former and 
securely established itself in the van where it has since remained. 

Previous to 1865 the lands were mainly purchased for the tim- 
ber and the majority of the residents were more or less directly 
concerned in the various branches of the timber industry. Many of 
the small clearings made in the pursuit of the timber trade were 
set to fruit trees and vines, and as these came into bearing with 
their luscious and profitable crops, attention was turned to the 
possibilities of their culture. The example of the pioneers who 
have been named in a preceding paragraph was followed by scores 
of others, and the beginnings of permanent settlement really oc- 
curred in this period of the community's history. 

Large tracts of land, particularly the cut-over parcels were pur- 
chased and set to fruit, mainly to peaches which have since been 
the leading crop, though in recent years the apple has closely 
pressed its less hardy sister fruit for first place in extent of or- 
charding, volume of product and profits derived. The peach has 
a record of more than half a century of annual crops, except for 

VoL 1—21 



322 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

two or three years. Aside from the freeze of October 10, 1906, 
there has never been any loss of trees by severe cold, except from 
preventable causes, like poor drainage, over-fertilization, late culti- 
vation, and the like, and no loss of trees or fruit by extreme cold 
in winter, or by spring or fall frosts, when the air current lias 
been off Lake Michigan which has tempered the winds before they 
reached the orchards and vineyards. 

Cooperation Through Societies 

Cooperation has, from the outset, been a dominant principle of 
the fruit-growing interests of this section. Possibly no one factor 
outside of the natural conditions previously mentioned, has con- 
tributed so much to the rapid and healthy growth of this industry 
in this community as the willingness of the growers to share with 
each other the lessons learned by experience and observation and 
the study of successful methods in other fruit sections. 

The existence of this spirit of cooperation led to the organization 
in December, 1870, of the South Haven Pomological Society, now 
known as the South Haven and Casco Pomological society. 

This society extends its influence and benefits not alone over the 
townships mentioned in its title but over a wide section of the west- 
ern portions of Van Buren and Allegan counties. It has an un- 
broken record of holding weekly meetings part or all of the year 
for the forty-odd years of its life, to its discussions have contributed 
the foremost fruit growers of this section, many of whom can justly 
claim a like preeminence in state and nation, and it is fair to say 
that the story of the society is the history of the fruit industry in 
the section from which the society draws its members and over 
which it spreads its benefits. 

Concerning the purposes of the society and the record of its 
first year, let us quote from the report made by its secretary, C. T. 
Bryant, in December, 1871, to the secretary of the State Pomological 
Society. Mr. Bryant says: "By way of introduction, it falls to 
me to write briefly of our organization and its work. Convinced 
that our superior advantages of climate and soil for growing fruit 
and facilities for shiping to the best markets, indicated that fruit 
culture was to be the principal business of this community and 
justified us in striving for the highest attainments and in expecting 
the greatest possible success and profit in this branch of agricul- 
ture as a reward for well directed effort, those interested, in Decem- 
ber, 1870, organized the South Haven Pomological Society; the 
specific object of which is, 'to develop facts, promulgate information 
as to the best methods of growing the best varieties of fruits for 
our vicinity, and for our own profit and improvements.' 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 323 

"This society has steadily increased in members and interest. 
The meetings are well attended; the discussions are spirited; the 
expressions of opinion, and statements of experience, candid; the 
feeling harmonious; and we are more and more assured that our 
interests are mutual and that the greatest obstacles in the way of 
making fruit growing a constantly profitable business may be 
overcome by cooperation. ' ' 

Such a paragraph as the last night be written is summarizing 
each year the efforts of the members to carry out the concisely 
stated but comprehensive purposes set forth in the preceding 
paragraph. 

The first officers of the society were : President, Norman Phil- 
lips; vice president, C. H. Wigglesworth ; secretary, C. T. Bryant; 
treasurer, C. J. Monroe; executive committee, I. S. Linderman, 
John Williams, H. E. Bidwell and J. Lannin. 

From the formation of the society South Haven and its tributary 
territory took increasing prominence in the field of horticulture. 
Among the features that contributed toward making the society 
and its efficiency and energy well-known throughout this state and 
to a considerable extent over the nation was the meeting at South 
Haven of the State Pomological Society September 3 and 4, 1872. 

Within two weeks the local society raised the funds and built 
complete the hall in which the meeting was held, an example of 
energy and enterprise that received much comment from the visitors 
in their addresses and discussions at the sessions, and w T as com- 
plimented in the resolutions adopted at the close of the meeting. 

"Master L. H. Bailey" 

Just a year later to a day, the State Society again met at South 
Haven and at that meeting there was read an essay on " Birds" 
by "Master L. H. Bailey, a lad of fifteen years," as noted in the 
reports of that meeting. This was probably the first appearance 
before the state society of this young man who was to become so 
great an authority on horticulture. His essay is published in full 
in the annual reports of the state society, and it shows throughout 
the combination of the practical and the poetic that has so char- 
acterized his work as gardener, farmer, educator, lecturer, author 
and adviser. In recognition of his interest in horticulture and 
particularly in the relation of birds thereto, the local society elected 
"Master" L. H. Bailey as its Ornithologist in 1873. The discus- 
sions of the local society for 1873, as recorded by the secretary, are 
published in full in the report of the state society for that year, 
the only instance of the kind in which any local body has been 
thus honored in the history of the state organization. 



324 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The society and its members have taken awards at many of the 
international expositions, commencing with the Centennial in 1876, 
and continuing through the Paris exposition to its triumphs at the 
more recent exhibitions. 

A. S. Dyckman and T. T. Lyon 

Space forbids individual mention of the many persons who have 
contributed so much to the development of the fruit industry and 
to the work and influence of the society. But no sketch of the 
industry and society would be complete that did not pay tribute 
to the service of A. S. Dyckman and T. T. Lyon. 

Mr. Dyckman was, as has been seen, one of the pioneers in the 
business, and was for many years the most extensive grower and 
shipper of this section. He served the state and local societies as 
president and in many other capacities. 

Before coming to Yan Buren county from Wayne county, Mr. 
Lyon had won a national reputation as a pomologist, and that repu- 
tation he greatly enhanced during the years that he dwelt in Yan 
Buren. He, too, served the state society as president, and that for 
a period of fifteen years, through successive annual re-elections. 
He was the first director of the sub-experiment station established 
at South Haven in 1889 by the State Board of Agriculture, and 
arranged its facilities and organized its work on the practical, 
scientific basis that has enabled the station, despite inadequate space, 
to be of the greatest benefit to the fruit growers of Michigan. 

Crops op the County 

Over one hundred staple products of farm, orchard, garden and 
forest have been raised in Yan Buren county with remarkable 
regularity for many years, a considerable number of them for 
fifty or sixty years. The leading crops are thus summarized and 
classified in a late official report : 

Fruit Products: Apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, other 
tree fruits, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, goose- 
berries, other fruit and grapes. 

General farm products: Hay, corn, wheat, oats, barley, rye, < 
buckwheat, clover seed, grass seed, potatoes, beans, peas, other crops, 
maple sugar, maple syrup, sugar beets, other roots, cabbage, toma- 
toes, sweet corn, onions, cucumbers, celery, melons, poultry sold, 
eggs sold, honey and wax, flowers, vegetable seeds, nursery prod- 
ucts, wood, logs and other timber products. 

The state census of 1904, the latest official figures yet available, 
gave some interesting statistics about some of the crops that might 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 325 

be deemed of minor importance. For instance, on six and one- 
quarter acres of flowers and foliage plants, there was produced in 
the year preceding, the value of $8,091, or at the rate of $1,293 per 
acre. The "busy bees' ' with 1,544 swarms, valued at $6,187, 
produced in honey and was $6,379. To this every fruit grower 
would add a very liberal percentage for their services in aiding 
the fertilization of the fruit blossoms. Poultry valued at $72,801, 
produced eggs worth $136,360, and poultry sold amounted to $105,- 
654, or the total product worth nearly three and one-third times 
the value of the "producing plant." 

Semi-Agricultural Industries 

Indicative of how largely Van Buren county is devoted to agri- 
cultural pursuits, the state census of 1904, above mentioned, con- 
tains no statistics of any manufacturing establishments within the 
county. Since that time there have been started at South Haven 
two piano factories, a wood-working factory, and a pipe organ 
factory, now in process of erection. 

There are within the county many industrial concerns whose 
products directly relate to the agricultural and horticultural in- 
terests of the county. Included among these are canning and 
preserving plants ; crushed fruit, grape juice, cider and vinegar 
factories; pickle factories; basket and package factories; butter 
and cheese factories and creamery stations; plants for making 
spraying outfits and preparing spray materials; grist mills, saw- 
mills, planing mills, sash and door factories; manufactories of 
cement blocks, fence posts, brick and tile; also shops for black- 
smithing and the mending of all sorts of farm and orchard tools, 
wagons, carriages; besides packing houses, warehouses, depots and 
docks, with special equipment of cars and boats for handling the 
various products amounting annually to hundreds of thousands of 
dollars and giving employment to thousands of men, women and 
children. 

The compiler is pleased to acknowledge his indebtedness to Hon. 
Charles J. Monroe, one of his associate editors, for the foregoing 
able and interesting article on the agricultural and horticultural 
interests of Van Buren county. No man is better qualified to speak 
authoritatively concerning these important industries than Mr. • 
Monroe. 

Agriculture in Eastern Van Buren 
By Jason Woodman 

Very few, if any, of the counties of Michigan can show so great 
a diversity of soil and timber as the county of Van Buren. Beauti- 
ful "oak openings, " heavy timbered lands, pine lands, thousands 



326 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

of acres of fat black muck, clay and loam, sand and gravel, with 
all the varying types of soils composed of these materials ; plains, 
hills and valleys; lakes, streams and woodlands, give an infinite 
variety to the landscape and furnish the foundation for as diversi- 
fied an agriculture as can be found anywhere in the United States. 
On the plains east and north of the village of Paw Paw, the 
pioneers found unmistakable evidences of fields or " gardens' ' that 
had once been cultivated, although again grown up with forest 
timber. The real agricultural history of the county, however, 
begins with the spring of the year 1829, on the northern boundaries 
of Little Prairie Ronde, section thirty-five of the township of Deca- 
tur. There, eighty-three years ago, settled Dolphin Morris; on 
lands still owned by his descendants he turned the first furrow and 
raised the first crop ever grown in the county by a white man. For 
two or three years Mr/ Morris enjoyed the distinction of being the 
only settler in the county; but the years 1833, 1834 and 1835 wit- 
nessed the beginning of the tide of immigration from the east. 

"Oak Openings" First Cultivated 

The new comers found a broad, well-beaten Indian trail, running 
diagonally across the townships of Almena, Antwerp, Paw Paw, 
Lawrence, Hamilton and Keeler. The old Territorial road, when 
first laid out, generally speaking followed this trail, and along its 
course the tide of immigration flowed. Nearly all the way, this 
road ran through oak openings. 

According to the accounts of early settlers, these openings, in a 
state of nature, were beautiful beyond description. The surface of 
the land was level, or gently rolling. The trees grew scattering, 
some in groups, others standing alone, with wide "openings" or 
vistas between. The timber was mostly of the various varieties of 
oak, with low broad-spreading tops. There w T as little or no under- 
growth, and one could see for many rods in any direction. The 
ground w T as carpeted with grass and, during the summer months, 
sprinkled over with flowers. These "openings were great natural 
parks, ' ' wrote one of the early pioneers. Another said : ' ' Coming 
from the bleak New England hills, the country looked to our eyes 
like the Garden of Eden." 

The land was easily cleared and had natural underdrainage. It 
was fertile and produced abundantly, and twenty years from the 
time the first settlers made their appearance, while the heavily 
timbered portions of the county were yet sparsely settled the "oak 
openings" were dotted over with well improved farms and with 
substantial, well built, commodious farm houses and barns. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 327 

Pioneer Farm Implements 

The farm operations of those early days were primitive. Hay 
was mown, raked and gathered by hand. Wheat was cut with a 
"cradle," bound by hand and threshed with a flail, or the grain 
trodden out underneath the feet of cattle or horses. The first 
threshing machine made its advent about 1850, and was operated 
by David Woodman. It is described by his son, Edson Woodman, 
who in his boyhood w r orked with this machine many days, as "a 
cylinder mounted on a platform and operated by horse-power." 
The bundles of grain were fed through the cylinder ; the straw was 
raked from the rear of the machine by hand, while the grain and 
chaff were shoveled to one side, to be afterwards run through a 
fanning-mill, thus separating the grain from the chaff. Later, a 
device for separating the grain was attached to the cylinder and 
this \vas considered a great improvement. This threshing outfit 
was used, not only in this county, but in Kalamazoo and Cass 
counties as well ; being for years the only implement of its kind in 
this immediate part of the state. It was last operated on the farm 
of the late J. J. Woodman about the year 1861, where it was broken 
by a too violent pull on the part of a team of fractious horses and 
never repaired. It was succeeded by a new and improved machine, 
owned and operated by Mr. A. R. Wildey, the father of E. A. and 
W. C. Wildey. This new threshing outfit was considered remark- 
able because of the fact that a bundle of wheat could be run through 
it whole, with the band uncut, and not stop the machine. 

After the Civil War 

With the close of the Civil war, Van Buren county agriculture 
entered upon a new era. In 1864 the population of the county, 
mainly agricultural, numbered about eighteen thousand, an in- 
crease of ten thousand in ten years. The giant forests that covered 
the heavier, more fertile lands of the county, were rapidly disap- 
pearing before the woodman 's axe ; the age of American invention 
was on and modern agricultural machinery was replacing the prim- 
itive implements of husbandry. Mowers, horse hayrakes and horse 
forks, grain drills and reapers, improved machines for threshing 
grains and hulling clover, radically changed the methods of the 
husbandman. All farms were fenced into fields and carried live- 
stock; clover grew abundantly, furnishing hay and pasture; the 
farmer sold wheat, wool, mutton, beef and pork. For many years, 
it is said, more wheat was shipped from Decatur than from any 
other station on the line of the Michigan Central Railroad between 
the cities of Chicago and Buffalo. Many thousand pounds of wool 



328 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

were marketed by the farmers every spring, and the annual ship- 
ment of sheep, cattle and hogs amounted to hundreds of carloads. 

Live Stock 

Aside from the practice, usual on practically every farm, of fat- 
tening home-grown stock for the market, during the three decades 
following the close of the Civil war a considerable stock feeding in- 
dustry was built up. John and William Lyle and Albert R. "Wildey 
were the pioneers in this business. Others followed after and the 
feeding of sheep and cattle purchased for that purpose became 
common. A large portion of this stock came from the west and 
many thousands of bushels of "Chicago corn" were consumed 
every year in addition to the hay and grain grown on the ' 'feed- 
ers ' " farms. In 1892 seventy-three carloads of stock in car lots 
were fed for the market within three miles of the writer's home. 
In the main this business was profitable and the acres of the stock- 
feeding farmer grew more and more fertile. 

During the years from 1876 to 1890, Van Buren county became 
one of the great horse breeding sections of the state. In the former 
year Mr. Edson Woodman purchased the "Duke of Perche," one 
of the first six Percheron stallions imported by M. W. Dunham of 
Illinois. The "Duke" proved to be a remarkable foal-getter and 
while he was owned by Mr. Woodman sired about 1,700 colts. The 
uniform excellence of his progeny did much to popularize the Per- 
cheron breed in this part of the state. Other breeds of horses also 
had their advocates, and the introduction of many stallions and 
pure bred mares, of the Percheron and other breeds, followed. 
Thousands of colts were raised by the farmers. This industry, for 
many years, was a most profitable one, and the county became 
famous for its fine horses. Like the sheep and cattle industry, the 
raising of horses not only added materially to the income of the 
farms but also aided in maintaining them in the highest condition 
of fertility. 

Golden Era (1865-90) 

As one looks back on the eighty years of the history of Van 
Buren county, this period, from 1865 to 1890, seems to stand out 
as the "golden era" of its agriculture. The soil was fertile and the 
farm methods practiced tended to maintain its fertility. Clover 
grew, blossomed and matured its seed, unhampered and unimpaired 
by insect enemies. As compared with the cost of production, the 
prices received for farm products were profitable. There was an 
abundance of competent and reliable farm help. The more profit- 
able city industries, paying rates of wages with which the farmer 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 329 

could not compete, had not yet drawn the larger part of competent, 
skilful young men away from the rural neighborhoods ; large num- 
bers of farmers' sons, well trained by industrious fathers, when not 
needed at home, worked by the day or month for neighboring hus- 
bandmen. The intelligent, steady-going, hardworking " hired men" 
of the sixties, seventies and eighties, not only earned substantial 
profits for their employers, but, in very many cases, laid for them- 
selves the foundations of future substantial competence. Many of 
those, who are today among our most successful farmers, profes- 
sional and business men, were farm laborers in those days. 

