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Full text of "Gratiot County, Michigan. Historical, biographical, statistical. Chronicling the events of the first sixty years of the county's existence as the abode of white men; with county, township, city and village matters fully detailed and with miscellaneous events of importance duly and suitably treated; by one who has been a resident of the county nearly half a century"

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Historical, Biographical, 

Chronicling the events of the first Sixty Years of the County's 
Existence as the abode of white men; with County, Town- 
ship, City and Village matters fully detailed, and 
with Miscellaneous Events of importance dul^ 
and suitably treated; by one who has 
been a resident of the County 
nearly half a Century. 



19 13. 


Copyriehted by 


19 13. 


m z< (914 



Inasmuch as "Proem" means about the same as "Preface" and has 
the advantage of being a trifle shorter, I use it here to "preface" a few 
remarks relative to the why and wherefore of this volume. So, to pro- 
ceed at once to business, it seems proper to remark that the book comes 
in response to cpiite a general demand for something that would pass 
for a complete history of the county from the time of its organization to 
the present year of grace. Of course the "demand" became more appar- 
ent and more pronounced after I had called the attention of the people 
to the matter, and had enlarged elocpiently upon the feasil)ility, the merits 
and the desirability of such a work. 

It has been well along toward si.\ years since the matter was first 
suggested ; twice as long a time as it seemed likelv that such an under- 
taking would consume. l!ut no apologies seem necessary for that fact. 
The expense of time and money has been on me and not on the ])atrons. 
If the object had been to get out a book to barely fill the bill, just for 
the sake of the little money there was in the project, the work could 
have been done, somehow, probably in two or three years by employing 
enough help. But the object was to get out something thorough and 
worth while, so as to meet the expectations of those who were encourag- 
ing the project. That being the state of facts, I soon found that, to 
satisfy the people, and myself as well, a long time would be required, 
particularly as it seemed desirable that I should do the work personally, 
and not depend on hired, and consequently uninterested helpers. 

In this connection, and right here, it seems appropriate, and it is 
certainly a pleasure, to put in permanent form the words of encourage- 
ment that sent me on my congenial, though tedious and perplexing mis- 
sion ; also the names of the prominent citizens responsible for them. Of 
course I think, or at least hope, that they will be proud of the fact that 
they encouraged the undertaking. And still the chance exists that after 
they have seen and perused the book, they may feel any wav but proud. 
Here is the document which is in some measure responsible for the work 
now before you : 


Our well-known fellow-citizen, Willard D. Tucker, has made known to us whose 
names are hereto attached, that he has in mind an important project, namely: the 
pul)lication of a reliable, complete and up-to-date history of Gratiot County, with 
full details brought down to date of publication. Realizing that such a work would 
call for an immense amount of research, labor and time, besides the expenditure 
of a considerable amount of money, he deems it wise before positively deciding the 
matter, to get the views of a number of his friends as to the wisdom and feasibility 
of the undertaking: whether or not such a work would be likely to meet a want with 
the people, and whether or not he would be a suitable person to undertake it. 

After getting his ideas in the matter, and an outline of the scope and thorough- 
ness of the proposed work, we feel impelled to say, freely and without hesitation, 
that in our opinion the project is one of especial merit and promise, and therefore 
it meets our hearty approval and commendation. 


Mr. Tucker is well qualified to write of pioneer days for he is something of a 
pioneer himself, having been a resident of the county for the past 41 years. His 
experience and record as a newspaper publisher for 25 years, and his well-known 
ability as a forcible, concise and entertaining writer, commend him as especially 
fitted and equipped for the undertaking; a man also in whom the people can have 
great confidence in a matter of this kind. We are satisfied that if he concludes to go 
forward with the work he will produce a book that will not only be a credit to 
himself, but one of great interest and value to the people of the county for its 
historical merit and also as a convenient and trustworthy book of reference in all 
matters within the scope of its purpose. 


Geo. P. Stone Jno. T. Mathews O. G. Tuttle 

Kelly S. Searl John M. Everden I. S. Seaver 

C. F. Pike I. N. Cowdrey M. R. Salter 

N. Church A. S. Barber J. H. Winton 

W. E. Winton C. G. Graham B. H. Sawyer 

J. Lee Potts Nettie Comstock Henry Read 

A. McCall \. E. Barstow Gaylord Helms 

Silas Moody Wm. T. Pitt D. L. Sharrar 

J. W. Holmes N. J. McCullough D. L. Johnson 

Wm. .\. Bahlke C. L. Delavan Jas. G. Kress 

John T. Swigart Geo. W. Pulfrey T. W. Whitney 

C. J. Chambers C. M. Brown K. P. Peet 

A. B. Darragh John Burns Jas. K. Wright 

C. W. Giddings A. R. Wheeler A. P. Lane 

A peru.sal of the names at tlii.-^ time recalls the Sorrowful realization 
that six of those whose names are attached — Wm. T. Pitt, T. W. Whitnev, 
N. J. McCullough, Wm. E. Winton, A. E. Barstow and B. H. Sawyer- 
have since left the scenes of their earthly labors and have gone to their 
long rest. .\11 of them, dead or alive, and scores of others, have my 
grateful appreciation of their cordial support of the enterprise, from first 
to last, for their interest in the undertaking, and their faith in the "under- 
taker". For disinterested kindness in furnishing information — disinterested 
because he has no interest in the county excepting perhaps in a general, 
or perchance in a political way — thanks are due to Hon. Francis O. Lind- 
quist, member of Congress from this district, and to his courteous private 
secretary, Mr. H. S. Shaw. At a cost of much time and trouble they 
furnished me with a complete list of Gratiot County's postoflfices, big and 
little, from ftrst to last ; also lists of postmasters in their regular order 
for every one of the postofifices, running from the first appointee to the 
last one ; all taken fresh from the official records at Washington. All 
is embodied iti this completed work, and forms an important and interest- 
ing feature for future reference. 

W'hile I do not claim to have put in all of my time on this work 
since it was commenced, I certainly have a realizing sense of the fact 
that I have given it a great amount of time, and have given it the most 
painstaking attention to secure accuracy and completeness in all of the 
multitudinous details involved, and have endured an infinity of perplex- 
ities ; ail of which, however, I belie\-e ha\-e been fully compensated for 
in the production of a work that I am vain enough to believe will be ap- 
proved by the patrons and people generally. 

It was a pet consideration with me in this work, to produce a book, 
the price of which could be kept down within the reach of a large num- 
ber of people, as I much prefer to sell a large number of copies at a 
popular price, rather than a few at a large price. So I adjusted my prices 
to a very low scale, and have adhered to them strictly, and still adhere 
to them, notwithstanding the fact that I ha\e put to the work twice the 
time, and twice the preliminary expense that I expected to, and, notwith- 








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standino- the still more important fact that the charges of the engravers, 
printers^ and binders are fully 50 per cent, greater than I had reason to 
expect. But I have had to modify my ambition as to selling a large 
number of copies beyond the number already subscribed for. These will 
be supplied exactly as agreed, and the price of extra copies will still be 
low but the number of extra copies, on account of the combination of 
adverse circumstances and conditions mentioned, will necessarily be limited 
to a number much below what I had expected to secure. Aside from this 
one drawback. I am pleased to announce the fact, in connection with the 
completion of the work, that the price remains very moderate: a fact 
that will be verv apparent when comparison is made with other local 
histories, and especiallv when compared with the prices and merits of the 
two other Gratiot County books, heretofore produced ; prices running from 
$15.00 to $85.00. Merits may be compared by the reader of these lines; 
I have not the heart to do it. These things are referred to only for the 
purpose of comparison, and not to find fault with another man's work. 

One of the hardest things to do in writing a history of this kind 
when so manv localities, so many people, and so many years have to be 
considered and dealt with, is to keep up a general continuity of subjects, 
times and events. Information and pointers come from so many differ- 
ent sources, covering such a great range of time and referring to so many 
localities, it seems "unavoidable that breaks and jumps and irregularities 
will frequently occur. "Try it yourself" might not be an altogether in- 
appropriate response to anyone unduly critcising along this line. 

The meagerness of some of the old records and the lapse of time that 
has killed ofif so many of the pioneers— almost all of thern in fact— who 
could give information from- personal knowledge and experience, _ have im- 
pelled me to take advantage of the narratives of some of the pioneers as 
presented at pioneer meetings and on- other occasions. No apology is 
needed for this, for they constitute a line of facts and reminiscences strictly 
authentic, because they come from the actual participants in the events 
and experiences of which they treat. One should begin at the beginning 
and read through in regular order, as near as may be, entering into_ the 
spirit of the times written of, and into the spirit of the individual written 
of, living his life with him, and seeing the future as he saw it, by_ the 
eye of faith, and not as you now see it. Only in that way can you fully 
e'njov the reading of history ; local history at least. 

Some of the matters written are based on my own individual knowledge 
and experience. It could hardly be otherwise, considering the fact that I 
have been on the scene, in the body, for a period of forty-seven years. 
For this reason some of the events Avritten of will seem to have a per- 
sonal flavor. It has been the aim, however, to avoid anything like a 
personal coloring in dealing with such matters, and to give the facts 
fairly, though fearlesslv, as the people are entitled to know them. History 
is historv; and good "historv is such as tells facts, regardless. And the 
mere fact that some of the actors may still be living should make but 
little, if any, difference. The Good Book itself is sometimes a httle 
rough on some of its most prominent characters. A history that narrates 
factt is bound to "hit" somebody, sometimes; and the history of a county 
that confined itself to a statement as to boundary lines, the lay of the 
land, the timber, the date of organization and the names of the prominent 
organizers, and didn't go into details, would interest about twenty people, 
and would last the average reader about twenty minutes. The work of 
writing this historv was undertaken for the reason, in a measure, that I 


believed I could scrape up a lot of information relative to the county and 
its people, from the records, from those on the scene and from my nwn 
personal knowledge, that would interest a large proportion of the people, 
and interest them for many years to come. 

A word or two as to contradictions and inconsistencies, real or only 
seeming. There may be a few, and the reader may find them. If he does, 
the best course possible will be for him to strike an average and let it 
go at that. And perhaps the version given may be better than the real 
thing would have been. However, it is believed that there will be but 
little trouble on that score, for, as before stated, no time or expense has 
been spared to secure accuracy. 

A few words as to biographical sketches. Not all of the extra good 
men and women of the county are represented with sketches. It is a safe 
statement, however, that all who do have sketches are among the very 
best of Gratiot County's citizens, and every one of those sketches add 
value to this volume. The absence of certain sketches may be a disap- 
pointment to some. But whatever regrets there are will come mainly 
from those prominent citizens, who. having the opportunity, through false 
modesty, or for small considerations of economy, or thorough procrastination 
failed to take advantage of their opportunities. Through indifference and 
neglect still more reprehensible, quite a large number of meritorious early 
settlers, pioneers who have gone to their reward, after lives of toil and 
hardships endured for the benefit of their families, are deprived of the 
full recognition fairly due them. In such cases, wherever possible, I have 
given them the best "whirl" I could, with the best data available as to 
their lives and achievements, thus making amends as far as possible, for 
the neglect of those who might have been expected to show a little extra 
regard for their memories. The portraits are of prominent people, good and 
appropriate ; and the other illustrations are first class and in keeping with 
the general object and scope of the work. 

Someone said that "the best thing about Mr. Jones is I\Irs. Jones." 
In a general way the same may be said of all women — that the best thing 
about a man is a woman. But the exception comes in when a fellow 
starts out to canvass for book subscriptions. My experience is that in 
such a case the worst thing about a man is the woman. In about nine 
cases in ten, when a man said, "Let's go to the house and see what the 
woman says about it," a dark and dismal shadow seemed to at once settle 
over the landscape. "What do you want of any more books? You don't 
get time to read the weekly papers, let alone books. What does it cost? 
Oh, Henry! And you can get any quantity of books for fifty cents apiece! 
Gimme the money and I'll buy something for the house that we need more 
than we do atlases !" And in some cases I am free to say that I hadn't 
the heart to blame the woman one bit. 

Drawing these remarks tci a close, I desire particularly to impress upon 
the readers mind the fact that the official records given so fullv in this 
volume, may be relied upon for all matters which they purport to cover ; 
and they are given in their regular order. They need not all be read 
seriatim; at least not at the first reading. .And still, some of them, like the 
"Supervisors Doings," covering as they do important features of the organ- 
ization of the county, the location of the county seat, the organization of 
the townships, the appointment of officers, dealing with the "starvation 
period," buying the lands and conducting the County Farm matters, build- 
ing the old log court house, the next court house and the jail, the new 
court lu)use, and a thousand and one other things of interest and import- 


ance, not the least among them being the mention of the hundreds of 
prominent men of the townships, who have made up the membership of the 
board for the past nearly sixty years ; all this will be intensely interesting 
to many if read as a continued story; and valuable to all for reference. 
All this, together with the presidential, state and county elections, supple- 
mented by the township, city and village elections in their appropriate 
places, cannot fail to interest the politician and all others who enjoy matters 
of this ]niblic and official nature. Other features need not he referred to. 
They are there by the score, for perusal. 

\\ithout further remarks this "Proem" ends here, with the earnest 
hope expressed, that the work will fairly meet the approval of all those who 
have honored and flattered me with the confident belief that my years of 
labor and research would result in the production of a reasonably complete 
and trustworthy history of Gratiot County. I would not enjoy, tolerate, 
nor deserve applause. I do not expect adequate compensation for the 
time, money and worry cost of the work. I have worked hard, in my way, 
to satisfv mv friends and mvself, and hope I have succeeded. 

W. D. T. 
Ithaca, Mich., Sent. .=i, 1913. 


Historical, Biographical, Statistical. 


Ill writing and compiling this history of Gratiot County, it seems ex- 
pedient and consistent to give a few of the more prominent details of 
Michigan history. Gratiot County being a part of Michigan, its history, in 
a sense, is co-existent with that of the state. The creation of the contin- 
ent, and its discovery by white men, are subjects very properly left to men 
of talent and of higher educational attainments. But the relation of the 
territory now comprising the state, with the general government of the 
country as matters progressed down to the admission of the state into the 
Union, and in some particulars and along some lines still further, seem to 
be proper subjects for record here, preliminary to the chronicling of a more 
detailed history of the county as a county. 

Following the short department on ^lichiaan as a state, the other de- 
partments and divisions come along, in as plausible sequence as possible, 
but for various reasons the arrangement of subjects and parts of subjects 
have to be somewhat arbitrary. 

With these remarks the reader is left to tackle the matter, with the 
hope that he may be able to assimilate and enjoy, in the perusal, a reason- 
able degree of profit, satisfaction and pleasure. 


Some Facts in its History prior to the Organization 
of the County. 

In giving a few facts relative to the State of Michigan as a whole, 
preliminary to launching forth into a consideration of Gratiot County as 
a county, it will be understood that works on the country and state have 
had to be depended upon for the facts given. Especial credit is due to a 
serial publication issued in the East in 1884, and also to an educational 
publication issued in this state at a more recent date. It is believed that 
every line can be relied on as strictly trustworthy. Some passages are 
quoted verbatim, while in other cases the substance only is given. The 
reader will have no trouble in gleaning a lot of valuable information from 
this department. 

The State of Michigan illustrates in itself almost all the facts and 
peculiarities of physical geography. It has mountains, bluffs, hills, high 
table-lands, rolling prairies, forests, plains, marshes, great sand dunes, sandy 
and rocky shores, and many islands. Brooks, creeks and ri\ers traverse its 
entire territory. Great fresh-water seas and beautiful straits have their 


boundaries broken by capes and peninsulas, large and small. Immense 
bays and charming coves indent its extensive coast line. Thousands upon 
thousands of lakes glisten here and there on its broad surface like diamonds 
in the sun. Its coast line is the longest of any state in the Union, and 
longer than from Maine to Florida. 

The lower peninsula has an approximate width of 200 miles from east 
to west and is about 300 miles in length, its surface gradually rising in 
gentle undulations from both sides toward the center to an elevation which 
in the southern part is from 400 to 600 feet above Lake Huron. In the 
northern part the ordinary height of the central plateau is about 800 feet 
above Lake Huron, and some summit points reach to an elevation of 1,100 
feet. In the middle portion of the upper peninsula a mountainous water- 
shed reaches an altitude of 1,250 feet above Lake Michigan, the hills com- 
monly being 800 to 1,000 feet in height. Lake Michigamme lies at an alti- 
tude of 980 feet. 

The origin of the first occupants of this region is shrouded in mystery. 
Several writers have adopted the theory that they were the descendants 
of the lost tribes of Israel, and they fortify their position with a variety 
of interesting facts. The archives of France contain a lengthy memorial 
written by Cadillac in which he distinctly asserts his belief that the Indians 
are descendants of the Hebrew race, strengthening his argument with 
statements of many remarkable coincidences and customs confirmatory of 
the idea. The researches of Schoolcraft, Prescott, Pickering and others 
mdicate that the first comers were from Asia, that they were driven by 
winds and waves over the Pacific and made their way to Alaska by way of 
the Aleutian Islands or Behring Strait, and from thence southward to 
Mexico and South America, afterward spreading eastward and northward 
over the American continent. 

These theories and speculations may or may not be correct. No 
attempt will be made in this volume to prove or disprove them. 

The name Michigan is derived from tw-o Chippewa words — "Mitchaw," 
meaning great, and "Sagiegan," meaning lake — Great Lake. The latitude 
and longitude of the state is given as follows : Reckoning the southern 
boundary of the state when it strikes Lake Erie as its most southerly point, 
and the north end of Isle Royale in Lake Superior as its most northerly 
point, the state lies between 41 degrees and 44 seconds and 48 degrees 12 
seconds, north latitude. Counting Port Huron as its most eastern point 
and the mouth of Montreal River at the west end of Gogebic County as its 
most westerly point, the state lies between longitude 82 degrees 25 seconds 
and 90 degrees 25 seconds west of Green wicli. 

The Indian tribes that inhabited this region when it first became known 
to history were Pottawatomies and Hurons, whose hunting and fishing 
grounds were mostly in the vicinity of Sault Ste. Marie, and in the eastern 
portion of the lower peninsula; the Chippewas, or, as sometimes called, the 
Ojiblieways, who, with the Ottawas. seem to have lived together peaceably 
in the central and western portion of the peninsula. 

It is probable that one or more Jesuit missionaries visited the present 
site of Detroit as early as 1620. In 1641 Charles Raymbault and Isaac 
Jogues, two of these missionaries, visited the Sault Ste. Marie, and admired 
the wonderful rapids. They found there a camp or settlement of 2,000 
Indians. Though they remained there a few weeks and partook of the 
delicious whitefish which abounded there, they attempted no settlement; 
and it was not until 1608 that .AUouez, Dablon and James Marquette, three 
others of these heroic Jesuit missionaries, founded the Mission of St. Marys, 
at the Sault Ste. Marie. 


In 1671 Father Marquette laid the foundation of a fort at Mackinac 
Island. In 1701 the French commandant Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, 
Lord of Bouagnat and Montdesert, was ordered to Detroit, and under a 
commission of the king, left Montreal with a body of one hundred men, a 
Jesuit missionary and the necessary means for establishing a permanent 
colony. The party reached its destination in July and began a settlement. 

This expedition was preceded by a grand council of Indians at Mon- 
treal, attended with much pomp and ceremony. The Iroquois opposed the 
settlement, but the Algonquin race to which the Michigan tribes belonged 
and which was friendly to the French, favored it, and Cadillac went forward 
and commenced the settlement, building a rude fort. 

The accomplished Jesuit, Pierre F. X. de Charlevoix, was commissioned 
by the king of France in 1721 to visit what is now Michigan. There were 
nine French trading posts established on the shores of the lakes, of which 
those of Sault Ste. Marie, Mackinac and Detroit were the largest. 

In consequence of the great battle on the Heights of Abraham, Sep- 
tember 13, 1759, between Wolfe and Montcalm, the French surrendered to 
the English Crown, on September 8, 1760, the ports at Detroit, Michili- 
mackinac, and all other places remaining in the possession of France ; and 
this surrender was ratified by the Treaty of Paris, February 10, 1763. 

But three months had elapsed after the ratification of this treaty, when 
Pontiac, an able and sagacious chief of the Ottawa tribe, a firm friend of 
the French, united the Indian tribes in a conspiracy for the annihilation of 
the British, and in May, 1763, ordered a simultaneous attack to be made on 
all the nine little forts and trading posts, and the massacre of all the British 
who were there in any capacity. The plan was adroitly carried out and was 
entirely successful in all e.xcept Detroit, where Pontiac commanded in per- 
son. He besieged that settlement for a year, but was finally compelled to 
withdraw by the advance of General Bradstreet with 3,000 troops. Pontiac 
refused to concur in the treaty of peace which followed, but retired to 
Illinois, where he was assassinated by an Indian of another tribe. 

The British re-occupied these forts. The Hudson Bay Company ex- 
tended its operations to Michigan in 1766, establishing one of its most 
important posts at Mackinac. 

The long war, incident to the great struggle for Independence, took 
place altogether outside the limits of Michigan. None of its scenes were 
enacted within her borders. The French and Indians, however, sided against 
the colonies in the struggle, and the posts of Detroit and Mackinac were 
the rendezvous at which were congregated hostile savages, who set out 
in marauding bands to prey upon the white settlements of the East. Arms 
were furnished, and scalps were paid f(ir to such savages as could be induced 
to attack the Americans. 

The peace which followed in 1783, left Michigan within the borders of 
the new nation, and it was claimed by several of the eastern states as 
"crown land," by virtue of grants from the English sovereign. These 
claims, were relinquished, however, in favor of the United States, with the 
view that the sale of the lands would realize a fund that would extinguish 
the debt created by the war. 

Congress became thus possessed of all the lands lying northwest of the 
Ohio River, and in July, 1787, this region was organized under the title of 
the Northwest Territory. General Arthur St. Clair was made the first 
governor. For a long time, however, there was little increase of settlement 
in Michigan, English emnity was directed to fomenting and increasing the 
natural jealousy and hostility of the savages. The Indians resisted settle- 
ment in Michigan, and notwithstanding the fact of its conveyance to the 


United States by the terms of the treaty with the English government, the 
actual and unobstructed possession of the country was not obtained until 
1796. Up to that time British troops were stationed at Detroit and Mackinac, 
and at other points beyond Michigan, to compel, as it was claimed, the ful- 
fillment on the part of the Americans, of the stipulations of the treaty. But 
the undoubted object was, whatever the pretense, to obtain some final 
advantage through the animosity of the Indians against the Americans to 
cripple the development of American industry in the Northwest, and to 
possibly regain a permanent foothold in the country. Every efifort was made 
to unite the northwestern tribes against the Americans. Several great 
councils were convened at Detroit, which were largely attended, and every 
effort was made by the English agents to unite the savages against the 

It is authentically related that Alexander McKenzie, well-known in the 
annals of the extreme northwest through a long period, attended one of these 
meetings of the representatives of a large number of tribes at Detroit. He 
came so well disguised as an Indian as to escape detection, and by his wily 
arguments, aided by other causes, succeeded in inducing the Indians to 
take up arms against the United States. In the war which followed. General 
Harmar, with a force of fourteen hundred men, was defeated near Chilli- 
cothe, Ohio, and many of his men were massacred. General St. Clair, 
governor of the territory, immediately took the field with two thousand 
men. In October, 1792, he was drawn into an ambuscade by the Indians, 
and defeated with great loss. General Anthony Wayne, who succeeded 
him, soon after administered to the Indians a most severe punishment, 
defeating them in battle on the Maumee, destroying their villages and 
establishing important military posts in their country. 

Though this battle was fought in Ohio it had a good effect in breaking 
up the English influence previously exerted on the Michigan Indians. 

When Michigan was finally delivered to the United States it was in- 
cluded in the Northwest Territory. In 1800 this territory was divided into 
two parts, and the eastern portion, which included Michigan, was called 
Indiana Territory. General Wm. Henry Harrison was appointed governor 
of this territory. In 1805 the Indiana Territory was divided into two ter- 
ritories, named Indiana Territory and Michigan Territory. General Wm. 
Hull was appointed governor of Michigan Territory and entered upon his 
duties July 1, 1805. The population of the territory at this time was about 

Open conflict with the Indians under Tecumseh began in 1811 on the 
Wabash, and in the following year, when congress declared war against 
England, they allied themselves with the British forces. At this date the 
total population of Michigan Territory was about 4,860. 

In 1807 General Hull, by a treaty with the Indians, succeeded in making 
the first considerable progress in obtaining an undisputed title to the lands. 
There were about four hundred farms in the territory. The subsistence 
of the peojde was, to a great extent, derived from the forest, as wild game 
existed in alnmdance : and the chief commerce of the towns was the traffic 
in furs. 

The knowledge of the declaration of hostilities — ^War of 1812 — was 
first conveyed to the Michigan posts by their enemies, and was followed 
soon after by their surrender to the British and Indians. Mackinac had 
but a small garrison and was surrounded by a force of one thousand men, 
mainly Indians. Its surrender was demanded, and its commander, Lieu- 
tenant Hoaks, concluding that resistance against so great a force was use- 
less, surrendered. 



General Hull, who commanded at Detroit, after making some offensive 
demonstrations against the British on the Canadian side of the river, re- 
treated to Detroit, and ignominiously capitulated to the British on the 
16th of August. 

In January, 1813, one of the most infamous and blood-thirsty events 
of the war occurred on the River Raisin. The American forces consisting 
of about one thousand men, were defeated after severe fighting, by the 
greatly superior numbers of the British and Indians, and finally surrendered 
to General Proctor, after which the wounded and prisoners were indis- 
criminately massacred. 

The settlements in Michigan and elsewhere on the frontiers were at 
the mercy of the English and their savage allies until Perry's great victory 
on Lake Erie — September 10, 1913 — destroyed the British fleet on the lakes, 
and opened the way for the advance of General Harrison into the Northwest, 
and the restoration of the captured posts to American control. 

Soon after, the utter defeat of the British and Indians under Proctor 
and Tecumseh left Michigan in comparative safety. An unsuccessful 
attempt was made to recapture Mackinac, in which Major Holmes, a gallant 
officer, was killed. The post was surrendered at the close of the war. 

After the fall of Tecumseh, peace was concluded with the Indians — the 
Chippevvas, Pottawatomies, Ottawas and Miamis, and in 1815 peace was 
proclaimed with Great Britain. 

In October, 1813. Colonel — afterward General — Lewis Cass was ap- 
pointed governor of Michigan Territory. General Cass continued as gov- 
ernor for nearly 18 years, and was an important factor in the development 
of the resources of the territory, and later was a figure of national importance 
for many years ; probably standing at the head of Michigan's list of emi- 
nent citizens. 

Michigan was admitted into the Union as a state by act of congress 
January 26, 1837. Previously, for several years a controversy over the 
boundary line between Ohio and Michigan had been in progress. The act 
of congress admitting Michigan gave to the State of Ohio what that state 
contended for, and pacified the people of Michigan by including within its 
boundaries the western portion of the upper peninsula, a section of territory 
that had not previously been reckoned as a part of the Territory of Michigan. 

At the time of the creation of the State of Ohio by congress in 1802, 
the north boundary was fixed as a line due east and west through to the 
southerly extreme of Lake Michigan. When the Ohio constitutional con- 
vention met to frame a state constitution, it was believed that a due east 
and west line from the southern point of Lake Michigan would not intersect 
the head of Lake Erie and include Mauniee Bay, and the convention sought 
to have the boundary so described as that in any event the most northerly 
cape of Maumee Bay would be included in Ohio : but congress refused to 
accept the proposition. When the Territory of Michigan was formed in 
1805, and from that time to the passage of the act admitting the territory 
into the Union as a state in 1837, the line was left undisturbed, and the tract 
of country in dispute was admittedly under the jurisdiction of, and a part 
of the Territory of Michigan. 

The region was not deemed of surpassing value, but Ohio greatly de- 
sired a larger lake coast, and made such a struggle for the strip in question 
that congress, in the law admitting Michigan into the Union insisted that 
assent be given to the claim of Ohio, and, as heretofore stated, soothed the 
feelings of the Michigan people by including within the boundaries of the 
state all of the upper peninsula as we now know it. The territory coveted 
by Ohio and finally secured was a strip about five miles wide at the western 


end and eight miles wide at the eastern end, and was about sixty-six miles 
long, lying along and adjoining the present Counties of Hillsdale, Lenawee 
and Monroe. 

An armed known as the "Toledo war" took place in the 
fall of 1835, over the question of ownership. As heretofore stated, the 
Territory of Michigan had exercised control over the tract from the time 
of the admission of Ohio as a state with an indefinite northern boundary, 
in 1802; or, more strictly, ever since the organization of Michigan as a 
territory in 1805. Early in 1835, however. Governor Lucas, of Ohio, issued 
a proclamation assuming control. At about the same time the Ohio legis- 
lature created the County of Lucas, which included the City of Toledo, 
and provided for holding a session of the Court of Common Pleas at that 
place on September 7th. In anticipation of action of this kind the legislative 
council of the Territory of Michigan had passed an act making it a criminal 
offense punishable by five years" imprisonment and a fine of one thousand 
dollars, for any other than Michigan or the United States to exercise, or 
attempt to exercise, any official authority in the disputed territory. In 
order to enforce this law, on February 19, 1835, Governor Mason of Michi- 
gan wrote to Brigadier-General J. W. Brown of the Michigan militia, direct- 
ing him to prevent any of the officers of Ohio from exercising authority in 
the disputed territory. Following this there were various attempts on the 
part of oiificers of both Ohio and Michigan to exercise jurisdiction, but 
neither side achieved its purpose. 

Finally, on September 6, 1835, Governor Mason and General Brown of 
Michigan, at the head of between 800 and 1,200 men, entered Toledo to 
prevent the holding of a session of court announced for September 7th, and 
as provided for by the Ohio legislature. The judges, however, by agree- 
ment, came together immediately after midnight and held their session of 
court. The proceedings, written on loose sheets of paper were hastily 
deposited in the clerk's hat, and the court then literally took to the woods 
and thus escaped from their pursuers. The holding of that session of court 
gave Ohio a judicial and bloodless victory, and on September 10th, Governor 
Mason and his troops evacuated the city and left the enemy's country. 
And thus ended the "Toledo war." 

The act of congress admitting the state into the L^nion fixed the 
boundaries definitely as follows: "Commencing at a point on the eastern 
boundary line of the State of Indiana, where a direct line drawn from the 
southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the most northerly cape of Maumce 
Bay shall intersect the same, said point being the northwest corner of the 
State of Ohio; thence east with the said boundary line of the State of 
Ohio till it intersects the boundary line between the United States and 
Canada, in Lake Erie ; thence with said boundary line between the United 
States and Canada through the Detroit River, Lake Huron and Lake 
Superior; thence in a direct line through Lake Superior to the mouth of 
Montreal River; thence through the middle of the main channel of the said 
River Montreal to the head waters thereof; thence in a direct line to the 
center of the channel between Middle and South Islands in the Lake of the 
Desert ; thence in a direct line to the southern shore of Lake Brule ; thence 
along said southern shore and down the River Brule to the main channel 
of the Menominee River; thence down the center of the main channel of 
the same to the center of the most usual ship channel of the Green Bay of 
Lake Michigan ; thence through the center of the most usual ship channel 
of the said bay to the middle of Lake Michigan ; thence through the middle 
of Lake Michigan to the northern boundary of the State of Indiana ; thence 
due east with the boundary line of the said State of Indiana to the north- 


east corner thereof, and thence south with the eastern boundary line of 
Indiana to the place of beginning." 

When Michigan was organized as a territory in 1805, its southern 
boundary was a line drawn from the extreme southern point of Lake Michi- 
gan, due east to Lake Erie. When the State of Indiana was organized in 
1816, a slice was taken from the southern part of the Territory of Michigan. 
Later, when Michigan was admitted as a state, the controversy with Ohio 
over the boundary line between that state and Michigan resulted in Michi- 
gan again losing territory along the line, as heretofore narrated consider- 
ably in detail. When admitted into the Union in 1837, Michigan contained 
a population of about 175,000. The area of the state is 56,451 square miles. 

Watershed and Proposed Canals. 

I quote from an early publication relative to the watershed and the 
natural drainage of the lower peninsula, and also of proposed canals across 
the peninsula, one of which, if built, would have been of especial interest 
to Gratiot County : The middle portion of the lower peninsula is charac- 
terized by a depression extending across the state, forming the basin of 
the Saginaw River which flows northeastward into the bay of the same 
name, and that of the Grand River which empties into Lake Michigan after 
a course of over 200 miles. The Saginaw Valley is the lowest portion of 
the state. The site of Saginaw is only eight feet above the level of Lake 
Huron ; that of Midland is twenty feet. The water-parting is here near 
the central line of the peninsula. The highest elevation in this median 
depression which coincides with the courses of the Saginaw and Bad Rivers 
on the east, and the Maple and Grand Rivers on the west, is only 72 feet 
above the lake. North of this transverse depression is the system of the 
Muskegon which issues from the large Houghton and Higgins Lakes, situ- 
ated in a great, lofty plateau in the center of this northern lobe of the 
peninsula, and in its long, southwesterly course drains an extensive region. 
In Crawford and Otsego Counties rise the Manistee, flowing westward into 
Lake Michigan, the Au Sable flowing eastward into Lake Huron, and the 
Thunder Bay, Cheboygan, Boyne, Boardman and other smaller rivers which 
radiate to the north, east and west to join the lakes where they arch around 
the head of the peninsula. 

And again I quote : In the earliest years of the state, during the flush 
times of 1837, the State Board of Internal Improvements not only projected 
\ arious railroads, but also several canals as well. Among the most pre- 
tentious of these was the "Clinton and Kalamazoo," which was to commence 
at Mt. Clemens at the east, cross the state and terminate at the mouth of 
the Kalamazoo River. Detailed estimates for its construction were made 
and considerable money expended, but the canal never went into operation. 

Bad River and Maple River Canal. 

Another canal known as the "Saginaw or Northern canal," to be four- 
teen miles long, was planned to connect the waters of the Saginaw and 
Grand Rivers, but no part of it was completed. This latter canal if carried 
to completion would have traversed the southeast portion of Gratiot County, 
connecting the Bad River which empties into the Saginaw, with the Maple 
which empties into the Grand. 

In a history of Shiawassee and Clinton Counties published in 1880, 
this matter of a canal to cross Gratiot County was treated of considerably 
at length, as follows : 


'Tn the first half of the present century, before the days of railroad 
communication, the people of Michigan, like those of other states, were 
disposed to place an extravagantly high estimate on the importance and 
value of their rivers for purposes of navigation, and to favor bold and often 
visionary projects for the improvement of the streams, in the expectation 
(which was seldom, if ever, realized) of securing great advantages from the 
utilization of these waterways. Such projects were conceived and their 
jjrosecution commenced with regard to the principal rivers of Clinton and 
Shiawassee Counties — the Shiawassee, Grand and Maple, and the improve- 
ment of the latter two was embraced in the internal improvement system 
which was adopted by the state at the regular session of its legislature in 
1837. Section se\en of the Act passed at that session provided. 'That the 
sum of SI 5.000 be and the same is hereby appropriated out of any moneys 
which shall come into the treasury to the credit of the said improvement 
fund, to be applied to the construction of a canal to unite the waters of the 
Saginaw with the navigable waters of the Grand or Maple Rivers, if said 
board of commissioners shall decide that it is practicable to construct a 
canal on said route.' 

"Under the authority conferred by this act the Board of Internal Im- 
provements caused a survey to be made by Tracey McCracken. Chief 
Engineer of the Saginaw and Maple Rivers Canal, and this survey resulted 
in the location and adoption of a route running from the forks of the Bad 
River (a navigable tributary of the Saginaw), westward to the Maple River 
at the "Big Bend" in Gratiot County. The report of the survey was regarded 
as exceedingly favorable, showing the existence of a remarkable valley or 
depression extending westward from the waters of the Saginaw to those of 
the Maple ; and that these waters, flowing in opposite directions, were only 
three miles distant from each other at one point, and that between them 
the highest elevation necessary to be crossed was only sexenty-two feet 
above Lake Michigan. 

"It was along this valley and across this low summit that the engineer 
located the route of the canal, which with certain slack-water improvements 
to be made to the east and west of it, on the Bad, the Maple and the Grand 
Rivers, was to open a line of uninterrupted navigation between Lake Michi- 
gan and Saginaw Bay, and to bring prosperity to all the country contiguous 
to it. 

"Contracts were let for the grubbing and clearing of the route, and for 
the excavations upon a five-mile section on the most difl^icult portion of it. 
the contract for excavating being taken by Norman Little of Saginaw. 
Another part of the work was taken by Alpheus Williams. Work was 
commenced in 1838. and was continued with more or less vigor until July 
of the following year, when it was suspended. The immediate cause of the 
suspension was the inability of the state to pay the monthly estimates of 
the contractor according to the terms of the contract. Most of the work 
required upon one section of the canal, together with the greater part of 
the line under contract was completed, and the re]iort said that there was 
upon the line several thousand feet of jilank and timber intended for the 
locks and dams. 

"The suspension of the work by the contractors in July, 1839, proved 
to be the final abandonment of the construction of the canal as a state work. 
The timbers mentioned, intended for the construction of locks and dams, 
remained to rot on the ground, and the remnants of some of them have 
been visible in recent years in the Township of Chapin, Saginaw County. 
having been left to decay in the place where they were framed nmre than 
40 years ago. 


"The sums expended on the Saginaw and Maple Rivers canal, and which 
were of course a total loss to the state, were as follows: In the year 1838, 
.^6,271.12; in the year 1839, $15,985.69; a total of $22,256.81. 

"Ten years after the abandonment of this canal project by the state, 
the Legislature of Michigan, by act approved March 30, 1849, incorporated 
a company composed of G. D. Williams, Jas. Frazier and D. J. Johnson of 
Saginaw City, Adam C. Roof of Ionia County, Ri.x Robinson of Kent County, 
D. H. Fitzhugh, John F Mackie and Chas. Yates of New York City, as the 
"Saginaw and Grand River Canal Company,' with authority 'to enter upon 
the canal commenced by the state, as their property, at the forks of Bad 
Ki\er, and upon lands on either side, and through which the said canal may 
])ass, to the bend of Maple River, a tributary of Grand River, and so far on 
that river as may lie thought proper; to construct a tow-path and concentrate 
the water for canal use, and to dig, construct or excavate the earth ; to erect 
or set u]> any dams, locks, waste-weirs, sluices, feeders or any other device 
whatsoever to render the same navigable with boats, barges or other craft.' 

"The company was also empowered to make such improvements on 
the Bad, Maple and Grand Rivers as might be necessary to carry out the 
objects for which it was incorporated. The capital stock of the company 
was placed at $200,000, and its charter was to continue for a term of 60 
years. The revival of the project re-awakened hopes that the Maple River 
was at last to become part of a navigable water-way between the two great 
lakes ; but no work was ever done by the company, and finally the enter- 
j.rise was definitely abandoned, never to be again revived." 

In an address delivered at Maple Rapids in December, 1897, Senator 
Elisha Mudge referred to the subject under consideration as follows: "In 
the distant past ages there was a deep and broad depression extending from 
Lake Huron to Lake Michigan, of which Saginaw Bay formed a part. Drift 
deposits indicate its depth as 500 feet. In the drift age this valley was 
filled in from the north, still leaving along its southern border a well-marked 
depression known topographically as the Saginaw Valley. This is the 
lowest and shortest depression across the state, the water-shed being only 
76 feet above the lake level, while the water-shed north and south of this 
depression ranges from 500 to 700 feet. The advantages of this depression 
for a trans-state canal were early understood, and under the internal im- 
provement policy of Governor Mason the construction of such a canal was 
commenced. The waterway at Grand Rapids which affords such immense 
water power, was a part of this proposed canal. Near St. Charles may now 
be seen the remnants of the work done on the eastern portion." 

Detroit remained the capital of Michigan until May 16, 1847, when, by 
act of the legislature the capital was removed to Lansing, that region being 
at that time a wilderness. It is said that at the time the capital was located 
there, the territory composing the present City of Lansing contained but 
line house. The place was first called "Michigan," but at the first session 
of the legislature held in the place, the name "Lansing" was permanently 
adopted. The first capitol liuilding — erected in 1847 — cost $22,500, and was 
used until January, 1879, when the present building, the corner stone of 
which was laid (Dctober 2, 1873, was first occupied. This huildint; cost 
SI, 427,743. It is 345 feet long, 192 feet wide and 267 feet high. 




Under French 

Samuel Champlain. 1622 to 1635. 
M. de Montmagny, 1636 to 1647. 
M. de Aillebout, 1648 to 1650. 
M. de Lauson, 1651 to 1656. 
M. de Aillebout, 1657 to 1658. 
M. de Argenson, 1658 to 1660. 
Baron de Avangour, 1661 to 1663. 
M. de Mesey, 1663 to 1665. 
M. de Courcelles, 1665 to 1672. 
Count de Frontenac, 1689 to 1698. 

Dominion — 

M. (le la Barre, 1682 to 1685. 
M. de Nonville, 1685 to 1689. 
Count de Frontenac, 1689 to 1698. 
M. de Callieres, 1699 to 1703. 
M. de \'andreuil, 1703 to 1725. 
M. de Beauharnois, 1726 to 1747. 
M. de Galissonier, 1747 to 1749. 
M. de la Jonquiere, 1749 to 1752. 
M. du Quesne, 1752 to 1755. 
M. de \'andreuil de Cavagnal, 1755 
to 1763. 

Under British Dominion — 

James Murray, 17(i3 to 17i_i7. Henry Hamilton. 1785 to 1786. 

Guy Carleton, 1768 to 1777. Lord Dorchester, 17S6 to 1796. 
Frederick Haldimand, 1777 to 1785. 

Under U. S. Dominion as part of Northwest Territory — 

Arthur St. Clair, 1756 to 1800. 

As part of Indiana Territory — 
\Vm. Henry Harrison, 1800 to 1805. 

As Michigan Territory- 

Wm. Hull, 1805 to 1813. 
Lewis Cass, 1813 to 1831. 

Geo. B. Porter, 1831 to 1834. 
Stevens T. Mason, 1834 to 1837. 

As a State of the Union- 

Stevens T. Mason, 1837 to 1840. 
Wm. Woodbridge, 1840 to 1841. 
J. Wright Gordon, 1841 to 1842. 
John S. Barry, 1843 to 1845. 
Alpheus Felch, 1846 to 1847. 
Wm. L. Greenly, 1847. 
Epaphroditus Ransom, 1848 to 1849. 
John S. Barry, 1850 to 1851. 
Robert McClelland, 1852 to 1853. 
Andrew Parsons, 1853 to 1854. 
Kinsley S. Bingham, 1855 to 1858. 
Moses Wisner. 1859 to 1860. 
Austin Blair, 1861 to 1864. 
Henry H. Crapo, 1865 to 1868. 

Henry P. Baldwin, 1869 to 1872. 
John J. Bagley, 1873 to 1876. 
Chas. M. Croswell, 1877 to 1880. 
David H. Jerome, 1881 to 1882. 
Josiah W. Begole, 1883 to 1884. 
Russell A. Alger, 1S85 to 1886. 
Cyrus G. Luce, 1887 to 1890. 
Edwin B. Winans, 1891 to 1892. 
John T. Rich, 1893 to 1896. 
Hazen S. Pingree, 1897 to 1900. 
Aaron T. Bliss, 1901 to 1904. 
Fred M. Warner, 1905 to 1910. 
Chase S. Osborne, 1911 to 1912. 
Woodbridge N. Ferris, 1913 



Geo. Washington, 1789-1797; two terms. 

John Adams, 1797-1801; one term. 

Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809; two terms. 

James Madison, 1809-1817; two terms. 

James Monroe, 1817-1825 ; two terms. 

John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829; one term. 

Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837; two terms. 

Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841 ; one term. 

Wm. Henry Harrison, 1841 ; one month. 

John Tyler, 1841-1845 ; one term, less one month. 

James K. Polk, 1845-1849; one term. 

Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850; one year, four months. 

Millard Filmore, 1850-1853; two years, eight months. 

Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857; one term. 

James Buchanan, 1857-1861 ; one term. 

Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865; one term, one month. 

Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869 ; one term, less one month. 

Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877 ; two terms. 

Rutherford B. Hayes, 1877-1881 ; one term. 

James A. Garfield, 1881 ; six and one-half months. 

Chester A. Arthur, 1881-1885 ; three years, five and one-half months. 

Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889; one term. 

Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893 ; one term. 

Grover Cleveland. 1893-18'^'7; one term. 

Wm. McKinley, 1897-1'.01 ; one term, six months. 

Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909; two terms, less six months. 

Wm. H. Taft, 1900-1913; one term. 

Wo.idrow \\'ilson, 1913 

Considered as a Whole ; Also much in Detail. 

In the settlement of a new cuuntry it is noticeable that the first ventures 
are made along the navigable waters — the ocean, the lakes and the larger 
rivers. This is easy of explanation. The waters furnish comparatively free 
and unobstructed navigation to the projected settlement or home, and as 
free and unobstructed egress to the outside world. Referring to the early 
settlements in our own state it is seen that they were made along the 
shores of the great lakes, their bays and connecting straits, and the larger 
rivers flowing into them. The settling of Detroit, Port Huron, Saginaw. 
Bay City on the east, and of many towns on the west at an early day, 
furnishes ample proof of the proposition, when considered in connection 
with the many years that elajised before the central portions of the state 
were occupied. 

Gratiot County is located \ery close to the geographical center of the 
lower peninsula of Michigan. Just a mere glance at the map of the state 
shows that to be a fact; and the same glance shows that the county is 
far removed from the navigaljle waters of the state. So. the settlement 
of the county was delayed until much of the more accessible portions of 
the state were occupied, and had been brought under subjection to the 
will and the efforts of those seeking new homes. 

Other forces that helped to delay the settlement of the central portion 
of the state were the terribly misleading reports as to the horrible con- 
ditions existing in the interior of the state. It has been charged that 
there was concerted action on the part of the early Indian traders, to 
give the countr\- a bad name, thereby discouraging settlement, and thus 
prolonged their lucrative business among the aborigines. 

Bad Impressions of the Country. 

lu'aring up<m this (.|uestion — the bad impression relative to conditions 
in central Alichigan — I c|uote from the History of Shiawassee and Clinton 
Counties, issi-ed in 1880: "It is well to refer to a few facts that help to 
make it tolerably clear why the lower peninsula was for so many years 
believed to be a land unfit for white men's occu])ancy, and how it came 
to be so regarded. The earliest, as it was also tlie most extreme, among 
the unfavorable notices of the lands forming the lower peninsula, is found in 
the writings of the French Baron La Houtan, who passed up through the 
Detroit River, and the Lake and Ri\er St. Clair, in 1686, and who, judging of 
the whole country from the glimpses of the swampy lands bordering the lakes 
and rivers, chronicled his opinion that the entire region was truly 'the fag-end 
of the world.' So contemptuous an expression from such a distinguished 
man and extensive trader could not fail to have its effect on the minds 
of the people of that day, and it was, perhaps, the beginning of the 
opinion which afterward became well-nigh universal, and which continued 
for more than a century and a quarter, that Michigan was but another 
name for a countrv of morasses, irreclaimable swamps and barren sand- 

"in the year 1812 an act was jKtssed b\' congress recjuiring that two 
milliims acres of land in each of the (then) territories, should be sur- 


ve_yed and set apart as military tracts, out of which each soldier serving 
in the armies of the United States, in the war then in progress with Eng- 
land, should be entitled to receive one hundred and sixty acres of land 
fit for cultivation. Under this act surveys were made; but, while en- 
gaged in the work, the surveyors seem to have formed an iilea of the 
country similar to that expressed by La Houtan, and to ha\e imparted their 
opinion to the surveyor-general, as may iDe inferred from the following 
extract from his report, made November 13, 181. t. and having reference to 
the Michigan survey: 

" 'The country on the boundary line from the mijuth of the Au (^laize 
River, the point where the principal meridian of Michigan starts, run- 
ning thence north, and, being continued, is identical with the east boun- 
dary line of Gratiot County, and running thence for fifty miles, is, with 
some few exce])tions, low, wet land, with a very thick growth of under- 
brush, intermixed with very bad marshes, but generally very heavilv tim- 
bered with beech, Cottonwood, oak, etc.; thence continuing north the num- 
ber and extent of the svvamps increase, with the addition of numbers of 
lakes from twenty chains to two and three miles across. Many of these 
lakes have extensive marshes adjoining their margins, sometimes covered 
with a species of pine called tamarack, and other places covered with a 
coarse, high grass, and uniformly covered from six inches to three feet, 
(and more at times) with water. The margins of these lakes are not the 
only places where swamiis are found, for they are interspersed throughout 
the whole country and filled with water, as above stated, and varying in 

" 'The intermediate space l^etween the swamps and lakes — which is 
|)robably near one-half of the country — is, with verv few exceptions, a 
poor, barren, sandy land, on which scarcely any vegetation grows except 
\ery small, scrubby oaks. In many places that part which may be called 
dry land is composed of little, short sand-hills, forming a kind of deep 
basins, tlie bottoms of many of which are composed of marsh similar to 
the aljove described. The streams are generally narrow and very deep 
compared with their width, the shores and bottoms of which are, with few 
exceptions, swampy beyond description, and it is with the utmost difficulty 
that a place can be found over which horses can be conveyed in safety. 
" 'A circumstance peculiar to that country is exhibited in many of the 
marshes by their being thinly covered with a sward of grass, by walking 
on which evinces the existence of water or a very thin mud immediately 
under their covering, which sinks from six to eighteen inches under the 
pressure of the foot at every step, and at the same time rises before and 
1)ehind the person passing over it. The margins of many of the lakes 
and streams are in similar situation, and in many places are literally 
afloat. On approaching the eastern part of the military land, toward the 
private claims on the straits and lake, the country does not contain so 
many swamps and lakes, but the extreme sterility and barrenness of the 
soil continue the same. Taking the country altogether, so far as it has 
been explored, and to all appearances, together with information received 
concerning the balance, it is so bad that there would not be more than 
one acre out of a hundred, if there would l)e one out of a thousand, that 
would in any case admit of cultivation.' " 

\\'ell ! What can be said if such a description of central Michigan ? 
It was not of a kind to encourage early settlement, to say the least. Any 
dense forest or wilderness country presents formidable discouragements to 
those contemplating settlement, particularly when worldly wealth is lack- 
ing. Hut such an outhiok as that presented above would necessarily be 
absoluteh- prohibitive. 



Nearer the Real Facts. 

r>ut, getting down to facts as they really existed, and to a considera- 
tion of the first settlement of Gratiot County, it is not necessary to exag- 
gerate the drawbacks in order to show that there was much to contend 
with, and much to discourage the pioneer, no matter how ambitious, ener- 
getic and persevering his nature and disposition might be. 

It is difficult for a person who has never seen much of the woods, to 
fully appreciate what this county looked like before its territory was in- 
vaded by the first pioneers. In order to see it as it was, the imagina- 
tion must create a vast forest with not a tree missing, twenty-four miles 
square, without a break in the nature of a cleared spot, a human habita- 
tion or a road. This much for the twenty-four miles square, to say noth- 
ing of the great forest stretches practically on all sides of it. Part of 
this forest land was high and moderately rolling, with heavy timber tower- 
ing liigh. Other parts were lower and comparatively level, and covered 
with a dense growtli of timber, and with an undergrowth that was al- 
most impenetrable even to the wild animals. Other parts — a small per- 
centage, however — was just plain swamp that no man could traverse ex- 
cept when it was frozen hard in winter, and which no man would want to 
traverse if he could. 

In a flight of fancy, if one could imagine an aviator coming along over 
Gratiot County at that time, a thousand or two thousand feet high, and 
looking for a place to alight! 

Or imagine yourself set down in the jungle about where the court 
house now stands, with a ten thousand dollar automobile, and told that 
the machine would be yours if you could get it outside of the county by 
its own motive power inside of a month. It would have taken a miracle 
to get you out in three months. 

If these flashes of near-nonsense can aid you in grasping and appre- 
ciating what the country was like sixty years ago. they will have served 
their purpose, and will be forgiven. 




The isolation of the county was aided and intensified by the fact of 
the Maple river meandering and soaking along the southern border. A 
stream that was so slow and sluggish, in the main, that it was said a 
heavy dew would back up its waters, covering and rendering impassable 
and unnavigable and comparatively worthless, hundreds of acres of the low 
lands along its course. It took inducements to get people to settle a tract 
of country back of such a barrier. 

The County Was Named. 

Gratiot County, like other parts of Michigan, was the home of the 
Chippewa Indians and of wild animals, in an early day. The county was 
created by an act of the territorial legislature in 1831. and was named 
after General Charles Gratiot, an officer in the army of General William 
Henry Harrison, in the war of 1812. 

The act of the territorial legislature of 1831, approved March 2nd of 
that year, which defined the location and boundaries of the tract of terri- 
tory to be named "Gratiot", also fixed the bounds, dimensions and boun- 
dary lines of many other counties in central Michigan. The particular 
section dealing with Gratiot County reads as follows : 

"That the country included within the following limits, to-wit : West 
of the meridian, east of the line between ranges four and five west, south 
of the line between townships twelve and thirteen, and north of the line 
between townships eight and nine north of the base line, containing six- 
teen townships, he and the same is set off into a separate county by the 
name of Gratiot." 

At the time of the creation and naming of the county. General Chas. 
Gratiot was an inspector at West Point. 

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography gives Chas. Gratiot's 
record as follows : 

"Charles Gratiot, soldier, born in Missouri in 178S, died in St. Louis, Missouri, 
May 18, 1855. He was graduated at the United States Military Academy in 1806, 
and entered the Army as Second Lieutenant of Engineers. He was appointed Captain 
in 1808, and served with distinction in the war with 
Great Britain as Chief Engineer of Harrison's Army 
in 1813-14, and was brevetted Colonel. He was en- 
gaged in the defence of Fort Meigs in 1813 and in 
the attack on Fort Mackinac in 1814. In 1815 he 
was appointed Major of Engineers, and superin- 
tended the fortifications on the Delaware River, and 
subsequently those in Hampton Roads, Virginia. 
He became Lieutenant-Colonel in 1819, and Colonel 
and principal engineer in charge of the Engineer 
Bureau of Washington, D. C, in 1828. He was 
brevetted Brigadier-General May 24, 1838, and ap- 
pointed to be Inspector of West Point, which office 
he held until December, 1838, when he was dis- 
missed by the President for having failed to pay 
into the treasury certain balances of money placed 
in his hands for public purposes. After holding a 
clerkship in the land office in Washington from 1840 
till 1855, he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he 
died in destitute circumstances. Fort Gratiot, on 
the St. Clair River, Michigan, and the villages of 
Gratiot, in Michigan and Wisconsin, were named 
in his honor." 



Such is the brief history of the man after whom our county was named. 
In the main he seems to have been an energetic and patriotic citizen who 
fought for his country and held many honorable ])ositions in his cnuntrv's 
service. A little delinquency seems to have been charged up in the his- 
tory of his career, but it is easy to believe that it was a small affair, and 
that perhaps personal needs in his old age overcame his honest and hon- 
orable principles and impulses. The closing paragraph, that he "died in 
destitute circumstances" would fairly indicate that he had nut laid up 
wealth at his country's expense. 

It is worthy of being mentioned, also, that his death, "in destitute cir- 
cumstances," occurred about the time, or just pre\ious to the time, that 
the pioneers in his namesake county were suffering, or were about to 
sufifer, in large measure, the inconveniences of "destitute circumstances." 

The County of Gratiot is square in form, being twenty-four miles each 
way, more or less. As surveyed, created and organized, it contained six- 
teen townships, six by six miles square. In 1881 the legislature created a 
seventeenth township from parts of four of the original townships. This 
new township — Ithaca — occupies a position in the exact center of the 
county. It is treated nf in detail in its appropriate place, and does not, 
as a township, enter into the calculations or remarks bearing upon the 
size or shape of the county, or into the county's historv previous to 1881. 

Reference to a map of ^lichigan shows that Gratiot County occupies a 
position almost exactly in the center of the lower peninsula of the state. 
Perhaps there is no particular merit in that fact, but it helps to locate it 
definitely, and anyone bearing in mind the peculiar shape of the lower 
peninsula — like an old mitten, with the thumb extended and clearlv de- 
fined — can readily see it with his minds eye without further direction. 
Instead of there being merit or advantage in its central location, with refer- 
ence to the state at large, there probably is no doubt, as heretofore men- 
tioned, that its location delayed its settlement by many years. 

The county is still more definitely located by "bounding." It is 
bounded on the north by Isabella and Midland Counties, east by Saginaw 
County, south by Clinton County, and west by Montcalm County. Its area 
in acres is 364,633. \\'ere the sections all full the number of acres would 
be 368.6-10: a diflference of 4,007 acres. The cause of the shortage, as 
is more fully explained elsewhere, is on account of the inevitable exiy;encies 
incident to the application of the surveyors art in the laying out of north 
and south lines, etc., etc. : all of which will be clear to some, but will 
be clear to all when read in connection with a more free and full explana- 
tion found elsewhere in this volume, in the section treating of surveys. 
meridian lines, base lines, correction lines, etc. 

The surface of the county runs all the way trnm moderatelv high and 
undulating, to moderately low and level, and on down to marsh and swamp. 
The soil is of all grades from the heaviest and richest down through the 
grades to muck or to clean sand. The higher and rolling lands were the 
first settled, generally speaking, for the evident reason that they were more 
readily accessible in all seasons of the year; the lower and more level 
tracts, of course, being too wet during a great share of the year, for 
profitable or even for possible occupancy ; and the swamps were simply 
impossible in every sense of the word, for man or beast. 

It must not be forgotten that these remarks refer only to conditions 
as tiiey were before and at the time when the pioneers began to pitch 


their tents within Gratiot's borders. All is greatly changed now. Time 
and pensevering effort have slowly but surely got in their work; and the 
Gratiot of today bears but a slight resemblance to the Gratiot of, say. 18.^4. 
or even of the Gratiot of twelve years later, when I first set foot upon 
her soil ; the last-mentioned date forty-seven years back in the dim and 
misty past. The pioneers and their successors have little by little changed 
the uninviting conditions, until, t<i use an expression heard every day and 
on every hand, with variations, "the county ranks with the very best in the 

T said the changes have come "slowly" and "little by little." To those 
obser\-ers who have been on the ground and watched the progress of im- 
provements from day to day and from month to month, the work has 
seemed slow and the time long. \'iewed, however, as a lump sum of 
changes and improvements, comjiaring the county as it was sixty or fifty, 
or even forty years ago with what it is today, setting the two views side 
by side, as it were — a proceeding easy of accomplishment only to the old 
settler — then is when the stupenduous changes wrought are brought clearly 
to view, and can be fully comprehended and appreciated. 

When taken possession of by civilization more than half a century ago, 
Gratiot County's forests were made up of a great variety of timber, as may 
naturally be supposed. The bulk of the timber on the undulating lands 
consisted of beech, hard ma])le, soft maple, white, black and red oak. 
some hickory, some cherrw some black-walnut, some scattering pine and 
some small patches of pine. On the flat lands abounded and flourished the 
elm of different kinds, ash of all kinds, soft maple, birch, oak. In the 
swamps, some of those already mentioned, and in addition tamarack and 
cedar; also every variety and style of undergrowth known to man — brush, 
shrubs, cat-tails, flags, and all grades of all the different kinds of aggravat- 
ing, clinging, trailing, tearing, ripping vines and grasses mentioned in his- 
tory or tradition, and then more kinds. In the west part of the county 
were some sections of the finest and most perfect pines to be found any- 
where. The sand)', but now comparatively fertile hills of Sumner and Se- 
ville Townships were the home of the famous pine forests of early Gratiot. 
Some of the flat and sandy lands of Hamilton and Elba Townships on 
the east side of the county were densely covered with pine forests that 
brought wealth to some of the early exploiters. 

Gratiot County has no large bodies of water within its borders, nor 
contiguous to it. And it has but few small lakes ; hardly one worthy of 
mention. In running water it is much better off. Its most pretentious 
stream is Pine River, in the north and west part of the county. It traverses 
Seville, Sumner, Arcada, Pine River and Bethany Townships, co\'ering a 
course of about thirty miles in length, reckoned by the sections it crosses, 
and probably twice that distance following the actual convolutions of the 
river bed. It furnishes a constant supply of water for the Cities of St. 
Louis and Alma, and the Milages of Sumner, Elm Hall and Riverdale. 

Maple River is the next stream in importance, taking a course along the 
southern part of the county, through Elba. Washington and Fulton Town- 
ships. It occupies space about twenty miles in length, and by the actual 
channel probably thirty miles. 

Pine Creek, the next stream in point of importance, flows soutliward 
through Newark and Fulton, and empties into the Maple. 




In the early days and along- for many years there were other Miiall 
streams and water courses, but they may now be more plausibly termed 
big ditches, and outlets for the vast system of drainasje that has been 
established in the county during the years that have brought the county up 
to Its present advanced state as a reasonably well-drained county. In the 
wet terms of fall and spring, and in case of heavy or long-continued rains 
at any time, these water courses assume the size and character of good 
sized creeks or even rivers. In the dry season, however, their waters dis- 
appear, or are reduced to insignificant proportions. Among the water 
courses of this class may be mentioned Bush Creek in Bethany- Bear Creek 
m Emerson. Lafayette and \\-heeler; Bad River in North .Star. Hamilton 
and Lafayette, and others of less importance, tributary to Maple and IMne 

As to Who was First. 

It probably never will be known who was the first white man to set 
his foot on Gratiot County .soil. It is nut e.-^sential ; only as a matter of 
curiosity it would be very interesting to know, and fully 'as interesting to 
know his descendants of the present time if there are any. The first 
visitors to central Michigan, as is pretty well known, were Indian traders; 
men seeking for valuable furs among the Indians. Their identity is un- 
known, and their numbers and the date of their coming are only matters 
of speculation and guesswork. 

The first visitor to Gratiot who left a record that mav be considered 
fairly authentic was William A. McOmber. The following events in the 
career of Mr. McOmber are culled from his biographical sketch in the 
"Portrait and Biographical Album of Gratiot County", published in 1884 
by Chapman Brothers, of Chicago. The sketch ought to be, and doubtless 
IS correct, as Mr. McOmber was a resident of St." Louis at the time, and 
the facts were doubtless gleaned from him personally : 


"W'm. A. McOml)er. of the firm of M. \'. Smith &: Co., real estate, loan 
and insurance agents, St. Louis, was born in Saratoga, N. Y., July 15, 1812. 
He is a son of Pardon and Eunice McOmber, and is the youngest of six 
children born to his parents. His father was born July 6, 1777, and" was a 
native of the Empire State. He died December 23, ISfiO in Gaines, Orleans 

"Air. McOmber was educated with considerable care and attended the 
academy at Gaines until he was sixteen years old. In 1829 he went to 
Lockport, N. Y., where he conducted a stage route about three years. He 
came to Michigan in its territorial days, reaching here October 10, 1832. 
He came at once to Gratiot County and found the county covered with the 
primeval forest, and populated by Indians. He remained but a short time 
and returned ti> his native state, passing the succeeding several years in 
or near Lockport. 

"In 1840 he came to Adrian, Michigan, and there he began the fur 
trade with the Indians, in the interests of the American Fur Company, 
which he carried on extensively for some years, gradually extending his 
field, and operating from various points. He established trading posts 
at Adrian, Jackson and DeWitt. In 1851 he rented the old Lansing House, 
in Lansing, conducting it two years, and then became clerk in the office 
of Auditor General John Swegles. There he remained about two years, 
and then, in 1834, he went to St. Johns, reaching there during the time 
the village plat was being surveyed. He was still in the employ of Gen- 
eral Swegles, who was one of the founders of the village and had a store 
there. He remained with ]\Ir. Swegles about a year, after which he con- 
ducted a hotel — the Gardner House — for a time. The history of Clinton 
County, issued in 1880, mentions the fact of the hotel being turned over 
to Mr. McOmber, and adds this relative to the hotel : 'It was not much of 
a tavern, according to reports, but it doubtless served its purpose. John 
Hicks says he took dinner there in 1836, and remembers that rain was fall- 
ing inside as well as outside, and that the guests at dinner had to move 
from place to place to avoid the rain-drops as they came freely and 
copiously into the dining room.' Afterward Mr. McOmber was 
engaged in the Indian trade several years in St. Johns, in company with 
David Sturgis. He afterward went to the oil regions of Pennsylvania. In 
1868 he returned to St. Johns, and in 1870 he came to St, Louis, this 
county, and engaged in the real estate business." 

He served one year — 1874 — as township clerk of Pine River. In 1873 
he was a leader in the formation of the Michigan Central Lfnion Fair 
Association, and was its first secretary. The association purchased seventy- 
five acres of land for fair purposes between Alma and St. Louis, fenced it, 
put up buildings and constructed a mile track. Several very successful 
fairs were held on the grounds; then a few more not so successful, after 
which the association and its fairs "woodbined." Mr. McOmber was genial 
and agreeable in his nature and manner; impulsive, hopeful and extremely 
ootimistic regarding any project in which he .was interested. The great 
success of the first Union fair fairly raised him to the seventh heaven in 
transports of joy, to use an expression more truthful and appropriate than 
sensible. In his exuberance he proohesied seriously, to this writer, that 
within two years he would have the state fair held on those very grounds. 
This fact is mentioned merely to illustrate his unbounded optimism. 

Mr. McOmber married a lady named Ann E. Gardner, near St, Johns. 
Their daughter, Lena E. was married to Thomas P. Potts. Their son, 
Charles H., was a traveling salesman. None of his family ever lived with 
him in Gratiot County. He died September. 1891, in the Gratiot County 
Home, where he had been only a week, aged 79. The storv of "Mac's" life, 
if written nut in all its details, would read like a wild romance. 


The First Permanent Settler. 

By a great preponderance of evidence it is clearl}- shown tliat Arnold 
Payne was the first white man to locate in Gratiot County with the view 
of making it his permanent home. He settled with his family in the winter 
of 1846. on section 31, town 9 north, 3 west. The township was afterward 
named Fulton. At that time no township in Gratiot County had a name, 
and, as there were no white people within its borders, there was no need 
of local laws, rules or regulations, governing any part of the county. 
A\"hether or not the fact of Arnold Payne's settling in the county had any- 
thing to do with it, records and traditions fail to say, but certain it is 
that at the session of the state legislature commencing January, 1847, only 
a few weeks after the arrival of Mr. Payne in the county, an act was passed, 
a])])roved March 16, 1847, providing "that all the territory designated by the 
United States survey as townships 9 and 10 north, range 2 west," (Wash- 
ington and North Star) be, and the same is hereby attached to the Town- 
ship of Greenbush, in the County of Clinton." In like manner the act at- 
tached township 9 north, range 3 west, (Fulton) to the Township of Essex, 
Clinton County: also townships 9 and 10 north, range 4 west. (North Shade 
and New Haven) to the Township of Lebanon, Clinton County. 

A year later — March, 1848 — an act was passed attaching townships 9 
and 10 north, range 1 west. (Elba and Hamilton) to Duplain Township, 
Clinton County : and the same act reached out and took in township 10 
north, range 3 west, (Newark) and attached it to Essex townshi]:), Clinton 

Quoting again from the history heretofore mentioned: On the 12th 
of October, 18.^3, the board of supervisors of Clinton County, in the exer- 
cise of powers conferred on such boards by the state constitution of 1850. 
set oflf the two townships that had been attached to Lebanon, and erected 
the southernmost of the two into the Township of North Shade, attaching 
the other one (New Haven) to it. After the organization of North Shade, 
its supervisor, Henry Lane, met regularly with the supervisors of Clinton 
County, and acted with them as a member of the board. Some of the other 
Gratiot townships w-ere set ofif and organized by the Clinton board of 
supervisors in 18.55. but these supervisors never met with the Clinton 
board, for the reason that the organization of Gratiot County was ordered 
by the legislature in an act approved February 3, 1855. the first election 
of county officers to occur in the following Noven!l)er, and they to take 
their offices in January, 1856. 

P>ut to return to the first permanent settler, .\rnold Payne. .\s stated, 
he settled on section 31, town 9 north, 3 west, a township not yet named, 
but afterward called Fulton. The following short sketch of Arnold Payne 
and his family is taken from the "Portrait and Biographical Album," pub- 
lished in 1884: "Arnold Payne was a native of Rhode Island. His wife, 
Loana (Parker) Payne, was born in the State of New York. They settled, 
after marriage, in the Empire State, and in 1832 came to Washtenaw, Mich- 
igan. After a residence there of about four years, they removed to Livings- 
ton County and thence to Ingham County. In the winter of 1846, .\rnold 
Payne, with his wife and thirteen children, came to Gratiot County and 
took up a large tract of land on section 31, Fulton. He set about clearing 
his land, and built a log house. On this place he lived until his death. 
November 24, 1879. Hi's first wife died February 25. 1850. In 1853 he 
was again married, to Mrs. Mary (Bussell) Dickerman, who died .\ugust 
31, 1865. Mr. Payne owned, at the time of his death, 120 acres in Fulton 
Township — the old homestead. 


"The familv of thirteen children, eight of whom survive, are as fol- 
lows: Abigail, James L., Day and Dwight, (twins) Eliza, David H., Albert 
B. and Thomas R. The deceased are. Alma, Lucy. Alary. Perry and 

Arnold Payne's house was for several years the hospitable stopping 
place for all those intent on settling, or even passing that way on prospect- 
ing trips. 

It seems to be a conceded and settled fact that the ne.xt permanent 
settlers were three brothers, named Fulton — Robert, James R., and N. P.. 
They located in Fulton in 1847, and the township was named in their 
honor. Nelson Johnson came at about the same time as the Fultons. 

In 1847 settlement was made in North Shade Township by Wm. Avery, 
and Jt)hn Sturgis followed soon after, and Geo. E. Walker, Roman Fyler 
and others were not far behind. In 1853 and '.^4 quite a numlser passed 
on north and settled on Pine River, at or near where the Cities of St. 
Louis and Alma are now situated, and from that time on settlers increased 
vapidly in numbers. 

The Bethany German-Lutheran Mission. 

It may not be deemed inappropriate to give in this connection a short 
history of the Bethany German-Lutheran Alission established two miles 
down Pine River from St. Louis, inasmuch as it was an early and import- 
ant institution in the county, the northern objective point of the old Indian 
trail running from Maple Rapids. It was locally known as the "Indian 
Mission", or perhaps more commonly as "Indiantown." The "Bethany 
Mission" was really its legitimate name. When town 12 north, range 2. 
west was organized, the name "Bethany" was ready for it, and an appro- 
priate name it was. 

For a connected account of the founding of Bethany Mission, and in- 
teresting information as to its operations and of its final ending. I am 
indebted to an article on the subject prepared by Mrs. John W. Doane, of 
Mt. Pleasant, and which was printed in a St. Louis paper in 1?00. Mrs 
Doane is an old resident of Pine River Township, a daughter of the late 
Julius Mey, who was one of Pine River's earliest settlers, having purchased 
the farm on which he spent the remainder of his life, in November, 1853. 
A portion of the article is given verbatim, while the substance, only, of 
other portions is given : 

About two miles down the river from St. Louis, in a small cemetery 
with a few lonely graves and a small monument, are all that is left in 
remembrance of Bethany Mission, which, fifty-two years ago — 1848 — was 
founded and supported liy the Mission Society in Germany: and for which 
they offered as many fervent prayers and spent as much money as for 
any of their missions in the East Indies. 

The history of all missions is a sad one, and especially sad is the his- 
tory of those who endured all the trials and privations, who left nothing 
undone that could be done, but nexer accomplished that for which they 

Between the years 1840 and 1850 the Rev. W. Loehe, of Bavaria, Ger- 
many, worked with great zeal for the Lutheran Church in North America, 
educating and preparing young men for the ministry and sending them 
across the Atlantic for the building \\\t of the Lutheran Church in the 
western countr}'. During this time he sent four large colonies of Luth- 
eran people to this country, with instructions to settle in Saginaw and 


adjoining counties in Michigan. These people came from Franconia, Ger- 
many, and the four colonies were named Frankenmuth, Frankenhelt. Frank- 
entrost and Frankenlust. Each of these colonies was accompanied by a 
minister who was to be their spiritnal guide and advisor. 

Rev. Craemer, of the Frankenmuth colony, was especially instructed to 
open a mission among the Chippewa Indians. He accordingly opened a 
school for the Indians, instructing the children and at the same time 
preaching to the adults. And he soon found that he. had more to do than 
it was possible for him to accomplish. So he sent an urgent call for an 
assistant, to the Mission Society which then had its headquarters at Dres- 
den. The request was granted and Rev. Bairlein was ordained and sent 
in 1847. He assisted in the work at Frankenmuth and visited Indian tribes 
in the adjoining counties: and his work was not in vain, for soon there 
came a "^lacedonian cry" from a lonely place on Pine River, 65 miles from 

The missionaries soon found that it was necessary to found a new 
mission, and in 1848 the first mission was established in Gratiot County. 
The first log house was erected under the missionary's direction on a 
splendid location on the west side of Pine River, at a place called bj- the 
Indians Shing-wa-kaus-king, (a. place of small pine trees). To this new 
mission station was given the name Bethany. Soon after the building of 
the first log house, a second was attached to the first one, to serve as a 
temporary school house. When this was finished a log building with a 
steeple was erected for divine services. 

This field of labor was placed under the care of Missionary Bairlein 
whii worked hard and w-ith untiring zeal for the conversion of the Indians. 

In 1851, Missionary Bairlein needed assistance in his work, so he sent 
an urgent request to the parent society in Germany for one of their pupils. 
The society acquiesced, and sent Rev. E. G. H. Meissler. What a change 
for a student to leave a home in a beautiful city, with all its advantages, 
for life in such a wilderness ! 

The principal work of Rev. Meissler was to stud\- the Indian language, 
preach the gospel and teach the Indian children. The object of the mis- 
sionaries was to teach the children both in the English and the Chippewa 
languages. But to teach the Chippewa language without proper books 
was next to impossible ; and books there were none, in that exceedingly 
difficult language. 

This great want of a book for the Indian children caused Rev. Bair- 
lein, with the assistance of the interpreter, to write a book filling this great 
want. The book was printed at Detroit in 1852, the title being "Spelling 
and Reading in the Chippewa Language." The reading consists of histories 
selected from the Old and \ew Testaments, some hymns translated from 
the German, the Ten Commandments, Martin Luther's Morning and Eve- 
ning Prayers. 

In 1853, the parent society, having become satisfied that the Bethany 
Mission was firmly established and could be properly cared for by Rev. 
Meissler, recalled the pioneer missionary, Bairlein, from his work in order 
to send him to the mission field in the East Indies. And from this time 
on. the Bethany Mission was under the special care of Missionary Meissler. 
He had an assistant. Rev. Roeder, who remained with him a year and 
then accepted a call to a German Lutheran congregation. From tliat time 
on ]\tissionar^■ Meissler was left alone. 


When the missionaries first came here they found the Indians living 
in huts made of bark, with an opening in the center for the smoke to es- 
cape from. The fire-place was a space between two logs in the center of 
the hut. The floor was covered with cedar or pine boughs, and their 
bed was a blanket. Blankets had been furnished to them by the govern- 
ment. The government had also furnished them with cross-cut saws, which, 
after being used for years without filing, were in such a condition that it 
would take two of them half a day to saw off a moderate sized log. 

The Indians buried their dead by digging a grave from a foot and a 
half to two feet deep, wrapping the body in a blanket and then placing 
it and the belongings of the dead in the shallow grave and covering it. 

When the mission was founded, a tract i:)f twelve hundred acres of land 
was bought, and each family was given a home consisting of as much land 
as it could work. The Indians only cleared a small part of their land, 
and when they worked they would always have a "bee" : for an Indian 
cannot work alone. They were furnished with food and clothing whenever 
they were in want. They soon learned this, consequently they did not 
work much. It was a great expense for the Mission Society to keep the 
Mission furnished with supplies. 

Their nearest town was Saginaw, but from Saginaw to Bethany there 
were no roads. The supplies had to be brought up Pine River or on 
horseI:)ack over lonely Indian trails, zigzaging through thickly timbered 
forests. The distance by the river is seventy miles, and with a canoe it 
took about two days to reach Saginaw, and from a week to ten days to 
return up the river to Bethany. 

Many sad stories might be told atiout the adventures up and down 
the ri\-er: of the boats upsetting with their precious cargoes when almost 
in sight of the Mission; men being thrown into the river when out of 
the reach of a dwelling, and being compelled to lie out all night with noth- 
ing to eat and their clothes frozen stiff : horses and sleighs breaking 
through the ice, resulting in the loss of the goods and sometimes the loss 
of the horses. The journey on horseback was equally perilous, often losing 
the trail and having wolves and bears for companions. The missionaries' 
trials were legion and cannot half of them be mentioned. 

The superstition of the Indians was no small thing to contend with. 
Missionary Bairlein had commenced the custom of serving coffee and cake 
to all the Indians whenever an Indian pappoose was christened, but as 
time went on it was impossible to always do so. The first child that was 
christened without serving coffee, happened to die, and no one could ever 
make the Indians believe that there was any other reason except the lack 
of coffee and cake at the christening. 

In 1857 Mrs. Meissler was taken ill, l)ut her sickness would nut have 
been considered dangerous if they could have had a competent physician. 
When her case became serious they at once sent to Bay City for a doctor. 
It took a man on horseback three days to reach the physician, and it took 
him two days to reach the patient at the Mission, only to find that she had 
died about an hour before his arrival. The doctor soon had to return, 
and Mr. Meissler was left to bear his grief alone. A rude casket was 
made, and the loved one was laid in the lonely cemetery, beneath the 
moaning pine. In the cemeterv is also buried Sarah Mirk-i-we. a mother 
among the Chippewas, who died April 12, 1859, at the age of 110 years. 


In 1854 lumbermen began to visit our county, called by the forests of 
pine ; white people commenced settling in the county ; land was cleared ; 
stores and mills were erected — a change that was welcomed most heartily 
in a wilderness where one had been isolated from the civilized world, 
buried in gloomy solitude with the Indians. 

Among the rest came the saloon. The Indians would give anything 
and everything for the "firewater" — money, furs, ponies, all that they had. 
The missionary said, "God only knows what a blow this was to our Mis- 
sion." The missionary would visit the Indians in their homes and try to 
persuade them to live Christian lives. A few would listen to the kind ad- 
vice of Missionary Meissler, but many would rather give even their souls 
for the strong drink. When tlie Indians quit coming to cluirch the chil- 
dren quit coming to school. 

Soon after the whites began settling in the County, the government 
made a treaty with the Indians of Michigan, b)' which the Indians were 
given a large tract of land, comprising six townships in the County of 
Isabella. Within the boundaries of that reservation the Indians could each 
select a piece of land ; heads of families 80 acres each, and single persons 
of either sex; 40 acres each. Many of the Indians of Bethany Mission 
left their home and their church and went to the reservation. 

The eventful question as to whether the old mission at Bethany should 
be discontinued and a new mission opened at the reservation, was decided 
in the affirmative, and the change was made. The twelve hundred acres 
of land owned by the Mission was returned to the government, the ceme- 
tery only being reserved. The cemetery is still owned by the synod, and 
perhaps always will be. Besides the two graves mentioned, each of which 
has a marble slab, there are about twenty-five other graves, and a marble 
slab thus inscribed : "As the records of the Evangelical-Lutheran Mission 
Church of the synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other states were destroyed by 
the great Chicago conflagration of 1871, the names of most of the children 
here buried could not be ascertained. Suffice it that the word of God says 
that 'the Lord knoweth them that are His' — 2nd Timothy, 2-10; and in 
Luke — 'Rejoice, because your names are written in Heaven.' " 

llie removal of the mission took place in 1859, and Missionary Meissler 
had to once more go through the hardships of settling in the woods and 
encountering many unforseen hardships. The law prohibited any white 
person, without exception, from settling on the reservation, and this com- 
pelled Mr. Meissler to locate his abode about six miles from the church 
and school. The Indians followed off after many different ideas, but were 
faithful to none. These and many other difficulties caused the mission to 
fall back instead of advancing. 

But the synod, having spent thousands of dollars for the mission, would 
leave nothing untried. Rev. I. P. Beyer and Prof. C. A. F. Selle were 
sent to visit the mission. Notice was given to all church members to be 
present at divine service and hear the visiting guests ; but only a few were 
present. These promised to be more faithful, but, as in the near future 
no signs of improvement were manifested, the Evangelican Lutheran Mis- 
sion, among the Chippewas, was discontinued in the year 1869. 

Missionary Meissler's parting words were, "I leave the mission field, 
that field of labor and anxiety, with a broken heart and many tears, and 
with the fervent prayer to the God of mercy, for the true repentance on 
the part of our poor Indians." 



So here we have the history of the oft-quoted Bethany Mission, as 
given by Mrs. Doane. Her facilities for knowing its history were peculiarly 
good, as her family were members of the German Lutheran Chiircli, and 
were early on the ground; facts which guarantee the relialiility of her 
statements. The story records the rise, progress and the decline of an 
institution important in its day ; important in varying degrees in the minds 
of people in those later days, but seemingly of much importance to those 
whose time and money were devoted to its establishment and mainten- 
ance. At this distance of time, the visible, and even legendary benefits to 
the country, to the whites or to tlie Indians themselves seem hardly worth 
the efforts and the expense put into the enterprise. 

The interpreter mentioned in the narrative was James Gructt. a half- 
breed — French and Indian. He and his wife, who also was a half-breed, 
were on the ground in an early day, and stayed through to the last. They 
and their family remained residents of "Indiantown", as the Mission was 
often called, for many years ; landmarks and connecting links reaching 
down (or up) from aboriginal times in Gratiot to the white man's civiliza- 
tion of modern times. One son, William Gruett, is still very much alive, a 
resident of St. Louis. 

In the early days when there were no mail trains, no railroads, no 
wagon roads and mighty few trails through the forests, and only a post- 
oiTice at St. Louis, Billy 
Gruett, then a lad in his 
teens, carried the mail 
between St. Louis and 
Maple Rapids, on pony- 
back over the Old Indian 
Trail, making the round 
trip once a week if cir- 
cumstances were favor- 
able. S. S. Hastings, one 
of the first settlers in St. 
Louis, in a short article 
published in 1876, says 
that the postofifice at St. 
Louis, established in 185.\ 
"was a great convenience, 
furnishing mail facilities 
for all of Isabella County 
as well as the north half 
of Gratiot." And Billv 
Gruett carried the whole 
of it once a week in a bag. 
on an Indian pony. It 
seems unnecessary to call 
attention to the increase 
in the business and the 
improvements in the ser- 
vice since that time. billy gruett. 


Settlers Multiplied. 

The year 18.^3 broui^lit several prospectnrs to the C( unity, and a few 
settlers. The year 18.^4 witnessed the beginning of the rush to the county, 
the result of the enactment of a law by congress reducing the price of certain 
government lands in Michigan to fifty cents an acre to actual settlers. The 
act was known as the "Graduation Act." By this act the price of government 
land in Michigan was "graduated" when sold to actual settlers, according to 
the length of time said land had been in market, so that all unsold tracts in 
Gratiot County were offered at fifty cents per acre. Each purchaser had the 
privilege of locating a half-section — 320 acres — by making oath that he 
bought it for actual settlement, and that he was twenty-one years of age, or 
that he was the head of a family. 

1 mention some who came into different parts of the count}- during 
these years, up to 1855 ; not all, but some of those who became of more 
or less prominence, some of whom left their mark as leaders and men of 
action: In North Star Township, H. T. Barnaby, Peter Hoffman, John 
Franklin, |ohn W. Chaftin, Bela Evitts, Lafayette Sweatland. Alex Mc- 

Inti) .Arc.'ida Townshij) and .Vlina came Francis Nelson, Ralph EJy, 
Jacob Rush, Edward Lake (afterward lucating in r.ethany). Reuben binch, 
Lafayette Church. 

Into Line River 'I'ownship. and ^\■hat is now St. Louis, may be men- 
tioned Joseph Clapp, Sylvanus Groom, Geo. L. Spicer, Dr. Abram M. Craw- 
ford, Sidney S, Hastings, Hiram Burgess. Elias W. Smith, Lewis M. Clark, 
Abrani W'oodin. 

In I''ulton Township, to those already mentioned were added Ben. 
Covvles, Leman Johnson (afterward settling in Newark and many years its 
supervisor), Jas. Otto, Wm. Norton. Marcus Service. Simeon Gray, Daniel 
and Peter Helms. 

In North Shade, liesides those heretofore named were Geo. E. \\ alker. 
Win. lirice, Erastus Perry, Consider Sturgis, Ale.x. Briggs. Joseph C(im- 
stock, Orin D. Hough, Chas. Proctor, John Crispell. 

In New Haven were Henry P. Clark, J. .\. Crisjiell, Joseph N. Bennett, 
Richard Houck, Peter Pendell, Alex. Chapman. Edwin C. Harrington, Moses 
H. White, Joseph W'iles, J. W. Snyder. 

To Elba came Hason Sinclair, Jas. W'ooley, Sherman Call. Daniel Call. 
John O. Wool, Ralph Sutfin, Richard G. Finch, Edward Letts. 

.Added to Washington's list of early settlers were. Cyrus Cory, Wni. 
W. Comstock, Jas. M. Foote, Joseph B. Smith, Orson Stoddard. Wm. 
Carothers, Alonzo Squire, Cornelius Campbell, Robert Carothers. 

The Hamilton settlers were, in i)art, John R. Cheesman, Elijah Curtis, 
Wm. Barton, Samuel Barton. Daniel II. Curtis, Jas. B. Curtis, John S. 

Lafayette had been in\aded by a tew, among whom were Samuel T. 
Roe, Wm. D. H. Hamill. Er \\'. .Mead. Theodore H. Devereaux. Nathan 
Thomas, ^^'m. M. Crandell. 

Emerson had received as settlers. Wm. Imisson. Isaiah .\llen, M. Pettit, 
O. A. Everden, Erastus Hunt, John Knight, Isaac Preston, Isaac N. Cole- 
man, E. C. Earrington, Reuben Coft'in, .\. B. Bailey and several others. 

Into Seville had come John B. Mallory, Carlile Weeks, Joseph Abbott, 
Henr\ and Jas. L. Shults. Cornelius Rockwell, .\dam Oberlin. .\. N. Rock- 
well, Ilenr\' Bover. 


Newark had Jacob L. Beechler, E. \\'. Kellogg, Jas. Wood, Geo. L. Wag- 
goner, Orville M. Wood, Wm. Kinsel, Thaddeus S. Green, Fred Stronse, 
Benson Taylor, Jas. Ridenour, Fred S. Kelly. 

In Sumner might be found Homer L. Townsend, r.arlow Worthing, 
Lucius J. Van Lenven, Joseph Rockafellow, Henry A. Walker, Daniel, 
Michael, Nathaniel, Jacob and Wm. Strayer, Baron Blanchard, John Me- 

John Jeffery, Frank Miller, L. C. Kiiap]), Simon Xott. and one or two 
others had pitched their tents at Gratiot Center, (now Ithaca). 

Bethany and Wheeler were unknown quantities so far as white in- 
habitants were concerned, except the missionaries at Bethany Mission. 

Those mentioned are by no means all who might be deemed worthy of 
such consideration. A complete list, even if possible, would be imprac- 
tical in this connection. 

They Bled the Pioneers. 

It seems from good evidence that all did not get the benefits of the 
graduation act who were entitled to it. There seems to have been grafters 
in those early times, and some of them got themselves attached to the 
land offices, availing themselves of their inside knowledge and informa- 
tion to beat and bleed the landlookers in various and sundry ways, and 
cheat them out of their rights. Sharks there were in those days, and 
doubtless the species is not extinct even to this day. 

Francis Nelson, father of W^ilbur Nelson, the well-known Ithacan, and 
of the late Theodore and Wm. Nelson, was one of the first settlers in 
Arcada Township, as many readers doubtless know. He had the distinc- 
tion of being elected judge of probate in 1856, and was re-elected in 
1860 and 1864, thus serving twelve years in that important ofifice. In an 
article written and published in 1883 he tells in an interesting way of 
some of his early experiences, and I here quote that part which relates to 
his experiences with the land office, and incidentally some other passages 
of his experience that seem worthy of preservation in this volume, and 
which help materially in portraying some of the important facts of pioneer 
history. In referring to some of the practices of the land office officials, 
he says ; 

"Perhaps I cannot better illustrate the point than to show how they 
dealt with me. I had a small farm in Lenawee County upon which I 
owed a sum which I found it difficult, if not impossible, to pay; and 
thinking to improve my circumstances. I sold out, paid my debts, and 
with the balance which I could call my own, I determined to locate gov- 
ernment lands and make me a new home. With this object in view, I 
set out for Gratiot County in May, 1854. On my way toward the north 
regions I learned that government lands had been taken out of the market 
for the purpose of giving the railroad companies an opportunity to locate 
their grants : and so I turned back and waited until the August following, 
when government lands were again in the market. Then, for the second 
time, and with high hopes, I set out for the Gratiot woods. First going 
to the Ionia land ofifice. I obtained ])lats of the townships now known as 
North Star and Arcada. Furnished with these, and a good supply of 
edibles, in company with Jacob Rush, an old neighbor, I struck out for 
Arnold Payne's. Mr. Payne lived at the extreme southern limit of Gratiot 
County and about two miles north of Maple Rapids, and in those days 
kept a sort of hotel for landlookers and immigrants. 



"From Payne's we took a northerly direction through the Township 
of Fulton, anrl entered North Star at the south line of C. Levering's farm. 
From thence we went east to John Franklin's, where there was a little 
settlement composed of John Franklin, H. T. Barnaby, Peter Hoffman and 
others. We engaged Mr. Franklin to show us land in the neighborhood of 
Bad River, or rather a branch of that stream, running through the Town- 
ship of North Star. 

"We were not pleased with this region. It seemed too flat, and. as we 
then thought, too far back in the woods ; and, almost abandoning our pur- 
pose of finding a home in Gratiot County, we returned to Maple Rapids. 


"However, we finally determined to look further before making a de- 
cision, and taking what was called the Pine River Trail we passed over 
the spot where Ithaca now stands and came on to Avery's, one mile north 
of Gratiot Center, (now Ithaca). Mr. Avery's bark shanty was the first 
human habitation we had seen since leaving Payne's. Mr. Avery not only 
lived in this rude habitation himself — he and his — but here he entertained 
travelers and kept boarders. No hotel in Gratiot County is more widely 
renowned at the present time than was Avery's bark shanty in those 
])rimitive days. Here we found Ed. Lake and his wife among the boarders, 
while Mr. Lake was engaged in putting up a house on his land in that 
vicinity. We learned also of Simon Nott who had made a little opening 
just off the trail, and who was living in a rude hut not far from the place 
where Wilbur Nelson's house now stands, in the north part of Ithaca. 

"We remained over night at the .\very House ; but they had to put 
the stove out doors to make room for our beds. Rising early next morn- 
ing we came to Lucius Knapp's, where we took breakfast. Here was the 
first opening on that splendid farm recently owned by Hon. Wm. .S. Turck, 
[now and for some years past owned by Hon. B. F. McNall.l Here we 
left the Pine River Trail, (which made a wide circuit to the east in order 
to avoid a big swamp,) and following the town line north to the point now 
known as Church's mill, we went one mile directly west to the corner, 
since named for Jacob Rush — Rush's Corners. It was then and there that 
Mr. Rush first saw his noble farm. I selected land adjoining, on section 

"Returning to the land ciffice in Ionia, we endeavored to jiurchase 
these descriptions under the graduation act. In this we failed. They in- 


formed us that tliey had received no orders as yet to sell lands for less 
than ten shillings — $1.25 — per acre. Then we asked to have the tracts we 
had selected reser\'ed for us until we could get the benefit of the graduation ; 
but they declined to do anything for us except to sell us lands at the old 

"If they adhered to the letter of their instructions in our case — and I 
think they did — they notoriousl}^ violated both letter and spirit in their own 
interest and that of their friends, as the sequel will show. 

"We bought only a part of the tracts we wanted, hoping to get on to 
it. and then purchase adjoining lands under the graduation act. So I 
moved my family into Gratiot County in October, 1854, hurried up a shanty, 
and as soon as I could leave them under shelter, went again to the Ionia 
land ofifice, hoping now to get the benefit of the graduation act, for the 
balance of the land I needed. I was again doomed to disappointment. 
They told me at the land ofifice that all the land on section eleven, where 
I was located had been disposed of in the following manner: That tract 
immediately adjoining my own \-\^as marked 'pre-empted'; the very thing I 
had asked them to do for me, and which they had refused to do. I knew 
that there was no settler on the land, and as they had previously told me 
that it could not be pre-empted without actual settlement, I demanded the 
land. They said if I bought the land I would have to pay one dollar and a 
quarter per acre, and take it upon my own responsibility, as they did not 
know whether it was occupied or not. So I took the responsibility, and 
paid one hundred dollars for eighty acres of land, when I then believed and 
still believe that I was entitled to one hundred and sixty acres for eighty 

"The remainder of the section where I had located my farm was dis- 
posed of in a manner to justify suspicion. One tract was marked 'pre- 
empted', and an official in the land office had got his own modest auto- 
graph upon a valuable quarter section. He doubtless had the benefit of 
our landlooking to aid him to a wise choice. Another quarter section on 
section fourteen, had been purchased under the graduation act for fifty 
cents per acre, by a dry goods clerk in Lansing, who never settled on his 
tract, and never intended to: but when we grubbed around it and made 
roads and other improvements for his benefit, he sold his land for five and 
six dollars an acre. 

"Before I leave this land ofi'ice iniquity let me mention one or two 
other circumstances which show the cupidity, if not the dishonesty, of those 
government sharks to whose tender mercies the pioneer and actual settler 
was often consigned. There was forty acres adjoining my tract on the east 
for which I applied at the graduation price. They told me I could have it 
by filing an oath with my application. I asked them if they could not 
swear applicants. They replied that it was not their business, but that 
they would do it for three dollars. I. of course, believed that the only 
way to do was to let them do as they pleased. So they filled out the 
very short blank and I paid them. 

"A young man who was with me at the time wanted to get a quarter 
section, but as he had none looked up. I volunteered to help him. I asked 
to see their field notes, thinking that from my knowledge of the country, 
I could find some vacant description which it would be safe for the young 
man to take. But they refused to show their book, but, instead, ofi"ered to 
sell a description for three dollars. And so the description was bought, 
and three dollars additional was paid to those disinterested custodians of 
the public domain fcir an aiiplication on oath. 


"I have been thus particular in relating my own experiences to show 
how law-abiding those officials were when they could make anything by 
breaking the law ; and to show also how pleasant and obliging they could 
be — for a consideration. Had I thought it the right way to do business, 
I have no doubt thev would have taken a fee and permitted me to pre- 
enijjt a tract when I first applied, just as they did for others. As it was, 
I ])aid two hundred dollars for a c|uarter section, when I was entitled to a 
halt section for one hundred and sixty dollars."" 

Thus I have given some of the first pioneer experiences of one of the 
earliest pioneers of the count}-. Given in his own words they bring to 
the mind and comprehension of the reader some of the difficulties attend- 
ing the settlement of a new county, more forcibly than could be done by a 
much more extended and elaborate general dissertation on the subject. 
As to the culpability of the officials of the state land oflfice at Ionia it 
is, of course, possible that the circumstances taken altogether may have 
given Mr. Nelson an exaggerated idea of their unworthy and aggravating 
methods ; but even if such was the case it is easy to see how aggravating 
and discouraging the case was, when the difficulties of communication and 
travel are considered. .-Knd with circumstances the most favorable it is 
safe to assume that prospects for the future few years could not have been 
any too bright ami alluring. If the pioneer could live long enough, per- 
sistence and hard work, and hope, might bring him "out of the wilderness."' 

Recollections of what somebody has told of the experiences of the 
carl}- settlers are good as far as the}' go, and may often be the only re- 
liance in the construction of historical records; tradition niay have to be 
depended on to quite an extent : even the imagination may have to be 
called into action to a certain degree. All these combined in due pro- 
portions may approximate the facts fairly well and give an account of things 
that will pass muster, and "beat nothing all to death." But the actual 
experiences of the actors and participants coming first-handed, are what 
carry weight and conviction, and create the most graphic and convincing- 
impressions upon the mind of the reader. So. if these reflections and con- 
clusions are correct, the reader will appreciate and approve of such other 
personal tales as I am able to lay before them, in this volun-ie. 

Without doubt there may be some things in these narratives that some 
readers nia}- look upon as chafif or surplusage. It is difficult to please 
all in e\-ery jiarticular, but it is believed that every paragraph will con- 
tain some grains of information for son-ie of the readers. There mav be 
some repetitions, I)ut they probably will not be so numerous as to be- 
come monotonous. Contradictions? Possibly. l)Ut not n-iany. and none seri- 
ous. Just enough of them to keep some of the readers more interested, 
in the ho])e of discovering something worth finding fault with. 

It is well to keep constantly in mind the fact that the tin-ie treated of 
in these reminiscences, was that period, so hard for the present generation 
to fully grasp, when Gratiot County was one \-ast expanse of solitude, 
excepting that as time advanced the monotony was relieved by an occa- 
sional oasis in the exjjanse, where the advance guard had begun the battle 
which was to transform the wilderness into a "vast expanse" of fertile 
fields, and with all the accom])anying improvements, necessities, ccunen- 
iences and luxuries rc(|uirc(! for the use. comfort and delectation of a popu- 
lation of 30,000 ])coplc. 


Many Were Impecunious. 

.\nother article from the pen nf Judi^e Francis Nelson, treats to some 
extent, of the causes that brought about a period of destitution and want, 
to the people of the county ; it also touches upon other points of interest. 

He goes on to say: "The idea of getting cheap lands under the grad- 
uation act created something of a frenzy in the minds of many in the 
southern part of the state, who had no land and not much to buy with. 
Many bought without any real expectation of settling at all, or at least 
for some time in the future. There was no trouble to get land if you 
had the requisite fee, or the fee demanded by the land ofifice ofificials, the 
officials being far more anxious, apparently, to secure their fees than to 
comply with the requirements of the law. The oath they administered did 
not restrict buyers to any particular time of settling, but seemed to leave 
the matter optional. So when, during the winter of 1854-5 the order was 
issued from the land ofifice. and distributed by circulars, giving notice to 
those who had bought land at graduation prices, that they must move on 
til their lands within a limited period of time, or lose their lands and the 
jjurchase money also, a great panic was produced, especially among those 
who had nothing left after purchasing their land. Many of them picked 
up and started for the woods without counting the cost. Some of them 
had spent their last shilling before they reached the land they were to 
occupw They had to be lodged and fed wherever night overtook them, 
\\-hcther they could pay or not, and we all had to keep hotel whether or 
not we could collect the bills. 

"Many of those coming into the woods in such destitute circumstances 
expected to support themselves and families by working for others. They 
were disappointed as a matter of course, for there were scarcely any who 
were able to employ labor. The destitution of so many brought something 
like a famine to all, for all had to share in the general scarcity and 
distress " 

To show the difficulty in the matter of procuring the necessities, Mr. 
Xelson relates this: "In the month of January, 1855, I went out to Maple 
Rapids to try and secure some corn for my cattle. My ox team had been 
so long on 'browse' only, that I was afraid to drive them on this trip, so 
I relied upon getting a team outside to haul in my supplies. I had no 
difficulty in finding a team, but tra\eled a whole day over what were 
called "the plains' of Clinton County, without finding any corn. .\t last I 
heard of enough for a small load and sent a team for it. Having engaged 
a man to come on with this load of corn, for the sake of immediate 
necessities, I shouldered what I could carrv in a bag, and in the early morn- 
ing started for home on foot. I had not jiroceeded far when it began to 
snow, which it continued to do all day, and I am sure I never saw more 
snow fall in a single day. It was up to my knees when I stopped for the 
night, four miles from home. My su|)ply of corn I divided with mv neigh- 
bor, Jacob Rush, who had shared with us in our trials in getting into the 
woods, but who now lay upon his back \\itli a badly broken leg." 

County Seat Question Opened. 

The ne.xt installment of Mr. Nelson's articles on pioneer daj's quotes 
the act of the legislature providing for the organization of the county, and 
gives some facts and some views relative thereto, and some comments on 
the great county seat question as it interested and affected the people ot 
that day. The legislative act mentioned, also an exhaustive consideration 


of the county seat question, are given in another part of this work, so 
further reference to those matters may well be omitted. Two or three 
miscellaneous paragraphs : 

"The people in those new settlements were generally poor, and not the 
class that would be likely to aspire to political leadership either in town- 
ship or county. It is true that a few men had had a little experience, and 
a very few freely expressed themselves as fully equal to anv position ; and 
nearly all were willing to stand in any gap to which duty called them. 

"When we came to our first township meeting, all the laws of Mich- 
igan that we could find in the north half of the county were in the hands 
of Francis Way, of Pine River Township. He had been appointed Notary 
Public the previous winter and had a copy of the revised statutes of 
1846. After the election much difficulty was experienced in getting sworn 
in properly on account of the scarcity of ofificers empowered to administer 
oaths, and a lack of knowledge of the required form." 

Supervisor Francis Nelson, of Arcada, and Geo. Spicer. of Pine River, 
reported to the Saginaw County board of supervisors, the north half of 
Gratiot being for certain purjioses attached to Saginaw County. 

Air. Nelson tells of a transaction that doubtless had much to do with 
starting the local strife that prevailed for some years between the settle- 
ments at Alma and St. Louis. Mr. Ely had made a boat, or double-log 
canoe, twenty feet long and about six feet wide with which he brought 
provisions up the river from Saginaw. It was an important institution, and 
as its uses appealed directly to the people's stomachs it would naturally be 
a rash proceeding to interfere with its workings. Clapp and Crawford were 
building a dam at St. Louis and were making no provisions for the passage 
of the boat, either on request or demand. So when the boat came up 
loaded, and the St. Louis workmen refused or failed to help them over the 
obstruction, a company of men came down under the leadership of Air. 
Ely and made an opening in their old dam, and proceeded triumphantly 
homeward with their cargo. 

The journey to Saginaw to a special meeting of the board of super- 
visors was made on foot. At that meeting Mr. Ely presented a petition of 
citizens asking to have Clapp's dam removed, or that he should be com- 
pelled to put in a suitable chute. "I drew up the resolution," savs Mr. 
Nelson, "making the order not to interfere with the dam but to compel 
them to put in a chute, giving dimensions as best I could from information 
at hand. This was passed without a dissenting vote. An order to that 
effect was duly served upon Clapp and Company, and it was treated with 

Neither history nor tradition tells of anj^ further clashes of a jihysical 
or material nature, so it is presumed that St. Louis people changed their 
tactics, raised their dam, and that Alma's transportation and navigation 
ris-hts were dulv recognized ever after. 

As Seen by Horace T. Barnaby. 

In the search for data bearing upon events of the early years of the 
county, and in the pursuit of clews likely to throw light upon the current 
and impcjrtant facts connected with the history of that far-away time, I have 
fallen in with some papers written by Horace T. Barnaby, a settler in North 
Star Township in 1854; a man who afterward held many prominent posi- 
tions in his township, was clerk of the county, and representative in the state 
legislature. His writings date along in the '70s, only about 20 years after 
Gratiot County appeared on the map as a place occupied by civilized man. 


As Mr. Barnaby took an active part in the stirring events of those times, 
and considering also the fact that he was a preacher, with all of his other 
qualifications for telling a straight and truthful story, it is believed that no 
more trustworthy data exists from which to extract and concoct a history 
covering the period of which he writes. 

Dodging, as well as I can those portions that duplicate matters already 
committed to these pages, I herewith give the record of some of his recol- 
lections: sometimes in his own language, sometimes not, as seems best for 
the objects aimed at — accuracy and completeness in all essential or desirable 
details. But to produce a story, of reasonable continuity, there may be some 
unavoidable duplications. 

Speaking of the fact that migration to Gratiot County was put off until 
a comparatively late day, and giving some reasons to account for it Mr. 
Barnaby says that its inaccessibility was a prominent reason ; lands in other 
locations being much easier to get at. As late as 1843, land could be bought 
in Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties for two dollars per acre, on ten years' 
time and at seven per cent, interest. Men could not afford to push back 
miles from civilization, neighbors and necessaries of life unless pressed to it. 
The effect of a sight of the sluggish Maple with its accessories of willows, 
alders, bogs, fallen trees and broad acres of dead water ; the effect of this 
dubious outlook was to send him back to seek some more promising location, 
with the belief more firmly fixed than ever, that Michigan, or the central 
portion at least was a swamp fit only for the propagation of frogs and 

Along about 1850, or a little before, the German-Lutheran Church 
estblished the Bethany Mission, below the present location of St. Louis. It 
was commonly called "Indiantown ; and its population, besides the Indians, 
was made up of French and Indian half-breeds. From Indiantown the only, 
or main outlet was by way of a trail to the southward ending at Maple 
Rapids; a trail instituted by the Indians and used by them in their travels 
to the white settlements to barter their furs and hides for the white man's 
commodities. The trail was known as the "old Pine River trail." Starting 
at Maple Rapids the trail ran angling in a northeasterly direction through 
Fulton and Newark, crossing section 36 of Arcada, and crossing the present 
Ithaca and St. Louis road three-fourths of a mile north of Ithaca. Another 
trail led from Maple Rapids to St. Charles on the Saginaw River. 