The Lean Years of the Nineties 

It. is said that misfortunes never come singly. Beginning with 
1890, excepting the year 1892 Van Buren county farmers suffered 
from a series of disastrous droughts. Year after year they saw 
their crops shortened or destroyed by rainless weather. In 1893 
came the clover seed midge and the clover root borer, and a little 
later the clover leaf beetle, which in the spring destroyed the young 
clover plants. This latter insect was especially disastrous to young 
spring seedings. For years, there were practically no clover fields, 
and as a consequence the soil rapidly deteriorated. During the 
same years the prices of farm products fell to a ruinous level. 
Wheat sold as low as forty cents per bushel, wool at eight cents per 
pound, fat wethers at seventy-five cents per head and hogs at $2.40 
per hundred. The best heavy horses sold for from seventy-five to 
one hundred dollars per head, and in 1896 corn of the best quality 
sold for seventeen cents per bushel of seventy-five pounds. The 
prices of other staple crops dropped to the same level ; good agri- 
cultural lands were offered at from twenty to forty dollars per 
acre, with few sales even at those prices. The breeding of horses 
ceased, the fattening of stock for the market came to a sudden 
termination, while sheep and beef breeds of cattle practically disap- 
peared from the farms. 

After a, time, however, the situation began to improve ; the rain- 
fall increased, parasites preyed on the clover insect enemies and 
clover again grew on well managed farms, although not with its 
old-time luxuriance; prices of farm produce improved, but live- 
stock farming has never regained its former importance, nor, as 
a rule, its former profit. 

Development of the Grape Industry 

Out of the hardships of the lean years was born the great grape- 
growing industry. It is true that for years prior to 1890 the grow- 



330 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

ing of grapes and other fruits in what is known as the Lawton dis- 
trict was a business of some magnitude, but the carloads shipped 
each year were numbered by the score and not by the thousand. 
In 1868 A. B. Jones of Lawton set out a plantation of one hun- 
dred grape vines, Concords and Delawares. That year, or the 
next, N. H. Bitely, planted a small vineyard. Mr. Jones made the 
first shipment of grapes, sending them to Lansing, where they sold 
from twelve to fifteen cents per pound. These grapes, after being 
picked, were "wilted" for twenty-four hour's, picked over and 
packed with great care. Mr. Jones, in speaking of his second crop, 
said : ' ' The grapes were put up in three-pound baskets and crated, 
twelve baskets to the crate. " This fruit was also shipped to Lan- 
sing and sold as high as nine dollars per crate./ The soil and cli- 
matic conditions proved to be exceptionally favorable for produc- 
ing good crops of finely flavored grapes, and as their culture was 
found profitable the industry steadily extended. In 1890 there 
was a considerable acreage devoted to vineyards. This area rapidly 
increased during the years immediately following. The introduc- 
tion of the eight-pound basket and of refrigerator cars widely ex- 
tended the market. 

In the latter part of the nineties the great majority of the grow- 
ers were getting substantial incomes from their vineyards. Then 
it was that hundreds of the farmers of the eastern part of the 
county, suffering from the low prices of the "lean years," turned 
their attention to this new industry. Thousands of acres of grapes 
were planted. The years of low prices and hard times were passing, 
and the first crops from their new vineyards were very profitable. 
Then came the "boom;" men with no experience in farming and 
having no knowledge of agriculture, bought vineyards "set out to 
sell," or bought land and planted vineyards of twenty, thirty or 
forty acres in extent. On lowlands and highlands, on table-lands 
and in valleys and frost holes, on steep side hills, on sand and on 
the best of beech and maple timbered lands, grapes were set by en- 
thusiastic amateurs. A new era of prosperity, greater than the 
old, seemed to have set in. 

And then the inevitable happened. Men who tried to raise 
grapes at long range found it impossible to hire sufficient numbers 
of men, skilled in the details of grape growing. Spring frosts cut 
short the crops on land that lacked air drainage; the great freeze 
of October, 1906, completely destroyed a large portion of that 
year's crop and, to a great extent, killed the buds that should have 
produced the crop of 1907. The cut-worm, the rose bug and other 
insects exacted a heavy toll and, to crown all, the dreaded "black 
rot" overspread the grape growing district. Many men who had 
so enthusiastically rushed into the industry found it wise to get 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 331 

out. Hundreds of acres of vineyards were pulled and many others 
have been woefully neglected. The greater number of the grow- 
ers, however, have stuck manfully to their task. They have learned 
to handle spraying machinery; they have mastered the chemistry 
of sprays and the method of their proper and effectual application. 
The great yields of 1908, 1909 and 1911 have demonstrated the 
ability of Van Buren county vineyardists to grow grapes, but the 
problem of marketing crops that are numbered by the thousands of 
car-loads, in such manner as shall leave a profit for the producer, 
is yet to be solved 

Van Buren county, because of its proximity to great markets, 
its varied soils, and its especially favorable climatic conditions, 
will always be a great fruit-producing region. The grape, the 
peach and the apple grow to a degree of perfection not surpassed 
in any portion of the country. The great muck beds, once the 
home of the fragrant peppermint, about which a chapter might be 
written, are rapidly being utilized for less exhaustive and, in the 
long run, more remunerative crops, while the great diversity of 
upland affords the opportunity for an equally varied system 
of agriculture. The disadvantages of the rural home are being 
gradually eliminated by modern inventive genius; country life is 
becoming more desirable, and when the time shall come, as it will, 
that the profits of agriculture equal those of other industries, then 
the population will flow toward the farm, instead of away from it. 
When that time comes, men better educated and better trained than 
we are, working in the light of greater knowledge, will develop 
systems of agriculture that will enrich rather than deplete the soil 
and, at the same time, will continue to provide ample supplies of 
food for the people. 



CHAPTER XIV 

TALES OF THE OLDEN DAY 

Decatur War Scare — Snow Not Turned to Oil — Fight with 
a Wolf Pack — Wolf Bounties — Woods Full of "Painters" 
— Mrs. Rice's Reminiscences — Narrow Escape of Edwin 
Mears — Indian Mounds in Lawrence Township — Joseph 
Woodman Locates at Paw Paw (1835) — Stories by Mrs. 
Nancy (Hicks) Bowen — "Good Times" of the Olden Day. 

It is related that just after the breaking out of the Civil war, a 
meteor fell on the south side of the great Decatur swamp, with a 
loud explosion, and which was the occasion of a good deal of ex- 
citement. One valiant and brave citizen of the village, it is said, 
was sure that the commotion was occasioned by the advance of a 
column of the enemy on the peaceful village of Decatur. He 
rushed into his home in great excitement shouting "The rebels 
are shelling us, the rebels are shelling us ! ' ' and proceeded to bar- 
ricade the doors and windows, put his family under arms, and, 
seizing his trusty fowling piece, he declared that he was ready for 
them and that he would guarantee to whip a dozen rebels single 
handed. His misunderstanding of the cause of the explosion was 
the occasion of much merriment and "joshing" at his expense. 

Snow Not Turned to Oil 

During the "hard winter" of 1842-3 a considerable number of 
the inhabitants in some parts of the county became much exercised 
over the predicted approaching "end of the world." This was the 
time when "Millerism" was rampant and great numbers of people 
in different parts of the country so firmly believed the prediction 
that they gave away their property and prepared their "ascension 
robes." The idea of some of the people who placed credence in 
Miller's prophesies was that the great body of snow that had fallen 
would, by some miraculous power, be turned to oil and set on fire, 
thus destroying the entire world. It is certain that this notion be- 
came so prevalent as to cause no little uneasiness in the minds of 
superstitious people, which was only dispelled when the warm 

332 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 333 

spring rains and the soft southern breezes turned the snow to 
water instead of oil. 

Fight with a Wolf Pack 

Wolf stories without number are related by the earlier settlers 
of the county. The following incident was told by the late Robert 
Nesbitt, one of the earliest pioneers of Hamilton and who made 
the first entry of government land in that township. Coming 
home on foot from Kalamazoo and while passing through the for- 
est about night-fall, he was attacked by a pack of ravenous wolves. 
He lost no time in climbing a tree. He was only about a mile from 
his home, and from the tree-top he could plainly see the light in 
his cabin. The wolves surrounded the tree and, with savage howls, 
waited for him to descend. The weather was bitterly cold and Mr. 
Nesbitt soon realized that it was up to him to "get a move on/" 
as there was no possibility of any outside aid. Being wholly un- 
armed, he cut a heavy club and determined to make a fight for life. 
He descended rapidly and made such a vigorous onslaught on 
the hungry pack that they fell back. Taking advantage of the 
opportunity, he ran to another tree and braced himself for battle, 
with his enemies, which had returned to the charge. In this man- 
ner he fought his way to the shelter of his cabin, which he reached 
in safety, although nearly exhausted with the strenuous fight and 
the attending excitement. 

Wolf Bounties 

During the earlier years after the organization of the county 
both the county and the state paid a bounty on wolves. At their 
first meeting the board of supervisors "voted to pay five dollars 
per head for each wolf and panther which may be killed during the 
ensuing year." The state, at the same time, was paying a bounty 
of eight dollars, so that wolves (dead ones) were worth thirteen dol- 
lars apiece. The following named hunters received such bounties 
during the year : Luther Branch, four wolves ; John Condon, three ; 
Joseph Butler, one; Cahcah, an Indian, one. In 1838 the county 
bounty was raised to eight dollars, but the next year it was re- 
duced to four. Bounties were paid for twenty-four wolves during 
that year. From 1840 to 1847, inclusive, bounty was paid on 
sixty-eight slaughtered wolves and wolf whelps. The breeding of 
wolf whelps seems to have been a growing industry, and in 1844 
the supervisors reduced the bounty on baby wolves to the meager 
sum of $2.40, which seemed to put a quietus on what promised to 
be a remunerative occupation. There is no record of the payment 



334 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

of any bounty for killing a panther. Evidently those savage 
beasts were not very abundant. 

Woods Full of "Painters" 

Apropos of panthers, the following amusing story related by 
one Abe Norwood, who was knowing to the circumstances, may not 
be out of place. Two young men, Will Shutter and Zade Rose- 
brook, brothers-in-law, many years ago planned to have a little 
sport at the expense of the good people of the township of Ham- 
ilton. They took a tin can and punched a hole in the bottom, and 
through this hole passed a stout linen string, which was then well 
resined. To operate the machine the string was held taut and 
drawn back and forth through the hole. It required some prac- 
tice to get the best effect. The result was a noise resembling the 
growl of some savage beast or the scream of a panther (They used 
to call them " painters" in those early days). When everything 
was in readiness, one of the boys went to the house of one of the 
residents and said he had heard an awful strange noise as he was 
passing through the woods and that he thought it must be made 
by some wild beast. Going out of doors they listened, and sure 
enough they could hear the sound, but it was hard to locate, some- 
times seeming near and the next minute far away. Next day all 
the people in the vicinity knew about the exciting news, and it 
was planned to put an end to the " panther/' as the people be- 
lieved it to be. They did not succeed in finding the beast although 
they heard it first in one direction and then in another. Night 
after night the thing went on. Although the creature was so timid 
that no one could get near enough to see it, the people were as 
timid as the supposed wild animal and went armed when they had 
to pass through the haunted neighborhood. 

The narrator of the incident says : "I remember one night a 
wagon load of armed men drove up to a squad of hunters who were 
listening to the growler. They did not get out of the wagon. 
They could hear just as well in it. Besides, if the beast should 
make a charge, those in the wagon would be in the safer position. 
They could fight just as well and in case of being: compelled to make 
a speedy retreat they would save the time required to clamber into 
the vehicle and would be in less danger of being left at the mercy 
of the fierce growler. 

"Rosebrook's wife being in the secret, told a chum and she told 
her husband and he in turn told another man and they each made 
a "panther" and went into the forest to help the boys carry on 
the farce. And so it seemed as though the woods were full of wild 
animals. It was several weeks before the secret of the scare was 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 335 

revealed and then there were a lot of mad fellows. Some were so 
angry that they threatened to prosecute the originators of the 
affair and actually went to see the public prosecutor in regard 
to the matter. After listening to their story he laughed at them 
and told them to go home and let the boys alone, for they had hurt 
nobody and that he thought it a pretty good joke. 

Mrs. Rice's Reminiscences 

Mrs. Allen Rice, of Lawrence, says: "I think I am the oldest 
person that has lived in Lawrence since 1837. (I am inclined to 
think she is the only one. — Editor.) My father moved his fam- 
ily to Lawrence in 1837, when I was in my fourteenth year. 

"My father, Uriel T. Barnes, was the first settler between Law- 
rence and Breedsville, and in comfortable weather there were very 
few nights that we were not called upon to entertain people going 
to or returning from Paw Paw, which w r as the nearest place where 
supplies could be obtained, and settlers from the north and east 
could not make the trip in a single day. The usual reward for 
the entertainment was ' Thank you, Uncle Barnes. When you 
come our way, call on us. ' The pioneers were poor, but were glad 
to help each other. 

"The general election of 1840 was held at my father's house 
and my mother and I cooked dinner for the town board and as 
many of th voters as cared to partake. 

"Thanksgiving evening of the second autumn of our wilderness 
life, we were surprised to see a group of eight men emerging from 
the woods. They were the captain and crew of a schooner wrecked 
at the mouth of Black river (now the city of South Haven). 
Guided by their compass, they had found their way to the ' Barnes 
Place,' where they were entertained over night, when they went 
their way hoping to find some conveyance to St. Joseph. 

"After the road was opened from Lawrence to Breedsville, a 
postoffice was established at Lawrence and John R. Haynes was ap- 
pointed postmaster. It was the custom that whoever went to Paw 
Paw on Friday should bring in the mail. That was the day that 
we expected to receive the weekly mail. Letters cost twenty-five 
cents apiece, payable by the receiver. There was no talk of ' penny 
postage' in those days. On one occasion James Gray, who lived 
a mile or so east of the postoffice, brought in the mail. Three 
young girls, of whom I was one, called at his place and Mr. Gray 
jestingly remarked 'now you girls can carry the mail and save me 
the journey.' We took him at his word and thought it a great 
lark. We hung the mail on a stick and a girl at each end carried 
it along. It wasn't very heavy. 



336 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

''The first Fourth of July celebration took place, I think, in 
1839. (Mrs. Rice evidently has too early a date. See Mrs. Bow- 
en's allusion to this same event. — Editor.) Some of the women 
thought we should have a celebration and decided to undertake it. 
They would invite all the settlers to join with them. Two of the 
ladies planned to put the milk of their cows together and make a 
cheese which would be ripened sufficiently to be eaten by the time 
of the celebration. The pioneers were pleased with the plan and 
joined in heartily. A table was set in the woods near where the 
Shultz store now r is and spread with such dainties as the times af- 
forded. Pies made from huckleberries and wild gooseberries, cakes 
made with maple sugar, chickens and partridges, and to cap the 
climax, a young man named De Long brought in a deer roasted 
whole, with head and horns still on and a knife and fork stuck in 
its back. It was braced so that it stood up on its feet as in life. 
The people assembled in the schoolhouse where patriotic exercises 
were held. The Declaration of Independence was read, a young 
man sang ' The Star-Spangled Banner, ' and John Mellen, the black- 
smith, furnished his anvil, and considerable powder was burned — 
the first time the surrounding forest was ever awakened by the 
echoes of a patriotic celebration of the birthday of Freedom. " 

Mrs. Rice relates how young Allen Rice, afterward her husband, 
met with a pack of wolves in the forest, in the winter of 1837. 
The trees w r ere too large to climb and he was some distance from 
home. He armed himself with a cudgel and made the best time 
possible out of the woods, escaping with nothing, more serious than 
a bad scare. She says: "The first sheep were brought into the 
township in 1841 or 1842 by Nelson Marshall. My father bought 
six and I bought two with money I had earned teaching. Late the 
next fall all of father's sheep, except the buck, were killed by 
wolves, while they spared mine, and so my sheep became the basis 
of the flock which my father afterward raised. 

"Those pioneer days were not free from tragedies. I recall 
one as I write. It was in the fall of 1841. The weather was very 
dry and the leaves were falling and forest fires were burning. 
Warren Van Fleet had harvested his first crop of wheat, which was 
stacked a few rods from the house. His wife was alone with her 
babe, just old enough to sit alone. Fearing that the fire would 
reach the wheat, she placed the child in a place that she thought 
was entirely safe and began to rake back the leaves to prevent the 
flames from reaching the stack. Suddenly she heard the screams 
of the little one and saw it enveloped in flames. The wind had 
carried a burning leaf to the straw where the child sat. The poor 
little thing lived but a short time and died in great agony. 

"In 1840 Norman Bierce, 'Uncle Norman' as he was afterward 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 337 

familiarly known, came to Lawrence and set up a turning lathe 
and began the manufacture of chairs, bedsteads and spinning 
wheels. I have now in my possession a wheel on which I have spun 
yarn to make many yards of flannel, specimens of which I still re- 
tain, also several chairs, a rolling pin and a neat wooden cup 
holding about half a pint, all of Uncle Norman's' make." 

Narrow Escape of Edwin Mears 

About the year 1836, Edwin Mears, a young man living in Paw 
Paw, with a half dozen or so companions, set out on a hunting 
expedition. Young Mears became separated from his companions 
and could neither find them nor could he find his way home. He 
wandered in the forest for four days and nights, suffering ter- 
ribly with cold and hunger. At the end of the fourth day he 
found himself on the shore of Lake Michigan, many miles from 
home. He had about made up his mind that he would surely per- 
ish, when he heard voices and was rescued by a searching party 
that had set out to find him. He was so nearly dead that it was 
feared for a time that he would not recover from the effects of his 
terrible experience, but he survived the ordeal and lived for many 
a long year thereafter. 

Indian Mounds in Lawrence Township 

There were well defined traces of what were called "Indian 
mounds" in the township of Lawrence, especially on sections seven 
and eighteen. Just north of Sutton's lake were three of these 
mounds, each about four feet in height. They were located in the 
form of a triangle and were about ten feet apart. Other smaller 
mounds were found on section eighteen. A hunter opened one of 
these mounds in 1843 and discovered human bones, arrow heads, 
etc. At that time trees a foot and a half in diameter were grow- 
ing on some of the mounds. The Indians had no tradition concern- 
ing them and it is generally thought that they were the burial 
places of some prehistoric race. This is all the more probable 
from the fact that although the Indians used these arrow heads 
when they became possessed of them, they did not, themselves, 
make them. 

Joseph Woodman Locates at Paw Paw (1835) 

Joseph Woodman, one of the early settlers of the township of 
Antwerp, related the following experience : " I landed at Detroit, ' ' 
said Mr. Woodman, "in the spring of 1835, and made my way to 

Vol. 1—22 



338 HISTOEY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

Kalamazoo, through mud and mire, with two teams, a span of 
horses and a yoke of oxen, and I often had to double up my teams 
in order to get through. I frequently met stages, with the pas- 
sengers on foot, carrying rails or poles with which to pry the ve- 
hicles out of the mud holes. They said it was hard fare and that 
the driver wanted. them to carry two rails apiece, but they couldn't 
see it that way. 

"I started alone from Kalamazoo for Paw Paw, eighteen miles 
distant. I was told that I could not get through that night; that 
I would be eaten by wolves, but being young and vigorous I 
pushed on and, without mishap, reached a cabin known as Dodge 's 
tavern standing upon the site of the now flourishing village of 
Paw Paw. The next day, Saturday, in company with Silas Breed, I 
went land-viewing and returned to the tavern that evening. I 
asked Dodge if they had Divine worship, and was answered in the 
negative. I told him we had a minister in our party — Mr. Wood- 
man was himself a clergyman — and that we would have a meeting 
Sunday, which we did, holding it in a slab shanty. The next day, 
I went out on the Territorial road and located my land. I brought 
my family on from Kalamazoo — wife and six children — and es- 
tablished them in a blacksmith shop, Eodney Hinckley's shop in 
Paw Paw. I built a log house into which I moved on the 10th 
of May, 1835. I went to clearing land, plowed seven acres with a 
wooden plow, and raised a fine crop of corn, potatoes and other 
vegetables. ' ' 

Stories by Mrs. Nancy (Hicks) Bowen 

Mrs. Nancy (Hicks) Bowen has told of some of her interesting 
pioneer experiences. She says: "We came from the state of New 
York in 1845. Our first home was in the township of Arlington. 
There were twenty acres cleared on the place; the rest was heavy 
timbered land and the forest reached for miles around. We had 
one neighbor, a mile and a half distant. Myself and husband and 
a little one year old girl constituted our family. It was useless to 
think of fruit. I made mince pies, using pumpkin instead of ap- 
ples, and venison instead of beef. I well remember my uncle call- 
ing on me one time on his way home. He was tired and hungry 
and I gave him a lunch. When he came to his pie he said 'Why, 
Nancy, where did you find apples?' He could hardly believe me 
when I told him what I had used. Our house was of logs, with a 
chimney in the center which supported three fire-places. I did 
my baking in a tin oven placed before the fire, or in a bake kettle. 
(The present generation will need to go to their grandmothers to 
find out what a tin oven was, or how their ancestors baked in a 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 339 

bake kettle. — Editor.) I was ironing one evening and stepped out 
of doors to get some wood. I noticed a black log lying by the 
wood pile and wondered that I had not noticed it before. The 
next morning the 'log' was gone. It was a bear. We soon found 
that the bears would come in the night and try to get our pigs out 
of the pen. There were a good many hogs running in the woods, 
and sometimes there would come a drove of them near the clear- 
ing with their shoulders and sides torn and bleeding where the 
bears had bitten them. The woods were full of bears, deer, wolves, 
foxes, wildcats, wild turkeys and many other kinds of game. My 
husband and Mr. De Long once sat up all night to roast a deer 
they had killed. They took it to the first Fourth of July celebra- 
tion held at Brush Creek (now Lawrence) where they arranged 
it to stand on the table, as it stood in life. 

"We then had two children, and all the latter part of the fall 
they were both sick. The little boy had the ague for a long time 
and the little girl had erysipelas. Her father thought he'd better 
take her to Paw Paw to see a doctor. He had to go on horseback, 
a distance of about eight miles, or else with a yoke of oxen and a 
lumber wagon — there were no carriages in those days. So he got 
ready, with a pillow in his lap for the little girl, Mertice, to sit 
on. The doctor readily told him the trouble and also gave him 
some medicine for the boy. We had something of a task in those 
days to care for our children and do the work that had to be done. 
"One winter there was a good deal of excitement about the 
Indians. It was said that they were going to Canada to prepare 
to fight the people of Michigan. Indians and snakes were my 
greatest fears of life in the wilderness. One night we were 
aroused from sleep by a noise and a light shining through the 
window. There were several Indians at the door who wanted to 
come in and stay for the night. It was cold and rainy and Mr. 
Bowen let them in. They built a fire and lay down in front of it, 
but it was little sleep I got the remainder of that night. 

"In the spring of 1848 Mr. Bowen rented the place and we 
packed up our things intending to go back east, but when we got 
to Paw Paw Judge Dyckman prevailed on Mr. Bowen to abandon 
the eastern trip and go to Pine Grove, and so, on the 2d day of 
July, we went there into what was to be a boarding house. It 
was an unfinished log house, without doors or windows, and the 
floor was laid down just as the boards came from the mill. Three 
days afterward twelve men came to work and the family num- 
bered from that to twenty until the last of the next March. Dur- 
ing the summer a number of families came there to live and we had 
a good neighborhood there in the woods. The next nearest set- 
tlement was two miles distant, with 'blazed' trees to mark the way. 



340 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

"That spring Mr. Bo wen was elected justice of the peace. He 
married one couple and took venison for pay. During the early 
part of that summer the youngsters thought they would have a 
little sport with a newly married couple, just across the way from 
our house, by giving them a little music, what would now be called 
a charivari. Accidentally a gun was fired into the crow T d. The 
charge struck Jim Clark, passing through his lungs. It was six 
weeks before he could be removed to his home, but he eventually 
recovered from the wound. 

"In 1851 Mr. Bowen bought a farm a little east of Paw Paw. 
"We moved there in January of that year. All the next summer 
the children and I used to work days and nights until eleven or 
twelve o'clock, clearing up brush and the roots that were plowed 
up. In 1853 we had four children, two girls and two boys, and 
they were all taken sick with scarlet fever. My mother came 
down to stay with us one Wednesday night. She went home at 
noon and died before sundown. Our youngest daughter died on 
Tuesday evening following and our little boy the next Saturday. 
The other two were not expected to live, but by the mercy of the 
Heavenly Father they were spared and eventually became es- 
tablished in homes of their own. Mr. Bowen sold his place and we 
went east, but we returned to Michigan the following year and 
bought another place on which we made our home." 

These reminiscences were written by Mrs. Bowen in 1902. She 
concluded them by saying: "I have been a widow over ten years 
and now am nearly eighty years old." But recently she passed 
into the "Great Beyond." 

"Good Times" of the Olden Day 

These reminiscences might be multiplied indefinitely, but 
enough has been written to show the hardships that those hardy 
pioneers of this beautiful and fertile county had to bear; the 
trials and tribulations they had to undergo, that we who have suc- 
ceeded to the result of their labors might enjoy the fair heritage 
they left behind them. After all, it is likely that they enjoyed life 
equally as well as do their descendants. They knew nothing of 
many things that we think are indispensable, but, on the other 
hand, there were many things that contributed to their happiness 
that we, their successors, know nothing of except by hearsay. 

We must not think that they or their children were without the 
means of enjoying themselves in those primitive days. Think of 
a load of fifteen or twenty young people piled into the box of a 
double sleigh, half filled with bright, clean straw, and drawn by 
a yoke of oxen, going for miles through the crisp winter air to a 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 341 

spelling school, or a debating school — the two were quite generally 
combined — and returning in the "wee sma hours' ' of the morning, 
making the forests ring with their merry shouts, laughter and 
songs. Be honest now, you grandfathers and grandmothers — 
wasn't it pure and unadulterated fun? And wouldn't you like to 
try it just once more before you shuffle off this mortal coil? I 
would. 

And in the summer time there were parties and country dances 
at which we all gathered. We didn't have any orchestra, not even 
a violinist; only just a fiddler; and how he could play "Money 
Musk" and the two or three other tunes that he knew! No writ- 
ten score for him. He didn't play "by note" — not he; his fiddle 
and his bow and a piece of "rosin" were all he needed, and he 
could and would play from early in the evening until daylight in 
the morning. And the way he could "call off" was simply de- 
lightful. We can hear him yet: "All join hands and circle to the 
left;" "right and left all;" "change partners;" "grand right 
and left," and so on throughout the quadrille — we called them 
cotillons — and every girl and boy was sorry when the end of the 
figure was reached and the call came "seat your partners;" and 
every one was ready for the floor for the next dance. And we did 
not dance on waxed floors in elegantly furnished ball rooms, but 
in private houses. It was no uncommon thing for a merry party 
of girls and boys to take possession, uninvited, and pull up the 
home-made carpets, if any such thing there happened to be, and 
proceed with the festivities. 

And the boys were as much addicted to athletic games as are 
the youths of the present day. They could run races, wrestle — 
they called it rassling — play "pom-pom-pullaway, " and ball ("one 
old cat" and "two old cat") — yes, and even base ball; but the 
latter was not the highly developed, scientific game of today. It- 
was not played by "hired men," but by both youths and "grown- 
ups" for the pure enjoyment of the game, and it w r as "lots of 
fun." * 

Let no one think for a moment that the young people of those 
primitive days did not have as many "good times," as do the 
youths of the twentieth century. It is indeed a far cry from the 
ox sled to the automobile, from the log cabin to the stately man- 
sion, from the once-a-week mail to the daily free delivery, from 
the spelling-book to the Carnegie library, but none of these mod- 
ern luxuries of life — we have grown to call them necessities — 
were needed that life might be pleasant and enjoyable. But the 
times are changed, and we are changed with them. 



CHAPTER XV 

FINANCIAL AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS 

First National Bank, Paw Paw — The Paw Paw Savings Bank — 
First National Bank, South Haven — The Citizens State 
Bank, and First State Bank, South Haven — Banks of Deca- 
tur — Hartford Banks — West Michigan Savings Bank, Ban- 
gor — The Peoples Bank of Bloomingdale — At Gobleville, 
Covert, Lawrence and Lawton — South Haven Loan and Trust 
Company — Van Buren County Farmers Mutual Fire Insur- 
ance Company — Telegraph and Telephone Lines. 

There are fourteen institutions in Van Buren county that do 
a general banking business. Two of them are located in Paw Paw, 
two in South Haven, two in Decatur, two in Hartford, one in 
Covert, one in Lawrence, one in Lawton, one in Gobleville, one in 
Bloomingdale and one in Bangor. The combined paid-up capital 
of these institutions is upwards of $400,000, besides undivided 
profits and surplus amounting to about $250,000. The combined 
commercial and savings deposits in these fourteen banking insti- 
tutions amount to about $2,700,000. 

First National Bank, Paw Paw 

The first organized bank in the county was the First National of 
Paw Paw. The articles of association of this solid institution bear 
date March 30, 1865, and its charter, No. 1,521, was granted on the 
11th day of the ensuing August. The bank was first opened for 
business on Monday morning, August 21, 1865. For about two 
years the First National was the only banking institution of any 
kind in the county, but for several years before there had been a 
private banking house in the town under the name of Stevens, 
Holton & Company, successors to Stevens, French & Company. 

The First National was started with a paid-up capital of $50,000. 
Its first board of directors were Thomas L. Stevens, Thomas H. 
Stephenson, Alonzo Sherman, James Crane, Emory O. Briggs, 
Charles S. Maynard and Nathaniel M. Pugsley. The first officers 
were Alonzo Sherman, president; James Crane, vice-president; 

342 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 343 

Joe A. Hollon, cashier. In 1871 the capital of the bank was in- 
creased to $100,000. Edmund Smith was elected president in 1883 
and was succeeded by Horace M. Olney in 1894. Emory O. Briggs 
was appointed cashier in 1867, followed by F. E. Stevens in 1874. 
E. F. Parks was appointed cashier in January, 1886. The vice 
presidents of the institution have been Emory O. Briggs, Gilbert 
J. Hudson, E. A. Park, Charles Bilsborrow, Nathaniel M. Pugs- 
ley, William R. Hawkins, Edward R. Annable and George M. Har- 
rison. The present officers are Horace M. Olney, president; Geo. 
M. Harrison, vice-president; E. F. Parks, cashier; W. H. Longwell, 
assistant cashier. 

The capital stock of the bank remains at the sum of $100,000, 
which is double that of any other bank in the county. It has at 
the present time deposits in the sum of $250,000. 

This institution is not only the oldest, but it is one of the best and 
strongest banks in the county. In 1903, it erected a handsome 
block on Main street and had the ground floor fitted up especially 
for its headquarters, so that it occupies one of the finest, most 
convenient and modern suite of banking offices in the county. No 
expense was spared in order to safeguard the funds that might be 
intrusted to its custody. 

The Paw Paw Savings Bank 

The Paw Paw Savings Bank was organized in 1886. Its articles 
of association bear date on the 27th day of March of that year. 
Its charter was granted just one month later. Its capital stock 
was originally $35,000, but has since been increased to $40,000. 
Its doors were first opened for business on the 10th day of May, 
1886. (By special request of the president of the bank, we here 
state that Capt. O. W. Rowland was the first depositor). The first 
board of directors were Daniel Lyle, John Lyle, F. W. Sellick, John 
W. Free, William Lyle, Edgar A. Crane, Edwin Martin, William 
J. Sellick and Jonathan J. Woodman. The first officers were F. 
W. Sellick, president; Edgar A. Crane, vice-president; John W. 
Free, cashier. The present officers are John W. Free, president; 
W. R. Sellick, vice-president; C. A. Wolfs, cashier; W. R. Sellick, 
Edwin A. Wildey, A. Lynn Free, Howard B. Allen, H. Y. Tarbell, 
Daniel Morrison and John W. Free, board of directors. 