"Before any permanent settlements were made (in 1846) someone, prob- 
ably a joker employed in the United States Survey Corps, published as a fact 
that the United States authorities had established the county seat of Gratiot 
County on section four of town 10 north, range 2 west, (North Star) ; 
whereupon Henry M. Henderson purchased the whole of that section and 
part of section five. But of course the story proved to be a fake ; and all of 
that territory remains a wilderness to this day," says Mr. Barnaby, in 1875. 

Referring to Arnold Payne, Mr. Barnaby says : "Arnold Payne, the 
first settler in the county, was located on section 31, of Fulton. In early 
history the only road out ran by his place. His ample log house, cheerful 
old fire-place with blazing logs piled high, and with well-filled table, was a 
favorite and desirable resting place for all, whether going in or coming out 
of what was emphatically 'the woods'." 

Early in 1854 Ralph Ely moved from Ionia County and settled on Pine 
River, starting a settlement, erecting a saw mill, etc., and taking steps to 
found a village. The place was called Elyton. With some help he opened 
a road from his settlement direct to Maple Rapids, running through the 
western part of Arcada, Newark and Fulton. The road was designated and 
known as the "New Pine River trail." 


From the old Pine River trail, a branch was constructed to section 11 
of Fulton by Levi Smith, and later it was extended on north to the center 
of section one of the same township by Alonzo Loomis. In May of the 
same year — 1854 — Mr. Barnaby and Peter Hoffman continued this road to 
section 28. North Star, where they had located land and built a cabin. On 
the 10th of May they moved their families to the new home. 

Mr. Barnaby tells something of building the cabin and moving in: "Mr. 
Hoffman and I had arrived at the house of Levi Smith, section 11, Fulton, 
with three ox teams — one of them our own, two hired — on the first day of 
May, and on the next day, after unloading the hired wagons and starting 
them back, we left our wagon, loaded, and our families — my own being wife 
and three children, Mr. Hoffman's wife and four children — and proceeded 
to our prospective home, where we cleared away brush and logs on a spot 
large enough for one house. Cutting the logs and splitting out 'shakes' for 
the roof were the first things done, and then came the raising. Seven men 
were found within a radius of ten miles, by whose aid the raising was 
accomplished. The building was 16 by 32 feet in size, with a log partition 
across the middle, making rooms 16 by 16; a room for each family. While 
Mr. Hoft'nian chopped out openings for doors, and "finished" the dwellings. 
I went for the families and household goods. 

'"I made a success of the first load, but when within aljout two miles 
of home with the second load, including women and children, the oxen 
played nut and could go no further. Sending the women and children on, 
the oxen were turned loose to refresh themselves on the few leeks they 
could find. When it began to grow dark another trial was made, but it was 
a failure." The oxen were ""all in,"' so they were again unyoked and the 
men proceeded to the cabin. A big fire of logs was built in front of the 
cabin, beds were arranged inside, and supper was spread on a dry goods box 
which served as a table; after which all "retired." 

This is a specimen of the start made by many, though many others had 
infinitely greater difficulties to overcome, and with far less means with 
which to hel]3 themselves. And still, many of those who passed through 
the must discouraging experiences, were ready to declare, later in life, that 
those days were among the happiest of their lives, ^^'hich suggests the con- 
clusion that tlie hope exceeded the realization; which, by the way, is often 
the case. 

Mr. Barnaby tells of the way they used to repair the roads: ""When 
anyone found a place in the road that he was afraid to undertake to drive 
through, he would take his ax, with which he was always provided, and 
cut a passage around the bad place. Thus the width oi the road was made 
to vary from two or three rods to a quarter of a mile, and the tra\eler 
could select his route ; or he could make still another addition to the width 
of the difficulty, by the use of his ax." 

Mr. Barnaby gives an interesting version of the Ely-Clapp episode at 
St. Louis over the dam obstruction. Although the incident has already 
been mentioned in quotations from Francis Nelson's writings, Mr. Barnaby's 
account comes from another angle, and has points of interest of its own: 
'"During the summer of 1855 Mr. Ely undertook to. and succeeded in navi- 
gating Pine River from Alma, by way of the Tittabawassee River, to Sagi- 
naw, with a flat boat. In the meantime Mr. Clapp was constructing a dam 
across Pine River at the present \illage of St. Louis, having in company 
with Dr. A. M. Crawford, conceived the idea of laying out a village at the 
latter place, to bear the name of Pine River; which plan was subsequently 
carried out. Mr. Ely, possibly seeing in this a prospective rival, and finding 
that the aforesaid mill dam materially obstructed the free navigation of the 


river — did not seem disposed to quietly submit to the obstruction. Accord- 
ingly one day, in the fall, he proceeded with a company of his workmen, 
armed with picks, axes, crowbars, etc., and sent the mill pond on a journey 
to Saginaw Bay. And there was no more dam except possibly what might 
have been heard in the not over-fastidious expletives of the indignant 
Clapp. Thus for the time being an end was put to the first material enter- 
prise of the projected \'illage of Pine River." 

There is still another version of the obstruction matter, and this is told 
by S. S. Hastings, who, as a neighbor of Clapp and a sympathizer, gives 
the matter a ventilating from another point of view. Mr. Hastings gives 
it the following vigorous send-off: "Mr. Ely headed an organized mob of 
forty men, not armed with picks and crowbars, but with guns and pistols, 
and under the joint leadership of the notorious 'Black Hawk' Holiday, who 
had two revolvers in his belt. It is true that it was done not so much for 
the purpose of navigating the river as for the purpose of crushing the pros- 
pective village, for Mr. Crawford offered to furnish men and take Mr. Ely's 
lioat over the dam. But Mr. Ely told him he had come for the purpose of 
tearing nut the dam, and he was going to do it." 

The three diff'erent stories regarding the mix-up over the question of 
tiie dam and the navigation of Pine River is the best I can do. It is pre- 
sumed that human nature was much the same then as now. All parties 
looked at things from their own respective standpoints. Doutbless an im- 
partial verdict would put some blame on each and all of the interested 
parties. Each town survived, and though each had its ups and downs, each 
grew and flourished, keeping up with, and really going ahead of what was 
warranted by the progress of improvements in the surrounding country. 

Mr. Barnaby speaks in high terms of the neighborly and accommodating 
spirit shown by early settlers with scarcely an exception. "Families living 
seven or eight miles apart were considered as living in the same neighbor- 
hood ; frequently men went 15 miles to help neighbors raise their log build- 
ings. If one was sick or met with accident, or was lost in the woods, men 
and women hastened to their aid from many miles around." 

During the summer and fall of 1854, settlers came in thick and fast, the 
especial reason therefor being the passage of the act, already several times 
mentioned — the graduation act that reduced the price of government lands. 
■'By winter," says Mr. Barnaby, "every township but one, in the county, 
had settlers.." Doubtless Wheeler Township was the exception referred to. 

"John Jeff'ery having purchased a tract of land at the geographical center 
of the county, caused the survey of a prospective village, which, by common 
consent was called 'Gratiot Center.' It was amusing to pass through the 
V.I Kids and see the stakes sticking up among the logs and brush, marked 
'St. Louis street,' or 'Washingttm street,' or some other high-sounding 
name ; while the respective proprietors of the embryo cities watched each 
other with eagle eyes, and talked glibly about the superior advantages pos- 
sessed by their favorite, for the location of the county seat." 

Speaking of the rush of settlers immediately following the announce- 
ment that all lands bought must be occupied promptly, Mr. Barnaby says 
that hundreds of men came on with apparently no thought only to secure 
their purchases by immediate occupancy. "Scores of families without money 
enough to last them a week, and totally unprepared for the rigors and 
hardships of pioneer life, hurried to the woods to save their purchases ; 
many of them at remote distances from any place where provisions of any 
kind could be obtained. Could they have been allowed time to make proper 
preparations, and the county settled more gradually, the surrounding country 
could have yielded supplies, and much suft'ering would have been avoided : 


and the odiuna that has attached to the reputation of this county, abroad, 
as unjust as it is offensive to all the hardy pioneers, would have been 

Thus writes Mr. Barnaby ; but so far as the odium and the offensiveness 
are concerned, I think they were mainly in his mind, for in conversations 
with scores of those who went through the starvation period, I have in- 
variably found that while they didn't care for any more of it, they seemed 
to hugely enjoy talking about it, and have gone into the details with much 
gusto, taking especial pains to rehearse all the details that would most fully 
and forcibly portray the dire straits to which they were reduced, and the 
means employed to meet the demands of appetite and the other require- 
ments of human nature. 

Furthermore it seems far-fetched to blame individual conditions or in- 
dividual men or officials for the suffering of the starvation period or for the 
starvation period itself. The condition of destitution came as the result of 
a combination of circumstances and events, not uncommon in themselves 
nor necessarily disastrous, but coming as they did, in their application to 
conditions prevailing in Gratiot County, their combined influence and action 
produced results unfortunate and disastrous. The unfortunate conditions, 
none of which were criminal, nor specially hurtful when standing alone, a 
combination of which brought about the period of destitution in Gratiot, I 
enumerate thus : First, the unfortunate poverty which impelled so many, 
fairly for self-preservation, to seek homes in the woods, scores of miles from 
civilization and supplies. Second, the fortunate reduction of the price of 
government lands. Third, the natural and plausible enforcement of the 
condition that compelled actual occupation of the land bought at the reduced 
price. Fourth, the drouth that dried up the prospects of several 
seasons. Fifth, the floods of other seasons, that drowned out the prospects. 
Sixth, the late spring frosts and the early frosts of fall. Here was an aggre- 
gation of unfavorable conditions hard to go up against. 

Another factor or incidental condition that made destitution general and 
unavoidable, was the fact that practically all were poor alike, and had been 
served alike by the conditions enumerated, particularly by the last three. 
Consequently none, or comparatively few, had a surplus with which to 
supply the shortage among their neighbors. 

So, as no individual, or body of individuals were culpable or responsible, 
and as no condition taken singly was at fault, I see no reason why the 
starvation period, as it is called, in Gratiot should be considered a disgrace, 
or in any way a blot on the fair name of the county or its pioneers ; and 
certainly no odium attaches to the later generations who only know the 
history of the times in question as it is handed down to them, and who 
could not change it if they would. 

Mr. l5arnaby's interesting reminscences continue : "At this time — fall 
of 185-1 — North Shade was the only organized township in the county. .\t 
the session of the legislature in January, 1855, the inhabitants of six town- 
ships made application, and procured an organization directly from the legis- 
lature, viz.: Fulton, North Star, Arcada, Pine River, New Haven and 

"The winter of 1854-5 was a severe one, especially to those who came 
late expecting to winter their cattle on browse. Dr. Elias Sower brought 
14 head of cattle to winter on browse. Their hides were readily exchanged 
for flour before spring. 

"The first considerable fall of snow came about November 1, and though 
there was quite a thaw in January, the snow did not disappear till far into 
the month of April. A large number of deer and other game was killed 


during the fall and winter, venison forming no small part of the daily ration. 
\^eni.>^on — dried, smoked, jerked, stewed, boiled or fried — could be found 
on the table in the humblest cabins."' 

Organizing Act and First Election. 

The act of the legislature providing for the organization of the county 
was approved February 3, 1855. The act provided for the election, on the 
first Tuesday of November, 1855, of the first set of county officers. As the 
time approached for the election, a county convention was called to take 
place at the residence of Lucius C. Knapp, one and one-half miles north of 
Ithaca, the farm known later as the W. S. Truck place, and now owned and 
occupied by B. Frank McNall. Each inhabited township, whether organized 
or not, was entitled to two delegates, and the townships were pretty well 
represented, all or nearly all having delegates present. Mr. Barnaby had 
a strenuous time in finding his way to the place of meeting. "It 
was no small job to find the place appointed for the convention, as I can 
testify from actual experience," says Mr. Barnaby. "there being no road to 
the place except from Alaple Rapids in one direction and Pine River in the 
other. I remember distinctly passing along the 'main street' in Ithaca, 
over logs and through the brush looking for the place to turn north, the un- 
accountable disagreement of section lines making the search uncertain. At 
length, after a weary journey I reached the cabin of Mr. Knapp, the memory 
of which is so closely connected with the early history of the county and 
county politics. 

■'The convention was called by no political party and the nominees 
were confined to no particular faith. There were plenty of men willing to 
accept any place to which they were called, even at that early day. After 
a somewhat warmly contested convention the following nominations were 
made : SherifT — Isaac Jones, of Fulton ; Clerk — Orville M. Wood, of Ham- 
ilton ; Treasurer — Abram M. Crawford, of Pine River; Register of Deeds 
— Henry Lane, of North Shade; Prosecuting Attorney — Benjamin Craw- 
ford, of North Star; Judge of Probate — John R. Cheesman, of Hamilton; 
Circuit Court Commissioner — Stephen E. Longyear; Surveyor — Sidney S. 
Hastings, of Pine River; Coroners — Levi Smith and Horace T. Barnaby." 

The controversy over the location of the county seat had already begun, 
and it cropped out visibly in the selection of the candidates at this conven- 
tion. Those favorable to Ralph Ely's settlement seem to have got the worst 
of it, judging by subsequent events. Dissatisfaction with the ticket culmin- 
ated in the formation of another ticket, composed, in part, of some of the 
other, but with a few new names. In place of Isaac Jones for sheriff the 
name of Geo. E. Walker of North Shade was substituted. For treasurer 
Abram M. Crawford was dropped and Ralph Ely took his place. For prose- 
cuting attorney the name of Marcus Service of Fulton appeared. In place 
of Stephen E. Longyear the name of Henry Lane was substituted, for com- 

There being no printing ofifice within the comity, it was arranged at the 
t'egular convention that the tickets should be written. But the "insurgents" 
responsible for the new ticket sent a man on foot away down to Ionia, and 
had their ticket printed. And this without doubt helped their cause, for 
their ticket was mainly successful. For Prosecuting Attorney, Frank Miller 
was declared elected. It does not appear that he was on either ticket as 
originally constructed, but as he, though an entirely new man in the county, 
had credentials showing that he had been admitted to the bar, and as neither 
of the other candidates were practicing attorneys, it seems probable that 


these facts being known, Mr. Miller was taken up by mutual consent, or by 
mutual concert of action, and elected. 

Mr. Barnaby tells of the troubles of the canvassers in reaching a con- 
clusion as to who were elected. It was charged that some of those entrusted 
with the job of writing tickets betrayed their trust to the extent of mixing 
in an occasional name on the other ticket ; thus clearly showing that the 
spirit of political activity had an early start in Gratiot. At the meeting of 
the canvassers some claimed that only one election inspector from each 
township was eligible to sit, according to the act authorizing the election. 
Others claiming, and trying to make themselves believe that all of the in- 
.spectors of all the townships should take part. So when the canvassers 
met, some townships had one representati\e on hand, some had two and 
some had three. After much controversy it was finally agreed that all who 
were present might take part. 

Francis Nelson of Arcada was made chairman and Elijah Porter of Pine 
River, secretary. Returns from some townships were found to be, or at 
least were declared to be, irregular or otherwise deficient, and were thrown 
out, .\rcada and Fulton being so served. Throwing out .\rcada. threw out 
Chairman Nelson, so Hiram Burgess of Pine River was then made chair- 
man, and the business proceeded. By throwing out three townships it was 
found that the regular ticket was all elected. And the board so declared, 
instructing the secretary to issue to each a certificate in accordance with 
that decision ; and then the canvassers adjourned sine die. The disap- 
pointed and rejected ones did not take kindly to this usage, so they got 
their heads together and induced Secretary Porter to meet with them with 
the returns, and, counting all the returns, reached a conclusion that elected 
some of the other candidates, and the certificates were issued accordingly. 
This result seems to have been more in accordance with justice, and there 
is nothing in the records nor in tradition to show- that the result, though 
reached in a peculiar and irregular manner, was even seriously questioned. 

So the first county officers, elected November 6, 1855, were as follows : 
Judge of Probate — John R. Cheesman : Sheriff — Geo. E. Walker : Clerk — 
Orville M. ^\'ood ; Treasurer — Ralph Ely ; Register of Deeds — Henry Lane : 
Prosecuting Attorney — Franklin Miller; Circuit Court Commissioner — • 
Henry Lane; Surveyor — Sidney S. Hastings; Coroners — Lewis B. Loomis. 
Levi Smith. "And thus," says Barnaby, "ended the first election and the 
first canvass for Gratiot County officers ; and thus, amid the writhings and 
contortions of wire-pullers and political aspirants a county was born. Dur- 
ing the summer and fall of 1855 the population of the county increased 
largely. The woodman's ax was heard on all sides. Manv large improve- 
ments were made, roads were opened into the interior of the county, school 
houses were erected, and Gratiot took her place among the living, thriving 
municipalities of the state." 

Mr. Barnaby continues: "The first board of supervisors met at the 
house of Ralph Ely, Alma, January 7, 1856, the purpose being to take action 
on the bonds of the new county officers, fix their salaries, etc. Elijah Porter 
of Pine River was clerk, O. M. \\'ood. county clerk elect, not yet having 
had his bonds approved by the circuit judge, as the law provided. Con- 
tingent expenses were provided for by authorizing the issuing of orders on 
the treasurer, though he had no funds. So the orders had to be discounted 
from 10 to 25 per cent. What was left of the salary, after discounting was 
not enough to make an official proud. Still, considering the small popula- 
tion, probably it was all that the circumstances would justify. The salaries 
as fixed by the board were as follows : Treasurer — S225 ; Clerk — S250 ; 
Prosecuting Attorney — $300. 


"The rapid settlement of the county at this time — rapid considering the 
distance from supplies, and the obstacles in the way of travel — paved the 
way for the inevitable hardships that were sure to follow. Not only was 
this county isolated from adeqtiate sources of the necessaries of life, but all 
the country to the north of it had to look to the south for the bulk of its 
supplies. And for many miles to the south of this county the country was 
new, scarcely producing enough for home consumption. So the question of 
procuring family necessities soon became a serious one. Many of the 
settlers — and it may truthfully be said, the most of them — were poor ; many 
with large families to provide for, and depending upon their daily labor for 
their daily support; and a majority of them unused to pioneer life. It is 
no marvel that some got discouraged and got out after a few months' trial ; 
and it is no wonder that hardships and suffering became common conditions. 
Those who had a little money were in bad enough plight, for their money 
would not buy what did not exist in the county. And to those without 
money the conditions were to the last degree discouraging. 

The Noble Women. 

"Too much cannot be said in praise of the heroic women of those times. 
Many of them might have been seen, clad in the coarsest habiliments, and 
scant at that, frequently barefooted, side by side with their husbands, pick- 
ing and piling brush, and even wielding the handspike, and in rolling up 
log heaps. And generally they were more cheerful, courageous and hopeful 
than the men themselves. Truly refreshing and dear is the memory of 
the wives and mothers of the days of hardships that tried men's souls. Go 
to, now, ye who clamor and pant for the latest styles and fashions! 

"The nearest mill to which the people could go to get their small grists 
of corn ground was at Matherton. Ionia County; a journey of 30 or 40 
miles for a large portion of the inhabitants, and what roads there were 
were almost impassable for teams. Hence, those who had been so fortunate 
as to raise a little corn were compelled to convert it into meal by some 
ingenuity of their own. This some accomplished by the use of a coffee mill ; 
others rigged up large tin graters — a tin pan punched full of holes, from the 
inside, with a nail and hammer, leaving the bottom of the pan 'as rough as 
a grater', and quite suitable for the operation. An ear of corn rasped back 
and forth over the pan-bottom did good and quite rapid work, soon reducing 
the kernels to a mixture of hominy and meal, and with a fair proportion of 
cob. Others used a jack-plane, shaving the corn from the cob and thus 
reducing it to usable shape. 

"Many foresaw the coming difficvilties and predicted close times. 
Others, more hopeful, seemed to have no fears for the future and were 
inclined to look upon the others as croakers who were bound to borrow 
trouble. The sequel, however, proved the correctness of the unfavorable 
predictions ; and when the pinch came the croakers and the optimists all 
shared in the hardships. 

"In the fall of 1856, bears became so plentiful that by October one 
could hardly pass along the road without meeting more or less of them. 
There was an abundance of acorns, and that fact is presumed to have been 
the cause of their being so numerous, the more northern woods being short 
on acorns. Large numbers were killed. Oaks were scratched by the nails 
of the bears, and the tops were trimmed of their small branches. The bear 
would climb the trees, break off branches and drop them, then get down 
and gather the acorns. Hunters were often directed to the bears by hear- 
ing the breaking of the limbs. 


The Smoky Fall. 

"The fall of 1856 was noted througliMut the state as 'the smi)ky fall." 
Probably no part of the state suttered more from this, than did this county. 
Dense smoke from the forest tires shut out the sun and almost everything 
else for many days at a time. \\"\\d animals were bewildered and came out 
into the roads and fields in great numbers. Gloom settled down on the 
inhabitants. Work was suspended in great measure, people keeping indoors 
to escape the smoke as much as possible. The largest objects could not be 
seen more than a few feet away. Cattle would not go away to feed, and 
some of them died. The woods were nearly all burned over, hardly an 
acre of upland or lowland that did not get blackened. In many instances 
the fires continued to burn long after winter had set in. and the hunter 
often found opportunity to warm his hands by some burning log or .stump. 
Nothing more wonderful could well be imagined than the change wrought 
when a light shower came and the wind dispersed the smoke, revealing to 
view the neighbors' dwellings and other familiar objects. However long 
our lives may be spared, and however great the changes we may pass 
through, we can never forget the smoky fall of 1856." 

Further facts relative to the destitute times in Gratiot, and the measures 
adopted for relief, may be found in another department of this volume, under 
an appropriate heading. 

Politics Butts In. 

Up to the fall of 1856, Gratiot County hadn't had a chance to take part 
in national elections or national politics, but the Republican party had been 
in e.xistence two years. So it was deemed to be time to do something 
politically. A county convention was called to organize the party in the 
county, and proceed to the business of the campaign on political issues. 
The convention was held in October. Each organized township was en- 
titled to three delegates. There were 14 organized townships, Bethany 
being a part of Pine River, and Wheeler a part of Lafayette. A\'hen the 
convention assembled, an attempt was made to put aside the question of 
politics and to nominate candidates without regard to political faith. Part 
of the delegations from Fulton and Washington were avowed Democrats, 
and some of the Republican delegates from those townships joined with the 
Democrats in an efl:'i)rt to ignore politics so far as county officers were con- 
cerned. But their efforts were fruitless, and the nominations were strictly 
Republican. Mr. Barnaby continues: 

"Pine River appeared with six delegates, claiming seats for all, on the 
ground that the township contained double territory. After some debate and 
some wrangling, the six were allowed to sit as delegates. The Pine Ri\er 
delegates exhibited considerable arrogance, and created considerable ill- 
feeling. Each time that township was called the delegates came forward 
with a 'Hurrah for Pine River! As goes Pine River, so goes the battle.' 
This repeated expression did not have a soothing effect on the nerves of 
those who doubted Pine River's right to so many votes. Orville M. Wood 
probably would have been re-nominated for clerk, only from the fact that 
when asked what was his politics, he replied, 'None of your business.' So 
he was left off. 

"Later on, the Democrats got together and nominated a ticket, but it 
was defeated. The Republicans elected their county ticket by a vote oi 
about 360 to about 160 for the Democrats. The Democrats elected sur- 
veyor by 10 majority, and their prosecuting attorney was given the election 
by the canvassers on account of tlie Republican candidate, Sylvanus 
Groom, Ijeing ineligible to the oflice. 


"The winter of 1856-7 was a very pleasant one. Before the close of 
November the snow had fallen to a sufficient depth for good sleighing, 
which continued until well along in February. The county at this time 
gave nearly all its trade to the dealers of Maple Rapids. Some of those 
dealers drove a thriving business, nearly all of which came from the citizens 
of Gratiot County. But this trade was poorly appreciated at a later day 
when the money was all gone and Gratiot people were in need. One of 
those dealers told the writer (Barnaby) that the people ought to starve; 
that they were the laziest and most shiftless set of men he had ever known 
in any country. He has, however, lived to see some of those lazy, shiftless 
men, who paid him double-price for his wares, take their place among the 
wealthy and honored of the land. 

"About the 20th of February, 18.^7, a thaw took off the most of the 
snow. Extensive preparations had been made for making maple sugar, 
and the spring proved the best that had been experienced up to that time. 
The season continued till late in April. This was considerable help to the 
people for a time, but as the sugar brought but a small price, and provisions 
were high, it took a large amount of sugar to buy a small amount of provi- 
sions. There was no regular market price for provisions of any kind. The 
dealers and whoever had anything to sell, did as the Children of Israel did 
when they had neither prophet, judge nor king — 'Did what seemed good 
to himself.' I have seen flour sold for $10 a barrel while the highest quota- 
tions for wheat, where they had it, was one dollar per bushel." 

Mr. Barnaby's broad hints as to the grasping proclivities of the dealers 
who had their customers at their mercy, in a great degree, only shows that 
in those days, as perhaps in the present, everyone was looking out for the 
main chance; sentiment and business apparently not mixing to any great 

Truthful, But Pessimistic. 

"Notwithstanding the extreme scarcity of provisions, and the prospect 
of hard times, the population continued to increase rapidly by immigration, 
filling up the county, and thus making supplies comparatively more scarce. 
In the meantime those who had been in the count}- long enough to make a 
start with their improvements, were making every effort to prepare for the 
impending crisis, by putting out as much crops of different kinds as pos- 
sible. Attention to this business was almost universal, and as few idlers 
could be found as in any county of equal population. Even the women 
engaged in outdoor work, and every child large enough to do anything at all 
was pressed into service in preparing the ground for the crops. If any- 
one found it necessary to go to mill or market he was sure to be en- 
trusted with errands by every neighbor for miles around ; thus saving 
time, to be repaid by similar accommodations at some subsequent time. 
And if anyone should presume to go to mill or market without giving due 
notice to his neighbors, he would be elected an undesiralile citizen by 
unanimous vote. 

"The supervisors, at an extra session held in May, 1857, by resolution, 
instructed the superintendents of the poor to ascertain in some way, what, 
in their opinion, would be the best chance for procuring a location for a 
county poor farm, and report the result of their inquiry at the next ses- 
sion of the board. There were, at this time, several professors of law in 
the county, two of whom — Frank Miller and Closes Tompkins — were 
located at Ithaca. It would be impossible at this date to show the in- 
fluence these men had with the officials of the county, especially with the 
board of supervisors. If anyone had any little scheme that he wished to 


carry out. he only had to enlist them in his service and his success was 
sure. And if any ofificer presumed to refuse to fall in with their plans he 
was a marked man ; and however consistent and equitable the measures 
he might propose, or the plans he might make, he was about sure to fail. 
Both of them men of excellent natural ability, they were able to be of 
great service to their friends and to do vast injury to their enemies. In 
short, they nearly managed the aflfairs of the county for a time, and it is not 
so much to be wondered at that some men of good judgment and unques- 
tioned integrity submitted to be dictated to by them, sometimes, against 
their better judgment. Such was the state of things when an opportunity 
presented itself for somebody to dispose of real estate to the countv for 
poor farm purposes. The outcome will be referred to a little later on. 

".\ postntifice had been established at each of the Villages of St. Louis, 
-Alma and Ithaca, and a mail route from St. Johns, by way of Maple Rapids, 
Ithaca and Alma to St. Louis, over which the mail was carried each way 
once a week, if the roads did not get too bad. and everybody kept sober : 
otherwise it came less frequently. Soon after an office was established at 

"Up to this time there was no bridge across ^laple River above Maple 
Rapids, and the condition of the river was such as to render the making 
of a road and building of a bridge a serious undertaking. The mill dam 
at the Rapids raised the water and set it back nearly across the county, 
overflowing a large amount of land and giving the whole flats the appear- 
ance of an immense swamp. Before the construction of the dam a person, 
when the water was at its lowest stage, could cross the river at the Rapids, 
without (lifificulty, by stepping from stone to stone. But after the construc- 
tion of the dam the water was hardly ever less than four or five feet deep, 
so that no place could be found, above this point, where a bridge of less 
than about half a mile in length could be made to answer the purpose. 

"Some help was asked to build bridges across Pine River at different 
places, and also to prepare means of ingress and egress for the county across 
Maple River, short of the circuitous route by way of Maple Rapids. St. 
Johns had become a desirable market and trading place for the citizens of 
Gratiot on account of its larger stocks and greater variety of goods. At- 
tention being directed to this, small appropriations were made from time 
to time, which, had they been directed to the building of only one bridge, 
would have been inadequate for the purpose, but when divided, as they were, 
between several points, they proved actually worthless. So, although a 
bridge was constructed which for a while was barely passable, it was soon 
swept away, and the people were again forced to resume their travel by 
way of Maple Rapids. 

"The summer of 1857 was a season well adapted to the growth of 
crops; corn that was planted in season did well. \\'heat, also, and oats 
were good crops. Only a small quantity, however, of any of those use- 
ful crops was raised, compared to the demand. No threshing machines, or 
even fanning mills, were to be had in many portions of the county. The 
threshing was consequently done by hand, and the grain was cleaned by 
winnowing. The operator watched his chance when there was a good 
breeze, and. lifting the grain above his head, would let it fall in a stream. 
the wind blowing the chaff away. By repeating the process the grain 
would be made tolerably clean. A good hand would in this way prepare 
four or five bushels for the mill in a day. 

"At the October, 1857, session of the supervisors, the superintendents of 
the poor, as thej' were instructed to do, reported ujjon the opportunities 
to purchase a county poor farm, among which was the farm then owned 


by John W. Howd, on section 18, North Star, for $2,245; the farm ad- 
joining it. owned by A. Jefter_\', for $1,800; another on section 17, Wash- 
ington, owned by. \V. "\\'. Comstock, for $2,000. Although this latter tract 
contained much less land than either of the others, was much more re- 
mote from the central portions of the county, and greatly inferior in 
quality, for some unaccountable reason the board selected it and made 
the purchase, greatly to the advantage of the seller at the price named — 
$12.30 per acre. Six of the fourteen members voted against the action. 

''The supervisors had some trouble in disbursing the contributions made 
to the county, familiarly known as 'donations', and thought, probably very 
justly, that they should be remunerated somewhat. There being no other 
way to reach it they proceeded to vote to each member the sum of $45, 
excepting that the members from Pine River and Lafayette were given 
$50 each. These sums were given to the members, 'for the extension of 
their tax rolls.' Whether the action was just or not, the effect was very 
similar to the eflfect upon those who voted for the so-called 'salary grab' in 
congress; very few of the members were ever returned. The people didn't 
seem to like it. 

"The chairman, Addison Hayden, of North Star, was a very good sort 
of an easy fellow who could not very well say no to anything asked of 
him. and being often requested, furnished the board with sundry things 
with which to refresh itself, such as maple sugar, sardines, oysters, etc., 
until it was a matter of doubt whether his per diem would be sufficient 
to foot the bill. So the board voted him an extra $10, which relieved the 
good-natured chairman of his embarrassment. 

"The winter of 1857-8 set in early with very gloomy prospects before 
many of the inhabitants. Very few, at the commencement of winter, were 
able to procure necessary clothing for their families, and many had pro- 
visions to last only a short time, and no money for more. How those 
families managed to live is a surprise even to themselves. If vou were to 
ask them, their answer would be. 'I don't knov^^ ; we lived somehow.' 
Some were fortunate enough to kill some deer and other game, which 
helped somewhat. A very few got work in the lumber woods, and all 
studied economy and lived cheai^lw Although the winter commenced 
early, it was by no means a severe one. 

Religion — Politics — Railroads. 

"The winter was noted as a time of great religious awakening. The 
Rev. Mr. Fay, Baptist, Rev. Mr. Holbrook, Methodist, and Revs. Nash and 
Haskins, L'nited Brethren, were all \-ery successful in their ministry and 
large societies were formed of all these denominations, respectively. This 
awakening was pretty general throughout the western states and was called 
by opposers 'a religious mania.' Whatever it may have been called, in- 
teresting revivals attended nearly every effort made. 

"This winter the question of the election of a circuit judge was pend- 
ing for the tenth judicial circuit to which the county was attached. W^ F. 
Woodworth came through the county accompanied by Rev. Mr. Heming- 
way, of Midland City, soliciting the votes of the people for the nomina- 
tion. They doubtless made much better headway under the state of feel- 
ing that then prevailed, by the latter preaching to the people in various 
places. John W. Longyear, late judge of the United States Court, then 
practicing law in Lansing, was also a condidate for the judgship, agreeing, 
if nominated, to become a resident of the district in time for the election. 
Mr. Woodworth was nominated at the regular convention, but the friends 
of Mr. Longyear, claiming him as a member of the Democratic party, made 


an effort for him at the election. In the attempt to g;et a little scandal 
afloat, Mr. Longyear was accused of intemperance, and Mr. W'oodworth 
was accused of Christianity. It is only justice to say that both of the 
charges were untrue. 

"By this time some of the earliest settlers had ,made quite extensive 
clearings, but there were many of the later settlers that had. as yet. made 
no clearing; also some of the very earliest, who had large families, were 
compelled to work away from home most of the time, and consequently had 
but small patches cleared. They could not work for others all the time and 
also do a large amount of clearing for themselves. The immediate needs 
of their families had made it impossible for them to improve their own 
places, and so they were many times unjustly condemned as being lazv 
and shiftless by those who did not understand the situation. An incident 
occurred at one time when one of those uninformed critics got his rebuke. 
He was moving into the county in the spring, and, getting near the house 
of one of the settlers, got his wagon into a mud hole and could not get 
out. So he called at the house for help. The man who lived there, ac- 
cording to universal custom, started to render the desired assistance, but 
on the way to the wagon he was informed by the newcomer that he did not 
think the inhabitants of that region were possessed of much enterprise, to 
suffer such bad roads to exist. 'Look here,' said the pioneer. 'I cut my 
road six miles through the woods to get here, and two or three of us have 
done all the work to make the road what it is. and that without grumbling; 
and if you don't like our roads just make one to suit yourself.' Turning 
back to his work he left the censorious critic to get out of the mud as best 
he could. 

"The Republican county convention was held at Ithaca, in the old 
court house some time in October. The nominations were. Homer L. Town- 
send, sheriff; Lafayette Church, treasurer; Elijah Peck, register; Emery 
Crosby, clerk ; Israel P>. Coates. prosecuting attorney. An opposition 
ticket was gotten up composed of representatives of both the Democratic 
and Republican parties, but the Republican ticket was elected entire. 

"At this early day the question of a railroad began to be discussed by 
the people, and as the road then known as the 'Rams horn' (the Lake Shore 
branch that ends in Lansing) was being talked of, strong hopes were enter- 
tained that on its route from Lansing it would be laid through Gratiot, by 
v.'ay of St. Johns. What might have been the result if the influential men 
of St. Johns had favored it. would be hard to say. It is, however, a fact 
in the history of the past, that the lousiness men of that village opposed 
the ])roposition of a railroad northward from their town, claiming that it 
would injure their trade. Said they. 'We now get the trade of not only the 
northern part of Clinton, but a good part of Gratiot County also, and' if a 
railroad is built north, little villages will spring up along the line where the 
farmers can dispose of their produce and buy their goods and thus their 
trade will be entirely cut oft' from us.' In this thev can but see alreadv 
(187.T) that they made a grand mistake, and if a road is not built from 
that point northward soon, the mistake will soiue time be more api?arent 
than now. for already Gratiot has about as good markets within her own 
borders as is aft'orded in the Village of St. Johns. 

'"At the October. 1859 session of the supervisors, the county seat ques- 
tion was considerably discussed, and from the expresions of the members 
it was difficult to judge what the end would be. The supervisors from 
Sumner. Scxille. Arcada. Pine River and Bethany, were thoroughly com- 
mitted to .Alma. Those of the scx'en townships of Xewark. Xortli Star. 


^^'ashing•ton, Elba, Hamilton, Lafayette and Emerson, were as solid for 
Ithaca. The three from Fulton, North Shade and New Haven were non- 
committal. In view of the fact that those three townships were supposed, 
l)reviously, to have been sure for Ithaca, the result was made doubtful, 
and Alma was correspondingly hopeful. To add to Alma's advantage, 
Mr. Ely, of Arcada, and Mr. Holiday, of Pine River, were the ablest man- 
agers and the most experienced members of the board, excepting, perhaps, 
Mr. Peltit, of Emerson, the chairman of the board. l\Ir. llarnaby, of North 
Star, a new member, had to take the lead for Ithaca. 

"]Mr. Ely put in a resolution actually pledging the board to locate the 
county seat at the place that would offer the greatest financial aid. That 
resolution was lost, however, and the matter went over to the January, 
I860, session. 

"Just previous to the meeting in January, 1860," writes Mr. Barnaby, 
"the supervisors from Fulton and North Shade went to Alma and spent a 
day or two enjoying the hospitalities of the place, which proceeding had 
a significant look ; and Alma stock went up, while Ithaca stock took a 
downward tendency. Soon after the board convened, and a resolution was 
introduced to locate the county seat at Ithaca, or to continue it there, 
the opposition made strenuous efforts to have the matter laid on the table, 
postponed, etc. But as a session of Court was close at hand, and any 
delay would give the session to Alma where the Court had heretofore been 
held, the dilatory motions were \-ote<l down and the resolution confirming 
the county seat at Itliaca was adopted, bv a vote r)f ') to 5 ; the negative 
votes being by the super\-isors of .\rcada, Sumner, Pine River, Seville and 

"In pursuance of an act of the legislature passed at its last session, by 
which an ap]5ropriation was made for opening a road direct from St. Johns 



to St. Louis, jobs were let early in the season of 1860 — one for the con- 
struction of a bridge across Maple River, and others to different parties 
for chopping and clearing the road on the center line of the county, north 
and south, the latter being taken mostly by Ralph Ely. He prosecuted the 
work with vigor, so that early in August the road was open from Maple 
River to Ithaca, a distance of over ten miles, nearly all of which, the pre- 
vious spring, was covered with heavy timber. The bridge across the river 
was also completed, and other work south of the bridge was done, so that 
before winter the new state road became the usually traveled road to St. 
Johns, Lansing and other places south. 

"The season of 1860 brought forth good crops, and the people began 
to emerge from their gloom. That fall they actually sold wheat, pork 
and other produce. Business was brisk during the winter following, and 
loads of produce from the farms of the county were seen passing daily 
from all parts to the lumber woods, which at that time was by far the best 
market for every kind of produce from a load of hay to a dressed chicken. 
It was truly encouraging, so soon after the extreme scarcity of everything 
in the provision line, to see the surplus of almost everything for man and 

Rumors of War. 

"The spring of 1861 brought rumors of war. and citizens, regardless of 
political faith, stood loyally by the government." 

Speaking of the part the women took in conducting farming operations 
when the men went to war, Mr. Barnaby gives them these words of 
praise : "The women, with patriotic zeal, bade their husbands and sons 
godspeed, and bent to the tasks before them with astonishing cheerfulness, 
and in most instances with remarkable success, winning for themselves 
at home what their husbands and sons did on the battlefield — imperishable 
laurels. Ladies whose accomplishments fitted them for the drawing room, 
could have been seen driving their oxen or wielding the hoe at ordinary 
farm labor. Woe to the man who should say anything disrespectful of the 
soldiers or of the union cause, in the hearing of those patriotic women. 
Improvements were, in a great measure, suspended, but an abundance was 
raised for home consumption, and some to spare of almost everything." 

Wrangled Over the Election. 

Mr. Barnaby discourses interestingly of election matters of 1862. He 
says that after consultation among the leaders of both parties it was de- 
cided to have a union convention and nominate a non-partisan ticket, so a 
union convention was called : but there were some Repliblicans who would 
listen to nothing but a straight party ticket ; so they called a convention 
to take place a week after the union convention. The union convention 
nominated : Sheriflf — Cornelius Holiday, rep.. Pine River ; Clerk — H. T. 
Barnaby, rep., North Star ; Treasurer — Lyman T. Cassada, dem.. Fulton ; 
Prosecuting Attorney — \\'m. E. Winton, rep.. Ithaca; Register of Deeds — 
Wm. Long, dem., Washington; C. C. C. — Elisha ]\IcCall, dem., Fulton; 
Surveyor — Jas. B. \\'heeler, rep., Wheeler. Dr. John R. Cheesman, dem., 
St. Louis, was the nominee for representative. 

The straight Republican convention nominated : Sheriit — Fred D. 
Weller. St. Louis; Clerk — Wm. C. Beckwith, Ithaca; Treasurer — Elijah 
Peck, Ithaca ; Prosecuting Attorney — Moses Tompkins, Jr., Ithaca ; Reg- 
ister of Deeds — Henry P. Howd, Fulton; C. C. C. — Moses Tompkins, Jr., 
Ithaca ; Surveyor — Sidney S. Hastings, St. Louis. Jas. Gargett, Alma, was 
nominated for representative. 


The county canvassers decided that the entire republican ticket was 
elected. But the way they arrived at that conclusion is given thus by ^Ir. 
Barnaby, who was the county clerk, and consequently was secretary to the 
board of canvassers : 

"Thirty votes that were cast for Moses Tompkins were counted as if 
cast for jNIoses Tompkins, Jr., which gave him a majority of 26. If they 
had been thrown out Winton would have had a majority of four. After 
a good deal of discussion the board passed a resolution declaring that the 
thirty votes were cast for I\Ioses Tompkins, Jr., and consequently he was 
elected. In the meantime the secretary (Mr. Barnaby) had prepared a 
statement of the votes in full, as appeared on the returns from the several 
townships, as the law directs. Mr. Arnold, of Arcada, then offered a 
resolution, which passed, commanding the secretary to change the state- 
ment which he had made, so as to make it show that all those votes were 
given for Moses Tompkins, Jr. The secretary positively refused to do 
this, or allow it to be done ; whereupon the board resolved to dismiss the 
secretary and employ one who would do their bidding ; but, finding that 
they could not do this, they wrangled with the secretary two days, when 
they adjourned after declaring Moses Tompkins, Jr., elected. It is but just 
to say that five of the board stood firmly by the secretary throughout the 

Then Mr. Barnaby jots down his idea of the law and the equities in the 
case in this way : "There is not a doubt that the board did right in de- 
ciding the election in favor of Mr. Tompkins. But when they undertook 
to make the secretary certify as a fact what was contrary to the returns, 
they, without doubt, overreached their prerogative." All of which is as 
clear as mud, and may or may not be true. If it was right for the board 
to ignore the returns and the law, then their decision was probably right. 
However, their idea of right was exactly the reverse of that held by the 
canvassing board of 1858; only four short years earlier. At that election 
J. B. Smith, received fifteen votes for sheriff that were manifestly intended 
for Joseph B. Smith, who was running for sheriff. If they had been 
counted for Joseph B. Smith they would have elected him by six majority. 
Throwing them out, as they did, elected Homer L. Townsend by nine ma- 
jority. But the canvassers threw them out, even though fourteen of the 
fifteen men who voted for J. B. Smith, came before the canvassers and in 
sworn statements said that when they voted for J. B. Smith they fully 
intended and meant their votes to count for Joseph B. Smith. Circum- 
stances and conditions make things look so different to different people, 
at dift'erent times. 

"And thus ended the fourth regular election in Gratiot County," says 
Mr. B. ; "the most closely contested and the most exciting election ever 
held in the county." And it is well to qualify and limit his statement bv 
adding, "up to 1875." There have been several live elections since that 
time, of which many readers of this will have a distinct recollection. 

"At the session of the legislature in 1863. another appropriation was 
made for the state road between Ithaca and St. Johns, which was to be 
devoted to grading, making bridges and sluices, and otherwise improving 
the road. Also an appropriation for the road from Alma to Maple Rapids. 
Both appropriations met with approval from all parts of the county. The 
latter particularly, provided for a necessity which as yet had received but 
little or no attention. The grading of the road from the northern portion 
of the county was highly approved, as at that time St. Johns was the only 
railroad market for the whole county and also for Isabella County. 


"In the meantime a village plat had been surveyed in the western part 
of Sumner Township, to which was given the name of Elm Hall; and 
still another four miles south of Elm Hall, and named promiscuously 'Stover- 
town', 'Belltown' and 'Estella'. They finally settled down to the latter 
name. Still later, however, the postoftice established there being called 
Sumner, the name of the village was changed to Sumner : a sensible change 
which did away with much confusion. The first white settlers near Elm 
Hall were Daniel Straver and his famih'. The first settler at Sumner was 
Geo. S. P.ell." 

Retrospective Musings. 

"Commodious farm houses began to make their appearance on the 
farms in different parts of the county during the summer of 1863, while the 
old log cabin was in many instances allowed to remain. Who can look at 
one of those relics of pioneer life and not call to mind the toils and pri- 
vations of early days? She whose willing hands and warm heart helped 
you to fight life's battles, plied the busy needle, or prepared the frugal meal 
around the fire in the huge fireplace, the crumbling remains of which are 
still visible, now sleeps the sleep of death ; and others enjoy the fruits of 
her toil. Silently in imagination you gaze upon the w'an features of your 
little one in that old house, as its spirit was taking leave of its frail tene- 
ment ; and perhaps side by side mother and child sleep over there in the 
city of the dead. You can hardly lay hands rudely upon the decayed 
materials that compose the old log house. Every log and every chink have 
a history, and, could they speak, could relate a story to revive thoughts of 
the early days. But the old house must give place to improvement, and 
like many things that linger in memory, it must take its place among the 
things that were, and are not." 

That Cold New Year! Remember It? 

"The winter of 1863-4 was an exceedingly cold one, especially after the 
first of January. No one who then lived in Northern Michigan will very- 
soon forget the cold New Year's day of 1864. Many agreed that it was 
the coldest day they had ever seen. It was followed by many more very 
severe days during the months of January and February of that year. 
The winter, however, did not last long, and we had an early spring. 
About the tenth of June it came on cold and wound up with a frost 
that badly injured winter wheat, almost ruining many fields of oats, and 
was so hard on the meadows that in many cases the grass never headed 
out. The hay crop, consequently, was \ery light. Corn, though badly cut, 
came on and proved a very good crop. 

"The representative convention for the district of which Gratiot was 
a [jart, met at St. Louis in October, 1864. Gratiot and Midland consti- 
tuted the district. A Mr. Ellsworth, of Midland,' received the nomination, 
getting twenty-three votes to seventeen for H. T. Barnaby. of Gratiot. 
.Afterward Ellsworth declined to run, and the committee, consisting of S. S. 
Hastings and H. T. Barnaby, of Gratiot, and John Larkin, of Midland, 
got together to fill the vacancy. Hastings and Larkin were anxious to 
have Barnab}- take the nomination, but he declined on the ground that 
as he was one of the committee a wrong construction might be put upon 
the matter. It was then left to Barnaby to name the man, and he named 
Luther Smith, of St. Louis. Smith was successful at the eleciton. West- 
brook Devine, of Montcalm, was elected state senator, and Juhn F, Driggs. 
of Saginaw, was elected congressman." 


]\Ir. Barnaby goes on to tell nf some of Represetative Smith's selfish 
and ungrateful acts while a meml)er of the legislature ; tales that need not 
be repeated here, but which I have no heart to question or deny, though 
Mr. Barnaby may have been unduly sensitive, if not prejudiced. 

"The winter of 1864-3 was an unusually mild one. But very little snow 
fell until the latter part of the winter, and not a large amount then. All 
kinds of farm produce brought high ]M-ices. \\'heat reached as high as 
$3.00 per bushel; pork, $14.00 per 'hundred; hay, at the farm, $25.00 per 
ton; wool, $1.00 a pound, and other things in proportion. These were the 
war prices so well remembered by the older citizens. 

The Campaign. End of the War. 

"The campaig'u of 1864 was attended with a great deal of interest, 
not to say excitement. The Democrats were a good deal cast down when 
they heard of the fall of Atlanta; not meaning by that a lack of patriotism, 
but cast down on account of the effect it might have on their political 
prospects. And the Republicans were equally agitated when President Lin- 
coln, in the midst of the campaign, called for '500,000 more'. They were 
anxious about the effect it might have on Republican prospects." 

All of which shows that party spirit was very much alive in those 
days ; and it also hints at the intolerance and the unreasonableness of the 
party spirit when carried to excess; in those days, and just as truly at 
the present time. 

"The return of the soldiers to their homes, at the close of the war, 
and the resumption of business incident to the return of peace, gave a new 
impetus to the growth and improvement of the county. Everywhere the 
advance in improvements, by way of clearing and building were plainly 
noticeable. It had been prophesied by croakers that the soldiers would re- 
turn to us with habits of indolence and vice ; that they would be the 
ruination of the country. But the reverse was true. It was astonishing as 
well as gratifying to see how readily the implements of war were exchanged 
for the implements of husbandry. Farms that had been somewhat neg- 
lected for want of laborers, put on an appearance of thrift. New enter- 
prises were set on foot. The sound of tools in the shops, and the opening 
of stores, also showed that the boys had lost none of their enterprise by 
bearing arms for their country. 

"The pulpits whose occupants had lieen clothed in Uncle Sam's Blue, 
were again made to send forth the sound of the gospel's good will to all 

"In the general resumption of improvements and general business the 
country only remembered the war as a thing of the past." 

Frank Miller Has His "Say." 

Some extracts from a pajier read at the [jiiuieer meeting of 1879, by 
Frank Miller, will give some new features nf interest relati\e to first days 
in Gratiot. They are from his personal experiences and observations: 

"In the fall of 1855, the writer (Miller) who, after three years of close 
application to his studies in a law oft'ice in Elmira. N. Y., had been admitted 
to practice in all the courts of that state, left his home in the beautiful lake 
country of the Empire State, and came to Michigan. The trip was made 
from Buffalo to Detroit by steamboat, and thence to Lansing over the new 
plank road by stage. A delay of three days occurred before a seat could 
be secured in the stage, so great was the rush into the interior of the state 
of those taking advantage of the 'graduation act' which reduced the price 


of certain government lands to fifty cents per acre. When I finally got 
a seat I was one of 25 passengers. I had heard of Gratiot County and was 
bound to be there when it was organized that fall. After tarrying a few 
bright sunshiny days at Lansing, I set out on foot through the almost un- 
broken wilderness by way of De Witt, Gardner's and Maple Rapids. Stop- 
ping over night at De Witt, at Gardners for dinner, and at Maple Rapids 
the next night, my first night in Gratiot County, after traveling the "Old 
Indian Trail' toward Pine River till some time after dark, was at L. C. 
Knapp's, one and a half miles north of the center of the county, now Ithaca. 

"There had been a sort of informal people's convention held there a few 
days previous and a ticket of candidates nominated to be voted for at the 
first county election soon to be held. At that time in the near vicinit}^ of 
Knapp were settled John Knight, E. C. Farrington and Joe Stafford in 
Emerson, and a Mr. Searls, Ed. Lake and Simon Nott in Arcada. 

■'Resolved to 'take the bull by the horns' and either to 'spoil a horn or 
make a spoon', I had announced myself as an independent candidate for 
prosecuting attorney of the new county, from the time I came into it. From 
Knapp's I made my way over a very blind trail to Ely's on Pine River, and 
thence down the river to Joe Clapp's (now St. Loui.s"). I reached there the 
night before election. The result showed that although a perfect stranger 
I had been elected by a handsome majority over Benjamin Crawford and 
Marcus Service. Neither of them had been admitted to practice law in 
courts of record. There were a little less than 300 votes cast at this election. 

"At that time the site of the present \'illage of St. Louis contained five, 
log houses, two of them not yet completed, a partially completed hewed 
log store, occupied by J. G. Wilden of Ohio within the next three months: 
and the raised frame of a water sawmill. A brush dam was partly con- 
structed across Pine River, and quite a number of men were working on it. 
Alma, or Ely's, consisted of the log house and log store of Ralph Ely, and 
three or four log houses in the immediate neighborhood, one of which was 
occupied by a Mr. Todd, another by a Mr. Mosher, and a third, across the 
river by Lorton Holiday, familiarly known as 'Black Hawk' Holiday. 

"Bethany Mission, or Indiantown, just below Clapp's, on Pine River, had 
quite a respectable hewed log missionary church, five or six log houses on 
the bank of the river, an Indian burying ground, a resident German 
Moravian missionary — Rev. E. G. H. Meissler, and Jas. Gruett, a half French 
and half Indian interpreter. Ithaca, Pompeii, Elm Hall and Estella had not 
then even been thought of, and Gratiot Center, now Ithaca, was a dense 
forest. That fall Thomas and Robert Reed took a contract of John Jeffery 
for chopping 10 acres on a specified portion of some land Jeffery had taken 
up there. * * * 

"That winter was a long and cold one, and many old residents of the 
county will feelingly remember how we almost roasted on one side at the 
big fire-places filled with green wood, while we literally froze on the other 
side. In fact it was about as warm out of doors as in, as many of the newer 
houses were not even 'chinked' between the logs at all. And almost every 
night of that long, cold winter the prolonged howl of the big gray wolves 
could be heard. 

"On the first Monday of January, 1856, the first county oft'icers, elected 
the previous November, were required by law to qualify and enter upon the 
discharge of their official duties. A special session of the board of super- 
visors — the first ever held in the county — was called, and was held at the 
residence of Ralph Ely, at Alma, January 7, 1856, for the purpose uf doing 


its part, and what was required to set the wheels of government in motion. 
The seven supervisors were all present, and Gratiot County was duly born 
into the sisterhood of the organized counties of the state. 

"Another special session of the board was called to meet on February 
11, 1856. The session was held at Ithaca, in a partially enclosed small frame 
building erected by John Jeffery's agent, L. C. Knapp. It had neither fire 
nor floor. The site of the county seat was selected after considerable dis- 
cussion, and obtaining the offers of John Jeffery, John J. Bush, Simon Nott 
and others, and block nine of the village plat of Ithaca was made the site. 

"The first marriage known to the writer to have taken place in the 
county was that of Martin W. Cramer to Miss Dorinda Sias. The ceremony 
was performed by Sylvanus Groom, a justice of the peace in Pine River 
Township, in the spring of 1855. The first funeral known to the writer was 
that of a female child of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvanus Groom, in the spring of 
1856. The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Lafayette Church at 
Groom's house. The coffin was made from boards taken from a partition 
in Joseph Clapp's house, by Elias W. Smith. The first babies born in the 
county were mostly rocked in sap troughs, in the absence of cradles. It is 
doubtful if those who were not, and their descendants, are entitled to be 
classed among the first families of Gratiot. 

"About the first of July a severe frost seriously injured the growing 
corn and potatoes, the seed of which had not previously been carried oft' by 
squirrels. No county in the state of its size and age discounted Gratiot 
this year and the next, in crops of leeks, mosquitoes, firewood and ague. A 
second frost in August completely destroyed what little corn there was 
left. This left a few potatoes and ruta bagas as about the only resource in 
the home supply of provisions for the settlers and their families, excepting 
the wild game which abounded in those days. 

"Early that fall, fires broke out in the woods in all directions and for 
weeks we had plenty of pillars of smoke by day, and pillars of fire all 
through the night, only the smoke continued, dense and suffocating night and 
day. It was so dark for a number of days that lighted candles were re- 
quired in the houses, and people could hardly see their hands before them 
out of doors at midday. The winter found the settlers but poorly provided 
for, but by dint of shingle making and clearing land for the few who could 
pay for it, the winter was worried through. But the spring of 1857 found 
actual starvation staring many families in the face." * * * 

"Shingles were hand made, from the nearest pine trees suitable for the 
purpose, and were legal tender for all debts, dues and demands in the 
county, and made good, acceptable Gratiot County currency. Although 
there was not a single sheep in the county, each organized township offered 
bounties for wolf scalps, and the county gave an additional bounty. Neigh- 
bors were well acquainted for a distance of from five to ten miles, every- 
body with everybody else, and there were few or no social grades or re- 
strictions. Almost every log house was a sort of a country hotel or tavern, 
where the weary traveler might be sure of being welcome, and of having 
a share of what they had to eat, if they had anything at all, money or no 
money. Tramp laws were unknown, and all were to some extent tramps, 
for traveling had to be done on foot. The log houses generally had good 
large fire-places, stick and mud chimneys, and puncheon or split-log floors. 




"In 18.^7 the starvinij times cummenced. for reasons already gi\'en, and 
the cry of destitution went forth from many of the stout-hearted and 
strong-handed settlers in the wilderness counties of Gratiot and Isabella. 
It was caught up and responded to most promptly and generously hy the 
citizens of Lansing. Jackson, Detroit, the Saginaws and elsewhere in the 
older settled portions of the state. There were but few good teams in the 
county, and not many of any kind, and they were nearly all ox teams. Quite 
a number of cattle died from being unable to sustain life on browse of bass- 
wood and maple twigs and buds. These things made it difficult to get the 
donation supplies into the county, or to distribute them after they were 

"The legislature appointed commissioners to lay out, establish and open 
two or three state roads that year, one of which was that extending from 
St. Johns by way of Ithaca and St. Louis to Saginaw, which was duly laid 
out and the route established by John JefTery, J. B. Smith, Lafayette Church 
Hiram Burgess and the writer Ijefore the next winter. The Detroit, Grand 
Haven & Milwaukee Kailrciad was completed as far west as St. Johns this 


year, and this was a great help in getting in suppHes of all kinds. * * * 
Every succeeding year school districts were organized, log school houses 
built, public roads laid out, opened and 'corduroyed', churches were built 
and the area of cleared land on every man's land was more and more en- 
larged. John Jeffery, in pursuance of an agreement with the board of super- 
visors when the county seat was located on his land, put up a hewed log 
two-story building for county uses, which was occupied by the various 
county officers in the fall of 1856. A steam saw and grist mill put up at 
Ithaca by John Jeffery, Francis Nelson and Lafayette Church, and the same 
year a water grist mill put up at St. Louis by R. G. Hillyer and Lewis M. 
Clark, were great conveniences to the people, relieving much trouble in 
that direction. 

"By this time — 1857 — the f(jllo\ving postoffices had been established ; 
Ithaca, Frank Miller, postmaster ; St. Louis, A. M. Crawford ; Alma. Ralph 
Ely; Pompeii, J. B. Smith; Spring Brook, \Vm. Sutherland; Elm Hall, 
Baron Blanchard; Stella, A. T. Hayden ; Lafayette, Eben M. Morse: Mon- 
ticello, Henry P. Clark. 

"The partial plat of Ithaca made early in 1856 and afterward completed, 
by S. S. Hastings, was recorded June 12, 1856. The plat of Upper Ithaca 
was made in April, 1856, and completed as to platting and filing for record 
May 17, 1856. The proprietors were Simon L. Nott, Hiram Burgess, S. S. 
Hastings, Frank Miller and Orville M. \\'ood. A further plat of West 
Ithaca was afterward, during the same summer, made of 40 acres by John 
J. Bush, but never recorded. The village plat of Pine River (now St. Louis) 
was made by Louis D. Preston, a surveyor from Lansing early in July, 
1855, and recorded July 16, 1855, in Saginaw County, this county not yet 
having been organized. The proprietors were Joseph Clapp, Dr. A. M. 
Crawford, Jas. T. Vandeventer and Myron H. Tyrell. In 1856 the plat of 
Elyton, or Ely's Mills, was surveyed by S. S. Hastings for the proprietor, 
Ralph Ely. The village plat of Alma was surveyed in 1858, after which 
the whole settlement was called Alma. * * * 

"A bitter contest had existed in relation to the location of the county 
seat from before the organization of the county, and the writer ( Frank 
Miller), John Jeffery, Hiram Burgess, Francis Nelson and a number of 
others, in behalf of the interests of Ithaca, and Ralph Ely and others in 
behalf of Elyton (now Alma) attended during two entire sessions of the 
legislature, at Lansing, each striving to secure the coveted prize, by legis- 
lation, to secure the object sought. The journey in those days was neces- 
sarily made on foot ; and six times has the writer and the late John Jeffery 
walked to and from Lansing on business connected with the county seat 

"Among the youths who came to Ithaca as boys in the early days, 
Nathan Church and Wilbur Nelson are today (1879) two of the most active, 
prominent and influential business men of the village, with well-earned 
reputations that extend far beyond the boundaries of the state ; and Jas. W. 
and Chas. H. Howd and William Nelson are first-class business men any- 
where. Rev. Theodore Nelson ranks among the leading clergymen in the 
state, in usefulness and ability. * * * 

"And so we might continue. iMery old Gratiot County pioneer has 
his or her experiences, and they are lengthy, varied and valuable, at least 
to themselves, and it is only from a condensation and compilation of many 
such, that the true history of Gratiot County can ever be written. This 
paper has been prepared and is now read as an humble contribution to the 
pioneer history of Gratiot County, and as a tribute of respect alike to the 


living and the dead pioneers of the county ; a plain unvarnished statement 
of a few of the more prominent and important incidents, hardships and 
privations common to all. and borne alike by all ; also of a few of the more 
important public exents during the first two years after the organization 
of the county. The improvements of today, seen throughout the county 
in general, show how hard and how well the early settlers of this county 
toiled, 'who lifted up the ax upon the thick trees' ; who laid out and opened 
public roads, who organized school districts and built school houses and 
church edifices, and literally hewed for themselves homes out of the howl- 
ing, primitive wilderness. If a workman is known by his chips, this county 
has the record of many good workmen ; and a multitude of chips. 

"Much history has been made in Gratiot County during the last quarter 
of a century. Few there are of the old settlers who have not 'left their foot- 
prints on the sands of time' : footprints that neither they nor their posterity 
need ever be ashamed of. Year after year adds to the number of those 
who have been called to come up higher to their reward — 'where the wicked 
cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest'. And as one by one they 
are laid from time to time away in the silent and the narrow house appointed 
for all the living, let all coming after them to enjoy the fruits of their labors 
in Gratiot County, say sincerely in their hearts, 'Peace to their ashes; 
honor to their memories'. 

"The pioneers of this county can justly claim that they are entitled to 
as much consideration and respect as are the settlers of any other county 
in the state; and their names, one and all, are justly entitled to honorable 
mention and perpetual preservation in a full history of the county and of 
the Peninsular state." 

Thus ends Frank IMiller's tribute. And it is far from being bad. 
Rather, it is absolutely good. If Frank Miller had faults, they were in 
a great measure ofT-set by good natural ability. The writer once got mad 
at him and in his paper called him a nasty name. But Frank got in a 
suitable response, in another paper, so the matter was evened up fairly 
well. But as to the full county history Frank suggests, here it is! 

Francis Nelson Was Spicy. 

Some reminiscences written by Francis Nelson in 1876, throw some 
new light on some of the early official transactions in the county, and as 
they also contain some spicy passages I feel forgiven in advance for "ex- 
tracting" some of the best parts. So here they are : 

"At the time of holding our first township meeting in Arcada. all the 
statute law we had in the north part of the county was a single copy of 
the old revised statutes of 18-16. Nevertheless, most of us thought we 
understood law pretty well, and a general disposition prevailed to take any 
office given us — for the good of our country. In fact we worked up office 
timber so close that a humorous friend over in Emerson, as we were en- 
gaged in building a saw mill in Ithaca in the summer of 1857, made the 
remark that all the basswood in their town had been worked up into town- 
ship officers. 

"At our first township meeting in Arcada we gut up a ticket and elected 
officers in great harmony, and then agreed that our clerk should go to the 
only man authorized to administer an oath in our part of the county, the 
notary public, Francis Way of Pine River, and be sworn into office, prepar- 
atory to administering the constitutional oath to the rest of us. We then 
took the oath, filed our bonds and considered ourselves township officers. 
But we lost our justices as we were not aware of the fact that only the 
county clerk could administer the oath to them. 


''However, on the principle that misery loves company, we were grati- 
fied to learn that Pine River fell into the same error, or perhaps worse. 
They had a man in their township by the name of Sylvanus Groom. This 
man was a former Methodist minister, but was now a back-slider and pro- 
fessed infidel, or deist. He was elected justice of the peace, and after taking 
the constitutional oath as such, he with great pomp assisted the clerk in 
swearing in the other officers. Someone questioned his authority, as he 
had not yet filed his bonds, but he replied that it was of no consequence, 
the bond being merely security for any money coming into his hands. This 
seemed to satisfy everybody. He then went on with the swearing, but a 
bystander thought that the words, 'so help me God' ought to be inserted 
in the oath, at which Groom straightened up, placed his thumbs in the arm- 
holes of his vest and said: 'I am glad that Michigan has left our minds 
untrammeled in regard to our belief in God.' He then went on to state how 
many gods were belie\ed in besides the Christian God, but as for him he 
did not believe in any. As there was no theologian among us we had to 
let it go at that. 

"After Seville was organized and had its first township meeting we 
chanced to meet a man from there who was known as 'Lying Smith' to 
distinguish him from some of the rest of the Smith family. He said that 
after the balloting was over he arose and informed the voters that it was 
their duty to elect a notary public, which they could by a viva voce vote ; 
which they proceeded to do, and he was elected unanimously. We do not 
vouch for this, but we do know that at our first Republican convention he 
came near being nominated for prosecuting attorney, by telling the dele- 
gates that he expected to be admitted to the bar in about a month. 

"We will now give a little insight into the criminal practice in the 
courts of the early times. Francis Way, whom we mentioned above, settled 
at Ely's and built a log house which still stands on the place known as the 
Lorton Holiday place. He occupied the house as a dwelling and store, and 
was the first merchant in the northern part of the county. Sometime in the 
latter part of 1854 expectations were raised that the place partially platted 
and called 'Gratiot City', between Ely's and Clapp's Hater St. Louis) would 
be the center of attraction. It was reported that this young city had been 
organized by an act of the legislature, and that it would be the duty of thq 
county clerk and treasurer, to be elected the next fall, to locate a place in 
Pine River Township, to transact the county business. Warren Sherwood 
who owned this tract, proposed that if they would select his place, he would 
build all needed county buildings, and improve a water power there, which 
was thought to be as good as any on the river, and many of us thought 
Gratiot City would surely be the county seat. 

''Induced by these brilliant prospects, our friend Francis ^Vay rented 
his place to Holiday and bought a small lot of Dr. Gifford. who owned the 
farm now belonging to E. Goodrich (later owned by Bert Woodward) and 
joining Sherwood's place, and moved his store there. Now this Dr. Gifford 
was a very nervous and passionate man. His wife, whom he had long since 
abandoned, died in St. Louis a few weeks ago. After the Gratiot City bubble 
burst, and being disappointed in not getting the county seat located in his 
neighborhood, he wanted to get rid of \\'ay. To gain this end he com- 
mitted an assault upon \\^ay's wife, for which he was arrested, and was 
fined by Justice Groom. This suit was the foundation for another one 
The doctor claimed that \\'ay swore falsely in the previous suit, and had 
him arrested for perjury and brought before Justice Alanson Todd of 
Arcada. \\'e belie\-ed \\'ay to be a good man and innocent, and the doctor 
rather ugly and malicious. So we went to what we supposed to be an ex- 



amination to see whether the prisoner should be held for trial ; but we 
soon learned that they were actually trying the case. The doctor was 
managing the case for the people and Justice Groom for the defense. The 
evidence did not amount to much, yet the doctor strenuously insisted that 
it was sufficient to convict the prisoner, and proceeded to enlighten the 
court as to the penalty for the crime. The justice, after patiently listening 
to the arguments pro and con. said he hadn't the heart to send a man away 
from his family to state's prison : and so the prisoner was allowed to go 
about his business. 

"Justices in those days exercised large jurisdiction, as they were the 
highest court in the county. In one case a justice drew up what he called 
a bill of separation, which answered every purpose of a divorce, with 
alimony to the wife." 

Mr. Nelson tells how Dr. A. M. Crawford of St. Louis worked a bill 
through the legislature to organize the county of Gratiot, the bill providing 
that the sheriff, county clerk and county treasurer should designate a place 
in the township of Pine River for holding the circuit court of the county 
and the county offices, until the county seat could be established. So the 
important thing to do was to see that the right men were chosen to those 
positions — sheriff, clerk and treasurer. So the fight was on in earnest. 

"As the time approached for holding the election." says Mr. Nelson, 
"a mass convention was held at L. C. Knapp's to nominate county officers. 
Ely and his friends attended, but soon saw that it was useless to take part." 
A Fulton man for sheriff, an Ithaca adherent for clerk and Dr. Crawford 
himself for treasurer had a bad look for Mr. Ely and his friends. 

"Disappointed, Ely's friends concluded 
to get up an opposition ticket, and we 
entered into a plan of thoroughly can- 
vassing the county, and then meet on an 
appointed day at Arnold Payne's, on the 
south county line. There we met, with 
the exception of Mr. Ely, who was pre- 
vented by other business, and agreed up- 
on a ticket which substituted Francis 
Nelson for Isaac Jones for sheriff, and 
Ralph Ely for treasurer in place of A. M. 
Crawford, and some other changes of 
minor importance. Subsequently we 
(Nelson) gave up our place at the head 
of the ticket to Geo. E. Walker, in order 
to make sure of the votes of North Shade ; 
but we nevertheless went to Ionia on 
foot, got our tickets printed, and returned 
for the election. 

People s Ticket. 

Orvili' W/x.m1. 

' "iiaipirEk' 

Henrv Iamic 


-Toliii K. Chetiseniajt. 

•HIT f'ltnrt C'oainiirsi<<i'-r. 

Ffearv Lane. 

"A short time previous to the elec- 
tion Frank Miller and Stephen E. Long- 
year, two young lawyers, came into the 
woods. The former was elected prose- 
cuting attorney and the latter circuit 
court commissioner, the regular nominees 
not being eligible." 

The illustration is from one of the original tickets which was resurrected 
from an old scrap-book belonging to Mrs. S. S. Hastings, now of Mt. Pleasant. 

t^idnt^y S. II;i.-<fin<i^. 

Levi Suiitli, 
Lewis It Lo-'HiIm 

ELeCTEO NOV., 18S5. 


"AMien Dr. Crawford saw that he was fairly whipped, he gave up the 
struggle for the county seat in St. Louis, but with the same spirit that has 
ever actuated the inhabitants of St. Louis and Ahna, he said that 'if we 
can't have it they shall not', and the fight for the county seat continued 
until the spring of 1856 when the board of supervisors permanently estab- 
lished it at Ithaca." 


A Mass of Important History in Their Official Acts 
From First to Last. 

The act of the state legislature providing for the organization of Gratiot 
County was approved February 3. 1855. The full text of the act is given 
in this volume at the beginning of the department entitled "National, State 
and County Officers": the department which gives the election returns 
from the first election in 1855 to the last one in 1913. At the time of the 
passage of the act. North Shade was the only organized township in the 
county, and that township was connected, officially, with Clinton County. 
The organizing act provided for an election to be held on the first Tuesday 
of November, 1855, to elect a full set of county officers. 

This act seems to have put new life into the people : or at least it gave 
them an idea. They must get busy if they were going to take part in the 
election. So the work of organizing the townships was begun, and by the 
time the first Tuesday of November rolled around the number of organized 
townships had increased from one to seven. It might not be exactly just 
to say that perhaps the suggestion of a county office in the dim and 
misty future had anything to do with the extra hustle. Perhaps it didn't, 
but it wouldn't be a very severe stretch of the possibilities to presume 
that such an exigency might have some such effect in the present dav. The 
small population at that time made the average man's average chances of 
being struck by a county office infinitely greater than now. About one in 
six hundred now ; about one in tv^'enty-five then. So the hardships of 
pioneer life seem to have had one mitigating feature anyway. Still, when 
you come to consider the difference in salaries — so there von are about 
where you started in. 

The seven-member board met in its first session at the residence of 
Ralph Ely, Alma, January 7, 1856, and was made up as follows : Francis 
Nelson, Arcada ; Wm. L. Norton, Fulton; Henry Lane, North Shade; 
Joseph H. Bennett, New Haven; Benjamin Crawford, North .'^tar : Hiram 
Burgess, Pine River; Melancton Pettit, Emerson. 

Francis Nelson was chosen temporary chairman, after which — at the 
afternoon session — Henry Lane was made permanent chairman. Elijah 
Porter, of Pine River was secretary, according to the records, but just how 
or why the records do not say. He was secretary of the board of can- 
vassers that canvassed the returns on county officers after the election of 
the previous November, and it is likely that he would have the canvassers' 
report to submit to the board of supervisors, and would, with plausibility, 
take or be assigned the position of clerk to the board until such time as 
the newly elected county clerk could rightfully act. 

Business started in with the appointment of four standing committees, 
to-wit: Ways and Means; Roads and Bridges; Claims, and Organization 
of Townships. 


A petition was presented from citizens of 10 — 3, asking to be organized 
into a townsliip. Referred to a committee. 

Francis Nelson presented a wolf certificate which was referred to the 
committee on claims. The board, of course, had not yet fi.xed a bounty 
for wolf scalps. 

At an evening session, Ralph Ely. county treasurer-elect, presented 
his certificate of election and his official bond duly executed. On motion 
the bond was approved and ordered filed by the clerk. 

Mr. Crawford moved that the clerk of the county take his seat as 
clerk of the board. Lost. 

A committee consisting of Supervisors Pettit, Norton and Ucnnett was 
appointed to report on salaries of the county oflficers. 

At the second days' session — January 8, 18.^6 — the petition for the 
organization of 10 — -3 was granted and the township named Newark. In 
like manner the Townships of Washington and Hamilton were organized. 
.•\t the afternoon session of this second day, the committee to whom the 
salary question was referred, reported the following schedule : County 
Treasurer, $250; County Clerk, $275: Prosecuting Attorney, $250. The 
report was somewhat modified by amendment, and the salaries were fixed 
as follows: Treasurer, $250: Cferk, $250: Prosecuting .A.ttorney. $300. 

Orville ^I. \\'ood, who had been elected county clerk, tried to get his 
seat as clerk of the board, but a resolution was adopted shutting him out, 
for the reason that he had not yet got his official bond approved bv the 
circuit court as required by law. 

At the afternoon session of the third day. on motion of Supervisor 
Burgess, Ralph Eh-'s account "for rodni, candles and paper", was allowed 
at $5.00. 

They Settled With Clinton County. 

The prosecuting attorney was directed to attend a meeting of the 
board of supervisors to be held with the Clinton County board of su])er- 
visors at Dewitt, the county seat of Clinton County, on the third Monday 
of January, 1856, for the purpose of settling accounts between the two 
counties. Supervisors Lane, Bennett, Burgess and Crawford were desig- 
nated a committee to attend the settlement in behalf of Gratiot County. 
Mr. Crawford was appointed a committee to post notices regarding such 
settlement '"in the unorginized territory in the east half of the county." 

Each supervisor had to present his own claim for his services at this 
first supervisors' meeting and for mileage. A dollar and a half was the 
per diem allowed, and six cents a mile traveling fees. The latter seems to 
have been for as many times as they wished to go home, for while the 
session lasted only three days, the miles traveled are given in as follows : 
Crawford, (North Star) 24 miles: Pettit, (Emerson) 26 miles: Norton, 
(Fulton) 40 miles; Nelson, (Arcada) 6 miles: Bennett, (New Haven) 26 
miles; Burgess, (Pine River) 6 miles; Lane, (North Shade) 60 miles. 

A good many miles for some of them, but, considering the traveling 
conditions in those days, they can hardly be blamed if they figured the 
distance as it seemed, rather than as it would figure out mathematically. 

The committee appointed to meet with the Clinton County supervisors 
to adjust claims, met at the Clinton House, Dewitt, January 22. 1856. 
Orville M. Wood seems to have straightened out his official bond matter, 
for he was present and kept the minutes and made the record. Besides 
doing their business with the Clinton County supervisors, the committee 
seems to have done a lot of miscellaneous business the same as if they 
had been in their own county and a full board present. For instance, they 


fixed upon the third Monday in February for a meeting with the Saginaw 
County board of supervisors at Saginaw to adjust matters between the two 
cotmties. An entry in the record dated January 25, shows that they were 
still in Dewitt and still doing miscellaneous business. "Mr. Crawford 
moved to allow the supervisors of North Shade and North Star for the year 
1855, $10 each for extending the roll for the assessment of taxes for that 
year. Carried." 

The four supervisors, the prosecuting attorney, (Frank Miller) and the 
clerk. (Orville M. Wood) presented their claims for services, and they were 
allowed nine days and mileage as follows: Henry Lane, nine days and 80 
miles travel, $22,80,0; Benjamin Crawford, nine days and 100 miles, $24,00.0; 
Hiram Burgess, nine days and 120 miles, $27.00,0: Joseph H. Bennett, nine 
davs and 84 miles, $23,04,0; Franklin Miller, atty., 10 days at $2. per 
day, $20,00,0; O. M. Wood, clerk, 10 days at $2. per day and 120 miles 
travel, $27,20,0. These items and figures are given just as they appear in 
the record. Orville's system of putting down figures and pointing them 
off was somewhat out of the ordinary. 

The settlement with Clinton County seems to have shown a balance 
in favor of Gratiot. So who can blame the committee for going on and 
doing a little more business ! Mr. Crawford moved "that the board of 
supervisors of Gratiot County draw upon the treasurer of Clinton County 
for the respective amounts audited and allowed by said board for services 
at this meeting, and vouchers given by them to said treasurer for the same. 
Carried. So, having the main chance in view and no doubt being sorely 
in need of the mone}', like sensible men that they were, and not merely 
disinterested angels, they took no unnecessary chances, but made sure of 
their own pay: and then Mr. Burgess moved "that the chairman of said 
board be and he is hereby authorized to receive the balance of moneys re- 
maining in the treasury of Clinton County belonging to the County of 
Gratiot, and to pay the same over to the treasurer of Gratiot County, after 
paying the amounts audited and allowed to the members of this board." 
The motion carried. 

Began To Locate the County Seat. 

Locating the county seat was a matter that naturally created a good 
deal of interest : perhaps "excitement" would express the condition more 
accurately. Though the number of people to be e.xcited was limited, they 
made up in activity what they lacked in numbers. The pioneers of Alma, 
ably led by Ralph Ely, were very desirous of having it located there, while 
the Ithaca contingent were perfectly sure that the geographical center of 
the county was the proper place for the county buildings. The few resi- 
dents of St. Louis and vicinity would not have been averse to having it 
come their way, but even at that early day they were not anxious to help 
their rival settlement on the Pine River by assisting it in its efforts to 
secure the county seat. On account of these interesting conditions it is 
deemed appropriate to give the action of the supervisors, with reference 
to the subject, considerably in detail. 

The record goes on to say that a special meeting of the board of 
supervisors was held February 11, 1856, "at the house of John Jefferies, 
in pursuance of the statute in such case made and provided." Of course, 
it is readily understood that the John "Jefferies" mentioned was John 
Jeft"ery, the founder of "Gratiot Center," or Ithaca, as afterward named. 
Roll call showed all the supervisors present excepting Crawford, of North 
Star. Luther C. Smith came as his "deputy." The countv clerk was hav- 
ing difficulty in getting the records and books from Elijah Porter, of Pine 


River, who was clerk of the board before the county clerk had qualified him- 
self to assume the position. Collateral evidence seems to show that Porter 
was holding out for his pay before he would turn over the books: and it 
may be that the county seat question had something to do with it. That 
question also involved the county treasurer, in a similar way. with the 

.\bout the first business of the board at its meeting Februarv 11. at 
the house of Mr. Jeffery, was the adoption of the following resolution offered 
by Mr. Lane : 

"Resolved, That the county clerk be and he is hereby authorized bv the 
board of supervi.sors of Gratiot County, to call on Mr. Porter and 
demand all the books, papers, etc., belonging to said County of Gratiot, and 
bring the same before the board at the house of John Jefifery near the 
geographical center of said county, by 10 o'clock, a. m., of February 12, 
1856. Carried." 

The board of supervisors met next da}- — February 12: or. it "mett",' as 
the clerk's records persistently show. Mr. llurgess. of Pine Ri\-er, offered 
a resolution as follows : 

"Resolved, That the oft'ice of Treasurer of Gratiot Countv be and it is 
declared vacant, in consequence of his neglecting to file his official oath 
and bonds with the county clerk, as required by law, and the sum in said 
Treasurer's bond not being fixed by the board of supervisors as required by 
law." This was adopted by the affirmative votes of Bennett, Burgess, 
Crawford and Pettit. Nelson and Norton voted against the resolution. Then 
it was voted unanimously "that Ralph Ely's record of county business be 
now presented before said board, and that the chairman call upon Mr. 
Ely for the record of his proceedings as county treasurer." The record 
seems to have been forthcoming promptly, for the clerk was directed to 
read the record, which was done. 

Then a resolution was offered by Mr. Burgess, the wording and gist of 
which reveals the trouble between the board and Treasurer Ely. The reso- 
lution read : 

"Resoh-ed, That the acts of Ralph Ely, late county treasurer and Geo. 
E. Walker, county sheriff', in regard to designating suitable ]ilaccs tor liold- 
ing the circtiit court and the various county offices, be disapproved by this 
board, in consequence of their not calling in the countv clerk of said 
county, as provided by the session laws of 1855, in Act No. 16, Section 4. 
which makes it the duty of said officers to designate such places." The 
resolution was adopted lay a vote of five to two — yeas, Bennett, Burgess, 
Crawford, Pettit, Norton ; Nays, Nelson. Lane. 

The adoption of that resolution was followed u]) at the evening session 
by another, presented by Supervisor Burgess. It follows: 

"Resolved, That, whereas the county sheriff, county clerk and county 
treasurer have failed to designate suitable places in the Township of Pine 
River, for holding the circuit court and for doing the county business: anl. 
whereas their acts have been disapproved by this board, it is further. 

"Resolved, That the said board establish and designate the geoq;raphical 
center of this county, or as near thereto as practicable, the place for doin'^ 
the county business for said county, and that the said county offices be 
erected as soon as may be done to the best interests of said county. .\nd 
further, that this board, before it adjourns this meeting, provide a suitable 
place for doing the countx' business, and that they shall establish the 
county site, as near as practicalile to the geographical center of said county." 

The matter was then referred to the conimittee on ways and means, to 
report next dax'. 


These proceedings are quite conclusive evidence that Mr. Ely, in the 
opinion of the board, at least, had been working too industriously in the in- 
terest of an effort to have the county seat established at Alma. Evidently 
he had been aided in his efforts by Sheriff Geo. E. Walker, whose home was 
in North Shade, at least by his sympathy, as is indicated by the fact that 
Supervisor Lane, of North Shade, voted in his favor each time. The vote 
of Norton, also, is explainable by the fact that his views would quite likely 
run in harmony with his neighbors. Lane and Walker. 

On the same day, and following the adoption of the last mentioned 
resolution. Supervisor Pettit presented the following: 

"Resolved, by the board of supervisors, of Gratiot County, that we do 
hereby appoint Abram M. Crawford our legal treasurer for said county, 
to fill vacancy, occasioned by Ralph Ely's neglecting to file his official oath 
and bond as required by the statutes of the State of Michigan; said ap- 
pointment to hold good until the supervisors see fit to have one elected, 
or to revoke his appointment." This was adopted by a vote of four to 
three — yeas. Bennett. Burgess, Crawford, Pettit ; nays. Nelson, Norton, 

A. M. Crawford presented his official oath and bond as county treas- 
urer and they were approved by a vote of six to one, Mr. Norton alone 
voting in the negative. 

Dr. A. AL Crawford was a St. Louis settler, having located there the 
previous year — 1855. That year he built the St. Louis Hotel, located on the 
south side of North Street. A postoffice was established the same year, 
Joseph Clapp, postmaster. Dr. Crawford was appointed postmaster in May, 
1856, serving a few months. He afterward became a resident of Jackson. 
Mich., and died there, June. 1^09, at the age of 80 years. 

Fastening Down the County Seat. 

.\t this session of the board — February 12. 1856 — the first county super- 
intendents of the poor were appointed — Chester Townsend, Isaiah Allen and 
Geo. E. Gift'ord. Also at this session the first wolf bounty was paid, to 
Reuben Finch, of Arcada. 

At the session of February 13. 1856. the committee of ways and means 
reported on the county seat matter referred to it. as follows : 

"The committee on ways and means have taken into consideration a 
resolution of the board to designate a suitable site for doing the business 
of said County of Gratiot, and having had certain propositions submitted to 
them, present and recommend the following: 

"Resolved, That we designate ten acres on the east half of the southeast 
quarter of section 36. in the Township of Arcada. and on the southeast 
corner of said section, except one acre in the southeast corner of said sec- 
tion. Provided, that Mr. Nott gives to the board of supervisors of said 
county a good and warranty deed of said land; and provided, further, that 
John Jeffery and others appropriate to the benefit of said county $500 or 
more to aid and assist in erecting suitable buildings for the use of the 
county, and the same to he secured to the County of Gratiot, on or before 
the first Monday of March, 1856. .\nd be it further resolved that all reso- 
lutions made previous to this, and conflicting with this, be set aside." The 
report artd resolution were adopted. 

That would seem to have settled the matter, but it did not. If that reso- 
lution had stood, the court house and jail would have been located in 
L'pper Ithaca : somewhere northwest of the present city building and water- 
works of Ithaca. The matter rested till March, 1856, when the board held 
what they called a "regular" meeting. The board had adjourned to meet 


again March 3rd, at the residence of John Knight in Emerson. The place has 
more recently been known as the Bett\- Smith farm, one mile north of 
Ithaca, now owned and occupied by D. D. Smith. At the meeting on the 
date mentioned the chairman was absent and Supervisor Francis Nelson 
was made chairman pro tem. Then, "Mr. Crawford moved to suspend the 
usual order of business in order to adjourn." This being kindly agreed to, 
the board adjourned to meet at the clerk's office in Ithaca in the afternoon. 
At the afternoon session the principal business transacted was thepassage 
of resolutions organizing the Townships of Seville, Sumner, Elba, and La- 
fayette, the latter having 12 — 1 attached, which, five years later, was organ- 
ized independently and named Wheeler. 

Mr. Crawford moved that "those desirous of making oft'ers for the 
count}- site location, present the same by tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock to 
the committee on ways and means. Carried." So the county seat ques- 
tion was still open. Probably some of the conditions as to donations re- 
quired by the resolution adopted at the session of Feliruary 13, had not been 
complied with. 

At the ne.xt day's session a jietition of \\'arren Sherwood, of I'ine River 
Township for permission to dam Pine River, was granted, and also one by 
Joseph Clapp, of Pine River Village, asking to be allowed to maintain a dam 
already built, was granted. 

.'Kt the afternoon session of March 3, 1856, all the seven members being 
present, "the committee on ways and means reported various propositions 
regarding the county site location, which were then referred to the com- 
mittee of the whole, whereupon Mr. Bennett moved that the board resolve 
itself into a committee of the whole to examine the ground for a county 
site. Carried unanimously. The board thereupon proceeded to examine the 
piece of Mr. JefTery's land:" after which I\Ir. Crawford {presented the fol- 
lowing : 

"Resolved, by the board of supervisors of the County of Gratiot, that the 
said board establish the county site of said county, and the same is hereby 
established in the \'illage of Ithaca, and that lots No. 7-8-9 and 10. in 
black 8, as surveyed by Sidney S. Hastings, county surveyor of said county 
on the 28th day of February, 1856, shall be designated by said board, as 
places for all public buildings of said county: and that the chairman of 
said board be authorized to obtain good, sufficient warranty deeds of said 
lots of John Jeffery, the owner and proprietor of said village, and to make 
such other contracts with said JefTery concerning his offers, as said chair- 
man shall think proper and just." 

"Mr. Bennett moved for the adoption of the resolution and the veas 
and nays being called, vote as follows : Yeas — Bennett. Burgess, Crawford, 
Pettit, Nelson, Norton and Lane, being all the mem1)ers-elect." 

On \\'ednesday morning, March 4, 1856, the board convened with all 
the members present. The supervisors had not yet got the county seat 
matter settled solidly enough to suit them, so, "Mr. Norton moved to sus- 
pend the usual order of Inisiness for the purpose of deciding the countv site 
matter. Carried. 

"Mr. Bennett then moved that the board resolve itself into a committee 
of the whole, for the purpose of STICKING THE COUNTY ST.VKE. 

"The l)oard thereupon proceeded to procure a suitable stake, and. ac- 
companied by the county surveyor and a large concourse of people, carried 
it to block 9" (it's block 9 this time) "in the \'illage of Ithaca, and there pro- 


ceeded to drive it with an ax, each supervisor striking it several blows; 
after which the county seal was fastened on, and the imposing and long-talkcd- 
of ceremony was ivound tip in a HALO OF GLORY." 

Thus, fancifully, the record closes the account of what was doubtless a 
very interesting occasion. Of course, the expression, "halo of glory" was 
used in a hyperbolical sense, and was intended to be so taken ; but it goes 
beyond and fairly exaggerates hyperbole, and, consequently, taken literally 
and analyzed down fine it becomes foolishness. However, it really sounds 
good ; and, fixed up in italics and capitals, it looks first-rate. So, like the 
county seat and the "county site" and the count}- court house it is going to 

It will be noticed that the resolution established the site on block 8, 
while the stake-driving act come ofY on block 9. The records do not tell 
why the change was made, but it is evident that the supervisors, on close 
inspection, concluded that block 9 was the better location. Blocks 8 and 9, 
as surveved, were identical with the present court house square. The east 
half was block 8, the west half was block 9. An alley running north and 
south separated them. At a later date the. alley was taken up, and, together 
with block 8 — the east half of the present square — was acquired by the 
county, and, combined with block 9. the present beautiful court house square 
is the result. 

The record proceeds: "The stake sticking operations thus concluded, 
and the supervisors having reconvened, Mr. Norton moved that the reso- 
lution of yesterday," (the resolution designating block 8) "be rescinded. 
The motion was carried, whereupon Mr. Bennett presented the following: 

"Resolved, by the board of supervisors of Gratiot County, that said 
board establish the county site of said county, and the same is hereby es- 
tablished in the \"illage of Ithaca, and that block 9, as surveyed by Sidney 
S. Hastings, county surveyor of said county on the 28th day of February, 
A. D. 1856, shall be designated by said board as the place for court house, 
jail and necessary county offices of said county, and that the chairman of 
said board be authorized to obtain a good sufficient warranty deed of said 
block from John Jeffery, the owner and proprietor of said village, and make 
such other contracts with said Jefl'ery concerning his offers as said chairman 
shall think proper and just. On motion of Mr. Pettit the resolution was 
adopted by a unanimous vote." 

It would seem as if this ought to have settled the whole question of 
the location of the county seat, but it did not settle it for certain. Those 
not satisfied with the selection still had hopes, and their hopes were not 
without some basis. The legislative act providing for the organization of 
the county contained one very peculiarly worded provision. The law pro- 
vided for establishing a place to hold circuit court and the county offices 
temporarily, or, as the provision reads, 'until the board of supervisors shall 
establish the county seat. And it is herel)\- made the duty of the board 
of supervisors of said county, on or after 1860, to designate and establish 
the county seat of said county." Notice the wording "on or after 1860." 
Under that wording what was there to prevent the board of 1860 from 
assuming that whatever had been done previously was only temporary, 
and that now a duty devolved upon them to designate and establish the 
county seat? Nothing to prevent but the sweet will of the supervisors. Say- 
ing nothing about the limitless time allowed by the condition "on or after," 
which would have justified putting the matter off indefinitely, the inference 
could plausibly be drawn from the wording, that the board of 18(iO Iiad the 
right to fix matters permanently. 


The possession of the county seat gives a great advantage to a locality 
in a new county, and no locality can be blamed for a desire, and an hon- 
est, strenuous eflfort. to obtain it. But to get it. the locality must have 
advantages of more or less importance and value. The north part of the 
county, in the early times under consideration, had the advantage in num- 
brs. Pine River, flowing through the north part of the county formed an 
attraction to the early settlers hard to overcome or offset. Its power pos- 
sibilities invited as settlers, men of means ready and anxious to start en- 
terprises that would call for the services of more settlers. With the ad- 
vantage in numbers and the business interests that naturally concentrate 
in the ri\er hamlets of a new country, the business leaders could hardly be 
expected to ignore or overlook the ad\-antages to accrue from having the 
county seat located within their settlement. And they didn't overlook nor 
ignore it. 

As has easily been seen by what has gone before, the Alma people 
were aggressively interested in having the county seat — or "county site" as it 
was termed — established there. As it could not be had by both of the 
sister settlements on the Pine, St. Louis people did not manifest the inter- 
est shown by the leaders in the other settlement. On general principles 
they were not averse to having the county seat in their vicinity — that is to 
say, within two or three miles, rather than eight miles away. F)Ut the 
spirit of rivalry that existed, and which in greater or less degree continued 
for many years, and traces of which inay linger even yet, deterred them 
from engaging actively in the contest. 

As to the matter of advantages. Ithaca had them, has always had, has 
now. and without a miracle or legislative intervention, will always have, the 
advantage of being located in the exact geographical center of the county. 
In a county like Gratiot, mainly agricultural, and with the population fairly 
evenly distributed over the county, this is an advantage that canntJt be 
any more firmly established by argument or evidence, and which cannot be 
overcome by anything short of a miracle. 

County Seat Matter Followed to a Finish. 

This county seat matter, which for about 50 years was of more interest 
than any other one thing that ever came before the people of the county, 
might as well be carried along to a finish right here, after which the regular 
order can be taken up again. So. glancing ahead along the history of the 
supervisors' doings, under date of January 6th, 1858. appears the fullnwing 
resolution, which was adopted: 

"Whereas, The extraordinary occurrence of a circuit court for Gratiot 
Ci unity is anticipated: and, whereas, there is no proper and convenient 
rostrum for his Honor to be judge, therefore, 

"Resolved, That in case of such judiciary for Gratiot County, the sum 
of $40 be and is hereby appropriated to make such improvements in the 
court as shall be necessary to maintain the dignity of Gratiot County by 
the reception of his Honor, the judge: and that Jas. Foote be appointed 
to make such improvements and draw orders therefor, and make a minute 
account for money expended, and services rendered." 

Under date of October 20, 1858, "The committee on countv Iiuildings 
reported that in their opinion, under the present uncertainty as to where 
the courts and county offices of this countv will be held in the future, it is 
inexpedient to appropriate anything at this session of the board of super- 
visors. The recommendation was adopted." 

January 5, 185'X Supervisor .^cliruld, of Lafayette, presented the fol- 
lowine: : 


"Whereas, As the board of supervisors of Gratiot County has caused to 
be erected a suitable building at Ithaca for the purpose of holding the cir- 
cuit court, and for the county officers, agreeably to a former resolution of 
the board of supervisors locating the county seat at Ithaca ; and 

"Whereas, As the sheriff of this county has ordered the holding of the 
next term of the circuit court at Alma, therefore. 

■■Resolved, by the board of supervisors of Gratiot County, that the next 
term of the circuit court be held at the court house in the Village of Ithaca, 
and that the count}- business of this county shall be done where it has 
been done heretofore, at Ithaca, and that the county offices cannot be re- 
moved without a two-thirds vote of this body and a majority vote of the 

■■Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the judge 
of the tenth judicial circuit. 

■■Mr. Boyer, of Seville, called for the yeas and nays. Yeas, Finch, 
Barton, Schadd, Hayden, Smith, Coft'in, Partelo, Cassada, Allen, Proctor, 
Clark, 11. Nays, Ely, Packard, Boyer." 

January 5, 1859. A resolution was presented by Supervisor Ely, to 
appropriate $30 for stoves to warm rooms in Alma for the circuit court, ■■in 
view of the holding of the circuit court there. Yes, 2; nays, 11." 

January 6, 1859. '■Mr. Ely presented a resolution, that, whereas it is 
uncertain where the circuit court will be held in the county. Resolved that 
the stoves belonging to the county may be removed and used for the 
benefit of same, wherever the same may be held. Lost by a vote of 10 to 
3 ; the three being Ely, Packard and Boyer." 

January 6, 1859. '■Resolution by Ely that the sheriff be instructed to 
|)rocure the stove belonging to the county, and formerly used by the pros- 
ecuting attorney, and remove it to the place where the next term of the 
circuit court may be held. Adopted." 

October 14, 1859. "Resolution by Mr. Ely. Resolved, That in view of 
the duties of the board in relation to the location of the county seat in 
January next (1860), that there be a committee of three appointed, to con- 
sist of Supervisors L. T. Cassada, of Fulton, Erastus Perry, of North 
Shade, and Cornelius Holiday, of Pine River, whose duty it shall be to 
receive propositions from all parties desirous of having the same located 
at any particular place or spot in the county, and investigate the propriety 
of the same, and report to this board at its next session, the result of their 
in\-estigations. After J. B. Smith, of Washington, and M. Pettit, of Emer- 
son, had been added to the proposed committee, the resolution was defeated 
by a vote of 10 to 5; the five being Ely, of Arcada : Holiday, of Pine River; 
Gee, of Sumner; Boyer, of Seville, and Weller, of Bethany." 

October 15, 1859. "Mr. Ely offered the following; 

■'\\"hereas. It becomes the duty of the board of supervisors to take 
some measures in regard to the present difficulty in relation to the county 
site and of holding of the circuit courts, therefore 

''Resolved, That there be a committee of five appointed, whose duty 
it shall be to investigate the propriety of moving the present sites and 
county oft'ices ; also the most favorable and commodious place for construct- 
ing the same, and the greatest inducements for building a court house and 
countv oft'ices for the future benefit of the county, and report the result 
of their investigations to this board at the next session. The resolution 
was laid on the table, against the votes of Supervisors Ely. Gee. Boyer, Hol- 
iday and ^\'eller.'■ 


When the board adjourned to meet again in January, I860, Mr. Ely 
moved to insert "Alma" as the place to adjourn to. Lost. 

Comment on the resourcefulness, energy and persistence of ]\Ir. Ely 
in behalf of his locality would be superfluous. The record — and what is 
here written represents but an insignificant fraction of the record of his 
activities for his locality, his county, state and country — clearly shows that 
he was a man of great business capacity, and well worthy of the high place 
accorded him among the prominent pioneers of the county. His failure in 
the hopeless cause of trying to do impossible things, was no reflection on 
his ability and usefulness. 

When the board of supervisors convened fur the January session, 1860, 
Mr. Barnaby, of North Star, immediately got bus\' and introduced resolu- 
tions calculated to settle the county seat matter for good, and in a manner 
that would leave nothing to settle "after 1860." The resolutions follow : 

"Whereas, It has been for a long time, and still is, a mooted question 
whether the county seat of this said county of Gratiot has ever been es- 
tablished, and located by the board of supervisors of said County of Gratiot, 
according to law, and as the interests and prosperity of our citizens and of 
our county at large demand that the same should be definitely settled with- 
out delay, and the seat of justice firmly established ; therefore 

"Resolved, by the board of supervisors of Gratiot County, now in ses- 
sion, that we do hereby ratify and confirm the action of the board of super- 
visors of said County of Gratiot, locating and establishing the county seat 
of said County of Gratiot in the Village of Ithaca, in said county, on the 
4th day of March, A. D. 1856, at a meeting of said board held at'said Vil- 
lage of Ithaca, on that day, as appears from the records and journals of the 
proceedings of said board ; and we do also fully confirm as far as in 
our power, all of the actions and proceedings done by and under said lo- 
cation, and by virtue thereof, both legal and equitable. And be it further 

"Resolved, by said board, that the county seat of said County of Gratiot 
has been, is now and from this date shall be, at the Village of Ithaca in 
said county, until removed by due course of law : and that from and after 
this date all the officers required by the statute to hold their offices at the 
county seat of said county, shall hold their offices at the \'illage of Ithaca, 
aforesaid ; and that all the terms of the circuit court of said county shall 
be held at the Village of Ithaca, aforesaid, except in the cases specially 
provided for by statute." 

After trying in vain to lay the resolutions on the table, and failing in 
that, trying to adjourn, the resolutions were adopted by a vote of 10 to 5, 
the negative votes being cast by Ely, of Arcada : Gee, of Sumner: Holiday, 
of Pine Ri\'er; \\'eller. of F.ethany, and Royer, of Seville. 

So the matter was settled for a while. But it would not stay settled, 
though it remained in a quiescent or comatose state for more than five 
years. Then, at the October session of 1865. Supervisor Jas. Gargett. of 
Pine River created a little flurry of excitement, or at least of interest. In- 
introducing resolutions calculated to bring the matter back to life. Me 
and his constituents doubtless felt that under the wording of the act to 
organize the county, which provided for locating the countv seat "in or 
after 1860." it would never be too late to locate it some more. Mr. Gar- 
gett's resolutions follow : 

"Whereas, It is said to be a fact well known to the citizens of Ithaca, 
that the present board of supervisors are plotting treason against their 
pet idol — the county seat — to remove the same from its present unpleasant 
position and lucation. and locate the same on the banks of the beautiful 
Pine: and 


"Whereas, judgingf from the scrutinizing looks toward, and the many 
pertinent questions asked of the said board of supervisors by the citizens 
of Ithaca, that unless something be done for them the malady will become 
ejiideniic : and, 

"Whereas, It is not the desire or intention of this board to so removt 
the county seat without giving due notice thereof and giving the citizens 
of Ithaca the privilege of donating enough to erect respectable county build- 
ings, and thereby sealing to themselves a permanent countv seat at Ithaca ; 
therefore, be it 

"Resolved, By the board of supervisors of Gratiot County, that the 
committee on county buildings be authorized, and hereby instructed, to re- 
ceive donations from the citizens of Ithaca for the purpose of erecting 
county buildings at the present county seat; or from the citizens of any 
other feasible location, for the erection of the same, and report to this 
hoard at the January session thereof. And be it further 

"Resolved, That, should the citizens of Ithaca fail to do, and the citizens 
of any other locality give at least three acres of ground, in a suitable place, 
free of expense to the county, and give good security for pledges to the 
amount of $6,000, to erect county buildings thereon, that the board will 
entertain a motion for the removal of the county seat of Gratiot County to 
such proposed site." 

Mr. Hetzman moved to lay the resolutions on the table. Lost. 

Mr. Gargett moved that they he adopted. Carried. 

So the committee on county buildings had the matter to deal with, and 
at the January session — 1866 — reported, "That they have received from 
citizens of .-Mma and vicinity a subscription for the purpose of erecting 
county buildings at .-Xlma, to the amount of $6,000; also Horace B. Hulbert, 
of .\lma, has pledged, and is ready to bind himself to the county to make a 
good and sufficient warranty deed of entire block 16, or any other block that 
the board may designate, not already disposed of bv him." Signed bv 
Supervisors Boyer, Walker and Barton, committee. The report was laid on 
the table, and seems never to have been taken up again. 

Reading between the lines of Mr. Gargett's resolutions — lines so wide 
apart that no great effort of the imagination was necessary — one could 
readily see that their real object, and probably the only object that it was 
expected to accomplish, was to spur up the people of Ithaca to loosen their 
purse strings and do something to show that they appreciated their ad- 
\antages, and were willing — even if it took a little coercion or a little scare 
to make them so — to take the initiative in the matter of furnishing more 
commodious, more suitable, in fact more respectable quarters for doing the 
county business. The Alma people, on the strength of a bare hope, were 
ready and willing to advance their interests with a liberal subscription. 
How much more plausible then might the Ithacans. with the prize actually 
in their possession, be expected to show their appreciation and their public 
spirit, and mayhap their selfish s])irit also, by coming to the front with an 
offering that didn't have to be squeezed out of them at the point of an 
assessment and an official collector. Anyway, this is an outline of one way 
of looking at it, but if someone comes back with the suggestion that in 
all matters of the kind under consideration, the underlying motive is selfish- 
ness, it will have to be conceded that there is really not much show for an 
adverse view or argument. 

Ithaca people may have been amused, but if they were frightened 
suft'iciently to loosen their purse strings the record of it has been lost. 
That "geographical center" was their great hope and their final salvation. 


Just one more incident having a bearing upon the county seat question, 
might as well be disposed of here, although it did not reach a stage that 
called for any action on the part of the supervisors. Referring to the 
action taken at the legislative session of 1891, for the dismemberment of 
the County of Midland, and attaching its territory to the Counties of Gra- 
tiot, Saginaw, Bay and Isabella. This episode was of comparatively recent 
date, and will be remembered by many. The scheme was said to have 
originated among the farmers of Southern Midland, the reason given being 
that the county was being "fleeced by a ring of political tricksters year 
after year ;" that there was a great deal of worthless land in the county : 
the county was deeply in debt, and that with all these drawbacks the 
people could not stand it any longer. The Midland papers, however, 
laughed at the idea, figuratively speaking, and declared that some influential 
St. Louis people were at the bottom of it, the Midland Sun remarking that 
■'it shows plainly that the deep interest taken by J. N. Foster, of the St. 
Louis Republican Leader, and other St. Louis people, is for the purpose of 
getting the county seat." 