The gentlemen who have filled the office of president of the bank 
are: F. W. Sellick, William J. Sellick, Milton L. Decker and John 
W. Free; the vice presidents have been: Edgar A. Crane, J. J. 
Woodman and W r . R. Sellick ; cashiers, John W. Free, J. B. Shower- 
man and C. A. Wolfs. 

The present financial condition of the bank is as follows : Cap- 



344 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

ital stock, $40,000; undivided profits and surplus, $10,000; de- 
posits, $285,000. This bank was organized under the state banking 
law and developel into one of the leading financial institutions 
of the county. It is located at the corner of Main and Kala- 
mazoo streets, the two principal streets in the town ; occupies com- 
modious and convenient rooms for the transaction of its constantly 
increasing business, and has all the modern accessories for safe- 
guarding the funds entrusted to its care. 

First National Bank, South Haven 

The second bank to be organized in the county was the First 
National Bank of South Haven. Silas R. Boardman and Charles 
J. Monroe started a private bank in 1867 and the business trans- 
acted by them showing the necessity of a permanent organization, 
they joined with other citizens and organized the First National 
Bank. Judge Jay R. Monroe was the first man who signed the 
articles of association. Some of the other signers were Augustus 
Haven, of Bloomingdale ; D. B. Allen, Dawson Pompey and the 
Packards, of Covert; Timothy McDowell and M. H. Bixby, of 
Casco ; C. P. Ludwig, George Hannahs, Marshall Hale, George C. 
and H. W. Sweet of South Haven; and Henry E. Boardman of 
Rochester, New York. The bank had $50,000 capital, which was 
a large sum for those early days, but with the limited deposits, it 
was needed to carry on the business of the town. When the 
National charter expired, it was deemed best to reorganize under 
the general banking law of the state, on account of such organiza- 
tion offering a better opportunity for savings depositors and also 
permitting the loaning of moneys on real estate security. The 
capital of the bank remains at the same figure as when it was 
first started, though, on account of the large surplus and undivided 
profits, the actual working capital is about $125,000. The "Bank 
Register" for 1911 gives the following figures: Capital stock, 
$50,000 ; surplus and undivided profits, $75,000 ; deposits, $456,000. 

Charles J. Monroe remains the active head of the bank. Volney 
Ross is the vice president and Charles F. Hunt is cashier. M. H. 
Bixby is still one of the board of directors and S. R. Boardman 
remains a customer of the bank, but has no active part in its man- 
agement. All others who were in the first list of directors have 
joined the great majority on the other side of the "River of Time." 
The institution has at the present time (January, 1912) over half 
a million of dollars on deposit, which is a good indication of the 
growth and prosperity of the section of Van Buren county that it 
serves, as well as a mark of the confidence of the people in the 
honor and integrity of those citizens who have built up this solid 
financial institution. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 345 

Citizens State Bank, South Haven 

One of the substantial banking institutions of the county — in 
fact, of this section of the state — and one which owes its satisfactory 
growth and success largely to the energies, good judgment and 
business standing of the men back of it, is the Citizens State Bank 
of South Haven. 

Organized in the fall of 1892, the bank opened its doors to the 
public in January, 1893, and, with a capitalization of $50,000 and 
the confidence of the public as a primary asset, began its career. 
Today, with a record of nineteen years back of it, this bank has 
over a half million dollars assets, a surplus and undivided profits 
of $40,000, and is paying a semi-annual dividend of five per cent 
to stockholders, as well as the taxes. It numbers among its deposit- 
ors and business clientage many of the more prominent fruit 
growers and merchants of this section and occupying one of the 
handsomest bank buildings in the city, situated on a prominent 
corner of the down town district, is referred to with pride, not only 
by those directly interested in it in a financial way but citizens 
of South Haven and vicinity generally. 

The personnel of the organizers, directors and officials is worthy 
of more than passing notice. G. N. Hale, head of the Hale & 
Company stores of South Haven, was the first president ; C. J. 
Hempstead, vice president, and L. E. Parsons cashier. In 1897 
Mr. Hale retired and W. S. Bradley was made president of the 
institution. The present officers are as follows: W. S. Bradley, 
president; R. T. Pierce, vice president; L. E. Parsons, cashier; 
R. J. Madill, assistant cashier; R. T. Pierce, L. A. Spencer, S. M. 
Trowbridge, O. M. Vaughn, C. W. Williams, L. E. Parsons, J. C. 
Merson, T. A. Bixby, W. S. Bradley, J. K. Barden and L. F. Otis, 
directors. 

President W. S. Bradley is an excellent type of the New Eng- 
land "Yankee," of keen, sound business acumen, honesty of pur- 
pose and determination which go to spell success for any man. A 
native of Massachusetts, he served in the Civil war three years, 
and after being mustered out went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where 
he engaged successfully in the leather, hides and rubber belting 
business, remaining in the Iowa town fifteen years. He then went 
to Chicago, where he opened offices and continued in the same line 
of business with continued success. 

In 1884 Mr. Bradley came to South Haven and, purchasing a 
then barren tract of land near the city limits, proceeded to con- 
vert it by hard work and intelligent effort into a model fruit farm 
which today stands as a monument to his energy and good judg- 
ment. Mr. Bradley, when he assumed the presidency of the Citi- 



846 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

zens State Bank of which he was one of the first directors and 
organizers, brought to it the training which comes from an active 
and successful business life, a pleasing, honest personality and the 
business confidence which is the natural heritage of the man with 
continuity of purpose and "a square deal" as his motto. A good 
common school education, sound judgment and a perfect knowl- 
edge of business situations here and in the surrounding country 
combine to happily fit him for the important position as head of 
this banking institution. 




W. S. Bradley 

L. E. Parsons, cashier of the Citizens State Bank and one of its 
organizers, is well equipped for his position. Mr. Parsons "grew 
up in a bank" (to use the expression) and his knowledge of the 
details of the business comes from experience. He is a native of 
Union City, Michigan, and was identified with the Farmers' Na- 
tional Bank of that city from 1885 to 1892, when he came to South 
Haven, flatteringly introduced by the president of the Union City 
banking institution where he had been employed. He took an 
active part in the organization of the Citizens State Bank here and 
his energies and interests are united in the one object, viz: con- 
tinuing the Citizens State Bank in its present success and on its 
firm foundation of reliability and business confidence. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 347 

In R. J. Madill, assistant cashier, Mr. Parsons has an able as- 
sistant and a man who devotes his time and attention to the duties 
which fall to him. Mr. Madill came to South Haven from Cree- 
more, Ontario, in 1883, and for thirteen years was employed as 
clerk in the John Mackey hardware store. He accepted a posi- 
tion as teller in the Citizens State Bank in 1896 and in 1908 was 
made assistant cashier. He has twice been elected city treasurer 
and is a thorough accountant and bookkeeper, his early education 
in Belleville Commercial college, Belleville, Ontario, and subsequent 
experience as a school teacher, giving him practical knowledge, 
which is a valuable asset in his present business occupation. 




L. E. Parsons 

Two South Haven high school young men of more than ordinary 
ability, C. E. Dilley and Clell Krugler hold positions in the bank 
as bookkeepers. Mr. Dilley was born at Lacota, but has lived much 
of his life here and is a young man of clean character, excellent 
ability and energetic in the discharge of his duties. 

The bank directors could not have been more happily chosen. 
In this, a fruit country, where large amounts of money are handled, 
naturally patrons of a bank are pleased that men of unquestioned 
knowledge of conditions be identified with it. In the directorate 
are prominent and influential fruit growers of this section, all 
men high in the confidence of their fellows and successful in their 
own business affairs. 



348 



HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 



With nineteen years of marked success and a steadily increasing 
business as an indication of public confidence and satisfaction in 
the conduct of the bank and with the excellent personnel of of- 
ficers, directors and clerical force referred to, the future of the 
Citizens State Bank of South Haven seems in the hands of the 
right men. 

The deposits in the two banks of South Haven (the Citizens and 
First State) are not far short of a million dollars, a fine showing 
for the banks as well as for the city which, according to the last 
Federal census, had a population of a little less than 4.000. Both 
of the South Haven banks are centrally located and have fine, con- 




R. J. Madill 

venient quarters, fitted up with all the modern appliances for the 
safe keeping of the funds in their custody and for their protec- 
tion against loss either by fire or burglary. 

Banks of Decatur 



Like the towns of Paw Paw and South Haven, the village of 
Decatur also has two strong, solid banking institutions — the first 
State and the Citizens. Previous to 1870, the only banking facil- 
ities possessed by the village were such as were afforded by the 
private banks of John Tarbell and Joseph Rogers. On the 15th 
day of October of that year the First National Bank of Decatur was 



HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 349 

chartered with a capital of $75,000, which was afterward reduced 
to $50,000. The first board of directors were Charles Duncombe, 
Charles W. Fisk, Alexander B. Copley, Levi B. Lawrence, E. 
Parker Hill, O. S. Abbott and A. S. Hathaway. Mr. Copley was 
chosen president and Mr. Hill cashier. This bank was afterward 
reorganized under the general banking law of Michigan and has 
since been a state institution. Its capital stock, at the present time, 
is $30,000. The "Bank Register" for 1911 places the surplus and 
undivided profits at $19,000 and the deposits at $262,000. The 
present officers are as follows: President, E. B. Copley; vice 
president, Arthur W. Haydon; cashier, L. Dana Hill. 

The Citizens, also organized under the state banking law, has a 
capital stock of $30,000. Its president is George T. Pomeroy; 
vice president, James Dunnington ; cashier, F. C. Stapleton. From 
the same source as above given, we find the surplus and undivided 
profits of the institution to be $6,300, and the deposits amount to 
$153,000. Both banks are doing a flourishing and profitable busi- 
ness, are carefully and conservatively managed and are possessed 
of the confidence and enjoy the support of the business men of the 
town and surrounding country. Perhaps no town of its size in 
Michigan has better banking facilities. 

Hartford Banks 

The village of Hartford also has two banking institutions — the 
Olney National and the Hartford Exchange banks, the latter be- 
ing a private institution which has been in operation for a con- 
siderable number of years. It was established by Hon. George W. 
Merriman. who has continued ever since as its manager. It was. 
until a little more than a year ago, the only bank in the town, has 
always transacted a large and profitable business and possesses the 
fullest confidence of the people. 

The Olney National Bank was organized in 1910, and was first 
opened for business on the 27th day of September of that year. 
The first year's business proved to be very successful and satis- 
factory to its stockholders. The officers of the bank are as fol- 
lows: President, Horace M. Olney; vice president. Jacob Op- 
penheim; cashier, J. Ingalls. The board of directors consists of 
the following gentlemen : Jacob Oppenheim, M. C. Mortimer, E. 
R. Smith, O. M. Vaughan and Horace M. Olney. Mr. Olney is also 
president of the First National of Paw Paw. The paid up capital 
of the bank is $25,000. The deposits, as given in the "Bank Reg- 
ister" published last July, were the sum of $84,000. The institu- 
tion is located in what is called the Post office block, a new struct- 
ure erected by President Olney and finished in modern style, 



350 HISTORY OF VAN BUEEN COUNTY 

steam-heated, electric-lighted and with all the appliances and con- 
veniences of present-day business requirements. In the bank 
offices, especially, great pains was taken and no expense spared 
to make it an ideal place for conducting the business for which it 
was intended. No finer banking house can be found in the county. 



West Michigan Savings Bank, Bangor 

The West Michigan Savings Bank, another of the solid, pros- 
perous financial institutions of the county, is located in the village 
of Bangor. The first banking institution in this place was estab- 
lished by E. M. Hipp in 1872 and managed by him for a couple of 
years, when it was purchased by Messrs. J. E. Sebring & Com- 
pany, who conducted its affairs for about three years, doing a pros- 
perous business. The bank then passed into the possession of N. 
S. Taylor, who retained Mr. Sebring as his cashier and general 
manager. The institution was afterward known as the Monroe 
Bank and was under the same general management as the First 
National of South Haven. The present bank, organized under the 
state law and known as "The West Michigan Savings Bank," was 
instituted on the 16th day of April, 1880, taking the place of the 
Monroe Bank, and commenced business on the first day of the 
succeeding July, with a capital stock of $20,000. The original 
trustees of the bank were C. J. Monroe, Alvin Chapman, Thompson 

A. Bixby, William Packard, Anson Goss, J. G. Miller, D. K. 
Charles, Stephen W. Duncombe and John Scott. The first officers 
were C. J. Monroe, president; Alvin Chapman, vice president; A. 

B. Chase, treasurer. The present officers are J. E. Sebring, presi- 
dent; William Broadwell, vice president; J. E. Sebring, cashier. 
Mr. Sebring took charge of the bank in 1892. At that time the 
amount of deposits was in the neighborhood of $65,000, that figure 
fairly indicating the economic condition of the town and the 
country around. 

At the present time the deposits are in excess of $400,000, which 
may be taken as a fair index to the financial progress of the com- 
munity during the past twenty years, as the radius of territory 
over which the bank extends its usefulness has not materially 
changed. This progress is but an earnest of what may reasonably 
be expected in the next twenty years, as capital and energy shall 
be expended in the development of the rich and fertile section of 
country in which the town is situated. The latest figures in the 
"Bank Kegister" place the capital of the bank at $25,000, with 
an undivided surplus of $8,000. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 351 

The Peoples Bank of Bloomingdale 

The Peoples Bank of Bloomingdale is one of the prosperous pri- 
vate banks of the county, instituted and managed by Hon. Milan 
D. Wiggins. It has been in successful operation and has pos- 
sessed the confidence of the community where it is situated for a 
considerable number of years. Mr. Wiggins is its president and 
Ellis Simon its cashier. According to the "Register," it has a 
capital of $25,000, a surplus of the same amount and deposits of 
$150,000. As there is another bank in the same township, these 
figures point to a great degree of prosperity in the community 
tributary to the bank. 

At Gobleville, Covert, Lawrence and Lawton 

In the village of Gobleville, five miles east of Bloomingdale, is 
located another private bank, called the Gobleville Exchange, 
which is also doing a flourishing and profitable business. This 
bank is under the management of Stanley Sackett, its president, 
assisted by his brother, Frank Sackett, who is its cashier. The 
"Bank Register " gives the amount of deposits in this institution 
as $65,000. 

"The Bank of Covert/' as its name indicates, is situated in the 
thriving little village of Covert. This bank is likewise a private 
institution, but has a very efficient organization. George C. Mon- 
roe is president and A. B. Chase cashier, both- good business men 
and experienced in the intricacies of banking. This bank was re- 
ported by the same authority as that above mentioned as having 
a paid-up capital of $10,000 and an undivided surplus of $2,700. 
It amply provides for the banking requirements of the community, 
which, especially at the time of the fruit harvest, is quite heavy 7 , 
paying annually over $100,000 on fruit checks alone. 

The village of Lawrence is provided with the needed banking 
facilities by another private institution called the Farmers and 
Merchants Bank. The officers of this enterprise are as follows: 
J. H. Baxter, president; J. H. Clark, vice president; J. L. Welch, 
cashier. It has been in operation for quite a number of years and 
gives the community ample banking facilities and satisfaction. The 
reported capital of the bank is $10,000, with deposits of $53,000. 

The banking house of Juan McKeyes & Company is situated in 
the village of Lawton. Juan McKeyes is the active manager of the 
business and Frank McKeyes, his son, is the cashier. This insti- 
tution does a very large business, especially during the grape 
harvest, at which season it disburses the funds to pay for thou- 
sands of carloads of that delectable fruit, situated as it is in the 



352 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

very midst of Van Buren's famous "grape belt." The "Bank 
Register" reports the capital of this firm at $10,000, with a sur- 
plus of $5,000 and deposits of $150,000. The institution has been 
in operation for a number of years and has been uniformly suc- 
cessful since beginning business. 

South Haven Loan and Trust Company 

Another financial institution of importance is the South Haven 
Loan and Trust Company (not incorporated), which is composed 
of W. P. Breeding, Mrs. L. S. Monroe, C. J. Monroe and C. O. 
Monroe, and represents a financial responsibility of upwards of 
$200,000. The business of the company consists principally of 
making loans on real estate and investments in bonds for the 
proprietors and other parties. W. P. Breeding, president and gen- 
eral manager, is the active member of the firm. He is the son-in- 
law of the late Lyman S. Monroe and succeeded to his interests, 
having been connected with him prior to his death. He is also a 
director of the First State Bank and vice president and secretary 
of the Monroe Realty Company. 

Mrs. L. S. Monroe (capitalist) is the widow of Lymon S. Mon- 
roe. Her interests consist of real estate and other investments. 

Hon. C. J. Monroe is president of the First State Bank of 
South Haven and of the Monroe Realty Company, a member of the 
board of directors of the Kalamazoo Savings Bank and a member 
of the banking firm of C. J. Monroe & Sons at Covert. 

C. O. Monroe, son of C. J., is the editor and manager of the 
South Haven Daily Tribune, 

Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company 

The Van Buren County Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Com- 
pany is one of the valuable financial institutions of the county. 
It was organized thirty-seven years ago and has been doing 
business continuously ever since. Milton H. Pugsley of Paw 
Paw is president of the company and B. L. Breed of Paw Paw is 
the secretary. The recently filed annual report of the company 
shows that it has 3,207 members and that the amount of property at 
risk is $4,833,057. The losses paid during the year amounted to 
$6,518. The company generally meets all its losses and expenses 
by making one assessment of one-fourth of one per cent each year, 
thus providing for its patrons a cheap and secure insurance. The 
present board of directors are the following substantial citizens and 
business men of the county: Isaac Monroe, D. C. Hodge, C. B. 
Charles, S. A. Breed, M. H. Pugsley and M. D. Buskirk. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 353 

Telegraph and Telephone Lines 

The Western Union Telegraph extends along the lines of every 
railroad in the county, bringing the entire population within easy 
reach of telegraphic communication. 

There are a number of .local telephone companies in the county. 
The first of these was the Kibbie, w T hich was organized in 1898 
and has its lines extended well over the county and into adjoining 
counties. The South Haven Mutual had its articles of association 
recorded in 1909. The Citizens was launched in the summer of 
1910, and the Lawrence Mutual was organized in the month of 
March, 1911. Some of these companies reach into every community 
in the county, and the denizen of city, village or country that has 
no telephone connection is the exception rather than the rule. 
These lines connect with the great telephone system that traverses 
the state, so that oral communication from factory, office, store or 
home may be had with nearly every place of any importance in the 
state and in many parts of the states adjoining. 

What would the pioneers of Michigan have said had anybody 
intimated that such a thing were possible? They would have 
thought that a man who entertained any such preposterous idea was 
crazy, and if a man had invented such a thing as a telephone in 
the day of Cotton Mather he would have been pronounced in 
league with the Devil and burned at the stake. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE PRESS 

''Paw Paw Free Press" — "Paw Paw Free Press and Courier" 
— "The True Northerner" — "Decatur Republican" — "The 
Lawton Leader" — "Hartford Day Spring" — "The Bangor 
Advance ' ' — Early Lawrence Newspapers — ' 'Lawre n c e 
Times ' ' — ' ' Bloomingdale Leader ' ' — ' ' Gobleville News ' ' — 
South Haven Newspapers. 

The first attempt at publishing a newspaper in Van Buren 
county was in January, 1843, when H. B. Miller of Niles, sent his 
brother-in-law, one Harris, with a press and printing outfit, to 
Paw Paw, ostensibly to start a newspaper, but chiefly for the pur- 
pose of getting the job of printing the delinquent tax lists, which 
at the date was quite a valuable "plum." Harris started a six 
column folio sheet and named it the Paw Paw Democrat. He 
died soon afterward and that ended the career of the paper, the 
press and material being taken back to Niles. 

"Paw Paw Free Press" 

For two years thereafter Van Buren county had no newspaper. 
Tn January, 1845, Samuel N. Gantt, one of the early lawyers of the 
county, and a printer named Geiger, brought by wagon from De- 
troit to Paw Paw, a wooden Ramage press, and the other neces- 
sary material for establishing a printing office, and started a five 
column four page weekly sheet, which they christened the Paw 
Paw Free Press. After a few months had elapsed, however. 
Geiger, for some reason, became dissatisfied with the course of 
events and more especially with his partner, against whom he har- 
bored some kind of a grievance, real or imaginary, and in order 
to "get even" he removed the screw of the press and threw it 
into the Paw Paw river and himself fled to Detroit. Gantt did 
not care at all for the loss of his partner, but he mourned over 
the loss of the screw, without which the press could not be worked. 
He offered a reward of ten dollars for its recovery and return, and 
A. V. Pantlind, who chanced to know where Geiger had thrown 

354 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 355 

it, fished it out of the river, greatly to the satisfaction of its 
owner. 

Mr. Gantt continued the publication of the Free Press until the 
spring of 1846, when he disposed of it to John McKinney, then 
county treasurer. McKinney did not long retain the ownership of 
the paper, but soon sold it to Emory 0. Briggs, who published it 
for a little more than a year. In January, 1848, S. Tallmadge 
Conway became its owner. Mr. Conway had been a compositor 
in the office for a considerable length of time and had also done 
some work on the Paw Paw Democrat during its brief existence. 
He retained the ownership of the Free Press until the summer of 
1854, when it passed into the hands of a stock company, but the 
stockholders not finding it to be a bonanza, transferred it to Isaac 
W. Van Fossen, who is yet a resident of Paw Paw. Soon after 
becoming possessed of the plant, Mr. Van Fossen changed the 
name of the sheet by dropping out the word "Free" and the 
paper became the Paw Paw Press, but this change was not satis- 
factory to the proprietor. It seamed to be too limited in scope 
and so he soon made another change and called it the Van Bur en 
County Press. Under this name, and by this same publisher, the 
paper was issued until January, 1868, when the office was de- 
stroyed by fire and the publication was discontinued for a few 
months. However, it was soon revived by Mr. Van Fossen. who 
continued its publication until 1872, at which time he leased the 
plant to Frank Drummond. The paper had always been Dem- 
ocratic in its politics and during the campaign of 1872 it supported 
the Liberal Democrat ticket of Greeley and Brown. Soon after the 
close of that campaign, the publication ceased to exist and some of 
the material was purchased by Messrs. G. W. Matthews and E. A. 
Landphere, who utilized it in the publication of a new sheet which 
they launched under the name of the Paw Paw Courier. 

The Courier was a Republican journal, and continued as such 
while owned by its originators. In 1877 Messrs. Blackman and 
Park became the owners and changed its political complexion and 
made it an exponent of the Democratic party. 

In the meantime, and while Matthews & Landphere were publish- 
ing the Courier, Messrs. E. K. Park and George F. Sellick, job 
printers, started a new Democratic paper, to which they gave the 
old name of the Van Buren County Press. 

"Paw Paw Free Press and Courier" 

Perhaps this venture of Messrs. Park & Sellick might be con- 
sidered as a resuscitation of the suspended paper the name of 
which they assumed. It is said that a man who once gets his 



356 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

lingers thoroughly daubed with printer 's ink never again gets them 
thoroughly clean, which is but another way of saying that there 
is a certain fascination about the business that once engaged in 
makes it difficult to wholly abandon. At any rate, be this as it 
may, the business and the name of the sheet with which he had so 
long been identified, so attracted Mr. Van Fossen that he again 
became its owner. However, he did not long retain its ownership, 
but transferred it to O. D. Hadsell, who again changed its name to 
the Paw Paw Free Press, the name by which the sheet had been first 
christened — that is, if it be considered as a direct continuation of 
the original paper. Under this name Mr. Hadsell continued to 
publish the paper until the summer of 1877, when he sold it to 
the Paw Paw Courier. The two papers being thus consolidated, 
there was also a consolidation of names and the publication be- 
came the Paw Paw Free Press and Courier, under which name it 
has since been and still is published. In 1878 Mr. Park withdrew 
and E. A. Blackmail became the sole editor and proprietor. After 
the consolidation the sheet was published as a semi-weekly for a 
few months, but soon returned to its once-a-week issue. 

The next change of ownership was a transfer of a half interest 
to Mr. James F. Jordan. Mr. Jordan is now the credit man of a 
wholesale drygoods house in Minneapolis, the largest establishment 
of the kind in the northwest. 

About the year 1883, Hiram A. Cole, a practical compositor and 
job printer, became the owner of Mr. Blackman's interest in the 
plant and for a time the firm was Jordan & Cole. The property 
soon afterward passed into Mr. Cole 's individual possession and the 
paper has been managed and published by him down to the pres- 
ent time. It is the only Democratic newspaper in the county and 
is one of the leading Democratic weeklies of western Michigan. 
Through all these vicissitudes and changes of name, the publica- 
tion claims lineal descent from the Paw Paw Free Press, mak- 
ing it the oldest publication in Van Buren county, the last issue 
being labeled "Volume 67, No. 46." The presses of the Courier 
as the paper is usually spoken of are run with a gasoline engine. 

In the spring of 1851, James N. Gantt launched a paper called 
The Paw Paw Journal. This sheet had a comparatively brief 
existence, but just how long, it is impossible to say, as there is no 
record of its career, although Dr. O'Dell of Paw Paw, has two or 
three of the earlier issues, the earliest being No. 5, issued in June 
1851. 

"The True Northerner" 

The True Northerner, a weekly publication, was established at 
Paw Paw in 1855, and is nearing the end of fifty-seven years of 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 357 

continuous publication without change of name and, so far as can 
be ascertained, without the omission of a single number, although 
the entire plant was destroyed by fire in January, 1888, which is 
a record of which its managers may well be proud. The question 
is sometimes asked why the paper was christened the True North- 
erner. To those who can remember the antislavery agitation of 
the years before the Civil war, the bitter contests that were waged 
and the animosity that was thereby engendered between the north 
and the south, the answer to that query is self-evident. The paper 
was founded as an advocate of the principles of the new Repub- 
lican party that had then recently been organized under the his- 
toric oaks at the city of Jackson, Michigan, and it has ever since 
been an unwavering champion of that party. 

Its founder was George A. Fitch, who was at the time publish- 
ing the Kalamazoo Telegraph. Mr. Fitch sent John B. Butler to 
edit and publish the new paper. 

The first issue, which by the courtesy of Dr. B. O'Dell is now 
in the hands of the compiler, bears date April 25, 1855. It is a 
five-column quarto, well preserved and creditably printed. The 
opening paragraph of Mr. Butler's salutatory, entitled "To the 
Public," is as follows: "Citizens of Van Buren county, we have 
spread before you a Newspaper. We have come among you to 
advocate the cause of Popular Sovereignty and of human rights. 
You may call our politics, Fusionism, Republicanism, or any other 
'ism, so long as you connect the idea of the name you apply with 
that of equal rights and the welfare of our whole country. AYe will 
adhere to no party which has not for its aim the good of the 
country, nor advocate any cause which seeks triumph for the sake 
of the spoils of office, regardless of the rights and liberties, the 
happiness and prosperity of the people at large If such are your 
sentiments, citizens, you will support this print ; if not we have 
mistaken the feelings and views which have long actuated the True 
Northerner, north of Mason and Dixon's line, and which has been 
so successfully exemplified in your late elections, both in state and 
county." Further along, Mr. Butler adds: "It is our desire, to 
place our paper on as high and truly independent grounds as pos- 
sible and, although enlisted in the cause of the Republican party 
of this State, we will in no manner be tied down by party tram- 
mels, or led at the caprice of any political faction. ' ' 

The only local items in the paper are two marriage notices — to- 
wit, the marriage of Joseph W. Luce and Miss Martha Richmond, 
of LaFayette, on the 17th instant, and of William Hodges and Miss 
Caroline Blowers on the 25th, the day of the birth of the paper; 
and a notice of the meeting of subscribers to the stock of the Al- 
legan and Paw Paw Railroad, a road that never materialized. 



358 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

The notice stated that about $30,000 had been subscribed toward the 
projected road and was signed by the following board of directors : 
John R. Kellogg, F. J. Littlejohn, Charles L. Mixer, E. D. Follet 
and John Clifford, Jr., of Allegan county, and John Smolk, Silas 
Breed, F. M. Manning, F. H. Stevens and S. G. Grimes of Van 
Buren county. Some of the other articles in the paper w r ere 
"Scenes in the Kansas Election/' "War with Spain," "Loss of 
the Propellor Oregon/' "Arrival of the America" on the 13th of 
April, with the latest European news, among which appears this 
item: "The demolition of Sevastopol was not demanded, but a 
reduction of the Russian power in the Black sea w r as called for, 
the recompense being the withdrawal of the allies from Russian 
territory. ' ' 

Mr. Butler retired from the management of the paper in the 
latter part of the summer of 1855, and Fitch sold it to John Rey- 
nolds and Edwin A. Thompson. Rufus C. Nash was employed 
as editor but did not long remain in charge, being succeeded the 
next January by L. B. Bleecker and S. F. Breed. Soon afterward 
Mr. Breed and Samuel H. Blackman became the sole proprietors 
of the paper. In 1858 they sold it to Thaddeus R. Harrison, who 
continued in its ownership until 1866, although during the latter 
part of that period it was leased to Charles P. Sweet. Mr. Har- 
rison transferred the publication to Thomas 0. Ward, who con- 
tinued it until August, 1870, at which time S. Tallmadge Conway, 
formerly owner and publisher of the Paw Paw Press, became the 
owner of the plant and sole editor and publisher of the paper. 
He retained the ownership for a period of ten years, when he 
transferred it to Henry S. Williams, who had been county clerk 
and school superintendent. Mr. Williams retained the property 
until May, 1882, at which date he sold it to Messrs. A. C. Martin 
and O. W. Rowland, Mr. Martin becoming the manager of the 
concern and Mr. Rowland assuming the editorial chair. This ar- 
rangement continued for six years, when Mr. Rowland parted 
with his interest in the plant, and Mr. Martin became sole owner, 
although Rowland was retained as editor for a year after the dis- 
solution of the firm of Martin & Rowland. In the fall of 1889, 
Charles L. Eaton purchased an interest in the plant and the firm be- 
came Martin & Eaton, with Eaton as the editor. Two years after- 
ward Eaton retired from the business and Mrs. A. C. Martin, 
wife of the proprietor, became the editress of the paper. In No- 
vember, 1892, the property was capitalized at the sum of $10,000 
and converted into a stock company and as such it still remains. 
Mrs. Martin was succeeded in the editorship by M. O. Rowland, a 
son of one of the former editors. He managed and edited the paper 
for several years, w T hen he disposed of his interest and removed 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY ' 359 

to Lansing, having been appointed to a clerkship in the state insur- 
ance department. He was afterward appointed deputy insurance 
commissioner and later insurance commissioner, an office which he 
resigned on the coming in of a new administration. He is now 
president of the Detroit National Fire Insurance Company. E. A. 
Wildey, a former commissioner of the state land office, succeeded 
Mr. Rowland as editor of the paper, but remained in control only 
about a year. Frank N. Wakeman, formerly county clerk, has 
been editor and manager for nearly seven years. 

The True Northerner has long been recognized as one of the in- 
fluential weekly publications of the state and has been a success- 
ful business enterprise from the date of its first appearance. Its 
equipment of presses, type and material is very complete. Its 
machinery is run by an electric motor. 

The National Independent was established at Paw Paw in* March, 
1878, by Dr. Charles Maynard, as an exponent of Greenbackism. 
The founder continued the paper until January, 1879, when he 
sold it to Rufus C. Nash. Mr. Nash did not long remain in pos- 
session, but transferred the sheet to Messrs. Smith & Wilson. Mr. 
Wilson soon retired from the firm and W. E. Smith became sole 
editor and proprietor. The Independent met with sudden deatli 
in the latter part of December, 1879, its proprietor leaving the 
town under somewhat of a dense cloud. 

The Paw Paw Herald followed after the Independent, but had 
but a brief, precarious existence. 

' ' Decatur Republican ' ' 

The first attempt at publishing a newspaper in the village of 
Decatur was made by Rufus C. Nash, about the year 1859 or 1860. 
His paper was printed in Paw Paw and circulated in Decatur. 
"Rufe" did not find the venture to be such as to warrant a finan- 
cial success and only a few issues were ever printed, and even tradi- 
tion does not preserve the name of this pioneer sheet. 

So quickly it was done for, 

We wonder what it was begun for. 

Some time in 1860, C. P. Sweet inaugurated the Decatur Trib- 
une, which he conducted until about 1864, when it was allowed to 
depart in peace, and for a time Decatur was without a newspaper. 