The proposition, as it was introduced into the legislature by Rowland 
Connor, of Saginaw, was to attach Jasper and Porter Townships to Gratiot ; 
Mount Llaley and Ingersoll to Saginaw and then split the remaining twelve 
townships through the middle, north and south, giving half to Isabella and 
half to Bay. Gratiot County, elongated by the addition of territory on the 
north would have its geographical center thrown out of whack, and would 
be presumed to need a county seat located somewhere along the angling 
road between St. Louis and Alma. The matter got so interesting that 
Ithaca people thought it worth while to take notice and get busy, so re- 
monstrances were placed at the polling places, for signatures to be attached 
on election day, the result being a string of nearly 3.000 names of voters, 
protesting against Gratiot County acquiring any new territory on the north. 
The vigorous opposition to the measure had its efi^ect and it was killed in 
the House. Hon. Hugh Chisholm was Gratiot's representative. 

So the trouble was ''stood off" once more. 

There is not much more to say in regard to the important matter of 
locating the county seat. It was several 3^ears before the subject again 
arose to either amuse or frighten ; and even at that, the danger was only the 
.ghost of its former self; a ghost that was soon "laid"; and. with a great 
stone monument erected over its last resting place it is likely to "stay 
put." A stone m.onument 76 by 112 feet on the ground, and 1.^0 feet in 
height, it ought to be proof against any chance of resurrection this side of 
the tooting of Gabriel's trumpet. 

Returning now to the session of January. 1860. After the adoption of 
Mr. Barnaby's resolutions confirming the county seat location. Mr. Ely's 
practical and patriotic nature was clearly shown by the way he took his 
defeat in the county seat controversy. He slept on it over night, and the 
next day — January 4. 1860 — he gave his colleagues on the board a surprise 
in the form of tlie follnwing resolution: 

"Resolved, That a sum not to exceed $30 be appropriated to repair the 
court house and jury room, and furnish benches, chairs and table for the 
same, and that the work be let to the lowest bidder ; and that the clerk 
be instructed to draw orders on the treasurer of the county for the same, 
on completion and acceptance of the work by the chairman of the board, 
and that the said job be put u]i for sale immediately by the chairman. 


"Minutes of the work to be done on the court house are as follows: 
Window shutters, inside, plain batten and braced ; windows to be glazed ; 
court room to be 'pointed' up with clay and ashes mortar; six good, com- 
mon chairs; plenty of seats for sessions of court and for jury room, to be 
made of good two-inch plank or slabs; plain table upon hardwood frame, 
three feet by ten feet, pine top ; good, substantial locks for doors ; outside 
door to be made to shut; one length taper stove pipe for large stove in 
court room, and suitable protection to stove pipe in jury room, by thimble. 
Said work to be done on or before the 16th of January, inst." 

Adopted, and the job let to Wm. W. Comstock the same day, for $19. 
And it is a safe bet that the job was done on time, for Comstock, as well as 
Ely, "did things," and did them on the jump. 

Getting Back to the Regular Order. 

Getting back again to the first board of supervisors — that of 1856. It 
was no small matter to get the machinery of the county and of the several 
townships into good running order. The matter of assessments had to be 
systematized, and the supervisors had but little to guide them. In the 
wilderness as it existed it was necessary to know what lands had been sold 
and what remained in the hands of the government, before a start could 
be made toward an assessment. At the afternoon session of February 13, 
1856, to start the matter right, A. M. Crawford, county treasurer, was 
instructed "to procure a tract book and transcribe all descriptions of land 
now sold in said county, from the tract books at the land offices at Flint 
and Ionia, before the assessment is taken the coming spring, and that the 
said treasurer be paid a reasonable sum to be fixed by said board." For a 
man to make his way to Flint and Ionia, and there transcribe all sales of 
land in the county, and prepare separate lists for all the several supervisors 
before the assessment could be made, required a lot of hard and tedious 
work, as may readily be seen. 

The assessment of that year covered about 60 per cent of the total 
area of the county. So there must have been about 150,000 acres of state 
and government land in the county at that time. Of course a large pro- 
portion of the lands sold was in the hands of speculators. Is there a foot of 
government land in the county at the present time? 

The board of supervisors elected in April, 1856, held a June session. 
By reason of the organization of seven new townships the board consisted 
of fourteen supervisors. It took four ballots to elect Sylvanus Groom, of 
Pine River, chairman, his principal opponent being Francis Nelson, of 

Probably the most important duty of the board was the equalization of 
the assessments. Following is the result of their efforts : 


The First Equalized Assessment. 

t^. - ^ K 1= = ^: :^ 

Arcada 16,369 $32,282 $ 4.617 5 31,412 $1.97 

Elba 10.020 36.274 860 25,910 3.61 

Emerson 11.640 20,985 1,.=;32 TT'.y:>l 1.70 

Fulton 18.749 87,120 8,745 64.992 4.68 

Hamilton 11.513 18.903 1.095 21.^2, 1.64 

Lafayette and Wheek-r. . . . 11,067 16,942 1.400 22.746 \.li 

Newark 17,881 44,138 5,839 42,915 2.46 

New Haven 16.742 42.471 1.675 31,810 2..=;3 

North Shade 20,231 60,862 3,604 52,181 3.07 

North Star 16.848 28,101 3,193 2>lS>n 1.70 

Pine River and Bethany... 25.785 57,420 11,054 32,474 121 

Seville ". ... 13.615 22,303 1,168 37.039 1.63 

Sumner 19,148 36,755 1,881 34.961 1.91 

Washington 15.321 32,005 2,184 26,689 2.08 

Totals 224.92') $536,561 $48,847 $495,191 %2.ii 

A. M. Crawford was appointed to represent the count}- on the State 
Board of Equalization. 

A resolution to appropriate $500 to aid in the construction of a l^ridge 
over Maple River, between the Townships of Fulton and Washington, was 
lost, 8 to 5. The board then voted $300 for the purpose, by a vote of 12 
to 1. Also appointed Hiram Burgess, John Jeffery and |. B. Smith a com- 
mittee to take charge of the money and any subscriptions that may be 
made for the same and for a road running north and south through the 
center of the county. 

The members had a little fun as they went along. Mr. Lane presented 
an account of L. C. Kna])p "for broken bedsteads and unnecessary confu- 
sion." whicli was referred to the committee on claims, reported on unfavor- 
abl\- and then laid on the table. 

Then Mr. Lane presented a resolution calling on John Jeffery for the 
payment of 50 cents worth of maple sugar to the board as a penalty for 
not furnishing a box of raisins for the use of the supervisors. -Adopted. 
But whether or not John produced the sugar, there is no record. 

The supervisors were called together in a special session .\ugust 4, 
1856. It had been discovered that they should liave had a new county 
treasurer elected at the spring election, and the special session was called 
to remedy the matter. It was remedied by requiring the treasurer, .A. M. 
Crawford, to renew his bonds. 

Frank Miller, the prosecuting attorney, had a resolution introduced 
reading as follows ; 

"Resolved, That a si^ecial meeting of the board of su[)ervisors was, in 
the existing state of affairs, absolutely necessary as regards regulating the 
affairs of the office of treasurer of Gratiot County, and other important 
matters, and could not properly have been dispensed with." 

The scupervisors evidently hadn't much use fur I'rank, f(ir tliey 
straightway proceeded to not only lay his resolution on tlie table, but 
killed it still deader 1)\- indefinitely postponing it. Then thev set about 


deducting five weeks wages from his salary for time he had spent outside 
of the county. Finally, however, they laid this matter on the table also ; 
so it is presumed that Frank got his money. 

October 13, 1856. Among the claims presented at this session was one 
by Chebena and one by Pemegogen for wolf bounties; showing that "Lo" 
was doing what he could toward civilizing the county. Another was pre- 
sented by Jacob Stra)-er, of Sumner, another by Reuben Finch, of Arcada, 
and still another by Wm. Mattison, of Elba. 

Mr. Jeffery was granted the privilege of cultivating the county block 
till such time as the county wanted to occupy it. 

It was voted to raise seven mills on the dollar, "for contingent ex- 
penses already accrued, and for the year 1857." This would raise, it was 
stated by the committee, the sum of $3,488.61 for county tax, and the state 
tax was"$168.09; a total of $3,656.70. 

It was found that County Treasurer A. M. Crawford had removed from 
the county, so the board appointed Henry Lane in his place. Inasmuch as 
Air. Lane was already register of deeds, and was supervisor of North Shade, 
it would look as it the board was putting it on to Henry pretty thick. 

Elijah Porter, of Pine River, who was clerk of the board of can- 
vassers in 1855, and acted as clerk pro tem of the board of supervisors 
in January, was allowed $34.33 for his services. So his troubles were re- 
lieved at last. 

January 5, 1857. The wolves were being thinned out. Bounties were 
paid to Reuben Finch, Lemuel Williams and Wm. Mattison. 

County officers' salaries were fixed at $3(X) for the clerk ; $350 and fees 
for the treasurer, and $150 for the prosecuting attorney. 

The county officers of the present day, as they sit in the $100,000 court 
house, with their legs under mahogany tables and with an iron-bound and 
iron-lined vault for each officer, and each vault big enough for a dancing 
hall, will feel sorry when they think of their predecessors of 1857 occupy- 
ing a log structure, mudded up between the logs with clay and ashes for 
mortar, and sitting on "good, substantial, common chairs," or on "benches 
made of good two-inch plank or slabs" ; and for lack of iron vaults the 
board "appropriated $15 for the purchase of a book case for the county 
officers." Not a book case apiece, mind you, but a $15 book case for the 
entire "court house gang." 

On petition of citizens of Washington Township, appropriations of 
$100 each were made for bridges across the Maple River, between sections 
25 and 26, and one near the center line of the township. 

Two items, small but suggestive, will close consideration of this session : 
A resolution "to appropriate $20 as soon as there is that amount in the 
treasury, for the purpose of having the court house and county books in- 
sured," was adopted, and John Jeffery was appointed to attend to it, ac- 
cording to his best judgment. The other was a vote of thanks to Chairman 
Groom, and $5 for extra services. 

A special session of the board of supervisors was called, to meet May 
26, 1857, the object of the session being to take the necessary steps to re- 
lieve the distress so prevalent in the coimty on account of the lack of pro- 
visions and of the means to procure the necessaries of life. In another 
department of this volume this matter is given full consideration. 

Some miscellaneous business was transacted, the most important of 
which are here touched upon : 

Ten wolf claims were presented and allowed. 


The board appropriated $100 for a bridge across Pine River in Sumner; 
$50 on center line bridge, Washington; $30 on bridge in eastern part of 

The committee appointed to lay out the $300 appropriation for the 
bridge across the Maple on the center line of the county, was author- 
ized to vary the location as they might deem necessary; which accounts 
for the bridge being placed to the eastward of the line. 

"]\Ir. Foote moved to appropriate $5 for the purpose of making a desk 
for the county treasurer. Carried. \\'hereupon, on motion of Mr. Foote, 
a vote of thanks was tendered to the county treasurer for his kindness and 
foresight in retaining money sufficient for the supervisors at this session." 

October 12, 1857. WoU claims were presented — S. S. Hastings, five; 
O. M. A\'ood, one; Joseph Bennett, one. 

A petition was presented from citizens of 12 — 2 asking to l)c cut loose 
from Pine River and organized independently. Referred to a committee 
which reported unfavorably, and report laid on the table. .Vfterward the 
petition was withdrawn. 

October 16. 1857. .\ committee appointed to consider the cpiestion of 
apjjointing three commissioners on drainage in accordance witli the ])ro- 
vision of law, reported favorably, and recommended that Frank Miller, .Ad- 
dison Hayden and Anson R. .\rnold be appointed as such drain commis- 
sioners. Adopted. 

They Bought a County Farm. 

The Superintendents of the Poor, previously instructed, reported the 
result of their search for a suitable location for a County Poor h'arm. men- 
tioning six different locations which had been investigated. The report was 
received, and the board acted unanimously in favor of buying a farm, and a 
committee consisting of Supervisors Bennett, Everden and Worthing was 
appointed to look up and recommend a suitable place. The next day the 
committee recommended the purchase of 160 acres of W'm. W'. Comstock, 
on sections 17 and 20, \\'ashington, and the report and recommendation 
were adopted by a vote of 8 to 6. the farm to be paid for — $2.000 — in orders 
running from one to ten years. 

October 17, 1857. A committe i)reviously appointed, reported, recom- 
mending that the supervisors should each have $45 for extending their 
assessment rolls, excepting the supervisors of Pine River and Lafayette, 
who should have $50 each, their townships being double. Adopted. 

The chairman, Addison Hayden, was voted $10 extra for being chair- 

A motion to give each supervisor $5 extra was voted down. 

Henry Smith, county clerk, was given $11 extra. 

The clerk was instructed "to jmblish a report of said board as the law 

A resolution organizing 12 — 2 into an independent towiishij) to be called 
Bethany, was adopted at the session of January, 1858. 

Calling Pine River a navigable stream and making a fuss abtiut "ob- 
structing its navigation" seems funny at the present time. But in that 
early day when there were no roads, the matter presented another aspect, 
and the dams being built worried those not directly interested, financially, 
in the dams. This is clearly shown by the action of the sujiervisors in 
adopting the following resolution presented liy Mr. Boyer. of Seville : 

"Whereas, Pine River is obstructed in its navigation by a dam at the 
Village of Pine River, whereby the county is deprived of its natural rights 
in the use of tlie river ; therefore. 


"Resolved, That the prosecuting attorney be instructed to take such 
measures as shall secure to said county the free and unobstructed navigation 
of said Pine River, at as early a day as possible. Carried.'' 

If anything further was ever done about it, the records do not disclose 
what it was. 

October session, October 11, 1858. Henry P. Clark, of New Haven, 
was elected chairman. After adopting rules to govern the proceedings 
and doing a little other business, the board adjourned till next day. Con- 
vening next day and starting business, a funny episode is recorded as fol- 
lows: "The journal of the preceding day was read, and no corrections to be 
made, the house proceeded to business. But there had been a discovery 
made by a certain few. The clerk had employed J. A. Guthrie to do the 
business for him as clerk of the board, and all that was done by the board 
on that day was by them considered to be illegal ; and in order to have 
all the business done legally, the house dispersed to meet at the clerk's 
office and organize anew." So they commenced all over again, electing 
Clark chairman, etc., and proceeded as if the previous day had never ex- 

An echo or reminder of the trouble of January, 1856, when the acts 
of .Sheriff" Walker and Treasurer Ely in designating Pine River as the 
place for holding circuit court aroused the ire of the board, appeared when 
a claim for $10 was presented in favor of ex-Sheriff Walker, "for his ser- 
vices as sheriff of the county in designating the place for holding the cir- 
cuit court in the county, in the Township of Pine River, in January, 1856." 
The claim was referred to the committee on claims, and was allowed next 

Two wctU claims were allowed — one in fa\'or of Wan-Be-Gumskum, 
the other in favor of Shan-Wan-Can-Mego. Judging from the names it 
seems a safe presumption that the parties were of Indian extraction. 

Either the stringent times had begun to loosen or else the officials were 
getting reckless, for the sum of $15 was appropriated for a desk and table 
for the judge of probate. 

The superintendents of the poor reported the expediture of $93.61 during 
the year, $59 of which was for work on the Poor Farm down in Wash- 
ington, and $34.61 for relief of the destitute; there remaining $206.39 cents 
in the poor fund. The farm was worked on shares by a tenant. The report 
goes on to say, "The products thereof is about three tons of hay, the other 
crops being worthless and not worth harvesting, being cut by the early 
frost." They recommended improvements on the farm that would take up 
all of the money in the fund, and asked for an appropriation of $200 as a 
poor fund. The request was granted. 

To encourage the making of roads, the board appropriated $1,000, to be 
equally divided among the 15 townships for improvements on roads and 

The committee on county officers, reporting on the settlement with 
County Treasurer Lafayette Church, gave him a good word b}^ adding that 
"his accounts and vouchers are kept in a correct and systematic manner 
and with every appearance of perfect honesty as an officer and as a man." 

The board appointed J. B. Smith, Ralph Ely and John Jeff'ery superin- 
tendents of the poor. Smith and Ely declined. Geo. Luce, of St. Louis, 
and E. C. Cook, of North Star, were then appointed. 

On motion of Supervisor Ely, Francis Nelson was appointed commis- 
sioner of drainage. 


The first Gratiot County newspaper — the Gratiot News — had just been 
established at Ithaca, and the board commenced right away to utilize it for 
the dissemination of ofificial information among the people ; and perhaps 
incidentally to aid and encourage the paper in its struggles to get a foot- 
hold. Supervisor J. B. Smith introduced a resolution providing " that a 
statement of the expenditures of the county as appropriated and allowed by 
this board, to whom the same were allowed, and for what, as ])rovided by 
the statute be published in the Gratiot News, and that Benj. E. Sawtelle be 
authorized to prepare said statement for publication." This was amended 
to read "County Clerk" instead of "B. E. Sawtelle." and was then adopted. 

To the scores of old supervisors who, in after years were engaged in 
some of those desperate struggles over the publication of the proceedings 
in this or that newspaper, this bloodless disposition of the printing will al- 
most look like a fairy tale. They may be quite sure, however, that it 
was only the lack of newspaper competition that prevented a contest and 
a lot of fervid oratory. And it was only a financial statement anywav, 
and did not include the full proceedings. 

January 3, 18.^9. .\bout the first business of the session was the con- 
sideration of wolf claims of four of our early fellow citizens, as follows : 
By Supervisor Partelo, claim of Aubelaw Waugnot ; by Supervisor Pack- 
ard, claims of Obloquet, W'ayney and Squanicut. All allowed. 

County ofticers' salaries were fixed, each officer to furnish liis own fuel, 
lights and stationery. 

By a resolution introduced liy Supervisor Cassada the ])a_\nient of wolf 
bounties was done away with. 

Anything out of the ordinary excites interest right awa}', so this resolu- 
tion by Supervisor Ely will excite curiosity; but there is nothing further in 
the records to explain the matter : 

"Whereas, As it is evident that there are many fraudulent county 
orders of this county in circulation, therefore 

"Resolved, That our prosecuting attorney be instructed to ferret out 
the authors and perpetrators of these frauds, and to take measures to bring 
them to justice." Adopted. As stated, there is nothing further to explain 
the matter. But next day, in settling with the treasurer and clerk, the 
record says that the committee found forged orders to the amount of 

The publishing of the proceedings interested the supervisors at this ses- 
sion. Supervisor Allen presented a resolution, "that the proceedings of 
this and last October's session be published in the Gratiot News, the clerk 
to prepare a statement to embrace all the important actions of the board, 
and orders to be drawn for the same not exceeding $75." This was laid on 
tlie table, and later it was lost by a tie vote; and then, "the clerk gave 
the casting vote in the negative," says the record. Which was a very 
kind act of the clerk to thus lend his aid to doubly kill the resolution. 
Clerks in these later days do not seem to be doing their whole duty in the 
matter of voting. 

The next day a new resolution was adopted giving the Gratiot News 
the publication of the October proceedings, at $40. Then, after sleeping 
again over the matter the board, on the next day, rescinded its last action, 
and instructed the clerk "to prepare a full abstract of the proceedings of 
the two sessions and have the same published in the Gratiot News at legal 
rates of advertising." 

March 10, 1859. The lioard met in special session — the object not 
stated — and organized by electing .Supervisor Coft"in, of Emerson, chairman, 
and then, by a vote of 6 to 4, adjourned sine die. 


May 13. 185^'. The supervisors met in special session to consider "star- 
vation matters."' 

Supervisor P'ettit. of Emerson, was made chairman. 

Through a set of resolutions presented by Supervisor Ely and unani- 
mouslv adopted, the board inaugurated plans for relieving the necessities of 
the people. The resolution will be found elsewhere in this volume, in the 
department devoted to the period of destitution in the county. 

Joseph Vosburg was appointed superintendent of the poor in place of 
E. C. Cook, resigned. 

The board then adjourned sine die. 

October 10, 1859. Mr. Pettit resigned as chairman, and was re-elected 
by a vote nearly unanimous. After listening to some partial reports relative 
to the relief of the destitute through the special agency created by the 
hoard at the special session in May, 1859, the board received an interesting 
report from the regular superintendent of the poor, which closed as fol- 
lows : "Also we further report that the county farm has been let to be 
worked upon shares to Horton Smith and Gilbert E. Hall, for which we 
are enabled to report that there has beeti planted of corn about four or 
five acres which has proved a failure by wet weather in the spring and frost 
in the fall; also, the meadows were very much injured by frost in the 
spring and drouth in the summer, which product was about two tons of 
liav, of which the county was to have had one-half, which by accident was 
consumed by fire soon after being secured in the barn." 

Was there ever a harder tale of hard luck ever reported and put in 
print? Frost in the spring and frost in the fall; wet weather in the spring, 
drouth in the summer and then fire to consume the little that had escaped! 
That which struck the county ofificials and interests so hard must have 
been at least equally serious for the individual settler. The county could 
recoup by spreading a tax. The individual settler with a family couldn't 
recoup. He was even denied the privilege of stealing. There was nothing 
to steal that would help him out of his troubles. 

The superintendents of the poor continued their report and made some 
suggestions concerning the farm : "And we would further recommend to 
your consideration the propriety of making an appropriation of $130 to be 
expended in logging and fencing 16 acres that have been chopped three 
years, and has been well burned over this present fall, which leaves it in 
good condition for clearing ofif ; also $70 to be laid out in fencing the present 
improvement, making in all $200 for improving said farm the coming year." 

Then the superintendents make another suggestion : "Or, if in the wis- 
dom of your honorable body, to exchange the said farm for one more 
central and better adapted to the wants of the county for a county farm, 
which, with suitable accommodations for the reception and maintenance 
of paupers. Furthermore, we would recommend that the county treasurer 
be instructed to have the poor fund of said county set apart as a separate 
fund, to be at all times in readiness to be drawn for the relief of the poor." 
Signed by John Jeffery, Geo. Luce and Joseph \'osburg. superintendents of 
the poor. 

It was voted to have the proceedings of this session and that of the 
previous May published in the News at $35. 

Superintendents of the poor were appointed as follows : Jas. B. Allen, 
Pine River; Joseph Vosburg, W'ashington ; John W. Howd, North Star. 
Mr. Allen failing to qualify, the board, at its next January session, ap- 
pointed J. C. Hulbert. 


A New County Farm. 

January 3. 1860. The board took stejis to exchange its County Poor 
Farm in \\'a.shington Townsliip for one more centrally located. The W^ash- 
ington farm was ten miles distant from the county seat : a very inconven- 
ient distance. Negotiations were had with \\'m. \^'. Comstock, and the 
terms of a possible trade were made known to the board, resulting in the 
passage of the following resolution offered by ]\Ir. BarnalDy, of North Star: 

"Resolved. That in view of the ])resent dissatisfaction in relation to 
the location of tlie jiresent Poor I'^arm belonging to the county, and in 
view of a proposition made by W. ^^^ Comstock to exchange it lor the 
farm of 80 acres lying within one mile of Ithaca, and described as being 
the west Yz of the N. E. J4 of section 12, township 10 — 3, therefore re- 
solved," etc. ; the necessary instructions were given to the chairman of the 
board to make the exchange. The 80 acres described is the west part of 
the present county farm. 

The resolutions were adopted by a vote of 13 to 2; Smith, of \\'ash- 
ington, and llamill, of Lafayette, voting against the proposition. 

On motion of Air. Cassada, of Fulton, $150 was appropriated for the 
purchase of a team and farming implement for the Poor Farm. 

October session, 1860. Melancton Pettit. of Emerson, was made chair- 
man. It was ordered that all county ofificers should henceforth hold their 
ofTice in the court house, and that no rent would be paid after this date — 
October 9. 

The Superintendents of the Poor reported as to relief furnished, and 
the condition of the fund and then: '".Mso, we further report that the $1.50 
appropriated for a team, farming utensils, etc., has been expended as fol- 
lows: K yoke of oxen, $85; keeping same, $1.50; a cow, $35; a plow. $8; 
an ox yoke, $1.25; farming utensils, $15.98. Leaving a balance of $3.27 
unexpended. .Also we further report that the County Farm has been let 
to be worked on shares to .\mos Johnson for which we are able to re- 
port as follows : There has been raised during the year grains estimated as 
follows: \Mieat, 42 bushels; corn, 82 bushels; oats, 28 bushels; barley, 
17 bushels ; beans, 4 bushels, and of potatoes, 7i bushels. The Superinten- 
dents of the Poor are to recei\-e two-thirds of the above named products for 
the benefit of the poor fund." 

The committee on ways and means recomnien<led raising the following 
sums: Salary of the prosecuting attorney, $300; clerk, $300; treasurer, 
$350; circuit court expenses, $7.50; poor fund, $500; road fund, $625; to 
pay iild debts. '>1.1'7^. .Adopted. 

John W. llowd. \\". \\'. Comstock, anil John JetTcry, were aj^pointed 
Superintendents of the Poor. 

Cornelius Holiday, Erastus Perry, and H. T. I'.arnaby, were appointed 
Drain Commissioners. 

Januar}- 7, 1861. J. C. Ilulbert and Elijah Beard were appointed Sup- 
erintendents of the Poor, Jeft'ery and Comstock, appointed the previous 
October, not having qualified. 

Supervisor Fox, of Bethany, presented a petition from citizens of 12 — \ 
asking to Ije detached from Lafayette and attached to Bethany. Laid on 
the table. 

The board fixed salaries as follows : Treasurer, $400 and fees : clerk, 
$300: prosecuting attorney, $300: judge of probate, "5 per cent, of tlie 
po])ulalion" ; that is, $5 for every 100 people. .-\s the census of I<S60 gave 
4,SO0 as the population, his salary must ha\e been about .*~;250. 


A new county building to be placed upon the county site was pro- 
vided fiH-. Mr. Holiday presented a resolution to have a building erected, 
to be 16 by 32 feet and with 12-foot posts; to be built by Ralph Ely. 
The sum of $250 was appropriated to pay for the building, and H. T. 
Barnaby, John Jeffery and Fred D. Weller were appointed to look after 
matters, accept the building, etc. 

The Gratiot News to publish the proceedings at legal rates. 

June 10, 1861. Cornelius Holiday, of Pine Rive, was chosen chairman. 

A petition was presented from Edson Packard and others asking that 
12 — 1 be organized into a separate township to be called "Gratiot" Township. 
Laid on the table and afterward withdrawn. 

The county building appears to have been completed, for R. Eh'. W'm. 
E. Winton and L. C. Smith were appointed a committee to have the build- 
ing painted with two coats of white paint. The building did duty for 
county purposes till 1871, when it was superseded by the $8,000 court house 
built by Wm. C. Beckwith in that }ear; the building that served so faith- 
fully and well until it was itself superseded by the magnificent structure 
that now adorns the "county site," built in 1900-01. 

October 14. 1861 ; C. Holiday, chairman. 

.\ petition Avas presented signed by Jas. B. \Mieeler and fifteen others, 
asking that 12 — 1 be organized into an independent township to be called 
Wheeler. The petition was granted. 

Poor Superintendents Dispensed With. 

Here comes a peculiar resolution, offered by Mr. Cassada. and adopted 
on motion of Mr. Barstov^' : 

"Resolved, That the office of Superintendent of the Poor, of Gratiot 
County, be dispensed with, and that each township in said county maintain 
and support the poor of said township at their own expense ; and that 
the present Poor Farm be rented to some person to the best advantage, the 
proceeds thereof to be applied to the school fund of said countv. Yes, 14 ; 
No, 1— Mr. Worthing." 

Then comes a report of the Superintendents of the Poor, giving their 
financial transactions and adding: "We further report that the County 
Farm was let to be worked on shares, for which we are enabled to report 
as follows : Raised, (estimated) wheat, 70 bushels ; oats, 10 bushels ; barley, 
4 bushels ; potatoes, not any. We are to receive the whole of the above 
named produce for the benefit of the poor fund ; and further, we have re- 
ceived $45 for damages from the tenant for not working the farm as he 
should according to contract." They further stated that they had dis- 
charged the tenant. It is not stated that they did anything further to the 
tenant. All they did to him was to take all of his crops away from liim, 
fine him $45 in cash and then discharge him at the beginning of a hard 
winter. That's all ! The record don't say positively that they did another 
thing to him ; but the fact that the board, on the following day, bought 
$15 worth of handcuffs, suggests that they hadn't yet got through with 

.\ resolution to publish the proceedin,gs in the Gratiot News and the 
Northern Courier at 25 cents per folio for each, was voted down, and then 
the job was given to the News alone. The Northern Courier had recently 
been launched at Ithaca, as an independent paper by Israel B. Coats. On 
the death of Mr. Coats, it died also. 

Supervisors Crawford, Cassada and ]\Iack were appointed a committee 
to make an inventory of the property on the Poor Farm, and report forth- 


with, ^^^hat the committee found and reported, shows that they did their 
work thoroughly, nothing escaping them evidently. Here's their list: 

"About 300 pounds of hay; two stacks wheat, estimated at 60 bushels; 
one stack oats, estimated at 30 bushels: eight or ten bushels buckwheat: 
one hay fork ; a small quantity of corn : one cow, one bull, two oxen, two 
hoes, potatoes, not dug, 20 bushels, one pair ox bows, one staple and ring, 
two chains, one barn shovel, two wash tubs, one grindstone, twelve large 
table plates, six cups, seven saucers, five spoons, four knives and some 
broken forks, six basins, one meal sieve, two grain rakes, one scythe and 
snath, three bedsteads and cords, four bed comforters, about 27 yards calico, 
one old trunk containing a few old rags, one bar band iron six feet long, 
three pails, three candlesticks, one pillow, one plow clevis, one bag con- 
taining light bed clothes, two iron wedges, some blacksmith tools, six milk 
pans, one grain cradle and scythe, two well buckets, one plow, two ^traw 
bed ticks, one drag, one sled, one basket, one cookstove and a quantity of 
pipe. Two bushels ears of old corn were found on the place : and we 
further report on the authority of the tenants that there was, belonging to 
the county, one feather bed and two pillows, also a plow cutter and clasp 
that were taken away by one of the superintendents: and on the admis- 
sion of another superintendent, there is in his possession one bed quilt ; 
all of which is respectfully submitted." 

Supervisor O. A. Everden was appointed to settle with the Superin- 
tendents of the Poor, and F. D. Weller was appointed to take charge of 
and dispose of the property on the Poor Farm. 

They Took It Back. 

At the January — 1862 — session al)out the first business done was to 
rescind the action of the October session which dispensed with the Super- 
intendents of the Poor. 

A new set of Superintendents of the Poor was appointed, composed of 
Clement Naldrett, Wm. Long and Joseph Backus. 

F. D. Weller reported that he had sold Poor Farm stuff to the amount 
of $128.23. 

Drainage Commissioners were appointed as provided by an act of 
March 15. 1861. as follows: J. P.. Smith. Geo. ^^'. Jennings and Bernard 

The Judge of Probate reported the first insane person examined and 
sent to the asylum from this county. A record of, say, eight vears without 
an insane person was a good record, considering how much the people had 
to make them crazy. 

A resolution was presented l)y Supervisor Cassada. reciting that, as 
Ralph Ely. county treasurer, had enlisted, "and is now, if alive, a commis- 
sioned oiTicer in said service, and in the state of South Carolina, the ofifice of 
treasurer is vacant," and providing for filling the vacancy. The resolu- 
tion was lost by a vote of 10 to 5. 

Officers' salaries — Treasurer, $330; clerk, $300; prosecuting attornev, 

October 13, 1862. Napoleon B. Fraker, of \\'ashington. was elected 

The Superintendents of the Poor reported and complained about being 
handicapped by having the personal property sold: and it would seem 
that they had good reason for growling. 

The l)oard provided for having the county building banked up. and the 
windows pnnidcfl with shutters. 


January 5, 1863. Gratiot County hired its prisoners kept by the Clin- 
ton County sheriff, at the rate of $4 each per week. 

Salaries— Treasurer, $400; clerk, $350; prosecuting- attorney, $300; 
judge of probate. 7 cents per head of the population. 

It was ordered that the public square be opened immediately to the 
use of the public, and the sheriff was instructed to attend to it. 

October 12, 1863. The Superintendents of the Poor recommended that 
the Poor Farm be surveyed so they might know where to put line fences ; 
also that a barn be built. The board ordered the surveying done. 

Heretofore the three Superintendents of the Poor had been appointed 
at the same time and all for a year. At this session a change was made by 
which they would be elected for three years, one to go out each year. 
Perhaps the law was changed at that time. A new set was appointed as 
follows : Emery Crosby for three years ; Edward A. Chase for two years ; 
'\\'ni. E. ^\'inton for one year. 

Januar}- 4, 1864. Salaries took a jumjj ; treasurer $350; clerk, $450; 
probate judge, statute rate. 

The practice of giving the sehriff an advance fund was inaugurated at 
this session. Sheriff' W'eller being allowed an advance of $100. 

October 10, 1864. Horace T. Barnaby, of North Star, was made chair- 

John W. Howd was appointed Superintendent of the Poor for the full 
term — three years; W. S. Everest to fill vacancy vice Emery Crosby, and 
J. A. Guthrie to fill temporary vacancy vice E. A. Chase. 

The board seems to have got tired of the old log court house for ses- 
sions of the supervisors and for circuit court, so Comstock's Hall was leased 
at $50 a year, furnished, heated and lighted. F. D. Weller was appointed 
a committee to dispose of the furniture and other property of the county, 
in and about the court house. 

January 2, 1865. Mr. Wellei- reported having sold the court house 
stuff for $21.50. 

Salaries — Treasurer, $600 and fees; clerk. $500 and fees; prosecuting 
attorney, $350. Probate Judge $6 a hundred of population according to the 
census of 1864. 

Drs. Cheesman, of St. Louis, and Guthrie, of Emerson, had in claims 
for treating soldiers' families, which were allowed by the board. One 
amounted to $49. The board showed a commendable liberality in dealing 
with the soldiers and their families. 

Clinton County had in a claim for $121.77 for care of prisoners from 
Gratiot County. This was allowed after a hard struggle, some of the 
economical members being in favor of cutting off the odd dollars arbitrarily 
and by guess, and allowing the claim at $100. 

October 9, 1865. Theron A. Johnson, of Arcada, was made chairman. 

The Superintendents of the Poor reported raised and sold in 1864: 
20 bushels ears of corn, $2.87; 11 bushels buckwheat. $8.25; 3 bushels oats 
at 90 cents a bushel, $2.70; Yi ton poor hay, $8.30. Crops for 1865, esti- 
mated: 100 bushels ears of corn; 10 bushels buckwheat; 3 tons hay; 
20 bushels potatoes. 

The superintendents closed their report with statements and recom- 
mendations which clearly show that they were having no easy time in per- 
forming the duties of their office; "And we would further recommend that 
some measures be taken to have permanent paupers removed to the County 
House where they can be taken care of much more cheaply than to em- 
ploy individuals in the several townships to take care of them. We are 
supporting one at large expense and there are two or three others that are 


permanent paupers ; and as our county is rapidly filling up, such cases 
will multiply on the hands of the superintendents. And for the comfort 
of the paupers it will be necessary to have some repairs on the County 
House, and for this purpose we would recommend an appropriation of 
$200." Referred to a committee — Call, Boyer and Sower, to report as to 

Bridgeville bridtje began to call for repairs, so $500 was ap]iropriatea 
to replank one-half of the bridge, the other half to be repaired with the old 
plank taken up. 

E. .\. Chase was appointed ."-^uiK-rintendent of the Pdor lor the full 

The committee to consider and report on repairs for the County House, 
reported a substitute proposition, favoring the exchange of the north half 
of the farm for a 40 owned by John Jeffery, lying east of, and adjoining 
the south half of the farm, bringing the farm out to the State Road, and 
thus improving the situation. The exchange could be made by paying 
$250 boot money; ''which exchange" the report goes on to sa_y, "we, your 
committee, would recommend in preference to making repairs on the old 
buildings, and thus, whatever is done will be permanent, and access would 
l)e had to the State Road. And we would recommend that if the exchange 
is made, that the Honorable Board of Supervisors make an appropriation of 
S500 for building a new Poor House." 

Later, at the same session, a resolution was introduced by .Supervisor 
Call, of Elba, adopting the recommendation of the committee and appro- 
priating $300 for the erection of a Poor Farm Imilding on the State Road. 
.\dopted by 9 to 6. The trade was made with Mr. Jeffery, and the fine 
location still occupied by the Farm buildings was thus secured. 

January session. 1866. Salaries were fixed as follows : Treasurer. 
$600, without fees; clerk, $5.^0. without fees; prosecuting attorney, $400; 
judge of probate, $400. 

The board appropriated $1,000 to be expended for improvement of the 
highwavs in seven townships, and appointed commissioners to expend it 
as follows: Emerson, \\'. \\\ Comstock ; Wheeler, Hiram Tubbs ; Elba, 
John Nichols ; Sumner, D. Stoughton ; Seville, Isaac Welch ; Fulton, Jas. 
\\'. IMartin ; New Haven, Isaac Jason. 

.\t a special session of the board held February 20, 1866, $47.3 was 
voted for replanking the south half of the Bridgeville bridge, and Wm. T. 
Collister was appointed to superintend the work. 

June session, 1866. Luther Smitli, of Pine River, was elected cliair- 

The reciird says that on June 12th. at 8. p. m.. a special invitation was re- 
cei\ed 1)v the l)oard to attend a preliminary meeting of the .Agricultural 
Society, whereupon adjournment was taken till next morning. The .Agri- 
cultural Society, organized at that time, held its first fair the succeeding 

A summary of the amounts appropriated for the relief of soldiers' 
families during the war. shows an aggregate of $8.87.3 so approjiriated. 

The State Board of Ec|ualization, at its session of June, 1866, fixed 
Gratiot at $1,634,745. Luther Smith represented Gratiot County at the ses- 
sion of the State Board of Equalization, and received $30 for his services. 

.At the session beginning October 8. 1866, Emery Crosby was appointed 
Superintendent of the Poor for the full term. 

Wm. E. Winton, secretary of the Gratiot County .Agricultural Society 
presented to the board a sworn statement setting forth the facts regard- 
ing the organization of said .Agricultural Society, that it was "for the en- 


couragement and advancement of agriculture, manufacturing and the 
mechanic arts in said county, and that there has been raised by said society 
over $100 for the promotion of the aforesaid object"; closing with a re- 
quest that the board assess a tax for the benefit of said object. Signed 
by Francis Nelson, president and W. E. \\'inton, secretary. 

In accordance with the request, the board ordered the levying of a 
tax of one-tenth of a mill on the dollar valuation as equalized. And it is 
stated that the sum so raised amounted to $92.35. As the valuation of the 
county, as equalized, was $1,634,745, it is difficult to see how they made it 
that amount. Unless the architect of this volume has got his "DaboU", his 
"Adams", his "Davies" and his "Thompson" sadly mixed in his head, the 
one-tenth of one mill was capable of raising $163.47 from that equalization. 
The answer to the puzzle can be handed in at any time. 

At this session a claim for $4 was allowed to Chas. E. Bussey for 
services as a chainman in some surveying operations in the county. The 
following winter he taught the district school in St. Louis, was arrested and 
prosecuted on a charge of punishing a scholar too severeh'. The matter 
was settled during the progress of the trial, and the teacher finished out 
his term. Afterward he went ^\'est and in a few years became a noted edu- 
cator in a western state. 

The Superintendents of the Poor reported having erected a house on 
the County Farm at a cost of $1,500. The building was nearly ready for 
the reception of the poor, and that the total indebtedness was $1,591.45. 
The hoard made an appropriation calculated to wipe out the debt and leave 
$400 in the fund. 

At the session commencing January 7, 1867, Emery Crosby resigned as 
Superintendent of the Poor and Giles T. Brown was appointed to the 

The cjuestion of a county jail liegan to agitate the minds of the county 
legislators. The expense of transporting prisoners to and from St. Johns 
and Saginaw, together with their "keep" while in charge of those outside 
jailors, was an important item, and the supervisors certainly had good 
grounds for wanting a change. 

Supervisor ^^'heeler, of Lafayette, introduced a resolution calling for a 
vote at the coming spring election on the question of raising $2,000 for a 
county jail. This was laid on the table, but later the matter was taken 
up. and on motion of Supervisor Fraker, of Washington, it was voted to 
submit a proposition to the electors to raise $3,000 for the purpose, the 
amount to be raised by three equal annual assessments. 

The judge of probate was atithorized to get himself a new desk worth 

Salaries — Treasurer, $650 and fees ; clerk. $550 and fees : prosecuting 
attorney, $400; judge of probate. $500. 

A committee consisting of D. \\'. C. Chapin, Wm. E. \\'inton and 
Moses H. White, was appointed to look up the financial standings of all 
of the townships with the county ; committeemen to have $3 per day for 
their services. The committee reported at the following October session, 
their findings, showing the county to be indebted to the townships sums 
aggregating $9,352.71. 

.\ special meeting of the supervisors was held June 3, 1867. They first 
convened in the court house and then adjourned to Jeffery's Hall, from 
which place they adjourned to the clerk's office, and then, the sheriff hav- 
ing leased Comstock's Hall for a year, the board adjourned to that place, 
and got down to business. 


Leman A. Johnson, of Newark, was elected chairman. 

The Superintendents of the Poor asked for $1,200 for their purposes. 
The board voted them $1,600 instead. 

The board fixed the time for the Superintendent of Common Schools to 
serve at 123 days at a compensation of $3.50 per day. 

At the session of October, 1867, John ^^'. Ilowd was appointed Super- 
intendent of the Poor. 

The proceedings were ordered printed in the "Gratiot Journal" at legal 

At the session commencing January 6, 1868. salaries were fixed at — 
Treasurer, $650: clerk, $550; prosecuting attornev, $400; probate judge. 

The board voted an extra $100 for Judge J. G. Sutherland, of the 10th 

Supervisor Long, of \\'ashington, presented a resolution calling on the 
Superintendents of the Poor to furnish the county offices with wood, from 
the labor of the paupers on the County Farm, and on motion of Supervisor 
Webster, of Fulton, the resolution was adopted. 

The Superintendent of Common Schools was permitted to consume 25 
days more at his work, in addition to the 125 davs alreadv provided for, 
at $3.50 per day. 

Supervisor Barstow, of North Star, presented a resolution appropriating 
$1,000 from the general fund to be applied toward building a county jail. 
On motion of Supervisor Smith, of Pine River, to indefinitely postpone. 
there was a tie \'Ote — 8 to 8. Then the chairman, who had already voted 
"yes" on the question, again voted "yes" in order to break the tie, and so 
the matter was duly postponed. Some of those old-times could give val- 
uable pointers on parliamentary procedure to present day chairmen. 

A resolution by Mr. Long was adopted, submitting the question of rais- 
ing $2,000 to the people at the coming spring election for the erection of 
a jail at the county seat, and providing further that the citizens of Ithaca 
donate $1,000 more in aid of the enterprise. It is not recorded that the 
people of Ithaca were so anxious for a jail in their midst that they cheer- 
fully, or in any other way, donated $1,000, or any other sum, for its erection. 

Supervisor Hawkins, of Sumner, felt so kindly toward Sheriff Bailey 
that he presented a resolution to pay him an extra $200; but there were 
not enough that shared his liberal views to carry it through. 

The supervisors held a special session April 15, 1868, to decide on a 
uniform basis for assessments. This was done as nearly as possible, through 
the efforts of a committee composed of Supervisors Barstow, North Star; 
Johnson, Newark; Smith, Pine River; Long, \Vashington ; Wheeler, La- 

J. C. Giddings, of Bethany, was elected chairman. 

At the session of the supervisors commencing October 12, 1868, a peti- 
tion was received from 45 freeholders, of St. Louis, asking for an order of 
incorporation. A census of the inhabitants showed a population of 477 
within the territory to be incorporated ; the census having been taken by 
Chas. W. Giddings. .\ remonstrance, signed by 18 residents, was also pre- 
sented. All was referred to a committee composed of Super\isors Chandler. 
of Arcada ; Seaver, of Hamilton, and Swope, of Wheeler, which reported 
favorably, and on motion of Supervisor Seaver, the order was granted. 
Provision was made for an election to be held November 16, 1868, to 
choose first village officers. The first village incorporated in the county. 

Drainage commissioners were appointed as follows: Ervin H. Ewell, 
St. Louis; Cornelius Campbell, ^.\'ashington ; \\'iu. ^^'. Com^tock, Ithaca. 


The Poor Superintendent reported that the number of paupers "have 
ranged from two to thirteen. They have built 320 rods of fence, cleared 
nine acres of land, raised four acres of corn, one and a half acres of pota- 
toes, 50 bushels of oats, 30 bushels of wheat for our share, six tons of hay. 
Have put in nine acres of wheat, raised a good garden, set out 100 apple 
trees which are doing well, and furnished 15 cords of wood for the county 
offices:" and asked for an appropriation of $2,000. 

Wm. W. Comstock, the St. Charles and Stanton State Road Commis- 
sioner reported: "I have examined and located said road on air line direct 
from Stanton to St. Charles. Have surveyed six miles of said road, after 
which the surveyor was taken sick and died : and I have since deferred the 
matter for want of funds." A discouraging combination of circumstances. 

E. A. Chase, of North Star, was appointed to succeed himself as Super- 
intendent of the Poor. 

Thos. Holcomb. \\'m. S. Turck and W. W. Comstock, were appointed 
a committee to carry out the provisions of a resolution to expend $1,000 
in the erection of a fire-proof building for county olTices. 

January 4, 1869. The chairman announced the death of Supervisor 
Andrew P. Smith, of North Shade. Supervisors Barstow, of North Star ; 
Walker, of North Shade: Johnson, of Newark, and Smith, of Pine River, 
were appointed to draft resolutions on the death of ^Ir. Smith. Suitable 
resolutions were reported next day and adopted. 

An appropriation of S200 was made for the erection of a barn on the 
County Farm. 

The "Gazette," just started at St. Louis, was designated, with the 
Gratiot Journal, to publish the proceedings at half rates for each. 

October 11, 1869. H. T. Barnaby, of North Star, was made chairman. 

A petition from Ithaca citizens asked for incorporation of designated 
territory as a village. A census taken by Levi R. HifTner showed a popu- 
lation of 319. Supervisors Walker, of North Shade; Morrison, of Elba, 
and \\'heeler, of Lafayette, were appointed to consider the matter and re- 
port. The report was favorable and by resolution the village was incor- 
porated, the first election to be held November 16, 1869. 

Poor Superintendents were appointed: Giles T. Brown, Ithaca, three 
years; Elias W. Smith, St. Louis, two years; Wm. E. ^^'inton .Ithaca, one 

E. C. Cook, president and E. C. Cummings, secretary, of the Agricul- 
tural Society, reported that the Society had raised $100 by subscription 
and asked for an appropriation of one-tenth of one mill on the property of 
the county, which was granted. 

The Superintendent of Common Schools was allowed 230 days in that 
capacity at $3.50 per day, he to teach a normal school for teachers in each 
spring and fall. 

Supervisor Wright, of Pine River, asked for an appropriation in aid 
of the Michigan State .Advance, a monthly paper started at St. Louis, by 
A. D. and E. G. Rust, to boom Central Michigan and especially Gratiot 
County. The recjuest was not granted. 

Supervisor L. A. Johnson, of Newark, presented a resolution submit- 
ting to the people at the next spring's election, a proposition to issue bonds 
for $5,000 for the purpose of building a court house and a jail. Bonds to 
bear interest at the rate of 10 per cent., $1,000 to be paid each year, com- 
mencing with March 1. 1871, until all are paid. Carried bv a vote of 10 
to 4. 



Supervisor Burlingame, of New Haven, offered a resolution thanking 
Chairman Barnaby for his course as chairman, and "ever praying that he 
may in this world enjoy much happiness, and in the world to come, life 
everlasting." Adopted unanimously. Mr. Barnaby returned the compli- 
ment, thanking the members. It is interesting to note that after a period of 
nearly 44 years Air. Barnaby is still enjoying life, as also are four others of 
the same board — Chas. E. Webster, Joseph H. Seaver, Jas. K. Wright, and 
Barney Swope. 

At the session of January, 1870 salaries were raised as follows: Treas- 
urer, $700; clerk, $600: pmseculini;- atturney. $.=^.^0: probate judge, $450. 

The Court House of 1870. 

Supervisors Ely, of Arcada, Webster, of Fulton, and Brooke, of Emer- 
son, were appointed to look after the details of the construction of the 
court house and jail, providing the vote at the spring election is favorable 
for bonding. They to determine size and shape of the buildings, internal 
construction, material, and where to be located. 

The committee consisting of Supervisors Ely, Webster and Brooke, 
appointed to consider and report on details for the construction of the pro- 
posed new court house and jail reported, and as their recommendations were 
adopted, and were followed, in the 
main, in the actual construction of the 
buildings, the report is here given : 

"Said court house building to be 
located on the public square in the 
X'illage of Ithaca. The construction to 
be of wood. The dimensions to be 36 
feet wide by 60 feet long, with 26-foot 
posts, and set upon a good and sub- 
stantial foundation of stone about three 
feet above the surface of the ground. 
The court room to be on the second 
floor. Hall or entrance to be 10 feet 
wide, with stairs on each side leading 
to the court room. A hall in the center 
below, from six to eight feet v^-ide, the 
rooms on one side for county officers 
and a fire-proof vault eight feet square; the rooms on the opposite side for 
county officers, jury room, etc." 

The jail was to be built of oak or hemlock and to be 22 by 28 feet, and 
with 16-foot posts, with other details that need not be specified here. The 
report was adopted, unanimously. 

A building committee was appointed as follows: W'm. E. Winton, and 
Wm. S. Turck, Ithaca; S. F. Anderson, Alma; Chas. B. Kress. St. Louis: 
Chas. E. Webster, Fulton. 

Henry P. Howd was appointed Superintendent of the Poor vice G. T. 
Brown, resigned. 

The supervisors assembled in sjjecial session Mav 2, 1870, for the pur- 
pose of canvassing the vote on the court house <iueslion. l\al[>h 1{1\- was 
elected chairman. 

The number of votes on the question of Ijonding for $5,000 for the pur- 
pose of building a court house and jail was 1,726 — for the loan. S72: 
against the loan, 854. Carried by the small niajorit}- of 18. 


^ .. 



COURT HOUSE— 1870 TO 1902. 


Albert D. Rust, publisher of the Michigan State Advance, of St. Louis, 
was present, and advocated the appointment of an immigration agent to 
encourage immigration to Gratiot. The matter was referred to a commit- 
tee composed of Supervisors Danley, of Fulton ; Marshall, of North Star, 
and Iletzman. of Emerson, who reported unfavorably, and their report was 

October, 1870. The court house building committee laid liefore the 
board the contract and bond of Wm. C. Beckwith for the erection of the 
court house. Approved and adopted. 

.\. W. Russell, of Ithaca, was appointed Superintendent of the I'oor. 

l"he board appropriated $1,000 more for the construction of the court 
house, conditioned on the people of Ithaca grading the grounds. 

The Superintendents of the Poor reported that they had contracted with 
Zachariah Hoag to keep the County House ; he to "keep, maintain, support 
and furnish in sickness and health all things necessary, and in case of 
death, to defray funeral expenses." Hoag to have the labor of the inmates. 

Mr. Morse moved to pay an extra $10 to Chairman Ely for extra ser- 
vices as chairman, but Mr. Ely refused to receive it ; and so the motion was 

January, 1871. The dog tax, now an old and familiar topic for execra- 
tion, first put in an appearance to torment the people, and to foster and 
facilitate their propensities for lying about 40 years ago. x^t the January 
session. 1871, Supervisor Kellogg put in a resolution which was adopted, 
asking the legislature to either make the dog tax law more effective or else 
repeal it. 

The County House matters seem to have been the most prominent, 
if not the most popular, subject before the su])er\'isors in the early days. 
.\t this session the superintendents reported that there were ten inmates at 
the House and everything was full. Consequently an addition to the build- 
ing was called for. But the necessary appropriation was not made till the 
October session following. 

N. B. Fraker, who had been the Bridgeville bridge commissioner for 
some time, resigned and Samuel H. Griffith was appointed. 

W'm. Marlow, of Ithaca, was appointed Superintendent of the Poor 
in place of Henry P. Howd, resigned. 

Salary schedule — Treasurer, $850: clerk, $7.^0; prosecuting attorney, 
$5.=iO; judge of probate, $.530. 

June term, 1871. J. C. Giddings, of Bethany, was chosen chairman. 

It was reported that W. D. Young, owner of the ^laple Rapids mill 
])roperty, would sell for $7,000, and then the dam could be moved by the 
board. Referred, and the committee later reported, recommending that the 
tpiestion of raising $5,000 be submitted to the voters; the people of Gratiot 
and Clintim Counties to raise by subscription the other $2,000. for the pur- 
chase of the mill property and dam. Report adopted. 

C. E. Webster was appointed to attend the State Board of Equalization 
meeting at Lansing. 

October session, 1871. Geo. W. licit, of Alma, was appointed Su]ierin- 
tendent of the Poor. 

The Poor Superintendents reported thirteen in the County House. The 
axerage cost of maintaining each one was stated to be about $11 per 
month. This being the summer and fall noted for its many and great fires 
on account of the drouth, the superintendents reported that the number 
destitute had greatly increased : consequently the}' asked for increased ap- 


Newark and Arcada's Big Drain. 

E. W. Kellogg, special commissioner on the State Swamp Land Ditch, 
in the townships of Newark and Arcada, reported: "By an act of the 
legislature appro\'ed April 15, 1871, an appropriation of nearly six sections 
of State Swamp Lands was made for the purpose of draining the 'Big 
Swamp' situated in the Townships of Arcada and Newark, and the under- 
signed was appointed a special commissioner to superintend its construction. 

"Tn conformity with the requirements of the aforesaid act, I concluded 
a contract with Minor R. Frink, of Clinton County to construct a drain of 
the width and depth required by the terms of said act. the whole to be com- 
pleted on or before the first day of January, 1873. The work is now being 
done; 400 rods being finished in the Township of Arcada, and 280 rods 
in the Township of Newark are finished. A force of 15 or 20 men are 
now working on the unfinished portion, and without doubt the entire drain 
will be completed within the time specified in the contract." 

The contractor. Minor R. Frink, was authorized to make his selections 
of swamp lands in Gratiot County in payment. 

The sum of $1,800 was voted to the Superintendents of the Poor for 
regular expenses and for an addition to the House. 

The report of the court house building committee showed that there 
had been an expenditure of $7,567.25 on the building, and that there was a 
deficit of $567.25. The board appropriated the amount required to pay this 

One peculiarity of this session was the fact that the board occupied 
14 days to do the business, at a cost to the county of $709.80. Miles 
traveled and paid for, ran all the way from 32 for North Star and Newark, 
to 72 for Seville, 84 for Sumner, 92 for North Shade, and an even 100 for 

The proceedings were ordered published in the Gratiot Journal and the 
St. Louis Herald, at half rates each. 

January 2, 1872. A petition from citizens of .\!ma for an order of 
incorporation as a village was received and referred to a committee — Super- 
visors Hall, of Arcada ; Kellogg, of Newark, and Swope, of \\'heeler. The 
census of the village was taken by Hiram Utley and showed a population of 
425. The report of the committee was favorable to the proposition, and by 
resolution the incorporation was ordered, the first election to be held Feb- 
ruary 2. 1872. 

The court house was reported to be nearly readv for occupancy. W'm. 
E. W'inton was designated as a committee to have the bar suitably 

The superintendents reported that they had contracted with D. F. 
Muscott, of Emerson, to conduct the County Farm for one year, with the 
privilege of two ; he to clothe, board and furnish medical treatment to in- 
mates to the number of 10 for $1,100 a year; $1.50 for each above 10. and 
$1.50 deducted for each one off from 10. He to have the help of the in- 
mates and to have all he could raise on the farm. .\. \\'. Russell, \\'m. 
Marlow and Geo. W. Helt, constituted the board of superintendents. 

Salaries — Treasurer, $850; clerk, $800; prosecuting attorney, $550; 
probate judge, $550; superintendent of schools, $600. 

Daniel W. Altenburg was appoin.ted Drain Commissioner in place of 
Philip Burlingame, removed. 

October 14, 1872. The board of snjiervisors met in the new court 
house. PI. T. Barnabv. of North Star, was made chairman. 


A petition was presented signed by John Jeffery and 91 others, asking 
the board to appropriate enough money to reimburse Wm. C. Beckvvith, for 
losses on the court house contract. Referred to a committee — Coleman, 
of Emerson; Wilcox, of Lafayette, and Brice, of North Shade. The com- 
mittee reported that by the sworn statement of Mr. Beckwith it was shown 
that his loss on the contract was $744.84, and recommended that he be paid 
the amount. The recommendation was concurred in by a vote of 11 to 4. 

The Poor Superintendents reported the average number of inmates at 
the Poor Farm for the year was seven, of whom four were idiotic : and 
asked for $1,600. The board gave them $1,800, the superintendents to build 
an addition to the house at a cost not to exceed $800. 

Wm. Marlow was re-elected Superintendent of the Poor. 

Wm. E. Winton reported the expenditure of $158.26 for furnishing 
bar space of the Court House. Approved. 

Chairman Barnaby was instructed to enter into an agreement with the 
ofTicials of the Detroit House of Corrections for receiving and keeping 

On motion of Supervisor Hall, of Arcada, the sheriff was instructed to 
keep the Court House closed, only when wanted for the legitimate business 
of the county. In other words, those Ithaca "tight-wads" were not to have 
free access to the county's building every time they wanted a nice place 
for a justice court trial, or a caucus, or a social. And it was all right and 
proper, too. 

One tenth of one mill on the dollar was ordered in aid of the Gratiot 
County Agricultural Society. 

January 6, 1873. A resolution by Supervisor Long, of Washington, and 
adopted by the board, ordered a survey made of Maple River from the 
Maple Rapids dam to Bridgeville, to ascertain whether or not the dam 
was the direct cause of the overflow, a fact denied by the owners of the 
dam. N. B. Fraker, of Washington, was appointed to carry out the pro- 
visions of the resolution. The Maple Rapids dam question was always a 
live question with the board ; a subject, too, on which they were always 
pretty well agreed. 

A resolution introduced by Mr. Long, and adopted, requested the treas- 
urer, clerk, register of deeds and prosecuting attorney, to reside at Ithaca, 
and perform the duties of their offices themselves, as far as possible. 

Up to this time Gratiot's prisoners had been kept in the St. Johns jail. 
At this session, however, a proposition came from Saginaw to keep our 
prisoners at 75 cents a day, each, and it was accepted. The Saginaw Valley 
& St. Louis Railroad was now in operation, and that fact helped the 
supervisors to the conclusion arrived at. 

The Superintendents of the Poor were always in evidence. No meet- 
ing of the board of supervisors could be a success without them ; and 
perhaps not always with them. Somewhere it is said, "The Poor (Super- 
intendents) ye have always with you." This is not said or written in derison, 
hut as a sort of an awkward, left-handed apology for saying so much about 
them in this department. Their tale this time was truly a tale of woe; and 
a loud call for an appropriation. They had not yet got that addition, and 
the money was about gone. They say : "There are now 14 poor persons in 
the Poor House, besides the keeper, his wife, son and hired help — 18 people 
in all, which makes the house very much crowded and inconvenient, and if 
sickness should prevail the results would be fearful. If the poor should 
keep increasing, or even remain at the present number, the present appro- 
priation would be little enough for the support of the house, and for tem- 
porarv relief outside of the house, and insufficient for building a suitable 


addition. \\'e, therefore, ask for a further appropriation of S300 for build- 
ing purposes. 

".And, furthermore, there is not enough land for the use of the county 
poor for many ye.ars more, and we would, therefore, ask for an addition to 
the Poor Farm. John Jefifery owns 80 acres of wild land adjoining the 
Poor Farm on the south which he would sell for $25 per acre. He also 
owns 80 acres adjoining the Poor Farm on the north, 60 acres of which 
are improved and the rest well timbered, which he would sell for $50 per 
acre." Signed by A. W. Russell and \\'m. ^larlow. 

The matter was referred to the committee. 

\t this session Donald Chisholm had in a claim for a wolf bounty. 

An appropriation of $900 was made for repairs on the Bridgeville bridge. 

October. 1873. The committee on county buildings reported that, "the 
new building on the County Farm 22 by 50 feet, two stories high, is wholly 
enclosed, made of good material and well done in good style :" and recom- 
mending that $2,400 be appropriated for the care of the poor and to finish 
the building. .Adopted. 

.A.. W. Russell was elected suijerintendent n\ the poor, receiving the en- 
tire vote — 15. 

For drain commissioner Daniel W. .\ltenburg receix'ed a similar com- 

On motion of Mr. Wilcox, of Lafayette, the board voted to pay a 
bounty of $10 for every wolf killed in the county. 

Roswell Danley, of Fulton, and \\'m. Long, of Washington, commis- 
sioners for rebuilding the P>ridgeville bridge, reported that the work was 
completed at a cost of $2,287.09, of which $1,966.12 was provided for, 
leaving $320.97 uniiaid. The board voted an anprt)priation to cover the 
amount. Supervisor Edson Packard, of Pine River, protested against the 
bridge being considered a county charge any longer, but he was opposed 
by a vote of 10 to 6. His motion then, to have the many bridges across 
Pine River adopted by the Ijoard. met the same fate. People of modern 
times, not so familiar with the conditions as were the early settlers, will 
readily see the difference, when their attention is called to the fact that the 
ISridgeville bridge across Maple River was (and is) close to the southern 
border of the county, and on the main thoroughfare leading out of the 
county to the south ; an outlet so to speak, that accommodated a large share 
of Gratiot county and the regions lying beyond, to the north. Piesides, it 
was a long, expensive bridge to build and to keep in such condition as the 
importance of the thoroughfare demanded. For these reasons it was very 
])lansil)Iy and properly considered a county charge for many years. 

I'-. W. Kellogg, commissioner to lay nut and superintend the construc- 
tion of the Newark and .\rcada drain, reported that the work was completed 
and Mr. Friid<. the contractor, was entitled to the contract price therefor. 
Adopted, and a resolution passed by the board confirmed the same. 

The board made satisfactory arrangements with the authorities of the 
Village of Ithaca, for keening prisoners in the village jail. 

The committee on salaries recommended that the superintendent of 
schools, Giles T. liniwu, be given a salary of $1,000; that he be refpiired 
to devote 250 days each year to the work, including 10 weeks of teachers" 
preparatory school — five weeks in the spring and five in the fall. The 
recommendation was concurred in. 

At the term commencing January 5, 1874, the board fixed salaries as 
follows: Treasurer, $900; clerk, $800; judge of probate, $700; prosecuting 
attornev. $600. 


The Gratiot Journal and St. Louis Herald to have one legal rate for 
publishing the proceedings, to be divided in proportion to circulation. 

At the term commencing October 12, 1874, J. C. Giddings, chairman, 
Silas C. Grossman, of St. Louis, was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

The committee on public buildings reported that Keeper Muscott and 
the County Farm were all right, except that there should be a stone wall 
under the house, and that the tin chimneys should be replaced with brick 
chimneys. The report was approved and $2. .^00 was voted for Poor Farm 

The Maple Rapids dam still tormented the supervisors, and still caused 
the inundation of thirteen sections of land in Gratiot County; over 8.000 
acres of land rendered worse than worthless, besides causing much sickness 
and a great amount of dreadful apprehensions. Supervisors Fraker and 
Webster were appointed a committee to see the proprietor of the dam and 
see what could be done. 

January 4, 1875. G. T. Brown, superintendent of schools, asked the 
board to petition the legislature for a law compelling a uniformity of text 
l)ooks in Gratiot County. The board went further and made it apply to the 
entire state. In the early days one of the most aggravating conditions that 
confronted teachers and school officials was the multiplicity of text books in 
use. Pupils were allowed to use almost anything they happened to have 
around the house, for text books. It was an evil that can be readily under- 
stood and appreciated without elaborate argument. 

Citizens of \\'ashington, in trying to get an appropriation in aid of 
bridge building in that township, spurred up Supervisor Shults, of Seville, 
to an attempt to include a bridge over the Pine at "Riverside," Seville Town- 
ship. That was the name by which the present Riverdale was known when 
founded, and which it retained for some time — until it was discovered 
that there was alreadv in this state, a village and postoffice so named; in 
the northern part of Berrien County. 

-At the session commencing October 11. 1875, Supervisor E. W. Kellogg, 
of Newark, was chairman. \\'m. iXIarlow was appointed superintendent of 
the poor. The superintendents reported twenty-three inmates during the 
year, and an average of sixteen. Number given relief outside was 110. 
The material was ready for that foundation, but it was not vet built. 
Nothing said about the tin chimney. 

The attorneys of the county asked that steps be taken to secure the 
services of a stenographer for the circuit court. Judge Hart also recom- 
mended it. The committee on salaries recommended that in case a steno- 
grapher is employed he be given a salary of $300. Concurred in. 

January 3, 1876. A reminder of the days of nearly twenty years long 
gone, came through a resolution by Supervisor Morse, of New Haven, in- 
structing the treasurer to foreclose any mortgages given for relief fur- 
nished at that time. The movement to close up the matter was com- 
mendable enough, but a proviso instructing the treasurer to remit the ob- 
ligation and discharge the mortgage when its foreclosure would cause 
serious distress, was the most commendable of all, and showed that the 
heart of the author of the resolution, and the hearts of the members 
adopting the resolution, were in their proper places. 

On motion of Supervisor Turck, of Arcada. .S. W. Goodale, of Saginaw, 
was engaged as stenographer for the circuit court for the vear 1876, at a 
salary of $350. 

.-\t the June session. 1876, F. W. Kellogg, c)f Newark, was made chair- 


Supervisor \Vm. S. Turck, of Arcada, was chosen to represent the 
county at the meeting of the State Board of Equalization. 

The Bridgeville bridge was at the fore once more calling for action 
and an appropriation. It was decided to construct a new bridge, notwith- 
standing it had been practically rebuilt only three years previously. The 
new bridge to be built upon piles at a cost of about $4,000, the funds to be 
raised by bonding. E. W. Kellogg, of Newark, and G. ^^'. Clark, of Fulton. 
to be commissioners to have charge of the work. 

The proceedings of the board were being voted to the Ithaca Journal 
with great regularity each session, at a price, the board kindly instructing 
the clerk to also furnish copy to the publisher of the St. Louis Herald, pro- 
vided he wanted it badly enough to print it for nothing. 

At the session commencing October 14, 1876, A. \\'. Russell was ap- 
pointed superintendent of the poor to succeed him self, and D. W. .\lten- 
burg received the entire sixteen votes for drain commissioner. 

Since the June session the bridge at Bridgeville had been rebuilt — 
R. M. Steel, of St. Johns, contractor — at a cost of $4,235.93. 

County Jail and Sheriff's Residence. 

January 1, 1877. A jail and sheriff's residence were the next necessary 
improvements to appeal to the liberality of the people. Supervisor .\bbott. 
of Hamilton, called upon the committee on public buildings to ascertain 
and report the amount necessary for the purpose. The committee concluded 
that $4,000 would be the proper amount for a building and ground upon 
which to locate it. A resolution was then adopted to submit to the people 
at the spring election of 1877, the question of appropriating $4,000 for a 
jail and sheriff's residence. It was shown that the expense of keeping 
Gratiot's prisoners in outside jails was from $1,200 to $1,700 per year, in- 
cluding transportation. 

A petition from the attorneys of the county asking the board to vote to 
the circuit judge an extra $200, was turned down by a unanimous vote. 

The salary schedule was — Treasurer, $'^00; clerk. $850; probate judge, 
$750; prosecuting attorney, $800. 

The question of bonding to the amount of $4,000 for the purpose of 
building a jail and sheriff's residence, submitted to vote at the election of 
April, 1877, carried by a large majority — yes, 1,722; no. 713, a favorable 
majority of 1,009. But it was discoxered, when too late, that the township 
clerks had failed to give the notice recjuired by law. when a vote was to be 
taken on the question of bonding. So that elegant majority was likely to 
go for naught. But some one was struck by a happy thought when it was 
remembered that the legislature was in session. .A. bill was duly intro- 
duced and the vote was legalized by a special act of the legislature. 

A little examination of the vote of the different townships on the 
question of issuing the bonds reveals the fact that sentiment varied widely 
and curiously throughout the county relative to the merits of the proposi- 
tion. The vote in Bethany and Pine River was nearly unanimous against 
it— Bethany, for the loan, 3; against it, 221; Pine River, for the loan, 15; 
against it, 402. Wheeler and Seville were also against the loan, while twelve 
townships gave majorities favorable ; the Townships of Lafayette, Elba, 
Hamilton. Newark and \^^ashington, showing not a single vote against it. 

.\fter the vote had been legalized, the board, at a June session, by a 
unanimous vote, decided to go right ahead with the work. Supervisors 
Webster, Hill, Brice, Eagan and Everden were appointed a committee to 
select and recommend a building committee. Thev selected as such com- 


mittee — S. W. Ambler and D. C. Johnson, Ithaca; Sidney Thompson, North 
Star; D. O. Cuff, St. Louis; Ira W. Montague, Fulton. 

Henry W. Shaw, of St. Louis, was appointed superintendent of the poor 
vice Silas C. Grossman, removed from the county. 

October 8, 1877. Ghairman, E. W. Kellogg, of Newark. Floyd E. 
Martin, of St. Louis, was appointed su])erintendent of the poor in place of 
Henry ^^^ Shaw, deceased. 

The jail building committee reported as to progress made, showing that 
about $5,000 wouUrbe required, in addition to the $4,000 already voted, to 
finish the building. The jail and sheriff's residence, under consideration, 
was the building still in use, in that capacity. The ground upon which it 
is located had been known as block 8, lying on the east of what was then 
called the court house square, and with a narrow street, or perhaps more 
properly, an alley, running between them. The committee, paid $1,000 for 
the block, and the Village of Ithaca loosened up enough to donate its 
rights to the alley and consent to having it taken up, and also threw in the 
village lock-up. 

The contract for enclosing the jail had been let to L. G. Davidson & 
Go., of Grand Rapids, at $5,271, and that part of the work was done. 
The committee figured that it would take $5,000 to finish it for occupancy 
as a jail and sheriff's residence. After various motions and amendments 
had been disposed of, the outcome was that the board came to a determin- 
ation to submit to the electors a proposition to bond for $6,000, at a 
special election to be held November 27 . 1877. The proposition was so 
submitted, resulting in its defeat by a vote of 578 to 504; majority against 

At the session beginning January 7, 1878, .A.. M. Haynes was engaged 
to act as circuit court stenographer at $10 per day of actual service. 

The jail question was referred to a special committee consisting of 
Supervisors Heslin, of Washington; Hicks, of Bethany; Webster, of Ful- 
ton ; Smith, of Wheeler, and Bentley, of Sumner. This committee made its 
report, which, as a basis for many motions and much oratory, resulted in 
the adoption of a resolution offered by John M. Everden, of Emerson, 
to submit the question of raising $6,000, by bonding, to the electors in 
April, 1878. When the time for the election arrived, the voters were present 
with their war paint on, and again defeated the bonding proposition, this 
time by a vote of 1,471 to 1.284; a majority of 187. 

Session commencing October 14, 1878; E. W. Kellogg, of Newark, chair- 
man. A special committee composed of Supervisors Long, of Washington ; 
Guff, of Pine River, and Wilson, of Sumner, was appointed to investigate 
the matter and see wdiat was best to be done to bring about the completion 
of the jail. The committee reported at the session of January, 1879. 

Wm. Marlow was appointed superintendent of the poor to succeed him- 
self. The superintendents reported that the whole number of inmates in 
the Gounty House during the year was 27; average, 14. The number 
temporarily aided was 189. 

The supervisors were not pleased with the town drain law, and asked 
the legislature to repeal it. 

At the session of January, 1879, about the first thing to be considered 
was a petition from seventy-five residents of Fulton, asking that the salaries 
of supervisors and county officers be cut down twenty-five per cent. Laid 
on the table till next day. at which time it was taken from the table, and 
then the board immediately adjourned till afternoon. In the afternoon Mr. 
Long moved that salaries be reduced twenty per cent. Laid on the table 
till tomorrow. Thus the board came at the matter bv degrees, as it were ; 


as they could seem to stand it. Ne.xt day the matter was taken up and a 
motion and a vote fixed the supervisors' salaries at $2.50 per day. Then the 
sheriff's and deputies per diem were reduced twenty per cent. Then a 
halt was called, and the committee on salaries was instructed to imiuire into 
the expediency of reducing county oflficers' salaries twenty per cent. While 
the committee was cogitating over the "expediency," the board got busy and 
fixed salaries as follows: Treasurer, clerk, judge of probate and prosecut- 
ing attorney, $800 each. This was a reduction of nearly six per cent, each 
on three of them, and nothing on the fourth. Not an immense stride in 
the direction of economy and retrenchment, but it was in that direction, 
anyway. Possibly a suggestion thirty years later to reduce salaries wouldn't 
have achieved any greater results. 

It was shown at this session that about one-fourth of Elba Township 
had never been surveyed, owing to the townships having quite an area of 
impenetrable and unnavigable swamp land within its borders. A resolution 
was passed, asking the legislature tn ha\e it sur\e>'ed by the state, it being 
state swamp land. 

D. W. Altenburg was appointed drain commissioner: 13 to 3. 

Supervisor Long, from the special committee to consider the question 
of the best way to finish up the jail, reported, recommending that the prop- 
osition to raise by taxation in the year 1879, the sum of $4,000, be sub- 
mitted to the people at the succeeding spring election. Ry resolutinn it was 
so ordered. 

At the June session, 1879, E. ^^'. Kellogg was chosen chairman. A 
canvass of the vote on the proposition to raise by tax in 1879 the sum of 
$4,000 with which to complete the jail and sheriff's residence showed that 
2,314 electors had voted in favor of the proposition, and 9.^2 against it: 
a favorable majority of 1.3.^1. 

Wm. S. Turck, J. H. Seaver and C. E. Webster were appointed a com- 
mittee to superintend the completion of the jail. They entered into bonds 
of $5,000, to be personally responsible for all sums expended on the jail 
over and above the $4,000 voted. 

The supervisors were confronted with a perplexing condition. The 
state supreme court had recently rendered a decision holding that the stat- 
ute providing that all property must be assessed at its true cash value, was 
mandatory and must be strictly com])lied with. The practice had been to 
ostensibly comply with the requirements of the law, but really each super- 
visor had been a law unto himself, and, in the hope of keeping taxes down 
in his own township, would assess as low as his hopes and fears would 
allow him to, with a tendency downward with each succeeding year. Or, 
amounting to the same thing, if they did not actually reduce the assess- 
ment of the same property from year to year, they failed to increase tneir 
valuations to an extent commensurate with the march of improvements 
and the cons(|uent increase in values. Of course the bunch in each county 
had to equalize the townships in such a way as to meet the views of enough 
members to secure for it a majority vote for its adoption. And the result 
was, generall}', that there would be much weeping and wailing and gnash- 
ing of teeth among the minority. 

The delegate to the meeting of the .State lioard of Ecjualization. as a 
loyal and astute representative, would then go through the same routine 
in behalf of his county that the supervisor did in behalf of his township — 
do his best to keep his county's rating low and all the others high. It is 
but fair to say, however, that Gratiot County has had one representative to 
the Board of State Equalization, who took the (ipjjosite method, and gave 
his countv a great send-off as the best co\nit\ in the state, and gave the 



board to understand that he and his constituents craved their full share 
of taxation. But nearly everybody knew that it was all for the same ob- 
ject, the expectation being that the board would admire his blufT and his 
o-enerosity, and would show their appreciation of his open candor and 
faith, in a reciprocal display of leniency by i^ivin,^ his county a low ratmt;. 
Perhaps the county has had more than one of that kind. There may have 
Ijeen two or three of them. 

The decision of the supreme court gave supervisors a distinct surprise. 
Gratiot's supervisors got together and gave orders that supervisors should 
make nut new tax rolls, and turn over a new leaf by putting the valuations 
lip nearer to where they should be. It was one certain supervisor's first 
year, and he was one of the most honest and conscientious men in the 
world; but it was found that in following precedent generally, and the 
old tax rolls of the township in particular, combined with his own indi- 
vidual desire to give his townsmen a fair deal, he had assessed at a rate 
that recpiired a special remedy. So he was directed or made to believe 
it was his best way, to multiply every detail of his assessment by two. 
This he did, thus doubling every person's assessment, and, of course, 
though inconsistently, incurring the wrath of all who "caught on" to the 
fact. It was his first and his last year; and he was just as pleased to quit 
as his constituents were to have him quit. 

In recent years the state tax commission is doing something to remedy 
the matter, and methods and results are improving. 

At the October session of 1879, the special committee — Turck, Webster 
and Seaver — appointed to finish the jail, reported that the job was completed 
at a cost of $3,83.^, leaving a balance of $14.3 in the fund. 



The jail question was first broached at the session of January, 1877, 
and the first installment of funds was voted in April of that year. So it 
took the greater jjart of three years to build it. And behold, is it not 
standing- to this day, a monument to the perseverance of the supervisors 
and the good sense — though considerably delayed — of the people ! And 
though it is not necessary to say it here, it may not be out of place to 
say it, that the building, in its fine location and with its beautiful sur- 
roundings of shade trees and lawn, is a credit to the county. Sherififs can 
hardly be blamed for working hard for the right and privilege of living 
there ; and if the same cannot plausibly be said for the culprits who bring 
up within its walls, it can at least be presumed that the sting of prison 
life must be greatly alleviated by the opportunity afiforded for living — -if 
only for a brief time — in such a pleasant resort, with so many attractions. 
Of course these observations are not history, in a strict sense, but they are 
thrown in to serve as a relief station on the dry and dusty road along 
which the reader has to travel in getting through this continued story, so 
largely statistical and unexciting. 

At this October, 1879, session, the board ajipointed Parmer R. Phillips, 
of Ithaca, superintendent of the poor. 

At the session commencing January 5, 1880, L. S. Ferris and Samuel 11. 
Stevens, of Sumner, petitioned for the privilege of constructing a dam 
across Pine River at the Village of Sumner. Referred to the committee on 
roads and bridges, and granted later. 

The board, by this time, had recovered from its economical attack 
of a year previous, and it now restored that six per cent, to the officers 
salaries, making them read $850 for each of the four — treasurer, clerk, judge 
of probate and prosecuting attorney. 

It was ordered that the proceedings be let to the lowest bidder, for 
publication, the cost not to exceed legal rates. 

The session of October, 1880, was presided over by E. W. Kellogg, of 

John Shelt, of Ithaca, was appointed sujjerintendent of the poor. 

C. M. Spaulding, of Grand Rapids, was engaged as ofTicial stenographer 
for the circuit court, to receive $10 per day. 

At the session of January. 1881, Thos. H. Harrod. of North Star, was 
appointed drain commissioner. 

The board adopted a resolution calling upon the legislature to appro- 
priate state swamp lands to aid in removing obstructions — bars, shoals, 
etc. — from the channel of Maple River. The legislature donated ten sections 
of swamp lands for the purpose named. 

New Township Created. 

The legislature of 1881 passed a special act creating the Township of 
Ithaca. It is made up of four sections of land at the geographical center 
of the county — taking section one of Newark, section six of North Star, 
section thirty-one of Emerson, and section thirty-six of Arcada. Ithaca 
Village occupies the center of the township. It may be stated that the prin- 
cipal object to be gained by the organization of this new townshi]) was the 
much greater convenience afforded the people of the four sections interested 
in getting to the elections. The large population of the Village of Ithaca 
w'as located in four different townships, and, of course, at every township 
election and at every general election the electors of the village were com- 
pelled to abandon their homes, vacate the village, and go six miles in four 
different directions to cast their ballots. So the change was a great con- 
venience to the people of Ithaca. It was an advantage, also to ev'ery one of 


the four townships from which Ithaca Township was taken, as it gave them 
better control of their' own local affairs and interests. The large voting 
population at Ithaca Village was conducive to a tendency to dominate 
township matters, thus making it possible to advance certain local inter- 
ests to the detriment of other interests located elsewhere. It is all easy to 
see and needs no further elaboration. 

.^t the June session, 1881. E. ^\'. Kellogg, chairman, the new township 
was represented by its first supervisor, .\. W. Russell. 

Chas. H. Morse, of New Haven, was chosen delegate to the meeting of 
the .^tate Board of Equalization. 

The proceedings of the board were given to the Journal and Democrat. 
Ithaca, and the Herald, St. Louis, for publication at three-fourths legal 
rates, divided according- to circulation. 

October 10, 1881. A petition signed by seventy dissatisfied people was 
received, asking for the removal of the county drain commissioner. No 
action was taken. Drain commissioners in those days traveled no flowery 
path to popularity and glory any more than they do in these later days. 

W'm. ]\Iarlow, of Ithaca, was appointed superintendent of the poor to 
succeed himself. 

Ervin H. Ewell, of St. Louis, was appointed superintendent of the poor 
to succeed John Shelt, removed after an investigation conducted by a com- 
mittee composed of Supervisors Morse, Webster and Weiss. 

The proceedings were ordered published by the Gratiot Journal, St. 
Louis Leader and St. Louis Herald fur $100 divided in proportion to 

.\t the session of January, 1882, Drain Commissioner T. H. Harrod 
tentlered his resignation and it was accepted. 

Samuel C. Robinson, of New Haven, was appointed drain commissioner. 

Supervisor Morse introduced a resolution declaring the Maple Rapids 
dam a great detriment to Gratiot County, in that it caused a great over- 
flow of the lands along Maple River, by which much sickness was en- 
gendered, and thousands of acres of land rendered worthless. Continuing, 
the resolution recited the fact that the legislature had appropriated ten 
sections of land in aid of the work of dredging and deepening the channel, 
and that the work would be useless if not impossible of accomplishment 
unless the dam was removed ; therefore, calling upon the State Board of 
Health to investigate the situation and the conditions with the view of 
having the dam declared a nuisatice, and removed. Adopted. 

Geo. \\\ McHenry, of St. Louis, was appointed superintendent of the 
poor in place of E. H. Ewell, who resigned to accept a government posi- 
tion on the Capitol police force at Washington, D. C. 

.\ special session of the supervisors was held February 28, 1882, to take 
action in the ]\Iaple Rapids dam matter, the dam having been declared a 
nuisance by the State Board of Health. Supervisors Chas. E. Webster, 
B. A. Hicks, E. W. Kellogg, Chas. H. Morse, A. W. Russell and Jerry D. 
Thompson, on whose petition the special meeting was called, were ap- 
pointed a committee to recommend suitable action to be taken in the matter. 
They recommended the appointment of a committee of five to proceed to 
take such action as would seem best for the interests of the county, even 
to the e.xtent of bringing action in the courts if necessary. They also 
recommended the appropriation of $1,000 to defray the expenses of what- 
ever action should be taken. All of which was adopted by a vote of 
16 to I : Supervisor Weiss alone voting against the propositions. The 
committee of five was then appointed as follows: Supervisors C. E. Web- 


ster, of Fulton; ^^'. D. Tucker, of Bethany; C. H. Morse, of Xew Haven; 
E. W. Kellogg, of Newark, and Prosecuting Attorney Chas. J- \\'illett. 

October 9, 1882, \Vm. Rrice. of North Shade, chairman. P. R. Phillips, 
of Ithaca, was appointed superintendent of the poor to succeed himself. 

Salaries were fixed as follows: Clerk, $800; treasurer, S800: prosecut- 
ing attorney, S850; judge of probate, SI. 100. 

-At the January session, 1883, a resolution introduced by Supervisor 
Sidney Thompson, of North Star, was adopted, instructing the county treas- 
urer to charge three per cent, interest for county funds in banks, and turn 
the same into the contingent fund. 

October 8, 1883, Wm. Brice, chairman. A. X. Martin, of St. Louis, 
was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

The board appropriated $7.^ for publishing the proceedings, to be 
divided equally between the Ithaca Journal, Ithaca Times, St. Louis Herald, 
St. Louis Democrat and St. Louis Leader. 

January 7, 1884. S. C. Robinson was appointed drain commissioner to 
succeed himself. 

At the session of October. 1884, \\'m. P.rice. of North Sliade. was chosen 

The committee on ways and means recommended that the board bor- 
row $9,000 to pay indebtedness and defray expenses until taxes would be 
coming in, the following December. Adopted. So a shortage of funds 
occurring now and then in these later days is no new thing. 

Citizens of Ithaca petitioned the board to aid the .Agricultural Society : 
otherwise it was likely to lose its grounds and impro\ements. So the board 
voted the Societv a tax lew of ten cents on the SI. 000: a donation of 

Chas. E. \\"ebster was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

A resolution to pay Garrett K. Cruson, of Lafayette. S309.2,t. to reim- 
burse him for money spent on account of wounds received while protecting 
public money when he was township treasurer of Lafayette, was laid on the 
table. .\t tlie following January session it was taken from the table and 

January .t, 188.^. The board received seven petitions, largely signed, 
asking for the removal of Drain Commissioner S. C. Robinson. Referred 
to the committee on drainage. The committee afterward asked permission 
to withdraw the petitions, which was granted, and the petitions were with- 
drawn. All of which makes the matter "as clear as mud." 

.A. ])etition was received from Dr. J. F. Suydam, of .\lma, asking that 
A. N. Alartin be removed from the office of superintendent of the poor: 
and preferred charges. The trouble was ventilated before the full board, 
sworn evidence being introduced. The board decided that the charges were 
not sustained. 

.A. special meeting of the board was held June 8, 1885. Wm. Brice 
was elected chairman l)y a vote of 16 to 1. 

The chairman stated the object of the special session was to provide 
fimds to carry on necessary business. The shortage was an account of the 
county now having to carry the delinquent taxes, instead of the state, as 
heretofore, etc., etc. The board borrowed SIO.OOO on an order payable in 
eight months and bearing interest at seven and one-half per cent. 

-At the session commencing October 12th, 1885, a committee composed 
of C. E. \\'ebster, .A. W. Russell and \\'m. Brice, which had charge of the 
building of an addition to the County House, reported that a brick additon 
had been built, 32 by 45 feet on the ground and two stories high, at a cost 
of $2A72.77. Fred Kinkerter doing the job. 


At this session came a suggestion and a resolution to the effect that 
medical attendance for the poor of the county should be let to the lowest 
bidder: the letting to be by districts, each township and the county house 
to constitute a district — 18 districts in all. The resolution was laid on the 
table. At the session a year later — October. 1886 — the system was adopted. 

P. R. Phillips was chosen superintendent of the poor to succeed him- 

Once more the super\-isors had to resort to a loan to pay indebtedness 
and keep business going. The loan this time was SI 3.000. 

Abolished Another Office. 

January 4. 1886. A resolution was introduced by Supervisor Pepple, of 
Emerson, to the effect that it was not necessary to appoint a county drain 
commissioner. This was adopted, and the office left vacant. .\ resolution 
by Supervisor Chambers, of Xew Haven, made it the duty, or perhaps 
privilege, of township drain commissioners to finish all drains laid out by 
the county drain commissioner, and the resolution was adopted. 

In accordance with the provisions of an act of the legislature, passed 
at its last session, the board appointed agents to attend to the burial of 
ex-soldiers and ex-sailors in the several townships as follows : Ithaca, A. W. 
Russell: Elba. Daniel Gower; Hamilton. \\'m. Stahl : Lafayette. Chas. C. 
Hamlin: ^^'heeler. Joseph Brumby: \\'ashington. X. B. Bowker: North 
Star. S. D. Belding: Emerson. X. M. Showers: Bethany. Rev. W. C. Cal- 
land : Fulton. T. B. Musser: Xewark. J. L. Richard; Arcada. G. S. Ward: 
Pine River. C. H. Crandall : Xorth Shade. John O. Clark : Xew Haven. 
C. H. Morse: Sumner. Seneca Sly: Seville. N. B. Bradley. 

June 14. 1886, Marvin R. Salter, of Ithaca, chairman. 

Darius Reid. of Arcada. was appointed to represent the county at the 
meeting of the State Board of Equalization. 

October session, 1886. The \'illage of Ashley was incorporated by 
resolution of the board, based on a petition of the inhabitants interested. 
Xovember 11. 1886. was the date designated for the first election. 

A schedule of salaries was adopted as follows : Prosecuting attornev. 
S900 : clerk. S800 : treasurer. S800. 

A. X. Martin was appointed superintendent of the poor to succeed him- 
selK by a vote of 15 to 0. 

The Journal. Herald and Corner ( Elm Hall) Local, to publish the pro- 
ceedings at S25 each. 

The session of January, 1887, was presided over by Darius Reid, of 
Arcada, elected by acclamation, by a unanimous vote. 

By this time drain matters, without a county drain commissioner, began 
to work unsatisfactorily, particularly where the drains extended through 
different townships and into adjoining counties. So a resolution was 
adopted restoring the office, and Sidney S. Hastings, of St. Louis, was ap- 
pointed drain commissioner. 

The proposition submitted to the voters of the state, at the April elec- 
tion. 1887, for the adoption or rejection of an amendment to the state con- 
stitution prohibiting the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors, re- 
ceived a large favorable majority in the county though it was defeated in the 
state. The vote in Gratiot County was — yes. 3,648: no. 1.607: majority in 
favor of the proposition. 2.041. 

At the October session. 1887. \\"m. T. Pitt, of Seville, was chosen chair- 

Chas. E. Webster, of Ithaca, was appointed superintendent of the poor, 
17 to 0. 


A petition was received from citizens of Estella Village asking to have 
the name of their village changed to Sumner, to correspond with the name 
of the postoffice. The village had been platted and named Estella in 1868. 
The recjuest was granted. 

The Advance and the Journal of Ithaca, and the Herald of St. Louis. 
were given the printing of the proceedings at $30 each. 

The plan of letting the medical treatment of the poor to the lowest 
bidders, by townships, was not satisfactory to all the people. Supervisor 
Kimes, of North Star, oflfered a resolution to discontinue the system, but it 
was voted down. 

By another resolution by Super\-isor ^liller. of Bethany, the lioard de- 
cided to continue the practice. 

A special meeting of the board of supervisors was held November 8, 
1887, for the purpose of correcting some irregularities in the eciualization 
as adopted at the October session. A two-days' session was held. 

.A.t the session of January, 1888, the question of local option was sub- 
mitted to the people, to be voted on at a special election to be held Feb- 
ruary 13, 1888. A canvass of the votes February 14, 1888, showed 
as follows: For local option, 2,747; against local option, 495: majority, 

In the following May the local o])tion law was declared unconstitutional 
by the supreme court. 

There was enough done at the session of January. 1888, to furnish 
$60 worth of printing, which was divided equally between the Gratiot 
Journal. Gratiot Herald, Alma Record and St. Louis Leader. 

October 8, 1888. Supervisor \\'m. T. Pitt, of Seville, was made chair- 

P. R. Phillips was appointed poor su]3erintendent to succeed himself, 
the vote being 16 to 0. 

It was determined to continue the system of letting the medical care 
of the poor to the lowest bidders, by townships. 

The job of publishing the proceedings was given to the Gratiot Jour- 
nal, Gratiot Herald, .Alma Record, .St. Louis Leader and St. Louis Press, 
at $20 each. 

At the session commencing January 7. 188'*, a proposition to ajipnint a 
probate register was voted down. 

A special meeting held .\pril 17, 1889. to take action to defend a 
suit brought by H. M. Aylesworth against the county to collect payment 
of drain orders given in 1871 — 72< on the construction of the Newark and 
-Arcada drain. .Attorney Chas. J. Willett, of St. Louis, was employed to 
assist Prosecuting .Attorney Piyron H. Sawyer in the defense. 

Supervisor \\'esley J. Miller, of I'.ethany, was chosen chairman of tlie 

October 14, 1889. .A. N. Martin, of St. Luuis, was appointed super- 
intendent of the poor to succeed himself. The superintendents were in- 
structed to re-let contracts for the medical treatment of the poor, by town- 
ships to the lowest bidders. 

Jesse Pepple, of Emerson, was ajipninted ccmntv drain commissioner to 
succeed S. S. Hastings. 

-All supervisors were instructed to levy a ta.x of one-tenth of a mill 
on a dollar for a soldiers" relief fund: resolution by D. O. Cutf. of Pine 

The .Ashley Gleaner was let in on tiie jub of printing the proceedings: 
also the St. Louis Republican. 


At the session of January, 1890, Attorneys Willett and Sawyer reported 
progress in the suit of Aylesworlh against the county to collect on the 
Newark and Arcada drain orders. 

A petition was received asking the board to re-build the Bridgeville 
bridge, and to fill in the flats on the north side of the bridge proper, a 
long space that had previously been planked. The committee on roads 
and bridges reported unfavoraljly, and the petition was refused, for the 
reason that the section of highway under consideration was a part of the 
Saginaw, St. Louis & St. Johns State Road, and consquently the county 
was not under obligations to keep it repaired. 

Alanson J. Brown, of Ithaca, was appointed drain commissioner, Jesse 
Pepple, who was appointed at the October session of 1889, having declined 
the appointment. 

\Vashington and Fulton Townships were authorized to raise $2,000 
each to defray the expense of rebuilding the Bridgeville bridge. This was 
adopted after voting down a proposition to charge the expense of rebuild- 
ing to the Townships of Washington, Fulton, North Star, Newark and 
Ithaca. This latter proposition was based on the presumption that the 
townships named were the most interested in having the bridge kejjt up. 

October, 1850. Hiram Haring, of North Shade, was chosen chairman. 

A petition was received numerously signed, asking for action on the 
part of the board in the matter of rebuilding Bridgeville bridge, and sug- 
gesting that the expense of the undertaking be apportioned to the town- 
ships according to their respective interests. Referred to the committee 
on roads and bridges. The committee reported favorably, recommending 
that a committee of three disinterested persons be appointed to apportion 
the cost among the townships according to the townships' interests. The 
report was laid on the table, and afterward taken up and rejected. 

The Alma News was a new candidate for some of the printing fees, 
being given an even showing with the Ithaca Herald, St. Louis Indepen- 
dent and the Ashley Gleaner. 

January session, 1891. A resolution was introduced which provided 
for abolishing the office of secretary of the board of school examiners, and 
also the township boards of review. Referred to the committee on resolu- 
tions and afterward adopted. 

The board adjourned to January 26, 1891, at which time a special com- 
mittee composed of Smith, Meacham and Coon, which had been appointed 
to investigate charges against Jerry Davis, the keeper of the county farm, 
reported that they had made a thorough investigation and had found the 
charges absolutelv without foundation. The report was adopted. 

First County School Commissioner. 

Tune session, 1891. The membership of the board was increased by the 
addition of a representative from the newly chartered City of St. Louis. By 
the act of incorporation the city assessor was made a member of the 
l)oard of supervisors. Stephen Ostrander, Sr., was the first representative 
from the City of St. Louis. 

Hiram Haring, of North Shade, was chosen chairman of tlie board. 

The legislature, at its recent session, had made important changes in 
the school laws. The new law enacted at that time, has remained sub- 
stantially the same to the present time. The board, at its June session, 
1891, elected the first county school commissioner in the person of Orin 
G. Tuttle, who received fifteen votes. J. N. McCall and Fred Fullerton 
were appointed school examiners for two and one years, respectively. 

The salary of the school commissioner was fixed at $1,200. 


The board inaugurated the scheme for publishing its proceedings that 
has been in vogue ever since, in substance — letting one publisher have the 
job at a stipulated price, and he to furnish the printed proceedings in 
supplement form to all other publishers in the county for circulation among 
their subscribers. By this method each publisher can put the matter be- 
fore his readers at slight expense, the result being that the doings of the 
board of supervisors go into a majority of the families in the county. 

Supervisor Gaylord Helms, of Emerson, was elected delegate to the 
meeting of the State Equalization Board at Lansing. 

October session, 1891. .\ committee consisting of X. Smith, of 
"Wheeler; S. Ostrander, of St. Louis, and Jas. \\". Payne, of Fulton, was 
appointed to consider and report on the question of adding 80 acres of land 
to the County Farm, by purchase. Later, at the same session the com- 
mittee reported that the land in question could be bought for $3,200. with 
a payment of $700 down and the balance on time. The committee recom- 
mended the purchase, and their recommendation was adopted. 

J. W. Harrod, of Ithaca, was appointed county drain commissioner. 

Ira W. Montague was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

A local option election was held January 2S. 1892. the proposition carry- 
ing by a vote of 1990 to 851. .Afterward, the matter being carried to the 
supreme court, that tribunal set aside the election, on the ground that the 
supervisors* canvass of the vote, declaration and official record of the re- 
sult, were not signed by the chairman and clerk nf the hoard until some 
time after the final adjournment of the board. 

October 10, 1892, C. \V. Martin, of Ithaca, chairman. 

Up to this session jaarty lines had not been strictly observed in the 
formation of the committees. The new chairman, however, inaugurated 
a new system, by adhering strictly to party lines in announcing the commit- 
tees, every chairmanship being given to the republicans. No matter how 
long or how valuable his services may have been, the democrat was placed 
at the fag end of the committee, while the republican was given the more 
responsible position at the head of the committee, no matter how new and 
inexperienced he might be. It had nothing to recommend it but the most 
partisan bias — if that could be termed a recommendation — but the sys- 
tem has been pretty generally adhered to even since, no matter which 
party had the majority. 

N. Scott Baldwin, of St. Louis, was appointed superintendent of the 
poor. Martin W. Coon, of ^^'ashington, was appnintecj cnunty school ex- 

The contract for lighting the court house and jail \>y electric light was 
ordered renewed for one year at a cost of $120. 

A resolution introduced by Supervisor Helms, tn the effect that super- 
visors should be paid only for actual attendance at the sessions of the 
board, was voted down — 11 to 7. 

Nothing of importance beyond the ordinary routine business came l)e- 
fore the board at its session of January, 1893. 

The session beginning October 9, 1893. was jjresided o\cr iiy C. W. 
Martin, of Ithaca. 

T. .A. Ely, of Alma, was appointed superintendent of the poor to suc- 
ceed C. E. Webster. 

.\. S. Mdntyre, of .St. Louis, was appointed superintendent of the 
poor to fill a vacanc\'. 

At the session of January, 18')4, no l)u>.iness of a striking nature was 
transacted, only routine business occu])ying the attention of the board. 

October, 18')4. C. W. .Martin was ch.osen chairman. 


The report showed live stock on the County Farm of the value of 
$50y. \'alue of produce raised in 1894, $1,139.34. Number of inmates dur- 
ini^- the year, S7 . Present number. 41. F'or indebtedness, interest on mort- 
g-age and for repairs, about $2,000 was asked for, and $7,000 for the sup- 
port of the poor. 

Jesse Pepple was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

Will M. Coon was appointed county school examiner. 

Ithaca ^'illage authorities offered to donate $500 if the supervisors would 
appropriate a like sum for the purpose of improving the court house grounds 
by grading, etc., and putting in water works. The board accepted the prop- 
osition and the sheriff, clerk and judge of probate were appointed to co- 
operate with the villarge council in carrying out the work. 

.\t the January session of 1895, E. P. Potter was elected temporary 
chairman, and then voting commenced for permanent chairman. The day 
was spent in balloting, and was resumed the next day, when, on the 64th 
ballot, D. L. Sharrar, of Arcada. was elected, receiving 11 votes to 6 for 
Gavlord Helms, of Emerson. The strife was between republican members. 
as that party had a majority on the Ijnard. 

October, 1895. Another spirited and prolonged contest for chairman, 
caused by an overplus of ambitious members of the republican faith, that 
party having a majority on the board. Elon P. Potter, of Hamilton, was the 
winner, but it took 48 ballots to decide the matter. 

The County Farm began to show crop returns worth mentioning, the 
report showing as follows : ^\'heat, 380 bushels ; oats, 706 bushels ; corn, 
2,000 bushels ; potatoes, 400 bushels ; onions, 120 bushels ; beets, 100 
l)ushels; carrots, 300 bushels; other roots, 1,000 bushels. Live stock as 
follows: one pair of oxen, five cows, nine head young cattle, 36 hogs, 16 
sheep, 50 turkeys, 200 chickens. 

A. S. Mclntyre was elected superintendent of the poor. 

A. J. Brown was elected drain commissioner. 

J. N. McCall was elected school examiner. 

Four Supervisors from St. Louis. 

The session of January, 1896, develo])e(l nothing more exciting than the 
ordinary routine business. 

But what the January term lacked in excitement was made up at the 
June session, when four supervisors appeared with credentials from the 
City of St. Louis — one from each ward. Previous to this, from the time 
of its incorporation as a city, St. Louis had been represented by one mem- 
ber — the city assessor. The city's amended charter that gave it a repre- 
sentative for each ward, and so greatly increased its power and influence on 
the board was not looked upon with favor by the other portions of the 
county. It was, therefore, determined to keep them out if possible, and 
with that view, by advice of the prosecuting attorney the clerk was in- 
structed to not enter their names on the roll as members of the board. 
On the second day of the session the four were allowed to present their 
case, .Xttorney Whitney, of St. Louis, speaking in their behalf. Attorney 
.Stone acted for the prosecuting attorney in the latter"s absence, .\fter botli 
sides to the controversy had lieen presented the l)oard. bv a vote of 10 to 
7 refused to allow them to sit as members. 

City .\ttorney Leonard, of St. Louis, then took a hand in the game, 
telephoning over that unless the four were seated, the St. Louis tax rolls 
would be withheld from the board, and consequently the countv would have 
to get along with its equalizing and taxation operations without anv help 
In mi St. Louis" large amount of taxable property. 


Then the board came back at the city by passing a resohition, presented 
by Supervisor Meacham, instructing the clerk to notify the mayor and 
council of St. Louis, that unless the city's assessment rolls were in the 
hands of the board at an adjourned meeting to be held July 17. 1896, 
the board would proceed to equalize on the best information procurable 
from other sources, fixing the valuation of real and personal property in 
-St. Louis accordingly. 

Pending the re-convening of the boartl im July 27tli. a writ of mandamus 
from the circuit court compelled the board to admit the four from St. Louis 
to seats, and the order was confirmed by the supreme court, when the 
board took the matter up to that tribunal of last resort. 

D. L. Sharrar was chairman of the board. 

Leo. J. Schaefifer, of Sumner, was elected delegate to the meeting of 
the State Board of Equalization. 

October 12, 1896. C. Franklin I'ike was appointed school examiner. 

T. A. Ely was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

A board of county canvassers was appointed as provided for at the last 
legislative session. The appointees were Geo. A. Hafer, of Ithaca ; E. P. 
Potter, of Hamilton, and W. J. Miller, of Bethany. .Alternate, Edwin 
Meacham, of Elba. The ]iay of the members of the canvassing board was 
fixed at $3 per day. 

Salaries — Clerk, $800: treasurer, $1,000: prosecuting attorney, $1,000: 
[jrobate judge, $1,200: commissioner of schools. $1,200. 

.\t the January session, 1897, Supervisors Potter, of Hamilton: Barstow, 
of Ithaca, and Coffin, of Emerson, were appointed a committee to employ 
attorneys in the case of Aylesworth against the board of supervisors : the 
case being the long-drawn-out Newark and Arcada ditch litigatitin. 

October 11, 1897, D. L. Sharrar, chairman. 

The report showed produce raised on the County Farm as follows, in 
bushels: Corn, 3,500: oats, 620: wheat, 124: rye, 40: buckwheat, 44: 
potatoes, 265 : roots, 200 : hay, 20 tons. The live stock consisted of seven 
cows: 13 head young cattle: 44 sheep: 60 hogs: 50 turkeys: 180 chickens. 

Chas. .\. Scholtz, of Wheeler, was appointed drain commissioner. 

Fred Fullerton was appointed school examiner. 

Jesse Pepple was appointed sujierintendent of the poor. 

At an adjourned session, November 1, 1897, the committee on county 
officers reported that at the time of the suspension of the Ithaca National 
Bank, during the present year. Treasurer Otto had $6,860.04 on deposit 
in that institution : that already a portion of that sum had been paid, 
leaving still due about $4,000. It seems proper to state here that the bank 
finally paid all its obligations : and furthermore that the present Ithaca 
National Bank has no relationship to the suspended bank, either near or 

.At the term commencing January 3, 1898. a communicatiim was re- 
ceived from the Ingham County Board of Supervisors, inviting the board 
to send a delegate to a supervisors" convention to be held at Lansing, Feb- 
ruary 1, 1898. The board selected D. L. Sharrar, of .Arcada, to represent 
Gratiot County at the convention. 

October session, 1898, D. L. Sharrar, chairman. 

Wm. A. Bahlke,' of Alma : C. W. Giddings, of St. Louis, and F. E. 
Durfee, of Fulton, were appointed a committee to see about compiling an 
index to title of all lands in Gratiot County, the same being recommended 
as a great convenience and time-saver. 

C. F. Pike, was elected school examiner, 19 to 2. 

A. S. Mclntyre was elected superintendent of the poor, 19 to 2. 


County canvassers were appointed as follows : E. Meacham, of Elba ; 
C. T. Chambers, of New Haven: E. M. ISecker. of Lafavette ; alternate. 
F. "r. :\lerrill, of Ithaca. 

.\ petition was recei\e<l from I'arker Merrill, of St. Louis, and John R. 
Wilson, clerk, asking permission to construct a dam across Pine River, 
below St. Louis, for the purpose of furnishing power to operate an electric 
light plant, etc., at St. Louis. The petition was granted. 