In the summer of 1865, Moses Hull came from Kalamazoo and 
launched the Decatur Clarion on the journalistic sea. Mr. Hull 
conducted this sheet for about six months and sold it to A. W. 



360 HISTORY OP VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Briggs, who published it about the same length of time, when it 
met the fate of its predecessors and sank peacefully out of sight. 

Unawed and undeterred by these previous newspaper fiascos, E. 
A. Blackman and Prof. C. F. R. Bellows, the latter at the time 
being superintendent of the Decatur schools, in 1867 founded the 
Van Buren County Republican, which proved to be a healthy 
youngster and has continued until the present time. Prof. Bel- 
lows did not remain long connected with the paper, and on his 
withdrawal, Mr. Blackman became sole proprietor. As indicated 
by its name, the new journal was an advocate of Republicanism. 
It continued in that political faith until the presidential cam- 
paign of 1872, when, along with its proprietor, it ' ' Greeleyized " 
and the next year became a straight out Democratic sheet. 

In 1876, Mr. Blackman disposed of the plant to H. C. Buffing- 
ton, who had formerly been engaged in the newspaper business in 
Cass county. Under the administration of Mr. Buffington, the 
paper returned to the Republican fold where it has ever since re- 
mained. In 1879 Buffington transferred the property to A. M. 
Wooster and >he, in turn, sold it to Robert L. Warren and he to 
Andrew Johnson. About 1890 the paper was purchased from Mr. 
Johnson by O. W. and M. O. Rowland, father and son. The father 
had had several years experience as editor of the True Northerner 
and the son was an expert compositor and pressman and had had 
considerable experience as a reporter on different daily papers. 
The father afterward transferred the plant to the younger man, 
who, after conducting it successfully for a considerable time, re- 
moved the plant to Paw Paw, and once more Decatur w r as with- 
out a paper. 

When the Messrs. Rowland assumed charge the name had been 
changed to the Decatur Republican, but they restored the old name, 
dropping "Decatur' ' and substituting "Van Buren County" in- 
stead. The paper was conducted at Paw Paw under that name 
until its owner became connected with the True Northerner, when 
it was suspended and its list of subscribers transferred to the 
Northerner. Shortly afterward, Messrs. Secord & Dewey pur- 
chased the presses, type and material and took them back to Deca- 
tur and started the Decatur Independent. This was soon trans- 
ferred to A. N. Moulton, who dropped the name " Independent ' ' 
and resumed the old appellation of Decatur Republican and such it 
has since remained. Mr. Moulton is still the proprietor and editor 
and under his direction and management the paper has been pros- 
perous and profitable. It is well equipped with power presses and 
all the material required for first class newspaper and job print- 
ing. 

The first newspaper in Lawton, the Iron Age, was founded in 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 361 

1860 by one Joseph Twell. The name was derived from the fact 
that about that time a large blast furnace was established in the 
place that for a number of years did a large and prosperous busi- 
ness. The Age lived until 1867, when it peacefully breathed its last. 

After the demise of the Age Judge Geo. W. Lawton began the 
publication of the Lawton Gazette, a w r eekly sheet the printing 
of which was done in Paw Paw. The Gazette lived less than two 
years when it surrendered to the inevitable. 

In September, 1869, J. II. Wickwire founded the Lawton Trib- 
une, which passed in succession through the hands of Cowgill & 
Jennings, Ambrose Moon, Orno Strong and Ezra Haydon and came 
to an inglorious end in 1873. 

"The Lawton Leader" 

In 1887, A. E. Marvin established another weekly in Lawton, 
under the name of the Lawton Leader. In the month of May, 1890, 
the list of subscribers and the "good will 7 was purchased by 
Messrs. C. E. Lewis and E. Drury, who put in new presses and 
material and continued the publication of the paper. Drury 
parted with his interest about 1898, Lewis at that time becoming 
sole owner and continuing as such for about eight years. In 1906 
he took in as a partner, Rev. AV. K. Lane, but Lewis has recently 
again become the sole proprietor, which, under his administration 
and management, has become one of the fixed and valued institu- 
tions of the town, and which, having survived the usual vicissitudes 
of the life of a village newspaper, has gained strength with age 
and bids fair to have a long and useful life. The paper is not 
attached to any political party, but is strongly in favor of tem- 
perance and is a consistent and persistent advocate of the local op- 
tion law that has been in force in Van Buren county for the past 
twenty-one years. In this regard, with only one or two excep- 
tions, it does not differ materially from the other newspapers of 
the county which have almost unanimously accorded their sup- 
port to that phase of the temperance question. 

"Hartford Day Spring" 

The first newspaper to make its appearance in the thriving vil- 
lage of Hartford was the Hartford Bay Spring. Its first issue ap- 
peared on the 16th day of November, 1871. Its founders were 
Messrs. 0. D. Hadsell and A. H. Chandler, the latter, however, 
retiring from the venture when the paper was but a few weeks 
old. It was continued by Mr. Hadsell, who gained a great degree 
of notoriety, by reason of the quaintness, sarcasm and bluntness 



362 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

of his writings, until October 28, 1876, when it w r as purchased by 
William H. H. Earle. Mr. Earle edited and published the Day 
Spring about a year, when Luther Sutton assumed the editorship, 
Mr. Earle continuing as publisher. In 1888 Charles C. Phillips 
acquired the paper by purchase and remained in its editorial charge 
until 1893, w r hen the paper again experienced a change of owner- 
ship, L. S. Johnson becoming editor and manager. In 1898 H. P. 
Cochrane assumed charge of the paper under a lease, having as- 
sociated with him his son, Donald F. Cochrane. A year later a 
stock company was formed, which purchased the publication from 
Mr. Johnson. Complete ownership was later acquired by Editor 
Cochrane and his son, although the Day Spring still appears under 
the name of the Day Spring Publishing Company. With the for- 
mation of the stock company began a period of development, in 
which the old hand press and meager equipment that had sufficed 
during a succession of ownerships gave way to new machinery, 
until the Day Spring has today one of the most modern equip- 
ments possessed by any of the weekly newspapers. 

Editor H. F. Cochrane died February 25, 1905, after which the 
editorship passed to his son, Donald F. Cochrane, who has since 
continued as editor and owner. 

Of all the men who were identified with the early publication of 
the Day Spring, none survives except A. H. Chandler, who, then 
as now, is a lawyer located in the village. Editor Hadsell died in 
Chicago in 1892, where he had pursued a successful business 
career. Mr. Earle died while in charge of the paper; Sutton 
passed away in 1903. Mr. Phillips, who purchased the property 
of the Earle estate, is now quartermaster at the Michigan Soldiers' 
Home, Grand Rapids. 

The Day Spring is now a six-column paper of from eight to 
twelve pages, all printed on its own presses, and is a lively ex- 
ponent of its field. 

Mr. Hadsell was a schoolmaster with a limited newspaper ex- 
perience when he and Mr. Chandler planned the launching of 
Hartford's first newspaper. The venture was conceived and 
planned in a day, and so they christened the paper the Day Spring. 
Under the editorship of Mr. Hadsell, it w T as an aggressive Dem- 
ocratic sheet, reflecting the personal opinions of its editor with 
the emphasis characteristic of the times. With advent of Editor 
Earle came a change of political policy and the Day Spring has 
since been continued as a Republican journal, although it is first 
concerned with the unbiased publication of the news of its im- 
mediate field and of the county. The paper has been closely 
identified with the development of Hartford and few villages are 
represented by a more aggressive exponent. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 363 

During the time when the people of the country were all wrought 
up over "greenbaekism, " "free silverism," the crime of 73 (?) 
and other evanescent political issues, another newspaper, The Peo- 
ple's Alliance was established in Hartford by Sullivan Cook, who 
was an ardent advocate of what he, with many others, thought was 
necessary for the welfare of the people, a radical change in the cur- 
rency system of the country. The Alliance lived for a number of 
years, but with the decline of the money controversy the paper also 
declined, until it finally shuffled off its mortal coil and was peace- 
fully laid to rest, another unsuccessful venture in the uncertain 
field of rural journalism. 

The first attempt at journalism in the village of Bangor was 
made by Charles Gillett in February, 1873, who started a news- 
paper which he christened the Bangor Journal. The venture did 
not prove a success from a financial standpoint and in the fall of 
the same year the Journal gently breathed its young life away, un- 
honored and unsung, and it has practically passed out of mind 
and memory. 

Out of the remains of the Journal arose another and more vigor- 
ous plant. W. AY. Secord purchased its remains — that is its type 
and other material — and established the Bangor Reflector, the 
first issue of w 7 hich appeared in the month of December, 1873. 
The new project met with only a limited success under the direc- 
tion of Mr. Secord, who managed it until April, 1875, when it was 
purchased by Charles C. Phillips, who made it a valuable prop- 
erty and a paper of influence and fair circulation. 

"The Bangor Advance" 

The West Michigan Advance was started by G. F. Burkett, in 
1881, and was purchased by L. S. Russell the next year, at which 
time his son, M. F. Russell, started in to learn the printer's trade, 
and he has never since got the ink off from his fingers. In 1888 
Mr. Phillips leased the Reflector to Mr. Russell, who consolidated 
the two papers, under the name of the Advance and Reflector. On 
the first of January, 1891, Mr. Russell turned over the busi- 
ness to his son, M. F. Russell, who found the venture to be profit- 
able, and after managing it for a year purchased the entire plant 
and it still remains in his possession. The name was changed to 
the Bangor Advance, the "Reflector" disappearing from view. 
The paper was originally started with a Washington hand press. 
Mr. Phillips purchased a ' ' Prouty, ' ' which has been succeeded by 
a "Potter drum cylinder." The outfit of the Advance is modern 
and consists of the newspaper press, two job presses, a five-horse 



364 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

power gasoline engine, abundance of type and all the equipment 
needful for a first class newspaper and job plant. 

Bangor had, at one time, three newspapers, the other two being 
the Bangor Breeze and the Van Bur en County Visitor. The local- 
ity proved to be too breezy for the Breeze and after a brief career 
it blew away. There was, for a considerable length of time, a 
fierce rivalry between the Visitor and the Advance, but the strife 
ended in 1907 by the amalgamation of the two papers, Mr. Rus- 
sell purchasing the Visitor outright, its publisher, Mr. B. F. Harris, 
entering the employ of the Advance as foreman where he has since 
remained. 

Early Lawrence Newspapers 

It was not until 1875 that the village of Lawrence could boast 
of having a newspaper. That year Theodore L. Reynolds estab- 
lished the Lawrence Advertiser. Mr. Reynolds continued this 
paper until some time in 1877, when he sold it to Robert L. Warren 
who published it for three years longer. In 1880, Mr. Warren, 
becoming the owner of the Decatur Republican, removed the Ad- 
vertiser plant to Decatur and consolidated the two papers, leav- 
ing Lawrence as an open field for some other venturesome news- 
paper aspirant. A job printing office was continued in the village 
by different parties, but it w r as not until November, 1882, that any 
further effort was made to establish a newspaper, and that effort 
proved to be exceedingly weak. Messrs. Wilson & Moon started 
a sheet that they christened the Lawrence Times, but it did not 
live long enough to learn its own name. Its ambitious originators 
had no press and their "forms" had to be taken to Paw Paw, nine 
miles distant, to be printed. Only three issues of the Times ever 
saw T the light of day, and for about three years no further effort 
was made to publish a paper in Lawrence. In the spring of 1885 
G. M. Vining began the publication of a little six-by-nine paper 
called the Basket of Locals and continued the little sheet until mid- 
summer, when he revived the Times which he continued for five 
years, but it was too much up-hill traveling; and the Times fol- 
lowed in the wake of its predecessors and lay down and died. 

For a short time, in 1890, Messrs Cash & Vining published a 
paper called the Lyre, but it was not a success. Possibly people not 
up in orthography mistrusted the name and so refused to give it 
their confidence. 

The Van B,uren County Visitor, mentioned as among the Ban- 
gor papers, w r as first established at Lawrence in 1895 by W. E. 
Thresher and by him removed to Bangor in 1897. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 365 

"Lawrence Times" 

After so many abortive attempts to provide the people of Law- 
rence and the adjacent country with a local newspaper, it seemed 
that the time was ripe for a successful effort along that line. On 
the first of January, 1898, Ernest G. Klock, a newspaper man from 
Holland, Michigan, brought his outfit to Lawrence and started a 
new paper, taking the old name of the Lawrence Times. It was 
rather "hard sledding" for the paper and in the fall of 1899 Mr. 
Klock sold his plant to Miss Vera P. Cobb, of Middleville, Michi- 
gan, who conducted it until January, 1901, at which time she dis- 
posed of it to James G. Jennings. Mr. Jennings succeeded in 
giving the paper some prestige and continued to publish it until 
November, 1909, when he sold it to G. S. Easton of Onsted, Michi- 
gan. Mr. Easton has shown himself to be a hustler, has made 
the Times one of the foremost newspapers in the county and has 
spared no pains to advance the interests of the town. He has put 
in a large amount of new material, including a typesetting ma- 
chine. The business men of the village have accorded him a liberal 
support and the paper has every appearance of having become 
one of the well-established, permanent and paying newspaper plants 
of the county. 

The first effort at the publication of a newspaper in the little 
village of Bloomingdale was made in the early seventies when a 
paper was started at that town, by Mr. W. W. Secord, under the 
name of the Bloomingdale Tidings. Mr. Secord continued the 
publication of this paper for a few years, but it did not prove to 
be a financial success, finally "lay down and died," and was 
buried in the newspaper cemetery of the county among numerous 
other unsuccessful aspirants for journalistic fame and fortune. 

' ' Bloomingdale Leader ' ' 

On the 10th day of June, 1881, undaunted by the fate that over- 
took the Tidings, Messrs. M. A. Barber and C. F. Smith founded 
the Bloomingdale Leader, which proved to be possessed of a 
greater degree of vitality than the Tidings and which is yet, after 
the lapse of thirty years, still in the ring and doing a prosperous 
business. Originally, the paper was a five-column folio. Messrs. 
Barber & Smith continued to publish the Leader for a couple of 
years when Barber sold his interest to Smith, who became the sole 
proprietor, and who, in 1892, added new material, put in new 
presses and enlarged the paper to a five-column quarto, which it 
has since remained. In 1895 Mr. R. D. Perkins purchased the 
plant from Mr Smith, and has successfully managed the property 



366 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

for the past sixteen years. A large two story cement building, 
which will be the future home of the Leader, is in process of con- 
struction and is nearly completed, and the prospect for future 
successful business was never better than at the present time. 

"GOBLEVILLE NEWS" 

The Gobleville News was established in the hustling little vil- 
lage of Gobleville in the fall or 1890, by J. M. Hall, who was its 
editor and publisher for nearly fifteen years. Under his admin- 
istration of affairs the paper became a six-column quarto, with 
two pages only printed at home, the remainder of the sheet being 
"plate." In August, 1905, the present editor and publisher, J. 
B. Travis, became the owner of the plant and at once doubled 
the amount of home matter, giving the patrons of the paper four 
pages of home news, instead of two as theretofore. In June, 1907, 
the News moved into new and commodious quarters on State street, 
which it now occupies. During the six years of the paper under its 
present management, it has practically doubled its business in all 
departments, has purchased a full supply of new and up-to-date 
type and other material including a power press, and now has a 
superior outfit for a newspaper of its class. Its editor, Mr. Travis, 
is a "Michigan boy" born in Hillsdale county, and prior to en- 
gaging in the newspaper business was superintendent of schools 
in various localities in the state. 

South Haven Newspapers 

The South Haven Sentinel was the first newspaper to be es- 
tablished in the village (now city) of South Haven. It was founded 
in 1867, by Capt. David M. Phillips, a veteran of the Civil war, 
and, unlike most of the first papers started in the county, it proved 
a success from the start. Captain Phillips, however, did not long 
retain the ownership of the Sentinel, for one year after it was born 
he sold it to Dr. Samuel Tobey, who, in turn, transferred it to Capt, 
W. E. Stewart, another Civil war veteran. Captain Stewart suc- 
cessfully conducted the Sentinel until his death, which occurred 
on the 11th day of July, 1899. The plant then passed into the 
possession and management of his daughter, Miss Nellie Stewart, 
who was a pretty good newspaper man (?) herself. The paper 
has, since that time, undergone change of name and change of 
ownership until it has finally landed in the office of the South 
Haven Daily Gazette. The change of name occurred while the 
plant was owned and published by Dr. H. M. Spencer, who came 
into its ownership after Captain Stewart's decease. It was after- 
ward owned and published by 0. C. Schmidt. Under his adminis- 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 367 

tration the paper was converted into a semi-weekly, but when it 
passed into its present quarters it was again changed into a weekly. 
While Captain Stewart owned the Sentinel it was a Republican 
paper and strenuously advocated the principles of that party. 
Since his death and since it became an Advocate it has sometimes 
advocated political ideas which, to draw it mild, have been very 
much at variance with the convictions of its founder and former 
owners. 