At the Januar}-, 1899, session, Leo j. .Schaefifer, of Sumner, was elected 
chairman, recei\ing 10 out of the 18 \otes cast; the number of members- 
elect being 21. 

F. E. Durfee, of Fulton, was elected to the meeting of the Supervisors' 
Association at Lansing, February 7, 1899. 

October session, 1899, F. E. Durfee, chairman. 

The Alma Sugar Co. extended an invitation to the board to visit and 
ins])ect its new sugar factory, offering free transportation and entertain- 
ment. .Accejjted. 

New Court House Discussion Started. 

The question of building a new cnurt house had begun to be discussed 
by the people of the county, the feeling being quite prevalent that the old 
building was inadequate to the transaction of the county's business, and 
that the valuable county and court records required better protection than 
was furnished by the. oiTices and vaults of the old building. Up to the time 
of the session of October, 1899, the board had taken no steps in the matter. 
On the fifth day of the session — October 13th— the matter was bruoght 
forcibly to the attention of the board l)y a delegation of Alma citizens with 
a proposition for the removal of the county seat to Alma, and the erection 
of a new court house at that place. 

The action of the board immediately following this inauguration of the 
matter, and continuing till the completion of the court house, is chronicled 
in another place and under a different heading, in this volume. Other 
business of the board is continued here. 

Newton Pmrns, of P)ethany was ap]:)ointed countv drain commissioner. 

Lester H. Hayt, of Alma, was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

Joseph M. Hoxie. of Fulton, was appointeil school examiner. 

The committee on county buildings recommended that the wooden part 
of the County House be removed and a brick building erected in its place. 
-Adopted, and $2,000 appropriated for the purpose 

The Gratiot County News was given the printing of the proceedings 
and furnishing supplements to the other pa]iers, at $,^0. 

-\ special meeting of the board was held April 19, 1900, for the pur- 
pose I if canvassing the vote taken at the April election on the (|uestion of 
issuing bonds in the sum of $34,000 for the purpose of building a new 
court house. Frank L. Pressley, of Newark, was chosen chairman. 

The result showed, for the loan, 4,058; against the loan. 2.311; ma- 
jorit}- for the loan, 1.747. ( iordis Smith, J. M. Williams and C. J. Cham- 
liers were appointed a bonding committee. J. Marks, J. L. Smith and F. P. 
Merrill were appointed a building committee. 

.\t an adjourned meeting held June 4, 1900, bids were received for the 
court house bonds, Spitzer & Co., of Toledo, being the highest bidders — 
$34,907.60. The bonds to run five years and to draw four per cent, interest, 
paxable semi-annually. The bonds were awarded to Spitzer & Co. 

.\t this same meeting, plans and specifications for the proposed building 
were submitted by various architects, those of Claire .\llen, of Jackson, 
being approved and adopted by the board. 


By a unanimous vote the board ordered the ohl court house sohl at a 
price not less than $fi,0OO. and to be reserved till the new court house was 
ready for occupancy. 

A special nieeting was held July 21, 1900. for the purpose of consider- 
ing bids for the construction of the court house. .\. \\'. }iIohnke, of Grand 
Rapids, was found to he the lowest bidder, his bid being $39,24'*. The 
highest of the se\en bids was S58,973. Mr. Mohnke was gi\cn the 

At the session beginning October 8, 1900. Gaylord Helms was ap- 
pointed superintendent of the poor. 

M. E. Hull was ajiijointed county school examiner. 

The following were appointed county canvassers: W. D. Tucker, F. G. 
Palmer, Henry Bodfish. Canvassers to have a per diem of $4. 

.•\ sinking fund for the court house bonds was decided upon, and $6,800 
appropriated as a starter. 

.\t the session of January, 1901, a petition was received with thirty- 
eight signers, asking for the incorporation of the \'illage of Middleton, the 
territory to include the whole of section 7, of Fulton Township. .V re- 
monstrance against such incorporation was also received, containing sixty- 
three signatures. Petition and remonstrance were referred to a conunit- 
t€e composed of Pitt, of Seville; \\'illiams, of North Star, and Martin, of 
St. Louis. The committee reported unfavoral)l\- on the jietition. and the 
report was adopted by a vote of 11 to 10. 

Supervisor Pitt ofTered a resolution relative to the sparrow bounty, 
calling upon the legislature to repeal the bounty law, and giving the figures 
representing the cost to Gratiot County alone in three vears: The amount 
paid in 1898 was $3,804.60: in 1899, $4,465.86: in 1900, $3,291.29: a total 
of $11,565.73 in three years. 

The resolution w-as adopted by a unanimous vote of the board. 

A special meeting of the board was held April 2:^. 1901. E. P. T\)tter 
was elected chairman over C. J. Chambers, by a vote of 11 to 10, on the 
eighth ballot. 

Frank M. Harrington, of Ithaca, was appointed a member of the court 
house building committee in place of F. P. Merrill, resigned, and the build- 
ing committee was instructed to procure counsel and resume work on the 
court house, work having been suspended for a time. 

At a session of the board held in June, 1901, Newel Smith, of St. 
Louis, was appointed delegate to the State Board of Equalization. 

John Selfridge was appointed janitor of the new court house, with 
monthly salary of $40. 

Jas. Henry, Alice M. Henry and H. J. Tuger, constituting the .St. 
Louis Milling Co.. were granted permission to construct a new dam, doing 
away with the old one. 

Prosecuting Attorney Kirby asked permission to employ assistance in 
the prosecution of the Ouimby murder case. Granted. 

At the October session, 1901, E. E. Fell was a])pointe(l C(iunt\' school 

F. M. Harrington resigned as a member of the court house Ijuilding 
committee. Accepted, and then the board appointed a new building com- 
mittee, consisting of E. P. Potter, of Hamilton: I-'. M. Harrington, of 
Ithaca, and E. J. Alverson, of .\lma. 

County Farm produce in bushels — Wheat, 290: oats. 1.000: corn. 2,000: 
beans, 60: rye, 62: onions, 52: potatoes, 250: roots, 700: cabbage, 60 
heads : hav. 30 tons ; niillctt. 10 tons. 


Petitions were presented asking that the local option question be sub- 
mitted to a vote of the electors of Gratiot County. Referred to a com- 
mittee — Kli Oswold, of St. Louis; A. H. Maurer, of Newark, and Fred Read, 
of Fultiin. The committee reported favorably, and the election was ordered 
for .April, \'X)2. 

Parker Merrill, of St. Louis, was apj)ointed drain commissioner, receiv- 
ing 11 votes, to 10 for Newton Burns. 

David Duncan was appointed superintendent of the poor — 11 votes to 
10 for Henry Randolph. 

Supervisor Pitt ofifered a resolution providing for the purchase of eight 
or ten easy chairs for the old folks at the County Farm. Adopted. 

Dr. A'. C. A'aughn, of Ann Arbor, was allowed a claim for professional 
services in the Ouimby murder trial. 

T. \\'. Whitney's claim of $1,000 for services as assistant to Prosecutor 
Kirby in the Ouimby murder trial, was allowed at $800. 

Newel Smith, of St. Louis, ofifered a resolution to rescind the vote 
ordering the submission of the question of local option, for the reason that 
in passing upon the sufificiency of the petitions the poll lists and registra- 
tion books had not been consulted. Lost by a vote of 18 to 3. 

A special session of the board was held April 14, 1902, with C. J. 
Chambers, of New Haven, as chairman, to canvass the local option vote. 
Supervisors Brice, of North Shade: Dufif, of St. Louis; Case, of Emerson; 
Delavan, of Arcada, and Pitt, of Seville, were designated as a committee to 
canvass the vote, and report. The proposition was defeated, the vote stand- 
ing 2. 753 for the measure and 3,319 against it ; an adverse majority of 566. 

A special session of the board was held July 28, 1902, for the purpose 
of attending to a lot of minor matters concerning the new court house. 

It was decided to have suitable dedicatory exercises September 10, 
1902. Supervisors Harrington, Dufif, Delavan, Potter and Fox were ap- 
pointed a committee to make necessary arrangements. 

Ithaca was invited to appoint a committee to act with the committee 
of supervisors in arranging for the dedication. 

At the session of October, 1902, Howard A. Potter was appointed 
school examiner by a unanimous vote. 

The County Farm report showed as follows: Oats 1,234; corn, 2,000; 
wheat, 483; potatoes, 250; onions, 65; roots, 200; hay, 35 tons; cabbage, 
2,800 heads. Live Stock — Cows, 10; young cattle, 12; sheep, 60; hogs, 
36; fowls, 150. There was $1,000 in the fund, and $500 worth more live 
stock and tools than a year ago. The superintendents asked for an ap- 
propriation of $1,500 for a new barn. 

T. A. Ely was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

County canvassers appointed — H. C. Barstow, Chas. Morrow, H. R. 

A resolution ofifered by Mr. Pitt provided for grading the court house 
grounds. Adopted. 

At the January, 1903, session. E. P. Potter was chosen chairman. 

October 12. 1903. E. P. Potter was made chairman without oppo- 

^\'alter E. Swope was chosen school examiner. 

Julius B. Kirby presented a claim for $1,800 for services as attorney in 
the prosecution of cases in behalf of the county. The committee on claims 
recommended that it be allowed at $1,200. Referred back to the com- 
mittee. The committee reported it again, this time without recommenda- 
tion. On motion of Supervisor Harrington, the claim was allowed at foot- 


Jesse Pepple was appointed superintendent of the poi)r l)v a vote of 
12 to 9 for G. Helms. 

Parker Merrill was ap]Jointed drain commissioner l)v a vote of 12 to 
8 for R. M. Palmer. 

Supervisor Read offered a resolution to ask the superintendent of pub- 
lic instruction to establish a county normal training school for Gratiot 
County at Ithaca, as one of the ten provided for by the legislature of 1903; 
and to appropriate S200 for the maintenance of the school for the coming 
year. Adopted by a vote of 11 to 10. 

At the session of January. 1904, a committee composed of Super\-isors 
Delavan, Read and Richards, was appointed to ascertain the total cost of 
the court house with its furnishings, etc., complete, reported as follows: 
Cost of the building, $57,332.68. Salaries of the architect and the superin- 
tendent of construction, the decorating, furniture, fixtures, carpets, etc., 
$16,770.5.5. Total cost of building and furnishings, $74,103.23. 

A resolution by Supervisor Pitt, adopted by the board, instructed .Vt- 
torneys Stone, Kress and Leet, as attorneys for the county, to enter into a 
stipulation with Aliram 1!. Knowlson and Henry G. Kraekel with whom the 
county had suits pending both as plaintiff' and defendant, discontinuing 
all suits, all parties releasing all claim for damages. 

October 10, 1904, E. P.^ Potter, chairman. 

A resolution was introduced to submit the County Road System to a 
vote of the people at the November election, 1904: and then the board 
rejected the resolution by a unanimous vote. 

D. L. Sharrar was appointed superintendent of the poor in place of T. A. 
Ely, resigned. 

R. K. Hughes was appointed superintendent of the poor for the full 

Howard A. Potter was chosen school examiner. 

Chas. Morrow, L. J. Marvin and A. L. Wight were appointed county 

County officers" salaries — Clerk, ,S800 : treasurer, ,'^1,200: prosecuting 
attorney, $900; judge of probate, SI, 500: school commissioner, $1,200: 
janitor, $50 per month. 

A resolution was offered to give the printing of the proceedings to the 
Herald and Journal, Ithaca, the Record and Journal, Alma, and the Inde- 
pendent and Leader, St. Louis, supplements to be furnished to the other 
papers ; all for $50. An amendment to sul)stitute the Ithaca News for all 
the others, and supplements to be furnished to all the others: all for $-10, 
was voted down by a strict party vote. Puzzle : Find the $10. 

At the January, 1905 session, a proposition to buy an adding macliine 
for the use of the county offices was adopted, 12 to 9. 

.A. special session was held April 24. 1905. D. L. Sharrar was made 
chairman on the 31st ballot. Four supervisors appeared from the ne\\- Citv 
of Alma. 

Geo. E. Sharrar of Alma was ap])ointed superintendent of the poor in 
place of D. L. Sharrar, resigned. 

They Instructed the Court. 
Criminal proceedings on one charge and another had been in progress 
against a Gratiot County citizen for some time, at a very large expense to 
the county, particularly for extra attorney's fees. Inasmuch as there had 
been no other visible results but a superabundance of costs, the board had 
got tired of paying the bills. So it was decided to put on the lirakes and 
give tlic Court a jng. .Super\isor Pitt ])resentcd a resolutiiMi declaring, in 


substance that the case mentioned ought to stop by order of the court. 
That in the opinion of the board no more costs ought to be made. The 
resolution provided for the appointment of a committee of three to inter- 
view the judge and ask him to use his good oiifices to stop the proceedings. 
Also to ask the judge to not appoint any more attorneys to assist the prose- 
cuting attorney at the expense of the people, and that hereafter the board 
would refuse to allow and pay any attorney fee for services in the case. 

This was adopted by a vote 21 to 2, Supervisors Tuttle and Munson 
alone voting in the negative. The committee called for by the resolution 
was made up of Supervisors Pitt, Stoneman and H. Read. The committee 
waited upon the judge, presented their case and the resolution, and received 
in return a lecture from Judge Stone that time will never efface from their 

No one will doubt that the supervisors had very great provocation, but 
it is equally clear that they were very presumptuous in attempting to dictate 
to the court in a criminal proceeding. They had no difficulty in seeing the 
obsurdity of their action by the time the judge got through with them. 

A special meeting was held August 9, 1905, to take action looking 
to the installment of a new heating plant for the court house. The steam 
heating system and plant still in use was adopted by the board, and its 
installment ordered. 

October session, 1905. A proposition to install a town clock in the 
tower of the court house was adopted, the Village of Ithaca agreeing to 
assume one-half of the expense. 

Supervisor Pitt offered a resolution calling for the appointment of a 
committee to confer with the Pioneer Society and take necessary steps to 
pro\ide for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the organization of the 
county, in the year 1506. Supervisors Pitt, Tuttle and Brice were ap- 
pointed such committee. 

E. P. Potter was appointed county drain commissioner. 

Walter E. Swope was appointed school examiner. 

Geo. E. Sharrar was appointed superintendent of the poor. 

Arrangements were perfected with the Ithaca \'illage Council relative 
to the town clock proposition, the village to pay one-half of the expense 
and at the end of five years the clock to become the property of the county 

At Tie session of January, 1906, Supervisors Sharrar and Pitt were 
elected delegates to the State Association of Supervisors. 

Supervisor Tuttle presented a resolution providing, in accordance with 
a statute of 1905, for the appointment of agents in the several townships and 
cities, for the burial of indigent soldiers and sailors. Adopted, and appoint- 
ments were made as follows : 

Arcada — Henry C. Clark ; Bethany — Jonathan ^^■. Salsbury ; Elba — 
David Duncan; Emerson — N. M. Showers; Fulton — T. B. Musser; Hamil- 
ton — C. S. Betts; Ithaca — N. G. Sutlif?; Lafayette — Richard R. Goward ; 
Newark — A. D. Perkins; New Haven — Samuel Ludwick ; North Shade — 
John McCuaig; North Star — Fred Coss ; Pine River — Lyman H. Mapes; 
.Se\ille — W'm. A. Bradley; Sumner — Seneca Sly; Washington — B. C. Hall; 
Wheeler — Joseph Brumbv; St. Louis — Gilbert E. Hall; Alma — Gerritt S. 

The anni\-ersary committee reported progress and asked for an a])pro- 
priation of SlOO to help defray the expenses of the celebration. Granted. 
The celebration to be held at Ithaca, July 4, 1906. 

At the June session, 1906, John L. Smith nf Emerson was chosen chair- 
man, receiving 13 votes to 12 for P. M. Smitli of Alma. 


Supervisor \Vm. T. Pitt, of Seville, was elected delegate to the meeting 
of the State Iloard of E(|ualization, receiving 13 \otes to 12 for P. M. .Smith. 

Controversy Over County Funds. 

At the session of October, 1S06, Supervisor P. .M. Smith, nf Alma, intro- 
dticed a resolution to regulate the disposition of the county funds in the 
hands nf the count}- .treasurer. The resolution precipitated a long-drawn- 
out controversy, and litigation that lasted three or four years, the spirit 
and intent of the resolution finally prevailing. 

The resolution in substance was as follows : That the bonds of the 
treasurer be li.xed at $40,000, and that in accordance with the provisions of 
law such bond should be executed by a surety company, and the cost of the 
same to be paid by the county. The mone} in the treasury should then be 
deposited in such state or national bank or banks in the county as would 
give to the county the best rate of interest on monthly balances. The money 
to draw interest at a reasonable rate for the use and benefit of the county, 
rather than for the benefit of private individuals or corporations. The bank 
or banks to give ample bonds to said county treasurer for the safe keeping 
of the funds and for the payment of the interest. The treasurer to immedi- 
ately advertise for bids, the same to be opened by the treasurer, prosecuting 
attorney and clerk, and the prosecuting attorney to see that everything was 
properly and legally done. 

The practice had been for the treasurer to deposit where he saw fit, and 
the county received no benefits from the use of the funds. Certain banks or 
bankers would go upon the bonds of the treasurer and the latter was pre- 
sumed to reciprocate by depositing with those banks. Many times it was 
charged that certain banks at different times would take an active interest 
in the election of certain candidates with the expectation, if not with the 
positive understatiding, that if elected the official would show a friendly 
feeling toward such banks. This was natural enough, and it is not meant 
to charge any particular harm to the transaction. But the result of such 
procedure was that the county gut n<i returns for the use of its mone\- : 
and the balances were large at many times. It was saitl that by the pr(_i- 
posed new rule the county would be the gainer by nearly $2,000 a \ear. 

Treasurer Harvey R. ^lunson, elected at the November election follow- 
ing the adoption of the said resolutions by the board, declined to accede to 
the demands of the board, and acting under the advice of attorneys, pro- 
ceeded in the usual way, proposing to give individual bonds as treasurer a> 
had been customary. 

Not to go too much into detail, suffice it to say that the treasurer won 
out by getting an order from the supreme court re([uiring the board to con- 
vene and approve his bond if found sufticient. The ijoard then, at a special 
session held February 4, 1907, thinking to give the treasurer "cold feet" 
by placing the amount of his bond out of reach of ordinary bondsmen, fixed 
it at $100,000, and adjourned to February 18, 1907. But the treasurer and 
his backers were not at all disconcerted, for at the adjourned session they 
were on hand with the bonds: and the bondsmen personally present with 
sworn financial statements aggregating more than $3(X),000. 

The board approved the bonds. 

So the treasurer won on the law as it existed. But the board went at 
it and got a special act through the legislature, applicable to Gratiot County 
alone,, embodying the principles and provisions that they had been con- 
tending for. But the treasurer had not reached the limit of his opposition 
and nerve. He came back at the board with the contention that the special 
act was uucnnstitutii>iial, and he Wduld have tn be shown liefore he would 


comply. Then the matter had to again go the rounds of the courts, a de- 
cision finally coming from the supreme court that the special act was all 
right and binding. So. well along toward the end df his four-year tertn 
Treasurer Munson yielded to the inevitable and took the necessary steps 
to com]ily with the wishes antl order of the board. 

The new system yields about $1,700 a year for the benefit of the general 
fund of the county, that i.s to say — for the benefit of the taxpayers of the 

.\t this session of October, 1906, Gaylord Helms was appointed super- 
intendent of the poor by a vote of 13, to 12 for Jesse Pepple. 

Myron E. Hull was appointed school examiner. 

County canvassers appointed: Glenn Du Bois, of Newark; B. M. Cof¥in, 
of Emerson ; Edgar Follick, of Sumner. 

lanuarv 7. 1907. John L. Smith, of Emerson, and Perley ^I. Smith, of 
Alma were elected delegates to the State Association of Supervisors, by a 
unanimous vote. 

E. Arnold, of St. Louis, was appointed su])erintendent of the poor in 
place of R. E. Hughes, resigned. 

October session, 1907, P. M. Smith, of Alma, chairman. ^M. W. Coon, of 
Elba, was appointed chairman pro tern. 

A petition was received from citizens of Breckenridge asking that the 
village be incorporated. There was also a remontrance against the ]iropo- 
sition. Laid on the table till the January session. 

E. Arnold was elected superintendent of the poor for the full term. 

H. J. Rose, of Ashley, was elected school examiner. 

E. P. Potter was elected drain commissioner. 

.\. J. Chambers was elected county canvasser to fill the \acancy occa- 
sioned by the removal of Glenn Du Bois from the county. 

January 6, 1908. The petition and remonstrance relative to the in- 
corporation of the Village of Breckenridge, were taken from the table and 
referred to a special committee — J. L. Smith, .\. H. Lowry and Frank Peach. 
After due investigation the committee reported favorably on the petition, 
and the report was adopted by the board, the first election to be held at 
the opera house in said village, .\pril 9, 1908, Chas. A. Zubler, Chas. Watson, 
Jesse Hodge and .\lex. Chisholm to be inspectors of election. 

P. M. Smith and Henry Read were elected to attend the meeting of the 
State Association of Supervisors. 

Petitions were received by the board for the submission of the cpiestion 
of Local Option. These being found correct, the election was held in .\pril, 
1908, resulting in the adoption of the measure by a majority of 1,357. The 
law is still in force in the county. 

October session, 1908. John T. Swigart, of Alma, was appointed super- 
intendent of the poor, 13, to 9 for T. J. Clark. 

M. E. Hull was appointed school examiner, 13, to 10 for W. E. Ho.xie. 

County canvassers elected: Clarence Hopkins, I. F. Hilsinger, J. B. 

Supervisors McEnderfer, Coon and Pitt, constituting the committee on 
resolutions, reported, referring to days of destitution in Gratiot, then recit- 
ing facts relative to the suffering of the people of Northern Michigan on 
account of destructive forest fires, recommended that the board appropriate 
$200 in aid of those suiiferers. The recommendation was adopted. 

.\t the January session, 1909, Supervisors J. M. Williams, of North Star 
and M, W. Ccon, of Elba, were elected delegates to attend the meeting of 
the State Association of Supervisors at Lansing. 


A special session was held February 19, 1909, at which Fred Hunter 
was appointed janitor at the court house. 

October 11, 1909, J. L. Smith, chairman. 

J. P. Whitman of Ithaca was appointed suj^erintendent of the poor by 
a vote of 13, to 12 for G. Helms. 

Hollie Rose of Ashley was appointed school examiner, receiving 21 

The janitor was allowed a monthly salary of $85. 

The County Farm report showed as follows: Horses, 4; hogs, 28; 
cows, 8; young cattle, 17; sheep, 70; chickens, 200. Produce raised — 
Wheat, 530; oats, 300; beans, 300; corn, 1,500; potatoes, 250; squash 
300; carrots, 75; onions, 60; turnips, 50; tomatoes, 50; cabbage, 3,000 
hds. ; celery, 300 bunches ; hay. 25 tons ; sugar beets, 60 tons ; apples. 60 
bushels. Total value of crops, estimated, S2,700. Numlier of poor cared for 
at the farm, 64; helped outside people, 450. 

At the January session. 1910. the question of local option again came 
before the board. Local option having been in force two years in the 
county, the people were entitled to another vote on the question by taking 
the proper steps. Of course those opposed to the law were the ones to 
petition for the submission of the question this time. Petitions with enough 
signatures were presented to the board, but some of the afifida\its relative to 
their filing with the county clerk were found to be fatally defective, so the 
board, by a vote of 17 to 8 refused to submit the question to a vote of the 
people, and the matter being taken to the courts, the board's action was 
fully sustained. 

At the session commencing October 10, imO. Jas. Gibbs of Newark 
was chosen chairman. 

On the Death of Supervisor Wm. T. Pitt. 

The death of Wm. T. Pitt, for many years supervisor from Seville 
Township, was announced, and the following resolutions offered by Super- 
visor P. M. Smith of .-Mma, were unanimously adopted, and signed by each 
member of the board : 

"\Miereas, since the last session of this board the Great Ruler of the 
Universe has seen fit to call from our midst by death, one of our members, 
Wm. T. Pitt, and 

"\\'hereas, this board will miss the presence, the genial smile and ever 
readiness for duty of our deceased member who for many years had his 
seat among us; now, therefore be it 

"Resolved, by this board of supervisors now in session, that we extend 
to Mrs. Wm. Shong, daughter of our deceased member, our heartfelt sym- 
pathy in her irreparable loss, and to the county at large, and the community 
in which he lived, in the loss of a good citizen ; and be it further 

"Resolved, that this resolution be entered upon the records of the pro- 
ceedings of this board, and a copy thereof sent to Mrs. Wm. Shong, and 
other copies be furnished by the clerk of this lioard to the several news- 
papers of the county." 

In response to these resolutions Mrs. Bell (Pitt") Shong sent the follow- 
ing acknowledgment, which was ordered spread upon the records of tiie 
board : 

"1 wish to thank you for }'our kind rcmeml)rance to me in these, my 
sad days. May the good Lord watch o\er and care for you one and all. 
and may the knowing of my father help to make each one of you nobler 
and better men. W'ishing that you might believe this little verse that my 
father posted on his desk — ^ 


'I like the man who faces what he must. 
With step triumphant and a heart of cheer; 
Who fights the daily battle without fear, 
Sees his hopes fall, yet keeps unfaltering trust 
That God is God, that somehow, true and just, 
His plans work out for mortals.' " 

Bids were received from several Gratiot County banks, for the custody 
of the county funds, and the contract was awarded to the Ithaca National 
Bank for all the funds ; the bank to pay interest at iyi per cent, per annum 
on average daily balances, said interest to be credited monthly. 

x-\t a special session of the board of supervisors commencing January 
3, 1911, Edward S. Grice appeared, representing the first ward of St. Louis 
in place of S. Ostrander, removed from the ward. 

A session of the board was held commencing April 11, 1911, in accord- 
ance with the provisions of law enacted at the 1911 session of the legis- 
lature. A. F. Bollinger of New Haven was elected chairman by a vote of 
12, to 10 for Jas. Gibbs of Newark, and one for Geo. M. Whitman of Ithaca. 

A session of the board was held commencing June 26, 1911, for the 
purpose of equalizing the valuations of the townships and cities, and to 
choose delegates to represent the county at the meeting of the State Board 
of Equalization to be held at Lansing in August. T. A. Ely of Alma, Fred 
Bradford of Arcada, and E. S. Owen of Wheeler were chosen delegates. 

The valuation of the county as assessed was found to be as follows : 
Real estate, $13,662,971; personal, $2,194,743; total, $15, 857,714. 

At the session of the board commencing April 9, 1912, B. L. Case of 
Emerson was chosen chairman. Routine business was transacted. 

At the October session, 1912, the soldiers' relief commission reported 
$355.-10 e-xpended during the year, leaving a balance of $44.89 in the fund. 

Frank E. Ellsworth, superintendent of the Alma schools was elected 
school examiner. Henry J. Dodge of Ithaca was re-elected superintendent 
of the poor by acclamation. Chas. A. Van Deventer, W. F. Markham and 
A. L. Giles were chosen county canvassers by acclamation. 

Bids for the custody and use of the county funds were opened, and on 
motion the Ithaca National Bank was designated as the repository of the 
funds. Afterward the action was reconsidered and the matter referred to 
the committee on county olificers — Pernert, Swope, Himes. The committee 
reported recommending that one-fifth of the funds be deposited with each of 
the following banks : Ithaca National Bank, Gratiot County State Bank of 
St. Louis, Commercial National Bank of Ithaca, Pompeii State Bank, and 
First State Bank of Breckenridge. The recommendation was turned down, 
and then the Ithaca National Bank was designated to take it all at four per 
cent, interest on dailv balances. 




Equalization of October, 1912. 

.\t this session — ()cto1)er, 1912 — the 1)oard fixed the valuation of the 

county at $17,4.^0,000, the townships and wards being equalized as follows' 

Real Kstate Personal (as assessed) Total 

Arcada— $ 784,3^0 $ 50,610 $ 835,000 

Bethany— 880,210 46,790 927,000 

Elba— 579,045 70,955 650,000 

Emerson— 891,190 71.810 963,000 

Fulton— 863,700 164,300 1,028,000 

Hamilton— 424,775 35,225 460,000 

Ithaca— 797,365 306,635 1,104,000 

Lafayette- 846.760 67,240 914,000 

Newark— 819.700 80.300 900,000 

New Hayen— 714.775 43,225 758,000 

North Shade— 885,585 121,415 1,007,000 

North Star— 946,635 65,365 1,012,000 

Pine River— 787,340 59,660 847,000 

Seville— 584,045 65,955 6,=;0,000 

Sumner— 661,375 45.625 707.000 

Washinijton- 730.150 81.850 812,000 

\\'heeler— 799,710 87,290 887,000 
St. Louis — 

1st Ward— $ 123,221 $ 29,486 $ 152.707 

2nd Ward— 474.481 39,200 514.081 

3rd \\'ard— 1()2,378 26,289 18S.(i(,7 

4th ^^'ard— 232,001 37,544 269,545 


St. Louis - 



















.\lma — 



132,51') $ 1,125,000 

114,300 $ .505,934 

69,790 679,113 

38,950 211,013 

248,930 467,940 

$ 471,970 $ 1,864,000 

15,381,261 $ 2,068,739 $17,450,000 

Officers" salaries were li.xed as follows: of probate, $1,800, with- 
out extras; clerk, $800 and fees; treasurer, 51,200 and fees; school commis- 
sioner, $1,500; drain commissioner, $1,000; janitor, $90 per month. 

By a nearly unanimous vote, the question of the adoption of the county 
road system was submitted to a vote of the people to be taken in .\pril 1, 
1913. .Supervisor Case's was the only opposing vote : Supervisors Parrish 
and Newton absent. 

At the election in .\pril. 1913. the countv road system was voted down 
l)y a vote of 1,827 for. and 2.883 against. 

The superintendents of the ])Oor were authorized to expend $1,000 in 
tiling the County Farm. 

At the meeting of the board in Ajjril, 1^13, Fred Bradford, of Arcada, 
was elected chairman. 

A special committee composed of Supervisors Peach. Russell and Whit- 
man was a])pointed to consider the matter of making an a]:)propriation to 
assist in laying a cement pavement on the streets adjacent to the Court House 
square on the nortli and west. The committee recommended appropriating 
$800 for the purpose. Ado])ted. and .Supervisors Russell, Case and WHiit- 
man were appointed a committee to look after the county's interests in the 
construction of the pavement. 



The Vote on Presidential, State and County Officers 
From 1855 to 1913. 

The Act of the Michigan Legislature pnniding for the organization of 
the County of Gratiot was passed at the 1855 session of that body, and was 
approved February 3rd of that year. The act is herewith given in full as 
it passed the two Houses and received the signature of Gov. Bingham : 

The People of the State of Michigan enact: 

Section 1. That the County of Gratiot shall he organized, and the inhatiitants 
thereof entitled to all the rights and privileges to which, by law, the inhabitants of 
the organized counties of this state are entitled. 

Section 2. There shall be elected in the said County of Gratiot on the 1st Tues- 
day of November, 1855, all the several county officers, to which, by law, the said 
county is entitled, and said election shall in all respects, be conducted and held in 
the manner prescribed for holding elections for county and state officers. Provided, 
that the county officers so to be elected shall be qualified and enter upon the duties 
of their respective offices on the 1st Monday in January, 1856, and whose constitu- 
tional term of office will expire at the time prescribed by the general law. 

Section 3. The Board of Canvassers of said county, under this act, shall consist 
of the presiding inspectors of elcetion from each township therein, and said inspectors 
shall meet at the place where said election shall be held in the Township of Pine 
River, on the first Tuesday after the election, and organize by appointing one of 
their number chairman and another secretary of said board, and shall thereupon 
proceed to discharge all the duties of a board of canvassers in ordinary cases of 
election for county and state officers. 

Section 4. The Sheriff, County Clerk and County Treasurer of said county, 
to be elected as provided by this act, shall designate a suitable place in the Township 
of Pine River for holding the circuit court in said county. They shall also designate 
suitable places in the same township, (as near as practicable to the place designated 
by them for holding the circuit court) for holding the offices of Sheriff, 
County Clerk, County Treasurer, Register of Deeds and Judge of Probate 
of said county, until the county seat of said county shall be established, 
and shall make and subscribe a certificate in writing, describing the place 
thus designated, which certificate shall be filed and safely preserved by the 
County Clerk; and after such certificate is thus filed, the place thus designated shall 
be the place of holding the circuit court and county offices until the board of super- 
visors shall establish the county seat. And it is hereby made the duty of the board 
of supervisors of said county, on or after iS6o, to designate and establish the county 
seat of said county. 

.Approved February 3, 1855. 

The election was held in accordance with the provisions of this act. 
Up to the time of said election there had been but seven townships organ- 
ized in the county. North Shade's first election had been held April 3, 
1854, and it was the only organized townshi]i in the county at the time of 
the passage of the above-mentioned act. Pine River. Arcada and North 
Star held their first elections .April 2nd, following the passage of the law. 
Emerson Township got around to hold its first election October 24, 1855. 
while Fulton and New Haven delayed matters until November 2nd, only 
four days before the county election which occurred on the 6th of November. 

In accordance with the provisions nf the legislative act, the meeting of 
the county canvassing board "was held in I'ine River Township, (in Alma). 
November 13, 1855, in pursuance of Section 3 of Act No. 16, Session Laws 
of 1855, entitled '.An .Act to organize the County of Gratiot." The said 
board proceeded to elect a chairman, there being a majority present of the 
Presiding Ins|iectors of Election fmni each township therrin."" 


Francis Nelson, of Arcada, was made chairman and Elijah Porter, of 
Pine River, secretary. Thereupon the said board, being called to order by 
said chairman, proceeded to canvass the votes polled for each of the several 
candidates for office, and the number of votes polled for each was as fol- 
lows, in the several townships: 

It was found that there had been 284 votes polled, the canvass show- 
int;' the following- result : 

Nov., 1855: Judge of Pro.— )ohn R. Cheesman, 284; Sh.— Geo. E. 
Walker, l.W, Isaac H. Jones, 123;" Co. Clk.— Orville M. Wood, 284; Co. 
Treas.— Ralph Elv, 148, Abram M. Crawford, 120, Joseph B. Smith, 7; Reg. 
of D.— Henry Lane, 183; Pros. .'\tty.— Franklin Miller, 108, P.enj. Craw- 
ford, 96, Marcus Service, 65; Cir. Ct. Com. — Henry Lane, 1.55, Stephen E. 
Longyear, 129; Surveyor — Sidney S. Hastings, 284; Coroners — Lewis B. 
Loomis, 269, Levi Smith, 150, Horace T. Barnaby, 133. 

Nov., 1856: Since the election of November, 1855. in which only seven 
townships participated, seven more townships had been organized, and they 
all took part in this election — 14 townships in all. Newark, Washington 
and Hamilton had come in by resolution of the board of supervisors, Jan- 
uary 8, 1856; Elba, Lafayette, Seville and Sumner were served in the same 
way at a meeting of the board of supervisors held March 3, 1856. All 
of the new townships held their first elections on the first Monday of the 
April following. Bethany was a dependency of Pine River, and Wheeler 
was but a side-issue for Lafayette. 

The total vote of the county at this election — November, 1856 — was 527. 
This was the oft-quoted Smoky Fall of '56, and was the first National effort 
of the Republican party ; the Fremont and Buchanan campaign. The 
voters divided their favors as follows : 

Pres. — John C. Fremont, Rep.. 388, James Buchanan, Dem., 136; Gov. — 
Kinsley .S. Bingham, Rep., 387, Alpheus Felch, Dem., 138; Cong. — David S. 
Walbridge, Rep., 394; St. Senator — Stephen H. Warren, 380, Wilber Fisher, 
104; Rep. — Jas. Kipp, 387, Jas. W. Ransom, 140; Judge of Pro. — Francis 
Nelson, 362, Wni. L. Sutherland, 164; Sh. — Homer L. Townsend, 317, Hiram 
Burgess, 164; Co. Clk.— Henry H. Smith, 322, Orville M. Wood. 198; Treas. 
— Lafayette Church, 374, Joseph B. Smith, 149; Reg. of D. — Elijah Peck, 
356, Henrv Lane. 163; Pros. Attv. — Sylvanus Groom, 353, Franklin Miller, 
168; C. C. C— Moses Tompkins, '519; Sur.— Addison R. Hayden. 263, Sid- 
ney S. Hastings, 255; Cor. — Horace T. Barnaby, 364, Joseph -A.. Guthrie. 
363. Barlow A\'orthing, lfi3, John Knight, 163. 

(^Vhipple Martin, Fulton, chairman of canvassing board.) 

Sylvanus Groom was not eligilile to the office of prosecuting attorney, 
not having been admitted to the bar, so the canvassers gave the election to 
Frank MiHer. 

.•\t this time Gratiot County belonged tci the 30th senatorial district. 
Candidate Stephen H. Warren, who was successful in the election, was a 
citizen of Montcalm County. The representative district was made up of 
the Counties of Clinton and Gratiot. Jas. Kipp, the successful candidate 
for representative, was a resident of Duplain, Clinton County. 

Congressman David S. Walbridge was a resident of Kalamazoo. 

Many readers will be interested in knowing how the several townships 
stood, politically, at this first general election in the county. Here are the 

Elba, Rep.. 18. Dem., 4; Washington, Rep.. 30, Dem., 3: Fulton, Rep., 
52. Dem., 36; North Shade, Rep.. 45, Dem., 2; New Haven, Rep., 24. Dem., 
6; Newark, Rep., 24. Dem., 20; North Star, Rep., 35. Dem., 20: Hamilton, 


Rep., 5, Dem., 8: Lafayette. Rep., 13. Dem.. 3; Arcada. Rep.. 3Q. Dem., 13; 
Emerson, Rep., 17 Dem., 12; Sumner, Rep.. 21. Dem., none; Seville, Rep.. 
4, Dem., 3 : Pine River, Rep., 59, Dem., 8. 

April, 1858: The election for circuit judge for the 10th Judicial Dis- 
trict (if which Gratiot County was a part, resulted as follows: 

\\'ilber V. A\'o(>dworth, Rep., 468; John W. Longvear, Dem., 262. 

Mr. W'oodworth received a majority in the district. He afterward re- 
signed and his place was filled by the appointment of James Piirney, of Bay 
City, by the governor. 

(Welcome J. Partelo, chairman of canvassing board.) 

Nov., 1858: Ralph Ely, of .Arcada, was chairman of the board o{ county 
canvassers. There were .^76 votes cast; a gain of only 4'' votes o\er the 
election of 1856. 

Gov. — Moses Wisner, Rep., 360, Chas. E. Stuart, Dem., 192 ; Cong., 
3rd Dist.— Francis W. Kellogg, Rep., 366, Thos. B. Church, Dem., 191 ; St. 
Sen., 30th Dist.— Osmond Tower, 357, .Alex. F. Bell, 207; Rep., Gratiot and 
Clinton — Svlvester Hoyt, 218, David I. Daniels, 319; Sh. — Homer L. Town- 
send, 280, Joseph B. Smith, 271, J. R. Smith, 15; Clk.— Emerv Crosby, 361. 
Benj. E. Sawtelle, 215; Treas.— Lafavette Church, 394. John W. Howd, 104. 
Oscar .\. Everden, 77; Reg. of D.— Elijah Peck, 389, Henry P. Clark, 184; 
Pros. Atty. — Israel B. Coats, 372, Isaac Powers. 176; Sur. — Sidney S. Hast- 
ings, 347, .Addison R. Hayden, 216; C. C. C. — Israel B. Coats. 355, Isaac 
Powers, 173; Cor. — Horace T. Barnaby, 4.^0, Thos. T. Tann, 364, Geo. E. 
GifTord, 137. 

It will be noticed that the vote on sheriff was quite close. Homer L. 
Townsend had but nine votes over Joseph B. Smith. But here comes along 
"J- B, Smith" with 15 votes. No one can doubt that the 15 who voted for 
J. B. Smith intended to vote for Joseph B. Smith, and thought they were 
doing so when they voted. If those 15 votes had been counted as the voters 
intended, Mr. Smith would have been elected, and would have had five 
votes to spare. .According to the strict letter of the law, however, they 
could not be so counted. Consequently Mr. Smith was defeated by the 
carelessness or ignorance of his friends. There is documentary evidence to 
show that the matter caused a lot of interest if not actual e.xcitement among 
the friends of Mr. Smith. No less than fourteen affidavits were made soon 
after the election, setting forth the facts that the affiants voted at the 
election for J. B. Smith, ''intending and designing" to vote for Joseph B. 
Smith, the nominee of the Democratic County Convention, for sheriff. 
Thus they did what they could to rectify their mistake, but the canvassers 
evidently ignored their efforts, and following the strict construction of the 
law, counted in Mr. Townsend. The names of those whose wits came too 
late to do any good are as follows : Lyman Matthews, Jas. D. Christman. 
Joseph Bentley, Heman Tyler, W'm. H. Laycock, .A. W. Herrick, James 
Otto, David Carpenter, James Hawkins and D. C. Payne, all of Fulton 
Township, and Melancton Pettit, Henry Thorp, Erastus C. Farrington and 
Wm. C. Beckwith, of Emerson Township. The affidavits were all filed 
with County Clerk Henry Smith, on the 11th day of November, 1858, 
probalily during the session of the canvassing board. 

April, 1859: Sup. Ct. L— Geo. Martin. Rep. 449, .Alpheus Felch. Dem.. 

(Sether Dean, ch. of bd. of canvassers.) 



Election of November, 1860. 

Here is an interesting souvenn 
of the epoch-inducing election of 
1860 ; the election immediately pre- 
ceding the civil war. The old ticket 
as printed in the Gratiot News of 
October 5, 1860, has a familiar look 
to us old fellows ; and the indi- 
vidual names all along down from 
Abraham Lincoln to Thomas J. 
Tann, would excite emotions in the 
dullest mind. 

The fullowing named gentlemen 
represented their respective town- 
ships on the board of canvassers; 
Henry P. Howd, of Fulton, chair- 
man ; Christopher Dodge. Elba : 
Geo. E. Walker, North Shade ; An- 
drew J. .\llen, Newark ; CuKvell 
Martin. North Star; \Vm. Barton. 
Hamilton; Sam. T. Roe, Lafayette; 
M. Pettit, Emerson; Luther C. 
Smith, .\rcada ; Henry Shults, Se- 
ville ; Fred D. \Veller,"B e t h a n y ; 
Alonzo Squire, Washington ; John 
A. Crispell, New Haven; Joseph 
Rockafellow, Sumner; Elijah Por- 
ter, Pine River. They found as fol- 
lows ; 

Nov., 1860: Pres. — Abraham 
L i n c o 1 n, Rep.. 496, Stephen .\. 
Douglas, Dem., 314; Gov. — Austin 
Blair, Rep., 496, John S. Barry, 
Dem., 317 ; Cong. — Francis W. 
Kellogg, Rep., 485, Thos. B. Church, 
Dem., ^307; St. Sen.. 30th Dist. — 
Osmond Tower, Rep.. 492, Fred- 
erick Hall, Dem., 313; Rep., Gratiot 
and Clinton — Gilbert E. Pratt, Rep.. 
439, Hiram C. Hodge, Dem., 358; 
Judge of Pro. — Francis Nelson. 
Rep., 407, John R. Cheesman, Dem., 
379 ; Sh.— Frederick D. W e 1 1 e r , 
Rep., 436, Joseph B. Smith, Dem.. 
371 : Co. Clk. — Horace T. Barnaby, 
Rep.. 513. .Anson R. Arnold, Dem., 
284; Treas.— Ralph Ely, Rep., 472. 
Lvman T. Cassada, Dem., 323 ; Reg. 
of D. — E 1 i j a h Peck, Rep., 426, 
Luther [. Dean. Dem.. 247; Pros. 
Atty.— Chas. B. Holiday. Rep., 318, 
Israel B. Coats, Ind., 318. (Coats 
won by lot.) C. C. C. — Wm. E. 
Winton, Rep., 605 ; Sur. — Sidney S. 

Tot GoVf'7 JU)r, 
T«livo AUSTIN BLAlIt, of J.cksoD, 
'° ,""! For Urut Gom-or, 
jtnpU'.n JAMES BIR.VEy, ol H>y. 
on I.. II 2-m Slate Trnumcr 
"" !"'-■ JOHN OWEN, (f Wajne. 
For Au,lilor-Gr«rral. 

IV F»f!G „5„ 

>l Nor- J-„,. Secretary of Slate. 
Iio follow- I JAMES B. PORTER, of Allegan. 
andidnd- ji,. Attorney- Grixral. 

CHARLES UPSON, of Rrnocli. 
For CamW. of the L,i>t,! Office, 

SAMUEL S. LAi:EV, ..f Callioua. 
Fer ,^up't PuUic Jitstrucliou, 

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Fresidentlai EUclors, 

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Hastings, Rep., 524, Anson R. Arnold. Dem., 274; Cor. — Hiram Burgess. 
412. Thos. J. Tann, 433, Robert G. Hutchinson, 293. Geo. E. Gifford. 294, 
Addison H. Mack, 60, Amasa Packard, 50. 

Gilbert E. Pratt, elected to the legislature, enli.sted the ne.xt year, and 
later died in the service. He was a resident of Gratiot Cnuiity. 

Israel B. Coats died during his term as prosecuting attorney, and 
Moses Tompkins, Jr., was appointed to the vacancy. 

( Edward L. Drake, chairman of board of canvassers. ) 
Nov., 1862: Austin Blair. Rep.. 524, Byron G. Stout, Dem.. 320: Cong. 
— Francis A\'. Kellogg, Rep.. 463; St. Sen. — Westbrook Devine, Rep., 381, 
John Tann, Dem., 239; Rep. — Jas. Gargett, Rep., 440, John R. Cheesman. 
Union Dem., 365 ; Sheriff — Frederick D. Weller, Rep.. 450. Cornelius Hol- 
iday, Union Rep.. 2)77 \ Co. Clk. — Wm. C. Beckwith. Rep.. 437, Horace T. 
Barnaby, Union Rep., 367; Treas. — Elijah Peck, Rep., 462, Lyman T. Cas- 
sada. Union Dem.. 358; Reg. of D. — Henry P. Howd. Rep., 417. Wm. Long. 
Union Dem.. 413; Pros. Attv. — Moses Tompkins. Jr., Rep.. 415. ^^'m. E. 
\\'inton, Union Rep., 389: C. C. C— Elisha McCall, Union Dem., 417: Sur.— 
— Sidnev S. Hastings. Rep., 431, Jas. B. Wheeler, L'nion Rep., 402; Cor. — 
Wm. C' Newcomb, 424, Thos. Blumb. 412, Addison H. Mack, 409, Erastus 
Perry, 382. 

Union Dem. and Union Rep. designate those who were nominated at 
a union or non-partisan convention. Thirty votes cast for plain Moses 
Tompkins for prosecuting attorney, were counted for Moses Tompkins, Jr., 
thus giving him a majority. Thrown out. the result would have gi\-en 
A\'. E. Winton four majority. 

f Edward L. Drake, ch. canvassing board.) 

April, 1863: Sup. Ct. J.— Rep.. 424; Dem. Yc^l: Cir. J.. 10th Dis.— 
Jas. Birney. Rep., 429. Jabez G. Sutherland, Dem.. 330. Sutherland re- 
ceived a majority in district and was elected. (Thos. \\. Lamb. ch. can- 
vassing board.) 

Nov., 1864: Pres. — Aliraham Lincoln. Re]).. 571. Geo. P.. McClellan. 
Dem.. 368; Gov. — Henry H. Crapo. Rejx. 7<72. \\x\\. M. Fenton, Dem.. 364: 
Cong. — John F. Driggs, Rep., 574; St. Sen. — Westbrook Devine, Rep., 571, 

John B. Hutchins, Dem.. i72>; Rep. — Luther Smith, Rep., 547, John R. 

Cheesman. Dem., 389; Judge of Pro. — Francis Nelson, Rep., 606. Benj. 

Crawford, Dem., 388; Sh".— David Bailev, Rep., 619, John Baker, Dem.. 398: 

Co. Clk.— Wm. C. Beckwith, Rep., 646; Edson Packard, Dem.. 384; Treas. 

—Elijah Peck. Rep., 612, Roswell Danley, Dem., 400; Reg. of D.— Henrv 

P. Howd. Rep.. 630, Wm. Long, Dem., 379; Pros. Attv.— Wm. E. Winton. 

Rep., 604, Elisha McCall, Dem!^. 421 ; C. C. C— Wm. E. Winton. Rep.. 606, 

Elisha McCall, Dem., .415; Sur. — Sidney S. Hastings. Rep., 632, .Anson R. 

.Arnold. Dem.. 379; C<)r. — Ell>ridge Franklin, Rep., 625. Hiram Burgess. 

Rep.. 617. Cornelius Campbell, Dem.. 385. Wolcott L. Stclibins. Dem.. 381. 

(J. .\. (hitlirie. ch. canvassing bd.) 

April, 1865: Sup. Ct. J. — Isaac I'. Christiancy. Rep., 455. (Moses 11. 

W liitc. ch. canvassing bd.) 

Nov., 1866. Gov.— Henrv H. Crapo. Rep.. 888. .\lpheus S. Williams. 

Dem.. 482; Cong., 6th Dist.— Tohn F. Driggs, Rep.. 885. Julius R. Rose. 

Dem.. 486; St. Sen., 26th Dist.— David IL Jerome. Rep.. 868, John R. 

Cheesman, Dem., 495; Rep. — Luther Smith, Rep., 894, John JefTerv, Dem., 

475; SherifT— David Bailey, Rep., 881, Chas. E. Webster, Dem., 498;. Co. 

Clk. — Wm. C. Beckwith, Rep.. 855. Samuel N. Miller. Dem., 512; Treas. — 

Wm. S. Turck, Rep., 898. Leman A. Johnson, Dem.. 465; Reg. of D. — 

Theodore Nelson, Rep., 906, Hubbard Biggs, Dem., 460; Pros. .Attv. — ^^'m. 

E. Winton. Rep.. 890. Elisha McCall. Dem". 47''; C. C. C— Giles t' P.rown. 


Rep., 893, Elisha McCall, Dem., 478 ; Siir.— Chas. B. Fraker, Rep., 894, An- 
son, R. Arnold, Dem., 478; Cor.— Wm. C. E. Sherwood, Rep., 885, Barnard 
Creasinger, Rep., 890, Joseph B. Smith, Dem., 479, Lyman T. Cassada, Dem., 
479. (Aloses H. White, ch. canvassing bd.) 

April, 1867: Sup. Ct. T.— Benj. F. Graves, Rep., 909, Sanford M. Green, 
Dem., 380; Co. Supt. Sch.— Giles T. Brown, Rep., 905. Andrew J. McKee, 
Dem., 357; Del. to Con. Con.— Dewitt C. Chapin, Ind., 633, Nathan Church, 
Rep., 630. 

Nathan Church was the regular Republican nominee for delegate, De- 
witt C. Chapin, Republican, running as an Independent. 

The constitution evolved was defeated at the polls by 38,849 majority. 
(John Franklin, ch. canvassing board.) 

Nov., 1868: Pres. Ulysses S. Grant, Rep., 1240, Horatio Seymour, 
Dem., 749; Gov. — Henrv P. Baldwin, Rep., 1236, John Moore, Dem., 762; 
Cong., 6th Dist.— Randolph Strickland, Rep., 1222, Wm. Newton, Dem., 763; 
St. Sen., 26th Dist.— Alfred B. Wood, Rep., 1232, Jas. L. Ketchum, Dem., 
762; Rep. — Horace T. Barnaby, Rep., 1147, Leman A. Johnson, Dem., 832; 
Judge of Pro.— Elijah Peck, Rep., 1031, Benj. Crawford, Dem., 938; Sh.— 
Elisha C. Cook, Rep., 1215, Chas. E. Webster, Dem., 783; Co. Clk.— Wm. C. 
Beckwith, Rep., 1121, John R. Cheesman, Dem., 845; Treas.— Wm. S. Turck, 
Rep., 1272, Wm. Long, Dem., 718; Reg. of D. — Theodore Nelson, Rep., 
1268, Thos. Bamborough, Dem., 727; Pros. Atty.— Andrew J. Utley, Rep., 
1112, Jas. K. Wright, Dem., 867; C. C. C— Wm. E. Winton, Rep., 1199, 
Tas. K. Wright, Dem., 770; Sur.— Sidney S. Hastings, Rep., 1217, Anson 
"r. Arnold, Dem., 747; Cor.— Nap. B. Fraker, Rep., 1232, Wm. Yerington, 
Rep., 1232, John Jeffery, Dem., 763, Geo. W. Clark, Dem., 765. (Sam. Bige- 
low, ch. canvassing bd.) 

April, 1869: Co. Supt. Sch.— Giles T. Brown, Rep., 1408; Cir. Judge— 
Tabez G. Sutherland, 1488. 

Nov., 1870: Gov.— Henry P. Baldwin, Rep., 1080, Chas. C. Comstock, 
Dem., 764; Cong., 6th Dist. — John F. Driggs, Rep., 941, Jabez G. Sutherland, 
Dem., 869; St. Sen., 26th Dist.— Alfred B. Wood, Rep., 1040, John Jeffery, 
Dem., 807 ; Rep. — Horace T. Barnaby. Rep., 1054, John R. Cheesman, Dem., 
793; Sh.— Elisha C. Cook, Rep., 1051, Chas. E. Webster, Dem., 792; 
Co. Clk.— Nathan Church, Rep., 1005, Chas. W. Tann, Dem., 760; Treas.— 
Wm. S. Turck, Rep., 1065, Hiram Harrington, Dem., 736 ; Reg. of D. — 
Dewitt C. Chapin, Rep., 938. Dwight Stitt, Dem., 809; Pros. Attv.— Chas. 
E. Williams, Rep., 868, Jas. K. Wright, Dem.. 870: C. C. C— Wm. E. 
Winton, Rep., 770, Jas. K. Wright, Dem., 900; Sur.— Daniel W. Altenburg, 
Rep., 1002, Anson R. Arnold, Dem.. 747; Cor.— Geo. W. Jennings. Rep., 
1071, David Bailey, Rep., 906, Jas. L. Shults, Dem., 90+, Calvin R. Race, 
Dem., 768. (Wm. H. Pratt, ch. canvassing bd.) 

April, 1871: Co. Supt. Sch.— Dillis D. Hamilton, Rep., 608, Randall 
Faurot, 459, Edwin W. Shaw, 430, Elisha McCall, 404; Co. Drain Com.— 
Jas. S. Donahue, 947, Philip Burlingame, 968. 

Nov. 1872: Pres.— Ulysses S. Grant, Rep., 1482, Horace Greeley, Dem., "^77; 
Gov. — John J. Baglev, Rep., 1479, Austin Blair, Dem., 650; Cong. — Nathan 
B. Bradlev, Rep., 1520; St. Sen^- Ralph Ely, Rep., 1395, John L. Evans, 
Dem., 747; Rep.— Chas. H. Morse, Rep.. 1497, Wm. Long, Dem., 749; 
Judge of Pro.— Wm. E. Winton, Rep., 1265, Samuel J. Scott, Dem., 839; 
Sh.— Wm. H. Pratt, Rep., 1311, Chas. W. Tann, Dem., 804; Co. Clk.— 
Nathan Church, Rep.. 1383. Jas. W. Howd. Dem., 784; Treas.— Archibald 

B. Darragh. Rep., 1192, Chas. E. Webster, Dem., 925; Reg. of D.— Dewitt 

C. Chapin. Rep., 1419. Daniel Tavlor, Dem.. 718; Pros. Attv.— Chas. E. 
Williams. Rep., 1467, Elisha McCall, Dem., 675 ; C. C. C— Giles T. Brown, 


Rep., 1418, Jas. K. Wright, Dem., 781 ; Sur.— Daniel W. Altenburg, Rep., 
1486, Addison Hayden, Dem., 671; Cor.— Edwin Y. Kelley, Rep., 1468, 
Joseph A. Guthrie, Rep., 1457, John Teffery, Dem., 692, L. A. Ferris, Dem., 

Mr. Chapin died during his term and his daughter, Ella, finished the 
term, as register of deeds. 

April, 1873: Co. Supt Sch.— Giles T. Brown, Rep., 1127. 

Nov., 1874: Gov. — John J. Bagley, Rep., 1140, Henry Chamlierlain, 
Dem., 924; Cong.— Nathan B. Bradley, Rep.. 1173. Geo. Fred Lewis, Dem., 
934; St. Sen.— Isaac A. Fancher. Rep., 1156, Edson Packard, Dem., 936; 
Rep.— Chas. H. Morse, Rep., 1187. Dwight Stitt, Dem., 910; Sh.— Wm. H. 
Pratt, Rep., 1125. Geo. W. Newcomb. Dem.. 972; Co. Clk.— Wm. B. Scat- 
tergood. Rep., 1128, Dan. C. Johnson, Dem., 974; Treas. — Schuyler W. Ambler, 
Rep.. 1180, Geo. W. Clark, Dem.. 916; Reg. of D.— Joseph H. Seaver. Rep., 
995, Jas. T. Hall, Dem., 1104; Pros. Atty.— J. Wilson Caldwell, Rep., 973, 
Jas. K. Wright, Dem.. 1122; C. C. C— Francis Palmer, Rep., 1167, Elisha 
McCall, Dem., 923: Sur.— Daniel W. Altenburg. Rep.. 1170; Cor.— Edwin 
Clark, Rep., 1182. Joseph A. Guthrie. Rep.. 11.^0, Edward Wilson, Dem., 
938, Jas. A. Cassada, Dem., 932. 

On the question of Woman Suffrage — yes. 393; no. 1.277. 

In the 8th Congressional District Nathan B. Bradley was elected over 
G. F. Lewis, his Democratic opponent by the small margin of 105 majority. 

A commission appointed by the governor in 1873, consisting of two 
members from each of the nine congressional disrticts — 18 members — 
revised the constitution; and at the election of November. 1874. their work 
was rejected hv a majority of 84.749. 

April, 1875: Cir. J.— Henry Hart, Rep., 1304, Andrew J. Utley. Dem.. 
1098. Hart's majority in the judicial district was 350. 

Nov., 1876: Pres.— Rutherford B. Hayes. Rep.. 2150, Samuel J. Tilden, 
Dem.. 1312; Gov.— Chas. M. Crosswell, Rep., 2146, Wm. L. Webber, Dem., 
1370; Cong.— Chas. C. Ellsworth. Rep.. 2142. Fred H. Potter, Dem., 1496; 
St. Sen.— Chas. H. Morse. Rep.. 2147, Cornelius Bennett, Dem., 1485; Rep. 
— Wm. S. Turck, Rep., 2224, Wm. Long, Dem.. 1426; Judge of Pro.— 
Giles T. Brown, Rep., 2072. Jas. K. Wright"; Dem., 1554; Sh.— C'eo. L. Patch. 
Rep., 2080, Daniel R. Sullivan. Dem.. 1520; Co. Clk.— Wm. B. Scattergood, 
Rep., 2177, Jas. .\. Cassada, Dem., 1443; Treas. — Schuvler W. Ambler, Rep.. 
2157. Dwight Stitt. Dem., 1463; Reg. of D.— Joseph H. Seaver. Rep., 1955. 
Jas. T. Hall, Dem., 1665; Pros. Attv.— Truman W. Whitnev, Rep., 2070, 
Samuel J. Scott, Dem., 1530; C. C. C.— Francis Palmer. Rep.. 2107. F. C. 
Cummins. Dem., 1507; Sur. — Ransom J. Fraker. Rep.. 2077. Oliver S. Hay- 
den, Dem., 1551; Cor. — Joseph A. Guthrie, Rep., 2143, John Vanderbeek, 
Rep., 2145, Wm. D. Scott, Dem., 1407. Edward Wilson! Dem.. 1494. 

April, 1877: Rep., 1380; Dem., 607. For bonding for new jail, 1722; 
against the proposition, 713. 

April, 1878: On proposition to issue bonds to finish countv jail — ves. 
1284; no. 1471. 

Nov., 1878: Gov.— Chas. M. Croswell. Rep.. 1647. Orlando M. Barnes, 
Dem., 787, Henry S. Smith, Greenback, 1158; Cong. — Roswell G. Horr, 
Rep., 1626, Bradley M. Thompson. Dem.. 792, Henry H. Hoyt. Gbk.. 11.57; 
St. Sen. — James W. Cochrane. Rep., 1561, Jas. K. Wright, Dem., 917, Henry 
Smallev, Gbk, 1106; Rep. — Wm. S. Turck, Rep., 1757, Herbert G. Graves, 
Dem., '700, Edson P. Spink. Gbk, 1115; Sh.— Geo. L. Patch. Rep., 1539, 
Chas. F. Webster. Dem.. 953, Geo. W. Newcomb. Gbk.. 1089; Co. Clk.— 
Wm. B. Scattergood, Rep.. 1662, Stiles Kennedy. Dem.. 797. Asa P. Beam, 
Gbk., 1107; Treas. — \\'m. M. Barstow. Rep., 1626. Franklin C. Seymour. 


Dem.. 751. Geo. W. Clark, Gbk., 1194; Reg. of D.— Joseph H. Seaver, Rep., 
1456, Tohn L. Sinclair. Dem., 1029, Chas. H. Crandall, Gbk., 1081; Pros. 
Attv.— Truman W. Whitney, Rep., 1551, Elisha McCall, Dem., 810, Chas. 
J. Willett, Gbk., 1192; C. C. C— Chas. W. Giddings, Rep., 1716, Marcus L. 
Anderson, Gbk., 1217; Sur.— Sidney S. Hatsings, Rep., 1645, Geo. W. Beld- 
ing. Gbk., 1199; Cor.— Chas. W. Howland, Rep., 1649, A. Sebring, Rep., 
1648: T. I. Gulick, Dem., 760, W. D. Scott, Dem., 777, Ben. Cowles, Gbk., 
1164. Frank Herron, Gbk., 1163. 

April, 1879: Sup. Ct. J.— Rep., 1823; Dem.. 1603. Vote on bonding for 
$4,000 to complete jail— Yes, 2314; no, 952. 

April, 1880: Vote to increase governor's salary from Sl.OOO to $3,000 — 
Yes, 593; no, 2363. 

Nov., 1880: Pres.— jas. A. Garfield, Rep., 2548, Winfield S. Hancock, 
Dem., 1489, Tas. B. Weaver, Gbk., 868; Gov.— David H. Jerome, Rep., 2523, 
Fred M. Halloway, Dem., 1483, David Woodman, Gbk., 909; Cong.— R. G. 
Horr, Rep., 2526, Timothy E. Tarsney, Dem., 1780, Wm. H. Smith. Gbk., 686; 
St. Sen.— Giles T. Brown, Rep., 2702, M. H. Stanford, Dem., 1422, Theron A. 
Johnson, Gbk, 907; Rep.— Wilbur Nelson, Rep., 2536, Jas. K. Wright, Dem., 
1551, Horace S. Taylor, Gbk., 905; Judge of Pro.— Jas. Paddock, Rep., 2607, 
Willard D. Tucker, Dem.-Gbk., 2380; Sh.— Alfred A. Wood, Rep., 2444, 
Chas. E. Webster, Dem., 1571, Seeley D. Hicks, Gbk., 957; Co. Clk.— John 
M. Trask, Rep., 2279, Oscar F. Jackson, Dem., 1507, Kosciusko P. Peet, Gbk., 
957; Treas.— Wm. M. Barstow, Rep., 2564, Daniel R. Sullivan, Dem., 1468, 
Gavlord Helms, Gbk., 972; Reg. of D.— Geo. S. Van Buskirk, Rep., 2792, 
Tas. T. Hall, Dem.-Gbk., 2188; Pros. Atty.— Chas. W. Giddings, Rep., 2366, 
Chas. T. W'illett, Dem.-Gbk., 2600; C. C. C— Jas. L. Clark. Rep., 2574, Byron 
H. Sawyer, Rep., L. T. Wright, Dem., 1586, Samuel J. Scott, Gbk., 854, 
Newell Leonard, Gbk., 820; Sur.— Daniel W. Altenburg, Rep., 2547, Thos. 
H. Harrod, Gbk., 1048 ; Cor.— Nap. B. Fraker, Rep., 2562, Joseph A. Guthrie, 
Rep., 2565, W. D. Scott, Dem.. 1492, Elisha McCall, Dem., 1496, Addison H. 
Mack, Gbk., 962, C. Leitch Downie, Gbk., 907. 

April, 1881: Sup. Ct. J.— Isaac Marston, Rep.. 1891. A. C. Baldwin, 
Dem., 564, J. B. Shipman, Gbk., 991, C. G. Hyde, Pro., 65. 

Nov., 1882: Gov.— David H. Jerome, Rep., 2260, Josiah W. Begole, 
(Dem. and Gbk., fusion") 2515, D. P. Sagendorph, Pro., 110; Cong. — Ros- 
well G. Horr, Rep., 2333, Chas. J. Willett^ Fusion, 2537; St. Sen.— John W. 
Hance, Rep., 2415. Frank S. IBurton, Fusion, 2460; Rep.— Archibald B. 
Darragh. Rep., 2464, Daniel O. Cufif, Fusion, 2402; Sh.— Alfred A. Wood, 
Rep., 2371, Kosciusko P. Peet, Fusion, 2505; Co. Clk.— John M. Trask, Rep., 
2410, John T. Swigart, Fusion, 2448 ; Treas.— Townsend A. Ely. Rep., 2304, 
Sylvester B. Heverlo, Fusion, 2566; Reg. of D. — Geo. S. Van Buskirk, Rep., 
2259, John L. Sinclair, Fusion, 2623; Pros. Atty.— Truman W. Whitney, 
Rep., 2293, Jas. K. W^right, Fusion, 2552; C. C. C. Jas. L. Clark, Rep., 2471, 
Bvron H. Sawyer, Rep., 2432, Newell Leonard, Fusion, 2376, Edwin H. 
Ashley, Fusion. 2401 ; Sur.— Daniel W^ Altenburg, 2505, Thos. H. Harrod, 
Fusion, 2324; Cor. — Norman L. Higbie, Rep., 2415, Lucien H. Dayton, Rep., 
2412, Wm. D. Scott, Fusion, 2461, C. L. Downie, Fusion, 2465. 

April, 1883: Sup. Ct. J.— Rep., 1992; Dem.. 1983; Pro., 217. Chas. J. 
^\'illett, Dem., candidate for Regent of the Lhiiversity, received 2050 votes 
in the county. 

Nov., 1884: Pres. — Tas. G. Blaine, Rep., 2676, Grover Cleveland, Dem., 
2732; Gov.— Russell A. Alger, Rep., 2678, Josiah W. Begole, Fusion, 2707; 
Cong. — Roswell G. Horr, Rep., 2697, Timothy E. Tarsney, Fusion, 2805, 
Thos. Merrill, Pro., 187; St. Sen. — Henry W^oodruff, Rep., 2731, Stiles Ken- 


nedy. Fusion, 2720; Rep.- — Henry Romaine Pattengill, Rep., 2643, Henry A. 
Weiss, Fusion, 2771. S. W. Ambler, Pro.. 269; Judge of Pro. — Jas. Pad- 
dock, Rep., 2729, A\'illard D. Tucker. Fusion, 2690. Abraham W. Russell, 
Pro., 256; Sh.— Alfred A. Wood, Rep., 2479, Kosciusko P. Peet, Fusion, 
2952, Columbus Levering, Pro., 243 ; Co. Clk. — John M. Everden, Rep., 
2546: John T. Swigart, Fusion, 2881; Treas.— Chas. C. Foote. Rep., 2537, 
Sylvester B. Heverlo, Fusion, 2897, W. W. Dalgleish, Pro., 253; Reg. of 
D. — Isaac S. Seaver, Rep., 2395, John L. Sinclair, Fusion. 3059 ; Pros. Attv. 
—Jas. L. Clark, Rep., 2726, Jas. K. Wright, Fusion, 2718; C. C. C— 
Joseph A. Crandall. Rep., 2668, Edward L.' Walbridge, Rep., 2690, John J. 
McCarthy, Fusion, 2796, Edwin li. Ashley, Fusion, 2706 ; Sur. — Daniel W. 
Altenburg, Rep., 2754, Thos. H. Harrod, Fusion, 2672; Cor.— Curtis B. 
Willoughby, Rep., 2661, Chas. S. Watson, Rep., 2671, Wm. D. Scott, Fusion, 
2738 ; C. L. Downie, Fusion, 2740, Edward W'ilson. Pro.. 280, Leroy F. 
Weaver. Pro., 281. The '"Fusion" ticket was a union of Democrats and 

April, 1885: Sup. Ct. T.— Thos. M. Coolev, Rep., 2178, Allen B. Morse, 
Dem., 2279; Pro., 251. 

Nov., 1886: Gov. — Cvrus G. Luce. Rep.. 2912. Geo. L. Yaple. Fusion, 
2603, Samuel Dickie, Pro.. 323 : Cong.— Roswell G. Horr, Rep.. 2898. Timothy 
E. Tarsney, Fusion, 2654, Geo. W. Abbey, Pro.. 268; St. Sen., 24th Dist.— 
Flovd L. Post, Rep., 2867, Sylvester B. Heverlo. Fusion, 2614. Orin Gates, 
Pro., 200; Rep.— Henry L. Wood, Rep., 2983, Henry A. Weiss, Fusion, 
2553, Daniel W. Breckenridge, Pro., 297; Sh.— Perry D. Pettit, Rep.. 2867, 
Edward L. Kimes, Fusion, 2676, John W'. Doane, Pro., 295 ; Co. Clk. — Mar- 
vin R. Salter, Rep., 3044, Dixi G. Hall, Fusion, 2490, Geo. W. Saunders, 
Pro., 298; Treas.— Wm. Brice, Rep., 2847, Wm. T. Pitt. Fusion, 2691, Col- 
umbus Levering, Pro.. 304; Reg. of D. — Chester W. Martin, Rep., 2961, 
Chas. H. Crandall, Fusion, 2595, A. W. Russell, Pro., 278; Pros. Atty.— 
Byron H. Sawyer, Rep., 2886, \\'m. A. Bahlke, Fusion, 2627, Newell Leonard, 
Pro., 307; C. C. C— J. A. Crandall, Rep., 2956, Giles T. Brown, Rep, 2909, 
Tohn T- McCarthy, Fusion, 2656, John T. Mathews, Fusion, 2622; Sur. — 
Parker Merrill, Rep., 2942, Dewitt Vought, Fusion, 2579; Cor.— J. H. De 
:\Iay, Rep., 2')03, |ohn Hamilton. Rep., 2902, Chas. H. McLachlan, Fusion. 

April, 1887: Sup. Ct. J.— Rep., 2764; Dem., 1531; Gbk., 825; Pro., 
145; Cir. J., 21st Judicial Circuit.- Henry Hart, Rep., 2561. Chas. J.. Wil- 
lett. Fusion, 2737. Hart's majority in the district was 1606. 

To prohibit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors in the 
state— yes, 3648; no, 1607. 

Nov., 1888: Pres. — Benjamin Harrison, Rep., 3667. Grover Cleveland, 
Dem., 28.54, Pro., 416; Union Labor, 68; Gov.— Cyrus G. Luce. Rep., 3710, 
Wellington R. Burt. Fusion. 2854, A. B. Cheney, Pro., 389. Wildman Mills, 
U. L., 61 ; Cong. — Aaron T. Bliss, Rep., 3669, Tim. E. Tarsnev, Fusion. 
2116, Dan. W. Breckenridge. Pro., 380; St. Sen.— Edbert B. Green, Rep.. 
3666, Harvey W. Lyon, Fusion, 2873. Isaac N. Shepherd. Pro.. 395; Rep. — 
Henry L. Wood, Rep., 3588. Chas. E. Webster, Fusion. 2966, Orin Gates, 
Pro., 381, Fred L. T. Hasse, U. L., 57; Judge of Pro.— J. Lee Potts, Rep.. 
3555, Hiram U. Woodin, Fusion, 2998, E. H. Stowe, Pro., 359, Lovell J. 
Fuller. U. L.. 49 ; Sh.— Perrv D. Pettit. Rep.. 3598. John B. Rowell, Fusion. 
2918. Stephen M. Boyle. Pro.. 401. :\Ioses Johnson. V. L.. 44; Co. Clk.— 
Marvin R. Salter. Rep., 3738, Newel Smith, "Fusion 2783, Geo. W. Saunders, 
Pro., 382. H. Oscar Kcllv. U. L.. 52; Treas.— Wm. Brice. Rep., 3527, Wm. 
T. Pitt, Fusion. 3009. Sidney Sessions. Pro., 375 ; Reg. of D.— Chester W. 
Martin, Rep., 3708. John T." Swigart, Fusion, 2844. Joshua L. Miller. Pro., 


383, Thos. J. Tann, U. L., 57; Pros. Attv.— Bvron H. Sawyer, Rep., 3583; 
Wm. A. Bahlke, Fusion, 2967, Newell Leonard, Pro., 384; C. C. C— Jo. 
A. Crandall, Rep., 3630, John M. Everden, Rep., 3693, Solomon J. Haring, 
Fusion, 2i<37, John G. Scott, Fusion, 2941 ; Sur. — Daniel \^'. Altenburg, 
Rep.. 3675, Joseph W. Harrod, Fusion, 3255; Cor. — J. H. DeMay, Rep., 
3657, John Hamilton, Rep.. 3668, Cullen Leitch Downie, Fusion, 2866, Wil- 
lard M. Weller, Fusion, 2869, Gilbert Keller, Pro., 396. Henry A. Shaw, Pro., 
396. The "Fusion" ticket was composed of Democrats and Greenbackers. 
Geo. D. Reeves was appointed C. C. C. by Gov. Luce, January, 1889, vice J. A. 
Crandall removed from the county. 

Nov., 1890: Gov.— Jas M. Turner, Rep.. 2747, Edwin B. Winans. Fu- 
sion, 2283; Cong. — Aaron T. Bliss, Rep., 2872, Henry M. Youmans, Fusion, 
2443. Wm. M. Smith. Pro.. 390; St. Sen.— Frank L. Prindle. Rep.. 2792, 
Farwell A. Wilson, Fusion. 2348. John W. Doane. Pro., 445 ; Rep. — Wesley 
T. Miller, Rep., 2766, Hugh Chisholm, Fusion, (Patrons of Industry and 
bem.) 3191; Sh.— Nap. B. Bradley, Rep.. 2811, Jas. P. King. Fusion, '3142 ; 
Co. Clk. — John L. Richard, Rep., 2750. Inman N. Cowdrey, Fusion, 3195; 
Treas. — Edwin Meacham, Rep., 2722, Frank Munson, Fusion, 3227 ; Reg. 
of D.— Andrew S. Mclntyre, Rep.. 2768. Wm. T. Pitt. Fusion. 3186; Pros. 
Attv.— Kellv S. Searl. Rep.. 2735, Jas. Clarke, Fusion. 3207; C. C. C— 
John M. Everden, Rep.. 2789. Geo. D. Reeves, Rep., 2775, Geo. S. Aldrich, 
Fusion. 3163. Jacob M. Wiltse. Fusion, 3164; Sur.— Daniel W. Altenburg, 
Rep., 2786, Joseph W. Harrod, Fusion. 1957. Sidney S. Hastings, 952; Cor. 
—David A." Hatt. Rep., 2768, John Hamilton, Rep.. 2773, Frank McNitt. 
Fusion. 2761. Thos. J. Hoxie, Fusion, 3177, Frank M. Nitt, 420. 

The "Fusion" county ticket was first nominated by the "Patrons of 
Industry" (P. I's), and afterward endorsed bodily by the Democrats. 

Notice how the Frank M. Nitt tickets defeated Frank McNitt for coroner. 

Jacob M. Wiltse elected as one of the circuit court commissioners, was 
ineligible, so on January 23. 1891. Gov. Winans appointed Newell Leonard 
to the vacancy. 

April, 1891: Sup. Ct. J-— Rep., 2740; Fusion. 1832; Pro.. 274. Cir- 
Judge— Sherman B. Daboll. Rep.. 3026, Chas. J. ^^'illett. Fusion, 1731. (W. 
J. Miller, ch. canvassing bd.) 

Nov., 1892: Pres. — Benj. Harrison, Rep., 3037, Grover Cleveland, Dem., 
1661; Gov.— John T. Rich, Rep., 3028, Allen B. Morse, Fusion, 1733; Cong. 
— John Avery, Rep., 3044, Woodbridge N. Ferris, Fusion, 2938; St. Sen.— 
Geo. A. Steel. Rep.. 3049. John T. Swigart. Fusion. 2971 ; Rep.— Silas Moody 
Rep.. 3057. Hugh Chisholm. Fusion, (Dem.— P. I.) 2967; Judge of Pro.— 
John M. Everden, Rep., 3128, John P. Madden, Fusion, 2878; Sh.— Perry D. 
Pettit, Rep.. 3105. Jas. P. King. Fusion. 2921 ; Co. Clk. — Tas. G. Kress, Rep.. 
3068, Inman N. Cowdrey, Fusion. 2948; Treas.— John W. Otto, Rep., 3036, 
Frank Munson, Fusion, 2983 ; Reg. of D.— Nap. B. Bradley, Rep., 3036, Wm. 
T. Pitt, Fusion, 2982; Pros. Atty.— Wm. A. Leet, Rep., 3135, Geo. S. Aldrich, 
Fusion, 2881 ; C. C. C— John D. Spinney, Rep., 3068, Geo. D. Reeves, Rep., 
3081. Newell Leonard, Fusion, 2938, Archie McCall, Fusion, 2946; Sur.— 
Dan. W. Altenburg. Rep.. 3096. Joseph W. Harrod, Fusion, 2928; Cor.— 
Chas. S. Watson, Rep., 3073, John Hamilton, Rep., 3076, Geo. W. Eldridge, 
Fusion, 2958. Willard M. Weller. Fusion, 1651, Chas. H. McLachlan, Fusion, 

The "Fusion" county ticket was first nominated by the "P. I.s" ( Patrons 
of Industry) and afterward endorsed by the Democrats. 

April, 1893: (Barney Swope, chairman board of county canvassers.) 
Sup. Ct. J.— Rep.. 2330, Dem., 1217. Peoples, 819; Cir. J.— S. B. Daboll, Rep., 


2363: Co. Sch. Com.— Orin G. Tuttle. Rep., 2368, Retta Peet, Dem., 1131, 
Bernard Kildea, Peoples, 782. 

Nov., 1894: Gov.— John T. Rich, Rep., 3020, Spencer O. Fisher, Dem., 
831, Alva W. Nichols, Peo., 1258, A. M. Todd, Pro., 224; Cong.— John 
Avery, Rep., 2960, Hiram B. Hudson, Dem., 759 ; Wm. T. Pitt, Peo., 1357, 
Austin Barber, Pro., 208; St. Sen., 19th Dist.— Chester W. Martin, Rep., 
2976, E. G. Bement, Dem.. 789. Dewitt Vought, Peo., 1292, John W. Doane, 
Pro.. 223; Rep.— B. Frank McNall, Rep., 2989. Wm. Long, Dem., 796, New- 
ton Burns, Peo., 1286, Wm. L. Steele, Pro., 208 : Sh.— Perry D. Pettit, Rep., 
2944. Jonathan B. Willoughby. Dem., 859, Geo. W. Pearce, Peo., 1298, 
Stephen M. Boyle. Pro., 186; Co. Clerk— Jas. G. Kress, Rep.. 2999, Geo. C. 
Douglas, Dem., 803, Elmer N. Post, Peo., "l278, Joshua L. Miller. Pro., 206; 
Treas.— Tohn W. Otto. Rep.. 3002, John W. Harris, Dem., 765, Hiram 
Haring. "Peo., 1305 : Reg. of D.— Nap. B. Bradley, Rep.. 3010, Henry Stitt, 
Dem., 773. Ransom C. Lake. Peo., 1285, Guilford Lee Webster, Pro., 211; 
Pros. Attv.— Wm. A. Leet, Rep., 2998, Elisha McCall. Dem.. 797, Samuel J. 
Scott, Peo., 1403: C. C. C— Geo. D. Reeves. Rep.. 3005. John D. Spinney. 
Rep., 2990, Newel Smith. Dem., 806. Newell Leonard. Peo.. 1284; Cor.— 
Chas. S. Watson, Rep.. 3026, Jas. W. Payne. Rep.. 3013, T- Frank Suydam, 
Dem., 797, Frank T- Graham, Dem., 797, Tohn P. Madden,"Peo.. 1291. Frank 
McNitt. Pec. 1288: Sur.— Dan. W. Altenburg, Rep.. 3010. Joseph W. 
Harrod, Fusion. 2264. (Geo. A. Hafer. chairman canvassing board.") 

April, 1895: Sup. Ct. J.— Rep.. 2463, Dem., 639, Pro., 231; Co. Sch. 
Com.— Orin G. Tuttle, Rep.," 2479, Mrs. Nettie Lemley, Dem., 747. I Darius 
Reid, chairman canvassing board.) 

Nov., 1896: Pres.— Wm. McKinley, Rep., 3380, Wm. J. Bryan, Fusion, 
3969. Gold Democrat electors, 72, Prohibition electors, 59. National electors, 
36; Gov.— Hazen S. Pingree, Rep.. 3507, Chas. R. Sligh, Fusion. 3848, R. F. 
Sprague, G. D.. 84, R. C. Safford, Pro., 65, John Giberson, Natl., 37; Cong. — 
Wm. S. Mesick. Rep.. 3383, Jonathan G. Ramsdell. Fusion, 3988 ; St. Sen.— 
Chester W. Martin, Rep., 3430, Elisha Mudge, Fusion, 3978; Rep.— Frank 
E. Stroup, Rep.. 3446. Dewitt Vought, Fusion, 3954; Judge of Pro. — John 
M. Everden, Rep., 3506, Chas. H. Chase. Fusion, 3901 ; Sh. — Clarence Gid- 
dings. Rep.. 3402. Nelson J. McCullough, Fusion. 3988: Co. Clerk— Adelbert 
P. Lane, Rep.. 3473. Hiram Raring, Fusion. 3929; Treas. — -Daniel L. 
Sharrar, Rep., 3408, Henry Read. Fusion, 3996: Reg. of D.— Clifton J. 
Chambers, Rep., 3423, Frank M. Vandercook. Fusion. 3976: Pros. Atty. — 
J. Lee Potts, Rep.. 3448, Newel Smith, Fusion, 3950: C. C. C— John R. 
Wilson, Rep., 3417, Earl G. Torrey, Rep., 3409. Archie McCall, Fusion, 3983, 
Fred D. Yale, Fusion, 3978; Sur.- Wm. L. Altenburg. Rep., 3425. Joe W. 
Harrod. Fusion, 3970; Cor.— Chas. S. Watson, Rep.. 3418, Major L." Dasef. 
Rep., 3411, Chas. T. Eno, Fusion, 3974, Jas. P. Carpenter. Fusion. 3984. 

The "Fusion" ticket was made up of three parties — Democrat. Peoples 
and Union Silver. The principal issue before the people was. "The Free 
and Unlimited Coinage of Silver." the campaign being mainly fought on 
that issue, from president to coroner: the Fusion forces winning every- 
thing from state senator down to the last coroner on the ticket. 

(W. }. Miller. E. P. Potter, Geo. A. Hafer, county canvassers.) 

April" 1897: Sup. Ct. T-— Rep.. 2709. Fu.sion, 2496. Scattering 404; Co. 
Sch. Com.— Orin G. Tuttle". Rep.. 2692. Chas. H. Covell, Fusion. 2525. (E. 
P. Potter, W. T. Miller, Geo. A. Hafer, county canvassers.) 

Nov., 1898: Gov.— Hazen S. Pingree. Rep.. 3097. Justin R. Whiting. 
Fusion. 2883. Noah W. Cheever. 102, Sullivan Cook. 68: Cong.— Wm. S. 
Mesick, Rep., 2964, Alva W. Nichols, Fusion, 3001, Harry M. Lowell, 94: 
St. Sen.— Chas. W. Giddings. Rep., 3140, Peter L. Ryker. Fusion. 2860; 


Rep.— Henry L. Wood, Rep., 3066, Dewitt Vought, Fusion, 2941; Sh.— 
Delon Fleming, Rep., 2949, Nelson J. McCullough, Fusion, 3069; Co. Clk.— 
Adelbert P. Lane, Rep., 3059, Hiram Haring, Fusion, 2954; Treas.— Daniel 
L. Sharrar, Rep., 3046, Henry Read, Fusion, 2967; Reg. of D.— Chas. A. 
Van Deventer, Rep.. 2892, Frank M. Vandercook, Fusion, 3122; Pros. Atty. 
—Julius B. Kirby, Rep., 3014, Archie McCall, Fusion, 2991 ; C. C. C— John 
D." Spinney, Rep., 3087, Jas. G. Kress, Rep., 3074, Edwin H. Ashley, Fusion, 
2908, Newell Leonard, Fusion, 2918; Sur.— Chas. A. Scholtz, Rep., 2935, 
Joseph W. Harrod. Fusion, 3065 ; Cor.— B. C. Hall, Rep., 3086, L. A. Howe, 
Rep., 3084, C. A. Crane, Fusion, 2912, Wm. L. Herman, Fusion, 2905. 

On the question of a general revision of the State Constitution — Yes, 
2128; no, 2118. 

The candidate for prosecuting attorney on the Fusion ticket — Archie 
McCall — who, on the face of the returns was defeated by 23 votes, con- 
tested the. election of his opponent, Mr. Kirby, on the ground that there 
were gross irregularities in conducting the election in the Township of Elba. 
The trial of the case in the circuit court resulted in the defeat of Mr. McCall's 
contention, but when the supreme court reviewed the case there was a speedy 
reversal, the court holding unanimously that the violation of the election 
law in Elba was so flagrant that the vote of that township must be thrown 
out. This result gave the election to Mr. McCall by a majority of 81. The 
office was turned over to him in July, 1899. (Ed. Meacham, C. J. Chambers, 
Frank P. Merrill, county canvassers.) 

April, 1899: Sup. Ct. J.— Rep., 2909, Dem., 2429; Cir. J.— Geo. P. Stone,. 
Fusion, (no opp.) 2681; Co. Sch. Com. — Orin G. Tuttle, Rep., 2617, Retta 
Peet, Fusion, 2822. (Ed. Meacham, C. J. Chambers, F. P. Merrill, county 

Nov., 1900: Pres. — Wm. McKinley, Rep., 4261, Wm. J. Bryan, Dem., 
3207 ; Gov.— Aaron T. Bliss, Rep., 4169, Wm. C. Maybury, Dem., 3325, F. 
S. Goodrich, Pro., 168; Cong. — Archibald B. Darragh, Rep., 4127, Geo. 
Killeen, Dem., 3434; St. Sen.— Hiram M. High. Rep., 4245, Elisha Mudge, 
Dem., 3273; Rep.— John W. Holmes, Rep., 4221, Dewitt Vought, Dem., 3255, 
J. E. Long, Pro., 171; Judge of Pro. — Isaac S. Seaver, Rep., 4249, Chas. H. 
Chase, Dem., 3258, Josh. L. Miller, Pro., 152; Sh.— John H. Parrish, Rep., 
4130, Geo. M. Willoughby, Dem., 3362, Albert M. Shaw, Pro., 159; Co. Clk. 
— Adelbert P. Lane, Rep., 4225, Chas. A. Throop, Dem., 3270, John Coston, 
Pro., 151 ; Treas. — Daniel L. Sharrar, Rep., 4165, Albert W. Dickerson, 
Dem., 3324, Alex. Chisholm, Pro., 155; Reg. of D.— Albert H. Dowry, Rep., 
4255, Otto W. Rogers, Dem., 3219, Justus B. Gardner, Pro., 163; Pros. Atty. 
—Julius B. Kirby, Rep., 3961, Archie McCall, Dem., 3537; C. C. C— Frank 
R. Monfort, Rep., 4270, Bert Hayes, Rep., 4255, Ed. H. Ashley, Dem., 3228, 
Newell Leonard, Dem., 3249; Cor. — Leslie A. Howe, Rep., 4241, Merritt G. 
Bassett, Rep., 4250, Willard Monfort, Dem., 3246, Joe M. Ho.xie. Dem., 3225. 
Geo. I. Acker, Pro., 158, Wm. A. Vanderhoof, Pro., 157; Sur.— Edwin W. 
Redman, Rep., 4257, Wm. L. Steele, Dem., 3248. (Willard D. Tucker, Frank 
G. Palmer, Henry Bodfish, county canvassers.) 

April, 1901: Sup. Ct. J.— Rep., 3116, Dem., 1949; Co. Sch. Com.— 
Chas. F. Pike. Rep., 2849, Retta Peet, Dem., 2409, Thos. J. Lyon, Pro., 218. 
(Willard D. Tucker, Frank G. Palmer, Henry Bodfish, county canvassers.) 

Nov., 1902: Gov.— Aaron T. Bliss. Rep., 3268, Lorenzo T. Durand, 
Dem., 1729, Walter S. Westerman, Pro., 147; Cong. — Archibald B. Darragh, 
Rep., 3496, David T. Erwin, Dem., 1537; St. Sen., 19th Dist.— Coleman C. 
Vaughan, Rep.. 3331, Willard D. Tucker, Dem., 1687; Rep.— Tohn W. 
Holmes, Rep., 3317, Chas. T. Richards, Dem., 1708; Sh.— John U. Parrish, 
Rep., 3445, Isaac H. Church, Dem., 1617; Co. Clk.— Clifton J. Chambers, 


Rep., 3224. Geo. Killeen, Dem.. 1827; Treas.— Fred E. Smith, Rep., 3364, 
Oliver McEnderfer, Dem., 1645; Reg. of D.— Albert H. Lowry, Rep., 3479, 
Roy Cushman, Dem.. 1538; Pros. Atty. — Marvin R. Salter, Rep., 3388, D. 
Lloyd Johnson, Dem., 1647; C. C. C. — Warren T- Shaver, Rep., 3362. John 
R. Wilson, Rep., 3379, John T. Mathews, Dem., 1644, Archie McCall, Dem., 
1637; Sur.— E. W. Redman, Rep., 3382, Jo. W. Harrod, Dem., 1636; Cor.— 
L. A. Howe, Rep., 3409, Merritt G. Bassett, Rep., 3392. Jas. W. Howd, Dem., 
1595, Chas. T. Eno, Dem., 1610. (Chas. Morrow. Harvey R. Munson, H. 
Chauncev Barstow, county canvassers.) 

Apri'l, 1903: Sup. Ct.' J.— Rep.. 3134, Dem.. 1891, Pro., 235; Co. Sch. 
Com.— Chas. F. Pike, Rep.. 2765. Retta Peet. Dem.. 2409. (Chas. Morrow, 
O. G. Tuttle, Louis J. Marvin, county canvassers.) 

Nov., 1904: Pres.— Theodore Roosevelt, Rep., 4530, Alton B. Parker, 
Dem., 1863, Prohibition ticket, 238. scattering. 72): Gov. — Fred M. Warner. 
Rep., 3524, Woodbridge N. Ferris, Dem., 2991, Jas. M. Shackleton. Pro., 180; 
Cong.— A. B. Darragh. Rep.. 4251, Wm. A. Bahlke. Dem., 2213. Henry A. 
Miller. Pro., 215; St. Sen.— Townsend A. Ely. Rep., 4091, Willard D. Tucker. 
Dem., 2386; Rep.— John W. Holmes, Rep., 4186, Frank G. Palmer, Dem., 
2235, Hugh Chisholm, Pro., 245 ; Judge of Pro. — Isaac S. Seaver, Rep. 4360, 
Oliver McEnderfer, Dem., 2098;" Sh.— Emory Bradford Kille, Rep., 3592, 
Frank L. Pressley, Dem.. 2893; Co. Clk.— Clifton J. Chambers, Rep., 4274, 
Binnie M. Cofifin. Dem., 2172, Benson J. Young, Pro., 230; Treas. — Fred E. 
Smith, Rep.. 4284. John S. Doyle. Dem., 2154. Noah Wilson, Pro.. 231 ; Reg. 
of D.— John C. Watson, Rep., 3880, Aciel F. Wright. Dem.. 2574, Wheeler 
Mumford, Pro.. 214; Pros. Attv.— Marvin R. Salter, Rep.. 4078. Archie Mc- 
Call. Dem., 2379. Chas. A. Salyer, Pro.. 220; C. C. C— Warren J. Shaver. 
Rep.. 4273, Ebin Wilson. Rep., 4368, D. Llovd Johnson, Dem.. 2156; Cor.— 
L. A. Howe, Rep.. 4297, John E. Hunter, Rep., 4296, Chas. A. Crane, Dem., 
2135, Chas. H. McLachlan, Dem., 2131, Roscoe Higgins. Pro., 233, Byron 
Dingman, Pro., 237 ; Sur. — Ransom J. Fraker, Rep., 4289, Jas. G. Chase, 
Dem., 2136, Jo. W. Harrod, Pro., 248. 

On the question of a new constitution for the state — Yes. 1768. no. 2110. 

(Chas. Morrow, Abram L. Wight. Louis J. Marvin, county canvassers.) 

April, 1905: Sup. Ct. L— Rep.. 3315, Dem., 1933, Pro.. 239; Cir. ].— 
Kelly S. Searl. Rep., 2910, Geo. P. Stone, Dem., 2460. 

K. S. Searl had a majority in the circuit and was elected. 

On question of the state aiding in the improvement of the public high- 
way.s — Yes, 2779, no, 1322. 

(A. L. Wight, L. J. Mar\in, Lewis D. Lepley. county canvassers.) 

April, 1906: On the question of calling a convention for the purpose 
of a general rexision of the state constitution — Yes, 2582, no. 2547. (A. L. 
Wight. L. J. Marvin. P. D. Pettit, county canvassers.) 

June 12, 1906: On this date the several political parties voted on the 
question of adopting the primary system in nominating officers. The Re- 
publicans of the county voted as follows on nominating officers as desig- 
nated : Gov. and Lieut. Gov. — Yes, 612, no, 103; Cong. — Yes, 600, no, 100; 
St. .'-'en. — Yes, 591, no. 103; Rep. — Yes. 596. no. 98; County officers — Yes, 
589, no, 110. The Democrats of the county voted as follows on the question 
of nominating Governor and Lieut. Governor by the primary svstem : Yes. 
139, no, 24. The Prohibition party, on the same question votetl — Yes. 9, 
no, 1. 

The result of the Republican primary was as follows : Gov. — Fred M. 
Warner, 701; Cong. — Archibald B. Darragh, 1335, Geo. G. Covell. 436; 
St. Sen.— Townsend A. Ely, 1507; Rep.— Clifton J. Chambers, 1030, Robert 
S. Miller, 393, Chas. F. Patten, 266; Sh.— E. Bradford Kille, 1536; Co. Clk. 


—Richard E. Hughes, 1013, Joseph D. Sadler, 614; Treas.— Harvey R. 
Munson, 803, Birton I. Gee, 683, Henry R. Moench, 246; Reg. of D.— John 
C. Watson, 1553; Pros. Atty.— John M. Everden, 77^, Bert Hayes, 339; 

C. C. C— Grant Steele, 1406, John W. Myers, 11, D. W. C. Tiffany, 7, John 

D. Spinney, 8, Jas. G. Kress, 3; Sur.— Frank W. Hastings, 1435; Cor.— 
John E. Hunter, 1127, W. K. Ludwig, 1264. (A. L. Wight, L. J. Marvin, 
county canvassers.) 

Nov., 1906: Gov.— Fred M. Warner, Rep., 2854, Chas. H. Kimmerle, 
Dem., 1742, R. Clark Reed, Pro., 122; Cong.— A B. Darragh, Rep., 2849, 
Arthur J. Lacey, Dem.. 1795; St. Sen.— Townsend A. Ely. Rep., 2852, Wm. 
A. Bahlke, Dem., 1764; Rep.— Clifton T- Chambers, Rep., 2680, Wm. T. 
Pitt, Dem., 1947; Sh.— E. Bradford Kille, Rep., 22,7Z, Frank L. Pressley, 
Dem., 2294; Clk.— Richard E. Hughes, Rep., 2687, Willard D. Tucker, Dem., 
1959; Treas. — Harvey R. Munson, Rep., 2666, Decatur Coleman, Dem., 
1987; Reg. of D.— John C. Watson, Rep., 2711, Ira D. Suydam, Dem., 1948; 
Pros. Atty.— John M. Everden, Rep., 2576, Archie McCall, Dem., 2080; C. 

C. C— Grant Steele, Rep., 2871, John W. Myers, Rep., 2850, D. Lloyd John- 
son, Dem., 1756. John T. Mathews, Dem., 1782; Sur.— Frank W. Hastings, 
Rep., 2666, To. W. Harrod, Dem., 1973; Cor.— W. K. Ludwig, Rep., 2892, 
John E. Hunter, Rep., 2871, Elmer L. Street, Dem., 1743, Orill Reichard, 
Dem., 1762. 

April, 1907: Sup. Ct. J.— Wm. L. Carpenter, Rep., 3004, Aaron V. Mc- 
Alvay, Rep., 3191, Geo. P. Stone, Dem., 2266, John R. Carr, Dem., 1998, 
Prohibition, 177; Co. Sch. Com.— Chas. F. Pike, 2851, Retta (Peet) Baker, 
2472. ( B. M. Coffin, Glenn Du Bois, Edgar Follick, county canvassers.) 

August 13, 1907 : Primary for the nomination of delegates to the Con- 
stitutional Convention : Republican — John W. Holmes, 503, Frank R. Mon- 
fort, 447, John D. Spinney, 397, Walter C. Mallory, 328, Henry E. Wal- 
bridge, 178, T. F. Timby, 158, F. W. Redfern, 133, E. J. Moinett, 108, John 
T. Daniels, 99, Jas. Harrison, 85. Democratic — Geo. P. Stone, 216, John T. 
Mathews, 138, Wm. A. Bahlke, 129, J. Earl Brown, iZ, H. J. Patterson, 27. 
(B. M. Cuft'in, Glenn Du Bois, Geo. G. Ingledue, county canvassers.) 

September 17, 1907 : Election of delegates to the Constitutional Con- 
vention — John W. Holmes, Rep., 1036, Frank R. Monfort, Rep., 987, Henry 

E. Walbridge, Rep., 944, Geo. P. Stone, Dem., 636, John T. Mathews, Dem., 
464, J. Earl Brown, Dem., 371, J. W. Harrod, Pro., 35, F. W. Balch, Pro., 26, 
Silas Kenyon, Pro., 20. Total vote in District — Gratiot and Clinton Coun- 
ties: H. E. Walbridge, Rep., 1730, J. W. Holmes, Rep., 1718, F. R. Monfort, 
Rep., 1688, Geo. P. Stone, Dem., 1257, J. T. Mathews, Dem., 852, J. Earl 
Brown, Dem., 815, J. W. Harrod, Pro., 55, F. W. Balch, Pro., 46, Silas 
Kenyon, Pro., 36. (I. S. Seaver, E. B. Kille, R. E. Hughes, dist. canvassers.) 

Primary Election, Sept. 1, 1908: Republican — Gov. — Jas. B. Bradley, 
1230, Fred M. Warner, 1047, Horatio S. Earl, 268; Cong.— Francis A. Dodds, 
1519, Geo. G. Covell, 9?0: Rep.— Clifton J. Chambers, 2143; Judge of Pro.— 
Isaac S. Seaver, 1592, Jas. G. Kress, 923; Sh.— John H. Parrish, 1468, Perry 

D. Pettit, 842, A. T. Willert, 276; Co. Clk.— Richard E. Hughes, 2198; 
Treas.— Harvey R. Munson, 1501, Henry R. Moench, 964; Reg. of D.— 
Geo. W. Long, 809, Fred W. Griswald. 790, Wm. N. Gladstone, 496, T- Sid. 
Beechler, 410: Pros. Atty.— Tohn M. Everden, 2162; C. C. C— John D. 
Spinney, 29, John W. Myers, 24, W. T- Shaver, 19, Geo. S. Aldrich, 16: Sur. 
— E. W. Redman, 1502, C. A. Schdltz, 677; Cor.— W. K. Ludwig, 1785. 
Democratic — Gov. — Lawton T. Hemans, 107. Prohibition — Gov.— John W, 
Gray, 13. (B. M. Coffin, Aaron J. Chambers, K. P. Peet, Co. canvassers.) 


Nov., 1908: Pres.— Wm. H. Taft, Rep., 4160, Wm. J. Bryan, Dem., 
2374 : Prohibition electors, 175, Socialist electors, 32, Independence Party- 
electors, 5 ; Gov. — Fred M. Warner, Rep., 3209, Lawton T. Hemans, Dem., 
3363; Cong. — Francis A. Dodds, Rep., 4187, Leavitt S. Griswold, Dem., 
2423; St. Sen., 25th Dist.— Newton O. Ward, Rep., 4184, Clark C. Field, 
Dem., 2430; Rep.— Clifton J. Chambers. Rep., 4135, Mncent P. Cash, Dem., 
2486; Judge of Pro. — Isaac S. Seaver, Rep., 4032, Henry Read, Dem., 2633; 
Sh.— John H. Parrish, Rep., 3324, Frank L. Convis, Dem., 3359; Clk.— 
Richard E. Hughes, Rep., 4133, Hugh L. Torbert, Dem., 2507; Treas.— 
Harvey R. Munson, Rep., 3852, John L. Smith, Dem., 2802; Reg. of D.— 
Geo. W. Long, Rep., 4143, Oliver McEnderfer, 2489; Pros. Atty.— John M. 
Everden, Rep., 4080, John T. Mathews, Dem., 2569; C. C. C— John D. 
Spinney. Rep.. 4169, John W. Myers, Rep., 4156, Jas. K. Wright, Dem., 
2458, \\'m. A. Bahlke,' Dem., 2473 ; Sur.— E. W. Redman, Rep., 4190, John 
Burns, Dem., 2440. On the question of the adoption of the new State Con- 
stitution — Yes, 2597, no, 1961. (Clarence Hopkins, I. F. Hilsinger, Fred S. 
Brown, county canvassers.) 

April, 1909: Sup. Ct. J.— Rep., 3150, Dem.. 1830. pro.. 250. 

April, 1910: Vote on question of direct nomination of circuit judge — 
Yes, 2869, no, 847. (Clarence Hopkins, Fred Brown, county canvassers.) 

Primary Election, Sept., 1910: Republican — Gov. — Chase S. Osborn, 
818, Patrick H. Kellev, 637. Amos Musselman, 353; Cong. — Francis A. 
Dodds, 1608; St. Sen.'— Newton O. Ward, 1298; Rep.— Clifton J. Cham- 
bers, 987, Robert S. Miller. 647; Sh.— John H. Parrish. 581, Chas. B. Doan, 
288. Wesley H. Parr, 212, Wm. H. Caswell, 209. Ralph E. Pettit, 181, lohn 
Rush, 159, E. Bradford Kille, 123. Chas. A. Zubler, 106; Clk.— Richard E. 
Hughes, 889. John F. Schwartz. 880; Treas.— Adelbert P. Lane, 953. Fred 
E. Smith, 7Z1: Reg. of D.— Geo. W\ Long, 1587; Pros. Atty.— Chas. H. 
Goggin, 978, John M. Everden, 783; Dr. Com.— Edwin W. Redman, 883. 
Elon P. Pottef, 801 ; C. C. C— Geo. S. Aldrich, 1095, John D. Spinney, 1071 ; 
Sur — Joseph W. Harrod, 30. Edwin ^\'. Redman, 13; choice for U. S. Sen- 
ator — Chas. E. Townsend. 886. Julius C. Burrows, 853. Democrat — Gov. — 
Lawton T. Hemans, 224; St. Sen. — Vincent P. Cash, 101; Rep. — Dewitt C 
Vought, 187; Sh.— John B. Rowell. 235; Clk.— Newton Burns, 92, Thos. E 
Garlock, 71; Treas. — Jas. Gibbs, 221; Reg. of D. — Philip W. Creaser. 110 
Pros. Atty.— Archie McCall, 228; Dr. Com.— Jackson M. Williams. 211 
C. C. C— John T. Mathews. 203, Jas. K. Wright, 188; Cor.— Kosciusko P. 
Peet, 198, Wilbur F. Markham, 180 ; choice for U. S. Senator— John Win- 
ship, 89. Prohibition— Gov.— Fred M. Corbitt, 23; Rep.— Justus B. Gard- 
ner, 23 ; Sh. — John S. Beery, 23 ; Clk. — Benson J. Young, 2i ; Treas. — 
Noah Wilson, 21; Reg. of D.— Albert M. Shaw, 20; choice for U. S. Senator 
— Wm. A. Taylor, 23. 