In 1878 J. Densmore started a "Greenback" paper in South 
Haven, which he named the South Haven Record. After less than 
a year of life in the place of its birth it was sold to Kalamazoo 
parties and removed to that city where it continued to support the 
Greenback party until there was no Greenback party to support 
the Record. 

There have been numerous other ventures in the newspaper line 
in South Haven that have had their little day and then passed 
into oblivion. Among them were the Fonetic Klips, a little monthly 
sheet issued by Almon J. Pierce. As its title indicates, the purpose 
of this little monthly novelty was to promote the use of phonetic 
orthography, of which system the publisher was an ardent sup- 
porter. 

Other papers that have either been consolidated, amalgamated or 
abrogated are the News, the Avalanche, the Index and possibly 
others that have had their little day and passed off the stage. 

There are published in the city of South Haven at the present 
time, two daily papers — the Tribune and the Gazette; one semi- 
weekly, the Tribune-Messenger, and one weekly, the Citizens Ad- 
vocate. 

The Daily Tribune was founded in May, 1899, by Ira A. Smith, 
who converted it into a stock company. The articles of incorpora- 
tion were executed on the 31st of July, 1902. The stockholders 
were Ira A. Smith, Hattie B. Smith and Wilbur G. Smith, and the 
amount of the capital stock was $10,000. Later the paper passed 
into the possession of the present owners. The officers of the com- 
pany are S. H. Wilson, president; C. O. Monroe, vice president, 
editor and manager; C. J. Monroe, treasurer; F. W. Taylor, man- 
ager of advertising and job department. The Tribune is a six col- 
umn folio sheet. Soon after the paper passed into the possession 
of the present owners, the Messenger, a weekly paper that was be- 
ing published in the city at the time, was merged with the weekly 
edition of the Tribune, under the name of the Tribune-Messenger. 
This sheet was continued as a weekly until March, 1911, when it 
was changed to a semi-weekly and so remains. 

The Daily Gazette was started about the first of May, 1909, with 
F. T. Lincoln as editor. On the 31st day of July, 1902, articles of 



368 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

incorporation were filed under the name of the South Haven 
Gazette Company. The amount of capital stock was fixed at $10,- 
000 and the stockholders were F. F. Rowe and A. E. Kettle, of 
Kalamazoo, and F. T. Lincoln, of South Haven. Mr. Lincoln con- 
tinues to be the editor of the paper, which is a seven column folio 
sheet. 

The Citizens Advocate, which is the lineal descendant of the 
Sentinel, the first South Haven newspaper, is also published by 
the Gazette Company, as a weekly journal. 

Two dailies, one semi-weekly and one weekly represent a fairly 
ample supply of newspapers for a town of the size of South Haven, 
but they all appear to be prospering and to be well patronized. 
Neither of these journals misses an opportunity to advance the in- 
terests of the city and vicinity and the enterprising citizens of the 
place appear to fully appreciate the efforts of the press in their 
behalf and to give their papers a generous support. 



CHAPTER XVII 

MEDICINE AND SURGERY 

Medical Scientific Research — Preventive Medicine — Surgery — 
The Country Physician and the Trained Nurse — Early Phy- 
sicians of Van Buren County — Paw Paw Physicians — Ban- 
gor — Gobleville — Hartford — Covert — Lawrence — Law- 
ton — The Profession in South Haven — South Haven City 
Hospital — Decatur — Will Carleton's "The Country Doc- 
tor" — The Veterinary School. 

By Dr. G. W. Cornish 

In the compilation of this chapter it has been necessary to 
digress somewhat from the usual routine of county histories. On 
account of the wonderful advancement of medicine during the 
period which this w r ork covers, a general review of the progress 
of this science would be the history of the progress of medicine in 
this county. 

We have summed up as concisely as possible the recent changes 
that have taken place along this line, and have endeavored to 
present them in such a manner that they may be readily compre- 
hended and understood by the lay reader and may also prove both 
interesting and instructive. 

Tn a work that covers so much ground it has been necessary to 
quote quite freely from the writings of medical profession and 
others. 

To those whose kindly assistance and ready response to in- 
quiries have so materially aided us in acquiring much informa- 
tion and data for this chapter, w r e desire to express our most sin- 
cere thanks and hearty appreciation. 

The problem of public health, always of vital interest, assumes 
with the advance of civilization, the increase of population, the 
social and economic condition incident thereto, greater import- 
ance from year to year. 

The one great problem of life is the preservation of health, 
and this one word covers the whole realm of the physician's labors, 
and hygiene or science and art of the preservation of health is 

Vol. 1—2 4 

369 



370 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

receiving more attention today than ever before. Wherever 
people have correct ideas as to the requirements of health and 
make intelligent efforts to obey its laws, sickness is comparatively 
rare and the very best work both physical and mental is accom- 
plished. Not only does the individual help himself to progress and 
also those about him, but the community at large is benefited so 
that "public health is public wealth." 

There are more people making themselves "physical bank- 
rupts' ' by violating the laws of health than the great majority of 
people think. Unfortunately, very few people will regard what 
the physician says on the subject until it is too late. However, 
it is the duty of every physician to do all in his power to teach 
his patrons the laws of the preservation of health and prevention 
of disease. 

Roosevelt says .- ' ' The preservation of national vigor should be 
a matter of patriotism." Hygiene can prevent more crime than 
law. We need education along health lines. "Ignorance is the 
greatest criminal of the twentieth century. It smothers and 
strangles more babies, it eats out the hearts of more women, and 
cuts the throats of more men, it injures more homes, and fills more 
untimely graves than all the felons who fill the prisons of this 
world." 

Medical Scientific Research 

A marked feature of this age is scientific research, and many 
great and useful additions have been made to the world's knowl- 
edge within the last fifty years. 

The acquirement of a fuller knowledge of the properties of 
steam and electricity and their practical employment have revolu- 
tionized the world. Human conveniences have been multiplied and 
human comforts have increased, but the results of scientific ad- 
vancement have not been merely material; they have made for a 
greater amity and closer union between men and people. Medical 
science has gone apace with sister sciences. The physician has 
been no less active than the physicist and the electrician. Within 
the past three decades a great mass of actual pain has been lifted 
from off suffering humanity, social conditions have been improved, 
life has been prolonged, and made better and happier. The world 
is not ungratefully blind to the fact that progress in medicine and 
surgery has had an incalculable humanitarian importance. 

Medical science can boast no less than any other science so far 
as progress is concerned, though our progress is not so visible to the 
eye as others are — such as ship-building that made it possible to 
cross the Atlantic in less than five days; steam and electricity 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 871 

which revolutionized the commerce of the world and made it pos- 
sible to travel sixty miles or more an hour by rail ; air ships which 
fly thousands of feet in the air; the telegraph, telephone, the wire- 
less system which in times of war and storms will be of untold 
benefit, and I cannot forget the horseless carriages that convey the 
doctors to suffering patients in almost no time with a speed of 
from twenty to one hundred miles an hotfr. These are some of 
the very conspicuous results of the present day progress in science 
that strike the eye. But stop and think of the number of human 
lives saved as a result of medical advancement and of the great 
undertakings that sanitation and hygiene have made possible as a 
result of discoveries of causes of disease. It can then be com- 
pared more than favorably with the advances made in other 
branches of science. 

The doctors are the connecting link between that great medical 
body which handles the vast majority of the diseases we would 
prevent and the general public, the victim of those diseases. This 
means that the doctor is awake and must awaken the people to 
their duty to themselves and make it plain to them that no 
man has a right so to keep his house or so to live his life in a 
civilized community as to jeopardize his neighbor's health or hap- 
piness. It is said in China it is the custom to pay the physician a 
certain amount to keep you well. When the patient is ill the pay 
ceases. This unique practice has much to recommend it. It 
means that we, the doctors, shall teach all our people that the 
duty of keeping clean in a physical sense is as high as that of 
moral cleanliness. This is accomplished in a great degree by 
teaching patients how to prevent diseases, how to avoid diseases 
instead of curing them. 

Preventive Medicine 

The Philadelphia Ledger of May 5, 1911, reports in substance 
the speech of President Taft on preventive medicine: "Whatever 
hostages to civilization were given by the United States in the war 
of 1898 have been wonderfully redeemed. The unwelcome con- 
quest of undesired territory in the tropics has been turned to the 
world's advantage by the conquest over tropical disease. This is 
the greatest triumph in the history of the American army. The 
army did not do it all, nor is the progress achieved since 1898 to 
be boasted of as a peculiarly national achievement. The study of 
bacteriology and the causation of disease has been going on in the 
laboratories and hospitals of the wide world, from British India 
all the way round the globe, through Europe and America and 
over the Pacific to Japan. What our army doctors did was to keep 



372 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

alert to every discovery and suggestion and apply it as the op- 
portunity came to them, with a scientific thoroughness and a 
military efficiency that changed the whole aspect of life in tropi- 
cal countries. 

' ' Need I remind you of the names of men made famous, who are 
dear to the hearts of the nation for the great and unselfish work 
they have done to preserve health and life ? Close investigation and 
experimentation, demonstrated that the dread yellow fever was 
due to the mosquito and could be banished, and that malaria is 
not 'bad air' as its name indicates, but it is the poision of a cer- 
tain kind of mosquito, and 'Yellow Jack' is the same, only a dif- 
ferent kind of mosquito. It was early observed that exposure to 
night air w T as frequently followed by either malaria or yellow fe- 
ver, and this as well as other observations gave rise to a supposed 
similarity of cause of these two diseases. All this is now explained 
by the discovery of the fact that the two kinds of mosquitoes which 
communicate these tw T o diseases are night birds. It is all very 
simple, after we know. It is very gratifying that our country has 
been able to show to the world one of the most striking examples 
in the history of preventive medicine by the extermination of yel- 
low fever through the discoveries of Drs. Reed and Carroll, and 
the practical application of their researches by Colonel Gorgas 
has made it possible for the nation to undertake a great engineer- 
ing task for years considered impossible by scientific men of other 
people. Medical science shall have its share in the glory of the 
achievement of the Panama Canal, a national dream realized. 
Were it not for this discovery this great canal could not be com- 
pleted. If United States had done nothing more than to show the 
Cubans how to prevent these terrible diseases it alone would have 
repaid many times over all the loss and suffering of the Spanish 
war. The redemption of the Philippines from all manner of dis- 
eases by efficient sanitation, vaccination and the extermination of 
disease bearing pests would make the American occupancy of the 
islands glorious, even if it had accomplished nothing for the men- 
tal advancement of the people. 

' ' The value of vaccination must be admitted by every sane mind 
as a preventive of smallpox. In well vaccinated Germany but 
one person a year in every million dies of smallpox. In Eng- 
land, where vaccination is general but not universal, twenty per- 
sons in a million die of the disease. In the Philippine Islands in 
certain districts where there had been 6,000 deaths annually be- 
fore vaccination, one year after its completion Dr. Victor G. 
Heiser reports that not a single death from smallpox has been 
known. 

"In the comparative restricted field of military medicine alone 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 373 

we have but to recall the awful scourge of typhoid fever in the 
camp at Chickamauga and contrast with it the army reports of 
today to recognize the astounding progress of twelve years. In 
the Spanish War hardly a regiment escaped typhoid and the death 
rate among the affected was appalling. In the division now in 
Texas living for two months under canvass in a rain soaked coun- 
try, there has been one case, a civilian, not protected by vaccina- 
tion against typhoid. Thus by our vaccines and serums, our hy- 
gienic and sanitary precautions and by the alert watchfulness of 
specially trained physicians we are able to prevent epidemics, and 
how has our mortality decreased." 

The practitioner of medicine saves lives one at a time, and right- 
noble is his calling. But is it not infinitely wiser to prevent the 
pollution by sewage of a stream supplying a city of a million than 
to fight that pollution in the bodies of 10,000 innocent victims of 
filth? Is it not better far to prevent the pollution of our food, 
houses, vehicles and streets from tuberculosis than to spend mil- 
lions on treatment and then see our loved ones die by the tens of 
thousands? Is it not cheaper to spend a hundred million of dol- 
lars and rid our country of every mosquito than to see business 
wither at flood-tide under blighting grip of yellow fever, and our 
kindred and friends perish from the pest, while malaria takes its 
yearly tribute of thousands of lives in our country and destroys 
the earning power to the extent of probably $50,000,000 an- 
nually and perhaps double that? Shall we not vaccinate all our 
people at a cost of 25 cents each rather than leave some hundreds 
to die annually, and some other hundreds of thousands to be 
branded with scars? Vaccination, with re- vaccination until the 
susceptibility to vaccine is exhausted is an absolute protection from 
an attack of smallpox, but there is no known remedy which in any 
way modifies the disease once it is well started. 

Of no less importance to mankind is the wonderful discovery 
of diphtheritic anti-toxin. In this country more than 100,000 
lives are saved annually by the use of this serum. 

We shall better estimate the value of disease prevention in our 
time by considering the losses which the human race has in the 
past sustained by reason of the non-existence of an adequate and 
scientific prevention. Take for example the bubonic plague some 
times called "Black Death," or the "Great Mortality ' ' which is said 
to be the most dreadful calamity ever visited upon mankind. It 
is said that when the plague visited London it killed 50,000 peo- 
ple in one year. In Constantinople there were daily more than 
10,000 victims. One third the population of Persia is said to have 
been bestroyed by it and one half the population of Europe was 
destroyed by this disease in the 14th century. But of the great 



374 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

destroyers of mankind none has ever been comparable with tuber- 
culosis — "Great White Plague." It is killing 5,000,000 people in 
the world every year. However, tuberculosis no longer claims its 
victims in these days unchallenged as those who contract it are 
not abandoned as hopeless cases for many in the incipiency of the 
disease recover. But the cry on all sides is not so much how to 
cure it as how to prevent it. How to stamp it out. 

The recent causation of the hookworm disease has likewise been 
found to have its origin in soil pollution and stagnant waters in 
a similar manner to that of typhoid as it is an intestinal disease, 
and now that the cause of this disease is known the spread of it 
will doubtless soon be under control. 

Of late years, much interest has been manifested in prevention 
and cure of one of the most fatal diseases when once infected of 
any of the contagions, that of tetanus. No doubt the unsuccess- 
fulness of the serum treatment of this disease is largely due to the 
fact that the treatment is not used sufficiently early. The physi- 
cians need the co-operation of legislative bodies in accomplishing 
a sane Fourth of July, thus doing away with source of infection 
of a large percentage of this disease. 

Above we deem sufficient to give the reader some idea of the 
advancement in medical research in the last few years among in- 
fectious and contagious diseases, although many more might be 
enumerated. 

The one thing we have done well in the last few years is devel- 
oping of the preventive side of medicine, the triumph of which 
we have above mentioned. How is this accomplished? One of 
the most encouraging features of modern civilization is the gen- 
eral interest which is being aroused in the matter of healthful and 
hygienic methods of living. All these advances have been the re- 
sult of agitation and education among the laity, by the progressive 
physician. Hygienic measures and varied environment have cer- 
tainly replaced much of the drugging which was the only recourse 
in former years, but it must be borne in mind that these by them- 
selves have by no means covered the whole treatment of disease as 
is sometimes fondly imagined, nor do they justify us in withhold- 
ing other therapeutic agents, already well approved by experience 
in conjunction with them. 

Within the last few years there have arisen several non-drug 
branches of the healing art, such as chiropractic, osteopathy, new 
thought, Emmanuel movement, magnetic healing, Christian science 
and other cults or "pathies," nearly all of which could be classed 
under the head of psycho-therapy or mind cure and massage; 
each and every one of which has an element of truth on which it 
bases its claims and in functional troubles, and to some extent in 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 375 

organic disease, exerts a curative effect. Also infra-red and ultra- 
violet rays as curative agencies are receiving considerable recogni- 
tion. 