Nov., 1910: Gov. — Chase S. Osliorn, Rep., 2357, Lawton T. Hemans, 
Dem., 2016, Joseph Warnock. Pro., li, Herman Richter. So., 4; Cong. — 
Francis A. Dodds, Rep.. 2717, Hubbard Head. Dem.. 1628; St. Sen.— New- 
ton O. Ward, Rep., 2735, Vincent P. Cash. Dem.. 1632; Rep.— Clifton J. 
Chambers. Rep., 2614. Dewitt C. Vought, Dem.. 1727, Justus B. Gardner, 
Pro., 174; Sh.— John H. Parrish. Rep.. 1944, John B. Rowell, Dem.. 2085, 
Walter H. Spooner, Pro., 531 ; Clk.— Richard E. Hughes. Rep., 2734, Newton 
Burns, Dem., 1687 ; Treas. — Adelbert P. Lane, Rep., 275.3, James Gibbs, 
Dem., 1663; Reg. of D.— Geo. W. Long. Rep.. 2716. Philip" W. Creaser, 
Dem., 1718; Pros. Atty.— Chas. H. Goggin, Rep., 2408, Archie McCall, Dem., 
2054; Dr. Com. — Edwin W. Redman. Rep., 2666. Jackson M. Williams, 
Dem.. 1754: C. C. C— John D. Spinney. Rep.. 2682. "Geo. S. Aldrich. Rep., 
2747, John T. Mathews, Dem., 1735, Jas. K. Wright. Dem.. 1643; Cor.— W. 


K. Ludwig, Rep., 2757, Orill Reichard, Rep., 2751, Wilbur F. Markham, Dem., 
1653, Kosciusko P. Peet, Dem., 1658; Sur.— Joseph W. Harrod, Rep., 2798. 
Amendment to Constitution relative to bonded indebtedness of counties — 
Yes, 1116, no, 1808. (Clarence C. Hopkins, Fred S. Brown, Co. canvassers.) 

Primary Election, March 1, 1911, for Circuit Judge: Rep. — Kelly S. 
Searl, 515; Dem.— Geo. P. Stone, 131, John T. Mathews, 132. 

April, 1911: Sup. Ct. T-— Rep., 3207. Dem., 1734, Pro., 157, So., 42; 
Cir. Judge— Kelly S. Searl," Rep., 2802, Geo. P. Stone, Dem., 2310. The 
election in the circuit resulted in the choice of K. S. Searl. Co. Sch. Com. — 
Howard A. Potter, Rep., 3196, Claude Miller, Dem., 1839. Am. relative to 
primary school money— Yes, 2434, no, 1975. Am. relative to adopting 
county road system — Yes, 1971, no, 2817. 

Primary Election, Aug. 27, 1912: Republican— U. S. Sen.— Wm. Alden 
Smith, 1659: Gov.— Amos S. Musselman, 1028, Fred. C. Martindale, 7ii; 
Cong, at large— Pat. H. Kelley, 1426; Cong., 11th Dist.— Francis O. Lind- 
quist, 722, Francis A. Dodds, 863, Dennis E. Alward, 235; St. Senator- 
Francis King, 1338, Frank Dusenbury, 464; Rep.— Newel Smith, 605, John 
W. Mvers, 603, Robert S. Miller, 523; Judge of Pro.— J. Lee Potts, 997, 
Isaac S. Seaver, 849; Sh.— Wilbur Ennis, 873, Wesley H. Parr, 515, John 
Rush, 301, Wm. A. Seamon, 140; Clk.— Richard E. Hughes, 779, Fred C. 
Pernert, 699, Hollie J. Rose, 342; Treas.— Adelbert P. Lane, 1602; Reg. 
of D.— Bird ]. Tucker, 1133, Fred W. Griswold. 688; Pros. Atty.— John M. 
Everden, 937. Chas. H. Goggin, 888; Dr. Com.— Edwin W. Redman, 997, 
Elon P. Potter, 780; C. C. C— John D. Spinney, 1457, John Dunham, 6; 
Cor— W. K. Ludwig, 1242, B. C. Hall, 1034; Sur.— Joseph W. Harrod, 1501. 
Democrat — U. S. Sen. — Alfred Lucking, had maj., Geo. P. Hummer; Gov. — 
Woodbridge N. Ferris, no op. ; Cong, at large — Ed. Frensdorf, no op. ; 
Cong., Uth Dist. — Achie McCall, no op.; St. Sen. — Frank L. Convis, no op.; 
Rep^- Willard D. Tucker, 289, Aciel F. Wright, 175 ; Judge of Pro.— John 
T. Mathews, 467; Sh.— John B. Rowell, 489; Clk.— Frank Himes. 457; 
Treas.— Binnie Coffin, 230, Ira D. Suydam, 216; Reg. of D.— Philip W. 
Creaser, 443; Pros. Atty.— Geo. P. Stone, 465; Dr. Com. — Joseph Foster, 
430; C. C. C— Jas. K. Wright, 415, D. Lloyd Johnson, 300; Cor.— Jas. P. 
Carpenter, 401, Chas. F. O'Neill, 326; Sur.— Ephraim S. Reist, 420. Geo. 
P. Stone declined the nomination for Pros. Atty., and D. Lloyd Johnson 
was appointed to the vacancy. D. Lloyd Johnson declined the nomination 
for Circuit Court Commissioner. National Progressive — Rep. — Geo. H. Carl, 
4; Sh.— Geo. W. Irish, 2; Clk.— Homer Dunham, 2; Treas.— Chas. H. 
Smith, 2; Reg. of D.— Wm. H. Miner, 1. 

Nov., 1912: Pres.— Wm. H. Taft, Rep., 1810, Woodrow Wilson, Dem., 
1836, Theo. Roosevelt, Natl. Progressive, 2135, Prohibition ticket, 83, So- 
cialist ticket, 45, Socialist Labor ticket, 3 ; Gov. — Amos S. Musselman, Rep., 
2130, Woodbridge N. Ferris, Dem., 2367, L. Whitney Watkins. Natl. Pro., 
1288, Prohi., 71, So., 31 ; Sec. of St.— Fred C. Martindale, Rep., 2292, Jas. 
B. Balch, Dem., 1918, Howard H. Batdorff, Natl. Pro., 1533; Cong., 11th 
Dist.— Francis O. Lindquist, Rep., 2342, Archie McCall, Dem., 2212, John 
W. Patchin, Natl. Pro., 1211; St. Sen.— Francis King, Rep., 2566, Frank L. 
Convis, Dem., 2031; Rep.— Newel Smith, Rep., 2288, Willard D. Tucker, 
Dem., 2122, Geo. H. Carl, Natl. Pro., 1334; Judge of Pro.— T. Lee Potts, 
Rep., 2617, Tohn-T. Mathews, Dem., 2353; Sh.— Wilbur B." Ennis, Rep., 
2606. John B". Rowell. Dem., 2316, Geo. W. Irish. Natl. Pro., 877; Co. Clk.— 
Richard E. Hughes, Rep., 2663, Frank R. Himes, Dem., 2164; Treas. — 
Adelbert P. Lane, Rep., 2772, Binnie M. Coffin. Dem.. 2030; Reg. of D.— 
Bird T. Tucker, Rep., 3111, Philip W. Creaser, Dem., 1835; Pros. Atty.— 
John "M. Everden, Rep., 2684, D. Lloyd Johnson, Dem., 2201 ; Dr. Com.— 


Edwin W. Redman, Rep., 2788, Joseph Foster, Dem., 2045 ; C. C. C— John 
D. Spinney, Rep., 2743, John Dunham. Rep., 2802. Jas. K. Wright, Dem., 
20.S4: Cor.— Will K. Ludwig, Rep., 2768, B. C. Hall. Rep., 2742, Tas. P. 
Carpenter, Dem., 1993, Chas. F. O'Neil. Dem., 1967; Sur.— Joseph W. Har- 
rod. Rep., 2823, Ephraim S. Reist, Dem., 1936. Woman Suf. Am. — Yes, 
3256, No, 2203. City Charter Am.— Yes, 3184, no, 1652. (Chas. A. Van 
Deventer, Wilbur F. Markham, A. L. Giles, county canvassers.) 

April, 1913: Justices Supreme Court — Rep., 2214, Dem., 1575, Natl. 
Pro., 784, Socialist, 50, Prohibition, 107. Woman Suffrage— Yes, 1737, 
no, 2673. County Road System — Yes, 1827. no, 2883. Pensions for Fire- 
men — Yes, 1451, no, 2633. 

John R. Cheesman. Dem., 1855. jas. Paddock. Rep.. 1880. '84. 

Francis Nelson, Rep., 1856, '60, '64. J. Lee Potts, Rep., 1888. 1912. 
Elijah Peck, Rep., 1868. "lohn M. Everden. Rep., 1892. 

Wm. E. Winton, Rep., 1872. Chas. H. Chase, Fusion, 1896. 

Giles T. Brown, Rep. 1876. Isaac S. Seaver, Rep., 1900, "04, 'C 


Geo. E. Walker, Rep., 1855. Perry D. Pettit, Rep., 1886, '88. "92, "94. 

Homer L. Townsend, Rep., 1856, '58. Jas. P. King. Fusion, 1800. 
Frederick D. Weller, Rep., 1860. '62. Nelson J. McCullough, Fusion. 1896, 
David Bailey, Rep., 1864. "66. '98. 

Elisha C. Cook, Rep., 1868, '70. John H. Parrish, Rep., 1900. "02. 

Wm. H. Pratt, Rep., 1872, '74. E. Bradford Kille, Rep., 1904, '06. 

Geo. L. Patch, Rep., 1876, '78. Frank L. Convis, Dem., 1908. 

Alfred A. Wood, Rep., 1880. Tohn B. Rowell. Dem., 1910. 

Kosciusko P. Peet, Fusion, 1882. '84. Wilbur B. Funis, Rep., 1912. 


Orville M. Wood, Dem., 1855. John M. Trask, Rep., 1880. 

Henry H. Smith, Rep., 1856. John T. Swigart, Fusion, 1882, '84. 

Emery Crosby, Rep., 1858. Marvin R. Salter, Rep., 1886, '88. 

Horace T. Barnaby, Rep.. 1860. Inman N. Cowdrey, Fusion, 1890. 

Wm. C. Beckwith, Rep., 1862, '64. '66, Jas. G. Kress, Rep., 1892, '94. 

'68. Hiram Haring, Fusion, 1896. 

Nathan Church, Rep., 1870, 72. Adelbert P. Lane, Rep.. 1898, 1900. 

Wm. B. Scattergood, Rej),, 1874, '76, Clifton T. Chambers. Rep., 1902, '04. 

'78. Richard "E. Hughes, Rep., 1906, '08, '10, 



Ralph Ely, Rep.. 1855, '60. Sylvester B. Heverlo, Fusion, 1882, 

A. M. Crawford, Rep., appointed Feb. '84. 

12, 1856. Wm. Brice, Rep., 1886. '88. 

Henry Lane, appointed Oct. 13. 1856. Frank Munson, Fusion, 1890. 
Lafavette Church. Rep.. 1856, '58. Tohn \\'. Otto, Rep., 1892. '94. 
Elijah Peck, Rep., 1862, '64. Henry Read, Fusion. 1896. 

Wm. S. Turck. Rep.. 1866. '68, '70. Daniel L. Sharrar, Rep.. 1898. 1900. 
Archibald B. Darragh, Rep., 1872. Fred E. Smith, Rep., 1902, '04. 
Schuyler W. Ambler. Rep., 1874, '76. Harvey R. Munson, Rep.. 1906. '08. 
Wm. M. Barstow, Rep.. 1878. "80. Adelbert P. Lane, Rep., 1910, '12. 



Henry Lane, Dem, 1855. Geo. S. Van Buskirk, Rep., 1880. 

Elijah Peck, Rep., 1856, '58, '60. John L. Sinclair, Fusion, 1882, '84. 

Henry P. Howd, Rep., 1862, '64. Chester W. Martin, Rep., 1886, '88. 

Theodore Nelson, Rep., 1866, '68. Wm. T. Pitt, Fusion, 1890. 

Dewitt C. Chapin, Rep., 1870, 72. On Napoleon B. Bradley, Rep., 1892, '94. 

the death of Mr. Chapin, January, Frank M. Vandercook, Fusion, 1896, '98. 

1873, Ella Chapin finished out his Albert H. Lowry, Rep., 1900, '02. 

term. John C. Watson, Rep., 1904, '06. 

Jas. T. Hall, Dem., 1874. Geo. W. Long, Rep., 1908, '10. 

Joseph H. Seaver, Rep., 1876, '78. Bird J, Tucker, Rep., 1912. 


Franklin Miller, Dem., 1855, '56. Bvron H. Sawyer, Rep., 1886, '88. 

Israel B. Coats, Rep., 1858, '60. Ja's. Clarke, Fusion, 1890. 

Moses Tompkins, Rep., appointed on "Wm. A. Leet, Rep., 1892, '94. 

death of Mr. Coats in 1861, and Newel Smith, Fusion, 1896. 

elected in 1862. Julius B. Kirby, Rep., 1898, 1900. 

Wm. E. Winton, Rep., 1864, '66. Supreme Court decision, throwing out 
Andrew J. Utlev, Rep., 1868. Elba Township, election of 1898, 

Jas. K. Wright,' Dem., 1870, '74, '82. gave Archie McCall, Fusion, the 

Chas. E. Williams, Rep., 1872. election and he took possession in 

Truman W. Whitney, Rep., 1876, July, 1899, finishing the term. 

'78. MarVin R. Salter, Rep., 1902, '04. 

Chas. I Willett, Fusion, 1880. John M. Everden, Rep., 1906, '08, '12. 

Jas. L". Clark, Rep., 1884. Chas. H. Goggin, Rep., 1910. 


Giles T. Brown, Rep., 1867, '69, '73. Retta Peet, Fusion, 1899. 

Dillis D. Hamilton, Rep., 1871. Chas. F. Pike, Rep., 1901, '03, '07. 

Orin G. Tuttle, Rep.. 1893, '95, '97. Howard A. Potter, Rep., 1911. 


Some Reasons for the Distressing Shortage. 

Alany details and incidents bearing upon the days of destitution in 
Gratiot County, and the sufferings passed through by many, are given in the 
section of this work devoted more particularly to the meetings of the Gratiot 
County Pioneer Society. Those details are the personal experiences of the 
members, as given in special papers read at the meetings, and in the inter- 
change of reminiscences by the members present. This present section is 
devoted more particularly to the official action taken to alleviate the dis- 
tress, by way of appropriations by the board of supervisors, and also the 
distribution of the same and of the supplies donated by outside sympathizers. 

It may be well to summarize, briefly, some of the principal causes that 
created or led to, the period of destitution in Gratiot. The so-called "Grad- 
uation Act," a governmental statute enacted early in the year 1854, to take 
effect in August of that year, was the initial and chief factor in the trouble. 
It was a beneficent and praiseworthy act in itself. By its provisions cer- 
tain government lands were to be reduced in price from the regular price 
of $1.25 per acre, to 50 cents per acre. But its effect was to cause a large 
number of poor peoijle, who desired to better their condition by possessing 


a home of their own, but whose limited means prevented them from secur- 
ing land in the settled portions of this and adjoining states, to hasten into 
the count}' and secure a piece of the 50-cent government land. It would 
seem that the greater portion of those buying, calculated to move on to 
their purchases at their leisure, after they had gathered together sufficient 
to maintain themselves until something could be raised on their lands. But 
here came an order from the land department a short time after the act 
became in force, requiring that all purchasers should occupy and improve 
their land within one year from its purchase, or the land would revert 
back to the government, and they would forfeit the purchase price. 

While it is difl'icult to see how the government could plausibly have 
done otherwise, its action seems to have taken people by surprise, and the 
result was, a rush of people to take possession of their purchases. So here 
was the first factor leading to the trouble — -an overplus of settlers, consider- 
ing the distance to supplies, and the difficulties connected with travel and 
transportation. But this unfortunate condition need not necessarily have 
been fatal to the possibility of survival, had it not been supplemented by a 
failure of crops brought about by alternate floods and drouths, and with 
the clinia.x of late and early frosts, to put the finishing touches to the dis- 
couraging conditions. Considering the settlers" lack of means, lack of teams 
and tools, and lack of supplies within reach, the job of supporting a family 
in a practically unbroken wilderness must be set down as a difficult one 
with weather conditions the most favorable : but with all nature working 
against a man, in addition to the other drawbacks, the odds are too great. 

And then it would probably be no stretch of the imagination to presume 
that there was quite a sprinkling of shiftlessness among the settlers. There 
is in all communities. Of course one takes his life in his hands to even 
sug.gest such a thing, for there are plenty of people who seem to think 
that every pioneer was at least a saint if not an angel, simply because they 
were pioneers. But they were not. Mainly just human beings, with only 
occasionally an angel. Just as we find it even to this day. There were 
good people and bad people, and all grades between. Mostly industrious 
but some lazy, and occasionally one even vicious. But all, or nearly all, in 
those times, were in the same fix; victims of the unfortunate combina- 
tion of circumstances that brought hunger and destitution to themselves 
and their families, and all must be helped. 

Relief Measures Inaugurated. 

At a special meeting of the board of supervisors held May 17, 1857, 
the first official action was taken by the county authorities looking to the 
relief of the destitute poor of the county, other than what relief could be 
and was furnished through the ordinary means. At this meeting of the 
board a set of resolutions bearing upon the subject was introduced by 
Supervisor E. W. Kellogg, of Newark, which, being referred to a commit- 
tee, were reported on favorably, and were then adopted unanimously. The 
resolutions are here given entire: 

"Whereas, There is great necessity of iirovidiug for tlic relief of the 
county in the uncommon scarcity of provisions, therefore, 

"Resolved, That the chairman of the board (.\ddison Ilayden, of North 
Star) in and for Gratiot County be, and is hereby authorized, to draw 
orders upon the county for $4,000, payable in one year from date, draw- 
ing seven per cent, interest, which shall wholly or in part, as necessity 
may require, be negotiated for provisions. 

"Resolved. That the provisions so purchased shall be sold at actual 
cost to inhal)itants for their own consumption, for which said in(li\iduals 


shall give their notes, payable in nine months from date, with interest at 
ten per cent. 

"Resolved. That such provisions shall he held in depot at such places as 
may be convenient, subject to the order of the supervisors, in proportion to 
the estimate now in the hands of said supervisors, and that no supervisor 
shall draw more than shall be deemed necessary for his township. 

"Resolved, That such provisions be held by said respective supervisors, 
who shall dispose of the same, and be responsible therefor, until the obliga- 
tions therefor be deposited with the county treasurer, and duly receipted, 
and that no moneys shall be paid or provisions distributed, except upon the 
order of the supervisors respectively. And each supervisor shall keep an 
accurate account of the amount of provisions so procured in his township, 
and the expenses incurred in and for the same. 

"Resolved, That the provisions so held shall not be sold to individuals 
whose means may enable them to purchase from the markets, inasmuch as 
the intention of this whole matter is to relieve those whose means will not 
enable them to purchase at the markets." 

Each resolution was voted on separately, and each carried unanimously. 
On motion of Mr. Kellogg, the chairman was instructed to negotiate the 
orders either personally or by agent. 

Previous to this meeting of the board of supervisors and the adoption of 
resolutions as above mentioned, the news of the serious plight of Gratiot 
County settlers had been carried to the outside, and relief supplies were 
alreadv being received and distributed. This is conclusively shown by a 
resolution adopted at this same meeting. The resolution was presented by 
Supervisor S. S. Hastings, of Pine River, and was as follows: 

"Resolved, That A. M. Crawford, former county treasurer of this 
county, is hereby tendered the thanks of this board of supervisors, on 
behalf of the people of Gratiot County, for his labors at St. Johns, in re- 
ceiving and forwarding the donated supply of provisions from abroad, for 
this county." 

The hard times continued through '57 and '58, the produce raised being 
inadequate to supply the necessities of the settlers, for the reasons already 
set forth. Supplies, however, were sent in from different parts of the state, 
and this, together with the appropriations made by the supervisors, and 
the regular expenditures of the superintendents of the poor, served to pull 
the people through. The crops of '59 proved good, and after they became 
availalile, conditions assumed a brighter appearance, and thereafter the 
l^eople were self-sustaining. But the winter of 1858-9 was a hard one on 
the people, and the spring found them in such destitute circumstances that 
another special session of the board was held, and another appropriation 

The special session was held May 14th, '59, Supervisor M. Pettit, of 
Emerson, chairman. Supervisor Ralph Ely, of Arcada, presented resolu- 
tions as follows : 

"Whereas, It seems to have become the duty of this board of super- 
visors to devise some means for the support of the inhabitants of this 
county until the coming harvest in order to prevent starvation and death 
in our midst, therefore, be it 

"Resolved, By the board of supervisors of Gratiot County, that the 
clerk of said county be hereby authorized and required, to draw orders on 
the treasury of said county to the amount of $8,000, payable in three years 
from date, with interest, to be issued for the purchase of provisions to meet 
the immediate wants of the inhabitants of said county, and that some per- 
son, to be appointed by this board, shall be required to go to Detroit and 


other places, if necessary, with said orders, and use all possible exertions 
to negotiate with parties for provisions, on the most favorable terms pos- 
sible, and the same to be forwarded to the following depots, to-wit: To 
St. Johns, in Clinton County, $3,200; to Pewamo, Ionia County, $2,500; to 
Alidland. Midland County, '$2,000; to St. Charles, Saginaw County. $300, 
all to be held subject to the order of the treasurer of said County of Gratiot. 

"And the said county treasurer is hereby required, before giving orders 
for said provisions, to any person applying for the same, to require of 
each and every person so applying, good and sufficient security to the 
county, either by mortgage on real estate or otherwise, to be recommended 
first by the supervisor of his township and approved by said county treas- 
urer, and deposited in the office of said treasurer, for the prompt payment 
of the amount therein stated, into the treasure' of said County of Gratiot, 
within two years from date thereof, with interest. And that each and every 
person so obtaining said provisions shall be required to pay for the same 
such sums as will cover all the contingent expenses of procuring and dis- 
posing of the same; and thereby in no wise encumber the county. And 
it is hereby made the duty of the county treasurer to deal with each town- 
ship in said county in proportion to their relative necessities, upon their 
giving security as above stated." 

This was adopted unanimously, and then on motion of Supervisor 
Boyer, of Seville, Ralph Ely was made the purchasing agent provided for 
in the resolutions, the vote on the appointment being unanimous excepting 
that Mr. Ely voted no. Mr. Ely seems to have performed his duties with 
credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the board and the people. 

At the session of the board of supervisors in October, 1859, Mr. Elv re- 
ported having spent only $1,500.24 of the $2,000 appropriated. A special 
committee was appointed to settle with him, the committee being composed 
of Supervisors F. D. \\'eller, of Bethany; J. B. Smith, of Washington, and 
Cornelius Holiday, of Pine River. They "reported satisfactorily," accord- 
ing to the record, and were discharged, and on motion of Supervisor H. T. 
Barnaby, of North Star, Mr. Ely "was dicharged from all liability in regard 
to his agency as provision agent;" and then on motion of Mr. Ely, "the 
clerk was authorized to receive and cancel the remaining provision orders 
not expended." 

The Inevitable Payday Came Too Soon. 

All that now remained to be done was the collection of the obligations 
entered into by the settlers for the aid furnished by the county. From the 
pointers given by the records, and from information otherwise obtained, 
there seems to be no doubt that the payments were slow, few and far be- 
tween ; another pretty good item of proof that the old settlers, in the aggre- 
gate, were possessed of some of the characteristics of modern mortals. The 
notes and mortgages given in return for provisions furnished in 1859, due 
and payable in two years, evidently were not all paid when due, for at a 
session of the board held in June, 1861. Mr. Cassada. of Fulton, offered a 
resolution, which was adojited, extending the time of payment to October 
1, 1861. Then at the October session the time was extended to Tanuarv 1, 

Again the matter comes to the front by way of a motion by Mr. Cas- 
sada, which was adopted, ordering the county treasurer to "cancel all notes 
and mortgages given for provisions, when the maker of the same has died 
in the service of the United States. "The next is under date of October 10, 


1864, when the prosecuting attorney was instructed, "to foreclose all mort- 
gages given for provisions, excepting those of soldiers now in the military 
service of the United States." 

At the October session, 1865, a resolution was presented by Jas. Gargett, 
supervisor from Pine River, which was adopted, providing that all dona- 
tion notes in the hands of the county treasurer, be turned over to the super 
visors of the several townships where they belonged, and that the makers 
of the notes should work out the amounts on the roads; otherwise the 
supervisors should proceed to collect the same and apply the proceeds to the 
improvement of the roads. 

The next thing that happened occurred in January, 1866, when Mr. Cas- 
sada offered a resolution, and it was adopted, providing, "that whatever 
remains of relief funds in the townships on March 1, 1866, be disposed of 
for any purpose, at the discretion of the electors of the townships inter- 
ested. This had nothing to do with the notes and mortgages, but is pre- 
sumed to have disposed of what was left of the relief funds. 

Then comes a skip of ten years before the mortgage matter is referred 
to again. At the January session, 1876, Supervisor C. H. Morse, of New 
Haven, introduced a resolution providing for foreclosing the mortgages still 
remaining; or, "if the foreclosure is liable to cause distress, to cancel the 
same." The resolution was adopted. 

So, having followed up this phase of the subject for seventeen years, it 
is hardly deemed worth while to continue the chase farther. If those notes 
and mortgages are not all paid by this time the case would seem to be 

Recovery Was Rapid. 

A clipping from the Detroit Free Press of August 13, 1860, tells of the 
appearances and prospects in Gratiot at that time, and shows how quickly 
the good crops of one favorable season put a bright and encouraging aspect 
to conditions, and gave heart and hope to those who had endured privation 
and discouragements to the limit. The Free Press item says : "Samuel 
Smith, who has charge of the Indian Mills, Isabella County, informs us that 
the lately established seat of that county is called Mount Pleasant. It is 
situated on the south bank of the Chippewa River. 'Starving Gratiot' where 
two or three years ago the people were compelled to subsist on basswood 
buds and roots to sustain life, is making her mark this season in the pro- 
duction of crops. We are informed by persons competent to judge, that the 
wheat alone in that and Isabella County, (and the settled part of Isabella 
County is almost wholly on the line of Gratiot County) will yield a surplus, 
over and above the requirements of the people in that section, of 2.S,000 
bushels, and that some of the finest quality of wheat marketed in northern 
Michigan will be brought from this section. 

"Other crops are looking remarkably well, and appearances give every 
indication of a heavy yield. Gratiot will soon be ranked as one of the most 
productive counties in the state." 

More Evidence of Rapid Development. 

A writer from outsifle of Gratiot, writing in 1883, had this to say of the 
county's early tribulations, and wliat the county looked like: "In 1858 
Gratiot was in a starving condition and required the aid of the charitably- 
minded all through the state, the frosts having killed every growing crop : 
and it was not one frost only, but several, and the fear that they would 
follow as a perpetual curse upon the locality, which induced the gravest 
fears in the minds of the settlers. At that time all were new and all were 
struggling, as it were, for existence. There was pine timber throughout the 


county — the best timber as is ever the case on the best of farming lands, 
but the developments were literally nothing. Slashings, shanties, and roads 
that were a burlesque on the worst sort of a modern toll road ; and such 
was the situation in a large proportion of the territory of surrounding 

Then comes the contrasting statement from the same pen, portraying 
the conditions a few years later: "Now Gratiot is a garden, as are the 
adjoining counties, and the extent of the development and increase is best 
illustrated by the statement that four years ago (1879) the writer attended 
an agricultural fair two miles west of St. Louis and about the same dis- 
tance east of Alma, and found there at least six tliousand people on the 
grounds; as good a show of live stock" of all kinds, of fruit, grain and 
vegetables, butter, canned fruit and household manufactures pertaining to 
the farm, as is the average show of these classes made at the state fair. In 
the enclosure were ten acres covered with wagons, the horses unhitched 
and feeding at the boxes. Not all the scribbling for a campaign would 
demonstrate so clearly how thoroughly excellent is Gratiot as a farming 
county, and how thoroughly fore-handed are her farmers." 

Amateur Farmers. Notes on Destitution. 

Some personal reminiscences of the starving times in Gratiot may well 
be sandwiched in here. One who tells from his own personal experiences 
and observations, says that many of the farmers were amateurs at the 
business, along in those early times, the times that tried the souls of men 
who were experienced in agriculture. Speaking of the fall of "56 he says: 
"The raising of any considerable amount of crops had not yet been accom- 
plished, and, therefore, farming in Gratiot was yet an experiment. \'ery 
many of the inhabitants were yet without experience in tilling the soil, and 
seemed to entertain the opinion that the depositing of the seed in the 
ground under any circumstances insured a harvest, and proceeded on that 
supposition; but they paid dearly for their schooling. Much ambition was 
manifested to get in as much corn as possible, man}- planting among the 
logs and brush heaps, without burning over or otherwise disturbing the 
surface. Others who attempted to clear and prepare their ground found too 
much water in a wet spring to contend with ; and in not a few instances 
they had no teams, consequently planting in many cases was as late as 
the middle of June. The corn planted among the logs and brush produced 
but little, and that little was largely destroyed by squirrels and mice which 
found very convenient hiding places in the brush heaps. That planted very 
late was caught by early frosts and thus rendered nearly worthless. This 
state of tilings greatly discouraged the people, and made the prospect for 
the approaching winter anything but flattering. 

"In the spring of 1858 a settler went with his ox-team to Maple Rapids 
to secure some supplies. He had $3.50 in his pocket, and hoped to get 
$3.00 worth of flour and to spend the 50 cents for feed for his team. How- 
ever, though the village boasted of three hotels, not a mouthful of hay, 
oats or straw could be obtained ; so. hastening back to the timber, he said, 
T thanked God for leeks.' After an absence of two days he got home with 
three dollars' worth of provisions. 

"We thought we had experienced hard times before this, but such was 
the difficulty of providing food for families at this time, few thought they 
could endure more. But they were destined to yet be driven to greater ex- 
tremities. The news of want in this and adjoining counties reached the ears 
of other portions of the state, and although the facts were bad enough, the 
stories in many cases were greatly exaggerated. Some of the more faint- 


hearted left the county and fled into the more populous regions, and not 
wishing: to have a reputation for want of pluck, they told it just a little 
worse than the facts would justify. These statements, however, stirred the 
benevolence of many kind-hearted people to donate all kinds of supplies 
and send them into the county for the needy. Possibly some other coun- 
ties were suffering nearly as much as this county was, but the 'outside' 
only talked of 'poor, starving Gratiot.' No one can possibly doubt the true 
benevolence of the donors, but it is possible that the county would have 
been as well off without the donations. There is no question that a good 
many worthy citizens were greatly assisted, as in cases of sickness, etc., 
but a large number of those who availed themselves of the donation, as 
soon as it was gone, left the county, while many of those who were truly 
industrious and enterprising, struggled through without assistance." 

And again, talking of the outlook and of the realities of 1858, toward 
the last of the season : "Suiifering for the necessaries of life was on the in- 
iiicrease in spite of all the efforts thus far put forth to prevent it. It was 
thought that if the inhabitants could some how get along this one more 
year the crisis would be over. But the propects for this year hung over 
the county like a dark cloud. The people hoped against hope, and struggled 
against fate. The superintendents of the poor tried to relieve the worst 
cases, and did assist many. Not a few, with commendable pride, suffered 
in silence, until stories of suft'ering such as would make one shudder began 
to be whispered. Reports got afloat and reached the surrounding country 
that some had actually starved to death. This, however, was untrue. But 
a great many men were compelled to leave their families with scarcely 
anything to eat, and, taking it on foot through the woods, would go in 
search of food, and would not stop for rest, night or day, returning as 
soon as possible with what they could get, on their backs, and enduring in- 
credible hardships. 

"At the annual session of the board of supervisors in October, 1858, and 
at the adjourned session of January, 1859, the situation was exhaustively 
discussed. But they finally adjourned without taking aggressive action to 
relieve the suffering, excepting that they made liberal appropriations to the 
regular poor fund. However, the board convened early in May, 1859. in 
special session, called to take measures for the people's relief. An appro- 
priation was made and plans for its distribution were adopted. 

"The supplies provided by this appropriation, consisting of flour, corn- 
meal, beans, rice, pork, fish, etc., were shipped to different points for con- 
venience in distribution — some to St. Johns, some to Dallas and Pewamo in 
Ionia County, and some to Saginaw County, of which latter shipment some 
portions were brought up Pine River to .\lma. For convenience, the super- 
visors of the several townships were constituted sub-agents to distribute the 
supplies in their respective townships. 

"The excitement over this distribution was intense. .\s long as a 
morsel of these supplies remained, or was supposed to remain, neither the 
county treasurer nor any of the supervisors could do much else but at- 
tend to its distribution. And some of the people did little else but travel 
around with a bag under their arm in pursuit of 'donation" a? it was gen- 
erally termed. 

"By the 10th of June every morsel was distributed and consumed, and 
in some respects the people were worse off than before, having added to 
their destitution the embarrassment of debt. .\nd how some families sub- 
sisted from this time till harvest remains a mystery to this day. The 
hardships of those days gave rise to the expression we have often heard 
quoted, referring to the diet of many — 'Saw-dust pudding and slippery-elm 


gravy.' And it is a fact that many families subsisted for weeks on what 
they could find in the woods. The blessing of good health generally pre- 
vailed, otherwise the suffering would necessarily have been even greater 
than it was. 

"Reader, do you think you know anything about hard times? If you 
did not reside in Gratiot in 1859, you have but a faint idea of hard times. 

"The crops this season proved pretty good excepting corn, which, hav- 
ing been planted late in most cases, was largely injured by the early fall 
frosts. Early planted corn matured and was a fair crop. In short the 
prospects for better times became very flattering." 


The First Meeting and Who Were Present. 

As a result of persistent research, I iind that the first attempt at the 
formation of a pioneer society for Gratiot County was made at St. Louis, 
January 1, 1874. The meeting was held at the office of ]\[cOmber & Pad- 
dock, and the following named pioneers were present: John R. Cheesman, 
W. .A. McOmber, S. S. Hastings, W. L. Stebbins, Luther Smith, Jacob 
Burnham, Frank Miller, all of St. Louis ; Henry Smith, Ira Smith, Emery 
W. Burgess, Hiram Burgess, Amos V. Packer, of Pine River; Ed. Lake, 
Harlow Cramer, Welcome Phineas Partelo, Martin W. Cramer, John Broad- 
head, of Bethany; David Milligan, of Wheeler; John Glover, of Arcada ; 
Daniel Griffith, of Emerson. 

The association was named the "Gratiot County Pioneer Society." Early 
settlers of Isabella County were invited to join the organization. 

Officers were chosen as follows : President — John R. Cheesman ; Sec- 
retary — Frank Miller; Treasurer — Henry Smith. Vice-Presidents for the 
several townships were named as follows : Aracada, Lafayette Church ; 
Bethany. Sidney S. Hastings ; Elba, Andrew Call ; Emerson, Wm. W. 
Comstock; Fulton, Ben. Cowles ; Hamilton, Elijah Curtis; Lafayette, Sam- 
uel Wheeler; Newark, John Jeffery ; New Haven, Moses H. White; North 
Shade, Geo. E. \^'alker: North Star, Elisha C. Cook; Pine River, Ira Smith: 
Seville. James L. Shults ; Sumner, Wm. H. Pratt: \\'ashington. Jo. B. 
Smith ; \Mieeler, David Milligan. 

A corresponding secretary for each township was selected as follows: 
.\rcada. (to be supplied) ; Bethany, (to be supplied) ; Elba, (to be sup- 
plied) ; Emerson, Joseph A. Guthrie ; Fulton Albert Wilcox : Hamilton, 
Jas. B. Curtis; Lafayette, Chas. C. Foote; Newark, E. W. Kellogg; New 
Haven, Chas. H. Morse ; North Shade, (to be supplied) ; North Star, El- 
bridge Franklin: Pine River, (to be supplied); Seville, John B. Mallory; 
Sumner. Samuel Story ; Washington, Napoleon B. Fraker : \\'heeler, Barney 

Committee on constitution and by-laws: Luther Smith, S. S. Hastings, 
Frank Miller. John Jeffery, and William Robinson, the latter a resident of 
Isabella County. The meeting adjourned in due course of time, but I fail 
to find any further pioneer doings till 1879. 

Another First Meeting. 

October 18, 1879, I find that a meeting was held at the court house 
in Ithaca, "for the purpose of effecting a permanent organization of the 
pioneers of the county." as it is stated. In the absence of evidence tn the 
contrarv it seems likelv that the organization started in 1874 had been 


allowed to die. or at least it had gone into such a condition that it was 
deemed best to start in anew. 

Dr. J. R. Cheesman, of St. Louis, Avas elected temporary chairman and 
Frank Miller, of Ithaca, secretary. By request, Wm. Long, of Washington, 
stated the purpose of the meeting, in a few able and eloquent remarks. A 
poem contributed by Attorney Oscar F. Wisner, of Ithaca, was then read 
oy the secretary, and amid great applause a vote of thanks was unanimously 
tendered to the antlior. A committee on permanent organization was then 
appointed, composed of Nathan Church, E. C. Cook and Chas. E. Webster. 
During the deliberations of this committee a paper on the early settlement 
of the count}' was read by the secretary, who received a vote of thanks for 
the same. 

The committee on permanent organization reported : For President, 
John R. Cheesman; Secretary, E. W. Kellogg: Corresponding Secretary, 
Frank Miller ; Treasurer, Parmer R. Phillips ; Executive Committee to act 
with the president and secretary, Wm. T-ong, Ransom Allen, Wm. M. 

Township Vice-Presidents were then chosen as follows: Arcada, Ralph 
Ely : Bethany, S. S. Hastings : Elba, Andrew Call ; Emerson, Wm. W. 
Comstock ; Fulton, Jas. L. Payne: Hamilton, Elijah Curtis ; Lafayette, Sam. 
Wheeler: Newark, "Fred S. Kelly; New Haven, Moses H. White; North 
Shade, Roman Fyler; North Star, Henry Swift: Pine River, John Vander- 
beek: Seville, Jas. L. Shults ; Sumner, Isaac B. Ward; Washington, Cor- 
nelius Campbell ; Wheeler, Barney Swope. 

The organization was christened "The Gratiot County Pioneer Society." 
A discussion arose as to who should be considered pioneers, participated in 
by Newell Leonard, Wm. L. Phillips, F. S. Kelly, N. Church and others, 
and then a committee composed of E. W. Kellogg, E. W. Smith and Laf. 
Sweatland was appointed to settle the matter and report. The committee 
recommended that all who were in the county previous to 1870 be eligible 
to membreship; also that all who came afterward should be honorary mem- 
bers. More discussion of the subject and then it was voted that "all 
reputable persons who have resided in the county ten years heretofore, or 
in future for said length of time may become members." 

A membership fee of ten cents was voted, also ten cents annual dues ; 
ladies free. 

Five-minute remarks being called for, Chairman Cheesman led off with 
his bear story, followed by remarks by Isaac Henson, Laf, Sweatland, 
Betsey Burgess, Elder Elijah Beard, Myron Wood, P. R. Phillips, W. H. 
Pratt and others. 

After singing the doxology the meeting adjourned. "There were over 
400 people present at this first formal meeting of the pioneers of Gratiot 
County," says the secretary's report. Isaac Preston, of Emerson, aged 84 
years, was the oldest man present. Wm. Barton, also present, aged 81, 
settled in Hamilton in 18.S4. 

The following is a list of those recorded as present at this first meet- 
ing, together with the names added the next year — 1880 — at the meeting- 
held at the fair grounds, Ithaca. The date of their arrival in Gratiot, and 
the township in which they first located, are also given. For convenience 
sake, for reference, the names are assorted by townships : 

Arcada — Nathan Church. '54; Wm. S. Hall, '56; Mrs. Harriet Preston, 
'54; Mrs. Maggie Du Bois, '56; Wm. S. Turck, '61; Wilbur Nelson, '54; 
Mary M. Sherwood, '59; Z. Moss, '59; C. C. Clark, '62; Homer Burns, 
'54; Lafayette Church, '54; Margaret Prouty, "55; Hattie Price, '68; A. E. 
Turner, '65; Jacob Rush, '54; Sidney Phippeny, '53; Henry Kinkerter, '65; 


Bethany — ^Irs. Elizabeth (Fox) Miller, '56; John G. Thompson, '65; 
Hiero B. Fox, '56: Clarence K. Fox, '56; Joel Rowlev, '^7; Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Clark, '56. 

Elba— A. T. Rice, '66; Mrs. C. J. Rice, '66. 

Emerson — Erastus Hunt, '55; Jerry Shaver, '55; Mrs. Hannah Shaver, 
'55; Sam. Sanders, '69; Mrs. Abigail Sanders, '69; Parks Allen, '54; Ran- 
som Allen, '54; E. C. Farrington, '54; Isaac N. Coleman, '55; Mrs. Emily 
Beckwith, '59; \Vm. C. P.eckwith, '59; Mrs. H. Josephine ( Beckwith) Helt, 
'59; Chas. E. Beckwith, '59; Gracie Beckwith, '59; John ^I. Everden. '55; 
Joseph A. Guthrie, '55; Emma M. Guthrie, '55; Reuben C. Haight, '56; 
Jane Haight, '56; Warner Coston, '56; Mrs. Sarah Coston, '56; Francis W. 
Curtis, '62; Rachel Curtis, '62; J. K. Johnston, '61; Mrs. Laura A. John- 
ston, '61 ; Wm. Ching, '66 ; Wm. Imisson, '55 ; Mrs. Isabel Imisson, '55 ; 
Sam. Newton, '59; Mrs. S. Newton, '59; Marie (Mullj Kinkerter. '60; 
Wm. Preston, '54. 

Fulton — Edward N. Du Bois, '56; Mrs. Adaline Du Bois, "56: Farmer 
R. Phillips, '51; J. 11. Lewis, '55; Milton Lewis, '55; Wm. ]. Carr, '60; 
Mrs. Rebecca Carr, "54; Chas. E. Webster, '62; A. H. Herrick," '55 ; W. H. 
Laycock, '53 \ Martin T. Alills, '57; Geo. Du Bois. '56. 

Hamilton — Jas. B. Curtis, '54; Daniel H. Curtis, '54; Wm. I'arton, 
'54; Mrs. Catharine Barton, '54; John R. Cheesman, '54; Silas Hill, '73; 
Elijah Curtis, '55. 

Lafayette — Geo. Richardson, '()5 ; ^Irs. Jennie Richardson, '65; Nel- 
son S. Roe, '54; Geo. Wonnacott, '55; E. H. Bergin, '56; J. M. Thissell, 
'68; Theodore Devereaux, '55; Mrs. Caroline Devereaux, '55. 

Newark — Frederick Strouse, '54; Mrs. Sarah Strouse, '54; Samuel 
Leplej', '55; David F. Hawkins, '54; Mrs Coroline J. Hawkins, '54; Fred- 
erick S. Kelly, '54; Jas. ^\'ood, '53; Inman N. Cowdrey, '56; John G. 
Kinney, '56; Andrew J. Hatfield, '62; John H. Jessup, '60; Thos. Cunning- 
ham, '54; Mrs. Hannah Cunningham, '54; Myron Wood, '53; Sylvester 
Wheeler, '54; Robert Reed, '54; Mrs. Juliette Miller, '55; Perry L. Beechler, 
'55 ; Mrs. Mary Cutter, '55 ; Ebenezer W. Kellogg, '55 ; Mrs. Adaline L. 
Kellogg, '55; Francis Kellogg, '55; Mrs. Janette Reed, '54; Wm. Strouse, 
'64; Ben. B. Parker, '54; John Parker, '54; C. Yound, '54; Giles T. Brown, 
'66; Sara L. Brown, '66; John Broadhead, '57; Mrs. E. Peck, '55; Mrs. 
Wm. Kinsel, '55; C. W. Kinney, '56; Olive Hunt, '55. 

New Haven — Wm. Culy, '54; Mrs. Eliza Culy, '54; Geo. W. Maynard. 
'67; Chas. H. Morse, '67; W. S. Everest, '67; Proctor Shepard, '58; Henrv 
P. Clark, '54. 

North Shade — Roman Fyler, '53; Mrs. E. N. Fyler, '53; Wm. Brice, 
'54 ; Emery Crosby, '56. 

North Star — Plenry Swift. '55; Mrs. Laura E. Swift, '55; Jas. \'ance, 
"55; Mrs. Louisa Vance. '55: I afayette Sweatland. "54: Mrs. Lydia 
Sweatland, '54; David Mellinger, '54; Edward A. Chase, '57; Mrs. Susan 
Chase, '57; C. E. McBride, '56; Mrs. H. M. McBride, '56; David Bell, '56; 
Chas. Marion Chaffin, '54; Elijah Beard, '54; Lebius L. B. Hunt, '56; 
Mrs. Benjamin Crawford, '54; John W. Howd, '54: Jas. W. Howd. "55; 
Mrs. Laura (Howd) Merrifield, "54: John Zoss, '63; Thos. Vance, '54; 
Mrs. C. J. Holmes, '56; Violetta A. Holmes, "63; Mrs. Ida Wilson, '60; 
Mrs. E. C. Patch, '56; Mary Patch, '63; Thos. Fuller, '59; Mrs. Betsey 
Howd, '54; Gideon Teachworth, '54; Clarissa Teachworth, '54 ; John Fuller, 
'69; Elisha C. Cook, '58; Mrs. Margaret Cook. '58: Emma Crawford, '62; 
Sophia Crawford, "59; Nancy .\. Ilunl, '55; G. W. Cutter, '54: Susannah 


L. Dean. '54; John F. Henry, '62; Mary P. Henry, '62; Charlotte Henry, 
'62; John Barnes, '54; Sarah Barnes, '54; Wm. M. Barstow, '56; Eunice C. 
Barstow, '55 ; John Hiffner, '56. 

Pine River — Daniel R. Sullivan, '55; Wm. C. B. Sherwood, '56; Amos 
V. Packer. '55; Mrs. Elizabeth Packer, '55; Henry Smith, '54; Briggs B. 
Ellison, "62; Andrew Jackson Harrington, '56; Mr. A. J. Harrington, '56; 
Emery \\'. Burgess, '53 ; Nelson Colburn, '58. 

Sumner — Nathaniel K. Strayer, '55: Wm. H. Pratt, '59; Isaac B. 
^^'a^d, '56; Sam. Bigelow, '66; Edward L. Drake, "62; Cynthia B. Drake. '62. 

^^^ashington — Napoleon B. Fraker, '61 ; Mrs. Rebecca R. Fraker, '61 ; 
\\'m. ^^^ Comstock, '54; Mrs Margaret M. Comstock, '54; Robert Carothers, 
"53; Mrs. Hannah Carothers, '53; John C. Heslin, '56; Wm. Long, '60; 
Mrs. Wm. Long, '60. 

^^^^eeler — Milo A. Pomeroy, '65. 

St. Louis— Elias W. Smith, '54; Mrs. Rhoda Dodge, '61; Mrs. Artie 
P. (Dodge) Van Dine, '61; John L. Sinclair, '66; Daniel O. Cuflf, '63; 
Chas. T.'Willett. '67; Fred. D. Weller, '57; Henrv Darcy, '70; Mrs. H. 
Darcy,"'70; Jas. K. Wright, '67; Geo. L. Patch,' '67; Sidney S. Hast- 
ings, '55. 

Alma— Mrs. D. W. C. Chapin, '65. 

Ithaca— Mrs. M. H. Church, '66; Nathan G. Sutliff, '66; Geo. W. 
Rice, '61; Wm. Marlow, '60; A. W. Russell, '65; Mrs. E. M. Russell, '65; 
^\'illis A. Russell, '65; Frank Miller, '55; Wm. D. Scott, '63; J. Harvey 
Cady, '67; Silas B. Bowman, '68;' Mrs. F. McNeil Potter, '58; Henry 
Mead, '56; Harvey Hunt, '70; Alanson J. Brown, '68; Mary E. Brown, '56. 

Some of Their Doings in 1880. 

The pioneer meeting of 1880 was held at the fair grounds, Ithaca, July 
29th. It was well attended and proved interesting. President Cheesman 
called the meeting to order, W. S. Everest made a prayer and Giles T. 
Brown gave an address of welcome, in behalf of Ithaca. After a basket 
picnic dinner followed by a prayer by Elder Beard, Historian Frank Miller 
read a paper on the early settlement of Newark Township. Rev. Theodore 
Nelson, of East Saginaw, delivered an address, which, like all of his eflforts 
along that line, was greatly enjoyed. Elisha McCall read an original, 
humorous poem written by Attorney J. H. Kimball, of Ithaca. 

The following resolution of sympathy was unanimously adopted: "Re- 
solved, That we sincerely sympathize, in their bereavement, with the rela- 
tives of Isaac Preston, Arnold Payne, Wm. Burgess, Elizabeth Kinney, 
Peter Mates, and all other old pioneers of Gratiot County who have been 
called away from earth to that better land where suffering and sorrow are 
unknown, since the last meeting of this society." 

Lafayette Sweatland, Thos. J. Tann, Lafayette Church, J. R. Chees- 
man, Mrs. Sweatland, W^ S. Everest, Newell Leonard, Fred S. Kelly, Betsey 
Burgess, Mrs Ed. Lake and others, made remarks : 

Officers were elected as follows; President, J. R. Cheesman; Secre- 
tary, E. W. Kellogg; Treasurer, W. W^. Comstock; Historian, Frank 
Miller: and Township Vice-Presidents — Arcada, Ralph Ely; Bethany, Joel 
Rowley; Elba, Wm. A. Krom ; Emerson, Ransom Allen; Fulton, C. E. 
Webster; Hamilton, Daniel H. Curtis; Lafayette, Emery Crosby: Newark, 
F. S. Kelly; New Haven, John Pool; North Shade, Roman Fyler ; North 
Star, C. E. McBride ; Pine River, Henry Smith; Seville, Jas. L. Shults ; 


Sumner, Geo. S. Bell : Washington, Cornelius Campbell ; Wheeler, David 
Milligan. An executive committee was elected consisting of \\'m. Long, 
of Washington; Wm. M. Barstow, of North Star, and Ransom Allen, of 

The Faithful Got Together. 

I cannot fix the date of the pioneer meeting when the following named 
pioneers were present, but it was along in the early 80s : 

Arcada — Geo. R. Chandler, '56; John M. Glover, '54; John Nevins, '54; 
Martha Pickett, '56; Mrs. L. C. Woodard, '62; Catherine A. Walker, '56; 
L. Holiday, '55. 

Bethany — John S. Nevins, '61. 

Emerson — Theron Finney, '59; Ransom Allen, '54. 

Fulton — Benj. Cowles, '53; Louisa Cowles, '53; Finlev Dodge, '57 
J. A. Cassada, '55; Mrs. C. W. Cassada, '55; Thos. J. Morse. '55; B. A 
Lavcock, '56; John W. Otto, '55; Eliza C. Bassett, '60; Chas. E. Price. '56 
Thos. R. Pavne, '46: Henry Price, '56; Albert Tuttle, '50; Joseph Wang 
'56; M. T. Mills, '54; Mrs. C. B. M\\\s. '54; .\mos Robinson, '54; Mrs 
David Doan. '54; C. L. Smith, '66; Alfred Burnett, '69; John H. Bangs, "54 
G. E. Hall, '54; Lucy A. Hall, '54; Albert Payne, '46; Robert Gladstone 
'61; Sidney- Sessions, '69; John H. Bangs, 70. 

Hamilton — Joseph Wright. '54; Hannah \\'right, "54; Elijah Curtis, 
'55 ; Henrj' Curtis, born in '56. 

Lafayette — T. Devereaux, '55 ; Caroline Devereaux, '55 ; David C. 
Rounds. '61 ; Sarah V. Rounds, '57 ; Emery Crosby, '56. 

Newark — Philo Taylor, '54; Stephen Cunningham, '57; Ruth Cunning- 
ham, '57; Timothy Pressley, '57; Sarah Pressley, '57; Henry J. Fell, '66; 
Samantha .■\. Kinney. '72; Lorenzo L. Kinney, '56; Joseph O. Kinney, '56; 
C. H. Kinnev. '56; Hester A. Kinney, '56; Hannah Wheeler, '55; Polly 
Taylor, '54;' Magdelen Eyer, '54; Wm. H. Wheeler, '55; Ed. Wheeler, 
'55; John Wlieeler, '55; S. Wheeler, '55; Z. Hoag, '66; Mary Hoag, '66; 
Geo. Naldrett, '54; Mrs. Naldrett ; Andrew Fell, '71; Catherine Fell, '71; 
Marv J. Fell, '71; Annie C. Fell, '71; Elizabeth Kinnev, '63; Luther 
Wood, '54. 

North Star— E. A. Walter. '61; Ann M. Walter, '61; S. Barager, '62; 
Caroline Swift, '55; E. C. Cook, '56; A. L. Hurd, '55; Edgar S. Dean, '58; 
Douglas Barnes, '59; Alice M. Barnes, '66; David Reichard. '65; Mar- 
garet Reichard, '65 ; W. J. Barnes, '54. 

Pine River — Geo. Luce, '53 ; Nancy Luce, '53 ; E. G. Goodrich, '65 ; 
Henrv L. Griffith, born in '55 ; Silas Moodv, '61 ; Ellen Moody. '61 ; Henry 
W. S'andall, '63; Mary Sandall, '63. 

Seville— A. Pickett, '54. 

Sumner — Mrs. C. .A. Pratt, '62; Phebe Carr, '56. 

\\'ashington — Andrew S. Jolly. '54; Mary Jane Jolly. '54; Sampson 
Ovenden, '65; Jane M. Ovenden, '65; B. De Mott, '68; Wm. \'. Carothers. 
'54; Jas. V. Carr, '56; Wm. A. Carr, '56; Jane M. Carr, '56; Chas. L. Carr, 
'56; Loretta Carr, '56. 

Barnaby Could Draw Tears From Stones. 

At a pioneer meeting held at the fair ground, Ithaca, .August 4, 1881, 
among the exercises was a short address by H. T. Barnaby, in which he 
spoke feelingly of the days immediately following the days of destitution, 
telling of the renewed hopes of the settlers, with a description of a winter's 
visit among neighbors, and closing with a fine and touching bit of senti- 
ment: "The winter of 1859-60 was a pleasant one for business; good 


sleighing all winter, and the crisis of the hard times mostly passed away. 
The people settled down to the business of improving their lands and erect- 
ing more comfortable and convenient buildings. A large amount of chop- 
ping was done, and evidences of prosperity, such as always follows perse- 
vering industry were seen on every hand. 

"It is a matter of doubt whether any people ever took more real com- 
fort than did the people of this county for the two or three years im- 
mediately following the scarce times, so well remembered. The days were 
spent in profitable labor 'from earl)' morn till dewy eve.' The forests 
melted away before the steady strokes of the woodman. The falling trees 
and the stroke on stroke of the chopper's ax made the sweetest of music. 
After the day's labors were over there was a decided satisfaction in gather- 
ing around the large open fire-place piled high with flaming beech and 
maple, sending comfort, light and warmth to every corner of the humble 
cabin, and knowing that we were provided for for many days to come. Or, 
as was frequently the case after the labors of the day, a visit among neigh- 
bors was enjoyed. A charm gathers around the mere mention of those 
old-fashioned visits, where no stiff formality interfered, and nothing like 
style was introduced, only such as was convenient and comfortable ; a 
charm that none but those who have enjoyed, will ever be able to appre- 
ciate and understand. Let me describe more fully one of those old-fash- 
ioned evening visits : The faithful and patient oxen are yoked up and 
hitched to the long sled, with its ample box filled with straw, and into this 
are loaded the women and children of several families — folks were not 
afraid of children in those days — and away they went, the sled squeaking in 
the frost, and the men following on foot, sometimes going to a distance of 
three or four miles, bringing up at some log cabin, whose inmates — having 
had timely warning, of course — await the coming of their guests, and wel- 
come them to the fireside. And what a fireside ! None of your meager 
affairs shut up in an iron box, but a regular log heap stretched wide like 
a smiling darkey's face. 

"Then the feast ; venison broiled, roasted, or fried — which will you 
have? And then such a johnny cake! Excuse me, but the making of a 
johnny cake is a lost art. And then the untramelled jollity! In my im- 
agination I am there again. Those who have slept their last sleep are 
with me. Again I hear their merry voices and hear their ringing laughter. 
Rut when I lift my eye to the faces of those assembled here today, and 
see the deep furrows that time has plowed, and take note of your gray 
hairs. I am reminded that the days to which I have just alluded were long, 
long ago. 

"The vision is gone ; and, coming back to the reality, we sadly re- 
member that many who helped to gladden life, and cheer our social circles, 
lie still where loving hands laid them long ago. * * * * But, brother 
pioneers, one by one we are going to our rest. Come with me to the 
silent city. Tread lightly, for underneath this sod she sleeps who shared 
your trials and anxieties in the days gone by ; whose loving hands were 
skillful to make the most of your limited means ; whose person was a thou- 
sand times more lovely for the patient content that made her cheerful 
amid the severest toils, and thankful for the plainest and coarsest attire. 
Yes, step lightly over the ashes of her whose smile, when the outside 
world was rough and perplexing, made your humble cabin a real heaven. 
Here also sleeps the comrade and neighbor whose strong arm changed 
those forests into fruitful fields. 


"Farewell, fathers and brothers, mothers and sisters! We shall not 
meet again as we are now. One by one we shall be laid away to rest. 
But the memories of the past shall live in the hearts of the generations 
to come." 

Dr. John R. Cheesman's Address. 

The pioneer meeting at Ithaca in June, 1888, was addressed by President 
Cheesman as follows : 

"Pioneers of Gratiot County, Ladies and Gentlemen: — I am asked to 
extend to you a word of salutation and welcome. I do it with those peculiar 
emotions which memories of the long ago must awaken in every heart. 
More than the period assigned to one generation has come and gone since 
our pioneer days. The whole face of this country is wonderfully changed ; 
and upon us, also, fellow pioneers, has passed a change quite as wonderful. 
The dense forests which were the habitations of the red man and the home 
of wild animals, are changed into fruitful orchards, fragrant meadows and 
lu.xnriant harvest fields — a noble landscape scene. Several populous towns, 
the centers of social refinement and culture, the seats of wealth and of 
trafl^ic, now cover areas which some of us have traversed by the compass 
or by the blazed trees of the original surveyor. Many times a day the 
lightning express thunders along iron-ways which then were swamps and 

"We had faith, even in those first days, in the great possibilities of this 
county. Through all those years of hardship and of actual want, we kept 
our faith in a promise of wealth and abundance, which we have lived to 
see more than fulfilled. But we remember, sadly, today, that many who 
wrought with us, to bring about these marvelous changes, our comrades 
and friends in those early struggles, have passed away. Their toils are 
ended and they have entered into rest. We, too, are approaching the 
borders of that mysterious, undiscovered country, 'the bourne from whence 
no traveler returns.' Our mutual greetings and occasional intercourse be- 
come more precious as the years go by and old age comes apace. 

"The memory of our pioneer days is more vivid than that of yesterday. 
We do not regret that we gave the vigor of our strength to the laying of 
the foundations that shall endure forever. May it sweeten and comfort our 
declining years, that we have stood in our lot and place, and have been 
useful to mankind; and, as the shadows of life's evening gather about us, 
may the twilight of the evening be more serene and blessed than that of 
the m(irnin<j." 

Emery Crosby's Remarks at Same Meeting. 

At the same pioneer meeting where Dr. Cheesman. as president, opened 
the exercises so eloquently and feelingly, Emery Crosliy, pioneer of several 
townships, delivered an appropriate and interesting address, of which an 
outline of some of its features is here given, as a tribute not only to a worthy 
pioneer, but also to a valued teacher, a faithful county officer, and a man 
who probably filled more official positions in more townships of the county 
than any other citizen of the cciunty ; and always acceptably to his con- 

"It is with pleasurable emotions that I greet you, for it is a pleasure 
to look upon your wrinkled and weather-beaten visages, to grasp your 
friendly hands and hear your kindly voices, and to trace upon memory's 
page the reminiscences of the days of yore. It is pleasant to call a halt 
occasionally, on our carth-pilgriniage : to lay aside the artificial social dis- 
tinctions that freeze (int the common sympathies of our connncni hunianitv 


and almost make us forget that we are members of one great common 
brotherhood; to dismiss all the toils, the cares, anxieties and perplexities 
of this busy, bustling, jostling life-race, and do our best to have a good time. 
In these meetings old acquaintances are renewed and new ones formed, 
and friendship strengthened ; true, genuine friendship which has its birth 
and growth in the heart, under conditions of common need, dependence, 
trials, hardships and privations incident to the settlement of a new country. 

"While we look into so many happy faces today, we look in vain for 
many of the once familiar faces and forms of friends and neighbors and 
loved ones. The death angel has been busy in our midst, and many with 
whom we once took sweet counsel, around whose firesides we have chatted, 
planned and built air-castles, and around whose hospitable boards we have 
partaken of johnny cake made from corn, ground in a cofTee mill and dressed 
with "poor man's gravy", and maple sugar and seasoned with leeks. They 
are not here ; they have gone to their reward. Time would fail me to 
recall their names and recount their deeds. The insatiable war-god has 
claimed his full share of trophies from the pioneers of Gratiot County ; 
and some have sought what they fancied would prove a more congenial 

"A sad truth forces itself upon our minds just now; and that is, that 
the next annual gathering will not find us all thus assembled. Death is 
very close upon the track of some of us. We look upon each other today 
for the last time in this life. And while we contemplate the past, in con- 
trast with the present, with just and pardonable pride, let us, as we return 
to our homes and to our life work, from this annual gathering, firmly re- 
solve to do with our might what we have to do, until it shall be said, 'It is 
enough, come up higher'. 

"And to you the sons and daughters of the pioneer fathers and mothers, 
and this other numerous host, who, in later years, have made your homes 
in this rich and beautiful agricultural county, let me say, preserve intact 
your rich heritage, and make the future of Gratiot County still more grand 
and glorious in everything that pertains to material, intellectual and moral 

Mr. Crosby's words — "Death is very close upon the track of some of 
us," and again, "We look upon each other today for the last time," were 
prophetic, and proved personal to himself. He died in the following 

Many Short Speeches in 1892. 

June 8, 1892, the Pioneer Society held a meeting in the court house, 
at Ithaca. Gilbert E. Hall was president and Dr. Geo. W. Pettey, secretary. 
John M. Everden, president of Ithaca, welcomed the society in an appro- 
priate address, and enlarged upon the marvelous advancement made since 
his arrival in the county in 1854. 

Newell Leonard read an interesting paper giving a history of the first 
settlement in the dift'erent townships. 

Jas. \Y. Burgess, whose father, Hiram Burgess, was supervisor of Pine 
River in 1856, at the organization of the county, read a paper that was 
much appreciated, on pioneer life. 

Oft'-hand remarks were made by Wm. C. Beckwith of Ithaca, A. J. 
Harrington of St. Louis, Ephraim Pettey of Bethany, who recited an 
original poem, Fred S. Kelly of Newark, Wm. W. Comstock of Emerson, 
Elias Shaw and Chas. Rook's of Bethany, Judge W. E. Winton of Ithaca 


S. S. Hastings of St. Louis, I. N. Coleman of Emerson, Joseph Osworth of 
Bethany, Elder Elijah Beard, W. P. Partelo of Bethany, Judge Francis 
Nelson, Dr. W. D. Scott, and others. 

Officers elected were — President, G. E. Hall; secretary, Geo. W. Pettey; 
treasurer, A. J. Harrington; vice-presidents, W. E. Winton, E. C. Farring- 
ton, Jas. Greer, S. S. Hastings, Cordis Smith, Elbridge Franklin, Nathaniel 
Walker, Wm. Long, W. S. Turck, Wm. Medler. 

The Pioneers met in Ithaca, June 21, 1893, and in addition to the other 
business of the session re-elected the oft'icers of 1892. Miss Nettie Comstock 
was chosen historian. 

Nettie Comstock Read a Paper. 

The Pioneer meeting of 1894 was held June 20th, at Ithaca. Treasurer 
A. J. Harrington reported $10.80 in the treasury. An address of welcome 
was extended by Probate Judge J. M. Everden. Judge J. Lee Potts of 
Ithaca delivered an address which highly pleased his audience. 

Officers for the ensuing year were — President, Wm. C. Beckwith ; sec- 
retary, O. M. Everden ; treasurer, A. J. Harrington ; vice-presidents, Arcada, 
Wm. S. Turck ; Bethany, G. E. Hall : Elba, Edwin Meacham ; Emerson, 
Jotham Allen ; Fulton, J. H. Lewis ; Hamilton, Wm. Sickels ; Ithaca, W. E. 
Winton ; Lafayette, Chas. C. Foote ; Newark, J. W. Mouser ; New Haven, 
W. J. Pendell ; North Star, Jacob H. Millinger; Pine River, Silas Moody; 
Seville, Walter C. Mallory: Sumner, Ralph Quick; Washington, Wm. Long; 
Wheeler, Albert P. Poland. Executive committee, T. A. Ely, Alma : C. W. 
Martin, Ithaca ; Elias Shaw, St. Louis. 

Historian Nettie Comstock read a very interesting paper giving many 
important facts of early history in the county. 

They Tell Their Stories. 

There was a good attendance at the pioneer meeting held June 14, 1895. 
A partial list of those present was as follows : Wm. Long and wife, Roman 
Fyler, G. E. Hall, Francis Curtis and wife, J. Heinlen and wife, J. R. Hift'ner, 
Albert Bovee, Mary A. Cratsenburg, Mary Harris, Geo. Pettit. W. \Y. Com- 
stock and wife, Nettie Comstock, Elias Shaw, Daniel Failing, Warner 
Coston, Geo. Randall and wife, Jerry Shaver, Z. Hoag and wife, O. M. 
Everden, E. A. Walker, A. M. Walker, A. S. Loomis and wife, W. H. 
Laycock and wife, Samuel Wheeler and wife. Ransom Allen and wife, 
Nathaniel Walker and wife, N. B. Fraker, Alanson Cowles and wife, John 
Price and wife, Newell Leonard, Mrs. Louisa Seaver, Mrs. E. M. Russell. 
W. E. Winton and wife. Dr. W. D. Scott. 

A. J. Harrington gave a list of those members who had died during 
the past vear, 47 being the number listed. The following is a partial list: 
S. S. Hastings, A\'m. C. Beckwith, Lafayette Sweatland, Elijah Beard. Eli 
Woodmansee, Mrs. Anna A. Woodmansee, C. K. Sampson. Dr. J. R. Bald- 
win, Jehu E. Parkinson, Theo. H. Poland, Jas. Fry, Geo. W. Perry, Eliza 
Mull," Sam. C. Stevens, Ada M. Pratt, D. D. Strouse and wife (killed"). Mary 
A. Kingsbury, Ethan Clark, Silas Placeway, W. L. Stebbins. .\dam Oberlin, 
Mrs. Henry Hayes, Mrs. J. M. Frost, Eliza A. Taylor. 

Resolutions of regret were offered by Newell Leonard, which were 

Oft'icers elected were — President, W. E. \\'inton : secretary, O. M. 
Everden ; treasurer, W. \\'. Comstock. 


Called upon for personal experiences responses were as follows, in 
part : 

Wm. Long came to Washington with his wife, and, until he could 
build a house, lived in a deserted shanty without door, window, floor or 
roof. Wife was taken sick later on and he had to do his own work and the 
housework, making the butter between times, and having the ague all the 

Ephraim Pettey bought state land in Bethany while the ground was 
frozen, consequently there was no mud. After it thawed there was not 
much else but mud. As time passed he found he had great onion land, and 
did well raising onions. 

Albert Bovee came to Washington in 1858. Traded for his place with- 
out seeing it; and it was a good thing he didn't see it. He had 18 cents, all 
in cash when he got here. Chopped four acres and got in spring wheat ; 
and it came along fine, but in June a frost killed it, and he didn't harvest 
a kernel. Carried butter to St. Johns to market, in pails suspended from 
a neck-yoke, and walked logs most of the way. Set out with 40 pounds 
one morning, and returned with about the same weight in groceries, and 
got home in time for dinner. But he couldn't do it now. 

A. J. Harrington came to St. Louis "poorer than a church mouse." 
Hadn't even a nickel. Spoke at some length of the condition of the so- 
called roads, and the length, width and depth of the mud holes. He didn't 
care to go over the experiences again, although they used to have many a 
good time. 

Mrs. A. J. (Barstow) Brown came to Gratiot in 1856. She taught 
school in Elba Township in an early day and boarded around. Her scholars 
numbered seven. 

Alfred Stone came to Essex, Clinton County, in 1848, and worked over 
the line in Gratiot for Arnold Payne when Payne was the only settler in 
the county. Wages were 50 cents a day for chopping and other ordinary 
labor, but in haying they got 75 cents, and in harvest they got a dollar. 

Edward Lake of Bethany came to Arcada in 1854. Can hardly see how 
they lived at that time. They lived in a bark shanty the first summer. He 
and Simon L. Nott made a two-wheeled vehicle with which they went to 
Maple Rapids, and got two bushels of potatoes for seed, paying a dollar a 
bushel. Their cart broke down three times before they got back; they 
raised a good crop of potatoes. They used to plant corn with an ax, smiting 
the ax into the turf, dropping in the kernels and then finishing the job by 
stepping on the spot. 

Isaac N. Coleman came in 1855, settling in Emerson Township. He 
borrowed half a bushel of Ed. Lake's potatoes, and never saw such nice 
potatoes as he raised. 

The pioneers met at the court house June 20th, 1896. Interesting 
papers and talks by T. J. Tann, Mrs. Wm. Long, Mrs. Turner and others 
were enjoyed, and ofificers were chosen as follows : President, W. E. Win- 
ton ; secretary, Chas. H. Chase ; treasurer, W. \\'. Comstock ; vice-presi- 
dent, I. N. Cowdrey; historian, T. A. Ely. 

Paper by Mrs. Ella (Chapin) Watson. 

At the meeting of pioneers June 16, 1897, the ofificers elected were W. E. 
Winton, president; J. M. Everden, secretary; W. W. Comstock, treasurer. 

Mrs. W. O. Watson, of Breckenridge, (formerly Miss Ella Chapin), 
read a paper, prepared by special request. While Mrs. Watson was not. 


strictly speaking, a pioneer who had shared in the hardships of the earliest 
days, she nevertheless knew how to express her sympathies for those who 
were of that class, and her appreciation of the blessings accruing from 
their sacrifices. A condensation of her paper follows : 

"I am not really a pioneer. To be counted among them is an honor 
which I should very greatly appreciate, but to which I strongly doubt my 
title. When I came with my father to Gratiot Count}- in December, 1864, 
the pioneers had been here long before us. Their axes had already awakened 
the forest echoes, and many a giant tree had fallen beneath their sturdy 
strokes. Homes were started here and there, many of which gave promise 
of future affluence. I remember especially the farms of John Glover, Wm. 
Backus, H. Morse, David Bailey, Jacob Rush, Judge Francis Nelson, Wm. 
Sherwood and Rev. L. Church, all of Arcada, and all in our school district ; 
beautiful farms, though new, with their comfortable log buildings, where 
want was then unknown, and where the most cheerful hospitality prevailed. 
It was here among these homes that I received my first lessons in pioneer- 
ing. It is no wonder then that memory's gallery presents to me only the 
pleasantest of pictures ! Their days of darkest trial were over then : their 
days of greatest hardships were ended. Toils, manifold and heavy, remained 
to them it is true, but they were well and happy ; their homes were secured 
to them ; they had proven by experience that farms could he made of 
Gratiot mud ; their children were growing ujj about them and life was very 

"I remember the thrill of pride with which we gazed upon little Ithaca 
on that eventful first day, noticing especially the tiny court house (county 
offices), and the neat, comfortable school house placed high and dry on its 
commanding site — fitting type of the position which Gratiot County has 
always given to education — and realized that this was now our county seat. 

"Enough of pioneering attended our entrance into the county to render 
the road, twisting in and out among the trees from Mr. Church's farm nearly 
to Alma, very hard to keep, and thus detaining us on our journey so that 
we did not reach home until after dark. And what do you think was the 
very first thing that we found in Alma? A young ladies' seminary, taught 
by the Misses Barnard of Muir, I think ; another evidence of the place which 
education has always held in the hearts and minds of Gratiot County 

"We found a large-hearted people : they made us very welcome. But 
as we became acquainted with one family after another, we found very few 
families that were quite complete. One or more members were missing 
from nearly every one. Here a father, there a son, and in another a brother. 
How was this! Four years before, our country had sounded her war-cry; 
and the ranks of those first to respond were dotted thick with Gratiot's 
pioneers. Gratiot will not soon forget Company C of the old 8th, which 
took so many of her truest. At the time of which I write they had not yet 
returned. Many of them never returned ; their death giving evidence of 
their loyalty. Last month we witnessed the ceremonies in honor of those 
who did not return ; ceremonies recurring annually although the war which 
gave rise to them has been over for more than thirty years. Pioneers of 
Gratiot, we see here the patriotism which you have transmitted to your 

"Time passed, and the little holes in the woods multiplied and still in- 
creased : and the blessed sunlight found its way through the tree tops, dry- 
ing the surplus water and helping the roads. Turnpikes, and even railroads 
took the place of the old corduroys ; farms blossomed and bore like gardens 
until today the sun does not shine upon a more fruitful land. Drive where 


you will — east, west, north or south- — and on all sides smiling peace and 
plenty greet you. And every township has its little hamlet whose air re- 
sounds with the busy hum of trade, the whistle of factories and the me- 
chanic's hammer. * * * 

"The months of business depression through which our country has 
just passed were scarcely felt in Gratiot, compared with other localities. 
Not one business firm among us succumbed. Those who had plenty divided 
their substance with those who had not, so that none within our borders 
were forced to the wall. 

■'Pioneers of Gratiot County, let me congratulate you, now in con- 
clusion. You builded better than you knew, and you have bequeathed to 
your posterity a legacy of which you may justly be proud — a commonwealth 
second to none under the sun in enterprise, in loyalty, in education and in 
applied Christianity. 

"Citizens of Gratiot County, today I congratulate you that your pioneers 
were made of such good stuff, and that Gratiot Count}' is such a good place 
in which to live." 

Experiences were related by Roman Fyler, Elias Shaw, N. B. Fraker, 
Ransom Allen, Fred Kelly, L. Church and others. 

Ransom Allen came to Emerson in 1854, walking all the way from De- 
troit. He settled on some of the higher lands of western Emerson, and his 
five acres of wheat in 1855 yielded 50 bushels to the acre. It was a wet 
season, but his high land saved the day for him. 

August 24th was the date of the pioneer meeting in 1898. Village Clerk 
Jas. G. Kress gave the address of welcome, representing Village President 
Wilbur Nelson, who was absent. 

Oft'icers elected were — President, W. E. Winton ; secretary, J. N. Mc- 
Call ; treasurer, W. W. Comstock. 

Hon. C. W. Giddings and Others Remark. 

June 28, 1899, the pioneers held their meeting in the court house 
Attorney Jas. G. Kress welcomed the society, in the absence of Jas. B. 
Crawford, village president. 

The old oft'icers were re-elected — President, W. E. Winton ; secretary, 
J. N. McCall; treasurer, W. W. Comstock. 

President delivered an address which forms the closing item of this 

Attorney Chas. W. Giddings of St. Louis said that Wm. A. McOmber 
came to Gratiot in 1832, a trader among the Indians, and was the first white 
man in the county so far as is known. The first settlement was made by 
Arnold Payne in 1846. The first Fourth of July celebration was held at 
Ithaca in 1856. Hiram Burgess walked all the way to Dewitt to get hand- 
bills printed. In the growth of the county the farmers have come out best. 
The county has become one of the best agricultural counties in the state; 
and in educational advantages there is no lack, with three high schools 
which prepare for the university, many excellent smaller schools, our fine 
system of county schools, Alma College and Yerington's College. 

There Were Many Deaths Reported. 

At the pioneer meeting of August 17. 1901, held at the court house 
Attorney Kelly S. Searl gave an address of welcome which was responded 
to by \Vm. Long, in the absence of President T. A. Ely. 


Mrs. O. J. (Long) Campbell read a paper giving incidents of early 
days in Washington Township, which were highly appreciated. (Given 
elsewhere in this volume.) 

Hon. Chas. H. Morse, of New Haven, gave an address. He was not 
a pioneer in the strictest sense, but came within one of it — married a 
pioneer's daughter. He then gave a very interesting and instructive ad- 
dress, covering a wide scope of time and space, closing with the statement 
that those w^ho settled Gratiot County and those who followed them had 
made the county the first and best in the state. He was proud of the state, 
proud of the country and proud of his county. 

Wm. T. Pitt of Seville gave a condensed history of Seville Township, 
with reminiscences of pre-historic times, drawn from relics in his possession 
— fossils found in the mounds of his township. He also had in his possession 
a portion of a large tree showing 173 annual rings outside of a cut made 
by an ax, showing that someone had been through the forests of Gratiot 
before the birth of Washington. 

lola (Smith) Lovell told of early days in St. Louis, and of boating 
trips down and up Pine River. 

Officers elected were S. N. French, president; I. N. Cowdrey, secretary; 
Wm. Long, treasurer. 

Following is a list of pioneer deaths during the year preceding this 
meeting: Jas. L. Shults, Seville; Mrs. Jane Finch, Alma; Mrs. Wm. Howe, 
Alma ; Wm. Gargett, Alma ; Chauncey C. Porter, St. Louis ; Betsey Ferris, 
St. Louis ; Samuel Gordon, St. Louis ; John Vliet, St. Louis ; Geo. L. 
Patch, St. Louis ; John Tuger, St. Louis ; Simon Vogt, St. Louis ; Mrs. 
J. R. Cheesman, St. Louis; Peter Myers, Bethany; Mrs. Jas. Henry, St. 
Louis; Jas. Leppard, Pine River; Elliott White, Pine River; Warner 
Coston, Emerson ; John Eichorn. Emerson ; Knowler Gibbs, Newark ; 
Henry Wiseman, Newark ; Edmund Cole, Mr. Bailey, Newark ; Mrs. Daniel 
Gable, Newark; G. W^ashington Clark, Fulton; Jason Kingman. Fulton; 
John P. Ruppert, Fulton ; John W. Otto, Fulton ; Sarah J. Bailey, Fulton ; 
Mrs. John T. Swigart. Fulton ; Rudolph W'alker, Fulton ; Caroline Holmes, 
Ithaca; Catharine Thoenen, Ithaca; Jane (Smith) Stevens, Ithaca; Elisha 
McCall, Ithaca; A. B. Spooner, North Star; Geo. Witham, North Star; 
Mrs. Jacob Huffman, North Star; Columbus Levering, North Star; Mor- 
timer Belding, North Star; Henry Davidson, Elba; Daniel Robinolt, Elba; 
Mr. Hill. Wheeler; Mrs. John Duff, Wheeler; B. F. Welch, Hamilton; 
Mrs. N. B. Bradley, Ithaca; Mary Standish, Sumner; Mrs. F. R. Sequard, 
Pompeii; John H. Salisbury, North Shade; L. B. Carter, Ashley; John 
Carter, North Shade ; Mrs. N. J. Baker. North Shade ; Mrs. Milo Standish. 
New Haven ; Mrs. N. B. Fraker. Washington ; E. Hamilton Kinney. 
Newark; J. Henry Campbell, Ashley; John Muffly. Hamilton. 

Seemingly They Are All Dead. 

The Pioneer Society held its annual meeting at the court house Sep- 
tember 5, 1902. 

An appropriate and cordial address of welcome was made by Judge 
Geo. P. Stone. Aliss Retta Peet read a paper which was highly enjoyed. 
The principal address was by Rev. Geo. Killeen, who gave an interesting 
talk on the old times, in the enjoyment of which he was a participant. 

Officers elected — President, Wm. E. Winton ; secretary, Mrs. K. P. 
Peet ; treasurer, I. N. Cowdrey. The narration of experiences brought out 
many interesting incidents of pioneer life. 


The record of deaths among the pioneers during the year preceding 
was given as follows, by Mrs. C. W. Hamilton of Ithaca: 

Daniel M. lutzi, Newark; Mrs. Daniel lutzi, Newark; Mrs. Mary W. 
Wagner, Fulton; Mrs. Anna VVoodin, St. Louis; Albert Earl, St. Louis; 
Mrs. Randall Faurot, St. Louis; Mrs. Michael Pallasky, Alma; Wm. Culy, 
New Haven ; Josiah C. Salyer, Fulton ; Geo. Zimmerman, Lafayette ; Ed- 
ward Jarrett, Fulton; Dr. C. W. Marvin, Newark; David Burgess, St. Louis; 
Mrs. David Fry, New Haven; Mrs. J. M. Thissell, Breckenridge; Monroe 
Howland, Breckenridge; Mrs. Orin Whitcomb, Fulton; Wm. J. Alldaffer, 
North Star; Wm. Flanders, Sumner; Samuel E. Sower, Ithaca; Jane M. 
Haight, Emerson ; Finley Dodge, Fulton ; Joseph Wright, Ithaca ; Timothy 
Ackles, North Star; Hiram Bovee, North Star; Alonzo K. Dodge, Wash- 
ington; Warren W. Baker, Fulton; Wm. W. Comstock, Ithaca; Alex. 
Franks, Sumner ; Isaac Swan, Elm Hall ; Mrs. John Blucher. North Shade ; 
Lewis Derry, Hamilton ; Wm. Strouse, Newark ; Mrs. Rebecca Curtiss, 
Wheeler; Mrs. C. E. Johnson, Hamilton; Mrs. Sophia Carter; Mrs. Mary 
E. Giddings, St. Louis; Mrs. Elizabeth Sheller, Perrinton ; Chas. H. Smith, 
St. Louis; Peter Robinson, St. Louis; Mrs. Mary A. Belding. North Star; 
John Bogart, Arcada ; Mrs. Mead, Breckenridge; Mrs. Mary lies. North 
Star; Wm. V. Carothers, Washington; Thos. J. Tann, Elwell ; Hiram 
Harrington, St. Louis ; Jas. Gargett, Alma ; Mrs. Elizabeth Kipp, Wheeler ; 
Mrs. Taylor, Wheeler; Samuel H. Loveland, St. Louis: Mrs. Deborah E. 
Vliet, St. Louis; Mrs. Patrick Barrett, Mrs. John Baney, Bethany; Albert 
P. Poland, Wheeler ; Peter Hoffman. North Star ; John Wilson, St. Louis ; 
Julius Mey, Pine River; Mrs. E. A. Walter, North Star; Mrs. Martha 
Follick, Elwell; Mrs. Ann Maria Sweatland. North Star; Peter Shong, 
North Shade. 

At the pioneer meeting held September 3, 1903, Dr. Bruske. president 
of Alma College delivered an address which was highly appreciated. Wm. 
J. Moft'ett recited an original poem. 

Officers elected — President, W. E. Winton ; vice-president, S. Moody; 
secretary, Mrs. K. P. Peet ; treasurer. I. N. Cowdrey. 

One of the Best of All. 

The pioneer meeting held at the court house September 26, 1907, was 
largely attended and proved a very interesting occasion. Papers were read 
l)y W. W. Dalghish on the early history of Fulton; by Hon. Silas Moody 
on the early history of Pine River, and by Mrs. Nettie Todd giving facts as 
to the settlement of North Shade, and along down to 1866. Condensations 
of the articles are given in this volume in the sections devoted to the local 
histories of those townships. 

After the reading of the papers mentioned, remarks were made by Silas 
Moody, Jacob Eyer, Marcus Pollasky, Mrs. Lydia ( Franklin) Harter and 
others ; the last mentioned lady giving an account of a school day in the 
earlv TjOs. which appears elsewhere in this volume. 

A Summing Up of the Whole Matter. 

The following is a condensation of an address delivered before the 
Pioneer Society at its meeting June 28, 1899, by its president. Judge Wm. 
E. Winton. It comes in handy and appropriate as the closing section of 
this pioneer department, summing up, as it does, in brief but comprehensive 
form, the whole matter from howling wilderness to advanced civilization: 


"We come together on this June day of 1899 — near to the close of the 
19th century — to rehearse experiences and reminiscences of 40 and 50 years 
ago, when strong men and brave women combatted poverty and hardships 
such as are seldom experienced in the settlement of any country. 

"The history of the settlement of Gratiot County is peculiar to itself. 
Isolated from the outside world by the low lands on the east, the Maple 
River swamps on the south, and by an unbroken wilderness on the west 
and north ; and from the report of the government surveyor to the depart- 
ment at Washington it was questionable whether it was worth settling, as 
it was represented to be a swamp unfit for human habitation. It had that 
appearance to the early pioneer. Much of its surface was flat, covered 
with a dense forest which prevented evaporation by the sun ; the natural 
water courses and drainage dammed by the beaver and choked by the 
annual crop of forest leaves, fallen timber and tangled brush, so that ex- 
tensive tracts of the county were submerged a large portion of the year, 
presenting an appearance uninviting and forbidding to the settler. 

"It would have remained a howling waste much longer but for the 
inducement held out to the settler by the government — the reduction of 
the price of the land in consideration that the buyer make actual and im- 
mediate settlement thereon. The result was a sudden and simultaneous 
stampede into the county by a good class of people, but in most cases a 
class extremely poor; the very class congress designed to favor. No clear- 
ing, no roads, no improvements of any kind ; one wild, unbroken expanse 
of woodland. St. Johns by way of Maple Rapids, and Saginaw by way of 
Pine River, were the nearest points of communication with civilization. 
Families dumped upon their new possessions, sheltered from the storm in 
their miniature bark-covered wigwams, with scanty supply of food ; and 
before a parcel of ground could be reclaimed and food produced therefrom 
their larders were exhausted. Maple Rapids and St. Johns, the points of 
supply for the south half of the county, without roads were a long way off. 
Saginaw was also a distant point from which supplies were boated up the 
crooked Pine for the north half of the county. And in many cases the 
people were too poor to purchase the supplies when they reached those 
points, or even when the supplies were brought within their reach until 
they had earned the money by work upon the clearings of their more for- 
tunate neighbors. And in the meantime their half-famished families existed 
as best they could. 

"And while this helpless, deplorable state and condition of things ex- 
isted among the early settlers, be it to the everlasting praise of the wealthy 
and more favored classes of our state for their liberal gifts for the relief of 
those helpless pioneers of '57, '58 and '59. 

"It is but justice to state that while the donations were so indispensable 
in many cases, there were a goodly number of the earlier settlers who 
weathered the gale of hardships by their independent, personal efforts. 

"The dark picture of pioneer life is not limited exclusively to Gratiot 
County. Privations are the natural incidents to such a life, modified, more 
or less by certain environments, in the settlement of any new country. And, 
dark as such pictures may be, they are not without their bright side. Society 
is near its level under the conditions referred to. Sorrow, sympathy and 
joy are mutual and reciprocal. The anticipation of an enjoyable future, lifts 
above present privations, stimulates muscular and mental activity to suc- 
cessfully combat hardships, overcome dift'iculties and give buoyancy to the 
soul. It is not only the privilege but the duty of every person, in some 
way, to make a commendable mark in the world. The pioneers of this 
county have nobly fulfilled this mission. With all the hardships and priva- 


tions attendant on such a frontier life, they have successfully overcome every 
opposing element. By their hands the woods have disappeared, swamps 
have been drained, highways cast up, buildings erected, orchards planted, 
farms stocked with herds of cattle, fine horses, sheep and swine, and spacious 
fields fenced and cultivated and caused to yield to their utmost capacity. 

"Today 'Starving Gratiot', so christened 45 years ago, has become the 
richest and greatest grain-producing county in the lower peninsula ; the 
granary of the state. Yes, the pioneers of this county have made their mark 
in its development, redeeming it from the condition of an unpromising, 
uninviting, howling waste, and converting it into the richest and most 
promising section of the state. 

"What a transition in 45 years ! Where poverty then reigned supreme, 
now may be heard the song of the plowman, the ring of the anvil, the pufl: 
of the engine, the clanking of machinery and the rumble of trains on three 
distinct lines of railway. Cities and villages incorporated, and with busy, 
flourishing marts of traffic ; a dense populatian of enterprising people. Yes, 
today may be heard the jubilant and mirthful voices of a happy people, 
mingling with the chimes and peals of school, church and college bells, 
while luxury is being rocked in the cradle of affluence and ease. 

"But alas, those early pioneers! Where are they! Few survive to tell 
the tales of those primitive but eventful days. Old, wrinkled, gray, and 
tottering on the verge of the border-land, soon to bid adieu to you who are 
younger, and who are permitted to live and enjoy the fruits of their labor. 
Will you, my younger friends, allow this society to die with the pioneers? 
I trust you will come to the rescue, and fill up the gaps that death is making 
in our ranks. Keep alive the early reminiscences of the county, at your 
annual pioneer meetings, that they may be handed down and rehearsed by 
generations yet unborn, like the legends of the Rhine." 

Several other interesting and profitable meetings of the pioneers have 
been held, but for good and sufficient reasons detailed mention is im- 
practicable at this time. The people that we have known as "old pioneers of 
Gratiot" are mainly but memories now ; but their places are constantly 
being taken by others in the rapid flight of time. So the same reasoning 
that inspired the formation of the Pioneer Society in the first place, will 
doubtless be elTectual in continuing it even unto the remotest generations. 

Official Record from 1858 to 1913, Including List of Judges. 

The first four terms of circuit court ever held in Gratiot County were 
held in the Township of Pine River, within the limits of the surveyed plat 
of Alma Village. The reason for holding court there is to be found in the 
legislative act providing for the organization of the county, approved 
February 3, 1855. Section 4 of that act pro\ided that. "The sheriff, clerk 
and treasurer of said county to be elected as pro\-ided by this Act shall 
designate a suitable place in the Township of Pine River for holding the 
circuit court in said county, * * * and the place thus designated shall 
be the place of holding the circuit court and county offices until the board 
of supervisors shall establish the county seat," etc. 

Acting under this provision of the legislative act, the county officers 
mentioned — or a majority of them — selected Alma as the place for holding 


tlie sessions of the circuit court. Though their action was the cause of 
considerable wrangling on the board of supervisors, as is chronicled in this 
volume under the heading of "Important Doings of the Board of Super- 
visors," their action stood. 

The circuit court journal shows that the first session of court held in 
the county was a special session, held at the '"court house" in the X'illage 
of Alma. September 13. 1858. The term "court house" is used probably in 
the sense that the building in which court is held must be a court house. 
But the session was really held in the school house. Gratiot County at that 
time constituted a part of the 10th judicial circuit. The circuit had been 
organized by the legislature by act of January 29. 1858. and took in the 
following territory : Gratiot, Isabella. Midland, Iosco. Alpena, and the 
unorganized territory now comprising the Counties of Arenac. Gladwin. 
Clare, Roscommon, Ogemaw. Oscoda, Alcona, Crawford. Otsego, Mont- 
morency and Presque Isle. At the election of April, 1858, \\'ilbur F. Wood- 
worth was elected judge of the circuit. By an order issued from Midland 
City, July 22. 1858, Judge Woodworth called "a special term of the Circuit 
Court for the County of Gratiot on the third Wednesday of September. 
1858." The special session was duly held, as stated, at Alma, Sept. 15, 1858. 
For some reason Judge Woodworth was not present, the session being pre- 
sided over by Josiah Turner, of Owosso. judge of the 7th circuit. At that 
first term Israel B. Coats was (acting) prosecuting attorney, and Dr. Joseph 
A. Guthrie was clerk of the court. The first case was entitled "James 
Dewitt vs. Ralph Ely." and was a case of assumpsit. It was tried without 
a jury and the plaintiff got a judgment for S262.50. 

In the course of the two days' session there were five cases disposed of, 
and Wm. A. Hewitt was admitted to the bar. 

What was designated as a "general term" was begun at the school house 
in .\lma January 18, 1859, and Judge W. F. \\oodworth presided. The 
record goes on to say that a "grand jury" was drawn. It seems probable 
that the "grand" was a slip of the pen or of the imagination of the county 
clerk — Emery Crosbj' — who was present and acted as court clerk. The 
names of this "grand" jury is here given, as many of them are well-known 
as belonging to men who were among the best-known of the pioneers : Henry 
Boyer, Samuel Boyer. Briggs J. Bentley. Lorenzo Badgeley, Geo. W. Brooks, 
Jas B. Curtis. Wilbur Coon, Elijah Curtis. Sether Dean, John Franklin, 
Roman Fyler, Orange Hopkins. Thos. J. Huntington, Erastus Kidder. 
Michael Nichols. Samuel T. Roe, Joseph B. Stafford, Wm. Wooley, Abraham 

At this session of court Gilbert E. Pratt and John R. Hickox were ad- 
mitted to the bar. The first-named was located at St. Louis and was elected 
to the legislature in 1860. The term was adjourned to Februar}^ 1839, at 
which time D. M. R. \Mlson was admitted to practice in the courts. A 
criminal case was tried by a jury composed as follows : Peter Keene. Jo. 
Abbott. Reuben Coflfin, Jo. Crockford. Marshall F. Runyan. Benj. Ridenour, 
Michael StefTey. Calvin B. Fisher. John Cook. Elijah B. Rice. John S. 
Gardner. Andrew Call. 

Court ailjourned to July 22. 1859. at which time, among other business, 
was a trial for a violation of the liquor laws. The first jury drawn was 
made up of the following pioneers : Hiram Burgess. Oramel Burt, John 
Bailey, John \'anderbeek. Adam P. Robinson. John Mecomber, Wm. Howe. 
Horace S. Burr. Jo. Rockafellow, E. J. Medler. John Knight, Whitman Hall. 
The whole panel was challenged on the ground that it had been illegally 
drawn. Challenge allowed, and the jury discharged. 


The new jury drawn was made up as follows: John M. Glover, \Vm. 
Howe, Jo. Rockafellow, Sidney S. Hastings. Jas. Wood, Adam P. Robinson, 
John N. Adams, Ralph Ely, Geo. W. McHenry, Flavius Ely, Moses B. 
Spiller, Thos. J. Huntington. 

The next term of court was held at Ithaca, opening January 17, 1860, 
Judge Woodworth presiding, in the old log court, house located in the east 
part of town, about where the residence of Geo. Richardson now stands, 
near the M. E. Church. This was brought about by the board of supervisors, 
by resolutions adopted at its session which convened on the first Monday 
of that month, a full synopsis of which is given in the department devoted 
to the important doings of that board. Since that time all of the terms of 
court have been held at Ithaca, for some years in the old structure men- 
tioned, and in after years in Howd's Hall, the second story of a store build- 
ing located about where the W. H. Beasley building now stands. On the 
completion of the new court house (that of 1870) court was provided with 
fine quarters which served for a period of thirty years — till the completion 
of the present county court house. 

At this term of court — January, 1860 — Judge Woodworth issued an 
order for calling a grand jury ; but for what particular purpose the record 
does not state. A list of those called is given, however, as follows: W. W. 
Palmer, Malcom Sherwood, Addison Mack, Joel Rowley, Hi. Burgess, John 
Knight, Geo. Luce, John Baker, Henry P. Howd, Emanuel Wiles, J. A. 
Guthrie, Luther C. Smith. Elijah Porter, W. C. B. Sherwood, Chas. Sher- 
wood, Homer Burns. Henry P. Howd was foreman of the jury. No record 
or person has been found to throw any light on what the jury did after it 
was drawn. 

Early in the year 1861 Judge Woodworth resigned as judge of the 10th 
circuit, and James Birney of Bay City was appointed to the position by the 

At the judicial election in April, 1863, Judge Birney was defeated for 
judge in the 10th district, by Jabez G. Sutherland, of Saginaw. The 10th 
had been reorganized, and consisted of the Counties of Gratiot, Midland, 
Saginaw, Bay, Isabella, Iosco and Alpena. 

Judge Sutherland was re-elected without opposition in 1869. 

In 1871 the judicial circuits were again overhauled, Gratiot being still 
in the 10th which was made up of Saginaw, Midland, Clare, Isabella and 

In November, 1870. Judge Sutherland was elected to congress from the 
6th congressional district. Judge Josiah Turner, of Owosso, who had held 
the first circuit court in Gratiot, was commissioned by Gov. Baldwin to hold 
court in Gratiot and Isabella Counties until a new judge could be elected at 
the spring election, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Judge 

At the April election, 1871, John Moore, of Saginaw, was chosen judge, 
and held his first term in Gratiot in July, 1871. At the close of the term of 
January, 1874, Judge Moore resigned as judge of the 10th circuit, after about 
three years' service, and to fill the vacancy thus created. Gov. Bagley ap- 
pointed \\'m. S. Tennant of Saginaw. At the following .\pril election — ■ 
1874 — Judge Tennant was chosen to succeed himself. 

In March, 1875, the legislature again re-organized the circuits, and 
Gratiot became a member of the group of counties constituting the 21st 
district which was made up of Gratiot, Isabella, Clare, Midland, Roscommon 
and Gladwin. This re-arrangement necessitated the election of a new judge. 
At the election of April, 1875, Henry Hart, of Midland, was elected judge 


of the new circuit, defeating Andrew J. Utly, a Gratiot citizen. Judge Hart 
was re-elected in April, 1881, and again in April, 1887, in the latter year 
defeating Chas. J. W'illett, another Gratiot County attorney. 

In June, 1889, the legislature made another change in the judicial cir- 
cuits ; a change that united Gratiot and Clinton Counties, forming a circuit 
designated as the 29th. This conil)ination has remained in force to the 
present time. 

This last re-arrangement, left (iratiot and Clinton without a judge, after 
Judge Hart had held his last term in Gratiot — the term of July. 1889. The 
new judge for the new circuit was Sherman B. DaboU, a Clinton County 
attorney. He was appointed in August, 1889, by Gov. Luce, to hold until 
the spring election of 1891. At that election S. B. Daboll won the election 
over Chas. J. Willett, Fusion candidate. At the regular judicial election of 
April, 1893, Judge Daboll was re-elected without opposition. 

In the spring of 1899 Judge Daboll was a candidate for renomination at 
the Republican convention. Kelly S. Searl, of Gratiot, also was a candidate. 
The two counties had an equal representation in the convention, and a dead- 
lock resulted, each county standing firm for its own candidate. After a long 
contest the convention adjourned without making a nomination. The Demo- 
cratic nominee — Geo. P. Stone, of Gratiot County, was elected without 

In the spring of 1905 Judge Stone was renominated by his party, and 
Kelly S. Searl received the Republican nomination, and was elected. He was 
re-elected in April, 1911, Geo. P. Stone again being his competitor. Judge 
Searl's present term will last till January, 1918, unless in the meantime tlie 
make-up of the circuit shall be changed by the legislature. 

The following is a recapitulation of judges presiding regularly, by elec- 
tion or appointment, in the Gratiot County circuit courts, but not including, 
or taking into account those who have ofificiated merely in the trial of special 
cases. The dates indicate the time of the commencement of their terms of 
service : 

Josiah Turner, September, 1858. Wm. S. Tennant, May, 1874. 

Wilbur F. Woodworth, January, 1859. Henry Hart, July, 1875. 
James Birney, July, 1861. Sherman B. Daboll, August. 1889. 

Jabez G. Sutherland, January, 1864. George P. Stone. January, 1900. 

Josiah Turner, January, 1871. Kelly S. Searl, January, 1906. 

John Moore, July, 1871. 


Judges Henry Hart, of Midland, and Sherman B. Daboll, of St. Johns, 
both now deceased, whose combined terms of service as judges presiding in 
the Gratiot circuit court aggregated about twenty-five years, though not 
residents of this county, are considered worthy of especial mention in this 
volume, not only on account of their long terms of service, but also for the 
reason that they stood well in their official capacities as judges and were 
especially popular with all classes of citizens. It is believed that their bio- 
graphical sketches, which follow, together with their portraits, will lie deemed 
appropriate in this connection by many who remember them well. 
Judge Henry Hart. 

Judge Henry Hart, a former resident of the City of Midland, Mich., and 
for many years judge of the 21st judicial circuit, of which Gratiot County 
formed a part, was born in the Township of China, St. Clair County, Mich., 



May 23, 1840. His line of ...^i^^^^t^KgHm^m^^^ms^imAiiim^i, 
descent was purely Ameri- 
can, his ancestors having 
been nati\-es of the State of 
New York. His parents 
came to this state in its 
early territorial days, and 
settled in St. Clair County, 
They were among the pio- 
neer element whose labors 
established the prosperity 
of one of the best sections 
of Michigan. 

At the age of fifteen years 
Henry Hart went to Mt. 
Clemens and became a mem- 
ber of the household of 
R. K. Eldredge, attorney at 
law, where his time was 
divided between labor and 
study, for about twenty 
months, when, having de- 
termined upon the law as 
his chosen profession, he 
commenced his legal studies 
under the direction of Mr. 
Eldredge. In the fall of 
186,'^ he entered the law de- 
partment of the University 
of Michigan, and graduated 
therefrom in the spring of 

1865. with the degree of L. L. B. In July following he fixed his residence 
at Midland, Mich., where he entered upon his career as an attorney, and 
where, in a brief time, he secured a substantial practice and a firm hold on 
the confidence of the community to which he proved a valuable accession. 

Judge Hart was married February 4, 1869, to Maria Parsons, at China, 
St. Clair County. Two children — Ray Hart, now practicing attorney at Mid- 
land, and who has also served several terms as prosecuting attorney for his 
home county, and Mary (Hart) Anderson, constitute the issue of the 

.'^fter holding several of the county offices. Judge Hart was in the year 
1874 elected a respresentative to the state legislature, and took a prominent 
part in the session of 1875. In the spring of that year he resigned the posi- 
tion, and was elected circuit judge for the circuit composed of the Counties 
of Gratiot, Isabella, Clare, Gladwin, Roscommon and Midland — the 21st 
judicial circuit. He was re-elected in 1881 and again in 1887. By a re- 
organization of circuits by the legislature of 1889, Gratiot County was dropped 
from the 21st circuit. Judge Hart held his last term in Gratiot in July, 1889. 
Judge Hart's term expired January 1, 1894. His health began to fail in the 
summer of 1898 and he finally passed away January 25, 1899. 

Judge Henry Hart was a man of very pleasing personality ; of kindly 
disposition though of dignified bearing : of good ability, and entirely above 
suspicion as a judge. No judge ever occupied the bench in Gratiot County 




who held the respect and confidence of the people in greater degree. At the 
close of his services in Gratiot — July, 1889 — the Gratiot County bar adopted 
eulogistic resolutions, and also presented the retiring judge with an elegant 

gold watcli .-md chain, as a tdkcn of luxe and respect. 

Judge Sherman B. Daboll. 

Judge Sherman 1!. Dalxill was born May IS. 1S44. in the Town of 
Nassau, Rensselaer County. X. \'.. the third and last child of Geo. W. and 
Lydia (James) Daboll. The ancestry on both sides was distinctly American, 
and b o t h parents came 
from Revolutionary stock. 
When the subject of this 
sketch was nine years old 
his home was broken uj) 
by the permanent and in- 
creasing ill-health of his 
mother. From that time 
he made his own wa\' in 
the world. working on 
farms during the summer. ^ 

and in winter doing chores 
for his board and attend- 
ing the district school. 
When fourteen years of 
age he went to live at 
Brookfield. N. ^'.. where he 
was similarly engaged un- 
til his enlistment for ser- 
vice in the Civil AX'ar. Jnly 
18. 18()2. as a member of 
Company G, 117th X. Y. 
\"ol. Infantry, lie served 
in the Army of tjic Poto- 
mac and in the .\rmv of 
the James until the close 
of the war. He was at 
Charleston Harbor during 
the siege of Forts AV'agncr 
and Sumpter: particijiated 
in the campaign of Cold 
Harbor and the sieges of Petersburg and Richmond. He was at Drury's Bluff 
and Bermuda Hundred, and went on both expeditions to Fort Fisher, the first, 
under (Jen. B. F. Butler, being unsuccessful. The second, under Gen. Alfred 
S. Terry. His regiment, attached to the First Brigade, Second Division of 
the Tenth Army Corps, led the assault on the fort on Sunday. January 15, 
ISfo, which resulted in its capture after seven hours' hard fighting inside the 
fort. His company — G — went in with twenty-four men and came out with 

After the close of the war Mr. Daboll was discharged June 8. 1865. He 
was wounded in the right forearm July 4, 1864, while asleep in the trenches 
during the siege of Petersburg, by a piece of shell from the enemy's batteries. 
His arm was saved only by his obstinate refusal to have it amimtated : but 
it never afterward was a good arm. 

After the close of the war Mr. Daboll took up the study of law and was 
adiuitted to the bar at Binghamton. X. 'S". He located for ])nictice at Brook- 




field, Madistin County, where lie remained until 1878. In 1874 he was elected 
district attorney of Madison County for a term of three years. In the spring 
of 1879 he commenced the practice of law at St. Johns, Mich., in company 
with Anthony Cook. In January, 1886, he was appointed Quartermaster 
General of the Mich. State Troops, by Gov. Cyrus G. Luce, and was re- 
appointed in 1888. 

In August, 1889, he was ajipointed by (Sov. Luce, judge of the new 29th 
judicial circuit, composed of Gratiot and Clinton Counties, and in the spring 
of 1891 he was elected to the same office to serve until the regular judicial 
election of 1893, at which time he was re-elected for the term of six years. 
He thus served ten and one-half years as circuit judge, and consecjuently 
became a familiar personage to the people of Gratiot County. At the close 
of his term as judge of the circuit court — term of December, 1899 — the 
Gratiot County bar presented him with a valuable diamond scarf pin, accom- 
panied by appropriate resolutions of respect. 

A dead-lock in the Republican convention in the spring of 1899 pre- 
vented a nomination. Jvuige Daboll's term expired Januarv 1. I'-'OO. and on 
the 15th of the following May he was apjjointed s]iecial agent in the U. S. 
postal service, in which he continued till his death which occurred at his 
home in St. Johns, March 3, 1910. 

August 19, 1869, Judge Daboll was married to Miss Elizabeth Campbell 
at New Berlin, N. Y., who, together with a daughter — Winifred C. — survives 

This sketch and portrait of Judge Daboll will be welcomed bv many 
Gratiot County people who held him in high esteem. 


From the date of its organization in 1856 Gratiot County has been 
favored with about 75 attorneys to attend to her legal business, besides a 
few score of outsiders who have been imported from time to time on special 
occasions. The county clerk's register purports to show their names from 
first to last, but I notice the absence of two names — those of Charles E. 
Williams, who was prosecuting attorney, elected in 1874, and James Clarke, 
elected prosecuting attorney in 1890. Possibly there are others missing. 
The first eleven names are those of the earliest on the ground and have been 
written in the record by an early county clerk. The other names are all in 
the handwriting of the respective attorneys. The full list follows: 

Franklin Miller. Samuel J. Scott. John T. Mathews. 

Gilbert E. Pratt. Elisha McCall. Newel Smith. 

Israel B. Coats. Byron H. Sawyer. Marvin R. Salter. 

J. Wilson Caldwell. Luke B. Sawyer. Archie McCall. 

Oscar F. Wisner. Marcus Pollasky. (jeorge S. Aldrich. 

Andrew J. Utley. Truman W. Whitney. Wesley G. Clark. 

J. S. Andrews. Giles T. Brown. Perry A. Shanor. 

F. C. Cummings Bert Hays. Julius B. Kirby. 

(Should be Cummins). William A. Bahlke. Amelia C. Leet. 

Marcus L. Anderson. Clyde O. Trask. Ray McCall. 

Jerry B. Chandler. Rodman H. Lanphere. James G. Kress. 

W^ R. Freeman. George D. Reeves. [ohn R. Wilson. 

Kelly S. Searl. Fred D. Yale. 

William ]•:. Winton. E. A. A\'hitney. < ). C. Garrett. 

John H. Winton. G. H. Wright. !•:. J. Moinett. 

James Paddock. Hiram U. Woodin. ivirl (',. Torrey. 



George P. Stone. 
James L. Clark. 
John D. Spinney. 
Edward L. Walbridge 
Francis Palmer. 
James K. \\'right. 
Charles ^\'. Giddings. 
Edwin H. Ashley. 
Charles T- ^\"illett. 

John H. Norton. 
Arthur R. Garbutt. 
John G- Scott. 
William A. Leet. 
K. Rolla Peet. 
James P. Langley. 
Thomas W. Sines. 
Newell Leonard. 
Henry Walbridge. 

Roy J. Covert. 
D. Lloyd Johnson. 
John W. Myers. 
Warren J. Shaver. 
Frank R. Monfort. 
Ehin \\'ils()n. 
John C. Watson. 
Frank Edward Knapp. 
Charles W. Atchlev. 

About eight of the foregoing — Lanphere, G. H. Wrigiit. Sines, Shanor, 
Yale, Barrett, Knapp and Atchlev — will hardly be recognized as having been 
Gratiot County attorneys. Some of them were merely admitted to the bar 
here, and, after signing the register have not been heard from since in this 
county, but they may have attained eminence elsewhere. 


As the name implies, the (iratint County Bar Assuciatinn is a fraternal 
organization made up of the lawyers of the county. Of course it is exclusive 
in its make-up and its objects, being composed exclusively of lawyers, with 
their welfare and pleasure the only or principal object. The association was 
organized September 1, 1909, and is incorporated under the state lava's. 

At the first meeting held on the date mentioned, a charter was adopted 
and a set of officers was elected as follows : President — George P. Stone, of 
Ithaca ; vice-president — Charles W. Giddings, of St. Louis ; secretary — John 
T. Matthews, of Ithaca; treasurer — William A. Bahlke, of Alma. The 
charter calls for an annual meeting to be held on the fourth Friday in Feb- 
ruary. The same officers have been re-elected each year and are the present 
incumbents. The association has an occasional banquet or other social func- 
tion, an outing as occasion or desire dictates, and on the death or removal 
from the county of a member a meeting is in order and resolutions are adopted 
setting forth how the members feel about it. All as it should be, and all 
calculated to make the life of a lawyer worth living, and his death or removal 
a circumstance oflficially noticed, and a matter of record and regrets. 

The names of the members and the order in which they have signed the 
articles are as follows : 

John T. Mathews. 
John C. Watson. 
Ray McCall. 
William A. Bahlke. 
Charles H. Goggin. 
John D. Spinney. 
George P. Stone. 
L. B. Sawyer. 

O. G. Tuttle. 
J. Lee Potts. 
J. M. Everden. 
A. McCall. 
J. W. Myers. 
M. R. Salter. 
K. S. Searl. 
D. I,, lohnson. 

James G. Kress. 
Ezra L. Smith. 
T. W. Whitney. 
Newel Smith. 
J. K. Wright. 
C. W. Giddings. 
George S. Aldrich. 
John M. P)uiiham. 

Since its organization the association has lost John C. Watson by re- 
moval from the comity, and Truman \\'. \\'hitney by death. 



County Home And Its Managers, Also County Superintendents. 

It may well be presumed that the task nf writinL,^ up anxthiuL; like a 
satisfactory histor)' of county poor matters is a difficult one. Anything like 
a connected and complete history is entirely out of the question. The 
records in the early days were kept in about the same fashion that the 
Inisiness was transacted — that is to say, spasmodically, and without Uiat 
system that prevailed later on when the business increased and l)ecame more; 
important and facilities increased proportionately. This is said with no 
idea uf belittling or censuring the efforts of the early timers, for they 
])n)l)al)ly did the best they knew, and the best they could with the chance 
they had. A lack of the old records, and the incompleteness of those that 
are in existence and obtainable is a s^rcat handicap in the preparation of a 
pioneer histor)-. 

In the matter of obtaining data for this poor farm department, some 
satisfaction was obtainable from the proceedings of the boards of super- 
visors. Some pointers were extracted from old newspaper files and stray 
copies picked up miscellaneously. And it may be well to mention here 
that some interesting scraps of information concerning poor farm matters 
are incorporated in the supervisors' doing in this volume ; matters that 
seemed to belong in that department rather than in this. 

Up to and including 1858, each township, at its annual spring election, 
elected two overseers, or directors of the poor. As no mention is made of 
such office or officers after 1858, it is presumed that the legislature of 185S 
abolished the office. It hardly seemed worth while to investigate the matter 
further, as it is of no serious consequence so far as this history is concerned. 

The supervisors began to interest themselves in the welfare of the poor 
at an early day. At a special session of the board held February 12, 1856, 
the first board of superintendents of the poor was created. It consisted of 
Chester Townsend. Isaiah Allen and Geo. E. Gilford. 

At the January session of the board in 1857, E. W. Kellogg, John 
Jeffery and John W. Howd were appointed superintendents of the poor. 
The first-named failed to qualify, so at a special meeting held -May 27, 1857, 
the board filled the vacancy by the appointment of Wm. W. Comstock. 

At the session of the supervisors held May 27, 1857, the superintendents 
of the poor were instructed to inquire as to the best location for a poor 
farm for the county, of whom it could be bought and at what price. At 
the October session, 1857, the superintendents reported on six different 
locations — one of 200 acres on the west side of section 24, Newark, owned 
b_\' John Jeffery ; totally wild, at $4 per acre. The next was 200 acres on 
section 13, Newark; 26 acres chopped and 10 cleared, for $1,800. Owned 
by Walter Howd and John Jeffery. One of 160 acres on section 14, Wash- 
ington, 20 acres improved; $1,400. Owned by Jas. M. Foote. One of 
225 acres on section 18, North Star ; 53 acres improved ; $2,245 ; John W. 
Howd. One of 160 acres on sections 17 and 20, Washington; 80 acres 
cJiopped and 40 cleared and fenced ; house 18 by 20 and a barn. Owned 
by W. W. Comstock; $2,000. The northwest quarter of section 8. La- 
fayette; all wild; owned by E. M. Monroe; $800. A committee of the 
board of supervisors, consisting of Bennett, of New Haven; Everden, of 
Emerson, and Worthing, of Sumner, was appointed to investigate the sev- 
eral offers and report. The committee recommended the Comstock place. 
on sections 17 and 20, Washington. Their report was adopted and that 
tract became the county poor farm. 


At the session of the lioard of supervisors, October, 1858, J. P>. Smith, 
of Washington; Ralph Ely, of Arcada. and John Jeffery, of Ithaca, were 
appointed superintendents of the poor. Smith and Ely declining to serve, 
Geo. Luce, of St. Louis, and E. C. Cook, of North Star, were substituted. 

.\t the January, 1859, session of the supervisors, the superintendents 
reported the prevalence of j^reat destitution in the county. They say: 
"Havint;^ taken considerable pains to converse with the different supervisors 
in relation to the destitution in their respective townships, we are assured 
that nearly one-third of the inhabitants of the county are in destitute cir- 
cumstances." Afterward on motion of .Supervisor Coffin, of F.merson. the 
board voted an appropriation of $500 "to meet the present imjieratixe neces- 
sities of the county." 

Joseph \'(islv.irs', "f \\'ashini;ton, was ajipointed superintendent <>{ the 
poor in place of E. C. Cook, resigned, ^iay 14. 1858. 

'I"he superintendents reported to the session of the board of supervisors, 
October 14, 1859, recommending;' that the county farm be exchanged for 
one more centrally located. l'"ollowing this recommendation the supervisors 
began a search for a place more suitable for the needs ©f the county, re- 
sulting in the ac(piisition of the present well-located county farm. It so 
haii])ened that W. W. Comstock was the owner, and a satislactor\- 1)argain 
was made with him for tlie exchange. 

las. r>. Allen, of i'ine Ri\er: |oseph A'osburg, of \\ashington, and 
Jdhn \\ . llowd. rif Xrnth .^tar. were ap])ointed superintendents of the poor. 
.Afterward J. C. Hurlbut was appointed in place of .Mien, wlio failed to 

Octolier, 1860, John W. llowd, W. W. Comstock and John Jeffery were 
api)ointed superintendents of tlie poor. 

January 7, 1861. Elijah lieard and j. (.'. Ilurlbut were a]ipninteil in ])lace 
of Jeffery and Comstock who declined. 

.\t the supervisors' session in Octi.iher. 180l. the Ijoard viited to dis- 
pense with the superintendents of the poor, evidently having got dis- 
couraged. r>ul at the January session following they seemed to have re- 
.gained their nerve and rescinded their action. Then they appointed Clem- 
ent Naldrett, Wm. Long and Joseph Backus as the new superintendents. 

October. 1862, the board a])pointed an entire new set of su])erintendents 
as follows: Edward .-X. Chase, Joseph .\. Guthrie and Emery Crosby. 

I'p to this time the entire board of sn])erintendents of the poor had 
been changed every year. .\t the session of the supervisors, October, 1863, 
the new law took effect requiring the appointment to hold three years. So 
a new set of superintendents was a])|)ointed with their terms fixed as follows, 
one new superintendent to be ai)i)ointed each }ear thereafter: Emery 
Crosby, three years: E. .A. Chase, two years: W. E. ^\■inton. one year. 

Oclnlior. 18(1-1. \V. S. Everest was elected superintendent tn fill the 
vacancy caused by the resignation of h'mery Crosby, and Jnhn W. llrnvd 
was elected for the full term. 

October. 1865, E. .-V. Chase was apijointed superintendent of the jxiur. 
.At this session steps were taken to exchange part of the county farm for 
other land lying on the state road. The exchange was made and the 
county tlnis secured the land whereon the present county house is located. 

At the session of the supervisors, October, 1866, Emery Crosby was 
ap]iointed superintendent of the poor. The superintendents reported that 
they had erected a house on the county farm at a cost of $1,500. The 
supervisors made the necessary a]>iiropriation to cover the balance remain- 
ing due for tlie erection of the building. 


In Jamiary, 1867, Giles T. Brown took the place of E. Crosby as super- 
intendent, the latter having resigned. In the following October John W. 
Ilowd was appointed superintendent. 

October, 1868, E. A. L base was appointed superintendent to succeed 

< )ctober, 1869, superintendents were appointed as follows : Giles T. 
Urown, Ithaca, three years; Elias W. Smith, St. Louis, two years; Wm. 
E. W'inton, Ithaca, one year. The following January Henry P. Howd was 
aj)pointed in place of Giles T. llrown, who had resigned. 

October, 1870, A. W. Russell, of Ithaca, was appointed superintendent. 
The su])erintendents reported that the_v had engaged Zachariah Iloag as 
jxiur house keeper for a term of two years. He to furnish everything and 
have everything, including what labor he could get out of the inmates. 

January, 1871, Wm. Marlow, of Ithaca, was appointed superintendent 
\ice 11. P. Howd, resigned. 

At the January, 1872, session of the supervisors the superintendents 
of the poor reported that D. F. Muscott had been engaged to conduct thu 
county farm ; he to pay all the expenses and have the labor of the in- 
mates and all he could raise on the farm, and a salary of $1,100 for the 
year. If the number of inmates exceeded 10 he was to have $1.50 per 
week each for the excess, and would deduct $1.50 a week each, for all under 
10. He to board, clothe and furnish medical attendance. The superin- 
tendents were A. \\'. Russell, Wm. Marlow and Geo. W. Helt. 

.\t the October session of 1872 the superintendents recommended the 
erection of an addition to the county house, at a cost not to exceed $800. 
The su])er\-isors appropriated accorflingly. \\'m. Marlow was appointed 
superintendent to succeed himself. 

The proposed addition to the county house was built during the season 
of 1873. It was 22 by 50 feet on the ground and two stories high. In 
October of that year A. \\\ Russell was re-elected superintendent, by a 
unanimous \'ote. 

()ctiiher, 1874, S. C. Grossman, of St. Louis, was appointed superin- 

October, 1875, \\'m. Marlciw was re-elected superintendent. 

In November, 1875 the superintendents of the poor renewed their con- 
tract with D. F. Muscott as keeper of the county farm, with the same 
terms as in the former contract. 

October, 1876. A. A\'. Russell was re-elected superintendent. At the 
June session, 1877. Henry \\'. Shaw, of St. Louis, was appointed superin- 
tendent vice Grossman, removed from the county. In October session^ 

1877, Floyd E. Martin, of St. Louis, succeeded H. W. Shaw, deceased. 
October, 1878, A\'m. Marlow was appointed superintendent to succeed him. 

In October, 1877 the superintendents contracted with T^ev. Stephen 
1 Judge, nf St. Louis, to keep the county farm, for a term of three years 
beginning January 1, 1878, at $91.66 per month, for 10 paupers, and $1.50 per 
week, each, for all over 10, and a deduction of $1.50 per week, each, for 
less than 10; he to have all of the avails of the farm and the benefit of 
the labor of the inmates. D. F. Muscott, who preceded Dodge, held the 
jiosition six years. 

The appointment of Rev. Dodge as keeper of the poor farm and its in- 
mates, proved his undoing. He fell ; and sometime along in the summer of 

1878, only a few short months after his appointment, ran away with a frail 
female inmate of his institution. After his flight, the superintendents served 
notice upon his family that he must get out. Then they turned around and 


contracted with Daniel C. Dodge, son of the Rev. Stephen. Dan. and his 
wife had been connected with the management of the farm, and the super- 
intendents thought well of them. They proved to be good keepers, giving 
very good satisfaction, both to the superintendents and to the inmates. 
After being absent about a year and a half the old man seemed to think 
better of it — or worse — and returned. 

In October, 1879, Parmer R. Phillip^;, of Ithaca was appointed super- 
intendent. In October. 1880. John Shelt, of St. Louis, was appointed super- 

In January, 1881, the superintendents renewed the contract with Dan 
Dodge for three years more, at $< 00 per year; he to have the avails of 
the farm and the benefit of the paui^ers' labor, the county to pay for 
medical attendance. 

October. 1881, W'ni. Marlow was ajipointed suijerintendent. Er\in H. 
Ewell, of St. Louis, was appointed superintendent in place of John Shelt, 

P. R. Phillips was appointed to succeed himself as superintendent. 
October, 1882. 

A. N. jMartin, of St. Louis, was made superintendent October, 1883. 

At the session of the board in October, 1883. Dan. Dodge tendered his 
resignaton as keeper of the poor farm, to take effect January 1, 1884. The 
superintendents then advertised for bids for the position of keeper. Twenty 
bidders responded as follows: C. B. Willoughby, O. Bentley. J. C. Bar- 
rus, A. L. Shaver, Andrew Gibbs, H. Gable, J. C. Plank, J. B. \\'illoughby, 
Frank M. Feet, Wm. Strand, H. Kaufman, W. J. Watson, Jerry Davis, 
Frank Allen, H. W. Hughes, E. Pettey, C. S. Cushman, P. W. La Clear 
I. B. Canfield, Lyman Clark. The contract was given to Jerry Davis at 
$900 per year with other conditions about as heretofore. Davis had beer 
keeper of the county farm in Midland County seven years, which fact 
doubtless gave him some advantage over the other bidders. He held the 
position 17 consecutive years in Gratiot County. 

October, 1884, Chas. E. Webster, of Ithaca, was appointed superinten- 
dent; October, 1885, P. R. Phillips; October, 1886, A. N. Martin; Octo- 
ber, 1887, C. E. Webster; October, 1888, P. R. Phillips; 1889, A. N 
Martin; 1890, C. E. Webster; 1891, Ira W. Montague, Ithaca; 1892, N. 
Scott Baldwin, St. Louis; 1893, T. A. Elv. Alma; vacancv, A. S. Mclntvre. 
St. Louis; 1894, Jesse Pepple, Ithaca; 1895. A. S. Mclntyre ; 1896, T. A. 
Ely; 1897, Jesse Pepple; 1898, A. S. Mclntyre; 1899, Lester H. Hayt, 
Alma; 1900, Gavlord Helms, Ithaca; 1901. David Duncan, Ashley; 1902, 
T. A. Ely; 1903, Jesse Pepple; 1904, R. E. Hughes. St. Louis; vacancy. 
D. L. Sharrar, Alma ; April, 1905, vacancy, Geo. E. Sharrar, Alma ; October, 
1905, Geo. E. Sharrar; 1906, G. Helms; January, 1907, vacancy, Ezekiel 
Arnold, St. Louis; October, 1507, Ezekiel Arnold; 1908, John T. Swigart. 
Alma; 1909, J. P. Whitman, Ithaca; 1910, vacancy, Henry J. Dodge; VnO. 
Ezekiel .\rnold. 

A committee of the board of supervisors, consisting of Supervisors 
C. E. \^'ebster, A. W. Russell and Wm. Brice, had charge of the building of a 
brick addition to the county house in the summer of 1885. The addition 
was 32 by 45 feet on the ground and two stories in height, and the cost 
was $2,472.77. Fred Kinkerter, of Ithaca, had the job. 

The system of letting the medical treatment of the poor of the county 
to the lowest responsible bidder was inaugurated in the fall of 1886. by 
resolution of the board of supervisors. The practice was continued three 
years and was then abandoned. The system was never popular with the 
people at large, being repugnant to the finer sensibilities, from a humani- 


tarian standpoint. The result of the first letting is here given: The aggre- 
gate for the 17 townships and the county house was $693. Dr. W. D. 
Scott, of Ithaca, got Elba, ^23: Washingto'n. $50; North Star. $25; North 
Shade, $50. Dr. I. N. Monfort, Ithaca, got Ithaca, $23. Dr. C. L. Barber, 
Ithaca, got New Haven, $45; Newark, $34; county house, $59; Hamilton 
$43; Fulton, $17. Dr. E. Franks, St. Louis, took Emerson, $25. Dr. J. R. 
Baldwin, St. Louis, secured Wheeler, $40; Bethany, $49; Arcada, $40: 
Seville, $30; Lafayette, $25; Pine River, $75; Sumner, $40. 

As above stated, Jerry Davis retained the position of overseer of the 
poor farm for a period of 17 years, being reappointed from year to year 
regardless of the political affiliations of the superintendents. Air. Davis 
was a Republican in politics, and the superintendents had been of that faith 
up to 1879, when the rule was broken and a Democrat appointed. Mr. 
Davis was reappointed many times when the Democrats had a majority 
of the superintendents. At length, however, the superintendents decided 
that a change of keeper for the county farm would be desirable, and accord- 
ingly, early in January, 1901, they contracted with Frank L. Pressley as 
keeper. It is but fair to say that at this time the board of superintendent: 
was Democratic, and also that their new man, Mr. Pressley, was a Demo- 
crat. The superintendents were L. H. Hayt, G. Helms and A. S. Mclntyre. 
Whether or not politics had anything to do with the change of keeper — 
and without doubt it had something to do with it — the fact remains that 
Mr. Davis" term had been so unusually long, that neither he nor his 
friends had any reason to complain if those in authority thought it best 
to have a change. 

Mr. Pressley retained his position two years, and then — in January, 1903 
— the superintendents, with a Republican majority by this time, ousted Mr. 
Pressley and re-employed Mr. Davis, his term to commence the first of 
April following. The superintendents were T. A. Ely. David Duncan and 
G. Helms. Wm. A. Seamon and J. O. Pettit were also candidates for the 
appointment when the superintendents selected Mr. Davis. 

Following the appointment of Air. Davis a good deal of dissatisfaction 
manifested itself in one way and another. Air. Pressley, in the two years of 
his incumbency, had given excellent satisfaction, and was popular with the 
inmates. A good many people, regardless of party, felt that he had not 
been fairly treated by the superintendents : that Jerry Davis' appointment 
was no improvement, and that it was too rank an exhibition of partisanship 
anyway. Then followed a sensation that has hardly ever been equalled in 
the county. Talk, gossip and rumors of bad management by Davis when 
he was in before, were followed by serious and startling charges by the 
inmates, as to his treatment of the county's wards. Affidavits by some 
of the female inmates disclosed a shocking course of immoralities on the 
part of the keeper, if they were true. In short, the superintendents had 
no other recourse but to institute an investigation. If the charges were 
true. Air. Davis was no fit man for the place. If they were not true, or 
were not substantiated, it was due to Air. Davis and all concerned, to 
have that fact established. 

The investigation was held in the supervisors' room at the court house, 
and was held behind closed doors, before the superintendents of the poor. 
The result was. nominally, an acquittal of Air. Davis on the heinous charges 
made, the three superintendents being substantially agreed as to that. 
Mr. Helms considered that the charges of gross immorality had not been 
proven, but thought that the fact of cruel and harsh treatment had been 
established, and that, therefore. Air. Davis was not a suitable person to 
have charge of the home. Mr. Ely thought that the charges had not 


been sustained, and that on general principles ]\Ir. Davis would be a suit- 
able person for the place. But, inasmuch as the charges and the investi- 
gation had produced so much excitement, and so much ill-feeling and ad- 
verse comment, he considered that it would be unwise to put Mr. Davis 
back into the position of keeper. He urged Mr. Davis to withdraw volun- 
tarilv. Mr. Duncan not only did not consider the charges substantiated, 
but he was in favor of retaining Mr. Davis and putting him in charge of 
the home, forthwith. 

Pending the investigation, which came to an end April 21st, the super- 
intendents installed Alanson J. Brown, of Ithaca, as keeper, to act from 
the expiration of Mr. Pressley's term — April 1st — until the matter was 
definitelv settled. After the superintendents arrived at the conclusion to not 
retain Mr. Davis, although he did not resign, they contracted witli Mr. 
Brown to remain a year. 

This episode in the history of the county, only the high places of which 
have been touched upon, was regretable for various reasons. It caused a 
good deal of ill-feeling and left unpleasant memories in the minds of many. 
Mr. Davis never became reconciled to what he considered very bad usage. 
As he viewed it — and it would be difTicult to show that his view was not 
plausible — he contracted for the position in good faith ; then he was invest- 
igated on serious charges and was exonerated, only to l)e kicked out of 
his position by those who had exonerated him. Doubtless the interests 
of the county were better served by his dismissal, but from the personal 
point of view of Mr. Davis and his friends, it was in the nature of a 
horrid blow below the belt. 

At the end of his term — April 1, 1904 — ^Ir. Brown was succeeded by 
W. A. Seamon, of Ithaca. Mr. Brown was a popular keeper. 

Mr. Seamon served as keeper three years, and gave quite general satis- 
faction. In April, 1907, he was succeeded by Frank L. Fressley, who has 
continued in the position until the present time. 

Along toward the close of Mr. Seamon's administration the superiu; 
tendents of the poor were guilty of a very unwise and unpopular act, just 
the "high spots" of which will here be noticed: In Decemjjer, 1906, Mr. 
Seamon resigned as keeper. The superintendents accepted his resignation, 
and then proceeded to re-appoint him, giving him the contract for two 
years with the privilege of four \ears if he so desired. This looked like 
a strange proceeding; the financial aspect of the matter also looked strange. 
When Mr. Seamon first took the place his compensation was $65 per month, 
with other conditions and considerations agreed upon, as was the custom. 
Later on the compensation was raised to $75 per month — $900 a year. 

That raise was nothing to criticise seriously ; it was probably worth 
it. But when the new bargain was made for two years with the privilege 
of four the contract price was raised to $100 per month — $1,200 a year. 
Wasn't it a strange proceeding! \Mien this all became known a good many 
people didn't like it any too well : and they began to figure out tlie reason 
for the peculiar and exjjensive act of the superintendents. .\nd this is 
what they found : They found that the superintendents of the poor were 
all of one political party — Republican — Jesse Pepple, Richard E. Hughes and 
Geo. E. Sharrar. They found that the board of supervisors was Dem- 
ocratic, and that at the recent October session they had appointed a Dem- 
ocrat — G. Helms — to succeed Mr. Pepple January 1st; that R. E. Hughes 
had been elected county clerk and would take his office January 1st. leav- 
ing a vacancy in the board of superintendents, which would be filled liy the 



Democratic supervisors at their January session, and the appointee would, 
of course, be a Democrat. That would make two Democrats to one Re- 
publican on the board of poor superintendents ; and that would mean the 
ousting of Keeper Seamon and the appointment of a Democrat. They also 
found that the guileless Democrats — some of them — had this all figured 
out and had it "cooked up", to have Frank L. Pressley returned as keeper 
of the farm when Air. Seamon walked out about .\pril 1st. When all these 
conditions were considered and understood, people began to realize what a 
nervy transaction it was that the superintendents had indulged in. 

The board of supervisors, at its January session, appointed Ezekiel 
Arnold, Democrat, of St. Louis, superintendent of the poor to fill the 
vacancy occasioned by the resignation of R. E. Ifughes. The superinten- 
dents, a majority of whom now were Democrats and backed by the Dem- 
ocratic board of supervisors, and also backed by public sentiment, appointed 
Frank L. Pressley keeper; and when the time came — April 1st — a demand 
was made for Mr. Seamon to vacate. This he declined to do at first, but 
after some argument and some compromise, and with the prospect of a 
tedious and expensive sourse of litigation before him lie decided to vacate 
the position, which he did. and Mr. Pressley took possession about tho 
middle of April. 

The amicable settlement of the mi.x-up saved a lot of costs for both 
parties to the controversy, and, as Mr. Pressley took the place for $65 
per month, it was a saving to the county of $35 per month — $420 a year, 
and probably with no sacrifice in efficiency. 

During the summer of 1906 the old wooden part of the county house 
was torn away and was replaced by a brick structure 32 by 44 feet in size, 
and built to correspond and harmonize with the brick part previously built, 
the whole, as finished, making a commodious and comfortable home for 
the county's unfortunate wards. 

In the summer of 1905 a large barn that had been erected in 1903, was 
struck by lightning and consumed by fire, together with much of the con- 
tents. Another took its place, though on another site, in 1906. The farm 


178 iiisit tKv ( >!•• (,K \ nor riH'X rv 

i^ well |iii>\iiloil with li.iiiiv .nul oilni Liini l>iiililiii,i;s. ;unl tlu- )>ri'niisi's arc 
kept III siiliinliil i-niiiliii.Mi li\ Ml. I'n-sslfv, his familv ami assistants. Tlu' 
luuisr is licatt'il witli a liol wati'V s\--U'm, tin- works hcin^ loiatoil in tlic baso- 
iiii-nt. Two yoars a^ju a svsii-m I'l w.iiii works was installi-il; a svstiMU 
wliioli stippliivs wali-r I'roni a well ,i limidnd loot in iloptlt, to ovory pari 
ol till' lioiiso. and with appliances lor liulitiiij; tiro wl\t>ro\or it inii;l\t lu' 
lovatctl in tionst' or out luiililin^s, li is an air-prosstin- system, tlu- motive 
powii lioini,; a ,!.;asoliiU' iiii^iiu-, .iml all installcil in a ImiMini^ i-ontrally 
ioi.iitil, lull ajiart from iho oilu'i luiililini;s, Tliis iinprovomont was in- 
stiintcil at a oosl of about $1,IHK). Mr. I'rcssK-v says that tln"\ now have 
all tlu- i-on\ iMiionoos ami nooossilics that i-oiiUl ho lU-siroil o\i-optin;^ an 
rlovlrii- lis^htinu plant and a stoam lanmlry. 

Till' farm now consists of I'D acres, ami it scciiin to meet all oi the re 
t|niremrnls that coiihl reasonably be askeil for. .Mr. I'ressley estimates 
the principal items of prodnction for l"!.^ as follows; Hay, 1,^ tons 
oats, l,J(X> bushels; corn, .^tHH) bushels; beans 1.^0 bushels half a crop 
on accminl of the work of the new pest. IMie prineip;d live stock items 
are JH head of eallle; (>0 sheep; live horses; 1.^ lioys. 

The mimber of inmales a\eraj,;ed about ,^l> for the smiimer of l*M.v 
The home has accommodations for al>out ,^l> imn.ites if necessitx rcipiired 
Ihat it be put to its full capacity, 

Tiiken all to;.;elher it seems lo be the general opinion thai the Tiratiot 
I ouiitx Home is one of the best of its kind in the slate, and it has the 
repnialion of beiuj.; cond\icted to the L;enei;d satisf;tction of the ciuuity ;ind 
of the county's dependent w.iids 

(.■iK.xrior IN niK \v.\k. 

How I'hcy Uid rheir Duty in the Time That Tried Their Souls, 

That Tiraliot t'ouuty did its full .share in the jjreal work of puuinj; ilown 
the Kebellion. has probably never been auil never will be seriously i|nestioned, 
.Ml records, reminiscences and recollections _i;o to prove the people 
lacked noiliiii_j> in p;itriotism; thai ihey stepped forili as manfully, auil, in 
proportion lo their numbers, as numerously, in response lo their country s 
call, as iliil ihe citi/eus of any other locality in the stale. .\iul ihey h;id 
more discour;»jjemenis, and were compelled to make j;reater sacrilices than 
the pev>ple of the older auil wealthier secti»>us of the state. This is easily 
shown by a mere mention of a fact or two in counecliou with the silu;ilion. 
In the tirst (dace the people were extremely poor, ;is a whole. This siate- 
meul needs no ekiboraliou when il is remembered that when the war broke 
out the county was only about two years oui of the period when donations 
from the benevolent "outside" were ih.iukfuUy received. Hein^i poor, it luM 
only look palriotisiu, bui it re»piired ,4;rit and faith aiul perhaps .several oilier 
«|ualilies and attributes iv> in»hice a lo leave his family iii what was 
siill comparatively a wilderness, and ^v» forth to the far-away enemy's 
oouulry to be sh\>l at for the muuiticeul .salary of SK^ per mouth; to .say 
uolhiu^ij of ihe many other chances for lueetiu^; an untiiuely ileath. 

b'urthermore, as lime passed and the calls for ".mXViXX^ more", came along 
and were repealed al intervals, the older and we;illhier localities havl a habit 
of olYeriug liberal bounties l\>r v>>lunteers to till their respective tiu»>tas. 
liralioi touuly also otYered bounties, but il was hard to cotupete with ihe 
older counties; and a man who was leaving; his larjjx^ fatuily in straijihlenod 
eireumsiauoes in the wilderness, and jjiviuj; his lime, and quite likely his life 

CUA I'll y\' IN rill'- W AK. 

1 711 

1,1 Ills i-.Mliili\'> i-.iusr. lOuM li.iiillx lu- lil.iiiu-.l il lir |.l.ucil Ills ".■U'llil" 
w lu'ic il woiilil ell' llu' niMsi jmmmI In In-, l,iiinl\ 

NO, Ihcisc \\lli> wrill In w.ll ll.ld .1 srllnll-. | M . .| h .■,! 1 i. mi lu'lnic llirlli; 
;iiul it was far Inmi lu-iiii; an iiiilMnki'ii ImlidaN Ini llms,- wli,, irinaiiuci at 
liniiu', (Jiinlas lia<l In Ik' lillol; anil llicv wru- lilli-,l alniuhl i-ii1iu'In liy 

\ I iluillciTS, 

rin- linnnlii's w oi c iml llir miK laii;c ilrnis ni i'\|kmim' llial llic slav- 
al liniiu's liail In |Mn\iiU- Ini. I'lu' Mililifis' laiiiily H'Iu'I Imiil \\a> a luM\y 
(hail nil llic lifaMiiy. llu- n-iniiU slmwiu^ llial iioarly $'',000 was apinniiii- 
aU-il In (Ills liiiiil iliiriiii; llu' war. Iiy llu' sii|>c|-\is<irs. Witimut ^cllin;; ilnwii 
In |insiii\c liLMiii's 111 (Inllars aiiil rciils, il si'i'ius a safe I'sliiuati' In pnl llu' 
r\|H'ii(liliiH's finiii llic iniiiilN luMMiiN fni I inn 1 1 1 ics ami faiiiil\ rclici, clnnnf; 
llu' war, ,il SI(i,OlXl. j'.iil In- ,is il iii.n , llu- i r(|niiciiu-iil s wi-u- .ill nii-l, 
anil ill llu- niiiuls nf all. llu' c-iul )ii-.liru-il llu- nu-,ins, and .ilsn llu- (-\|h-iisi-, 

I ll.l\r lu-l-ll Inid lll,ll snllU- Inwilsllijis ii| lllc innilU WCIC sn I llnl nil v; 1 1 ly 

di,iiiu-il ni llicii ,ililc lindu-d nu-ii li\ i-nlisliiu-nl-, ,iiid diail-- ,iiid Willi lIu' 

fl'W .iddl-d wlln Willi In \1M| lllrll lliulcs 111 (all, id. 1 lll.ll Ilu-H- W.IS llnl .111 
.lliK- lindu-d 111. Ill K-ll. Illldil llu- .i;;>' ni \? \r,ll-,, (Mil nu-|l. imalids, ril|i|ilcs 
and war widnws ni.idr n|i llu- i^irahr pari nl llu- .idiill |in|iiilali(m. 

In lliis >niiiicrliiiii llu- wnrds nl .i wiilfi. |u'iiiu'd ill I S7(i a wiiltT 
w linst' liU- and r\|u-ru-iurs Im iiu-d a rniisulci aide p. ill nl lii.ilinl's r.iilv 
lii->|nry will III ill. ,iiid .lid in \i-ril\iii;; llu- rniiU-nlinii llu- rili/i-ns nl 
( iratinl niadi- s,u-riru-i-s i-(| In ,iii\ in llu- s|,iii- diiiiiii; llu- ( i\ il \\ ai pciind. 
Ill- says: "Ni-aily all nl llu- .iKU- Imdu-d nun in llu- rniinlx cillu-i e-iili-,U-d m 
w t'l'i' di'alU'd iiiln llu- ,iiiii\. Ill 111, Ills' iiistaiu'i's prnpiiclms nl lar^i' larius 
I'ulisti'd and K-fl ilun wucs -.nK- niaiiaj^'crs, and in ■-miu' instaiu'i's, solo 
lalinvi'vs nf llu- 1,11111, llu- wi\i's. wiili palriniic Ii.idi- llu'ir luishaiHl.s 
and sniiN '( Ind spi-i-d'. and lu-iil In llu- la--ks lu-fnn- |lu-ni with .I'-lniiislnil^j' 
idu'iTfnlncss and siu'ci'ss ; wiiiiiiin; fni I lirnisrU i-s al liniiic wlial llu-ir liiis- 
ii.inds did nil llu- l..itlK- lu'ld inipri isli.iMc l.iini-ls, j.adii-s. wlinsr .ircmii 
plislinu-nls iiUi-il llu-m Im llu- drawiiii; inniii m Im .iii\ lii;;li pnsilimi in 
Siicii'tN'. cmild lia\t' Ih-i-11 socii drivini; llu-ir ii\rii m wii-ldiii;; llu- lim- al 
orilinary f.irni lalmr. All limini In llu- iiu-nmi \ nf ilu--,r iinliK- wnnu-n'" 

(ii.ilini ('miiily was rcprt'si-nlid in iimu- lli.iii Iwiiilx Mirliii;an ri't;i- 
iiicnis, I'w n on I in- inni])a nil's wi-ic in.idi' up nf ( ,i .ilini ( mini \ nu-n, ti)-\vil : 
(ninp.iiiN ( ', Sill liif,iiilry, ,iiid ('miip.nn I >, .'iilli lnf,iiili\, 'rlic .Msl In- 
fanlr\. llic -'.inl Infanliv and llu- hiii; iiu-i-i -, and Mocdiaiiii-s alsn liad a' 
luiinlu-r finiii ihis rmiiilN. llu- iniiiiU wrll ropri'senli'd in llu- Jnd and 
■llh ('a\alr\ , alsn. 

Tin- Kth Mich. Inlaiiliy. 

In Inly, ISdI. R,ilpli l-l\ nf Aliii,i w,is anllmii'i-d \>\ ( ,n\ , Idair In r,iisi- 
a I'mnpans in (Ir.ilinl (minis fnr si-i \ ice in llu- ,S|li liif,iiilr\. Mi, h 1\ wnil 
at llu- wnrk willi his usual i-iu'i'L;y, llu- ininpaiiN dcsii;iiaU-d as ( miip,iii\ (' 
- was ri-crnilcd in a \ i-i \ frw wi-t-ks, llu- iiinsi ni llu- iiu-n lu-iiii; iniisli'icd in 
mi Anf.;iisi I _'. hSid. I'lu- n-i',inu-iil iriuK-/ \ misi-d al (iiaiul K'.ipids, was 
imisU-n-d iiiln llu- linili-d Slairs si-i \ ii i- .Si-p| (-ndu-r .'.iid. ,iiid K-ll llu- state 
.'^epIi-niluT ..'lilli, iindi-i i-nininand ni ( nl, \\ in. M, Im-iiIhii, 

CmnpaiiN ( ' w as nlficn rd as fni Inw s : (.iplaiii k'.ilpli I' ly ; Imi'sI l.inil- 
tiMiant (Ion. ,'~^. ( imdmi : Srcniul I .icnli-nanl ( 'li,is, I',, lliilida\'; SiTf^oaills — ■ 
h'ri'd. M. |iadL;iT, lU-my iv \\a\niii<', |,inu-s II Sw ret in;;, Nalhail C'llllivll, 
\\ ilhiir Nidsmi: ('mpnr,ils Siiiimi M . I ,,iiudiliii, ( li.iiK-s l'ri-\n\', ( 1,'irw'nMd 
1', Kn-ss. Inliii \\ , Dn.iiu-. |).i\is .\|. \\ .iiif. I. mills (■. kii.ipp. I'plii.iiin 
lii'i iw n, I )( HI' ( il iiild. 



Enlistments to the company were 
Ralph Ely, Aug. 12, 1861. 

Geo. S. Gordon, 
Chas. B. Holiday, 
Fred. M. Badger, 
Henry F. Waymire, 
Nathan Church, 
Wilbur Nelson, 
John W. Doane, 
Jacob B. Ellison, 
Jas. H. Sweeting, 
Garwood E. Kress, 
Davis M. Waite, 
Hinsdale S. Hart. 
Lucius C. Knapp, 
Ephraim Brown, 
Jas. M. Hines, 

Geo. Hull, " " "^ 

Norman B. Husted, 

Wm. I. Hildreth, 

Edwin D. Willetts, " "' " 

Stephen Young, 

John R. Burwell. 

Dorr Gould, 

Emery Adams, 

Ephraim L. Adams, 

Israel Boyer, 

Eli S. Brooke, 

Phares Bell, "' '| " 

Jas. Buic, 

"Clarkson Burgess, " '" " 

Isaac H. Clymer, " ''^ 

Cyrenius Cronk, 

Martin W. Cramer, " " '| 

Amasa Clark, 

Daniel Chaffin, " " 

Jas. Dickinson, 

Alonzo Eastman, 

Geo. W. Feaster, " " " 

Henry Flanigan, 

fonathan K. George, ' 

Wm. B. Harris, " " 

Zachariah Hickman, " " '" 
Clement Hickman, " " ^" 
Alonzo Jack, 
Enos H. Kimmel, 
Franklin Moore, 
Joseph Mecomber, 
Edwin E. Mull, 

Fred. W. Minica, 

Jas. B. Parker, " " " 

Lewis Piper, 

as follows : 

Orin Phelps, 
Elmer Y. Packard, 
Martin R. Parker, 
Joel A. Pegg, 
Joseph C. Rockafellow, " 
Jacob C. Ring, 
Joel Rowley, 
Chas. Rooks, 
Michael K. Strayer, " 
Nathaniel Strayer, " 
Wm. H. Strayer, 
Constantine Schlappi, 
John C. Scott, 
Albert Smith, 
Silas Turner, 
P. S. Thornton, 
Chas. F. Trevoy, 
Harrison Vanderbeek, 
Wm. Vanderbeek, 
Alfred Van Leuven, 

Henry C. W'eaver, 
Jeflferson M. Williams, "' 

Benjamin L. Walker, 

Chester W' alker, "' 

Alex. Wurts, 

Welcome Waldron, 

Solomon Wolfe, 

Henry C. Ferris, 

Azro Train, 

Burr Turner. 

David M. Thornton, 

Edgar Loomis, 

Wm. Holmes, 

John Q. Hamp, 

W. E. Ward. 

Chas. H. Pritchard, 

Robert Lowery. 

Erastus Halstead, 

Lionel W. Harris, 

Lyman A. Andrews, 

John W. Barnes. 

Samuel S. Brady. 

Lorenzo Evans, 

A. J. Harrington, 

Wm. B. Huntington, .\ug. 

Napoleon B. Hamp, Feb. 

Wm. N. Rogers, 

Ira Amsbury, Oct. 

Townsend A. Ely. Feb. 

Alex. M. Wiley, Oct. 

Aug. 12, 1861. 

Ian. 9, 1862. 


23, 1861. 

21, 1862. 

25, 1862. 

17. 1862. 

17, 1862. 

14. 1862. 

,^0, 1863. 

Ian. 9, 1862. 


14, 1862. 

12, 1862. 

1, 1862. 




The 26th Mich. Infantry. 

Company D nf this regiment was composed entirely of Gratiot County's 
pioneer citizens. The company was recruited mainly in July and August, 
1862, under the direction of Lafayette Church of Arcada Township. Mr. 
Church was a pioneer of the county and a prominent citizen. The regiment 
was ordered to rendezvous at Jackson. It left the state Dec. 13, 1862, under 
command of its Colonel Judson S. Farrar. Dr. Chas. W. Marvin of Ithaca 
was assistant surgeon of the regiment from June, 1864. until the close of 
the war. 

Following were the officers of Company D : Captain — Lafayette 
Church; First Lieut. — Nathan Church; Second Lieut. — Wm. S. Turck; 
Sergeants — Theo. Nelson, Luther C. Smith, ^^'m. M. Barstow, Jas. T. 
Rooks, Wm. D. Towner ; Corporals — Zadock P. Freeman, Geo. W'. Rooks, 
Wm. M. Howk, Moses Sanborn, Lafayette Sweatland, J. R. Van Leuven, 
Sether Dean, Jr., Myron R. Holmes. 

Following are the names of the other members of the company, with 
the dates of enlistment : 

Wm. Barton, 
Isaiah Allen, 
Jason G. Adams, 
Fred. S. Kelly, 
Herbert Sanborn, 
Jas. Gladstone, 
Joseph Greer, 
Reuben Finch, 
Wm. Dean, 
John Deeler, 
Daniel C. Dodge, 
Thos. A. Carr, 
Isaac N. Coleman, 
John Cunningham, 
John G. Chase, 
Joseph Crockford, 
Wm. Crockford, 
Thompson P. Curtis, 
Abraham Boyer, 
Nathan Boyer, 
Fred. Boyer, 
Jacob T. Boyer, 
Fred. Beck, 
Elijah Barrett, 
Chauncey Barber, 
Francis K. Hickman, 
Michael Hickman, 
Geo. Hahn, 
Geo. Healy, 
Alyran Hall, 
David H. Hamp, 
Enoch Mudge, 
Jeremiah McPherson, 
Chas. E. McBride, 
Nehemiah Lamb, 
Joseph J. Lovell, 


12, 1862. 

Klisha Husted, 



4, " 

Peter Hoffman, 


14, " 

David Johnson, 




12, •■ 

Isaiah Kinney, 




5, " 

Wm. Kinsel, 




13', •' 

Edward Lake, 




5, " 

John W. Lake, 




7, " 

Ira Livingston, 



9, " 

Martin V. Munson, 


11, " 

Jacob H. Mellinger, 




2, " 

John McLaughlin, 




15', " 

W^m. J. Marshall, 



30, ■• 

Aaron Sloan, 



5, '* 

Lewis Sloan, 


6, " 

Henry Shults, 



15, " 

Aaron Staunton, 
Joseph Os worth. 




Anthony Ogden, 



11, •' 

Wm. J. Pendell, 




7, " 

Wm. Preston, 



5, " 

John S. Rowland, 



11, " 

Daniel Rowland, 



5, *' 

Robert Reed, 




14, •' 

Thos. Reed, 



12. •■ 

Henry N. Rogers, 



13. " 

Albion Pickett, 
\\'m. Partee. 



14, •■ 

Sidney Phippeny, 
Geo. Phippeny, 




28, ■• 

John Parks, 



13. " 

John H. Shaffer, 



14, " 

Alex. H. Snyder, 




9, " 

.\lbert Shaver, 




Ransom P. Finney, 




12. " 

Butler J. Finney, 




John Zimmerman, 






David Zimmerman, Aug. 
Aiiflrew Tinklepaugh, " 
Jas. \'. Meit, 
John W. Warner, " 

Henry Wiseman, 
Lysander M. White, " 
\V. J. Wood, 

Frederick G. Hall, April 
Francis \\'. Hall, 

Chas. H. Hoag, Me 

Moses H. Hollister, 

W'ni, Anderson. (;)ci 

Elbridge Franklin. Aut 

Luther Franklin, " 

Thos. Bigelow, " 
Samuel Healy, 

15, 1862. 

11, " 
8, " 

12. ■■ 

^ ^ *' 

12. ■■ 

Adam M. Marvin, 
Geo. Hunt, 
Seneca Curtis, 
Adam H. Holmes, 
Lafayette F. Hall, 
Albro Curtis, 
W'm. Joslin, 

Geo. Tate, 
Elon Moyer, 
Edwin Kingslev, 

Thos. Franklin, 
Jas. I. Lash, 
Thos. Crofford, 

Geo. Leoffler, 
Jas. G. Brady, 
Russell Phillips, 

Nelson Bullock. 

In the 2nd Infantry. 

2.=i, 1S61. lohn Mull. 


David Wells, Aug. 

Jonathan Courter, No\-. 





Robert Lovvery, July 

Jonas P'. Jewett, 
Arthur L. Buchanan, " 
Lawrence Eagan, July 
Lester Slocum. Aug. 

In the 3rd 

13, 1,S(,1. 

In the 4th 


In the 5th 

14, INV.I. 


12, " 

In the 7th 

3, 1801. 
8, '• 

13, " 

In the 9th 

20, 1851. 

In the 10th 


In the 13th 

4, 18(:)1. 

21, " 
4, " 

In the 14th 

8, 1802. 

29, 1861. 
21, " 

In the 16th 

0, 1801. 

In the 17th 

14, 1862. 
27. •' 


(ieo. W. Phillips, 
W'm. ^^■right, 



( )scar Smock, 
Chas. Svveatland, 
Wm. I. Tracey, 
Jesse P. Wheaton, 

Wm. H. Ring, 
J. C. Schoonover, 
Wni. Moyer, 



< iayli ird Helms, 


{•■-Ihert C. Brink. 
.Al)el Bigelow, 


wm. Weed, 
James Weed, 


Horace Peck. 
John Kortine, 
Chad. Herrington, 
Joseph W. Grace, 

Dec. 22, 1863. 
" 23, 

" 26, • 

■' 29, ' 

" 30, 
Mar. 1864. 

Mav 13, 1861. 

lune 19, 1861. 

Aug. 9, " 

15, '• 

7, " 

Dec. 13, 1861. 
June 24, 


Nov. 5, 1861. 
Dec. 2-:^. - 


June 21. 1862. 
luly 5. " 
Aug. 1, " 
July 8, " 



In the 21st Infantry. 

Albert D. Loucks. 
Darius E. Dean, 
Nathaniel Crosby, 
Ebenezer E. Bigelow, 
Wm. Burt, 
Ebenezer Ferris, 
John H. Tibbitts, 
John A\'ilson, 
Sheldon Clarkson, 
Chas. Johnson, 
Bradbury G. Spiller, 

Albert Bovee, 
Jewett Bentley, 
Jas. Bentley, 
Wm. A. Carr, 
Jas. V. Carr, 
David Duncan, 
Leonard C. \\'aldo, 
Wm. H. Sheldon, 
Rufus Sheldon, 
Reuben R. Smith, 
Chas. W. Hewett, 
Henry Oberlin, 
Richard W. Bunce, 
\Mlson Stanley, 

John M. Trask, 
John E. Densmore, 
Gilbert E. Hall, 

David Muffly, 
lacol> I. Mufflv, 

Aug. 22, 1862. 

13, ■' 

14, " 


2<), 1863. 
26, ■■ 

Chas. W. Miller, 
Austin C. Jacobs, 
Richard E. Marlett, 
Hiram Cuykendol, 
Carlisle Miller, 
Chas. E. Going, 
Zadoc Bigelow, 
Levi Colwell, 
Marvin A. Colwell, 
Geo. D. Reeves, 
1m1,. C. Wolford. 

Dec. 26, 1863. 

In the 23rd Infantry. 

June 30. 


Aug. 8, 
Julv 30, 

Aug. 6, 


'■ 11. 

" 12, 

" 1.=;, 


" 11, 

(jeo. A. Richmond, June 


Norton Rice, 


Levi Atwell, July 


Chas. H. Waggoner, 


Adelbert Kenttield, 


Wm. Reed, 


Albert A. Lawrence, 


Henry Otto, 

Solomon Creasinger, Aug. 


Andrew ]. Wardwell, " 

Wm. R. Pratt, 


Geo. Gray, 

Edward Bassett, 

Melvin Stanley, 
Wm. H. Steadman, 
Devillo West, 
Timothy Smith, 
Obed Stoddard, 
Allen Keen, 
Geo. Steadman, 
Henry Simmon, 
John H. Jessup, 
John McCuaig, 
Edward A. Chase, 
Joseph Harlock, 

' Wm. H. Laycock, 

Alex. McCuaig. 

In the 27th Infantry. 

1863. Robert Gladstone, 

Jan. 1864. David DoUiver, 

In the 29th Infantry. 

18()4. John Walker, S. Wright, 

In the Engineers and Mechanics. 

















Henry Bassett, 

Ezra Keene, 

Hiram Norton, 

Inman N. Cowdrey, 

John T. Swigart, 


Andrew S. Jolly, 

Culwell Martin, 



Alonzo Lawrence, 



Henry J. Norton, 



Theo. O. Daniels, 


Amasa G. Otto, 


Simeon Howe, 



Isaac \\'. Jackson, 










Wm. Lepley. 


W'm. Ogden, 


John W. Lepley, 


Reuben Ogden, 


\\ 111. J. Tracy, 


Lewis Dickerson, 


Hiram Hilliker, 


Geo. Wells, 


John W. \\'ilkinson, 


Jas. Payne, 


Robert Fulton, 


Birdsey Eldred, 


Jas. Fulton, 


John Brown, 


John Underhill, 

In the 



Jas. W. Howd. 


In the 



Jas. Hawkins, 


28, 1863. 

Hiram Tubljs, 




Philo Taylor, 

" " 

Lewis Wheelock, 


Absalom L. \\'ard. 

Willard Powell, 




Andrew Call. 

Patrick Brewer, 




Chas. Henry, 

Thos. Hunt, 




D. D. Wooley, 


Samuel Willard, 



Geo. N. Schlappi, 


Norman D. \'incent. 




Henry Davison, 

In the 


Samuel A. \'liet. 



Jackson Page, 


8, 1861 

Harvey ^lull. 




Geo. Page, 

10, " 

Wm. Waterbury, 




John J. Shook, 


28, " 
In the 


Hiero B. Fox, 


John \'an Hollen, 


18, 1863 

Da\i(l Cunningham. 




Jas. B. Carpenter, 


11, " 

Stephen Cunningham, " 



Stephen M. Boyle, 


" " 

Amos Lake, 



Thos. R. Paine, 


17, " 

Daniel Graham, 



Albert B. Paine, 



Jacob Ream, 




Joshua F. Harter, 

21, •' 

Emerson Crosby, 



W'm. R. Stevens, 

26, " 
In the 


Perry D. Pettit, 


David Bussey, 


14, 1862 

Wesley Howell, 




Jacob Grubaugh, 

13, " 

Almon Jolls, 



Willett Reynolds, 


Jas. Griffith, 



John Bennett, 

In the 



Geo. W. Aldrich. 



Franklin Woodman, 
Daniel C. Cronk, 


Jewctt B. Bent 



Henry Giley. 


Jas. Mathews, 


lerome Luce, 

Israel Tyler, 


In the 10th Cavalry. 

10, 1863. Lewis H. McDowell, Oct. 1. 1863. 

24, " John \\'. McDowell, - 3, " 

24, •• Luther J. Brink. 

the 1st Sharp Shooters. 

9. 1863, Chas. Harris, July 17. 1863. 

the 6th Sharp Shooters. 

7. 1862. lohn Maxwell, Tan. 18. 1862. 

12, •' Abial S. Loomis, "" 20, " 

13, '■ Thos. Campbell, " " " 



In the 3rd Battery. 

Michael Johnson, Jan. 6, 1862. John McCue, Jan. 16, 1862. 

Christian Shaffer, " " " Peter J. Desnoyer, " 25, " 

John Chardon, " 12, " Conrad Levi, Feb. 16, 

Geo. C. Dickerson, " " " 

A long list of patriots to go at their country's call, from a county only 
seven or eight years old. How many gave their lives to the cause it is im- 
possible to state here, but the number was large. 

Subscriptions for Soldiers' Bounties. 

Mrs. S. S. Hastings furnishes a relic of the Civil War in the shape of 
a subscription paper gotten up for the purpose of paying a bounty to vol- 
unteers from the Township of Pine River, so as to obviate the necessity for 
a draft : 

"We. the undersigned, hereby pledge ourselves to pay the amounts set 
opposite our names in support of a bounty to be raised in the Township 
of Pine River, to be paid to those who volunteer in said township in the 
service of the government of the L^nited States, to be paid on or before 
the 5th day of January, 1864, to those authorized to receive the same and 
to be paid to those who volunteer and are sworn in and accepted by the 
government, provided the whole quota is filled: 

Luther Smith, $30; Mitchell Packer, $15; Cordis Smith, $25; Henrv 
Smith, $25; David S. Packer, $25; J. A. McKibben, $25; J. B. Smith. $10: 
Jas. Cummings, $20; A. Porter, $20; Moses Tompkins, $20; M. Smart, 
$5; Hiram Burgess, $2S: E. M. Stevens, $15; L. M. Clark. $5; Samuel 
Johnson, $10; tas. Gargett, $25; W. B. Humbert, $25; Orson Briggs, 
$25 ; Helen Drake, $2 ; Marv .\. Brooks, $2 ; Mary E. Rowley, $1 ; Han- 
nah Dodge, $1; Martin Va'nderbeck, $10; Elias Sias, $10; Geo. Inslev. 
$10; G. W. McHenrv, $10; W. B. Chase, $5; S. S. Hastings, $15; Z. P. 
Thornton, $25: E. R. Hoyt, $10; Valmore Hoyt, $10; Isaac Church, $10; 
L. W. Kyes, $10; Fred. Wright, $10; Chas. Wright, $5; Jas. Livingston, 
$10; Silas Moody, $25 : losepl'i Doane, $25 ; Edward White, $10; J.Holmes, 
$10; Ellen Moody, $10;" Amassa Packard, $25; Thos. Gallagher, $10; John 
A. Thomas, $5; Geo. Fogelsong, $3.50; David Waters, $.50; John W. 
Fogelsong. $.50; Isaac Shipman, $.50; C. Holmes, $.50; M. Holmes, $.50; 
Alfred Holmes, $5; Marv M. Moodv, $5; Jas. B. Allen, $10: .\massa A. 
White, $.50. 


Rev. Theodore Nelson, one of (iratiot Count}'s most honored citizens, 
and himself an old soldier, deli\ered the following address at East Saginaw, 
on Memorial Day, 1875 ; 

"Today we have come to this 'city of the dead', to strew flowers on 
the graves of those who fell in the war of the great rebellion. This mem- 
orial observance is beautiful, touching, even pathetic in its significance. It 
is the sweetest possible tribute of a nations gratitude. Flowers, coming as 
they do, from the hand of God, seem to embody those finer sentiments 
which words cannot convey; they fitly voice the tenderest feelings of the 
soul. Their beauty symbolizes the deeper, grander beauty of a life sacri- 
ficed for others. Their fragrance speaks of fragrant deeds — not evanescent 
as the fragrance of flov^-ers, but deeds that shall live forever in the memory 
of man. Yes, these dead were the choicest flowers plucked from our 
hearts and homes. 


"Two thousand years ago, Pericles pronounced a splendid oration over 
the graves of those Athenians who had fallen in the Peloponesian War, and 
in that oration he said, 'for of illustrious men the whole earth is the 
sepulcher'. All over the sunny South are thousands of graves upon which 
no flowers will be strewn. They hold the dust of those who were 'miss- 
ing in action', or the dust of those who were hurriedly buried without 
head-board or mound to mark their resting place. I will not call them 
illustrious men, for even their names are forgotten save in the narrow 
circle where once they moved, save by the few loving hearts which hold 
them in everlasting remembrance. But I will say that they were the 
authors of illustrious deeds; and of these men 'the whole earth is the 

"Oh. Earth! Earth! Thou art reeking and red with the gore of the 
noble slain ! Not alone the few graves in this cemetery : but the graves of 
all our fallen heroes we decorate today. 

■'It seems but yesterday: but many jears have come and gone since 
then. They have been years of transition in our personal history, and 
years of transition in our national life. Some of us have passed from boy- 
hood to the prime of manhood ; and some from the prime of manhood 
to the 'sere and yellow leaf of old age. Events have moved on with 
astonishing rapidity. Governments have been created, empires have beer 
overthrown and dynasties have passed away. These years have been the 
human focal point of the ages. Toward this point the whole history of the 
human race has seemed to converge. 

"I do not suppose that our fathers ever dreamed of the greatness of 
the empire which they were founding. Each of the thirteen colonies had 
a peculiar history of its own ; each had an individual life ; each stood out 
separate and distinct from the rest, and each was jealous of its prerogatives. 
It was difficult, therefore, to establish such a union as to secure all the 
advantages of a consolidated, centralized government without the loss of 
individual or colonial rights. Our fathers did the best they could under 
the circumstances. The colonies were united, but not assimilated. It was 
this idea of colonial independence which afterward re-appeared in the fatal 
doctrine of 'states rights', and this doctrine pressed to a finality precipitateil 
the rebellion. 

"It was the old contest between freedom and slavery. Institutions so 
hopelessly antagonistic could not long subsist under the same government. 
Never had men a better cause than ours. Rarely had there been a 
question that had but one side. .\ great historian has observed that it 
often happens to nations to l)e compelled 'either to forego the blessings of 
order that they may secure liberty, ur to surrender liberty rather than 
imperil the existence of order'. But we were compelled to choose between 
the maintenance of liberty and order on the one side, or, on the other, the 
overthrow of order and the destruction of liberty. Long ago wise men 
said that this struggle must eventuate in war: and the}- were right. The 
tempest broke at last with terrible fury. 

"The day that Sumpter fell the telegraphic wires thrilled with the 
mingled emotions of a nations sorrow and wrath. Men were bewiklered 
with excitement. Never before had they realized how their individual hap- 
piness was interlocked with the well-being of their country: how personal 
libertv, the rights of conscience and tjie institutions of religion would be 


imperiled by the overthrow of that government which our fathers had be- 
queathed us. 

"Out of the black war-cloud which gathered its dense and wrathful 
folds in the face of the southern sky ; out of the sullen roar of cannon and 
the smoke of the far-oiif battlefield, the voice of God called them to arms. 
That call was answered with a shout which echoed from the rugged hill- 
tops of New England to the fertile valleys of the West. Those men who 
said it would be an easy task to conquer the South had made a grand mis- 
take. Almost from the beginning the war assumed gigantic proportions, and 
it became apparent that the struggle must be fierce and long. Our first 
experience chastened our pride, humbled us before God and taught this 
nation to do right. 

"War at best is a direful scourge ; and fratricidal war is an unspeakable 
calamity. War, to those who, through injustice or violence, force such 
an issue, is a crime against humanity and a sin against God. Oh, those 
days of an.xious waiting and awful solicitude ! Oh, those days when every 
jjreeze was burdened with tidings of the slain ; when the voice of mourn- 
ing filled the land ! 

"And now a decade of years have gone. Ten times the seasons have 
made their cycles since the rebellion was crushed. Ten times the flowers 
have bloomed and faded above the last made martyr's grave. But who 
can ever forget that the half-million of men who laid down their lives in 
this conflict belonged to this generation ! Yes, fellow citizens, some of 
them were your fathers, or brothers, or husbands, or sons. Ah, that great 
army of the dead ! Methinks they go trooping before us now. Today they 
stretch forth their shadowy hands to greet us, and mingle with our songs 
their mysterious voices. 

"Every great cause has had its martxrs. 'The blood of the martyrs has 
been the seed of the Church' ; and the Church will never forget her martyrs. 
First of all she emblazons on her banners the name of Jesus. The apostles 
creed records his martyrdom in these words : 'Suffered under Pontius 
Pilate ; was crucified ; dead and buried'. The world's greatest artists — 
Raphael and .^ngelo and Titian — have employed their grandest skill to 
portray and celebrate this event ; have painted it on canvas, or carved it 
in wood, or sculptured it in marble, or wrought it in brass, or silver, or 

"Today — at every hour of the day — in some part of Christendom, the 
gilded cross glitters in the beams of the rising sun. And that cross is the 
world-wide symbol of Christ's martyrdom. 

"Now I hold that the patriotic sentiment is ne.xt to the religious senti- 
ment : that first of all, under God, man owes allegiance and love to his 
country. .-\s an eminent .American said at the breaking out of the re- 
bellion, 'We will nail our country's flag just beneath the cross of Christ'. 
Love of country embraces love of home ; love of kindred and friends ; in 
short, it embraces every object and interest dear to the heart in this life. 
And when — as is the case with ours — a country represents an idea supreme 
in its moral ascendency over the political theories which obtain among 
nations in general ; when it recognizes the absolute sovereignty of the 
people, and is set for the defense of the civil and religious rights of all 
classes fif citizens, it is especially entitled to the affection and service of all 
who enjoy its previleges, or claim its protection. I pity that American — 
native or foreign-born — whose soul is never thrilled with emotions of 


"Now, if the institutions of our country are of such priceless value, we 
cannot afford to forget those men hy whose death these institutions have 
been purchased and preserved. We cannot afford to forget this nation's 

"On the 19th of .April last, at Concord and Lexington, was celebrated 
the one-hundredth anniversary of the first battle of the Revolution. Battle 
we call it. though nothing but a skirmish. Yet. in many respects, it was 
the most famous event in our history. 

'Uv the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to .April's breeze unfurled ; 
Here, once the embattled farmers stood. 
And fired the shot heard 'round the world". 

"An eln(|uent writer has said: '.As the fleets and armies of England 
went forth to consolidate arbitrary power, the sound of war everywhere 
else on the earth died away. Kings sat still, in awe, and nations turned to 
watch the issue. And the issue was Liberty! 

"With the memory of those who died in that struggle we wreathe the 
fame of our fallen in these later years; for, alike with them, they are 
■ martyrs of the Republic. And what shall I say of them ! They heed not 
eulogy, and they need it not. A nation bedews their memory with her tears. 
Many of them sleep in unknown, but not in unhonored. graves. Soldiers 
sleep on! If noble achievements do earn us rest, you well may sleep. Rest, 
heroes, rest! Ask no prouder rehearsal of your deeds than this: 'Killed in 
action': or 'Died of wounds': or, 'Died of disease contracted in the line of 

'Whether on the scaffold high. 

Or in the battle's van. 
The fittest place for man to die. 

Is where he dies a man". 

"And now. as we honor the memor\- of our dead, let us not be unmin<l- 
ful of the duty which we owe to the living. While we cherish with pride 
the achievements of our soldiers, let us bury in oblivion the bitterness en- 
gendered by the conflict. Oh, that the mantle of him, who fell, jaded and 
worn by excessive toil, and by burdens no mortal, unaided, could ever 
bear; fell as the watchman who waiteth for the morn, just as he beheld 
the rising day; fell, the last and greatest of the nation's martyrs; Oh, 
that the mantle of Abraham Lincoln might rest on all the people ; that 
all might be imbued with his spirit of "malice toward none, but charity to 
air. Then we should learn not alone how to demand rights for ourselves, 
but also how to concede rights to others. Then we should learn that true 
liberty is not lawlessness or license, not freedom from personal restraint 
in wrong-doing, but in a much better sense : the liberty of good citizenship 
and noble manhood." 

Sketch of Rev. Theodore Nelson. 
This sketch chronicles, briefly, the prominent facts in the life of one 
who, with more plausibility and truth than can be said of any other, was 
Gratiot Countv's favorite son. 



Theodore Nelson was born in Madison, Lenawee County. Mich., Feb- 
ruary 11, 1841. He removed with his father, Francis Nelson, (judge of 
probate later on) to Gratiot County, in 18.^4, setthng- in Arcada Township. 
In July, 1862, he enlisted 
in Company D, 26th 
Mich. \"ol. Infantry, and 
was made orderly ser- 
geant. He was after- 
ward promoted through 
the grades to captain, 
and was acting adjutant 
of the regiment for some 
time. He was a gallant 
and popular soldier, 
serving in many battles, 
and was mustered out at 
the close of the war. 

After the war Mr. 
Nelson studied for the 
ministry, attaching him- 
self to the Baptist de- 
nomination. He served 
as pastor of the Churches 
at St. Louis, Ithaca and 
Alma at different times. 
In the fall of 1866 he 
was elected register of 
deeds of Gratiot County, 
and was re-elected in 
1868. In the spring of 
1885 he was appointcl 
state superintendent ■ i 
public instruction by 
Gov. Alger, to fill va- 
cancy. From October, 
1873, to March, 1882, 
he was pastor of the 
First Baptist Church at 
East Saginaw, and in 1883-4 he was acting president of Kalamazoo college. 

In 1878 Mr. Nelson was given a leave of absence by the Saginaw 
Church, to make a tour of Europe for his health, and he took another 
similar trip in 1882. In 1884 he was aopointed to the chair of English 
literature in the Ypsilanti Normal School. In 1887 he aided in founding 
Alma College, and for some time held the chair of English literature in that 
institution. In 1889 he accepted the pastorate of the ^Michigan Avenue 
Baptist Church in Saginaw, continuing in that capacity two years, when 
he was called to the presidency of Kalamazoo College, a position which he 
occupied until his death, which occurred at Alma, May 1, 1892. His health, 
never really robust, became greatly impaired in late life, and his death, 
though finally a great shock to all, was not unex])ected. He was buried 
in Brady Hill Cemetery, Saginaw. 

Dr. Nelson was twice married. His first wife who was Frances A. 
Church, daughter of Rev. Lafayette Church, the pioneer Baptist minister. 
She died September 15, 1865, about a year after her marriage. May 25, 1867, 
he was married to Laura A. Cheesman, daughter of Dr. John R. Cheesman, 



pioneer of Hamilton Township, later of St. Louis. To this latter union 
seven children were born — five daughters and two sons. The five daughters 
were taken away in their youth by a scourge of diphtheria while the 
family resided in Saginaw. The two sons, together with their niotiier, sur- 
vive. The mother is a resident of Saginaw. 

Wilbur, the older of the two sons is a Baptist minister, now serving 
the First Baptist Church at Connellsville, Penn. He was five years pastor 
of the First Baptist Church at Saginaw, the charge occupied by his father 
for nine years. Theodore, the second son, is a lawyer by profession, now 
practicing in New York City. 

Dr. Nelson belonged to the Masonic fraternity, a member of Ithaca 
Lodge No. 123, F. i^ A. M.. and of Ithaca Chapter No. 70, R. .\. M. 

Sympathetic and kind in his nature, mild, earnest and sincere in man- 
ner, firm in his stand for truth and justice. Dr. Nelson won the respect, 
confidence and afTection of all with whom he came in contact. If it could 
be said of any man that ''he had no enemies". Rev. Theodore Nelson was 
surely entitled to that distinction. And as a public speaker for occasions 
calling for serious and deep thought, feeling and sympathy, associated and 
combined with exalted and ecstatic sentiment and expression. Dr. Nelson 
had few equals and no superiors. Though dead twenty years his memory 
still lingers: and it is a pleasure to be able to perpetuate that memory in 
this permanent way. 


Gratiot County's Warriors Showed Up Numerously. 

The spring and summer of 1898 showed great activity in "military 
circles", in Gratiot County. The Spanish-.\merican conflict was impending, 
and the patriotic sons of Gratiot were just as ready and anxious to fight, 
and if necessary, die for their country as anybody, and right nobly did they 
come forward and offer their services. 

-Acting under an inspiration, and by auth.ority granted by the G. .\. R.. 
Department of Michigan, Comrade \\'m. H. Beasley, of Ithaca, opened a 
recruiting oiTice in April, and took in the names of such as desired to 
oft'er themselves for the conflict when it should come. In the course of a 
couple of months Mr. Beasley and others gathered in the names of about 
90 prospective warriors. About the first of Jul}- Dr. O. P. Barber, of 
Saginaw, who had been appointed surgeon of the S.^th Mich. Infantry, the 
regiment into which the Gratiot recruits were to be put, came cm as first 
aid to the government in selecting candidates for the ser\ice. 

'i'he doctor passed about 40 of the boys and they were ordered to 
report at Orchard Lake, the place designated for the rendezvous of the 
Michigan recruits. Afterward others were added, and the final sifting 
process was enacted at the encampment, and those accepted were assigned 
— or the most of them — as members of Company H, of the 35th Regiment, 
J. L. Thornborn, captain of the company. 

Tlie adjutant general's records in Lansing show that there were 41 
sworn into the service from Gratiot County. The list of names, with 
postofifice addresses as they were at that time, is as follows: 



Raymond H. Bangs, Alma. 

Wm. J. Carrel, " 

Geo. A. Spicer, 

Fred Stoutenburg, 

Chas. O. Ward, 

Harry H. Johnson, St. Louis. 

Jas. McGregor, 

Ray Broadhead, " 

S. B. Brott, 

^^'alter C. McLean, " 

John D. Throop, " 

Harry R. Ball, 

Harry H. Johnson, 

Sidney E. Dalrymple, Ithaca. 

Stephen A. Clymer, '' 

Alfred Saleno, " 

Albert H. Webster, 

Glenn E., Baney, " 

Frank M. Shroyer, " 

John M. Banders, 

Chas. C. Critchfield, " 

As those who offered themselves and were excused for one cause or 
another showed their good intentions as well as those who were accepted, 
it seems no more than fair to give them credit for their commendable efforts 
to get to the front. They are as follows, as I have been able to get them : 

John E. Shirely, 
Enos Lewis, 
Clarence E. Clymer, 
Ralph M. Knickerbock 
Thos. E. Lobdell, 
Bird Allen, 
A\'ilber S. Tuttle, 
Jas. H. Pavne, 
Zach. D. Rule, 
Chas. A. Percell, 
Elmer W. McDonald, 
Guy Rosekrans, 
Geo. P. Robertson, 
Wm. C. Hollinger, 
Timothy Kirwin, 
Myron Murgittroyd, 
Clyde Armstrong, 
Frank J. Newsom, 
John D. Roberts, 
Fred D. Lewis, 


er. Edge wood. 

N. H. Center. 
North Star. 





Chas. \\'. Riley. 
Sanford Ringle. 
Pitt De Bar. 
Frank Gwinner. 
Edgar N. Church. 
Fred Rogers. 
Joseph R. McCoy. 
John Clingersmith. 
Volney J. Hendershott. 
Daniel F. Duffey. 
John Brown. 
W. J. Dean. 
.Arthur A. Mil-'esell. 
Alvah Hattadis. 
Chas. F. Wood. 
Pliny W. Rogers. 
Eugene M. Becker. 
Jas. A. Putnam. 

h'rank Baker. 
Chas. R. Giddings. 
Adolph T. Glinke. 
Seth J. "Curtis. 
Melvin Yerian. 
Walter .\. ^^■hitcomb. 
Geo. Feaster. 
Jas. W. Bowers. 
Guy H. Davis. 
Frank Meeker. 
Lewis ^McDonald. 
W. D. Coss. 
Floyd Draver. 
Cal. S. Pra'tt. 
Thos. Holland. 
G. W. Eldredge. 
Clark E. Beckwith. 
Fletcher G. Booth, 

W. A. Frisbie. 
Claude B. Moore. 
Ralph E. Alvord. 
Floyd Woodward. 
Jas. H. Rogers. 
Eugrene DeLong. 
J. E. Fafty. 
Herbert M. Churchil 
Eugene Delaney. 
Clyde Thompson. 
Oscar J. Bright. 
Fred L. Delavan. 
Thos. Bishop. 
Edward Winn. 
Ray Panney. 
Edward Burch. 
David R. Shaw. 


This association has, without doubt, been of great benefit to the county. 
Certainly it has been and still is, of much interest to the people, its annual 
exhibitions beng looked forward to with high expectations, and enjoyed by 
throngs of people from all parts of the county. It is one of the few county 
agricultural societies of the state that has retained the confidence of its 
patrons without a break from its first organization, 45 years ago, to the 
present time. There have been years when the exhibitions have not been 
quite up to the standard, and a few times when the premiums could not 



be paid in full. But for the past 10 years it has seemed to take on new life 
and vigor, and each annual fair seems to outclass that of the previous 

The society was organized June 13, 1866, at Ithaca, and a fair was held 
the following fall. Nathan Church was president and Emery Crosby secre- 
tary. The public square, at that time a new and rough proposition, sur- 
rounded by a rail fence, was utilized for the purpose. A temporary struct- 
ure was erected for a floral hall, and the farmers corraled their stock about 
the grounds as best they could. An improvised race track around two or 
three village blocks, well patronized by Gratiot's "plugs" furnished a lot 
of amusement for those with sporty notions. The records of this first fair 
and of many subsequent ones have been destroyed or lost, if there ever were 
any, so it is impossible to give anything like a connected account of the 
doings of the society. 

At the session of the board of supervisors in October, 1866, the society 
asked the board for an appropriation in aid of its purposes and efTorts. 
The request was signed by Francis Nelson as president of the society and 
Wm. E. Winton as secretary, and was in part in the following words : "We, 
the undersigned, do hereby certify that the inhabitants of Gratiot County 
did. on the 13th day of June, A. D. 1866, organize and establish a society 
for the encouragement and advancement of agriculture, manufactures and 
the mechanic acts in said county, and that there has been raised by said 
society over $100 for the promotion of the aforesaid object. And you are 
requested to assess and levy a tax for the benefit of said object, according 
to the statute in such case made and provided." These things were sworn 
to before W. C. Beckwith, a notary public. 

The board took kindly to the request and levied a tax of one-tenth of a 
mill on the dollar. The amount realized was $92.35. 


At an early date the society secured suitable grounds for its exhibitions. 
These have Ijeen improved and added to until the "fair grounds" now con- 
sist of 35 acres, with buildings, pens, stables and sheds, connnodious and 


well located, and with ample space for all the usual attractions, necessary 
and desirable. 

Coming to a mention of the half-mile track, it is conceded that the 
society has one of the best in the state. Probably there is none better, and 
none better patronized by the racing and sporting fraternity, particularly 
during the past eight or ten years. 

It is regretable that the records have not been better preserved. A 
connected histor}* of the exhibitions, giving in brief the prominent features of 
each, including many of a humorous nature, together with the names of 
the principal officers, would make an interesting and valuable chapter. 

Officers elected October, 1873 for the ensuing year: Pres. — Wm. S. 
Turck. Sec. — R. Smith. Treas. — W. Nelson. Ex. Com. — F. S. Kelly, 
Newark; J. M. Lewis, Roswell Jones, Fulton; E. \V. Kellogg, Newark: 
L. Church, Arcada. 

.At the election of October, 1874, officers for the ensuing year were 
elected as follows: Pres. — J. \\". Doane, Pine River: Vice-Pres. — Wm. A. 
Krom, Elba ; Henry Maed, Hamilton ; C. C. Foote, Lafayette ; C. H. 
Howd, Wheeler; N. B. Fraker, Washington; D. Ingalsbe, North Star; 
Ransom Allen, Emerson; Elias W. Smith, Bethany; G. W. Clark, Fulton: 
E. W. Kellogg, Newark ; G. S. W'ard, Arcada ; Aaron W^essels, Pine River ; 
^^'m. Brice, North Shade; C. H. Morse, New Haven; John Medler, Sumner; 
^^'m. Medler, Seville. Secretary — Emery Crosby, Lafayette. Treas. — 
\\'ilbur Nelson, Ithaca. Ex. Com. — Wm. \l. Barstow. North Star; W. S. 
Turck, Arcada: A\'m. Long. Washington: Wm. E. W'inton, R. Smith, 

-\ newspaper account of a strength contest at the 1876 fair is at hand 
and will interest the old settlers, recalling as it does a lot of names of 
the sturdy yoemany of a generation ago. A contest of strength was ar- 
ranged to take place between North Star and Newark Townships, a dozen 
men from each township to try titles on a rope. The picked twelve from 
North Star were — D. J. Bodine, Moses Johnson, J. E. Mills, D. Kimmel, Geo. 
Houseman, Sanford Ringle, A. B. Clafflin, Clark Whitmore, J. Lewis, Spaul. 
Elliott, Elisha Franklin and Wallace Hill. Newark produced the following 
to uphold her honor: Francis Kellogg, Jacob Smith, B. Hibner, Jo. Strouse, 
E. P. Parker, G. W. W'ideman. Ben. Parker, John W'idenian. 11. J. Bentley, 
I. L, Altenburg, Jo. Austin and Wm. Wideman. 

After a long and exciting pull North Star won, securing a fine flag, the 
prize offered by Col. N. Church. An oyster supper at the Comstock House 
to the whole bunch of 24 contestants was thrown in by the Col. for good 
measure, so to speak. The North Star 12 weighed 2,220 pounds; the 
Newarks were a good second at 2,150. 

This contest seemed to awaken the ambition of the heav}--weights of 
the county, so the next daj- a contest was arranged to take place between 
the east and west sides of the county for a prize of $15. C. E. McBride 
was captain of the eastsiders and chose as his helpmeets — Jacob Lewis, 
Moses Johnson, John E. Mills, Elisha Franklin, Wallace Hill, S. Ringle, 
David Kostenbader, D. Kimmel, Geo. Houseman, J. Morton, R. Gladstone, 
P. Lewis, Parks Allen, A. B. Clafflin and Perry D. Pettit. For the west 
side Captain Francis Kellogg selected for the pull — Tom. Crofford, John 
Maxwell, Jas. Razor. W. W. Jackson, T. \. Johnson, J. W. Doane, Silas 
Moody, Wm. Wideman. Cornelius Deline, Jacob Smith, E. L. White, David 
Cunningham, Henry W. Kinsel, G. W. Wideman, Theo. H. Foland. There 
were 16 on a side this time. After a terrific struggle the east side suc- 
ceeded in pulling their opponents over the line. 


Tlie ravages of 35 years have laid low much more than one-half of 
those muscular contestants. Are there more than 10 of them still living'' 
A wedding on the grand stand was another of the attractions at this fair. 
The brave and happy couple got a parlor stove for their reward ; a prize 
offered by Gilbert C. Smith. A prize of $5 offered by A\\ B. Scattergood for 
the homeliest baby was won by Airs. John Fuller, of North Star. Must have 
been "Jess", but it hardly seems possible. A prize of $5, offered by Dr. 
A\". D. Scott, for the handsomest baby, was carried off by Mrs. John Price 
of Fulton. .\ prize of $2, offered by Dr. C. W. Marvin, for the heaviest 
l)al)y under one \car old, was divided, une dollar each to the baliies of 
ilyron .\e\-ins, of Arcada. and Frank Melnis. of l-'ulton : the former weigh- 
ing 2^ ])Oun(ls at six mrinths old ; the latter weighing 22 jxumds at five 
months did. 

"Childrens' Day" i.\as fur several years one of the most popular features 
of the annual fairs, the day being devoted to the business of entertaining 
the school children of the county, who came from all jiarls, loaded on 
specially constructed vehicles decorated and embellished with llags and 
evergreens, and drawn by farm horses bedecked with flowers and shrubbery 
and flags. Prizes were given for the largest reputation from the schools, 
and for the largest loads. 

In the earlier days of the fair the Ithaca school, with parades and songs 
and miscellaneous maneuvers, and all under the leadership of "Pat", (H. R. 
Pattengill, for ten years or st) at the head of the Ithaca schools), was a 
great factor in making the fair a popular holidav occasion for the people. 
Some of the songs evolved on those occasions have come echoing down the 
many years,, even unto the present time, and a sample or two are here 
guaranteed immortality by being given space in this write-up. Here is one 
entitled, "A Jolly Fair Song", that was let loose at the fair of 1878, to the 
great edification of the recejitixe and enthusiastic multitude: 

.\ song! Hurrah! my jolly friends. 

Let's make our country ring ; 
True hearts will echo everywhere 

The merry lay we sing. 

Let men and women, box's and girls, 

.And ])eddlers with us too. 
Lift high their tuneful voices. 

A merry, happy crew. 

Chorus — Hurrah for our county, three cheers iov our couutv. 
Hurrah for "Starving Gratiot," the county of the state. 

We've laid aside our toils and cares, 

.\nd gathered here today 
To see the fair of countv fairs, 

.Vnd ha\e a holiday. 

\^'e want to hear the chickens sing. 

The calves and o.xen squeal. 
.-\nd either ride round in the swing. 

Or dance the rustic reel. — Cho. 


Oh, what a monstrous tree it took 

To bear that mammoth beet. 
And how it makes dear Susan look 

To hear John talk so sweet. 

The cabbage bush did very well, 

That hill of apples, too. 
The turnip vines must jnit in hard 

To furnish such a crew. — Cho. 

The bedquilts, fruit and candy stands 

Must all receive our care, 
Oh, won't the handsomest schoolma'ani blush. 

The homeliest man will swear. 

If babies squall, or women jaw, 

Or folks step on your toes. 
Don't let your angry passions rise 

-And don't turn up your nose. — Cho. 

Xow there stand John and Susan, 

With John's arm out of place. 
See Susan beam with happiness, 

See John's sunshiny face. 

They're taking in the county fair, 

_ And having lots of fun ; 
Enjoy yourselves for all that's out, 
Be sorry when it's done. — Cho. 

Let's all be Johns and Susans, 

We don't mean with our arms. 
And we'll go home the happier. 

To workshops and to farms. 

And when next autumn rolls around, 

Once more we'll all be here, 
We'U have a jolly, happy time 

-As we celebrate the 'year.— Cho. 

. . -^ '"^Jf •■e|erence to one other song, given by the Ithaca school at the 
fair ot l^//- loo long to be given here in full, so the first stanza and the 
chorus wdl have to do. Imagine a couple of hundred voungsters led by 
the^enthusiastic "Pat , rending the air with this, to the tune of "Co-ca-che- 

When the golden-hued Octoi)er 

Tells us we have time to spare. 
We'll just yoke up Buck and Brindle, 

And whoa-haw-gee to the fair. 

Chorus — Co-ca-che-lunk-che-lunk-che-la-ly 
Hi! Oh! chick-a-che-lunk-che-lay. 

We will take our squash and chickens. 

And our bed-(|uilts and our nig-s 
Etc., Etc.— 


Nothing extremely instructive, to be sure, but it all helped to make life 
merrier ; and merriment beats gloom, and formality, and frost, "all to 

For the fair of 1882, officers were elected as follows: Pres. — \Vm. M. 
Barstow ; Sec. — O. F. Jackson; Treas. — J. W. Lewis; Ex. Com. — S. Moodv, 
G. W. Clark, Henry Baldwin, K. P. Peet. Philip Fritz. 

1883: Pres. — S. Moody; Sec. — O. F. Jackson; Treas. — W'illnir Xelson. 

1884: Pres.— S. Moody; Sec— H. R. Pattengill ; Treas.— W. Nelson; 
Ex. Com. — G. W. Clark, O. F. Jackson, R. .\. Peet, Laf. Sweatland. Ransom 

1886: Pres.— O. F. Jackson; Sec— K. P. Peet; Treas.— W. F. Thomp- 
son ; Ex. Com. — C. E. Webster, T. S. Barnes, Nat. Walker. Laf. Sweatland. 
S. Moody. 

1887: I*res. — S. Moody; Sec. — T. S. Barnes; (resigned, June. 1887, and 
O. F. Jackson appointed) ; Treas. — W. F. Thompson. 

1888: Pres.— S. Moody; Sec— O. F. Jackson; Treas.— W. Nelson. 

1889: Pres.— S. Moody; Sec— O. F. Jackson; Treas.— K. P. Peet. 

1890: Pres.— C. E. Webster; Sec— O. F. Jackson; Treas.— K. P. Peet. 

1891: Pres.— C. E. Webster; Sec— O. F. Jackson; Treas.— Wm. l!. 

1892: Same as 1900. Sept., VJ02. Jackson resigned and J. T. .Mathews 
was appointed secretary. 

1893: Same as 1891. 

1894: Pres. — S. Moody; Sec. — Jas. Aloore; Treas. — \\'. B. Scatter- 
good. January, 1894, Moody resigned and R. C. Lake was appointed presi- 
dent. July, 1894, Lake resigned and K. P. Peet was appointed president. 

1895, '96, '97: Pres.— Jotham .Allen; Sec— I. N. Cowdrey ; Treas.— 
Ransom J. Fraker. 

1898, '99, '00, '01: Pres.— D. L. Sharrar ; Sec— I. N. Cowdrey; Treas.— 
C. A. Price. 

1902, '03: Pres. — Edward Draver; Sec — I. N. Cowdrev ; Treas.— 
C. A. Price. 

1904, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09: Pres.— Fred S. \'an Buskirk ; Sec— Archie 
McCall ; Treas.— H. C. Barstow. 

1910, '11, '12, '13: I'res.— K. P. Peet; Sec— A. McCall; Treas.— C. .\. 

Besides the officers named, the society is equipped with an executive 
committee or board of directors, composed of members from different parts 
of the count}', one-half of whom are elected at each annual election in 

The association has had varied degrees of success in its annual exhibi- 
tions. During its earlier years, say during the 70s and "SOs, interest in the 
work and objects of the society was well maintained. .-Mong in the '90s 
there was a falling ofif in enthusiasm. It was a time when many of the 
county agricultural organizations throughout the state suspended operations. 
Gratiot's agricultural society continued to do business, however, and though 
it was up-hill work, and business was done at a loss, there were no skips 
made in the annual exhibitions. 

Along in the early years of this century it was seen that heroic measures 
would have to be adopted to attract and regain the popular interest that 
seemed to have in a measure outgrown the plans and specifications of the 
old-fashioned country vegetable show, and had gone off after the more ex- 
citing amusements that had come into existence in late years. The officers 
determined to see what a more extended and diversified racing program 



would do toward stimulating interest. It proved successful from the start, 
and since about 1904 interest and attendance have wonderfully increased, and 
as a matter of course revenue receipts have increased accordingly. 

The increased receipts have enabled the managers to make many im- 
provements to the grounds in the way of clearing out some portions that 
remained in a state of nature — draining and filling up the waste places. 
Fences have been built, buildings repaired and new ones erected, includ- 
ing a house for a care-taker that has been employed and put in charge. The 
grand stand has been doubled in capacity, capable now of holding more 
than 1,000 people and still much too small to accommodate the patrons. 

It has to be stated, though with regret, that as an agricultural show the 
fairs have not kept pace in value with the sporting and amusement features 
of the exhibitions. This is partially accounted for, however, by the fact 

that the fair dates ha\-e in late }ears been set back, it now being the practice 
to have the fair during the last week in .August. This is manifestly too 
early to get the benefit of the season's crops of fruit, vegetables and grain 
in full measure. The earlier date seems to be essential, however, to get best 
results under the system in vogue ; a system which, while not commending 
itself to the hearty approval of some, has the merit of bringing the hosts, 
and financial results that insure the payment of the bills and the inherited 

The officers take great pains and go to large expense to get novel attrac- 
tions for each recurring exhibition, so as to more than meet the expectations 
of the patrons. 

The Gratiot County Fair furnishes a holiday week for the people of the 
entire county, not equaled in that respect liy any other institution or enter- 
prise. -And it is due to the management to say that while the exhibitions 
run largely to amusements, great care is taken to keep excellent order, and 
to protect the people from the frauds and impositions that are too apt to 
seek and find their victims where the multitudes gather. 



Here was a project that promised great things ; and for a time it ful- 
filled its promises. In the summer of 1875 various and sundry leading men 
in the northern part of the county conceived the idea that there was a 
promising field for the organization and maintenance of a great district 
fair association, w-ith its central point of interest and actixity so placed as 
to more particularly aid and foster the well-being and future prospects of 
St. Louis and Alma, and incidentally to advertise and boom the adjacent 
territory for many miles around. Just w'ho had the first vision that sug- 
gested the idea is hard to say at this time, but it is more than likelj' that 
Wm. A. McOmber, of St. Louis, was the man, for he was somewhat given 
to seeing visions and dreaming dreams along various lines — financial, political 
and industrial. But be that as it may, there were plenty of others ready to 
take hold of the matter when once suggested, and to aid it along at least 
till the nnvelty wore oft". 

Meetings were held, committees appointed, preliminaries looked up, and 
finally an organization, named as shown in the heading to this. First officers 
were elected as follows : President — Dr. John R. Cheesman, St. Louis ; 
secretary — Wm. A. McOmber, St. Louis ; treasurer — Daniel R. Sullivan, 
Alma. The board of directors were chosen from the two villages and the 
surrounding country. A tract of 70 acres of land was bought lying midway 
between Alma and St. Louis, on the south side of the angling road. The 
work of fencing, building a large floral hall, sheds and pens, and grading a 
mile track was rushed along with great dispatch and much enthusiasm. The 
fair was duly held and proved Cjuite successful, though rain came and inter- 
fered very materially. The entries footed up over 1500, which in those days 
was considered a very wonderful figure. The articles of association took in 
Gratiot, Clinton, Montcalm, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw Counties, and the 
entries came from all parts of the district. The attendance was very large, 
and taken all together the fair was pronounced very satisfactory. 

The second set of officers was made up as follows : President — Darius 
Reid, of Arcada ; secretary — Chas. J. Willett, of St. Louis, (afterward re- 
signed and the board of directors appointed W. D. Tucker in his place) ; 
treasurer — D. R. Sullivan, of Alma. The third set, elected in January, 1877, 
was composed as follows: President — J. R. Cheesman: secretary — E. F. 
Quinn : treasurer — D. R. Sullivan. Directors were Marshall S. Depue, 
Jasper, Midland County; James Gargett, Alma: Marquis H. Tuttle, St. 
Louis; Horace S. Taylor, Arcada; P. H. Estee, Lincoln, Isabella County; 
Sam. Gordon. St. Louis; \V. J. MofTett, Seville. Cheesman declined to serve 
and L. Saviers. of St. Lfniis, was appointed ])resident by the board of 

During the next few years the association met with varied degrees of 
success with its fairs, some being exceptionally good, and with fast horses 
from all over the country. Various causes, however, combined to lessen 
interest, the most prominent being the debt for the original jnirchase price 
of the land ; the fact also that the Gratiot County Agricultural Society 
already had a good foothold, and with just claims on the support of the 
people of the county, had its j^roper weight. The other counties, also, had 
their own local fairs which claimed attention and patronage. All these 
reasons and perhaps others worked against the interests of the M. C. U. 
F. A., and though fairs were held u]) tn and including 188r\ they were not 
successful, and the end came at that time. 



The j)ul)lic sur\ eys of the region including Michigan were begun in 
1815 and practically completed in 1857. And right here is a good time and 
place to give some more or less valuable information relative to surveys — 
the terms used and the way and manner of dividing and subdividing terri- 
tory; also the manner of establishing a base of operations so as to secure 
accuracy, and also proper and reliable data for record and for subsequent 

I suppose that not more than one in live of the people of Gratiot 
County can tell where the "principal meridian" for Michigan is located, with 
reference to Gratiot County; nor in what direction it runs; nor yet in 
what part of a township to commence in the numbering of sections. 

Possibly not one in ten can tell anything about "base lines" or "correc- 
tion lines," or hs.\e much of an idea relati^•e to "towns" and "ranges" in land 

Perhaps it would be presumptuous to guess that not one in twenty can 
tell why the north line of any definite and regular subdivision of land is 
shorter than the south line ; or even whether or not it is shorter. 

Without presuming to give lessons in surveying, I believe that a page 
or two devoted to the points and matters above referred to will be valuable 
to many and interesting to nearly all readers of this volume. In the main 
I quote, for the very good reason that the facts quoted may come nearer to 
accuracy than would a re-hash ; and besides it's easier. 

In starting in to survey a new country, such as Michigan was a hun- 
dred years ago, in order to have a starting point and something to reckon 
from and operate from, a "principal meridian" line, so-called, is established. 
These lines run north and south, usually from the mouth of a noted river 
or from some prominent and permanent object. To distinguish them from 
each other they are numbered in regular order. The principal meridian for 
Michigan is an established line running north from the mouth of the 
Au Glaize, a branch of the Maumee, in Ohio. It forms the eastern boundary 
of Hillsdale County, runs through the center of Jackson and Ingham Coun- 
ties, thence north on the eastern boundary of Clinton and Gratiot Counties, 
and on north through the center of Midland and Gladwin Counties, and on 
due north to the northern boundary of Michigan. 

Throughout the West, at irregular intervals, the prrincipal meridians 
are intersected at right angles by east and west lines called "base lines". 
The location of base lines is not determined by any ti.xed rule, the primary 
object being to establish an accurate east and west line as the base of oper- 
ations, in connection with the meridian lines, in making new surveys, or in 
locating and designating lands already surveyed. 

The base line for Michigan is along the north boundary of Wayne 
County, and thence along the northern boundary lines of \\'ashtenaw. Jack- 
son, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties. 

Now with the principal meridian established, north and south, and the 
base line established, east and west, the townships are numbered east and 
west from the principal meridian, and north and south from the base line ; 
and thus the designation and location of any township is easily and lucidlv 

No two lines running exactly north and south can be exactly parallel, 
because both are running toward the same identical point — the north pole — 
and if continued far enough would come together at that point. So, it is 
easily seen that the north side of a township must be narrower than the 
south side. In other words, the north line is shorter than the south line. 



/S/\B£LL /\ COU/WTV^ 




c t. I r\i T o 


This difference don't amount to much in crossing one township, but by the 
time the surveyor has run across a dozen townships the difference is con- 
siderable, and ought to be corrected before it gets any worse, as of course 
the convergence of the lines necessarily reduces the area of the townships. 
In order, therefore, to have the townships as nearly uniform in size as pos- 
sible "correction lines" are established every sixty miles, with fresh measure- 
ments from the principal meridian, starting in anew with the townships ex- 
actly six miles along their southern lines. This results in producing oft'sets 
or jogs along the correction line, the north and south lines not "jibing" along 
that line. The first correction line rims through the center of Gratiot 
County, east and west, and doubtless a large share of the readers of this 
have noticed how the north and south highways on the township lines mis- 
match along that line. Six miles east of Ithaca the difference is considerable. 
At Ithaca the difference seems to be about a quarter of a mile ; and as the 
variations are added together as you go westward the difference is much 
more by the time you strike the west county line. In fact the variation is 
just about half a mile at the west line. 

In surveying any township, any differences, however originating, are 
carried to the north and west, and therefore the southwesterly section of 
any township is always wider east and west than the northwesterly section. 
Putting the above facts together, the reader will readily be able to 
account for the insertion of the terms "frational" and "more or less" in so 
many descriptions of land. On the west side of the townships the terms 
often come in rightfully and plausibly, as explained. 

It is often the case that lands are surveyed in isolated tracts, and when 
the lands between are surveyed and the lines are closed, it is found that the 
lines of the different surveys do not agree ; there is often an excess or de- 
ficiency in the amount of land required for a standard township or section, 
and this is always thrown on the north and west sides of the last survey; 
and this fact, with the attempt sometimes made to harmonize surveys made 
by diff'erent persons at various times, together with the ignorance, careless- 
ness and dishonesty of many surveyors, the imperfections of the instru- 
ments used, and a variety of influences and magnetic attractions, such as 
the presence of deposits of minerals, and the influence of magnetic currents, 
will account for irregularities in surveyed lines. 

In making the government survey, after the jirincipal meridian and the 
base line have been established, "range lines", so-called, running north and 
south, are run at regular inter\als of six miles, reckoning from the principal 
meridian, and these range lines are intersected at right angles every six miles 
by east and west lines which run parallel with the base line, thus forming 
townships. The townships are designated by numljers in regular order, 
commencing at the base line and numbering northward and southward : and 
commencing at the principal meridian and numbering east and west. 

So, apply these conditions to Gratiot County : The numbering com- 
mences at the base line on the north boundary of Jackson County; thence 
north along the meridian, ])assing eight townships — -18 miles — and you strike 
the southeast corner of Gratiot County, the first township — Elba — being 
number nine. So Elba is designated as "Town 9 North", and as that town- 
ship adjoins the meridian on the west, it is designated as "Range 1 \\'est". 
Thus it is easily understood that the designation or description, "Town 9 
North, Range 1 ^\'est," accurately locates the Township of Elba. 

As the county is four townships square, so to speak, it is readily seen 
that the townships along the meridian would be numbered from nine to 
twoKe inclusive; and the ranges west would number from one to four in- 



elusive, for each of those townships. Town 9 North, Range 1 West, or 9 — 1 
for short, is Elba; 10 — 1 is Hamilton: 9 — 2 is W'ashington ; 10 — 2 is North 
Star, etc. 

The division of townships into sections and smaller subdivisions need 
not be referred to probably ; but in order to find a place to stop I mention 
that each township is divided into 36 "sections" which should be a mile 
square each, and each section should contain 640 acres, and would contain 
that area, (in Gratiot County), but for the limitations and shortages above 
elucidated. And, oh yes ! The numbering of those sections ! The number- 
ing commences at the northeast corner of the township and runs west from 
1 to 6, then back eastward to 12, and so on alternately westward and east- 
ward till the soutlieast corner is reached, which would naturally be sec- 

tinll M>. 






Settlement, Elections, Biographies, Etc. 


In listing the townsliips of Gratiut County it is the usual practice to place 
them in alphabetical order, and for that reason Arcada is the first to be con- 
sidered in this connection. The township is technically known as town 11 
north, range 3 west, and reference to the accompanying outline map here- 
with presented, and the county map to be found in another place, it will 
readily be seen how it is bounded and the place it occupies in the county 
scheme ; centrally located, and in close proximity to the three large towns of 

/V £ WA ^ /< Tp 


the county. Pine River, flowing through the township from the west or 
southwest and escaping to the northeast by way of Pine River and Bethany 
Townships, carries a portion of the surplus water of the township to the 
Atlantic Ocean by way of the Saginaw, St. Clair, Detroit, Niagara and St. 
Lawrence Rivers. A portion of the surplus water only. The other portion 
seeks a level by way of the Newark and Arcada Drain, which, traversing 
what was formerly known as the "Big Swamp" of Arcada and Newark, finds 
a way to the Atlantic through Pine Creek, Maple and Grand Rivers, Macki- 
naw Straits, St. Clair and Detroit Rivers, etc. 

I am informed by a well-known Gratiot County surveyor, that the exact 
spot where the waters are undecided as to which route they will take in 
their projected trip to the sea, is on section 26 about fourteen rods north of 
the section line between sections 26 and 35. There the waters divide, gravity 
taking a portion to the north and west about five miles to the Pine, the same 
force taking the rest southward to the Maple, about fifteen miles away. 

The farms of Arcada are among the best in the county. The face of the 
country varies from moderately rolling to moderately level, and through the 
south center, where once was located the big swamp which is rapidly being 
converted into fertile fields there are several sections that are as level as could 
be desired. And there is no trouble with the soil ; it is all good, in slightly 
varying degrees. There is a limited stretch along the eastern border of the 
township, hilly and not quite up to standard ; but it may be only fair to state 
that the tract is an out-cropping from a more extensive tract lying over the 
line in Emerson Township. Emerson people will kindly overlook this seem- 
ing affront of "blaming it" on to their township when they stop to consider 
their score or more of sections which constitute one of the garden-spots of 
the county. 

The spirit of enterprise along the line of good road building has mani- 
fested itself in this township as in the other townships during the past few 
years, and the result is a credit to the township and its officials. The Ann 
Arbor Railroad traverses the eastern part, and the Pere Marquette is but a 
half-mile beyond its borders on the north. There is not a farm in the town- 
ship more than seven miles from a railroad and a good market. 

In other departments of this work already perused by the reader, the 
names of those who were earliest on the ground in Arcada, together with 
their experiences, labors, trials and privations, have been given full promi- 
nence, and need not be referred to in detail, excepting as they may appear 
incidentally in the official and statistical matter following. 


The first election in Arcada Township was held at the house of Lucius 
C. Knapp, one and a half miles north of Ithaca, April 2, 1855; held in 
accordance with a special act of the state legislature of February 10, 1855. 
The election board was created by those in attendance choosing Lafayette 
Church. Francis Nelson, Russell Burgess and Lemuel C. Cole to act as such. 
Lafayette Church was made chairman and Lemuel C. Cole, clerk. 

There were 38 votes cast, and they were cast for the following ticket: 
April, 1855: Supervisor — Francis Nelson: Clerk — Lemuel C. Cole; 
Treasurer — Lafayette Church ; Highway Commissioners — John M. Glover, 
Francis Nelson, Alanson Todd ; Justices of the Peace — Lafayette Church, 
Isaac Preston, Alanson Todd, Frederick Gould; School Inspectors — Ralph 
Ely, Lafayette Church. ; Overseers of the Poor — Ralph Ely, Russell Bur- 
gess ; Constables — Lucius C. Knapp, .\lfred Glover, Horace A. M. Dunbar, 
Simeon Adams. 


May 14, 1855, the highway commissioners met and organized or es- 
tablished four road districts, appointing pathmasters as follows : Ralph Ely, 
Samuel Keefer, Fred Gould and Russell Burgess. At this meeting David 
Courter appears to have been one of the highway commissioners. Init just 
how it happened the record fails to state. 

1856: "The board met at John Reefer's and organized, and then ad- 
journed to Oscar Morse's and opened the polls at 9 o'clock a. m. It was 
voted to raise $250 for road taxes to be equally distributed about the town, 
and $150 for incidental expenses. It was also resolved to hold the next town 
meeting at the same place." 

There were 52 votes cast, and they were distril.)uted as follows: 

Sup. — Francis Nelson 33, Emery Adams I'J; Clk. — Lafavette Church, 
51: Treas.— David P. George 28, John M. Glover 24: J. P.— \Vm. C. Reals 
51: vacancies, L. C. Cole 36; Laf. Church 32, David Courter 17, Fred 
Gould 11, Russell Burgess 2; H. C. — Nathaniel Bailey Sr. 52; vacancy, 
Wm. S. Davis 39, Alanson Todd 12: Sch. Insp. — L. C. Cole 46, Anson 
Arnold 1; Overseers of Poor — Ralph Elv 35, David Courter 35: Const. — 
W. S. Frary 51, Lemrock I. Flower 40, Alfre.l (dover 48. I. K. George 30, 
Wm. Brown 19. 