Someone says: "One of the most important relationships be- 
tween the medical profession and citizenship at large exists in the 
carefully planned and properly carried out system of medical 
supervision of school children. The influence that physical defects 
have upon retardation in school work is becoming well recognized. 
It is a lamentable fact that many school children are unjustly ad- 
judged of being mentally deficient, or dull and backward, when in 
fact this deficiency is due to remedial physical defects. It is a 
deplorable fact that thirty per cent of all school children are suf- 
fering from diseases of the eye." 

Dr. Stanley Hall says: "What shall it profit a child if he gain 
the whole world of knowledge and lose his ow r n health?" The 
thinking mind, the equipped mind, and the healthy body are the 
three things necessary to make the ideal life, and the greatest of 
these is the healthy body. Our law makers are beginning to rec- 
ognize the necessity of legislation along these lines. Already a man 
who risks the spread of tuberculosis and other pulmonary dis- 
eases by expectoration in public places is amenable to law. The 
treatment of children's diseases is now eminently a matter of en- 
couraging national reaction. Air is admitted in abundance, chil- 
dren are properly fed, and they are taught the importance of 
cleanliness. "Children should be warned against open fruit and 
candy stands on streets, street soda fountain, open waffle wagons, 
hokey-pokey ice-cream, and the public drinking cup. House- 
wives should not buy foods in open, fly-invested markets or those 
exposed to street dust, flies, animals and promiscuous public 
handling. Investigate your milkman, your baker, your ice man and 
your marketman. Know where your ice cream is made and how." 
These are a few of the instructions of Michigan Board of health. 

We are becoming forcibly acquainted with the facts of the per- 
nicious character of flies in spreading disease, and are being 
aroused to the great necessity of destroying them. No longer can 
we patiently tolerate the little pests good naturedly. Toleration 
in the matter is a deadly error of omission. We must wage an 
active warfare upon them in the name of humanity. Never drive 
a fly from a sick-room but swat him on the spot. 

Surgery 

As to surgery which is probably one of the most fascinating di- 
visions of the work of a physician, two prominent discoveries were 
made during the period which we cover that revolutionized the 



376 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

practice of surgery, namely, anaesthesia and antisepsis. The first 
abolished pain as a disturbing element during operative proced- 
ures, and the second prevented suppuration during the healing 
process. Together they effect a painless operation and rapid heal- 
ing of the wound. Operations that a half century ago were un- 
thought of and even unthinkable on account of their danger, are 
daily performed with the most absolute success. The surgeon of 
today enters and explores the abdominal cavity with as little hes- 
itancy as he would amputate a toe or finger. The battle field of 
the late wars bear positive proof of the advancement in surgery. 
The mortality from wounds being only about one-sixth of that of 
the wars of a half century ago. 

Probably no recent discovery has aroused more interest or curi- 
osity in the people of the world than the discovery by Roentgen of 
Germany in 1895 of the X-ray which is a kind of light produced 
by electricity and is capable of penetrating wood, flesh, and other 
organic substances. Practical use of the rays is made in looking 
within the body so as to determine by sight the condition of the 
bones and the location of substances imbedded in the flesh. As an 
adjunct for diagnostic purposes in both medicine and surgery it 
has proved a wonderful aid. In fractures and dislocations, in lo- 
cating foreign bodies, in the treatment of some types of skin dis- 
eases and cancer, and in the examination of many of the internal 
organs its value is beyond dispute. 

The Country Physician and Trained Nurse 

The country physician is compelled to handle nearly the entire 
field of work without assistance. Not even a trained nurse. He 
usually finds his most difficult cases many miles from help, and 
nine times out of ten too poor to obtain a nurse or extra physician. 
Consequently the country physician has to "strip off and sail in." 
He handles the compound fracture as readily as would a whole 
hospital staff. He comes out as successfully with his transverse 
or face presentation as the best of the maternity hospital. And 
many other such cases he handles alone which the city doctor would 
not undertake without a trained nurse and an extra physician. 
One of the most valuable accessories in recent years to the success- 
ful handling of disease is the trained nurse. Not a few people could 
bear witness to the fact that they owe their lives to the untiring 
efforts of the faithful nurse. Only the physician can appreciate 
at full value her assistance, who during the critical hours, or 
days or weeks faithfully cares for her patient, watches every 
symptom, rightly interprets its meaning, whether for good or for 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 377 

evil, and promptly and intelligently applies the prescribed reme- 
dial measure. 

Many are the physicians and many are the trustful nurses who 
have laid down their lives in their efforts to relieve suffering hu- 
manity from the ravages of virulent contagions, with no rattle 
of musketry, no din of battle, no cheers of comrades, no thrilling 
strains of military music to stimulate and urge them forward to 
meet the enemy, but calmly and deliberately they place their lives 
as a bulwark between death and- disease, many times with no 
prospects of recompense or remuneration other than the conscien- 
tious satisfaction of duty to mankind. No annals tell of battles 
fought and won; no songs tell of their brave deeds; no liowers 
deck their graves ; no anniversaries emulate and commemorate their 
virtues; no monuments are erected in honor of fallen heroes. 
And again, the physician who worked and studied hard and long 
to perfect some wonderful discovery that has been the means of 
relieving so much pain and suffering and ,the saving of so many 
lives, unlike other scientific inventors, does not ask for a patent; 
does not demand a royalty on every life saved, , but gives it to the 
world gratuitously for the benefit of mankind. 

The triumphs which have been already achieved by .preventive 
medicine have rightly won the plaudits of the world ; but we must 
not forget that the pharmacologist whose scientific investigation 
of drugs has been no small factor in contributing toward success 
The most unsavory concoctions of the modern pharmacy are as 
the "nectar of the gods," when compared with the medicines of 
olden times. A few years ago the pharmacist or physician made 
all of the elixirs, tinctures, plasters, pills, etc. from crude drugs 
and with no degree of certainty as to their strength. The elegant 
pharmacy of today furnishes palatable mixtures, coated tablets, 
capsulated bitter or nauseous medicines, serums, vaccines, etc. 
with unquestionable , accuracy. 

Early Physicians of Van Buren County 

The early physicians of Van Buren county were pioneers and 
they were the guardians of a widely .dispersed population. Aside 
from their professional duties they contributed their full share 
to the material development of a newly opened country. Some 
were men of culture who had gained their medical education in 
college but the greater number were of limited educational attain- 
ments; their professional knowledge had been acquired in the 
office of established practitioners of more or ,less ability. Of 
either class, almost without exception, they were practical men of 
great force of character who gave cheerful and efficacious assist- 



378 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

ance , to the suffering, daily journeying on horseback scores of 
miles, over a country almost destitute of roads and encountering 
swollen, unbridged streams and destitute of water-proof garments 
or other now common protections against weather. Out of .neces- 
sity the pioneer physician developed rare quickness of perception 
and self-reliance. The specialist was then unknown and the phy- 
sician was called upon to treat every phase of bodily ailment serv- 
ing as physician, surgeon, oculist, dentist and often times as 
nurse. His books w T ere few and there were no practitioners more 
able than himself with whom he might consult; his medicines 
were ( simple and carried upon his person, and every preparation 
of pill or solution was the work of his own hands. 

To the men of those days we owe much for our present knowl- 
edge ,and lightened burdens, of which they knew T nothing in the 
days of their activity. They blazed the way for us through pathless 
forests and unmarked fields of medical research and we certainly 
should feel very grateful for, their noble life-work. 

It is at all times pathetic to contemplate the dependence that 
is placed on the skill and ability of the regular practitioner to 
accomplish cures in cases that are oftimes beyond human aid, and 
if it is so at ^ this time when the physician is aided in his work by 
all the modern appliances that scientific investigation has devel- 
oped, , how much more so it was in pioneer times when he had not 
only to cope with disease but with an unhealthful environment 
that tended to tear down his work as rapidly as accomplished. 
Chills and fevers in the early days were great promoters of dis- 
ease, weakening the system and rendering it a vulnerable prey 
to the epidemics that were prevalent each year, and the miasma 
of the swamps was a condition that ever existed, so that the pa- 
tients were only relieved to again become victims of a malady 
produced from this source. Quinine and liver pills were kept in 
every household, and indeed they formed an important part of 
the equipment of the ; pioneer physician, who supplemented their 
use by medicines to allay the fever following the chills. Often- 
times, however, he w T as not sent for until disease had made such 
ravages f that the utmost he could do was to relieve the suffering of 
the lingering patient who was beyond the aid of human skill. 
Doctors were few in those days, and it was not unusual for a 
father to take ,a sick child in his arms and tenderly carry it for 
many miles to consult a physician in regard to its ailment, which 
likely as not was of some virulent type of germ disease. Local 
prejudices, existed then, as now, and who shall say that they were 
not well founded, for faith in the ability of the attending physi- 
cian is a valuable aid to the work of the remedies employed. 
In those days, it was not unusual, in the dark hours of night, 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 379 

to hear the galloping horse of the hurried messenger go speeding 
past, and in the gray of the morning to see, returning home, the 
familiar form of the weary physician who had traveled far in the 
cold or wet, smoothed the pillow of the pain-racked brow or ush- 
ered into the world a new being, in whose life he ever after took 
the interest that can only be engendered by a life-long association 
in a community fraught with human interest. 

To the mother of the household the family physician was re- 
garded as a dependence as indispensable ,as is the check book of 
the modern financier of today, and in her he found a faithful ally 
who in the administration of his remedies expended ,a generous 
share of loving solicitude that inspired the complete confidence of 
the patient. Indeed so keenly alive did she become to the neces- 
sity of coping with disease under adverse circumstances that in her 
wanderings in the fields or woods she t was ever on the lookout for 
roots and herbs to be used for medicinal purposes. Mullein leaves 
were gathered and dried to be smoked for catarrh ; , hoarhound was 
brewed and the tea used for making candy for colds; sassafras 
was made into a tea in the t spring time and the children were in- 
duced to drink it under the representation by the diplomatic 
mother that it was a rare treat, and if the youngster presumed to 
differ from this opinion he was made to drink it anyhow; catnip 
was made into a tea for infants and nervous people, and wild 
cherry bark into a tonic, and sundry other roots and herbs had 
their various uses, known to the careful mother. In every ( neigh- 
borhood it seemed there was some woman who was especially gifted 
in the line of nursing and f who was sent for by neighbors for miles 
around in case of sickness. Many times in the pioneer days a 
messenger would come, often times in the night, setting the dogs 
to barking and startling the household by loud rappings on the 
door, saying, "Mother is sick, Mrs. Blank/' or "baby is sick," 
and "mother wants you to come over right away, " and there never 
was any hesitation in complying with such requests or thought of 
pay for the rendering of such services, and the same excited mes- 
senger who called for the neighborhood nurse went speeding on 
to bring the doctor. 

Paw Paw Physicians 

Van Buren county's first physician according to the best knowl- 
edge obtainable was one Dr. Barrett who located in Paw Paw in 
the summer of 1835. He came from New York. After practicing 
in Paw Paw for three or four years he moved to Kalamazoo, where 
he spent the remaining portion of his life. 

In the fall of 1835 Dr. Levi II. Warner settled in or near Paw 
Paw. Dr. Warner with several others came from New York. After 
following his profession in this county for about twelve years he 
returned to New York. 



380 HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 

Dr. Torrey came to Paw Paw in 1837 practiced several years. 
On account of failing* health he returned East and soon after died. 

Dr. Josiah Andrews from Cayuga county, New York, located at 
Paw Paw in 1838, one of nature's noblemen, representative in state 
legislature in 1846, later associated with Dr. H. C. Clapp and 
with Dr. L. C. Woodman. Was surgeon of the Third Michigan 
Cavalry during the Civil War. Died at Paw Paw in 1886, age 
seventy-five years. 

Dr. John W. Emery came from New Hampshire to Paw Paw 
in 1848, died in 1884, age eighty-six. 

Dr. George Bartholomew practiced in Paw Paw three years. Was 
surgeon of Panama R. R. Co., died in Keeler in 1887, age sixty-six. 

Dr. Wm. B. Hathaway of Jefferson Co., New York located at 
South Haven 1853, came to Paw Paw 1861, practiced quite a num- 
ber of years. 

Dr. Henry C. Clapp, Cayuga Co., New York came to Paw Paw 
in 1842. Studied with Dr. Andrews. Practiced in Paw Paw- 
several years then removed to Chicago. 

Dr. Lucius C. Woodman, was assistant surgeon Third Michigan 
Cavalry and surgeon Eleventh Cavalry in Civil War, an excel- 
lent surgeon and a very fine man. Was partner of Dr. Andrews 
after the close of war. Died 1883, age fifty-five. 

Dr. Leroy R. Dibble practiced in Paw Paw several years ; in the 
early '70s removed to Albion, Mich. 

Dr. Edwin B. Dunning practiced in Paw Paw for quite a num- 
ber of years and until his death was member of the pension ex- 
amining board. Died 1894, age sixty-four. 

Dr. Charles M. O'Dell came to Paw Paw in the early '50s. Died 
in Paw Paw 1895, age eighty-one. 

Dr. Eugene Bitely settled in Paw Paw in 1853 and practiced 
there until his death. Died 1873, age forty-nine. 

Dr. Michael E. Whalen, died in Paw Paw 1895, age thirty-five. 

Dr. Charles S. Maynard practiced in Paw Paw for many years, 
died 1910, age eighty. 

Dr. Geo. Hilton came to Paw Paw in 1883 and in 1887 moved to 
Chicago. 

Dr. L. E. Curtiss, born in Paw Paw, began practice in his home 
town. He removed to Berrien county a few years ago. 

Dr. A. W. Hendryx, homeopathist, practiced in Paw Paw, for a 
few years. Dr. F. T. Roach, a young man, a graduate of the Uni- 
versity of Michigan, began practice here a few years ago, but re- 
moved to Detroit. Dr. Roscoe W. Broughton, another Paw Paw 
born and bred also a graduate of the same institution, began prac- 
tice in his home town, but soon removed to the far west where he 
is now practicing. 



HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY 381 

Dr. Henry Charles began practice here, but recently removed to 
Kalamazoo. 

The resident physicians: Dr. Wilbur F. Hoyt, Dr. J. C. Maxwell, 
Dr. Geo. B. Jackson and Dr. Barnabas *OT>ell, Dr. M. F. Smith, 
Osteopath, Miss L. R. Lofquist, Chiropractic. 

The registered dental surgeons of Paw Paw are: Dr. W. C. Y. 
Ferguson, Dr. 0. E. Lanphear and Dr. Vera Van Fossen. 

Bangor 

Dr. Joel Camp came from New York State to Bangor when it 
was a wilderness, being obliged to go on foot and horseback. He 
was truly a pioneer. Practiced about fifty-five years. Died 1901 
at the age of eighty-five. 

Dr. Jas. E. Ferguson was born in New York State 1824, grad- 
uate of Jefferson Medical College and came to Bangor in 1866 where 
he practiced continuously until his death in 1903. He served two 
terms in the State Legislature. 

Dr. John L. Cross graduated from Cincinnati Medical College in 
1872. He came to Bangor 1877 where he practiced until his death 
in 1883. 

Dr. M. C. Cronin came to Bangor in 1882. He graduated from 
Medical department of Butler University, Indiana, in 1881, and 
built up a very large and renumerative practice in this vicinity. 
He moved to Mt. Clemens, Mich., about 1898 where he still lives 
and has an extensive practice. 

Dr. John R. Giffen, a native of Canada came to Bangor in 1894, 
having graduated from Williamette University the same year. 
He is still practicing his chosen profession in Bangor and stands 
high in the community. 

Dr. N. A. Williams a native of Michigan came to Bangor 1897, 
graduated from University of Michigan 1883. He is still lo- 
cated in Bangor and is one of the leading physicians of the county. 

Dr. E. G. Low came to Bangor from Breedsville about 1904 
and is still in active practice. 

Dr. James Murphy, a native of Ireland, came to Bangor in 1900. 
Dr. Murphy graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 1866. 
He died in Bangor, 1906 at the age of sixty-three. 

Dr. Norman D. Murphy, son of Dr. James Murphy, was born 
in Canada, graduated from University of Michigan 1904, began 
practice in Bangor the same year, and through his integrity 
and skill is enjoying a very renumerative practice and is held 
in high esteem. 

GOBLEVILLE 

Dr. Babbit located in Pine Grove t