1857: Sup. — Anson R. Arnold: Clk. — Ralph Ely; Treas. — Emery 
Adams; II. C. — Russell Burgess: J. P. — Fred Gould: vacancies, Derwin 
El}-, Luther C. Smith: Sch. Insp, — Anson R. Arnold; O. of Poor — Emery 
Adams, W'm. Davis. 

1858: Sup. — R. Elv; Clk. — fohn Keefer; Treas. — Emery Adams: 
H. C— Wm. Davis; J. P.— Wm. Moyer; Sch. Insp.— L. C. Cole: O. of Poor 
■ — R. I^ly. Emery Adams. 

1859: .Sup. — Raljjh Ely; Clk. — Joseph Backus; Treas. — Emery 
Adams; II. C. — Geo. Chandler; vancancy. David P. George; J. P. — 
Joshua C. Hulburt ; vacancy, Lorton Holiday ; Sch. Insp. — Wm. S. Nelson. 

1860: Sup.— Luther C. Smith; Clk.— Geo. S. Gordon; Treas.— Wm. S. 
Nelson; H. C. — Lewis K. Baker; J. P. — .\nson R. .\rnold ; vacancy. Luther 
C. Smith ; Sch. Insp. — L. C. Cole. 

April, 1861 : Sup. — Geo. S. Gordon ; Clk. — Joseph Backus ; Treas. — 
Wm. S. Nelson; H. C. — John Keefer; J. P. — Geo. W. Jennings; Sch. Insp. 
— Jacob C. Schoonover. 

At the October session of the board oi supervisors, Geo. \\'. Jennings 
represented .Arcada as supervisor, and nothing to show what became of 
.Super\isor Gordon until 1864, when he was again elected supervisor. 

April, 1862: Sup. — Wm. S. Nelson; Clk. — Lewis S. Brooke; Treas. — 
Joseph Backus; H. C. — Simeon Corbitt; vacancy, Russell Burgess; J. P. — 
Alonzo E. Kingsley ; Sch. Insp. — A. R. Arnold ; vacancy, L. C. Cole. 

August 11, 1862, \\'m. S. Nelson resigned as supervisor and the board 
appointed .\lonzo E. Kingsley to the position. 

April, 1863: Sup.— Wm. Moyer; Clk. — Lewis S. Brooke: Treas. — 
Nathaniel Bailev ; 11. C— Wm. S. Hall; I. P.— L. C. Knapp ; Sch. Insp.— 
L. C. Cole. 

Sept. 24, "63, the l)oard appointed Geo. Chandler treasurer vice Nathaniel 
Bailey, deceased. 

A special township election was held June 23. 1864, to vote on the 
question of raising a bounty of $400 each for soldiers. Yes, 30; no, 10. 

April, 1864: Sup. — Geo. S. Gordon; Clk. — L. S. Brooke; Treas. — Geo. 
Chandler; H. C. — Samuel Keefer; J. P. — Nicholas P. Watts; vacancy, 
Luther C. .Smith 39, Wm. Mover 3'' — Moyer winning by lot. .Sch. Insp. — 
Tacob C. .Schoonover. 


Oct. 7, '64, the board appointed Tlieron A. Johnson supervisor in place 
of Geo. S. Gordon, resigned. 

Dec. 12. '64, board appointed T. .\. Ely clerk, vice L. S. Brooke, re- 

March 2, '65, board appointed ]\lichael PoUasky clerk vice T. A. Ely, 

April, 1865: Sup. — Theron .\. Johnson; Clk. — M. Pollasky; Treas. — 
Geo. Chandler: H. C.— \\'hitnian Hall: 2 ys, L. C. Cole; 1 yr, Wni. S. 
Nelson; I. P. — Geo. ^^'. Jennings; vacancy, Erancis Nelson; Sch. Insp. — 
D. C. Chapin ; vacancy, L. C. Cole. 

Islay 15. '65. L. A. George was appointed highway commissioner in 
place of \\'m. S. Nelson, resigned. 

April, 1866: Sup.— Wm. S. Turck ; Clk.— Dewitt C. Chapin; Treas.— 
Geo. Chandler: H. C. — Townsend .\. Ely; J. P. — \\'m. Aloyer; Sch. Insp. — 
Geo. S. Gordon. 

Dec. 14, '66, Nicholas P. \\'atts was appointed supervisor vice W'm. S. 
Turck, elected county treasurer. 

April, 1867: Sup.— Wm. Aloyer; Clk.— D. C. Chapin; Treas.— Geo. 
Chandler; H. C. — Calvin \\'. Courter; vacanc}". Geo. A\'. Jennings; J. P. — 
Jas. W. Howd ; Sch. Insp. — Julius C. iJowen. 

April, 1868: Sup.— Geo. Chandler ; Clk.— Geo. W. Helt ; Treas.— Town- 
send A. Ely; H. C— T. A. Ely; J. P.— Lorton Holiday; Sch, Insp.— An- 
son (_;, Sherwood. 

April, 1869: Sup.— Ralph Ely; Clk.— G. W. Helt; Treas.— T. A. Ely; 
H. C. — ^\'m. Moyer ; vacancy, Lewis K. Piaker; J. P. — Geo. Chandler; Sch. 
Insp. — \\'m. Howe. 

April, 1870: Sup.— Ralph Ely; Clk.— G. W. Helt; Treas.— T. A. Ely; 
H. C. — C. W. Courter ; vacancy, Jas. W. Howd ; J. P. — A. R. Arnold ; 
vacancy, Cortez C. Clark ; Sch. Insp. — D. C. Chapin. 

April, 1871: Sup.— Jas. T. Hall; Clk.— Geo. W. Helt; Treas.— Gilbert 
C. Smith; H. C. — Wm. M. Smith; ]. P. — Thos. Bamborough ; vacancy, 
N. P. Watts; Sch. Insp.— Wm. Howe; Dr. Com.— R. Ely. 

April, 1872: Sup.— Jas. T. Elall ; Clk.— Geo. W. Helt; Treas.— G. C. 
Smith; H. C. — Nat. Bailey; vacancy, A. S. Moyer; J. P. — Geo. W. Jen- 
nings; vacancy, Jas. W. Howd; Sch. Insp. — L. C. Cole; Dr. Com. — Reuben 

April, 1873: Sup.— Wm. S. Turck; Clk.— G. W. Helt; Treas.— Gerritt 
S. Ward; H. C. — Geo. O'Donnell ; vacancy, L. S. Spencer; J. P. — Jas. T. 
Hall; Sch. Insp. — ^^'m. Howe. 

April, 1874: Sup.— Jas. T. Hall; Clk.— Thos. P.amborough ; Treas.— 
Gerritt S. \\'ard ; H. C— Wm. S. Turck; vacancy, Seth R. Cole; J. P.— 
Jas. W. Howd; Sch. Insp. — L. C. Cole. 

April, 1875: Sup.— Wm. S. Turck; Clk.— Wm. Howe; Treas.— G. S. 
\\'ard ; H. C. — Nat. Bailev; J. P. — Thos. Bamborough; vacancies, Seth R. 
Cole, Jas. T. Hall: Supt. Sch. — Horace S. Taylor; Sch. Insp. — Alonzo Hood. 

April, 1876: Sup.— Wm. S. Turck; Clk.— Wm. Howe; Treas.— G. S. 
Ward; H. C. — Alonzo Ilailey ; J. P. — Geo. W. Mead; Supt. Sch. — Darius 
Reid ; Sch. Insp. — Alonzo Hood. 

Dec, 1876, board appointed Nicholas P. W^atts, supervisor vice Turck, 
elected representative in state legislature. 

April, 1877: Sup.— Jas. T. Tall; Clk.— Wm. Howe; Treas.— David 
Leach; H. C. — Edwin Adams; J. P. — Seth R. Cole; vacancy, Almon Yer- 
ington ; Supt. Sch. — Edgar J. Wiley; Sch. Insp. — Alonzo Hood. 


April, 1878: ?iip.— Edson P. Spink; Clk.— J. Adelbert Abbott; Treas. 
■ — Derwiii Ely; 11. C. — Geo. W'illard ; J. P.- — Henry E. Kingsley ; vacancy, 
C. W. Courter; Supt. Sch. — C. Leitch Downie ; Sch. Insp. — C. \V. Courter; 
Dr. Com. — David Castor. 

May 24, '78, board appointed Nat. Bailey drain commissioner vice David 
Castor, resigned. 

April, 1879: Sup.— Win. S. Turck ; Clk.— .\lonzo Hood; Treas.— Chas. 
Todd; H. C. — Geo. Willard ; J. P. — Jas. W. Howd ; vacancy, Joel Snyder; 
Supt. Sch. — H. R. Pattengill : Sch. Insp. — \\'m. Howe; Dr. Com. — Ambrose 
B. Angell. 

April, 1880: Sup.— Wm. S. Turck; Clk.— Alonzo Hood; Treas.— Geo. 
G. Holiday; H. C. — .\. B. Angell; J. P. — .\. Yerington ; vacancy, K. P. 
Watts; Supt. Sch. — H. R. Pattengill ;" Sch. Insp.— Christian C. Gerber ; Dr. 
Com. — Samuel F. Anderson. 

April, 1881: Sup. DariusReid; Clk.— A. Hood; Treas.— Geo. G. Hol- 
iday; H. C. — Wm. Adams; J? P. — Albert E. Woodward; vacancy, John F. 
Lewis; Supt. Sch. — Orlando J. Stilwell ; Sch. Insp. — C. C. Gerber. 

April, 1882: Sup.— Geo. G. Holiday: Clk.— Chas. H. Coates; Treas.— 
Wm. O. Watson; H. C— A. Hood; J. P.— N. P. Watts; Sch. Insp.— Marcus 
Pollasky ; vacancy, D. L. Sharrar ; Dr. Com. — Wm. Adams. 

April, 1883: Sup.— M. J. Bogardus ; Clk.— Chas. H. Coates; Treas.— 
\\'m. O. Watson; H. C— N. Bailey; J. P.— Ephraim Osborn ; Sch. Insp.— 
Bert Hayes ; Dr. Com. — Jas. P. King. 

April 22>, '83, M. J. Bogardus resigned as sujiervisor and Darius Reid 
was appointed to the vacancy. 

April, 1884 : Sup.— D. Reid ; Clk. — C. H. Coates ; Treas. — Edwin 
Adams; 11. C. — Jas. P. King; J. P. — .\. 'S'erington ; vacancies, Geo. W. Jen- 
nings, John F. Innes; Sch. Insp. — Geo. W. .\bbott : Dr. Com. — Daniel W. 

April, 1885: Sup.— D. Reid; Clk.— Nathan N. Nevins; Treas.— Edwin 
Adams; H. C. — W. S. Bangs; J. P. — Adney Dobson ; Sch. Insp. — Bert 
Hayes; \acancy, Jacob .\. Voorheis ; Dr. Com. — Ephraim Osborn. 

April, 1886: Sup.— D. Reid; Clk.— Nathan N. Nevins; Treas.— Edwin 
Moyer; H. C. — Wm. A. Thomas; J. P. — John F. Innes; vacancies, A. B. 
Angell. Edwin Adams; Sch. Insp. — Fred Church: Dr. Com. — Dan. W. 

April, 1887: Sup.— D. Reid ; Clk.— X. X. Nevins; Treas.— A. S. Moyer ; 
H. C. — .\lljinus Pierce; J. P. — Albert E. Woodward; Sch. Insp. — D. L. 
Sharrar ; vacancy, W. S. Bangs. 

April, 1888: Sup.— D. Reid; Clk.— John D. Spinnev ; Treas.— Fred D. 
Ely; H. C— Geo. Willard; J. P.— A." Yerington ; Sch. Insp.— Dan. H. 
Adams ; Dr. Com. — W. S. Bangs. 

April, 1889: Sup.— D. Reid; Clk.— J. D. Spinney; Treas.— Ferd. Mon- 
tigel ; H. C. — Geo. Willard; J. P. — Francis Palmer; vacancy, John Dun- 
ham ; Sch. Insp. — John W. Ferguson ; Dr. Com. — D. W. .\ltenburg. 

April, 1890: .Sup. — Isaac Russell; Clk. — J. D. .Spinney; Treas. — Ferd. 
Montigel; H. C. — Edwin Adams; J. P. — J. F. Innes; vacancy, Geo. W. 
Brown; Sch. Insp. — C. C. Gerber; Dr. Com. — D. W. .\ltenburg; Review — 
Geo. W. Pulfrey, Jas. P. King. 

April, 1891: Sup. — Daniel L. Sharrar; Clk. — J. D. Spinney; Treas. — 
Xelson J. McCullough; H. C. — Edwin Adams; J. P. — John Dunham; Sch. 
Insp. — .\mos \\'. Beckncr; vacancy-, Jerome Travis: Dr. Com. — D. W. 
Altenburg; Review — Perlev ^1. Smith. IX Reid. 


April, 1892: Sup. — D. L. Sharrar ; Clk. — Benj. F. Cline ; Treas. — Benj. 
C. Button; H. C. — John Rush; J. P. — D. Reid ; Sch. Insp. — Ephraim Os- 
born ; Dr. Com. — Orin Eddy. 

April, 1893: Sup.— D. L. Sharrar; Clk.— B. F. Cline: Treas.— Ferd. 
Montigel ; H. C. — John Rush; J. P. — Luman Gee; vacancy, D. Reid: Sch. 
Insp.— Ralph C. Ely; Dr. Com.— Alfred S. Wilson; Review— Jas. B. Tubbs. 

April, 1894: Sup. — D. L. Sharrar; Clk. — Robert D. Leman ; Treas. — 
Ferd. Montigel ; H. C. — John Rush ; J. P. — John F. Innes ; Sch. Insp. — E. Os- 
born : Dr. Com. — Martin Montigel ; Review — Adney Dobson, Jas. B. Tubbs. 

April, 1895: Sup. — D. L. Sharrar; Clk. — R. D. Leman; Treas.— 
Christian Rush; H. C. — Edwin Adams; J. P. — John Dunham; Sch. Insp. — 
W'm. A. Howe; Review — Jas. B. Tubbs. 

April, 1896: Sup. — D. L. Sharrar; Clk. — Chas. L. Delavan ; Treas. — 
Christian Rush ; H. C. — Edwin Adams; J. P. — Francis Palmer; Sch. Insp. — 
John T. Ewing; Review — Adney Dobson. 

April, 1897: Sup.— D. L. Sharrar; Clk.— C. L. Delavan; Treas.— John 
F. Schwartz; H. C. — Chris. F. Renner; J. P. — Rollin A. Wood; Sch. Insp. — 
Joseph Northen ; Dr. Com. — H. C. Worden ; Review — Edward Hannah. 

April, 1898: Sup.— D. L. Sharrar; Clk.— R. D. Leman; Treas.— J. F. 
Schwartz ; H. C. — C. F. Renner ; J. P. — Levi Keefer ; Sch. Insp. — Ralph C. 
Ely; vacancy, A. W. Beckner; Review — H. J. Hyde. 

Dec, 1898, Chas. L. Delavan was appointed supervisor in place of D. L. 
Sharrar, elected countv treasurer. 

April, 1899: Sup.— Chas. L. Delavan; Clk.— R. D. Leman; Treas.— 
Levi Keefer; H. C. — C. F. Renner; J. P. — John Dunham; Sch. Insp. — Fred 
Fullerton ; Review — Wm. Kuhlman. 

April, 1900: Sup.— Chas. L. Delavan; Clk.— Seth A. Tubbs; Treas.— 
Levi Keefer; H. C. — T. A. Ely; J. P. — Edwin N. Chadwick ; vacancy, Mel- 
vin Sharrar ; Sch. Insp. — Willis E. Hanson ; Review — Ferd. Montigel. 

April, 1901: Sup.— C. L. Delavan; Clk.— Seth A. Tubbs; Treas.— D. 
W. Adams; H. C— T. A. Elv ; T. P.— R. A. Wood. 

April, 1902: Sup.— C. L" Delavan; Clk.— Seth A. Tubbs; Treas.— D. 
^^'. .\dams : H. C. — T. A. Eh'; J. P. — M. Sharrar; vacancy, Adney Dobson. 

April, 1903 : Sup. — C. L. Delavan ; Clk. — Ralph J. Goodenow ; Treas. 
—Decatur Coleman; H. C— T. A. Ely; J. P.— F. Palmer; 3 yrs., Wm. Kuhl- 
man ; 2 yrs, Joseph F. Sartor ; Sch. Insp. — C. F. Renner ; Review — D. L. 

April, 1904: Sup.— C. L. Delavan; Clk.— Caris Brown; Treas.— D. 
Coleman; J. P. — E. N. Chadwick; vacancy, John D. Spinney; Sch. Insp. — 
A. F. Rockwell ; Review — John W. Holmes. 

April, 1905: Sup.— D. L. Sharrar; Clk.— P. J. Adams; Treas.— Hal 
Bancroft ; H. C. — Fred Church ; vacancies, Joseph F. Sartor, Azum Roberts ; 
Review — Adney Dobson, D. C. Gibbs. 

April, 1906: Sup. — Fred Bradford; Clk. — Philetus Adams; Treas. — 
John J. Hackett; J. P. — Azum Roberts; vacancy, David J. Best; Sch. Insp. 
— John Rush ; Review — D. C. Gibbs. 

April, 1907: Sup. — Fred Bradford; Clk. — Earl Kuhlman; Treas. — 
David J. Best; H. C. — Fred Church; J. P. — Guy Horton ; Sch. Insp. — 
R. A. Wood ; Review — Avolin Church, Adney Dobson. 

April, 1908: Sup.— Fred Bradford ; Clk.— Earl Kuhlman ; Treas.— D. J. 
Best ; J. P. — Henry C. Clark ; Sch. Insp. — John Rush ; Review — Avolin Church. 

April, 1909: Sup.— Fred Bradford; Clk.— John Rush; Treas.— Geo. PI. 
Kuhlman; H. C. — Hal Bancroft; J. P. — Henry Stadlberger; Review — 
Avolin Church. 



April, 1910: Sup.— Fred Bradford; Clk.— John Rush: Treas.— Geo. H. 
Kuhlman ; !l. C— P. J. Adams; J. P. — R. A. Wood; Review— Adney 

April, 1911: Sup.— Fred Bradford; Clk.— B. F. Cline ; Treas.— Earl R. 
Kuhlman; J. P. — Guy Horton; Review — .\volin Church; H. C. — E. New- 
comer; Com. of Roads — H. A. Bancroft; O. of H. — S. Husted. 

April, 1912: Sup.— Fred Bradford: Clk.— B. F. Cline; Treas.— E. R. 
Kuhlman; J. P. — Joseoh Sartor; Re\-iew — Adney Dobson ; H. C. — S. 
Husted; O. of H.— Burt Bailey. 

April, 1913: Sup. — Fred Bradford; Clk. — Benj. F. Cline; Treas. — H. 
B. Currence ; Com. of Roads — Hal Bancroft; H. C. — Seymour Husted; 
O. of H.— .-\lbert E. Udell; J. P.— Avolin Church; Review— \\'m. Fitz- 

Woman Suffrage: Yes. 49; no. 128. 

County Road System: Yes, 54; no, 132. 


Francis Nelson, 1855, '56. 

.Anson R. Arnold, 1857. 

Ralph Elv, 1858, '59, '69, '70. 

Luther C. Smith, 1860. 

Geo. S. Gordon, 1861, '64. 

Geo. W. Jennings, ap. summer of '61. 

Wm. S. Nelson, 1862. 

Alonzo E. Kingsley, ap. Aug. 11, '62. 

Wm. Moyer, 1863, '67. 

Theron A. Johnson, ap. Oct. 7, '64 ; 

Wm. S. Turck. 1866, '73, '75. '76, 

79, '80. 
Nicholas P. Watts, ap. Dec. 14, '66; 

ap. Dec, 1876. 


Geo. Chandler, 1868. 
Jas. T. Hall, 1871, 72. '74, 77. 
Edson P. Spink, 1878. 
Darius Reid, 1881; ap. April 

'84, '85, '86, '87, '88, '89. 
Geo. G. Holiday, 1882. 
M. J. Bogardus, 1883. 
Isaac Russell, 1890. 
Daniel L. Sharrar, 1891, '92. '93, '94, 

'95, '96, '97, '98, '05. 
Chas. L. Delavan. ap. Dec, '98 ; '99, 

'00, '01. '02, '03, '04. 
Fred Bradford. 1906. '07. "08, '09, 

•10, '11. '12. '13. 

Township Clerks. 

Lemuel C. Cole, 1855. 

Emery Adams, 1856. 

Ralph Ely, 1857. 

John Keefer, 1858. 

Joseph Backus. 1859. '61. 

Geo. S. Gordon, 1860. 

Lewis S. Brooke, 1862, '63, '64. 

Townsend A. Ely, ap. Dec 12. '64. 

Michael Pollaskv. ap. March 2, '65 ; 

Dewitt C. Chapin, 1866, '67. 
Geo. W. Helt. 1868, '69, '70, '71, 72. 

Thos. Bamboroutjli. 1874. 
Wm. Howe, 1875. '76. 77. 

J. Adelbert Abbott, 1878. 
Alonzo Hood, 1879, '80, '81. 
Chas. H. Coates, 1882, '83, '84. 
Nathan N. Nevins, 1885, "86, '87. 
John D. Spinney. 1888. '89. '90, '01. 
Benj. F. Cline, 1892, '93, '11, '12, 

Robert D. Leman, 1894, '95, '98, '99. 
Chas. L. Delavan, 1896, '97. 
Seth A. Tubbs, 1900, '01. '02. 
Ralph T. Goodenow, 1903. 
Caris Brown, 1904. 
P. J. Adams, 1905. '06. 
Earl Kuhlman, 1907. '08. 
John Rush, 1909, '10. 


Lafayette Church, 1855. 
David P. George, 1856. 
Emery .\dams^ 1857, '58, '59. 
Wm. S. Nelson, 1860, '61. 

Joseph Backus, 1862. 
Nathaniel Bailey, 1863. 
Geo. Chandler, ap. Sept. 24, '63 ; "64, 
'65, '66, '67. 



Townsend A. Elv, 1868, '69, 70. 

Gilbert C. Smith, 1871, 72. 

Gerritt S. Ward, 1873, 74, 75, 76. 

David Leach, 1877. 

Dervvin Ely, 1878. 

Chas. Todd, 1879. 

Geo. G. Holiday. 1880, '81. 

Wm. O. Watson, 1882, '83. 

Edwin .\dams, 1884, '85. 

Arthur S. Mover, 1886, '87. 

Fred D. Elv, 1888. 

Ferd. Montigel, 1889, '90, "93, '94. 

Nelson J. McCulloiia;h, 1891. 

Benj. C. Button, 1892. 
Christian Rush, 1895, '96. 
John F. Schwartz, 1897, '98. 
Levi Keefer, 1899, '00. 
D. W. Adams, 1901, '02. 
Decatur Coleman, 1903, '04. 
Hal Bancroft, 1905. 
John J. Hackett, 1906. 
David J. Best, 1907, '08. 
Geo. H. Kuhlman, 1909, '10. 
Earl R. Kuhlman, 1911, '12. 
H. B. Currence. '13. 



Francis Nelson, a prominent and popular pioneer of the county, was 
born in Otsego County, N. Y., July 15, 1808, the fifth in a family of eleven 
children. He was a son of Josiah and Lucy (Rice) Nelson. The former was 
born in, Massachusetts, September 9, 1773, 
and died in Lockport, N. Y., December ^v 
1847. The latter was born in Connecticut, 
September 22. 1778, and died in Mexico, N. 
Y., June 13, 1857. Francis Nelson was mar- 
ried in 1833 to Deborah Cotton, who was 
born in Batavia, N. Y., February 18, 1815, 
daughter of Lake Cotton. 

Francis Nelson removed with his family 
to Michigan in 1835, first locating at Palmyra, 
Lenawee County, afterward moving to Madi- 
son, and still later to Medina, same county. 
In 1854 he came to Gratiot County and took 
up 160 acres in Arcada Township, removing 
his family to the new home in the woods, in 
October of that year. He contended with all 
of the disadvantages incident to life in Gratiot 
County in those early days, and succeeded 
in winning a home for his growing family. 

Mr. Nelson took a leading part in 
the work of organizing the county, and 
was entrusted with many important positions in township and cuunty, 
being the first supervisor of the townshio in the fall of 1855, and was re- 
elected the next spring. In November, 1856, he was elected judge of 
probate of the county, and was re-elected in 1860 and 1864, thus serv- 
ing the county twelve years in that capacity, and alwavs with ability and 

Mr. and ^Irs. Nelson were the parents of four sons. The first-l)orn 
died in infancy. The others — Wilbur, William S. and Theodore, grew up 
to be respected and influential citizens. Wilbur is the only one still liv- 
ing; still in active business at Ithaca. Mrs. Deborah Nelson, the mother, 
died at her home in Arcada, August 15, 1874, aged 62. In 1878 Mr. 
Nelson was married to Mrs. .Ann Burgess, widow of Russell Burgess, of 
Arcada. Francis Nelson died March 10, 1897. 




A just and proper view of the life and character of Francis Nelson 
will place him in the front rank of Gratiot County's most worthy pioneers : 
a man of superior intellect, and one who rightfully enjoyed the fullest 
confidence and respect of his fellow citizens. 

Jiilni Rush, residing on the old Rush homestead, section 12. Arcada, the 
youngest son of Jacob and Sarah B. Rush who located there in 1854. was 
born in Arcada Township June 21, 1863. He was brought up a farmer and 
had the usual advantages and disadvantages of farmers" sons in a new 

February 12, 1882, John Rush was married to Miss Mary B. Black, of 
Arcada Township. She was born January 26, 1861, in Washington, Hemp- 
stead County, .\rkansas, daughter of Rev. B. B. Black and Amorette M. 
(Mills) Black, who were married in Missouri October, 1835, Mr. Black 
being engaged in ministerial work, and Miss Mills engaged in teaching. 
They resided in Missouri three years, during which time — November 7, 1856, 
in Callaway County — a son, John B. Black, was born. On January 26, 
1861, in Hempstead County, Arkansas, as previously stated, a daughter, 
Mar\' B. Black, was born; now the wife of John Rush. Soon after the 
war broke out Mr. Black offered his services as chaplain in the army, think- 
ing to do good to the sufifering and dying. While acting in that capacity 
he was seized with a fatal illness and died in Oklahoma, Miss., June 1, 1862, 
aged 32 years, six months and 18 days. 

Mrs. A. M. Black's father was Thomas Mills, born in Sheldon, Vermont, 
March 10, 1790. Her mother, Mrs. Phoebe (Chappel) Mills, was born in 
Montgomery County, N. Y., March 7, 1800. Mrs. Black was one of a family 
of four brothers and four sisters. 

After the death of her husband Mrs. Black taught a private school and 
gave music lessons ; also taught drawing in one of the best colleges in the 
South. In 1865 she came with her children to Gratiot County to visit her 

motlier. Mrs. Thomas Mills, who was seri- 
ously ill. She arrived too late to see her 
mother alive. She then engaged in teaching 
in Ithaca, continuing in the work for ten 
}ears, becoming well known as one of the 
most successful teachers in the county, en- 
dearing herself to both pupils and parents. 
She and her son John B., live on their farm 
on section 26, Arcada, where they have re- 
sided for many years. She is now 84 years 
of age, having been born May 18, 1829, in 
Colchester, Chittenden County, Vermont. 
She has been a faithful member of the Ithaca 
P.aptist Church during all of her life in 

John Rush, wife and family arc pro;ierly 
classed among Arcada's most esteemed cit- 
izens. The children are — Tracey Rush, a 
farmer of Arcada, born June 29, 1884, mar- 
ried to Miss Jennie Krisher. May 4, 1910: 
Maude Rush, born July 6, 1887, died Sep- 
tember 11. 188'); r.laine Rush, born IMarch 18, 18*0, married May 7, 1913, 
to Marie Lutz. of Alma, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. \\"m. Lutz ; Daniel Rush, 
born Seplendjcr 2Z, 1893: .\lice Rush, born August 13. 1896: Kllen Rush, 




born December 20, 1898. The three last mentioned reside at the parental 

Mrs. Samantha (Rush) Nevins resides on section 11, Arcada, with her 
husband, Byron R. Their daughter, Mrs. Nellie (Nevins) Hicks and her 
husband live with them. Their son, Floyd Nevins, is married and is living 
in Otsego, Mich. 

The children of Christian I. Rush are Mrs. Irma (Rush) Hamlin, living 
near Carson City, Mich., and Claude Rush, of Seattle, Washington. 

John Rush is a Republican in politics, and his townsmen have chosen 
him to serve in various responsible positions — school inspector several years ; 
highway commissioner in 1892, '93 and '94; township clerk in 1909, '10. 
And he has many friends who have stood by him and supported him for the 
responsible otifice of sheriff of the county. 


For many years covering the early history of Gratiot County there were 
few residents better or more favorably known than Rev. Lafayette Church. 
He was among those who sought the government lands of Gratiot in 1854, 
settling in Arcada Township. He was born 
in Wayne County, N. Y., July 16, 1816, son 
of Willard and Sally Church, natives of Con- 
necticut. Willard Church served as a soldier 
in the Revoluntionary War, and was de- 
scended from Puritan ancestry. 

Lafayette Church was the youngest of 
nine children. His educational advantages 
were limited, and at the age of sixteen he 
left the parental roof and commenced work 
on his own account. In the fall of 1836 he 
came to Michigan, spending the first winter 
in Oakland County. The next spring he 
went to Ionia, then a small settlement. In 
1840 he was married at Lyons, Mich., tci 
Sophronia Benjamin, daughter of Nathan 
and Chloe (Tyler") Benjamin, natives of the 
State of New' York. In the winter of 1854 
they came to Gratiot County, and from that 
time forward were identified with its inter- Rev. lafayette church. 
ests as long as they lived, and were among the county's most valued citizens. 
At the election of November, 1856 — the second election held in the county — 
Mr. Church was elected county treasurer, and was re-elected in November, 
1858. As treasurer of the county during the years of destitution he per- 
formed distinguished services in behalf of the county and in the interest 
of the sufferers. 

In 1862 Mr. Churcli raised a comiianv of soldiers for the L'nion army 
composed entirely of citizens of the county. They did valiant service as 
Company D, 26th Mich. Infantry, Mr. Church leading them as captain. 
After a few months he was made chaplain of the regiment, serving as such 
till the close of the war. He was an ordained minister of the Baptist 
Church, and was one of the earliest in the field in Church and Sunday school 

Mr. and Mrs Church were the parents of ten children — Nathan. Cor- 
nelia, Frances, Susan, Marie, Avolin, Julia, Flora, Willard and Fred. La- 
fayette Church died January 2, 1907, at the home of his son Fred in Ar- 
cada. The wife and mother — Sophronia Church — died at the home of her 
son, Avolin, in Arcada, December 20, 1911, aged 88 years. 



Fred Bradford, who resides on section 9, Arcada, supervisor of the town- 
ship now and for several years past, was born on a farm near Ionia, Mich., 

November 9, 1863. His fatlier was John D. Bradford, born in 1832, at 

I'lyniouth, Mich. His mother was Sarah 
( Wilbur) Bradford, born in the State of 
New York in 1840. 

John D. Bradford m o v e d with his 
father's family into Ionia County about the 
\ear 1844. settling near the village of the 
same name. In moving in they followed an 
Indian trail eight miles through the forests, 
a fact that gives an idea as to how new that 
county was at that time. They built a log 
house and had to go to Ionia to get sulTicient 
help to raise it. The father of the family — 
Fred's grandfather — died after three years in 
liic forest home, leaving a wife and seven 
cliildren, of whom John D., Fred's father, was 
tlie oldest, and aged fourteen. They soon 
starved out and moved back to Plymouth, 
temporarily. After two years they returned 
til the farm home and resided there contin- 
uously until December, 1910. when t h e v 
FRED BRADFORD. movccl into the City of Ionia, where the 

father and mother both died February, 1911, Mrs. Bradford surviving her 

husband but a few days. 

Besides Fred, there were two sons — Edwin, who resides on a farm near 

Ionia, and Frank, who lives in the City of Ionia. 

There were many tales of hardships endured in the early days in Ionia 

Countv ; also exciting stories of experiences. \\'hile hunting the cows one 

evening, Fred's father got lost and had to climb a tree and stay all night 

in the woods. Though his folks blew a horn 

all niglit. it did no good for he was too far 


Fred Bradford, our principal subject, 

helped on the farm, attending school in the 

winters, until fifteen years of age, after which 

he worked as a farm laborer for different 

ones until twenty-one years old, coming to 

Gratiot Countv iii the vear 1881. In 1884 he 

was married to Miss Metta E. Bogardus, 

daughter of Mathew J. and Huldah .\. (Sey- 
mour) Bogardus, the former born in Medina 

County, Ohio, December 4, 1840, the latter 

in Sharon, Ohio, February 28, 1843. They 

now live in St. Johns, Oregon. Their other 

children are — Myrta L. Ward, born October 

1, 1866, now living in Alma, and Philo, born 

April 13, 1872, now a resident of St, Johns. 

Oregon. Metta E. Bogardus, now the wife 

of l-Vcd Bradford, was born in M e d i n a 

County, Ohio, October 10, 1868. Two chil- 
dren have been horn to this union — R D Bradford, born October 1. 1890, 

and :\Iarie Mabel I'.radford. ])orn March 2r. 1^02, R D Bradford was 



married to Bessie B. Smith, daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Bates) 
Smith, in 1911. They have a daughter — Vera AI. Bradford, born June 18, 
1912. All are living at the Bradford home. 

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Bradford lived one year in Alma, 
and then moved to the farm where they now live. By good management 
and hard work this farm has been transformed into a fine home with all 
the necessary buildings and appurtenances for convenience and comfort. 
Within the past \ear a large basement barn has been erected ; a fine im- 
provement, the basement being finished throughout with matched lumber 
and with cement floors. It also is fitted up with what is known as "King's 
Ventilating System." Mr. Bradford specializes in dairy stock, and has a 
fine herd of registered Guernseys, his favorite breed. 

Relative to the rapid march of improvements during the past few years, 
Mr. Bradford says: "There have been wonderful changes in this county 
and in this township since 1884. Where we now have state award roads 
there was then nothing but mud holes. One mile that I have in mind, only 
a little way south of Alma, was a swamp that no person could get through. 
Arcada had one wooden bridge across Pine River outside of Alma ; now 
it has three good steel bridges, and has as nice roads as any township in the 
county, if not in the state. The township has drawn to the limit of the law 
in state awards for the past eight years, and at this time has two miles 
made and waiting for the time when the awards will be available." 

Mr. Bradford was never prominent officially till 1906, when he was 
elected supervisor of Arcada. Pie has since been re-elected every 3'ear, and 
is, therefore, now serving his eighth term. He has always served on the 
important committees, and is classed as one of the most trustworthy and 
painstaking members of the board. Last spring he was elected chairman of 
the board, a position which he still holds. All of which goes to show that 
in the oft'icial service of the people, as well as in farming, he is the right 
man in the right place, and is "making good." And it is a safe assertion that 
he has never sought office or asked for a vote. 

Mr. Bradford says of his good wife that she is justly entitled to an equal 
share of the credit for all successes attained during their married life ; a 
good counselor, a fast friend and a true helpmeet in every sense of the term, 
and under all circumstances. 


Darius Reid, now deceased, was born in Almont, Mich.. July 28, 1841. 
His father, Hulbert Reid, located in Lapeer County in 1835, a frontier county 
at that time. Darius' opportunities for an education were limited, but by 
making good use of such as he had he acquired the principal rudiments and 
nature did the rest. Early in the Civil War he enlisted in Company L, 1st 
Mich. Cavalry and served three years. Later he took up telegraphy at a 
business college in Pittsburgh, and was employed as operator on the Balti- 
more & Ohio, and on the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee railroads. In 
1872, he, with his brother, came to Gratiot, settling- on section 18. Arcada 
Township, and from that time on was engaged in farming. 

Mr. Reid was soon recognized as a suitable candidate for official honors, 
and he was chosen to many positions, including that of supervisor from 
1881 to 1889 with the exception of one year — '82. He was officially con- 
nected with the Michigan Central Union Fair Association which operated 
on extensive grounds between Alma and St. Louis in the late 70s. He filled 
all positions with ability and honor. As president of the Gratiot and Isa- 
Ijella Fire Insurance Company for several years, he did much to increase 
its popularity and usefulness. 



Mr. Reid was married in Shiawassee County, Mich., June 4, 1869, to 
Jennie, daughter of Edward and Isabella (Savage) Lawrence. Children 
born to them were — May Lillian, Adelia, Anna, Frank, and two who died in 
infancy. Mr. Reid died at his home in .Vrcada. May 10, 1898. at the early 
age of 57 years. 

Jacob Rush, a pioneer of Gratiot County and for nearly forty years a 
prominent and esteemed resident of Arcada Township, was born May 13, 
1823 in the State of Maryland. When twelve years of age he moved with 

his parents to Ohio, where 
his father, Lewis Rush, died, 
leaving a wife and four chil- 
dren — Rachel, Wesley, Mary 
and Jacob. The mother 
afterward married John 
Rush, brother of her first 
husband, and to them two 
children were born — Elijah 
Rush and Almira J. Gilmore, 
both now residing in Marion, 
( )hio. 

Jacol) Rush was l^rought 
up a farmer. January 8, 
1846, he was married to Miss 
Sarah B. Bailey, who was 
born in Morrow County, 
Ohio. In 1848 they moved 
to Lenawee County. Mich., 
bringing with them a little 
daughter, Samantha. There 
he resided until the fall of 
1854, when he migrated with 
his family to Gratiot County, 
landing (jctober 12th on the tract of land in Arcada that has since been 
the Rush homestead, and which is now occupied by John Rush. 
That other veteran pioneer, Francis Nelson, came at the same 
time, settling on an adjoining section. Mr. Rush's family lived in a tent 
until a log house could be erected. The family had all of the discouraging 
experiences incident to the pioneers of those days and the years following. 
The nearest grist mill was at Fish Creek, now called Matherton. It took 
three days with an ox team to make the trip. One of his misfortunes was 
the breaking of one of his legs below the knee, while hewing logs for a 
Poor to John Nevins' house. This laid him up all winter. He was a great 
luinler, and so was able to supply the famil_\" with plenty of venison. 

Mr. Rush had the first grist ground in a Gratiot County mill; the mill 
built by Ralph Ely at Elyton, now .Alma. 

Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Rush were the parents of children born as follows : 
Samantha, born January 6, 1847; now the wife of B. R. Kevins, of .-Xrcada. 
Margaret, born January 1. 1849, died .Vugust 26, 1865. Sophronia, born 
March 18, 1851 : married to David Bartholomew, died January 26, 1873. 
Christian I., born March 15. 1853; married Lorinda Bugbee ; now living at 
Oden. Mich. lohn. born Tune 21, 1863; lixing on the old homestead. Arcada. 




Jacob Rush and wife were people of excellent principles, members of the 
United Brethren Church, and highly respected by all who knew them. Mr. 
Rush died April 22, 1892. Mrs. Rush survived nearly fourteen years, pass- 
ing awav at the home of her son John and family, on the old homestead, 
August 9, 1906. 


Azum Roberts was born in the Township of Nusted, Erie County, New 
York, October 25, 1841. He is the son of Julius O. and Polly (Avery) 
Roberts. He spent his youthful da}'s in agricultural pursuits, working in 
his father's mills and in 
attendance at the district 
schools, according to the 
custom of farmers' sons in 
those days. In the early 
days of the Civil War — 
xA.ugust 19, 1861^he enlisted 
in his country's service, con- 
necting himself with the 44th 
N. Y. Vol. Infantry, popu- 
larly known as the Ells- 
worth Rangers, and served 
over three years, being hon- 
orably discharged October 
11, 1864. 

In November, 1873, Mr. 
Roberts migrated to Gratiot 
County, Michigan, and be- 
gan life as a pioneer. April 
18, 1883, he was married to 
Mrs. Wealthy J. Burgess, 
and soon thereafter settled 
on an eighty-acre tract de- 
scribed as the southeast 
quarter of the southwest quarter, and the southwest quarter of the 
southeast quarter of section 27, Arcada Township. The density of the 
forest at that time is aptly shown by Mr. Roberts' way of expressing 
it — -"The only way you could see out was by looking up." The lapse 
of time, with persistency in hard work, has wrought a magical change 
in the conditions, and now Mr. Roberts can boast of as fine a farm 
as can be found anywhere in his vicinity. He has in recent years added to 
his possessions by the purchase of an adjoining forty acres — the northeast 
quarter of the northwest quarter of section 34. 

Mrs. Roberts, whose maiden name was ^^'ealthy J. Lindsey, was born 
in the Township of Malahide, Elgin County, Canada, Septemlier 11, 1852. 
daughter of Charles and Maria (T3Trell) Lindsey. She came to Gratiot 
County in May, 1865, with her mother, and on July 4, 1872, was married 
to John A. Burgess, of Arcada. He was the eldest son of \\'illiam and 
Ruth Burgess and was born in \\'ood County, Ohio, May 15, 1850. To 
this union three daughters were born — Ethel, born October 1, 1873; Mattie, 
born October 7, 1875; Lottie, born July 30, 1878, died November 16, 1878. 
The father, John A. Burgess, died June 12, 1879. On the 17th of April. 
1883, as stated above, Mrs. Burgess was married to .Kzuni Rii!)erls. 



Aziim Roberts and wife are the parents of two sons — Fred O.. born 
January 18, 1884; Vincent A., born April 7, 1886. Fred O. was married 
July 25, 1907, to Mariette Gould, and resides in Isabella County. \'incent .\. 
lives at the parental home. 

Mr. Roberts and his estimable family are of the sturdy and substantial 
kind, justly respected and popular in the community, and are well worthy of 
their full share of prosperity. In politics Mr. Roberts is a Republican and 
has been favored by his party with various positions of trust, such as justice 
of the peace, and as school officer for about 15 years. He is a valued member 
of Moses ^\'is^.er Post, G. .A. R., of Ithaca. 


William E. Ueverl}-, for 25 years a resident of .\rcada Township, but 
now residing in Alma, was born in Summit Township, Jackson County, Mich., 
December 26, 1863, son of Jesse Armony Beverly and Mary Jane (Fea) 
Beverly, the former born November 2, 1839, in South Jackson, Jackson 
County, ^lich., and died February 7, 1869, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the latter 
born in England, October 6, 1841. They were married at South Jackson, 
Mich., March 26, 1863. Two children were born to them — William E., our 
principal subject, and Cora Inez, who was born April 27, 1867, in Ionia 
County Mich. After the death of Jesse A. Beverly, Mrs. Mary Jane Beverly, 
the wife and mother, was married to Michael McCann, of Ionia County. 
Their children were — Mary Jane, born in Ionia County, December 18, 1873 ; 
Florence Adelle, born in Jackson County in 1881 : Harry, born in Jackson 
County in 1883. Mrs. McCann. the mother, died in Jackson Countv, De- 
ceml)e'r 16, 1898. 

Cora Inez Beverly was married to Eugene Bagg, and lives in Jackson 
County. Mary Jane McCann married Bruce Huling and lives in Lansing. 
Florence Adelle McCann married Elmer N. Post, and lives at Forest Hill. 
Harry McCann married Emma Shaw, and lives in Jackson. Michael Mc- 
Cann, the father, died April, 1900. 

William E. Beverly's paternal grandfather was Francis Head Beverly, 
born in Steuben County, N. Y., June 20, 1799, and died in Ionia County, 
Mich., July 16, 1883. He was married in Steuben County, N. Y., January 
16, 1825, to Amy Page, who was born August 3, 1809, in Steuben County, 
N. v., and died in Ionia County, Mich., March 8, 1866. 

William E. Beverly was married in Alma, March 17, 1893, to Melissa .\. 
Irish, daughter of George W. and Georgiana (Mallory) Irish. She was born 
September 18, 1870, in Riley Township, Clinton County, Mich. Her father, 
George W. Irish, was born in Schenectady, N. Y., in 1848. Her mother, 
Georgiana Irish, was born in Clinton County, Mich., in 1860. Other chil- 
dren of George W'. Irish and wife were Eva, now wife of John S. Knoertzer, 
of Alma, and Ola ^lay, who died April 26, 1901, at the age of 20 years. 

William E. and Melissa A. Beverly were the parents of a son, Efford 
Armony Beverly, born June 7, 1894, in Arcada. He is a graduate of .Alma 
High School, class of 1913. He has chosen the profession of medicine, and 
entered the Bennett Medical College, Chicago, in the fall of 1913. Mrs. 
Melissa .\. Beverly died January 20, 1901. Mr. Beverly was married (second) 
at .\lma, to Margaret Eleanor Perry, daughter of Frank and Margaret 
(Preston) Perry. She was born September 21, 1877. near Ottawa, Out. 
To this union has come a son — Wvcliffe Oakle\' Be\'erl\' — born December 




5, 1906, in Arcada. Mrs. Beverly's father, Frank Perry, was born in Russell 
Township, Ont., October 24, 1848. Her mother, Margaret Perry, was born 
August 19, 1858, near Ottawa, Ont. They now live near St. Johns, Mich. 
Besides Mrs. Beverly, their children are — Tliomas L., married Sadie Hum- 
phrey, and lives in Isabella County: Jessie Perry, married to Jesse Wolford 
and now lives at Marion, Mich.; Ernest G. Perry, lives in Toledo; Emma 
P. Perry, married William D. Freer and lives in Alma ; Harvey R. died at 
the age of nine months, at Brandon, Manitoba, Canada; Pearl Perry lives in 
Utica, N. Y. ; Russell H. Perry lives in Detroit; Nina Perry lives at Marion, 
Mich. ; Dolly, Alma, Roy and Stanley E., live at the home of their parents, 
near St. Louis. 

Mr. Beverly came to this county in January, 1887, purchasing an 80-acre 
farm on section 7, Arcada, and in 1908 purchasing 40 acres adjoining. 
There he resided till February, 1912, when he removed to Alma, where he 
bought two residences on Lincoln Avenue, in one of which he resides. 
He sold his Arcada farm in March, 1913. 

Mr. Be-\-erly and family are substantial citizens, highly regarded in tlieir 


Among the prominent and progressive farmers of Arcada Township, 
Clarence S. Clark rightfully holds a leading position. His large, fertile 
and well-cultivated farm is located on sections 14, 15 and 23 of the town- 
ship mentioned, and is well supplied with comfortable and commodious build- 
ings, ample and fruitful orchards, and with the accessories that go to make 
up the stock in trade of the successful and prosperous husbandman. And 
it has all been acquired by hard and persistent work directed by good judg- 
ment and an ambition to succeed and make good in his chosen avocation. 

Mr. Clark was born in Alma, this 
county. May 6, 1862. He is a son of William 
W. Clark who was one of the pioneers of 
Arcada, settling there with his family in 1858. 
The father, ^^'illiam W. Clark, was born in 
Johnstown, Ohio, August 10, 1830. The wife 
and mother's maiden name was Naomi 
Briggs. They were united in marriage Sep- 
tember 15, 1854. Besides our subject — 
Clarence S. — their children were, Edwin, Er- 
skine, Alary and Fred. 

Edwin Clark, born August 21, 1854, mar- 
ried, (first) Ella Pope. After her decease he 
married, (second) Edna Rockwell. T h e }• 
live on section 21, Arcada. 

Erskine Clark, born October 26, 1858, 
married Carrie F. Sherman. He is now de- 

Alary Clark, born July 14, 1866, was mar- 
ried to M. I. Morton. She is deceased, and 
he lives at .Stanwood, \Yash. 

Fred Clark, born December 12, 1878, married, (first) Ida Bailev, and 
(second) May W^oodman. They live on a farm near .Ashley. 

William W. Clark and his wife, Naomi, are both deceased, the latter 
passing away December 6, 1898, the former August 10, 1007. at the home of 
his son, Clarence S. 




Clarence S. Clark, the principal subject of this family record, was mar- 
ried to Frankie Louise Glover, February 26, 1896. She was born in Arcada 
Township. November 15. 1866, daughter of John M. and Lydia A. (Earl) 
Glover. John M. Glover was born in Brutus 
Township, Cayuga County, N. Y., July 20, 
1821. His wife, Lvdia A., was born in Essex 
County, N. Y., July 25, 1826. They were 
married December 31. 1846. Their children 
were — Rebecca J., born September 26, 1847, 
died at the age of 14 years; Rhoda A., born 
February 16, 1850. married David P. Castor. 
They reside in Ballingham, \\'ash. ; Mary E., 
born April 29, 1859, married John F. Innes. 
She is deceased and he resides in Alma. 

John M. Glover died April 20, 1891. Airs. 
Lvdia A. Glover, his wife, died October 28, 

Clarence S. Clark's fine farm — one I'l' 
the very best in Arcada Township — con- 
sists of the John M. Glover homestead and 
of the Innes homestead, combined ; 180 acres 
of well-tilled, fertile and productive land, in 
one of the best agricultural sections of the 
county, within three miles of that excellent 
town and market — Alma; and in a section of territory where the roads are 
as good as any part of the county afifords. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., 
with a good standing in all its branches. He is also a member of the Grange 
and of the Gleaners. Mrs. Clark is a member of the Grange and of the 


John M. Glover settled in the woods of section 14, .\rcada Township, 
in the fall of 1854, coming from Washtenaw County, this state. He was 
married in Waterloo, Jackson County, Mich., December 31. 1846, to Lydia 
A. Earl. A sketch of their new home in Arcada goes on to say : "They were 
in the midst of a forest so dense that they could only see daylight by 
looking upward. Their first house was of the rudest pattern, being of 
logs, with no floor and covered with shakes. The one door was also made 
of home-made lumber, but it was afterward replaced by a door made from 
the first lumber sawed in the county, produced by Francis Nelson and 
William Prouty, with an old-fashioned 'whip saw'. On settling here Mr. 
Glover's household effects would inventory about $100, and he had but $5 
in cash. The first straw in their beds was hauled 21 miles. He cut the 
first road in his school district. The town meetings and elections were 
held in his house for seven consecutive years." Their children were — 
Rhoda A., Mary E., Frankie L. and Rebecca J. Mr. Glo\er died April 29, 
1891, at the age of 70 years. Mrs. Glover died October 2S, 1905, aged 79, 
her death resulting from a fall at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, 
Mr. and Mrs. Clarence S. Clark. (See sketch of Clarence S. Clark.) 

Emery Adams came with his family to section 5, Arcada Township, 
in February, 1854, from Liberty, Jackson County, this state, where they 
had lived seventeen years, having come to this state from the State of New 
York. He was married December 24, 1836, to Rachel M., daughter of John 
and Phebe (Case) Lewis. His own parents were Jason and Olive (Bears) 
Adams. As a resident of Gratiot County. Mr. .\dams was familiar with all 
of the varied conditions of jjinneer life. He lived to enjoy the results of 


his hard toil. Early in the Civil War — August 12, 1861 — Mr. Adams en- 
listed in Company C, 8th Mich. Infantry, and served a year and a half. He 
took an active interest in the welfare of his community, and was officially 
connected with township affairs as township clerk and treasurer, holding the 
latter responsible position three years. Mr. Adams died November 26, 
1886, aged 76 years. His wife, Rachel M., died September 4, 1895, at the 
age of 77 years. 

David Bailey came to Gratiot County in 1861, locating on section 12, 
Arcada Township. He was elected sheriff' of Gratiot County in 1864 and 
again in 1866. He was a popular citizen. His death occurred July 1, 1903, 
when he had reached the age of 70 years. His wife, Mary A. Bailey, passed 
away February 19, 1898, at the age of 61 years. 

Daniel W. Altenburg came to Gratiot in 1866, settling on section 17, 
Newark Township. He was a producer of large quantities of maple sugar 
for many years, his output amounting to from 3,000 to 5,000 pounds annually. 
In 1883 he removed to section 25, Arcada Township, and a few years later 
to Ithaca, where he died December 1, 1895, aged 61 years. He served as 
a soldier in the Civil War. By profession he was a surveyor as well as a 
farmer, and was chosen county surveyor of this county no less than ten 
terms, to-wit : 1870, 11, 74, '80, '82, '84, '88, '90, '92 and '94. A quiet, 
unassuming man with many friends. His wife, Sophia, died March 25, 
1907, aged 69. Their children were Frank, F. .\raminta, Henry I., Maria E., 
William L., Orville L. and Daniel T. 

A few of Arcada's distinguished citizens — first and last — deserving of 
mention in this connection are here given: Joseph, Alonzo and Nathaniel 
Bailey ; Reuben Finch ; Homer Burns ; William Moyer ; Nicholas P. Watts ; 
Lemuel C. Cole; Anson R. Arnold; Jacob Rush, (see sketch of John Rush) ; 
Russell and William Burgess; Lorton (Black Hawk) Holiday; William S. 
Nelson; John, Samuel and Levi Keefer ; Alonzo E. Kingsley ; John S., 
Byron S. and Nathan N. Nevins ; Isaac Russell ; Thomas Grover ; George 
Chandler; William Bishop; William Clark, (see sketch of C. S. Clark); 
William S. Hall; P. C. Irish; Lucius C. Knapp ; Lewis S. Brooke; Alonzo 
Hood ; Calvin W. and David Courter ; John Walker ; Avolin and Fred 
Church ; Geo. G. Holiday, supervisor in 1882, still active ; Marcus Bancroft ; 
Israel B. Wolf; Daniel L. Sharrar, (supervisor nine years and county 
treasurer in 1898 and 1900) ; Fred Bradford, serving seventh term as super- 
visor, see sketch ; Decatur Coleman, Democratic candidate for county treas- 
urer in 1906; Adney Dobson ; Wm. O. Hutchinson; Hal Bancroft; George 
H., Wm. H. and Earl R. Kuhlman ; Edson P. Spink, Greenback candidate 
for representative in 1878; Horace S. Taylor, Greenback candidate for repre- 
sentative in 1880; Alex. M. Wiley settled on section 5, Arcada, in 1855, 
a soldier and an active citizen. 


Brewbaker, Eliza, Aug. 22, 1872, aged 59. 

Burns, Mrs. Homer, April 2, 1881, aged 57. Pioneers of the vear 1854. 

Bamborough, Wm., June 14, 1875, aged 68. 

Burgess, Wm. March 22. 1880, aged 61. Came here in 1854. 

Burgess, Mrs. Ruth, widow of Wm. Burgess. January 28, 1890, at the age of 

()5 \ears. 
Bartholomew, John, May 7, 1890, aged 82. 

Bishop, Wm., May 22, 1900, aged 71. .\n energetic and upright citizen. 
Bogart, John, Dec. 17, 1901. aged 72. 
Bailey, Joseph, at the home of his son-in-law, \\'m. Stewart, Dec. 9, 18^8, 

aged 77. He was one of .\rcada"s ])ioneers. 


Burgess, George B., Dec. 17, 1912, aged 37 years. He was born on the 
same farm on which he died, a son of William Burgess. He left a 
wife and five children, and was a man of good rc]>ute. 

Bowman, Edward D., March 30, 1910, aged 71. 

Cole, Joanna, .\ug. 18, 1870, aged 66. 

Cole, Lemuel C, February 21, 1877. aged 70. Was early on the ground, 
having Ijeen elected the first clerk of the township, and afterward held 
various positions — justice, school inspector and highway commissioner. 
.A man of varied attainments and characteristics. 

Church, Mrs. Carrie, wife of Avdlin Church. Aug. 4, 1879. aged 19. 

Cline, Henry, A[a\- 24, 1882. An early settler. 

Clark, James, July 10, 1893, aged 87. 

Clark, Wm. W., at the home of his son Clarence, .\ug. 10. 1"^07. One of 
tlie energetic and reliable first settlers. 

Courier, Calvin W., July 18, 1508, aged 79. A resident of the county ?4 
years. 1)eing one of the first in the township. Held the offices of high- 
way commissioner, school inspector, etc. 

Counselor, Mrs. wife of Renj. Counselor, FeViruary 1. 19'0'', aged 68. .\ 

Clark, James Wallace, |anuar\ 7, 1903, aged 71. 

Clark. Mrs. Naomi, wife of Wm. W. Clark, Dec. 6, 1898, aged 62. 

Church, Fred, voungest son of Rev. Laf. Church, among the first settlers of 
.Vrcada. January 10, 1910, aged 47. 

Courier, Mrs. Clara N., widow of Calvin W. Courter, January 17, V>]\. aged 
nearly 80 years. 

Corliss, Mrs. Julia, at her home in California, .\ug. 16. 1912. She was 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Russell Burgess, the latter of whom was later 
tlie wife of Judge Francis Nelson. She was a teacher in the early days. 

De Bar, Jacob B., January 22, 1890, aged 82. 

Demory, George, Sept. 24, 1897, aged 56. 

Downs, Geo. Dallas, .Sept. 13, 1892, aged 47. A soldier in the Civil \\'a.T. 

Daymon, Justus, .May 14, 1900, aged 77. A pioneer, coming in the carlv ".^Os. 

Ellsworth, Alonzo, March 26, 1909. aged 73. A pioneer. 

Farrow, George, January 19, 1880, aged 55 years. .\t his death, wliich camt 
suddenly, a good man passed away. 

Fuller, Reuben, May 12, 1890, aged 76. .'\n old settler. 

Finch Reuben, .Sept. 15, 1896, aged 75. Settled in .\rcada in 1854, he and 
Homer TUirns. his neighl)or and friend, being aiuong the first settlers, 
11 is friend luet a violent death, the facts being detailed elsew-here. 

Finch, Mrs. Jane, widow of Reuben Finch, March 22, 1901. aged nearlv 77. 

Fisher, Peter, May 17, 1907, aged 74, A resident here 49 years. 

Grover, Thomas, .Sc|)t. 12, 1877, aged 67. An esteemed pioneer. 

Graham, John, May 17, 1898, aged 81. A resident here 20 years. 

Halstead, Mrs, Phebe, July 16, 1875, at the age of 83. Died at the home of 
her grand daughter. ^Irs. Wiu. .S. Turck. 

Hall, Wm. S., Ma\' 31. 1887. aged 67. .Xn old resident and widelv known. 

Hall, Mrs., wile ..f W'ni. S. Mall, Sept. 8, 1888, aged 65. 

Husted, David. Alarch 12, 1003, aged 73. 

Hollenbeck, Mrs. Lucy (Keefer), wife of Samuel Ilollenlieck, at her home 
in L'alifornia, May. lOH. aged S3. Born in .\rcada. 

Hatfield, Mrs. Julia Ann (Wideman), wife of .\. J. Hatfield, at her home 
two miles south of St. Louis, in .-Xrcada Tow nship. March 25, 1913. aged 
77 vears. Esteemed residents of the count v fur ?2 \ears. 

Innes, Allen L., April 6, 1875, aged 70. 


Innes, Mrs. Mary E., wife of John F. Innes, and daughter of John M. Glover, 
January 17 , 1886. 

Irish, P. C, May 8, 1895, at the home of his son, Geo. Irish, aged 75. 

Isham, Mrs., wife of Orin A. Isham, March 23, 1896, aged 49. Mr. Isham 
died in New Haven, Nov., 1906. 

Knapp, Theron L., at his home in St. Louis, February 13. 1911, aged 57. 
Manv years an exemplary and popular resident of .Vrcada, son of Lucius 
C. Kna]ip, one of the first settlers in Gratiot County. 

Merchant, Thomas G., Dec. 6 1880, aged 58. 

Moyer, Mrs. Lois A., .\pril 12, 1894, aged 72, at the home of her daughter, 
Mrs. James W. Howd, Ithaca. Widow of ^Vm. Moyer, an early super- 
visor of Arcada. 

Monroe, Frank, Sept. 2. 1905, aged 53. 

Marolf, Mrs., wife of John Marolf, May 27, 1908. 

Micham, Nathaniel, February 24, 1911, aged 70. 

Morse, Oscar, Dec. 11, 1912, at the age of 85 years. He came to this county 
in 1855, settling on section 15, Arcada, where he resided until his death. 
He and his wife, who survives him, were staunch and sturdy pioneers, 
enduring all of the hardships as well as the pleasures of life in the 
"backwoods." Their two children — daughters — died in early woman- 
hood. "Hod"' Morse, as he was known to his acquaintances, will long 
be remembered in the community in which he lived. His wife was Mary 
A. Keefer. 

Nevins, John S., at the home of his son. Nathan N., Ithaca, April 14, 1910, 
aged 88 years. Settled in Arcada in 1854 and saw man-\' of the trials 
and pleasures of pioneer life. 

Nichols, Jonathan, January 6. 1898, aged 56. He came here in 1881. 

Putnam, Israel, Oct. 23, 1874, aged 46. 

Plowfield, Jacob, June 18, 1880, 'aged 62. 

Plowfield, Christina, March 5, 1881, aged 60. 

Parks, Benj., May 26, 1895. K veteran of the Civil \\'ar and of the Indian 
uprising in the West in 1862. 

Perkins, Mrs. Charity, wife of Chester J. Perkins, May 6, 1902, aged 59. 

Russell, Mrs., estimable wife of Isaac Russell, Sept. 2, 1893. 

Rush, Mrs. Sarah, widow of Jacob Rush, .\ug. 10, 1905, aged 78. (See 
sketch of Jacob Rush.) 

Spayd, Mrs. Esther, January 11, 1887, aged 75. An early settler. 

Spencer, Lewis Smith, Januarv 5, 1912, at St. Louis, aged 78. A carpenter 
who resided in Arcada 25 years. 

Sartor, Christian, Oct. 12, 1912, aged 70 years. He was an early settler, an 
old soldier and a citizen of good standing in the community. 

Tyrrell, David, March 2, 1871. at the age of 74. 

Tyrrell, Miles, Aug. 28, 1879, aged 78. 

Tyrrell, Lorena, July 16. 1878. aged 48. 

Taylor, Horace S., .\pril 28, 1887, aged 70. Settled here in 1867; an active 
and energetic citizen. In 18?0 he was the Greenback candidate for 
representative, but was defeated with the rest of the ticket. 

Taylor, Mrs. Maria, wife of Horace S. Taylor, June 30, 1897, aged nearly 70. 

Walker, Salem H., January 14. 1887, aged 74. An early settler. 

Walker, Joshua C, Nov. 30, 1894, at his home in Ithaca, but was a long-time 
resident of Arcada. He was a deputy sheriff under Sheriff King, and 
was a much-respected citizen. 

Wolf, Israel B., Sept. 2":^. 1909, aged 70. He came here in 1855; a well- 
known and esteemed pioneer. 



Wagner, Samuel M, April 16, 1913, aged 67 years. He settled with his 
parents in Fulton in an early day, but had resided in Eastern Arcada 
about 30 years. He was an honorable citizen, with many friends. 


1876, Feb. IQ— The house of Daniel C. Hauver, .\rcada, was burned 
with its contents. Loss, $300. ,, ,, , ■, .u 

1881, March 30— The farm residence of J. B. ^larolf, three miles south 
of .St. Louis, burned with nearly all its contents. , ,r •, 

1S90 Jan. 20— Farm house of Darius Ingalsbe, one and a halt miles 
north of' Ithaca, burned with the most of its contents. Loss, $1,000; in- 
surance, $573. ^ ^ .,. , . J 

IgoQ \pril 29— Earlv in the morning Jas. P. Kings residence was 
burned with most of the household goods. Loss, $730: insurance $4.30. 

1891 March 24— Rav Tavlor lost his house by fire, morning of March ^4. 

1897J April 21— The'residence of Ira Currier, three miles north of Ithaca, 
burned while the family was absent. ,, t,t ■ i -a 

1904 Nov ^9— The house owned by Nathan N. Nevins and occupied 
bv Mr Cornell burned with most of the household goods, and no insurance. 
' 1910, March 8— N. W. Boody lost his house by fire Tuesday evening, 
March 8 'with part of the contents; and no insurance. 

1910 March ''3— Fire destroyed the residence of Leroy \\ hitman— the 
old L. H. Treat place— with most of the contents. Loss, $2,.-'00 ; partially 

insured. ,,. , , ^ a j • j u 

1911 Ian 8— The house of Harlan \\ oodard, of Arcada, occupied by 
Arthur HaVter and family, burned on the night of Jan. 8th, with the household 
goods. It took strenuous hustling to get Mrs. Harter and her young babe to 
neitrhbors and safety. 




Organized as an independent townsliip by the Ijoard of supervisors at 
the January session of 1858. Bethany had an appropriate name ah-eadv 
selected for it. The name of "Bethany" was carried bv the German-Lutheran 
^[ission established in the township away back in 1848, and the adoption of 
the name for the territory previously only known as town 12 north, range 
2 west, was plausible and poular.' Up' to this time the township had 
Iieen an adjunct of Pine River Township, and, though it was destined to 
become, and has become, one of the leading townships of the county, in 
those early days it was not considered very valuable or desirable eve'n as 
an adjunct. It was a heavily timbered tr?'ct with large stretches of low 
flat lan(l well covered with water quite a considerable 'portion of the vear' 
The early settlers led lives that could hardlv be deemed a continual pic-nic 
but persistence has conquered, and the whole scene is so chancred that it 
seems almost an impossibility to fullv grasp the fact that the Bethanv as 
we see it today is the same territory that was known bv that name fiftv- 
rive or even thirty-fi\e years asfo. 

t/AS^e/? 7-p 

^M£ffSOAf Tp. 


Pine River takes its course through the township from southwest to 
northeast makin<? the principal outlet for the surplus water. Other water 
courses all of them of minor importance and capacity, traverse the town- 
ship to the northeast, Bush Creek being the principal one of this class. 1 he 
township was one of the first to secure the benefits of a railroad, the 
Sao inaw- Valley c^ St. Louis road being built across the township about two 
miks north of its southern line, in the year 1872. This was in the nature of 
a boon, as it opened an outlet to the markets for the surplus timber, thus 
stimulating activitv among the settlers, and incidentally as well as directly 
was a prime factor in the township's improvement and prosperity. 

The experiences of the pioneers were similar to those of other parts ot 
the county, and it would not be profitable to enter into details. After 
P.ethanv Mission, the f^rst settlers came along in 18.-.^ Martin and Harlow 
Cramer and Welcome T- Partelo being the first or among the hrst. The 
election statistics which follow, not only name nearly all of the hrst settlers, 
but also give prominence to leading citizens of the township even down to 
the present day. 

Bethanv's first election, as an independent township, was held on the 
first Mondav in April, 18.=i8. Thirty-two votes were cast. ; 

The Be'thanv Mission settlement contained quite a number ot the led 
men of the forest, and about a dozen of their names help t;' "^f^5 "l^J"'' 
poll list on that occasion. The whole list is herewith given 1 ou , most 
readers, by close application, will be able to distinguish the Indian names. 
The list is as follows: .,,-,, i v ,- 

Fred D Weller, E. Kibbee, Samuel Smith. Philip S. Mickel .as t. Craw- 
ford Tas. T. Rooks. John T. Sivals. O. A. Crosby. E. G. H Meisslei. Altred 
Clark Henrv Chase', J. B. Howard, Martin W. Cramer, Jas. Gruett. John 
Bailev, Andrew Compo. John Gogaosen. Jev Me Augesic, Pare Anagee, 
Miecliall Abram Tawanerquet, Wabby Gumscum, Xowa Geeshck, W m. 
Westbrook, Harmon Bush, Elias W. Smith, Hiero B. Fox, ^ aba \aosrunk, 
Kego, Bernard Fox, Welcome J. Partelo, W. P- Partelo. 

April, 1858: Sup.-Welcome J. Partelo: Clk.-Bernard Fox: Treas.- 
Tohn Bailev: H. C.-Harmon Bush, Philip S. Mickel, Henry Chase: J. P.- 
las Gruett' Fred D. Weller, John T. Sivalls, John Bailey: Schlnsp^— Har- 
mon Pa'h. Gustavus Meissler: Overseers of Poor--F.D. Weller Bernard 
Fox- Const.-Hiero B. Fox, Harmon Bush. Jas. T. Rooks. Jas. F. Crawford 
' The voters provided for a highway fund of $250, and a contingent tund 
of «=;0- the next election to be held at the school house, St. Louis. 

"" \uo 16 the board appointed W. P. Partelo highway commissioner vice 
Harmoir Hush who was not a resident of the township, "and on Nov. 13 
Wheaton (Goodwin was appointed constable in i)lace of Jas. F. Crawtorcl, 
who was not a resident of the township". 

April, 1859: Sup.-Fred. D. Weller: Clk.-W. J Partek, : Treas.-John 
Bailev H C — W L Partelo: vacancy. L. M. Clark: J. P.— John Bailey, 
vacanc^ .\lfred Clark: Sch. Insp.-Wm. B. Harris; Const.-John Broad- 
head Justus B. Howard. Oscar Clymer, Henry Chase. 

Dec. 26. '.^'l the board appointed Alfred Clark treasurer vice 1-ailey, re- 

^''^ April, 1860: There were 21 votes cast at this election. -"^"P-— F. D. 
Wellei- Clk.-llarlow Cramer; Treas.— Alfred Clark; II. C. -Joseph Davi- 
son . I. p.— Welcome P. Partelo; vacancy. Horace Peck; Sch. Insp.— Joseph 


Dec. 31. '60. the board appointed Bernard Fox supervisor in place of 
F. D. \\"eller. elected sheriff. 

April, 1861: Sup.— Bernard Fo.x 14. \V. P. Partelo 12; Clk.— Chas E 
Going- L\ Richard Eaton 14: Treas.— Alfred Clark 16, Elias W Smith 13- 
H. C— Henry Chase 27, Horace Peck 1 : J. P.— R. Eaton 1.^ \\-m B Harris 
14: vacancy. R. Eat-on 13, Chas. E. Going- n. Wm. B. Harris 2: Sch Insp — 
Ephraim Brown 14. H. Cramer 13. 

Sept. 21. Til. the board appointed H. Cramer school inspector vice Eph 
Brown, "oone to war". 

April, 1862: Snp.— Edward L. Drake: Clk.— [as. T Rooks- Treas — 
Alfred Clark; H. C.—W. P. Partelo : J. P.— David" M. Rooks ; Sch Insp — 
Jo. Davison, Ed. L. Drake. ' 

It was voted to hold the next meeting "at the so-called Village of St 
Louis". ''^ 

July 5. "62, the board appointed ^^'m. B. Harris supervisor vice Drake 
resigned: also appointed J. R. Salisburv school inspector vice Drake re- 

April, 1863: Sup.— .\lfred Clark: Clk.— Samuel C. Skinner- Treas — 
Henry H. Partelo: H. C— Wolcott L. Stebbins; J. P.— Jo . Davison ■ 
vacancy. Wm. B. Harris: Sch. Inso.- W. L. Stebbins": vacancv, Roval ]' 

Feby. 17. "64, Welcome Phineas Partelo was appointed supervisor by the 
board in place of A. Clark, resigned. He served until the followincr Xpril 
election. '^ 

April, 1864: Sup.-Alfred Clark: Clk.-S. C. Skinner; Treas _W I 
Stebbins : 11. C— John S. Xevins ; ]. P._S. C. Skinner- 3 vs W L Steb- 
bins; 2 yrs, David P. Smith; Sch. Insp.— P.. F,ix. 

April, 1865: Sup.— Edward L. Drake: Clk.— Tas. S Eao-er- Treas — 
F. D. ^^eIler; H. C— Elery Foot; J. P.— Richard Eaton; vacancv W P 
Partelo; Sch. Insp.— Martin W. Cramer. 

S. C. Skinner, clerk, after recording the al)ove. adds to it this laconic 
synopsis: "The whole Possi elected." Which, of course made it solid 

April, 1866: Sup.— Alfred Clark ; Clk.— Elias W. Smith ; Treas.— S C 
Skinner: H. C— Norman D. Vincent: J. P.— Lewis \\'hee!ock; Sch. Insp.- 
J. R. Salisbur\-. 

^ April, 1867: Sup.— Jonathan C. Giddings; Clk.— Alfred Clark- Treas 
—S.C Skinner; H. C— Lewis Wheelock; ]. P.— L C. Giddings; vacancv, 
Lewis \\ heelock; Sch. Insp.— Albert R. Hill; vacancv. Norman D. Vincent. 
Delegate to the constitutional convention— D. ^^^ Chapin 43 - N Church 
25. County superintendent of schools— Giles T Brown f.S • \ I Me- 
Kee. 8. ....... 

April, 1868: Sun.- J. C. Giddings; Clk.— Geo. L. Patch- Treas —S C 
Skinner: H. C .—L. Wheelock ; vacancv, E. Shaw - I P _ Weslev [ Milier- 
vacancy. David P. Smith ; Sch. Insp.— Zachary V. "Payne. 

Adoption of new state constitution — yes, 71 ; No. 21. 

.Approiiriation to build countv jail — ves, none- no 91 

April 1869: Sup.-J. C. Giddings; Clk.-Geo. L.' Patch; Treas -S C 
Skinner: H. C.-.\aron M. Wheeler; J. P.-R. Fox; Sch. Ins-,.-Alber7 r' 
Hill; vacancy, Nathaniel Wilson. 

April, 1870: Sup.-J. C. Giddings; Clk.-F. D. \\-eller: Treas -John 
G.Thompson: H. C— Elias Shaw ; vacancv. Edwin Phillips - Sch Insp — 


April, 1871: Sup.— T. C. Giddings ; Clk.— Ira G. Dillon; Treas.— John 
G. Thomp.-^on: II. G— David I'. .Smith; J. I'.— J. C. Giddings; vacancy, 
I£]ihraim i'ettev: Sch. Insp.— W. J. Miller; vacancy, Zach. V. Payne. 

April 1872: Sup.— f. C. Giddings; Clk.— Silas C. Grossman; Treas.— 
J. G. Thompson; H. C— Gilbert, ?,.■" Hasbrook ; J. P.— W. J- Miller; Sch. 
Insp.— Z. \'. Pavne; Dr. Com.— Elias Shaw. 

April 1873:" Sup.— J. C. Giddings; Clk.— Newell Leonard; Treas.— 
I. G. Thompson; H. C— David Eugene Welling; J. P.— Eph. Pettey ; Sch. 
I„sp._Silas C. Grossman; Dr. Com.— Floyd E. Martin. 

Oct. 2. 73. E. Shaw was appointed drain cummissioner vice F. E. Mar- 
tin, resigned. 

April, 1874: Sup.— J. C. Giddings; Clk.— W. H. ( Jstrom ; Treas.— 
I. G. Thompsun; 11. C— E. Shaw; J."P.— W'm. C. Thompson: Sch. Insp.— 
Elias W. Smith; Dr. Com.— Nat. \\'ilson. 

April, 1875: Sup.— Jonathan W. Salsbury; Clk.— Levi O. Rowland; 
Treas.— J. G. Thomjison ; H. C.— Wm. |. Harris; J P.— John .\. Wilcox; 
Supt. Sch.— Joseph T. Willett ; Sch. Ins]).— Wm. C. Garbutt : Dr. Com.— 
D. A. Lowell 

.\pril 20, 7.^ the board appointed Floyd E. Martin, supervisor m place 
of T. W. Salsl)ury, who, on account of being away from the town.ship, failed 
to qualify. . , . 

Tune 5, 7,^, F. Sliaw was apimmted drain cnmmissioncr vice D. -\. 
Lowell, resigned. 

Aug. 7, 75, the board appointed Seely D. Hicks highway commissioner 
vice Wm. |. Harris, resigned. 

April "l876: Sup.— Seelv D. Hicks; Clk.— L. O. Rowland; Treas.— 
Wm C. Thompson; H. C— L S. Nevins ; J. P.— Albert R. Hill; Supt Sch, 
—John .\. Wilcox; Sch. Insp.— Sidnev S. Hastings; Dr. Com.— E. Shaw, 

April, 1877: Sup.— Seely D. Hicks; Clk.— L. O. Rowland; Treas.— 
L G. Tliompson; J. P.— Ephraim Pettey; vacancy, W. J. Miller: Supt Sch. 
— I \. ^^■ilcox• Sch. Insp. — S. S. Hastings. 

" April, 1878: Sup.— S. D. Hicks; Clk.— J. Frank Suydam ; Treas.— 
I G Thompson- M. C— T. R. Salisbury; J. P.— .Albert Holmes: Sch. Insp. 
—Henry Smaller; vacancy, Jesse H. Fleming; Dr. Com.— John Harrison, 
Oct. 11, 7R,'Chas. Rooks was appointed drain commissioner vice J. Har- 
rison, resigned. 

April,' 1879: Sup.— John G. Thompson ; Clk.— .\lbert Holmes ; rreas.- 
Newell M Cook; H. c!— Lester L. Beebe ; J. P.— Jonathan W. Salsbury; 
Supt. Sch— ^^'m. C. Garbutt; Sch. Insp.— J. A. Wilcox; Dr. Com.— Frank J. 

April 1880: Sup.— Willard I). Tucker ; Clk.— Henry Smalley ; Treas.— 
Newell M. Cook; H. C— Jas. M. Johnson; J. P.— Joseph E. Holton; 
vacancy, Edwin R. Landon ; Supt. Sch.— Wm. C. Garbutt: Sch. Insp.— J. A. 
Wilcox'; Dr. Com.— Wm. C. Thompson. 

May 22, '80, E, G. Sechler was aiiiminted drain commissioner to fill 
vacancv caused by the resignation of W. C. Thompson. Scchlcr declined, 
and on June 4. '80, Martin Kidder was appointed; and he stood up to the 
dif?icult job bravely. 

April 1881: Sup.— W^illard D. Tucker ; Clk.— I. Marks ; Treas.— Wm. 
C. Garbutt; H. C— Jas. M. Johnson; J. P.— E. Pettey; Supt. Sch.— J. A, 
Wilcox- Sch. Insp. — Harlow Cramer. 

April 1882: Sup.— Willard D. Tucker; Clk.— E. R. Landon; Treas,— 
Wm, C. Garbutt; H. C— Jas. M. lohns,.n : J. P.— I'. R. Landon; Sch. Insp. 
—J. A. Wilcox. Frank J. Lathro]> : Dr. Com.— Frank J. Rowley: Review— 
Harlow Cramer, Jere, Marks. 


April 19, '82. Frank J. Lathrop was appointed drain commissioner. Frank 
J. Rowley failing to qualify. 

April, 1883: Sup— IMortimer Sharpsteen ; Clk.— E. R. Landon ■ Treas 
— N. M. Cook; H. C— Gil. E. Hall; J. P.— Martin Kidder; Sch Insp — 
Willard D. Tucker; Review— J. W. Salsbury, W. T Miller. 

April, 1884: Sup.— M. Sharpsteen; Clk.— L. "o. Rowland- Treas — 
Newell M. Cook; H. C— G. E. Hall; J. P.— W. J. Miller; Sch. Insp.— 
\\m. C. Calland; Dr. Com.— Martin Kidder. 

April, 1885: Sup.— Wesley J. Miller; Clk.— N. M. Cook; Treas.— J 
\\. Salsbury; H ,C.— L. L. Beebe ; J. P.— Thos. A. Porter; vacancy. F D. 
W'eller; vacancy, D. C. Stone; Sch. Insp.— Jas. W. Barnard. 

April, 1886: Sup.— W. J. Miller; Clk.— Geo. W. Long; Treas— T W 
Salsbury: H. C— E. Shaw; J. P.— F. D. Weller; 3 yrs. Tlios. Holton-" Sch 
Insp.— Wm. C. Calland; Dr. Com.— Thos. Holton. 

April, 1887: Sup.— W. J. Miller; Clk.-Geo. W. Long; Treas.— Jas 
A. Templar; 11. C— E. Shaw; T. P.— Wm. Culver; Sch. Insp.— John' M 

Local option election I-ebv 13, 1888— for local option, 237- a"ainst 71 
April, 1888: Sup.-\\-. J. Miller; Clk.-F. D. Wdlev. Treas^.-Jas. A 
Templar; H. C— E. Shaw; J. I'.-W. j. Miller; Sch. Insp.-Chas. H. Bard • 
Dr. Com.— John D. McCrimnion. 

April 1889: Sup.-W. J. Mdler; Clk.-F. D. Weller; Treas.-Samuel 

Gordon: H. C.-E. Shaw; J. P.-Chas. H. Bard; Sch. Insp.-John M. Brickan 

April, 1890: .Sup.-W. J. Miller; Clk.-Frank W. Hastings- Treas — 

Jas. A. Templar; H. C.-E. G. Sechler; J. P.— F. D. Weller; Sch. Insp — 

Lucia I udu-ig; Dr. Com.— Philip D. Rordine; Review— Eliphalet Ludwi- 

Lewis T. Lhaiiin. ^' 

April, 1891: Sup.-W. J. Milkr; Clk.-Geo. W. Graham; Treas.- 

Thos. Harrison; H. C.-E. G. Sechler; J. P.-W^m. Culver; vacancv, J \\'. 

Salsbury; Sch. Insp.— Newton Burns ; Review— Wallace Perkins. ' " 

To raise $300 for a town hall— yes, 206; no. 7. 

May 22, '91, J. 'SI. Brickan was appointed schnol inspector in place of 
Lucia Ludwig. 

Local option election, Jan. 23, 1892 — yes Pt - no 31 
April, 1892: Sup.-W". J. Miller; Clk.-Forest B. Hastings; Treas - 
Thos. Harrison. Jr.; H. C.-Frank A. Sexton; J. P._W. J. Miller; vacancv, 
Wm. P. Du Bois; Sch. Insp.— Albert Calthorp ; Dr. Com.— Clarence K. 
rox; Review — E. Shaw. 

April, 1893: Sup.-W. J. Miller; Clk.-Xewton lUirns; Treas -Philio 
DBordine;H C.-Frank A. Se.xton ; J. P.-J. R. Sali.sbury; vacancv, Noah 
Wilson: Sch. Insp.— H. Oscar Kelly. 

A.pril, 1894: Sup.-W. J. Miller; Clk.— Newton Burns; Treas.-Wm 
.\. J';bns„n; IT. C.-F. A. Sexton; J. P.— Hazen Gidlev : Sch. Insp.-Ed- 
mun.l E. Peters; Dr. Com.— E. Shaw; Review— Gil. E"Hall. 

Milton Shook was appointed census enumerator by the board. 
Aug. 24, '94. .\lba Sexton was appointed school 'inspector vice H O 
Kelly, removed fnmi the townshi]). 

April, 1895: Sup.-Xewtrni I'.urns 143. W. J. Miller 143; Miller won 
the prize; Clk.-Um. J. Raney; Treas.-Xoah Wilson; H. C.-Wallace 
Perkins: J^P.-\\„i. Luher; Sch. Insp.-Alba Sexton; Review-John A. 
Sias, S. P. Richardson. "^ 

April, 1896: Sup. A\-. J. Miller; Clk.-Wm. J. P.anev ; Treas.-Xoah 
U-''r"V ^■~;"'^- -^'"'^'^- J- P-Thos. Harrison, jr.; Sch. Insp.- 
V\. L'. Larnes; Dr. Com.— Henry ]!. Gulick ; Review— Edwar<l F Baker 

— Thus. Richards: 

Sell. Insp. — Alha 

Clk.— W. T. r.anev 

Ti-eas.— Will. 1!. 

1. Cotnsti)ck : Sch. 

Insp. — M. Kidiler; 


April, 1897: Sup.— Henrv Bodfish ; Clk.— Win. J- Haney : Treas.— 
Thos. Harrison. Jr.; H. C— Geo. E. Smith; J. 1'.— J." R. Salisbury: .Sch. 
Insp. — Alba Sexton: Review — Noah Wilson. 

April, 1898: Sup. — Henry Bodfish: Clk.— Win. J. Banev : Treas.— 
Thos. Harrison, Jr.: H. C.— Geo. E. Smith: J. P.— Ai K. Milligan : Sch. 
Insp. — John II. Husted ; Review — Wm. .\. Johnson. 

April, 1899: Sup.— Henry liodfish ; Clk.— Wm. T. I'.anev: Treas.— Wm. 
H. Fox: li. C— Frank Peach: J. P.- 
Sexton : Review — J. E. Holton. 

April, 1900: Sup.— W. T. Miller; 
Fox; H. C— Frank Peach; j. I'.— R. 1 
Review — Wm. A. Johnson. 

For court house loan. $.54.000 — yes. 126; no. 188. 

April, 1901: Sup.— Wm. H. Fox; Clk.— John C. Baney ; Treas.— Wm. 
A. Jiihnson; H. C. — Frank Peach; J. P. — J. R. Salisbury; Sch. Insp. — 
Frank A. Comstock ; Review — Alba Sexton. 

April 10. board aj^pointed H. B. Gulick to the board of review \ice ^\'. A. 
Johnson, resigned. 

April, 1902: Sup.— Wm. II. Fox; Clk.— J. C. Baney; Treas.— Wm. A. 
Johnson; H. C. — Frank Peach; Sch. Insp. — .\lba Sexton; Review — H. B. 
Gulick. ^^'m. Howland. 

Local option — yes, 136; no, \54. 

April, 1903: Sup.— Wm. A. Johnson; Clk.— J. C. Baney; Treas.— 
Joiiatiian W. Salsbury ; H. C. — .\lba Sexton; J. P. — Thos. Richards; Sch. 
Insp. — Fred Comstock ; Review — Sam. Barnes. 

April 7, 1903. Wm. A. Johnson resigned and the board apjxiinted Thos. 
Richards, supervisor. 

April, 1904: .Sup. — Thos. Kichards; Clk. — J. C. Banev; Treas. — I'Tank 
Peach; H. C— Alba Sexton; J. P.— Franklin" P. Shcok'; Sch. Insp.— X. 
Hums: Review — Elias M. Wagner. 

April, 1905: Sup. — Frank Peach; Clk. — J. C. lianey: Treas. — Thos. 
Richards; 11. C. — P""rank McLean ; J. P. — Xewton liurns; -Sch. Insp. — Wm. 
11. blister; Re\-iew — Sam. Barnes. 

April, 1906: Sup. — Frank Peach ; Clk. — Fred C. Pernert ; Treas. — Thos. 
Richards; 11. C. — Frank McLean; J. P. — llenr\- Bodfisli ; .Sch. Ins]i. — Ben- 
son J. Youngs; Review — Thos. Harrison. 

April, 1907: Suj). — Frank Peach; Clk. — Fred C. Pernert: Treas.— W. 
J. Miller; H. C— Oscar Wolf; J. P.— Edward F. P.aker; vacancy. Grin J. 
Duryee ; Review — Henry M. Martin. 

April, 1908: Sup. — Frank Peach: Clk. — Fred C. I'ernert: Treas. — B. T. 
Youngs; H. C— Franklin 1'. Shook; O. of H.— Alex. Stewart; J. P.— Thos. 
Harrison; Sch. Insp. — J. C. Baney; Review — Noah Wilson. 

Local option — yes, 189; no, 113. 

April, 1909: Sup. — Frank Peach; Clk. — Fred C. Pernert; Treas. — B. T. 
Youngs; H. C— Alex. Stewart; O. of II.— W. (i. Wanl ; J. P.— Newton 
Burns; Review — Frank W'. Hufford. 

March 20, 1910, the board divided the township into four road districts, 
dividing on the center line each way and numbering the districts as fol- 
lows: No. 1, the northeast corner of the township; No. 2, the northwest 
corner; No. 3. the southwest corner; No. 4. the st)Ut]ieast corner. .\n over- 
seer to be elected f(5r each district. 

April, 1910: Su]). — Frank Peach; Clk. — Fred C. Pernert: Treas. — J. C. 
15aney; 11. C— I'Tank P. Shook; ( ). of H.— Dist. No. 1. Wesley Beard; No. 



2, Noah Wilson; No. 3, Henry M. Martin; No. 4, Geo. Hurst; J. P.— B. J. 
Youngs; Review — W'm. A. Johnson. 

Noah Wilson and PI. J\l. ?*lartin failed to qualify as overseers, and the 
board appointed John Schultlieiss and \\'m. Culver to be overseers of the 
respective districts. 

April, 1911: Sup. — Fred C. Pernert ; Clk. — Fred A. Comstock ; Treas. 
— J. C. Paney; J. P. — Edward F. Raker; Review — Sam. Barnes; H. C. — 
Frank P. Shciok"; O. of H.— No. 1, John Kehl ; No. 2. John Schultheiss; 
No. 3. W'm. Culver; No. 4, Clarence Muscott. 

April, 1912: Sup. — Fred C. Pernert ; Clk. — Fred .\. Comstock ; Treas.— 
Oscar ^\'olf; J. P. — Thos. Harrison; vacancy, J. C. Baney ; Review — Fred 
I'ebow; H. C. — Theo Rosenlierger ; O. of H. — No. 1. Chas. Rowley; No. 
2, Jacob Bucholz; No. 3, Chas. Bebow ; No. 4, Geo. Hurst. 

April, 1913 : Sup. — Frank Peach ; Clk. — Fred Comstock ; Treas. — John 
Baney; H. C— Frank P. Shook; O. of H.— No. 1, Wesley Beard; No. 2, 
Chris. C. Apple; No. 3, Chas. Bebow; No. 4, Geo. Hurst; J. P. — Elmer 
Fought; Review — Frank McLean. 

Vote on Woman Suffrage: Yes, 56; No, 134. 

Vote on Co. Road System; Yes, 54; no, 13'.'. 

jiihn (1. Thompson, 1879. 

Welcome ). Partelo, 1858. 
Fred D. \Veller, 1859, '60. 
Bernard Fox, 1861. 
Edward L. Drake, 1862, '65. 
\Vm. B. Harris, ap. July 5, '62. 
Alfred Clark, 1863, '64, '66. 
Welcome P. Partelo, ap. Feby. 17, 

Jonathan C. Giddings, 1867, '68, '69, 

"70, '71, '72, '7i, '74. 
Floyd E. Martin, ap. April 20, '75. 

(In place of J. \V. Salsbury, 

failed to qualifv.) 
Seely D. Hicks, 1876, '77. '7^. 

Township Clerks 

Willard D. Tucker, 1880, '81, '82. 
Mortimer Sharpsteen, 1883, '84. 
Wesley J. Miller, 1885, '86, '87, '88, 

'89, '90, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95. '96, 

ilenrv Bodfish, 1897, "98, '99. 
Wm." II. Fo.x, 1901, "02. 
^Vm. .\. Johnson, 1903. 
Thos. Richards, ap. April 7, '03 ; ,04. 
Frank Peach, 1905, '06. '07, '08, '09, 

'10, '13. 
Fred C. Pernert, 1911, '12. 

Bernard Fox, 1858. 

W^ J. Partelo, 1859. 

Harlow Cramer, 1860. 

Chas. E. Going, 1861. 

Jas. T. Rooks, 1862. 

Sam. C. Skinner, 1863, '64. 

Jas. S. Eager, 1865. 

Elias W. Smith, 1866. 

Alfred Clark. 1867. 

Geo. L. Patch, 1868, 69. 

F, D. Weller, 1870, '88, '89. 

Ira G. Dillon, 1871. 

Silas C. Grossman, 1872. 

Newell Leonard, 1873. 

Wm. H. Ostrom, 1874. 

Levi O. Rowland, 1875, '76, '77, '84. 

I. Frank Suvdam, 1878. 

Albert Holmes, 1879. 
Ilenrv Smallev, 1880. 
I. Marks, 1881. 
E. R. Landon, 1882, '83. 
N. M. Cook, 1885. 
Geo. W. Long, 1886, '87. 
Frank W. Hastings, 1890. 
Geo. W. Graham.' 18'M. 
Forest B. Hastings, 1892. 
Newton Burns, 1893, '94. 
Wm. ]. Banev, 1895, '96 

•90, '00. 
fohn C. Baney, 1901, '02 

Fred C. Pernert, 1906. '07 

Fred A. Comstock, 1911, '12, '13 









Idhii r.ailcv, 1858, "59. Samuel Gordon, 1889. 

Alfred Clark, ap. Dec. 26, '59; 't-.U. Thos. Harrison. Ir.. 1891. '92. V7. 

'61, '62. ■98. 

Henrv H. Partelo, 1S63. Philip D. liordine. 1893. 

W. L'. .Stebbin.s, 1864. \Vm. A. lohnson, 1894. "01, "02. 

1". I). Weller, 186.r Xoah Wilson, 1893. "96. 

S. C. Skinner. 1866. "67. "68, '59. \\-m. H. Fox, 1899. '00. 

John G. Thompson, 1870, '71, 72, Frank I'each. 1904. 

•73, -74, '75, 77. '78. Thos. Richards, 1905. '06. 

\\m. C. Thompson. 1876. W. J. Miller, 1907. 

Xewell M. Cook, 1879, '80. 'S3, "84. B. T. Youngs. 1908. W. 

Wm. C. Garbutt. 1881. '82. J. C. BanevC 1910. '11. '13. 

J. W. Salsbury. 1885. '86. '03. Oscar Wolf. 1912. 
Jas. A. Templar. 1887. '88, '90. 



Joel Rowley, .--on of Jaduthan and Clarissa Rowley, was l)orn in Cam- 
eron. Steuben County. X. Y., October 28, 1819. He was married December 
11, 1845, to Mary E. Rooks, daut^hter of David M. and Sophia Rooks, born 
at Erwin, Steuben Count\, X. Y.. December 12, 1829. To this union four 
children were born — Edwin D.. Francis J., C. Eugene and Clarissa S. The 
wife and three of the children preceded Mr. Rowley to the "Great Beyond", 
Eugene, now a resident of Seattle, Washington, being the only survivor of 
the family. Mr. Rowley died at the home of his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Mary 
L. Rowley, one and one-half miles east of St. Louis, February 11, 1905. 

Coming to ^lichigan in 1854. Mr. Rowley first settled in Lansing, at 
that time but a small place, ^^'hile living there he helped to grade the 
ground where the state capital now stands. In 1856 he removed with his 
family to St. Louis, this county. What has since grown to be a populous 
and thriving city, was at that time but a small clearing of about ten acres 
in the midst of the forest, with but seven or eight houses. They came on 
sleighs from Lansing, arriving January 8. 1856. taking up their residence in 
a log house, the floor of which was made of hew^ed logs. Access to the 
chamber was gained by way of pegs driven into holes bored in the logs that 
formed the side walls. Such was the style in those pioneer days. In those 
days tlie groceries and other merchandise used by the settlers were brought 
from Saginaw in conoes. One of the largest of the canoes was made from 
a large tree which was cut on the ground now occupied by the chemical 
works. This canoe would carry about a ton of goods, and the round trip 
took about a week. This was about ten years before a road was made 
thron,gh the dense woods between St. Louis and Saginaw. 

Mr. Rowley enlisted in his country's military service August 12. 1861. 
In 1863 he re-enlisted and was granted a furlough of thirty days to visit his 
family. In the Battle of the Wilderness he was severely wounded, but he 
continued in the service till the close of the war. when he returned to his 
home in St. Louis, afterward removing to his farm one and one-half miles 
east nf St. Louis where he spent the remainder of his life, passing through 
all of the experiences usual with the pioneer settlers in a new ccnintry. He 
and his estimable family were, and are, rightly classed among Gratiot 
County's most respected pioneers. 



James A. AVheeler. of lola,, was Ijorn in Jamestown. New 
York. July 12, 1864. His parents were Aaron M. and Lucy J. (Landon) 
Wheeler. ]>ioneers and well-known residents of Gratiot County for many 

years, coming to the county in November, 
1867, and settling on the northeast '4 of the 
northwest '^ of section 26, Bethany Town- 

Aaron ^L \\ heeler was born in \\ ash- 
incton County, N. Y., February 2.5, 1821, 
and died July 27, 1896. Mrs. Lucy J. Wlieeler 
was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y., Jan- 
uary 17, 1828, and died December 2, 1910. 
Eight children were born to their union : 
Sarah M., born May 16, 1850, \vas married 
February 28, 1869, to Seth C. Burgess, who 
died July 8, 1890. She was afterward mar- 
ried to Henry H. Gciger, in Denver, Col- 
orado, August 24, 1892. He died April .^. 
1912, at their home in Seattle, Wash. 

Mar}' E.. born June 26, 1853: married 
Fel)ruary 3. 1874. to \\'m. C. Garbutt, who 
died ]\Iay 14, 1897. The widow now re- 
sides in Detroit, Mich. 

Hattie F., born August 7, 1855 : married 
1875, to .Mba E. Sexton ; now living on the homestead above 



Chesley D., born July 12, 1857; died at the age of three years. 

Emma L., born February 11, 1859; married April 27, 1881, to Wm. I 
Holmes, Detroit, Mich., their present address. 

James A., (as above stated) ; Cyrus F., 
born August 2, 1866. married July 14, 1891, 
to Miss Fannie L. Todd. 

Wm. A., born Septemljer 11, 1868: mar- 
ried December 10, 1890, to Minnie M. King, 
of Bay City, Mich., their present address be- 
ing lola, Kansas. 

Three children born to Mr. \\'heeler by 
a former marriage were named as follows : 
Melissa J., Ellen A. and David P. Melissa is 
still living, a resident of Detroit. She is the 
widow of J. P. Gilmore. Ellen A. was mar- 
ried in Detroit to Henry Bridge. She died 
July 2, 1908, at Mishawaka, Mich. 

David P. was married to Calista H. Wil- 
lard, in Detroit, Mich., and died December 
25. 1901. in Akron, Ohio. 

James A. \\'heeler's youth was spent about 
as is usual with farmers' sons — assisting at 
the farm work and securing a common school 
education. After leaving school he was employed as bookkeeper and assistant 
cashier in Harrington & Saviers' Bank, St. Louis, Mich., (afterward reorgan- 
ized and its name changed to the Commercial Savings Bank) continuing with 
that institution until the year 1891, when he moved to Detroit, and entered the 
employ of \\'. L. Holmes. In 1899 he removed to lola, Kansas, in the em- 




nlov of the \merican Construction Co. of which Mr. Hohnes was president 
^take cha'rtTof the office and financial end of the company s business 
\: Se construction of the lola Portland Cen.ent Co s plant a^.tha Pl-^ 
This work was completed in about a year, alter which Mr. Wheeler xxas 
re ainrrbv the Cement Company mentioned, as assistant secre ary and 
reasurer vh ii position he has held continuously to the present tnue 

Uges of the St. Louis schools, and was a member of the hrst class to graduate 
from the high school— the class of 1884. ,n iq99 o«ri 

Her father was born m Monroe County, N. Y., .September 10, 1^22 atid 
died January 20. 1895, in St. Louis. Mich. Her mother was born in Rens- 
seffer Ccumtv. X. Y.. October ^K 180'). and died in St. Louis. Mich.. Septembe, 

^' ^^Mr and Mrs. Stebbins were the parents of eight children of whom 
Minnie M. was the sixth in their order: Edgar A^ was born J.""^ ^4 851 
Arthur M Tune ^9 1853; Clara F.. December .-., 18,->6 ; Frederick .\.. March 
7 18 9 6 ville W.. June 19, 1861. died October 5, 1897 ^I'nnie M (as 
above written) ; Bessie B.. September 6, 1869: Myrtle B., February 26, 18/2. 

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Wheeler are the parents of two children as fol- 
lows: Florence B., born April 4, 1889, and Louis J., born May 29. 189d. 

It is a real pleasure to be able to place this family history, though 
briefly written, upon the pages of this volume, particularly so. lor the reason 
that nearly everv individual mentioned was for thirtv or more years ^^ell 

'"° TU^amSi^iJ^Aaron M. Wheeler and Wolcott L Stebbins woul.l justly 
occupy positions well along toward the head in a list ol the substantial. 
reliable, and popular early residents of Gratiot County. 

I'.crnard Fox was one of the first settlers of Bethany Township, loca^- 
ino- land on section 13 in 1855 and settling permanently on the same m b.v. 
nfs experiences as a pioneer were similar to those of hundreds of other 
and they were met with greater energy and perseverence than that dis- 
played by manv. During the period of destitution in the new countv he 
anaoed in such a way that he weathered the hardships without assistanc^ 
.hen so manv others became the beneficiaries of the charitable and of ose 
in authority.' Mr. Fox was born in Montgomery County, X. \.. Jamarv 
"- 1814. September 2, 1835, he was married to Dorinda Kennedy, daughter 
^f 'Henry and Anna (Blair) Kennedy, wlio was born in Lath. N. ^- "j '^'^^"^ 
13 1813 Mr. and Mrs. Fox were the parents of ten children, eight o 
whom lived to reach mature years, and several ol them stdl resident, of 

''"'i?r.''F"x''ook an active and a leading part m township affairs in the 
early days, and whatever position he filled, ollicially, was filled n t 
enti'l-e satisfaction of his townsmen. .\ conscentunis devotion to ^"st.^c 
and equity was his strong point, and it won lor him the c°"fif-- ';' , 
fellows in marked degree. He held various positions such a. t.^xMi^hip 
clerk, justice of the peace and supervisor, the latter in 861. 

Bernard Fox died April 24. 18-.'). aged 85 years, his wife having pre- 
ceded him. passing away January 14, 1892, at the age of /9 years. 





Frank McLean, the suljject of tliis sketch, was born in Lindley Town- 
ship, .^teulien County, N. Y., November 4, 1863, of American parentage. 
His father. Wanton McLean, was born in New York State, December 25, 

1828. The father's earlier days were spent, 
mostly, as an employe in various vocations 
until the autumn of 1871, when he came with 
his family to Bethany, Gratiot County, and 
launched out upon the great sea of life in 
earnest for himself and family. Many were 
the battles he fought with tlie uncertain but 
powerful forces of destiny, and liy incessant 
struggles came out victorious in the end. ac- 
cumulating a valuable property, Ijesides rais- 
ing a large family. The truth of this large 
family suggestion is fully borne out by the 
fact that at the Michigan Central L'nion 
Fair held midway Ijetween St. Louis and 
Alma he and his wife won the first prize for 
attending with the largest family. 

Wanton ■McLean was married January 
30, 1851, to Sarah Allen, iDorn in Schuyler 
County, N. Y., September 16, 1836, daughter 
of Henry J. Allen. To this union there were 
eleven children born, eight of whom are 
still li\iiig; brief sketches of all follow: Henry, born in Schuyler County, 
X. Y.. January 21, 1854, married to Lizzie Lindsay, of Indian River, Mich., 
SeiJteniber 11, 18S1 ; now living in Detroit. .Adda, born in Schuyler Count\'. 
X. Y.. July 16. 1855. married Hiram Mills. 
April 3, 1887; resides at New Baltimore, 
r^lich. Del])hine, born in Schuyler County. 
N. Y., March 20, 1857. married Thomas Rich- 
ards, a school teacher, of Bethany, March 14. 
1877; now residing in Oregon. Charlie, 
born in Schuyler County, N. Y., January 1. 
1859, married Hattie Clark, in Kentucky. 
.A.ugust 30. 1892; now living in Porter town- 
ship, [Midland Count}', Mich. Helen, born 
in Schuyler Countv. X. Y., November 6. 
1861, died February 11, 1868. Frank, our 
principal subject, born November 4, 1863. 
Edward, born at Lindley, N. Y., September 
27, 1865, married to Ella Houselander, Feb- 
ruary 23. 1888; now resides in Bethany. 
Ella, born in Steuben Countv, N. Y., April 
16. 1858, married Robert Monroe, in 1893: 
lived in Bethany during her short married 
life and died Sejitembr 25. 1894. F'red, born 
in .Steuben County, N. Y., December 10, 
1870, married Nettie Perkins, July 24, 1895: 
southeast of St. Louis. Bertie, born in Gratiot diunty. February 22. 1873. 
died August 7, 1879. Clarence, born in Gratiot County. April 22. 1875, 
married Belle Richardson, .\pril 29, 1897: now resides on the old home- 


a half miles 


The father. \\'anton McLean, died March 24, 1907. The mother, Sarah 
(Allen) McLean, died July 1, 1895. They were among Bethany's most 
highly esteemed citizens. 

Frank ^IcLean came to Gratiot with his parents in the fall of 1871. at 
the time of the great forest fires when Gratiot was suffering in common with 
many other sections of the country. His father bought 80 acres of wild 
land and built a log cabin one-fourth of a mile from the \'incent school, 
already established, where Frank received his entire school education. It 
may not be out of place to say that the youngster, being alert and witty, 
possessed his full share of boyish miscliievousness. Uy a companion it is 
told that during one of his periods of '"gayety" — so called to avoid a harsher 
word — while school was in session, the teacher said to him. "Frank, T be- 
lieve you lie awake nights studying deviltry." Frank's jjrompt reply was, 
"No, I study it daytimes and work it out nights." 

In helping his father to improve the farm, together with many winters 
spent in the lumber woods in Central and Northern Michigan, he has con- 
tributed his share to the pioneer annals of the county and state. He was 
married March 25, 1885, to Miss Minnie Culver, daughter of William and 
Lecta Louisa (Leonard) Culver, of Bethany. She was born in Schuyler 
County, X. ^^. August 31, 1867. She has one brother. N. Leonard Culver. 
He was married, first, to Mabel Morrison, who passed away, leaving a 
daughter, Neva. He afterward married Bertha Bebow. 

Mr. McLean has held the office of highway commissioner of his town- 
ship, and has served in other official capacities. He was an officer in his 
school district several years, and was one of the principal promoters of the 
rural telephone lines in his locality, and in various other ways has shown 
himself to be one of the progressive and enterprising citizens of Bethany 
Township. He is a Pythian, a Maccabee and a Gleaner. Mrs. McLean 
belongs to the Ladies of the Maccabees and to the Gleaners. 


Ora Cummings, a farmer, residing on section 23. Bethany Township, was 
born in St. Louis, ]\Iich., August 21, 1860, son of James Avery Cummings 
and Sophronia (Sias) Cummings, the former born in the State of New York 
in 1837. the latter also a native of New York State, born in 1842. They 
were united in marriage June, 1859, and became the parents of four sons — 
George, Ira, James Avery, Jr., and Ora, our subject. 

The father, James A. Cummings, came to (jral'ot County and to S*. 
Louis when sixteen years of age. At that time practically the whole county 
was a wilderness, and St. Louis had but half a dozen settlers. His first em- 
ployment was clearing and logging the ground now occupied by the western 
portion of the City of St. Louis. .Vfterward he bouirht a farm of 160 acres 
lying north of St. Louis. Later he built a hotel in St. Louis, and was con- 
ducting it as landlord at the time of his death, which occurred Februar\ 
27, 1867. The hotel was named the "Loder House", later being known as 
the "Exchange", the "Commercial", etc., and in comijaratively recent years 
was transformed into a department store, tinallv being destroved hv fire 
March 20, 1911. 

Ora Cummings, the principal subject of this sketch, was married at .^t. 
Louis, September 10, lb'85, to Miss .Mida E. Niles, who was born at .Mburgh 
Springs, Vermont, daughter of Nathan Niles, also born at Alburgh Springs, 
1830, and of Clara (AVest) Niles, a native of New York, born April 23. 
1823. Mr. and Mrs. Niles were married in 1851, and had children liorn to 
them as follows: Henry G., Bertha and .Mida E. 



Ora Cummings has resided in Gratiot County all his life. He and Mrs. 
Cummings are the parents of four children — Bessie, Ethel, Verna and Niles. 
Bessie, was born in St. Louis, March 7, 1887. She was married June 12, 
1912, to Arthur L. Lane.' Ethel was born on a farm north of St. Louis, 
January 28, 1889. She was married to Fred Burlingame January 24, 1^12. 
They live on a farm two and one-half miles northwest of Breckenridge. 
Verna was born on a farm north of St. Louis, July 27, 1890, and was mar- 
ried to Elmer Behler, November 30, 1910. They have a daughter — Beulah 
Elizabeth — born August 9, 1911. Niles was born November 3, 1899, on the 
farm where the family resides, west of Breckenridge. 

i\Ir. and Mrs. Cummings and their children are members of the Church 
of Christ, St. Louis, and are held in high esteem by all whn have the pleasure 
of their acciuaintance. 


This sketch has for its subject one of the prosperous farmers of Bethany 
— Prentice \V. Cole, who resides on section 34 of that township. He was 
born in Greenwood, Steuben County, N. Y., February "5, 18.^8. His father, 
David D. Cole, was born in Floward, Steuben 
County, in 1832. His mother. Harriet M. 
Cole, who was the daughter of Warren and 
Sally Bunker, was born in Hoosic, \'ermont, 
in the j-ear 1834. 

To the union of David D. and Harriet 
M. Cole five children were born ; all entering 
upon their earthly careers at Greenwood, 
N. Y., their names and birth-dates being as 
follows: .\dah E., born in 1854; Hiram L., 
born in 1856; Prentice \\'.. as stated above, 
Frank E., born in 1861 ; Rose, born in 1864, 
died in infancy. 

Prentice W. Cole came to Michigan 
;\Iarch 17, 1881, establishing himself at Ro'ck- 
land as engineer in a shingle and lumber mill. 
.-\fter about a year and a half he went to 
Rock Lake and engaged in the same vocation 
for about wo years, going from there to Har- 
rison where he remained one and a halfi 
years. While a resident of Harrison he 
bought the farm — then all wood.s — where he now lives. He did not then 
move on to the place, but went to Ithaca and secured a position as engineer 
in the stave and heading factory of C. W. .Mthouse. Here he remained for 
a period of about 15 years. While thus engaged he spent his surplus earn- 
ings in clearing up his 80-acre farm in Bethany, and erecting the needed 
farm buildings. He also bought 40 acres adjoining on section 3S. 

On the 28th of March, 1901, Mr. Cole removed with his family to the 
farm, where he has since resided, engaged in all the arduous activities of 
a farmer's life. He has since added to his possessions two 80-acre farms, 
being now the owner of 280 acres of valuable farming lands, with possibil- 
ities for still further additions to his landed domain. 

Mr. Cole was married at Elm Hall, this county, October 4, 1882, to 
Carrie Akins, daughter of George B. and Mary .Akins, both natives of 
New York State. She was one of a family of seven brothers and five sisters, 
and was born in the year 1865. The parents settled in Ithaca in 1866, after- 
ward removing to Fruitport, Mich. 




Children of Prentice \\'., and Carrie Cole are as follows : Mabel born 
May 23, 1884; Florence, born August 3. 1888. died December 3. 1888: 
Estel, born August 8. 1890; Prentice, born Julv 21, 1894; Ivan F., born 
:ilarch 27. 1901 ; George Everett, bom May 7. 1904. Mabel, the oldest 
child, was married to Harry Clawson, December, 1903. They reside on 
section 28, Bethany, and have one son. Clay Clawson, born January 1. 1905. 
Estel Cole was married March 20, 1907, to Blair Laughery. They live on 
section 34, Bethany, and have a daughter, Margaret, born March 5, 1908. 

This sketch deals with a family of industry, progress and thrift ; people 
who deservedly stand high in the esteem of their fellow-citizens. 


Francis J. Rowley, second son of Joel and Mary E. Rowley, was born 
in Addison, Steuben County, X. Y., June 26, 1848. He came to Gratiot 
with his parents in 1856, and was consequently one of the pioneers of St. 
Louis and of Bethany Township. In February. 1864, when less than sixteen 
years old, he enlisted in Company E, 8th Mich. Infantry. His first expe- 
rience in active service was at the Battle of the Wilderness, where his 
father, Joel Rowley, was wounded. He was with Grant throughout the 
entire Wilderness campaign. partici])ating in most of the engagements, in- 
cluding the famous siege of Petersliurg. .\t the close of the war he re- 
turned to his home in St. Lnuis. soon thereafter settling on a forest farm 
one and three-fourths miles east of St. Louis. There he resided, engaged 
in clearing and otherwise improx'ing his farm, until his death, which occurred 
July 25, 1885. His death was sudden and unexpected, from rheumatism of 
the heart : a great shock to his family and a source of keen regret to all 
his acquaintances, among whom he was exceptionally popular. A de\ntcd 
wife and three children survived him, all of whom are still living. 

Francis J. Rowley was married to Mary L. \incent. July 3. 1873. 
She was born November 26. 1850, in Niagara Count}-. Xew ^'ork. daughter 
of Xorman D. and Sarah \'incent. To them were born three children : 
Nellie M., born May 25, 1874, is married to George W. Graham and resides 
in Bethany Townshi]). Edith B. was born August 19, 1877, and is now the 
wife of .Vrthur Church, residing in .\lma. Charles F., born March 28, 1883, 
is married to Lucretia Holtsberry and resides in St, Louis. The mother. 
Mrs. Marv L. Rowlew now resides in St, Louis, having sold the home farm 
in March.' 1011. 

The biographical sketches df Joel and Frank Rowley, together with brief 
mentinn of their families, will be read with great interest by all who knew 
them (ir knew of them. 


The biographical sketch of Newton Burns in connection with this work 
will l)e considered favorably by a host of friends in Gratiot County, He was 
Ixirn in Pekin, Niagara County, X, Y,, July 18, 1853, son of Samuel and 
.\bigail (Hubbard) Burns. He is the fifth in a family of eight children, as 
follows: Dennis H., died at the age of thirty-eight years: Martin; Soohia, 
deceased, who was the wife of H. H. Wilco.x ; Lucia, who married W. O. 
Kellam ; Newton; Irving; Herman; Elmer. The father died in Xiagara 
County, X. Y., February 10. 1889, at the age of about eighty years. The 
mother died at Pekin. X. Y., December 21, 1905. at the advanced age of 
eighty-six years. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Burns were loyal and consistent 
members of the IMethodist Episcopal Church. 

Newton Burns was reared on his father's farm in Xiagara County. X. ^ '.. 
and received a good common school education. Later, in addition t<> hi'; 


farming activities, he engaged in teaching, becoming well and favorably 
known as an educator. In the year 1887 he removed to Gratiot County, 
purchasing the Seely D. Hicks farm on section 32. Bethany Township; a 
valuable farm of eighty acres, under a fine state of cultivation. There he 
still resides. Since becoming a resident of Gratiot he has taught about six 
vears in his township and in Wheeler Village. 

Air. lUirns was married in Niagara County, N. Y.. April 21, 1874. to 
Miss Mary P. Maxon, daughter of Stephen B. and Sarah (Ray) Maxon. 
She was born October 5, IB.'il. 

To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Newton Burns there were four children 
born: M. Estelle was married to Geo. W. Moore. They reside in .A^lma, 
Mich., and are the parents of two sons, Harold D. and Arlan W. Wilbur 
N. Burns was married to Grace B.artrem. of St. Louis, Mich. They reside 
in Niles, Mich., where ^^'ilbur N. is in the active practice of law. They 
ha\-e tAvo cliildreii — Robert B. and Mary A. 

M}ra liurns is married to Claire Rogers, of Ithaca. They reside in 
Chicago, 111. 

Edna M. Piurns died in liethany Township, aged about six years. 

Newton Burns is one of the wide-awake citizens of the county, aggres- 
sive and outspoken in the interest of any matter or cause that he believes 
to be right. .Anything tending to promote morality, justice and good citizen- 
ship is sure to have his earnest and energetic support. He and Airs. Burns 
are active members of the Presbvterian Church. Air. Burns is active in 
the orders of the I. O. O. F.. K. (). T. Al. AI.. A. O. O. G.. and of 
the Grange, and has served officially in all (if those orders. 

In his township. Air. Burns has been chosen to several offices of trust 
and responsibility — school insjiector in 18m and 1904; clerk in 1893 and '94; 
justice of the peace in 1905 and '09. In 1895 he was tied with Wesley J. 
Aliller for supervisor, and lost out in the "gamble" for the place. 

At the session of the board of supervisors in October. 1899. Air. Burns 
was appointed county drain commissioner, filling the f)ft'ice with marked 
ability for a period of two years. If he made any enemies in that office — 
which bad luck sometimes happens to a drain commissioner — doubtless he 
evened up matter by winning many friends. 

Air. Burns was the Populist candidate for representative in the legisla- 
ture in the fall of 1894. making an excellent run for that honorable position. 
At the primaries of September, 1910, Air. Burns received the Democratic 
nomination for county clerk, and though defeated at the November election, 
he reduced his opponents majority one-half from what it was two years 

In the political activities of 1912 Air. Ilurns was a progressive, an anient 
admirer of A\'. J. Bryan, and an earnest supporter of ^^■oodrow Wilson for 


In connection with a history of Gratiot Ctninty it is a pleasure to give a 
biographical sketch of Martin Kidder, a resident on section 21, Bethany 
Township. Here he has a fine farm, well cultivated and very satisfactorily 
productive. The buildings are sufficient and convenient, and Air. Kidder 
and his estimable wife are passing their declining years in comfort well 
earned and well deserved. 

Martin Kidder was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, October 6, 1839. 
His father — Nathan Kidder — and his mother — (.)roline (.Simons) Kidder died 
while he was \et a \outh. leaving him to his own resources in the battle of 


life. He learned the trade of a machinist and followed that vocation till the 
breaking out of the Civil War when he went to the front in the service of 
his country as a member of Company F. 1st Connecticut Heavy .Artillery. 
He served three years, participating in the battles of Fair Oaks. Yorktown. 
White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill and Drury's Blufif, besides many other en- 
gagements of minor importance. After receiving an honorable discharge 
he returned to his home in Connecticut and engaged in agricultural pursuits. 

September 29, 1869. Mr. Kidder was married at \\'atertovvn, Connecticut, 
to Mary ].. daughter of David S. and Maria I. (Hubbell) Munn, who wa'; 
born June 18, 1851. They came to St. Louis December 1. 1870, and shortly 
afterward purchased and removed to the tract of land where they have ever 
since resided. It was a wild and discouraging location in that early day. 
like many another portion of the county ; entirely too well watered in some 
seasons of the year. Many days of peristent efl^ort. however, ha\'e brought 
happy results, develc)])ing the unpromising tract into a \aluahle and pnnluc- 
tive farm. 

Mr. anfl Mrs. Kidder are the parents of two children: Nathan was 
born .\pril 21, 187.^: Wealthy was born December 10, 1877. Nathan was 
married to Luella .\ldrich, November 2, 1898. They have three daughters — 
Alice Louise, born July 24, 1901 : Lucile Mary, born January 29, 190.^, and 
Eloise Cristine, born September 11. 1908. .\ baby girl was born .\ugust 2, 
1903. and died September 2, 1903. They own and reside upon a forty-acre 
farm on section 28, Bethany Township, and have a pleasant home. The 
daughter — Wealthy — married Milton Cramer October 12, 1898. Two chil- 
dren have resulted from the union — Clav Adair, born February 11. 1903, and 
Mary Etta, born September 14, 190.^. They reside in Ovvosso, Mich. 

Martin Kidder has always held decided views in all matters of national, 
state and local import, and is of a nature and disposition to maintain and 
defend those views with fidelity and vigor. Recognizing his worth, and 
with faith and confidence in his integrity, his townsmen have many times 
called him to positions of responsibility. He was for several years township 
drain commissioner, and, as such, was instrumental in establishing many of 
the drains that have had so much to do with the development of the town- 
ship. The office of drain commissioner is confessedly the most difficult and 
thankless in the whole list of ofifices in the gift of the people, but it seems 
but proper to state that Mr. Kidder came through with as good a record 
for thorough and eflficient work as was ever enjoyed by anyone who has 
ever held that office within the county. Not only that, but he can also 
have the satisfaction of knowing that in all of the controversies growing 
out of a faithful discharge of the duties of the oiTice, his opponents never 
had anything coming to them when the arguments were all in. In addition 
to the office mentioned, Mr. Kidder has served as justice of the peace. In 
politics he is a Democrat, having developed into that faith by way of the 
old Greenback party. 

Welcome J. Partelo, the first supervisor of Bethany — IS.^S — came to 
that township in 185.5. He came from the Township of X'ictor. Clinton 
County, in which township he was the first white settler. .\ history of 
Clinton County issued in 1880 contains this interesting item : "At that time 
—1836 — one Welcome J. Partelo efTected on the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 31 the pioneer clearing. Although he did not discover his error until 
some years afterward, he settled upon land belonging to other parties, but 
adjoining his own. Unconscious of his mistake he worked and improved 
that place, set out an orchard, and very materially enhanced its value, 
when there came to him the knowledge one day that he had been improving 


another man's land while his own had all that time been suffered to lie 
neglected. Partelo was of course chagrined and much disgusted when the 
revelation fell upon him, but as he was fortunately permitted to purchase 
the property at the price of unimproved land, he escaped from the dilemma 
with considerable satisfaction, and continued to make his home where he 
had begun. Mr. Partelo was chosen the first superxisor of DeWitt Town- 
ship, Clinton County, which included at that time — 1837 — the present Town- 
ship of Victor. Clinton County was at that time attached to Kent County, 
and Mr. Partelo met with the Kent County supervisors at Grand Rapids. 
He was re-elected in 1838, and as Clinton County had by that time been 
transferred to Shiawassee County, Mr. Partelo met with the Shiawassee 
supervisors at Corunna. In 1839 Victor was organized as a separate town- 
ship, and Mr. Partelo was chosen school inspector, and the next year, 
justice of the peace. After removing to Bethany and serving as first super- 
visor in 1858, he served as township clerk and highway commissioner in 
1859. He died in the year 1863. His son, Welcome Phineas Partelo, was a 
well-known resident for many years, and held the offices of justice of the 
peace and highway commissioner. He died August 4, 1895, aged 78. Mrs. 
Amelia J. Partelo, his wife, died September 26, 1906. 

Frederick D. Waller was one of the early settlers of Bethany Township, 
within the limits of St. Louis Village. He held many official positions, both 
in townshij) and village, and was elected sheriff of the county in 1860 and 
'U2. In the township he held the office of supervisor two years, clerk three 
years, treasurer one year, justice of the peace three terms. In St. Louis 
\'illage he was clerk and marshal. He died June 9, 1897, aged 77 years. 
His wife, Susan A. Weller, an estimable woman and a great church worker, 
died December 7, 1893, aged 60. Their only son, J. Archie, died June 14, 
1903, at his home in Tampa, Florida, aged 43. Their only daughter, Addie, 
died in St. Louis, April 16, 1912, aged 62. - 

Henry Smith, son of Ira and Zada (Hitchcock) Smith, was born in 
Onondaga County, N. Y., September 10, 1825. He came to Gratiot County 
in 1854, locating land in Pine River Township, near St. Louis, on section 26. 
October 22, 1856, he was married to Julia A. Porter, daughter of Elijah 
Porter of Pine River. Her death occurring May 19, 1862, he married her 
sister, Sarah E., May 4, 1864. Children by the first wife were Julius, 
Cornelia and Louise ; by the second — Miles, Mortimer, Arthur, Laura, Mary 
and Virgil. Mr. Smith was the first clerk of Pine River — 1855 and '56 — and 
was elected county clerk in November, 1856. He died June 22, 1895, at his 
home in Bethany, to which township he removed in 1882. 

Bethany Township has had no lack of first-class citizens to transact her 
business, uphold her honor and to shed luster upon her history. Enough 
are here mentioned to fully prove this claim : Alfred Clark, supervisor, etc. ; 
Jonathan C. Giddings, supervisor eight times and chairman board of super- 
visors; Floyd E. Martin, supervisor; John G. Thompson, treasurer eight 
years ; Mortimer Sharpsteen, supervisor ; Harlow and Martin Cramer ; 
Ephraim Pettey, justice many years; William A., James M. and Edwin 
Johnson: John Baney and his sons, William J. and John C. ; William H. 
Fox; Frank Peach; Fred C. Pernert ; Jonathan \\'. Salsbury ; Joseph R. 
Salisbury; William C. and son, Lewis F. Thompson; Wesley J. Miller, 
thirteen times supervisor ; Charles T. Richards, Democratic candidate for 
representative in 1902 ; Henry Bodfish ; Seely D. Hicks, Greenback candi- 
date for sheriff' in 1880; Charles W. Hicks; Elias Shaw, holding various 


official positions, and an earnest politician ; Edward Lake ; Joel Rowley 
and sons, Edward, Frank and Eugene, (see sketch) ; L. T. Chapin ; Samuel 
M. Barnes; Hiram Kelly and son. H. Oscar; Chas. Rooks; Ed. G. Sechler; 
Joseph and Thomas Holton. It would amount to a canvass of the township 
to mention half of those entitled to recognition for aid in bringing Bethany 
up to its present high standing in the sisterhood of townships. 


Allen, Mrs. David P., Dec. 21, 1881. .\ pioneer witli many superiijr (pialities. 

Acker, George, Aug., 1883, aged 61. 

Allen, David P., Xov. 18, 1905, aged 82. 

Buell, Chauncey J., Sept. 10, 1888'] aged S2. 

Bordine, Philip D., Nov. 27, 1893, aged about 40. .Se\eral years a resident 

of St. Louis; village marshal in 188.^ and "86. Treasurer of P.ethany 

at the time of his death. 
Broadhead, John, Dec. 14, 1890, aged 61. A pioneer of 1856. 
Baney, Wm. J., lulv 10. 1900, aged 44. Was township clerk from 18"5 to 

Baney, Mrs., wife of John Baney. January 21, 1902, aged 65. They were 

esteemed pioneers. 
Bucholz, Christopher, Nov., 1906, aged 80. A pioneer of strict honor and 

Boggs, Wm'. E., April 29, 1902, aged 76. 
Bodfish, Henry, Aug. 14, 1906, aged 63. One of ricthanv's foremost citizens; 

supervisc.r in 1897, '98 and '"99. 
Bricken, John M., March 25. 1909, aged 69. 

Chapin, L. T., Oct. 18, 1901, aged 71. An esteemed early settler. 
Comstock, Robert H., April 6, 1905, aged 57. 
Cramer, Martin W., .April, 1912. at his home in Holland, Mich., where he had 

lived about 20 years. Located in Bethany in 1854, and was an active, 

aggressive citizen. A soldier in the Civil ^^'ar, member of the "Gratiot 

Rangers" — Company C, 8th Mich., Infantrw .-\ged 81 at his death; 

brother of Harlow Cramer. 
Cramer, Harlow, at his home in Uethany. .April 4, 1913, aged 83 years. He 

settled in r)ethany in 1855. He was a man of sterling qualities, with 

intelligent and positive views, and with the courage to defend them. 

He was elected highway commissioner of Pine River and r.otlianv in 

1856, and clerk of Bethany in 1860. 
Davison, Joseph, May 2'*, 1872. aged 61. ()ne of tlie honorable pioneers. 
Davison, Mrs. Margaret A., widow of luseidi Davison. March 4, 1891, 

aged 72. 
Dickinson, Wm. D., A])ril 12. 1887. aged 48. 
Davison, Mrs., widow of the late Warren Davison, at the home of her son, 

luigene, Lansing, April 8, 1911, aged 7"'. 
Frary, Joseph L., Xov. 19, 1890, aged 83. An old-timer, i^nqirielor of Frar_\'s 

.Vddition to St. Louis. Mrs. Frarv died in I'ine Ri\er Township in 

Fox, Mrs., wife of Clarence K. Fox, January 13, 1'.'04. 

Gamble, John, February 7, 1872, aged 32. .\ young man of excellent stand- 
Gould, James H., January 21, 1907. aged 73. 
Gilliland, Samuel, Nov. 2. 1903, aged 70. 
Goodyear, Geo. L., January 25, 1910, aged 77. .\n old soldier, residing in 

r.ethanv about 30 vears. 


Hatfield, Jacob, Oct. 28, 1870, aged 61. 

Hutchings, P. R., Nov. 26, 1880, aged 81 ; father of Airs. R. S. Miller, of 

Holton, Joseph, Sr., February 18, 1884, aged 70. One of Bethany's pioneers. 
Hurst, Mrs. Mary, March 12, 1886, aged 85. 
Hunt, Jonas, nee. 30, 1887, aged 66. 
Hicks, Mrs. Clarissa, wife of Seely D. Hicks, Aug. 15, 1887, aged 53. They 

settled here in 1874, and were of the best citizens. 
Holton, Elizabeth B., widow of Joseph Holton, Sr., July 17, 1805, aged 71: 

at the h(inie of her son Frank. 
Harris, Wm. J., Aug. 25, 1890, aged 61. 

Hasbrook, Gilbert B., .^pril 24. 1891, aged 77. A pioneer from 1865. 
Hill, Mrs. Cornelia, June 13. 1903, aged 89; widow of Justin Ilill, of St. 

Louis: at the home of her son, Albert R. Hill. 
Hill, Mrs., wife of Albert R. Hill, Nov. 22, 1909 at the age of 68 years. A 

valued resident more than 40 years. 
Higley, Mrs. Mary A., widow of Nelson Higley, ]\Iay 19, 1910, aged 69. 
Pioneers, dating from 1865. 
Holton, Thomas, Sept. 10, 1910, aged about 65. An active and aggressive 

citizen, who settled here in 1866. 
Hill, Albert R., April 17, 1913, aged 75 years. He settled in Eastern Bethany 
in 1866, and always stood -well as a man of strict integrity'. He was a 
veteran of the Civil War, and an active member of Billy Cruson Post, 
G. .\. R. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah E. Hasbrook, passed 
away in November, 1909. 
Johnson, James M., January 27, 1884, aged 40 years. A popular farmer, 

highway commissioner several years. 
Johnson, Mrs. Emma M., wife of Edwin Johnson, Aug. 16, 1910, aged 55. 
Johnson, Mrs., wife of Wm. A. Johnson, July 5, 1911, aged 59. 
Kelly, Don, son of Hiram Kelly, January 18, 1892, aged 24. Respected early 

Kelly, Mrs, Hannah A., July 14, 1904, at the age of 65 years. 
Kenyon, H, S., Dec. 29, 1''10, aged 77. Mrs. Kenyon died a week later, 
aged 66. Pioneers of Hethany Init had recent!}- become residents of 
Lovirell, David A., .'\ug, 15, 1887, aged 64. 

Lake, Edward, Dec. 30, 1899, aged 75. First settled in Arcada, section 25, 
in 1854; in 1856 moved to section 20, Bethany, where he died 43 vears 
later. Mrs. Lake died at St. Louis, May, 1912. 
Lathrop, Frank J., at the home of his son in Owosso, Alay 17. 1911. aged 

70. Settled in P.ethany in 1875. 
Munn, Mrs. Jane A., Oct. 26, 1889, aged 40; wife of IMyron J. Munn. 
Munn, Myron J., June 19, 1912, aged 59. 

McGregor, James, "Nov. 5, 1889, aged 64. Settled here in 1868. 
McCord. Andrew, March 30, 1891, aged 81. 
Myers, Peter, Nov. 5, 1900, aged 79. " 
McCall, John H., June 26, 1906, aged 71. 
Pearson, Mrs. Mary, May 27, 1870, aged 80 years. 
Partelo, Dwight, March 8, 1888, son of Welcome P. Partelo. 
Porter, Thomas A., April 17, 1890, aged 66. 
Pernert, John C, July 28, 1898. aged 54. 
Perkins, Wallace, at his home in .-Mden, Mich., February, 1911, A resident 

of Bethany 26 years, having recently removed to Alden. 
Rowley, Francis J., July 25, 1885, aged 37. .\ Cicil ^^"ar veteran, son o( 
Joel Rowley. (See sketch). 


Rowley, Edward D., February 12, 1893, aged 47. A Civil \\'ar veteran, son 

of Joel Rowley. 
Rowley, Joel, I*\'bruary 11, 1' 05. aged 76. Came here in 1856; an old 

si'lilier. (See sketch). 
Rowley, Mrs. M^ry E. (Rooks), wife of Joel R.>wley, July 18, 1896, 

aged (i(,. 
Redman, Mrs. James H., Oct. 28, 1898. They settled here in 1866, and 

were of the best citizens. 
Rooks, Mrs. Sarah (Vliet), wife of Charles Rooks, Oct. 29, 1909, aged 70. 
Rooks, Charles, died at his home in St. Louis, Jan. 31, 1913, aged 72 years. 

He came to this county in 1859, settling in St. Louis. He was a soldier 

in the Civil War, a member of Co. C, 8th Mich. Infantry. He was 

married in 1869 to Vlv-,. Sarah (XHiet) Harris, widow of Wm. B. Harris, 

and daughter of Nathan Vliet. The same year they settled on a farm in 

Bethany, where ]\Irs. Rooks died Oct., 1909. Mr. Rooks married, Dec, 

1910, Mrs. Mary Clark, widow of John A. Clark. Besides his wife. 

he left a son, Charles Rooks. 
Snook, John S., April 29, 1873, aged 56. 
Suydam, Mrs. Mary (Goodenough), April 27 , 1888, aged about 30. Esteemed 

wiilnw nf Mark Burdettc Suydam, who died January 10, 1884. 
Stevens, Charles W., Aug. 1, 1889, aged 46. A Bethany pioneer of 1860. 
Sharpsteen, Mortimer, February 22, 1897. A leading citizen, settling here in 

1880. Was supervisor in 1883 and '84. 
Shook, Milton, January 6, 1898, aged 55. .\n esteemed pioneer. 
Shook, Peter, June 9, 1908, aged 63. A veteran of the Civil War. 
Shaw, Israel, Nov. 5, 1909. aged 72. Had the distinction of being brother 

to Elias Shaw. 
Shaw, Elias, February, 1909, aged 74. Helped to organize the township, and 

got his reward Ijy being chosen to several important positions, such as 

high \va \ ci im m issioner. 
Smith, Rachel, Dec. 15, 1904, aged 103. 
Shook, Mrs., widow of John J. Shook, Oct.. 1910. aged 71. An esteemed 

earlv settler. Her husband, who was a Civil War veteran, died March, 

1904. (See sketch of Mortimer G. Shook). 
Stewart, James, May 27, 1911, aged 66. A relial)le pioneer. 
Suydam, Mark Burdette, January 10, 1884, aged 30. Respected son of John 

H. Suydam, pioneers of St. Louis. 
Stewart Erwin, March 6, 1912, aged 68 years. One of the old-timers at St. 

Louis, with many friends. 
Schultheiss, John, suddenly at his home, Sept. 11, 1912, aged 56 years. He 

li\ed nearl\- his whole life in the township and left manv relatives and 

Shook, Mrs. widow of the late Peter .Shook, at the home of her son Fred, 

April 7, 1913, aged 65 years. They were early settlers in Bethany. 

Mr. Shook passed away in 1908. 
Salisbury, Mrs. Helen M., wife of J. R. Salisbury, old residents of Bethany. 

She was 76 years of age. Died at the home of her son C. E. Sali-^bury, 

at .^yiokane, Wash. 
Taylor, Wm. M., Sept. 9. 1886. aged 70. .\n energetic pioneer. 
Thompson, Mrs., wife of John G. Thompson, July 9, 1881. They were of the 

best of Bethanv's many e.xcellent pioneers. 
Taylor, Mrs. Wm. 'M., March, 1884. 

Thompson, Wm. C, Oct. 4, 1901, aged 76. An upright citizen. 
Wilcox, Geo. W., .May 12, 1873, aged 70. 



Wilson Mrs. Mary, Dec. 27, 1881, aged 76: mother of John, Nathaniel and 

Wolf, Mrs. Asenath, Dec. 13, 1891 ; wife of Martin Wolf, and daughter of 

A\'elc(iine J. I'artelo, who was the first supervisor of Bethany. 
Wheeler, Aaron M., July 27, 1896, aged 75 years. His wife, Lucy J. Wheeler, 

died Dec. 2, 1910. They were pioneers and leading citizens. (See sketch 

of James A. Wheeler). 
Wilcox, Benj. F., at the home of his son, George H., at McBain, Mich., Jan. 

3, 1912, aged 70 vears. Settled in Bethany in 1880. 


1880, April 9 — The farm barn of Shank ISros., one and a half miles south 
of St. Louis, was burned with all its contents, including five horses. Loss. 
$1,500: insurance. $200. 

1887, April 13 — The residence of Tames H. Redman burned April 13. 
Loss, $1,200: insurance, $800. 

1891, April 6 — Wm. Boggs lost his home by fire, April 6. 

1906, July 22 — Chas. Rooks' barn was struck by lightning and was con- 
sumed by fire with its contents. 

1910, Sept. 7 — The barn of Arlington Kline was burned with its con- 
tents, Sept. 7. 

1911, Dec. 2 — The residence of Alfred Cole was destroyed by fire with 
most of the contents. There was some insurance. 

1913, July 13 — Sunday afternoon, fire destroyed the house of George 
Hurling. The contents, too, were mostly destroyed : $500 in cash going with 
the rest. 




The six miles square known as the Township of Elba, and described as 
town 9 north, range 1 west, has probably shown greater advancement m 
many ways in the past thirty years than any other township in the county. 
In saying this there is no thought of saying that it is the best township in 
the county. The word "advancement" is only relative, in this case, and must 
be taken with the understanding that the townships advancement started to 
advance from a starting point for more unpromising than was that of most of 
the others. The much-talked-of Maple River overflow has always affected 
Elba far worse than any of the other townships. There is much swamp land. 
The last thirty vears, however, has brought about great improvement m this 
respect, thanks" to persistent work in establishing and maintaining drains. 
With tile surface water disposed of— and it is being disposed of at a com- 
paratively rapid rate— the township will rank well up among the good town- 
ships of the county. 

A portion of the township was surveyed by the Government m 1X31. A 
portion had to be left unsurveyed, for reasons set forth by the surveyor in 


O a ^/.A/rf ~rp 

C ^//VTOW 



his field notes. He says : "The remainder of this town it was impossible to 
survey on account of the depth of the water on Maple River bottoms, which 
are one and a half or perhaps tw'o miles wide. In running to the north be- 
tween sections 29 and 30, we set the corner of 19, 20, 29 and 30 in three feet of 
water. We then attempted to run to the west, but after proceeding fifty 
chains were obliged to return, and gave up all hopes of surveying the re- 
mainder, which is nothing more than a chain of alder and tamarack swamp. 
The whole of the west and northwest part of the town is under water." 

This depressing outlook is far from being descriptive of present condi- 
tions, and it is quoted only to emphasize the original statement that the town- 
ship had made greater advancement than any other in the past thirty years. 
The southern and southeastern part of the township was never subject to the 
disadvantages mentioned. Much of the land formerly inundated by the 
Maple has been reclaimed and is rapidly taking rank with the best in the 
comity. The early growth of the township as indicated by the vote at the 
elections, was very slow. At the first election — 1856 — there were 21 votes; 
in 1863 there were 20, and in 1865 there were 14. To show what the township 
has done in a material way, I mention that at the first equalization of assess- 
ments in the county there were only three townships rated lower than Elba. 
At the equalization of October, 1912, only five were rated higher. 

Elba has the benefit of the Ann Arbor Railroad across its face from 
southeast to northwest; and it has the stub end of the Toledo, Saginaw & 
Muskegon division of the Grand Trunk as it comes in from the west and 
takes the Ann Arbor tracks for Owosso. In drainage it has all the benefits 
to be derived from the "gurgling Maple", supplemented by the advantages 
of the gentle slope eastward toward Bad River. The Villages of Ashley and 
Bannister furnish excellent markets for the farmers' produce, and not a farm 
is farther away than six miles from market. 



The illustration shows the big ditch, or Maple River cut-off, near Ban- 
nister, constructed by the Ann Arbor Railroad Company along the west side 
of its track, across the o.x-bow bend of the river, to serve for quick delivery 


of surplus water in time of floods. Reference to the map will show how 
this mile of canal aids in time of high water by furnishing a short-cut. It is 
a great benefit to the company, but as to its benefit to the farmers there is 
a difference of opinion. 


The first election was held April, 1856, at the house of Michael Miller. 
Tliere were 21 votes polled. 

April, 1856: Sup. — Hason Sinclair: Clk. — [ohn O. Wool; Treas. — 
Michael Miller: H. C— Wm. W. Dodge, Jas. Wooley, Sherman Call; J. P.— 
Nelson Boyer, Daniel Call, W'm. \V. Dodge, Ralph Sutfin ; Sch. Insp. — 
Chas. Call, Hason Sinclair ; Overseers of Poor — Jas. Wooley, Richard G. 
Finch; Const. — Andrew Call, A\'m. Wooley, Edward Letts. 

The board of supervisors had a June session, and Elba was represented 
by Hason Sinclair. At the session in October, however, the township was 
represented by Abram B. Beebe as supervisor, and the county treasurer's 
records also show that he was supervisor that fall. All of which shows that 
Hason Sinclair resigned as supervisor some time after June and before 
October, and that Abram B. Beebe was appointed to the vacancy by the 
township board. The fact that the township records do not mention the 
change, seems to make this explanation appropriate, in order to give clearly, 
in this history, Mr. Beebe's standing as the successor of Mr. Sinclair and 
as the representative of the township on the board of supervisors. 

At this first township meeting in Elba a contingent fund of $75, and a 
highway fund of $250 were voted. A resolution was passed "for the de- 
struction of obknoxious animals ; $5 bounty for wolves and $3 for bear, by 
the destroyer shooing good and satisfactory proof that he or Shee did take 
and kill the same within the limits of this township", says the record. 

The next township meeting to be held at the house of Jas. \\'ooIey. 

1857 : Twentv-seven votes were polled at this election. Sup. — Richard 
G. Finch 11. Daniel Call 9, Abram B. Miller 7; Clk.— John O. Wool 17: 
Treas.— Michael Miller 27; H. C— Byron S. Beebe 17: J. P.— John O. 
Wool 18, Daniel Call 9; vacancv caused bv the death of Nelson Boyer — 
Wm. B. Beebe 15, John O. Wool's, Wm. Myers 2; Sch. Insp.— Wm. Myers 
7, A. B. Beebe 7, Derrick Sutfin 7, Byron S. Beebe 5 : Directors of Poor — 
Daniel S. Letts 27, Andrew Call 18, Christopher Dodge 9; Const. — Wm. 
Miller, Wm. Call, Edward Letts, Wm. Myers. 

The meeting decided by vote to pay no bounties the coming year. The 
board paid, for "obknoxious" animals already killed, as follows ; To Geo. 
Burch $9 for three bears ; A. Call, one bear, $3 ; Richard G. Finch, three 
bears, $9; Wm. Mattison, three wolves, $15; Hason Sinclair, one bear; Jas. 
Miller, two bears; Michael Miller, two bears. 

Oct. 26. '57, Wm. \\'. ^^'ooley was appointed treasurer vice ?^1. Miller, 
resigned, and ^^'m. W. Dodge school inspector vice ^^'nl. Aiyers. rcmoxed 
from the township. 

A special townshij) meeting was held Dec. 26. "!>/ , to fill various vacan- 
cies, at which 12 votes were polled. Daniel Call was elected clerk; Michael 
Nicholas, treasurer vice Wm. ^^^ Wooley, resigned; Wm. Call highway com- 
missioner vice Dodge, deceased; .'Andrew Call justice vice Dodge deceased; 
and Christo])her Dodge justice vice Wm. B. Beebe, removed from the 

1858: Su]).— Richard G. Finch; Clk.— Daniel Call; Treas.- Wm. Call 
9, Cyrenus 'Ihonias '*: Call won the draw; II. C. — Cyrenus Thomas; J. P. 


— R. G. Finch ;- vacancy, Daniel Call ; Sch. Insp. — Dewey Smith, Christopher 
Dodge ; Overseers of Poor — Daniel S. Letts, Andrew Call. 

Judge of the 10th judicial district, Longvear, Dem., 11 ; Woodworth, 
Rep., 12. 

1859: Sup. — Clias. Dodge; Treas. — Wni. Call. No further record. 

1860: Nineteen votes were cast — two less than were cast at the first 
election four years ago. 

Sup.— Chas. Dodge; Clk.— Wni. Wooley ; Treas.— Hiram Coff man ; 
H. C— M. Nicholas; vacancy, Andrew Call; J. P.— Daniel Call; vacancy, 
Chas. Dodge ; Sch. Insp. — Chas. Dodge, Dewey Smith. 

1861: Sup.— Wm. Call; Clk.— Nathan S. Spooner ; Treas.— Rufus 
Sheldon; H. C. — E. J. Miller; J. P. — Bruce Hunter; vacancy, Andrew Call; 
Sch. Insp. — \\'ni. A. Stefifey. 

April, 1862: Sup.— Daniel Call; Clk.— M. Nicholas; Treas.— A\'m. W. 
Wooley; H. C— Andrew Call; J. P.— C. B. \N'aldo, Dewey Smith; Sch. 
Insp. — Dewey Smith. 

April, 1863: At this seventh township election there were 20 votes 

Sup. — Daniel Call; Clk. — j\l. Nicholas; Treas. — Wm. W. \\'ooley ; 
H. C. — Michael Nicholas: J. P. — Arthur Burlingame ; vacancy, Chas. Dodge; 
Sch. Insp. — Arthur Burlingame. 

A special township meeting was held May 25, '63. to fill some vacancies. 
For clerk Chas. Bradford was elected, but evidently did not accept, for later 
on L. M. Crego was appointed by the board. Chas. Dodge was elected 
justice vice Bruce Hunter, resigned. \\'m. ^^^ Wooley was elected high- 
way commissioner vice M. Nicholas, resigned. Oct. 31, '63, Wooley re- 
signed as treasurer and the board appointed Chas. Dodge. 

At a special election held Nov. 22, '63, $600 was raised by vote to pay 

April, 1864: Sup. — Daniel Call; Clk. — Derrick R. Sutfin ; Treas.— 
Loren M. Crego; H. C— B'. H. Van Cleave, Geo. E. Terry; J. P.— Daniel 
Call ; vacancy, A. J. Hurshey ; Sch. Insp. — Geo. E. Terry. 

June 22, '64, the township board voted a bounty of $100 each to vol 
unteers or drafted men. 

April, 1865: Sup.— Daniel Call; Clk.— Ira J. .\ndrews ; Treas.— L. :\I. 
Crego; H. C. — Isaac \\'ooIey ; J. P. — Wm. Call, Dewey Smith; Sch. Insp. — 
Dewey Smith, Andrew Call. 

April, 1866: Sup. — Ira J. Andrews ; Clk. — Henry Edden ; Treas. — L. M. 
Crego; H. C. — Jas. R. Harvey; J. P. — Hiram A. Brintnell ; Sch. Insp. — 
I. J. -Andrews. 

April, 1867 : Sup. — Ira J. .\ndrews ; Clk. — Henry Edden; Treas. — Wm. 
\\'. Wodley; H. C. — B. H. Van Cleave; vacancy, Reuben R. Smith. 

April, 1868: Sup. — Henry Edden; Clk. — Daniel B. Wooley; Treas. — 
Wm. W. \\'ooley ; H. C. — Allen Oberlin ; J. P. — Jacob I5ishop ; vacancy, 
J. G. Hustin ; Sch. Insp. — Alonzo Mattison. 

The township records give the above facts, but the record of the board 
of supervisors shows no reference to Henry Edden as supervisor from Elba 
or in any other way. Ira J. Andrews is shown to have represented Elba in 
1868. Whether Mr. Edden resigned, removed from the township, or failed 
to qualify, is left to the imagination. As he was justice of the peace and 
drain commissioner in June, '71, it seems quite certain that he did not die. 
.\lso he was clerk in '66, '67. 

1869: Sup.— Wm. H. Morrison; Clk.— D. B. Wooley ; Treas.— Wm. A. 
Krom ; H. C. — Jacob Bishop; vacancy, Abraham Shellenbarger ; J. P. — 


Samuel N. Huston; 3 ys, Heman Dockem ; 1 yr, Dewey Smith; Sell. Insp. — • 
Goodsell Stewart. 

A special election was held Oct. 23, "69, to vote $7,000 aid to the 
Owosso & Big Rapids Railroad, conditioned that a depot be erected near or 
on section 9, and a flag station where the road crosses the line between 26 
and 27. Yes, 48 ; no. none. Fifteen years later the Ann Arbor road was 
built, substantially along the line indicated, and two regular stations — 
Ashley and Bannister — were established in the township. 

Nov. 1, '69, John B. Kneeland was appointed supervisor vice Morrison, 
removed from the township. 

April, 1870.: Sup. — Hason Sinclair; Clk. — Daniel B. Wooley ; Treas. — 
\\'m. A. Krom; H. C. — Arthur Burlingame ; J. P. — B. S. Brownell ; vacancy, 
Henry Adams; Sch. Insp. — S. N. Barber. 

July 23, 1870. the board appointed G. S. Stewart supervisor vice Sin- 
clair, removed from the township. 

Dec. 31, 1870, Wm. W. Wooley was appointed supervisor vice Stewart, 

April, 1871: Sup.— John B. Kneeland; Clk.— D. B. ^^'ooley ; Treas.— 
Wm. A. Krom ; H. C. — Wm. A. Krom ; J. P. — Henry Edden ; \acancy, 
John Scott ; Sch. Insp. — Stephen Guthrie, Joseph Davidson. 

June 12, '71, the board appointed Ilenry Edden drain commissioner, 
none ha\'ing been elected in .Vpril. 

April, 1872: Sup. — J. . B. Kneeland; Clk. — Edwin Meacham : Treas. — 
Wm. A. Krom; H. C— Jacob Bishop; J. P.— John Scott; Sch. Insp.— 
E. D. .Sargent; Dr. Com. — H. Edden. 

April, 1873: Sup. — J. B. Kneeland ; Clk. — Ed Meacham; Treas. — Wm. 
A. Krom; H. C— A. Sebring; J. P.— C. H. Root; Sch. Insp.— \\'. H. Mor- 
rison; vacancy, J. G. Hustin ; Dr. Com. — E. D. Sargent. 

April, 1874: Sup. — J. B. Kneeland; Clk. — Wanton Westeate ; Treas. — 
Wm. A. Krom; H. C. — Reuben R. Smith; J. P. — \\'anton Westgate ; va- 
cancy, Jas. R. Green; Sch. Insp. — J. B. Davidson, Edward Bensinger. 

A motion was made and it was carried, that Wm. .\. Krom. treasurer, be 
requested to burn certain railroad bonds in liis possession given to the 
Owosso & Northwestern Railroad. 

April, 1875: Sup. — J. B. Kneeland; Clk. — Wanton Westgate; Treas. — 
Wm. A. Krom ; H. C. — E. D. Sargent ; J. P. — Wm. A. Krom ; 2 yrs., John 
Tlustin; 1 yr, Edward Bensinger; Supt. Sch. — Norman L. Higbie; Sch. 
Insp. — Ste])lien Guthrie; Dr. Com. — E. D. Sargent. 

April, 1876: Su-^.- J. B. Kneeland; Clk.— Ed. Meacham: Treas.— \\\ A. 
Krom; H. C. — J. B. Davidson; J. P. — Edward Bensinger; Supt. Sch. — 
Alex. T. Rice; Sch. Insp. — Wm. Letts; Dr. Com. — Homer Davidson. 

April, 1877: Sup.— Alex. T. Rice; Clk.— John W. Smith; Treas.— \V. 
A. Krnm; II. C. — J. B. Davidson; J. P. — J. G. Hustin; \acancy, Ed. Ben- 
singer; .Sujn. .Sch. — J. I'l. Davidson; Sch. Insp. — W. ^\■estgate. 

Nov. 22. '77. special election to vote on Ijonding to finish jail — yes, 25; 
no, .5. 

April 1, 1878: Sup.— A. T. Rice; Clk.— J. ^\ . Smith; Treas.— Wm. W. 
Wooley: 11. C— lul. Bensinger 39, B. Miller 39: j. 1'.- Jas. Young; Supt. 
Sch. — I.. N. Higbie; Sch. Insp. — W. Westgate; Dr. Com. — Daniel Gower. 

.Authorizing the issue of bonds to complete jail — yes, 50; no, 24. 

April, 1879: Sup.— A. T. Rice; Clk.— J. W. Smith; Treas.— W. W. 
Woolev ; H. C. — T- G. Hustin; ]. P. — Henry Shellenbarger ; Supt. Sch. — ■ 
W. M.' White: Sch. Insp.— W. Westgate. 

For tax to complete jail — yes. 114; no, 3. 


April, 1880: Sup.— A. T. Rice; Clk.— J. \V. Smith; Treas.— ]. B. 
Kneeland; II. C. — Ed. Bensinger; J. P. — A. J. Brown; Supt. Sch. — Dwight 
Morrison ; Sch. Insp. — Wm. Letts ; Dr. Com. — Isaac Wooley. 

By a vote of 22 to 7 it was decided at a special election held Jan. 31, 
'81, to build an iron bridge across Maple River between sections 28 and 33. 

April, 1881: Sup.— Edwin Meacham; Clk.— T. A. Hanvey ; Treas.— 
J. W. Smith; H. C. — Bishop Miller; J. P. — Nehemiah Lamb; Supt. Sch. — 
bwight Morrison; Sch. Insp. — Wm. D. Letts; Dr. Com. — Goodsell Stewart. 

April, 1882: Sup.— Alexander T. Rice; Clk.— T. A. Hanvey; Treas.— 
J. ^\■. Smith; H. C— Bishop Miller; J. P.— H. G. Tyler; Sch. Insp.— W. D. 
Letts, D. S. iMorrison ; Dr. Com. — N. Lamb; Review — Jas. Young, Daniel 

April, 1883: Sup.— Ed. Meacham; Clk.— T. A. Hanvey; Treas.— Alonzo 
Petersfin ; H. C. — Wm. Fitzgerald; J. P. — Chas. Markham ; vacancy, Jas. 
Young: Sch. Insp. — Noah W. Kaltrider. 

April, 1884: Sup.— Ed. Meacham; Clk.— T. A. Hanvey; Treas.— W. D. 
Letts; H. C— Reuben R. Smith; J. P.— Wm. A. Krom ; 2 yrs., R. R. Smith; 
Sch. Insp. — Aaron Martin. 

A vote was taken on the question of bonding for $450 for a town 
hall site at Bannister. The result was 82 votes for it, and 82 against it. 
Here was a tie, and the board proceeded to decide the matter by lot. Two 
ballots, one marked "yes", the other marked "no", were put into a hat, and 
then Esqr. A. J. Brown drew one out, and on examination it was found 
that he had drawn out the "yes" ballot. So the question was declared 
carried. Nothing easier. 

April, 1885: Sup. — N. W. Kaltrider; Clk. — Burwell Teeter; Treas. — 
Wm. D. Letts; H. C. — Jas. Young; J. P. — Daniel Kelsey ; vacancy, R. M. 
Brooks; Sch. Insp. — Josh. Davidson; Review — J. B. Davidson, Daniel 

April, 1886: Sup.— Ed. Meacham; Clk.— T. A. Hanvey; Treas.— W. A. 
Krom; H. C— Wm. D. Letts; J. P.— Lloyd Webb; Sch. Insp.— Aaron Mar- 
tin ; Review — Wni. A. Krom ; Wm. H. Morrison. 

i\ special township meeting held June 7, '86, voted to raise $100 to 
contest the tax spread by Commissioner W'm. Kroll for the Maple River 
iniprnvement. Yes, 63; no. 6. 

April, 1887 : Sup.— Lorenzo F. Randolph ; Clk.— Alonzo M. White ; 
Treas. — Chas. E. Chittenden; H. C. — Frank Hurshey; J. P. — Thompson 
Kirby ; \acancy, Thompson Kirby; Sch. Insp. — Wm. A. Krom; Review — • 
Wm. A. Krom. Loren M. Hutchinson. 

.\t the election on local option held Feby 13, '88, the afifirmative vote 
was 111; negative, 35. 

April, 1888: Sup.— Ed. :\Ieacham ; Clk.— Kelly S. Searl ; Treas.— T. A. 
Hanvey; H. C. — Solomon J. Haring; J. P. — L. E. Randolph; vacancy, Ellis 
Meyers : Sch. Insp. — Edwin W. Fieto ; Dr. Com. — Bish. Miller ; Review — • 
Thompson Kirby, Nehemiah Lamb. 

April, 1889: Sup.— Ed. :\leacham ; Clk.— Wm. I. Barker; Treas.— T. .\. 
Hanvev; II. C— Bish. Miller; T. P.— Geo. W. Mead; Sch. Insp.— I. Belle 

April, 1890: Sup. — Ed. Meacham ; Clk. — T. A. Hanvey ; Treas. — Edson 
C. Brown; H. C. — Alyron Mills; J. P. — Wm. A. Emery; Sch. Insp. — Jacob 
Powell. Sr. ; Dr. Com. — ]\Iyron H. Mills ; Review — Geo. E. Clutterback, 
\\'m. H. Morrison. 

April, 1891: Sup.— L. F. Randolph; Clk.— Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.— 
Edson C. Brown; H. C. — N. W. Kaltrider; J. P. — Jacob Powell; Sch. Insp. 
— Chas. F. Pike; Review — A. Peterson. 


The board appointed N. \\'. Kaltrider drain commissioner vice Myron H. 
Mills, resiiined. 

April, 1892 : Sup. — Chas. E. Chittenden ; Clk. — Geo. C. Douglas ; Treas. — 
Jerome F. Bush; H. C— Win. Tl. Roof; J. P.— T. Kirby ; Sch. Insp.— Wal- 
lace A. Hale; Dr. Com. — Win. P.. Roof; Review — Benj. Garrett, Loren M. 

April, 1893: Sup. — Ed. Meacham ; Clk. — Geo. C. Douglas; Treas. — E. 
C. Brown; H. C. — X. W. Kaltrider; J. P. — .\ndrew H. Steadman ; Sch. 
Insp. — Chas. Dickerson ; Review — J. \\'. Smith. 

April, 1894: Sup. — Ed. Meacham; Clk. — Geo. C. Douglas; Treas. — 
E. C. Brown; H. C. — Reuben R. Smith; J. P. — N. Lamb; Sch. Insp. — John 
N. Day; Dr. Com. — Daniel Kelsey; Review — I. \\'. Smith. 

April, 1895: Sup.— Ed. Meacham; Clk.— Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.— 
J. W. Smith; H. C. — Benj. C. Brewer; J. P. — John N. Day; vacancy, Riley 
Letts ; vacancy. Geo. ^^^ Mead ; Sch. Insp. — Chas. Dickerson. 

April, 1896: Sup.— Ed. ?vleacham ; Clk.— Geo. C. Douglas; Treas.— 
J. W. Smith; H. C— R. R. Smith; J. P.— T. Kirby; 3 yrs. John D. Willis; 
2 yrs, Aaron Martin; Sch. Insp. — Frank Sebring; Dr. Com. — ^lartin Z. 
Lewis; Review — A\'m. A. Emery. 

April, 1897: Sup.— Ed. Mecham ; Clk.— Ebenezer Z. Fuller; Treas.— 
Lewis G. Boyd; H. C— R. R. Smith; J. P.— B. D. .\ckmoody ; vacancy. 
John W. Letts; Supt. Sch. — Orin J. Dutton ; Review — Chas. Kerr. 

April, 1898: Sup.— Ed. Meacham; Clk.— E. Z. Fuller; Treas.— Lewis 
J. Boyd: H. C— D. W. C. Tiffany; J. P.— John W. Letts; Sch. Insp.— 
Tohn \\'. I'eternell; Review — J. W. Smith. 

April, 1899: Sup.— Wm. A. Emery ; Clk.— E. Z. Fuller ; Treas.— A. W. 
Dickerson; J. P. — Jacob Weidner; vacancy, Benj. Pease; Sch. Insp. — 
Hewitt J. Moulton ; Review — Chas. Emmett. 

April, 1900: Sup.— Wm. A. Emery; Clk.— E. Z. Fuller; Treas.— .\. W. 
Dickerson; H. C. — D. W. C. Tiffany; J. P. — Alonzo Peterson; vacancy, 
John D. \\'illis : vacancv, Thos. Brown; Sch. Insp. — John W. Peternell. 

April, 1901: Sup.— Martin W. Coon; Clk.— .A. B. Klooz ; Treas.— 
Ilarrv C. Rose: H. C. — Rilev Letts; T. P. — B. D. .\ckmoodv ; Sch. Insjx — 
H. J." Moulton: Review— \\''. H. Gilnian. 

April, 1912: Sup. — ^NI. W. Coon; Clk. — Frank Sebring; Treas. — 
Harry C. Rose; H. C— Riley Letts; J. P.— Thos. Brown; Sch. Insp.— Dr. 
Hale; Review — Frank Newson. 

Later the board appointed John \\'. Smith treasurer, vice H. C. Rose. 

April, 1903: Sup.— Ed. Meacham; Clk.— E. Z. Fuller; Treas.— J. W. 
Smith; H. C— Jas. B. Crook; J. P.— Chas. E. Beck; Sch. Insp.— Chas. B. 
Porter: Re\iew — Geo. Oberlin, Wm. L. Wooley. 

April, 1904: Sup. — Wm. A. Emery; Clk. — Geo. E. Cordrav ; Treas. — 
S. E. Peterson; H. C— M. Z. Lewis; J. P.— Wm. B. Roof; 3 yrs, John 
Riley; 1 yr, Frank Downie ; Sch. Insp. — W'm. Campbell; Review — L. M. 

April, 1905 : Sup.— A. N. Palmeter ; Clk.— G. E. Cordrav : Treas.— R. D. 
Letts 163, Lester G. Fox 163; H. C— Benj. Roof; J. P.— Chas. .\. Green; 
Sch. Insp. — J. E. Hunter; Review — Chas. Kerr. 

The tie on treasurer resulted in Letts securing the office. 

April. 1906: .Sup.— M. W. Coon ; Clk.— W. N. V^ladstone ; Treas.— J. W. 
Smith; H. C. — M. Z. Lewis; J. P. — Thos. Brown; 3 yrs, Edward Bensinger; 
Sch. Insp. — .\lfred Sutfin ; Review — C. F. Patton. 

April, 1907: Sup.— M. W. Coon; Clk.— W. N. Gladstone; Treas.— 
John Scott: II. C. — J. Smith: J. P. — John Willis: vacancy. .Mhert Fuller: 
Sell. Insp. — [ohn Hunter; Review — Chas. Kerr. 



April, 1908: Sup. — M. \V. Coon; Clk. — W.N.Gladstone; Treas. — John 
Scott; H. C. — M. Z. Lewis; vacancy, Will Peternell ; J. P.— C. F. Thayer- 
Sch. Insp. — A. Siitfin; Review — C. F. Patton. 

April, 1909: Sup. — John Scott; Clk. — David Duncan; Treas. — .\. F. 
Rider; H. C. — Stephen Burlingame ; vacancy, Frank Bensinger; J. P. — 
i;ert Anoell; Review— D. W. C. Tiffany. 

April, 1910: Sup. — M. W. Coon — resigned and board appointed John 
Scott; Clk. — David Duncan; Treas. — A. F. Rider; H. C. — Frank Manning; 
Overseer — ^^■. H. \\'illis; J. P. — Jas. B. Crook; vacancy, Frank Sebring; 
Review — Jacob \\'eidner 

April, 1911: Sup. — John Scott; Clk. — Da\-id Duncan; Treas. — Chas. 
E. Beck; H. C. — Wm. Peternell; Overseer — Jas. Hoover; J. P. — Hubert C. 
Rose; vacancy, Miles Simpson; Re\iew — .\. N. Palmeter. 

April, 1912: Sup.— A. F. Ryder; Clk.— D. Duncan; Treas.— Chas. E. 
Beck; I!. C. — Frank Manning; Overseer — Wm. Peternell; J. P. — Ernest 
J. Heinze; vacancy, 2 yrs, Thos. Brown; vacancy, 3 months, G. B. Turner; 
Review — Jacob Weidner. 

April, 1913: Sup. — .\. F. Ryder; Clk. — Da\id Duncan; Treas. — Lewis 
Kirby; H. C— \\'m. Peternell; O. of H.— Wm. Mitchell; J. P.— M. E. 
Simpson; Review — .\. N. Palmeter. 

A\'oman Suffrage: Yes, 80; no, 150. 

Countv Road Svstem : Yes, 66; no, 195. 


Hason Sinclair, 1856, 70. 

.\bram B. Beebe, ap. 1856. 

Richard G. Finch, 1857, '58. 

Chas. Dodge, 1859, '60. 

Wm. Call. 1861. 

Daniel Call, 1862, '63, '64, '65. 

Ira J. Andrews, 1866, '67, '68. 

Wm. H. Morrison, 1869. 

John B. Kneeland, ap. Nov. 1, 1869; 

'71, '72, '7Z, '74, '75, 76. 
G. S. Stewart, ap. July 23, 1870. 
Wm. W. Woolev, ap. Dec. 31, 1870. 
Alex. T. Rice, 1877, '78, '79, '80, '82. 

Edwin .Meacham, 1881, ''iZ, 
"88, '89, '90, '93, '94, '95, 
'98, '03. 

N. W. Kaltrider, 1885. 

Lorenzo F. Randolph, 1887 

Chas. E. Chittenden, 1892. 

Wm. A. Emerv, 1899, '00, 

Martin W. Coon, 1901, '02 
'08, '10. 

.\. N. Palmeter, 1905. 

John Scott, 1909, ap. April, '10; '11 

A. F. Rvder, 1912, '13. 

84, '86, 
'96, '97. 



, '06, '07, 

To-wnship Clerks. 

John O. Wool, 1856, '57. 

Daniel Call, sp. el., Dec. 26, 1857; 

Wm. W. Wooley, 1860. 
Nathan S. Spooner, 1861. 
M. Nicholas, 1862, '63. 
Chas. Bradford, sp. el., May 25, '63. 
L. M. Crego, ap. 1863. 
Derrick R. Sutfin, 1864._ 
Ira J. Andrews, 1865. 
Henrv Edden, 1866, '67. 
Daniel B. Wooley, 1868, '69, '70 '71. 
Edwin Meacham, 1872, '73, '76. 
Wanton Westgate, 1874, '75. 
Tohn W. Smith, 1877, '78, '79, '80. 

T. A. Hanvey, 1881, '82, '93, '84, '86, 

Burwell Teeter, 1885. 
Alonzo M. White, 1887. 
Kelly S. Searl, 1888. 
\\'m. T- Barker, 1889. 
Geo. C. Douglas, 1891, '92, '93, '94, 

'95, '96. 
E. Z. Fuller, 1897, '98, '99, '00. '03. 
A. B. Klooz, 1901. 
Frank Sebring, 1902. 
Geo. E. Cordrav, 1904, '05. 
W. N. Gladstone, 1906, '07, '08. 
David Duncan, 1909, '10, '11, '12. "13. 




Michael Miller, 1856, '57. 

Wm. W. Woolev, ap. Oct. 25, 1857 : 

'62, '63, '67, '68, '78, '79. 
Michael Nicholas, sp. el., Dec. 26, 

Wm. Call, 1858, '59. 
Hiram Coffman. 1860. 
Rufiis Sheldon, 1861. 
Chas. Dodsje. ap. Oct. 31. 1863. 
Loren M. Cre^o, 1864, '65, '66. 
Wm. A. Krom, 1869, '70, '71, 72, 

'73, '74, 7^, 76, 77. '86. 
J. B. Kneeland, 1880. 
J. W. Smith, 1881, '82, '95, '96, "03, 


Aloiizo Peterson. 1883. 

W. D. Letts, 1884, '85. 

Chas. E. Chittenden, 1887. 

T. A. Hanvey, 1888, '89. 

Edson C. Brown, 1890, '91, "93, '94. 

Jerome F. Bush, 1892. 

Lewis G. Bovd, 1897. '98. 

A. W. Dicke'rson, 1899, 'OO. 

Harrv C. Rose, 1901, '02. 

S. E. Peterson, 1504. 

R. D. Letts, 1905. 

Tohn Scott, 1Q07, '08. 

A. F. Rider, 190'X "10. 

Chas. E. Beck, 1911. '12. 

Lewis Kirbv. 1913. 


Hason Sinclair was the last surviving member of the board of super- 
visors elected in the spring of 1856, the first board elected after the organ- 
ization of the county. He was Elba's contribution to that body of 

legislators and was elected again in 1870. 
Hason Sinclair was born in Ro3^alton, 
Niagara County, N. Y., March 31, 1830. He 
came to Gratiot County in 1854 or '55, locat- 
ing in Elba Township ; probably its first 
settler, certainly one of the first. He was 
married June 15, 1856, to Miss Eliza Miller, 
l)orn in Ashland County, Ohio, in 1836. Their 
children are Mrs. Mertie Hatfield, of Ashley ; 
Mrs. Ida M. Criss, of Elba; James and 
Michael Sinclair, of Elba. The picture of 
Mr. Sinclair and his wife was taken in the 
fall of 1910. at their home in Hamilton Town- 
ship, specially for this volume. It shows a 
couple of Gratiot County's good, reliable 
citizens who were on the ground early and 
had many oi the strenuous experiences that were the lot of the pioneers. 
The death of tia.son Sinclair occurred May 8, 1911. The aged wife 
resides with her son, Michael Sinclair, in Elba Township; route 3, .\sh!ey. 


From first to last Elba has been favored with many substantial and 
progressive citizens who have done duty nobly in upholding the dignity and 
the interests of the township, socially, industrially and politically, and it is 
a pleasure to give them honorable mention in this connection. 

Edwin Meacham was born November 30, 1845, in Cuyahoga County, 
Ohio, son of Almon and Polly 1 Kelly) Meacham. He came to Gratiot in 
1866, settling on section 35, Elba Township. He was married March 21, 1870, 
to Alice A. Crego. Until the time of his death Mr. Meacham was prominent 
in the affairs of his township, serving as township clerk three years, and as 


supervisor fourteen years. He also served seven years as postmaster at 
Bannister. He was the Republican candidate for county treasurer in 1890, 
but went down with his ticket. He died December 23, 1904. 

The Wooleys were among the very first settlers. Wm. W. Wooley was 
present at the first election, and thereafter held many official positions. 
Daniel B. Wooley also was at the front, being clerk four years. John O. 
Wool also took a hand in the township's affairs. The Calls — Daniel, William 
and Andrew — took an active interest. Ira J. Andrews; Richard G. Finch; 
Loren M. Crego ; Ralph Sutfin ; Derrick R. Sutfin ; John B. Kneeland ; 
Alex. T. Rice ; Lorenzo F. Randolph ; William A. Krom ; Chas. Stewart 
Douglas; Abram Shellenbarger ; Albert W. Dickerson, Democratic candi- 
date for county treasurer in 1900; A. T. Rice; Wm. C. Wooley; Wm. D. 


Anstey, Mrs. James, in Ashley, Dec. 18. 190';', aged 71. 

Allen, Henry, April li, 1913, at his home in Ashley, aged 61 years. 

Benedict, Myron, May 3, 1880, aged 61. 

Campbell, J. Henry, at Ashley, March 11, 1901, aged 53. A popular citizen. 

s(in i>f Cornelius Campbell, a pioneer of Washington. 
Coon, J. S., Sept. 12, 1892, aged 63. 
Clarke, James, June 26, 1S06, aged 66. A talented and popular attorney, 

elected jirosecuting attorney on the Democratic and P. I. ticket in 1890. 
Croat, Israel, July 8, 1906, aged 77 ; at the home of his son, N. H. Crout. 
Carter, Z. M., a veteran of the Civil War; February 28, 1907, aged 64. 
Cesar, Mrs. Catharine, widow of Levi Cesar; Aug. 7, 1908, aged 75. Died 

at the iiome of her son-in-law, A. N. Palmeter, in Ashley. 
Crego, Loren M., March 29, 1910, aged 81. 
Douglas, Chas. Stewart, at his home in Ashley, June 24, 1891, aged about 50. 

For many years a prominent and influential citizen of Washington 

Township, engaged in lumbering in connection with his farming oper- 
Davidson, Mary R., Sept. 20, 1889, aged 77 \ widow of John and mother of 

Joseph B. Davidson. 
Fuller, Ebenezer Z., August 4, 1912, at an advanced age. He was one of 

Ashley's earliest settlers, and was prominent, officially and otherwise. 

He (lied at his home in Ashley. 
Fuller, Mrs. Mary E., widow of E. Z. Fuller, July 5, 1913, aged 77 years. 
Gross, Alfred A., at Ashley, June 14, 1894, aged 67. Settled in Hamilton 

Township in 1865, removing to Ashley about 1888. 
Gallop, Edmund W., at his home in Grand Rapids, February 8. 1910, aged 

41 3'ears. He was a resident of Ashley several years, standing well as 

a citizen. 
Hathaway, Jesse, January 2, 1872, aged 50. 
Hustin. John G., May 5.'l883; settled in Gratiot in 1866. 
Hutchinson, Mrs. Armina A. (Pitts), wife of Loren M. Hutchinson of Ash- 
ley. January 8. 1913, aged 56 years. She left a husband and one daughter. 

A devoted wife and mother. (See sketch of L. M. Hutchinson). 
Harris, Rev. Geo. W., at his home in Ashley, Sept. 14, 1913, aged aljout 71 

years. He was a soldier in the Civil War; a citizen who had many 

Kneeland, Mrs. John, Aug. 24, 1889, aged 67. Died in Bannister. 
Kirby, Thompson, March 7, 1899, aged 64 years. He was prominent in 

Elba, justice of the peace in 1887 and '92, and president of Ashley in 1805. 


Kelly, Mrs. Lyman, many years a resident of Asliley, died Sept. 27, 1911, 

aged 53. 
Letts, Edward, lune 21, 1881, aged 60. Located on section 3.^ in 1856. 
La Clear, Byron S., July 22, 1889, aged about 40. 
La Clear, Struble, at Ashley, June 26, 1901, aged 92. 
Langdon, Mrs. Nancy K., at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Sarah 

Grittith. of Bannister. July 20, 1911, aged 82. 
Lockwood, Mrs. Elizabeth Ellen, wife of Enoch Lockwood, at her home in 

Ashlev, Nov. 30, 1912, aged 63 years. A husband and eight children 

Moore, John, Nov. 3, 1883, aged 70. 
McQuiston, Nancy, February 22, 1892, aged 82. 
Manning, Hiram, at his home near Bannister, July 31, 1911, aged 89. A 

veteran of the Civil War, and had lived in Gratiot 24 years. 
Peterson, Mrs. Katie, wife of Alonzo Peterson, Oct. 4, 1900, aged S7. An 

esteemed resident 22 years. 
Pease, Mrs. B. F., Dec. 1, 1909, aged 62; a resident of Ashley 20 years. 
Parker, Edwin, at his home near Bannister, July 1, 1911, at an advanced age. 
Rider, Lewis J., January 5, 1900, aged 62; at his home in Ashley. 
Rose, Mrs. Phebe, wife^ of Hubert Rose, .\shley, Dec. 10, K;09. aged 28. 
Raymond, Chas., an old soldier, Dec. 10, 1909, aged 73. 
Rawson, William B., June 14, 1913, aged 72 vears. He settled in FAha in 

Sutfin, Martin, April 17, 1872, aged 65. 
Stone, John, July (>. 1879, aged 91. 
Steadman, Harriet, March 12. 1881, at .Ashley, aged 76. A pioneer from 

Stewart, J. Lucius, June 18, 1883, aged 71. 
Smith, Dewey, April (>. 1884, aged 77. 
Sickles. Mrs. Elizabeth, at the home of her son. Dr. B. C. Sickles. .\slile>, 

lanuarv 31, 1890, aged 58. 
Steadman, John W., Oct. 22, 1890, aged 82. 
Shellenbarger, Abram, April 19, 1899, aged 89. 
Sutfin, Ralph, March 18, 1900. 

Smith, R. R., about May 20, 1908, aged 64. A soldier in the Civil War. 
Sutfin, Edward C, January 7, 1903, aged 34. 
Sage, J. Henry, at Ashley, March 19, 1911, aged 61. 
Sperbeck, Mrs. Ira, Aug. 1. 1911, at her home in Bannister, aged 24. 
Tyler, Horatio G., Oct. 2. 1889, at Elsie, Mich. He formerly lived in Elba, 

and was responsible for the establishment of Leon postofFice, in Elba, 

named after his son. 
Turner, Mrs. Eliza, Dec. 9, 1893, at the home of her son, .^masa Turner, of 

Ashley : aged 77. 
Troop, Myron, at his home in Bannister. May 20, 1912. An exemplary citi- 
zen, resident of Fulton for a long time. 
Wooley, James, Oct. 14, 1885, aged 96. He came to Gratiot in 1855 and was 

very close to l^eing the first settler in Elba, locating on section 34. A 

number of his descendants still reside in the viciility. They have been 

active citizens in Elba's affairs from the first settlement. 
Wooley, Isaac, February 12, 1896, aged 65. One of the early jMoneers ; was 

highway commissioner and drain commissioner. 
Wooley, Daniel B., July 9, 1899, aged 63. Was township clerk several years. 
Wilcox, Mrs. Eliza B., Sept. 25, 1907, aged 71 ; at her home in A.shley. 


Wooley, Wm. W., February 9, 1901, aged 70. He was one of the first settlers, 
helped to organize the township, and held various oft'icial positions, in- 
cluding treasurer four terms. 

Wiltsie, Jacob M., July 8, 1910, aged 75 ; at Vandalia, Mich. A reliable citi- 
zen of Ashley several years, being village president in 1890 and '91. 

Whitman, Mrs. Carrie, at her home in Bannister, June 28, 1910, aged 30; 
wife of Roy Whitman. 


1875, July 11 — By the burning of Bentley's saw mill in Elba, together 
with a large amount of lumber on hand, a loss of about $10,000 was sustained. 

1885, May 7 — Hewitt's saw mill caught fire from burning sawdust, night 
of May 7, and was destroyed, entailing a loss of $3,000, and no insurance. 

1890, April 23 — The depot at Ashley, and Ahren's saloon, adjoining, 
burned at 2 o'clock, a. m. 

1890, May 20 — The Ashley House, at Ashley, burned this morning. It 
was owned by Mrs. J. Huson, but had been closed for a few weeks. Loss, 
$1,500; insurance on house and contents, $1,000. 

1891, May 2 — A fire at Bannister burned the hotel, of which Ed. C. 
Brown was proprietor, a barber shop, a saloon, and the residence of J. R. 

1891, May 5 — At 3 o'clock p. m., fire destroyed the stave and hoop fac- 
tory of Salliotte & Chittenden, Ashley, with a large amount of staves and 
other adjoining property. Loss, about $20,000; insurance, $12,000. 

1891, Nov. 1 — The residence of C. Peterson burned Sunday night, Nov. 
1, with most of the contents. 

1897, July 26 — The Village of Ashley had its worst experience with fires 
this morning, when five business places were wiped out. Nearly the entire 
business portion of the west side of the main street was reduced to ashes. 
Those burned out were M. M. Clark, grocer; J. F. Bush, hardware and imple- 
ment dealer; Louis W. Fuller, postmaster and publisher of the Ashley Post; 
Frank Gallup, barber ; D. Pechtil, a barn ; an ice house, and other sheds and 
smaller buildings. The residences of O. J. Dutton and Mrs. Robinson were 
damaged. The loss on buildings and goods was heavy, the insurance light. 
The hand engine did good work in preventing the further spreading of the 

1898, January 17 — Bannister sustained a bad loss in the burning of her 
grist mill and grain elevator. Loss estimated at $3,500; insurance, $1,500. 

1899, Oct. 10 — Ashley was visited by a serious conflagration which 
burned P. W. La Clear's livery barn, a brick blacksmith shop occupied by 
A. E. Church, a dwelling house occupied by Mat. Whitford, and a barn be- 
longing to Mr. Campbell. Six horses, four bue^g-ies, harness, hay, tools, etc., 
were destroyed, the total loss being about $5,000. 

1900, July 3i — Cliarles Rose ot Asniey lost a barn by fire early this 
morning, together with a span of horses, vehicles, farm implements, etc. It 
was thought to have been set by tramps, accidentally or otherwise. 

1900, Oct. 23 — C. E. Chittenden's stave mill at Ashley was destroyed by 

1901, Feby. 16 — Fire visited Bannister and inflicted a loss estimated at 
$10,000. The Greif Bros., proprietors of the stave works, were the losers. 
The mill itself was saved, but their kilns and sheds, with a large stock of 
staves and material were destroyed. 

1905, Dec. 31 — The year went out with an exciting and disastrous fire 
at Ashley. The hotel was burned, with a large portion of its contents. By 



hard and nersistent work the fire was kept from spreading to adjoining prop- 
erty The amUy and boarders had a busy time getting to safety, but all 
escaped The World printing office narrowly escaped being burned out. 

^907 Feby S-Ashlev's new brick Hotel Bnmmer was burned ni he 
morning together with the contents. Wm. Toms, the bartender ost h . J.e. 
The fire was presumed to have had an mcendiary ong.n. Loss. M_,OUU, 

P"'?9(^' wl-The'JS^'S^-'barns of Lewis Clark, east of Bannister, | 

were s^uc?5- lighTning a^d consumed by fire, with a large amount of hay, ■ 

^"'"907' Nov'l7-The residence of Charles Kerr of Ashley was burned at 
nooinSh^most of the contents. O- of the finest resid.^^^^^^^^^ I 

1909, July 26— The residence ot L. Lacia. in e.uiciii 
-^"''iflO Dec 14-Fire destroyed the house of John Riley, in Bannister. It 
is said to have been the first house ^'".^f.jf '"^f ;;;"" leisey's furniture store 

tf"l sev5?i"e was only lighfly i-"f . •^.- »'"""^ «"' °"™'' "' 
"■",9'?,%'^T4eT"aVrdt"rr ;:r,r:,;ou. -. o'clock i,, U,e 

principal business flf^^he o,a o s »as ,n.a.^ ^ ^^ ^^^^ ^ 

S^^: ?r.r'Zs^,4: ^v";i'. :^«.ir;f t^|a.°.o%.v, ... .as o,,,. 

Mrs'seti^'^llapman. .as, sid, ol Surbng S,re« destroying s,„re and stock 
also the adjoining jewelry s»r. °< E™.st Cu^ven The o,,te_^ ^^^^ ^^ 
jewelry store were ""''j XsChalman was badly bnrned about the head 
:S'rr™rVret»;en";'nd"Si«„:C°e:ded in preventing serious d.nrage 

•° ii,t3""if.f;!l'(lP; Shaw, northeast of Ashley, lost his barn by fire, ^h 
contents of corn, beans, wool, hay, two buggies and other articles. Loss $800, 
with insurance of $300. 




Town 11 north, range 2 west, correctly locates the Township of Emerson. 
It is one of the four central subdivisions of the county ; and it may be re- 
marked, incidentally, that it ranks as one of the best, agriculturally, and 
perhaps in other ways. In a state of nature the township was about an 
average. The western part is somewhat hilly ; that is, hilly as Gratiot lands 
go, but not mountainous by any means. The eastern two-thirds is level — 
and much of it absolutely level, to the eye, but, of course, with enough slope 
for drainage. Otherwise that part of the township could hardly maintain 
its reputation as the very l^est farming section in the county. The higher 
portions date their first settlement from along in 1854, when a few pioneers 
stuck their stakes within its borders, and took their chances of starving, far 
from civilization, as they had known it. 

The township was named for William Imisson who was probably the 
first actual settler. The name, however, through a misunderstanding on the 
part of the ofificials recording it, was written "Emerson" in the records, 
and tlie people in general soon knew it only by that name. 

Be-THAf^V 7>. 

/VOM-TH S^-r^f? 'Vyb. 



In mentioning the names of the early settlers of Emerson Township, it 
must be remembered that up to 1881 the township cornered right in Ithaca 
ViUase consequently many who were early settlers in that village were 
residents of Emerson Township as well, and in many cases are credited to 
Emerson very properly, while in fact they were Ithaca villagers. 1 his will 
explain the matter of duplication in names and places ot residence, as they 

sometimes occur. r^ i ^ ■ i^., 

Emerson has no railroad of its own, but it has the l)enefit ot two in close 

proximitv and no farmer has more than about seven miles to haul his 

nroduce ' And his advantages in that respect are greatly increased by the 

net that he has the benefit of many miles of the best gravel roads in the 

county, Emerson in 

*the front r a n k in that 
The illustration shows 
a fine round barn on the 
Arthur Snedicnr farm, east 
of Ithaca. 

Through the courtesy of 
Iiihn M. Everden, at present 
the prosecuting attorney of 
the county, an old resident 
in Emerson and for many 
years one of the county's 
most prominent and popular 
citizens, I am able to give 
the patrons of this volume 
an interesting narrative of 
life in Gratiot from his own 
])ersonal and family experi- 
ences. While to a certain 
extent personal, the story 
incidentally gives a good 
idea of general conditions in 
the county in the pioneer 
days. Mr. Everden's article 

••\t the time that Oscar A. Everden-my father-moved into the 
eount'v-February, 1855-there was only a half mile of '"O^^ . J"PP^,^ /"^ '" 
the countv This was in Fulton Township, near Maple Rapids. The roads 
were simplv winding trails following the high ground as much as possible. 
The countv was, in fact, a widerness, with a few log cabins scattered through- 
out the south central part. The families in Emerson Township were very 
?ew at this time. There were Obed Thorp and his family, and his son-m- 
aw Thomas Reed- Isaiah Allen, his wife and sons Ransom, Isaiah. Philip 
ParkJani ?ra Meiancton Pettit, E. C. Farrington aiul family John Knight 
ancHamilv Levi Haight and family : Erastus Hunt and family. These had 
Tl Imov f "in the pre^^^ous fall. During the year many more settlers came 
tlo the umber being William Imisson (after whom Emerson Township 
was naitd;"nd "is wife; Jerry Shaver and family, and Lewis Shaver and 

^^""'''^i historv of Emerson Township would be incomplete if it failed to 
recount some of the struggles and privations of these early pioneers. Many 
who came in later vearl-even after the war-call themselves 'pioneers. 



To those who came to Gratiot in 1854, '55 and '56, and endured the hard- 
ships of those years, and who really laid and established the foundation 
upon which all of the subsequent prosperity of the county has been built. 
such claims seem presumptuous. 

"In August, 1854, Congress passed a law known as the "Graduation Act", 
reducing the price of government lands to fifty cents an acre, with a con- 
dition, however, as later interpreted by the department, that purchasers must 
settle upon the land within one year from the date oi purchase. The result 
was that thousands of settlers flocked to these — so called at that time — 
northern counties of the state for homes. Most of them came without money 
and with not much else. Details of the hardships of settlers have been 
given from time to time and in various forms and places, and doubtless the 
subject will be thoroughly gone into in this volume. The experiences of 
Mr. Everden and family were not as harrowing as those of many others, 
but a few details may not be uninteresting to many readers, and they are 
here given. 

".At the time Mr. E^•erden moved to Emerson Township he owned a 
voke of steers, two cows, a calf and two pigs, and he' also had $400 in 
money. .After getting his family settled in their new home, (the 'bungalow' 
of those daj's), he chopped about five acres around their house, hoping to be 
able to get it into spring crops. .After spring had opened he went back to 
Ingham Countv after his stock, v hich he drove through from near Mason 
to his home in Emerson in three days. This would not occasion surprise 
nowadays with our modern highways, but to drive, on foot, four head of 
cattle, a calf and two pigs, that distance through the woods in the .spring 
of 1855, required some nerve. Mr. Everden reached Emerson safely with 
his stock. Spring had opened; leeks were plentiful everywhere, but grass 
was scarce. Consequently the cattle had to eat leeks. This, of course, gave 
the milk and butter a delicious flavor. So the people had to eat leeks to 
take the leeky taste away. 

"The writer well remembers that the usual routine of work in their 
home in the mornings of those days and for several springs thereafter 
would be about as follows: First, breakfast; second, wash the few break- 
fast dishes; third, mother and children take a pail and go into the woods 
and dig enough leeks for dinner and supper. People were obliged to use 
them, and they became a regular article of diet in nearly every home at 
this season of the year. 

"Mr. Everden succeeded in burning most of the brush and logs on the 
five acres he had chopped that spring, and planted it to corn and potatoes; 
the planting being done mostly by chopping into the ground with an ax 
and dropping the corn into the openings made by the ax. The crops gave 
promise of giving a bountiful yield though planted and cared for under 
such adverse conditions. However, a severe frost on the night of August 
28th killed evervthing down to the ground; corn, potatoes and all garden 
truck all absolutely ruined. This was a severe blow, as it meant not only 
loss of food for themselves, but it left nothing to feed their stock during the 
coming winter. .A man of less determination and spirit would have become 
discouraged ; but Mr. Everden was not of that kind of material. A man 
by the name of Searl lived one and one-half miles north of where Ithaca 
now stands, on the farm now owned by John Pinney. He raised some corn 
that year, of a variety commonly known as 'eight-rowed." Mr. Everden 
succeeded in buying of him six bushels of ears by paying him a big price. 
This corn he broke up into pieces so that each animal could have one piece 
each da\- during the winter. This was all he had with which to winter his 


stock consisting of two three-year-old steers, two cows, one yearling, one 
calf and one pig. And yet he carried them all through the winter safely. 
This, doubtless would be considered a big problem by the average 1913 
farmer. Each morning he would give each animal its piece of corn, then 
take his ax and go into the woods and chop 'browse', the cattle following 
him like sheep. He would cut only basswood and elm trees, felling them and 
then trimming down the limbs in such a way that the animals could get at 
the twigs and limbs easily. By this means he wintered his stock without 
loss. Obed Thorp, a near neighbor, had eleven head of cattle starve to death 
that winter. 

"The summer of 1856 was extremely dry. Nearly every settler in the 
county was burning brush and logs in the endeavor to clear his land. High 
winds prevailed early in October. Fires broke out in many places over the 
county, and in a few days they became one general fire all over the county. 
The smoke was so dense for several days that a person could see only a few 
feet. Many cattle died, and a great many people became sick from inhaling 
the dense smoke. People were obliged to watch their log cabins day and 
night to keep them from burning. Scarcely a foot of ground in the county 
escaped being burned over. Nothing ever occurred in the history of Emerson 
Township that caused so much damage to the township generally as this 
great fire of 1856. Emerson Township, excepting the west tier of sections, 
is comparatively level. This portion of the township was originally covered 
with a thrifty growth of beech, maple, basswood, hickory, white ash, black 
ash, elm and burr oak timber. This timber was not extremely large ex- 
cepting the oak. The central portion of the township was drained mainly 
by Beaver Creek ; the extreme northern part by Bush Creek ; the south 
and eastern portion b}- Brady Creek and Shad Creek. While the general 
surface was quite leved, there was fall enough for these creeks to furnish 
ample drainage for the township. Along these creeks and in the low ground 
the timber was burned down by the great fires of 1856. On sections 23 
and 27 more than a hundred acres of timber was burned down. There were 
other places in the township where large areas of timber were burned down. 
As the years passed this down timber decayed, much standing timber that 
was injured by the fire died and fell or was blown down. The result was 
to clog and fill up the water courses with dead timber; leaves and rubbish 
accumulated against the old logs to such an extent that the water could 
not pass off in the natural channels, but spread over large areas. The woods 
in their natural state had been free from underbrush, but after the fire under- 
brush sprang up everywhere, and the woods became filled with thickets of 
willow, poplar and cottonwood. This condition also tended to congest the 
already overflowing water courses. All these circumstances and conditions 
made the clearing of land very slow and difi'icult. and after being cleared 
of logs and brush it was so wet as to be almost totally unproductive. 

"The opening of these water courses in after years by means of town- 
ship and county drains has worked a wondrous change in the township. 
Emerson Township now has a state-wide reputation, and is known as the 
garden of Michigan. Lands that sold twenty years ago for ten dollars an 
acre are now selling for from $125 to $200 per acre, and much of it cannot 
be purchased for that price. 

"As already stated, crops were generally a failure in 1856. Many people 
became discouraged, left their places and returned to their former homes. 
Among such in Emerson were Obed Thorp and family, Erastus Hunt and 
family, Andrew McClure and family and others. The inevitable result of 
the failure of crops produced hard times in the county. Word went out to 


the older portions of the state that people were starving in Gratiot County. 
Many people were suffering for want of food, but no deaths occurred from 
starvation. William Imisson said he and his wife lived days on leeks and 
maple sugar, which was probably the truth. At that time the nearest grist 
mill was at Matherton, near Ionia. It would take a week to make the trip, 
there and back, and it was no pleasant task. The neighbors would club 
together, each contributing what he had, perhaps a bushel of corn or buck- 
wheat, and the man who owned a yoke of oxen and a cart would go to mill. 
It meant a week from home, sleeping under the cart, nights, beside the 
trail. The oxen would be unyoked at night, a bell put on one of them and 
they would be turned loose. A peculiar fact is that they would never stray 
away, but would feed and then come up near the cart and lie down for the 
night. Much of the corn was ground in coffee mills. A large amount of pro- 
vision was sent into the county from the south part of the state and dis- 
tributed to those most needy. The county came to be known to the out- 
side world as 'Starving Gratiot.' 

"An incident : Mary Reed, who was a daughter of Obed Thorp, died in 
1855, leaving a young babe. This death was the first in the Township of 
Emerson. The babe was fed coarse corn bread made simply of coarse corn 
meal ground in a coffee mill, and mixed with water and baked. This the 
grandmother would soak in spicebush tea and feed to the babe. It had no 
milk of any kind e.xcepting only as Mrs. Everden would send some to them. 
Such diet would mean sure death to a modern child, yet the infant grew 
to manhood, and for many years Johnny Reed was a creditable citizen of 
the Township of Newark. 

"The family of Mr. Everden generally had plenty of milk and butter 
and corn meal ; consequently they never suft'ered seriously for lack of food. 
Leeks in the spring furnished a variety. 

"Men were continually coming into the woods looking land. Much of 
Mr. Everden's time was spent going with these men and showing them land 
that was not yet taken. It was no uncommon occurrence for three or four 
landlookers to spend the night at his home, usually sleeping on the floor. 
It is true that these early settlers were 'hard-ups', with all that the term im- 
plies, and yet no more hospitable homes could be found in the universe than 
those of the pioneers of early Gratiot. The latch-string to their homes al- 
ways hung out ; a welcome to every comer. No neighbor or stranger was 
ever turned away without food. A larger-hearted, more generous people 
never existed. Everybody within a distance of five or six miles were "neigh- 
bors' and visited each other. It was no uncommon thing for one neighbor 
to take his oxen and 'jumper' and take his family and perhaps the family 
of a neighbor also, and drive three or four miles just to 'spend the evening' 
with some other neighbor. There were no clans, class distinctions nor 
jealousies. Everybody was equally poor, and just as equally happy." 


Emerson's first election was Iield October 24, 1855. Here is the way it 
is upon the records : "This is to certify that the electors of Emerson Town- 
ship met at the house of Erastus Hunt on said day for the purpose of 
holding a town meeting and to elect township officers, according to the con- 
stitution of the United States. Melancton Pettit elected moderator; Alan- 
son B. Bailey elected clerk; Philip P. Allen and Isaac Preston elected in- 

There were eleven votes cast, and the canvass by the inspectors showed 
the result to have been as follows; 


October, 1855: Sup.— Melancton Pettit 11; Clk.— Alanson B. Bailey 
11; Treas. — Levi H. Haight 11; H. C. — Isaiah .Allen, for three years, 11: 
Obed Throop, for two years, 11; John Knight, one year, 10; J. P. — Isaac 
N. Coleman, 11; Isaac Preston, 11; Sch. Insp. — Ransom Allen. 11; Isaiah 
Allen, 11; Directors of Poor— Erastus Hunt, 11; Const.— P. P. Allen .7: 
E. C. Farrington, 7. 

A. B. Bailey, who was elected clerk was sworn into office before a jus- 
tice of the peace in Pine River, and then he administered the oath to the 
otlier officers. Thus were the wheels of gox-ennnent started in Emerson. 

April, 1856: The votes by this time had increased to 20. and they were 
cast as follows : 

Sup.— Melancton Pettit, 20; Clk.— Oscar .\. Everden, 11; A. B. Bailev, 
9; Treas.— Philip P. .A.llen, 19; H. C— Reuben C. Haight, 19; John Knight, 
19; J. P. — Reuben Coffin, 20; Isaac X. Coleman, 19; Joseph A. Guthrie, 15; 
Sch. Insp. — Jesse Owen, 17; Joseph A. Guthrie, 16; Directors of Poor — 
Levi H. Haight, 19; Tohn Knight, 19; Const. — Erastus C. Farrington, 19; 
Ransom Allen, 16; Philip P. AHen, 19; Isaiah Allen. 3: O. .A. Everden, 1. 

Tlie meeting voted $46.50 to pay past indebtedness, $150, for contingent 
e.xpenses and $100 for highway purposes, the latter to be applied according 
to valuation in the several road districts. Thos. Reed was made deputy 
clerk, and on May 19, M. Pettit was appointed to serve as highway com- 
mission in consequence of the ill health of Isaiah Allen. 

1857. Sup.— Oscar A. Everden, 20; Joseph A. Guthrie, 12; Clk.— 
Reuben Coft'in. 21; Jesse Owen, 11; Treas.— Philip P. Allen, 23: A. B. 
Bailey, 9; H. C— Win. Potter, 17; Isaac N. Coleman, 17; J. P.— M. Pettit, 
17; Isaac Preston, 15; Sch. Insp. — W'm. Imisson, 16; Ransom Allen, 15. 

1858: Sup.— Reuben Coflfin, 28; Francis Nelson, 20; Clk.— Wm. W. 
C"omstock, 23; Orville M. Wood, 21; Treas.— P. P. Allen, 29; M. Pettit, 
19; H. C. — \\'arner Coston, 29; Henry Gipe, 18; J. P. — Andrew McClure, 
27; J. A. Guthrie, 17; Sch. Insp. — Moses Tompkins, 24: John Knight, 23. 
A bounty of S3 was voted for wolves' scalps. Oct. 24, '58, Henry Gipe 
was appointed highway commissioner in place of Reuben C. Haight, removed 
from the township. Nov. 24, '58, the board appointed B. E. Sawtelle clerk 
vice Comstock, removed from the township. Dec. 18, '58, Reuben Coffin was 
appointed school inspector vice Tompkins, removed from the township. 

April, 1859: Sup.— M. Pettit; Clk.— Wm. C. Beckwith ; Treas.— I. N. 
Coleman; II. C. — Ransom Allen; J. P. — Joseph B. Stafford; vacancy, 
Joseph .\. Guthrie; Sch. Insp. — J. A. Guthrie; vacancy, Wm. Schad. 

April, 1860: Sup.— M. Pettit; Clk.— Wm. C. Beckwith; Treas.— I. N. 
Coleman; H. C. — Reuben C. Haight: J. P. — Wm. \\'. Comstock; Sch. Insp. 
— Theron Finney. 

April, 1861: Sup. — Oscar A. Everden; Clk. — Reuben Coffin; Treas. 
—P. P. Allen; H. C— Andrew Mitchell; J. P.— Robert G. Hutchin.son: 
vacancy, John Knight; vacancy, Wm. Potter; Sch. Insp. — Louis Hetzman. 

May 4, '61, the board appointed Lewis Shaver highway commissioner to 
fill the vacancy caused by Andrew Mitchell declining the office. 

April, 1862: The votes cast ran up to 60 at this election. Sup. — Louis 
Hetzman; Clk. — R. Coffin ; Treas. — Jacob N. Decker ; H. C. — Lewis Shaver; 
vacancy. .Andrew Mitchell; vacancy, John Henry; Sch. Insp. — O. A. 

Eleven pathmasters for the ele\'en road districts were chosen as follows: 
John Knight, David Kostenbader, Geo. A. Files, O. A. Everden, R. Allen, 
J. .A, Guthrie. Jas. Dunn, John Alull, Donald McGregor, Wm. Imisson, Jas. 


Aug. 21, '62, the board appointed John Knight treasurer in place of 
J. N. Decker, removed from the township. 

April, 1863: Sup. — Louis Hetzman; Clk. — P. P. Allen; Treas. — Chas. 
C. Johnson; H. C— Wm. Johnson; J. P.— Wm. Imisson ; Sch. Insp.— R. 

April, 1864: Sup. — L. Hetzman; Clk. — Reuben C. Haight; Treas. — 
Theron Finney; H. C. — P.enj. Ridenour; J. P. — John Knight; Sch. Insp. — 
L. Hetzman. 

April, 1865: Sup.— L. Hetzman; Clk.— R. Coffin; Treas.— R. C. Haight; 
H. C— Daniel Failing: vacancy, W. C. Beckwith ; J. P.— L. Hetzman; va- 
cancv, Benj. F. Shepard ; Sch. Insp, — Benj. F. Shepard. 

April, 1866: Sup.— L. Hetzman; Clk.— W. D. Scott; Treas.— R. C. 
Haight; H. C— John Mull; J. P.— Albion Pickett; vacancy, Wilbur Nel- 
son; Sch. Insp. — Nathan Church; vacancy, J. A. Guthrie. 

April, 1867 : Sup. — Daniel F. Muscott ; Clk. — Lewis S. Brooke ; Treas. 
—Isaac N. Coleman; H. C— Albert A. Shaver; J. P.— Wm. C. Beckwith; 
vacancy. J. A. Guthrie. 

April, 1868: Sup.— D. F. Muscott; Clk.— Lewis S. Brooke; Treas.— 
I. N. Coleman; H. C— Wm. C. Beckwith; J. P.— Ed. E. Mull; Sch. Insp.— 
N. Church. 

April, 1869: Sup. — L. S. Brooke; Clk. — Alanson Jeffery ; Treas. — 
I. N. Coleman; H. C. — John Mull; J. P. — Francis W. Curtis; vacancy, 
Chas. H. Webster; Sch. Insp. — D. F. Muscott; vacancy, Daniel Taylor. 

April, 1870: Sup. — Louis Hetzman; Clk. — A. Jefifery; Treas. — I. N. 
Coleman; H. C. — A. A. Shaver; J. P. — R. C. Haight; vacancy, Abraham W. 
Russell ; Sch. Insp. — R. Allen. 

April, 1871: Sup.— Louis Hetzman ; Clk.— Chas. H. Webster ; Treas.— 
I. N. Oileman; H. C— R. Allen; J. P.— R. Allen; Sch. Insp.— D. F. Mus- 

April, 1872: Sup.— Isaac N. Coleman ; Clk.— Chas. H. Webster ; Treas. 
— Harvey Cady ; H. C. — Jesse Pepple; vacancy, Albert Smith; J. P. — A. W. 
Russell ; Sch. Insp. — Justus N. Guthrie. 

April, 1873: Sup.— I. N. Coleman; Clk.— Reuben Coffin; Treas.— 
Spencer Monroe; H. C. — Geo. Fauble ; J. P. — Francis W. Curtis; Sch. Insp. 
■ — R. Allen; Dr. Com. — L. Hetzman. 

April, 1874: Sup.— I. N. Coleman; Clk.— R. Coffin; Treas.— S. Mon- 
roe; H. C— F. \\'. Curtis; ]. P.— R. C. Haight; Sch. Insp.— Tohn M. Ever- 
den; Dr. Com.— R. C. Haight. 

July 18, '74. the board appointed John ^^'. Coft'in clerk vice Reuben 
Coffin, deceased. 

April, 1875: Sup.— I. N. Coleman; Clk.— John W. Coft'in; Treas.— S. 
Monroe; H. C. — Jesse Pepple; J. P. — Cortez C. Clark; Supt. Sch. — John M. 
Everden ; Sch. Insp. — R. Allen. 

April, 1876: Sup.— I. N. Coleman; Clk.— Wallace W. Weatherwax; 
Treas. — S. Monroe; H. C. — Jesse Pepple; J. P. — A. \V. Russell; Supt. Sch. 
— J. M. Everden; Sch. Insp. — Jas. L. Clark; Dr. Com. — Wm. C. Beckwith. 

April, 1877: Sup.— John M. Everden; Clk.— W. W. Weatherwax; 
Treas. — Daniel C. Johnson ; H. C. — Jesse Pepple ; J. P. — F. W. Curtis ; va- 
cancy, L. Hetzman ; Supt. Sch. — Schuyler W\ Ambler ; Sch. Insp. — R. Allen ; 
Dr. Com. — Wm. H. Lewis. 

April, 1878: Sup.— J. M. Everden; Clk.— A. W. Russell; Treas.— F. 
W. Curtis; H. C— Jesse "Pepple: J. P.— J. N. Guthrie; Supt. Sch.— Giles T. 
Brown ; Sch. Insp. — R. Allen. 


April, 1879: Sup. — Jeremiah Shaver; Clk. — Cortez C. Clark; Treas. — 
V. W. Curtis; H. C— Jesse Pepple ; J. P.— S. W. Ambler; Supt. Sch.— 
J. AI. Everden; Sch. Insp.— R. Allen; Dr. Com.— John W. Coffin. 

April, 1880: Sup. — Jesse Pepple; Clk. — A.W.Russell; Treas. — Harvey 
Rice; H. C— Theo. W. Muscott ; J. P.— A. W. Russell; Supt. Sch.— J. M. 
Everden ; Sch. Insp. — R. Allen ; Dr. Com. — Reuben S. Brown. 

By the organization of Ithaca Township which took section 31 out of 
the Township of Emerson, A. W. Russell, township clerk, was transferred 
with the section, thus leaving Emerson without a clerk. The township board 
appointed I. N. Coleman to the position. The shortage in justices was 
made good at the election following. 

April, 1881: Sup. — Jesse Pepple; Clk. — I. X. Coleman; Treas. — D. F. 
Muscott; H. C— T. W. Muscott; J. P.— F. W. Curtis, Ransom Allen, Perry 
D. Pettit; Supt. Sch. — J. M. Everden; Sch. Insp. — Henry L. Beebe. 

April, 1882: Sup. — J. j\l. Everden; Clk. — I. N. Coleman; Treas. — D. F. 
Muscott; H. C. — Geo. J. Coleman; J. P. — J. X. Guthrie; Sch. Insp. — 
Jotliam Allen; vacancy, Henry L. Beebe; Dr. Com. — Jonathan Gidley. 

April, 1883: Sup. — Jesse Pepple; Clk. — Gaylord Holmes; Treas. — 
Mathew Toles ; J. P. — Samuel D. Thompson ; Sch. Insp. — H. L. Beebe. 

April, 1884: Sup. — Jesse Pepple; Clk. — Marion F. Curtis; Treas. — 
M. Toles; H. C— Geo. J. Coleman; J. P.— R. Allen; Sch. Insp.— Jotham 
Allen, O. M. Everden ; Dr. Com. — Israel D. Russell. 

April, 1885: Sup. — Jesse Pepple; Clk. — Gavlord Helms; Treas. — 
Robert Gamble; H. C— J. Gidley; J. P.— F. W. Curtis; Sch. Insp.— 
Binnie M. Coffin. 

April, 1886: Sup. — Jesse Pepple; Clk. — G. Helms; Treas. — Rob. 
Gamble; H. C— Geo. Presler; J. P.— J. Gidley; Sch. Insp.— Thos. Wiles; 
Dr. Com. — ^Vm. Ching. 

April, 1887 : Sup. — Jesse Pepple ; Clk. — Rob. Gamble ; Treas. — J. Gid- 
Icv; II. C. — Geo. W. Presler; J. P. — S. D. Thompson; Sch. Insp. — [otham 

April, 1888: Sup.— Gavlord Helms; Clk.— R. Gamble; Treas.— T. Gid- 
ley; H. C— Waldo Curtis'; J. P.— Geo. W. Skinner; Sch. Insp.— B. iM. 
Coffin ; Dr. Com. — Wm. Ching. 

April, 1889: Sup.— G. Helms; Clk.— B. M. Coffin; Treas.— Geo. J. 
Coleman; H. C. — Geo. W. Presler; J. P. — F. W. Curtis; vacancy, Chas. H. 
Webster: Sch. Insp. — Chas. A. Van Deventer. 

April, 1890: Sup.— G. Helms; Clk.— B. M. Coft'in ; Treas.— Gilbert 
Goodlmc; H. C. — Chas. Randels; J. P. — Herman Shaver; Sch. Insp. — 
Frank O. Dodge, G. D. McCollum ; Dr. Com. — Noah Greene ; Review — Jerry 
Shaver. Chas. Coston. 

April, 1891 : Sup. — G. Helms ; Clk. — B. M. Coffin ; Treas. — Gilbert 
Goodhue; H. C— Lyman W. Fidler; J. P.— Chas. T. Eno; Sch. In.sp.— 
Jav Griffith ; Review — F. W. Curtis. 

April, 1892: Sup.— G. Helms; Clk.— Geo. G. Ingledue ; Treas.— B. M. 
Coffin; H. C— L. Fidler; J. P.— J. A. Griffith; Sch. Insp.— Frank W. Hetz- 
man ; Dr. Com. — Edward A. Brown ; Review — Chas. W. Coleman. Elias 

April, 1893: Sup. — Gilbert Goodhue; Clk. — Geo. G. Ingledue; Treas. — 
B. M. Coffin; H. C— Frank AI. Hetzman; J. P.— Robert McClure ; vacancy. 
Thos. B. Wiles ; Sch. Insp. — Noah Greene ; Review — Moses L. Pendell. 

April, 1894: Sup.— G. Helms; Clk.— B. M. Coffin; Treas.— J. Gidley; 
IT. C— Wm. I. Cobb; J. P.— Herman Shaver; Sch. Insp.— Frank M. Hetz- 
man; Dr. Com. — Wm. Ching; Review — Geo. W. Presler, Terry Eldred. 


April, 1895: Sup. — Binnie M. Cofifin ; Clk. — Noah Greene; Treas. — 
J. Gidley ; H. C— Wm. I. Cobb ; J. P.— Thos. Richards ; Sch. Insp.— Chas. 
^^'. Coleman ; Review — Gilbert Goodhue. 

April, 1896: Sup.— B. M. Coffin; Clk.— Rob. Gamble; Treas.— John 
L. Smith; H. C— Wm. I. Cobb; J. P.— .\lonzo Ellsworth; vacancy, C. T. 
Eno; Sch. Insp. — F. M. Hetzman; Dr. Com. — G. Helms; Review — Chas. W. 

April, 1897 : Sup. — Jonathan Gidley ; Clk. — Rob. Gamble ; Treas. — 
John L. Smith; H. C. — Chas. W. Coleman; J. P. — Jerome L. Smith; Sch. 
Insp. — Reuben S. Brown ; Review — Frank O. Dodge. 

April, 1898: Sup. — J. Gidley; Clk. — Rob. Gamble; Treas. — Jotham 
Allen; H. C. — Walter G. Whiton; J. P. — Chas. A. Van Deventer ; vacancy, 
Albro Curtis; Sch. Insp. — John H. Showers, Melvern Sanders; Review — 
Duncan McKenzie, L. D. Baker. 

April, 1899: Sup. — J. Gidley; Clk. — Bernard L. Case; Treas. — John L. 
Smith; H. C— Walter G. Whiton; J. P. — Albro Curtis; vacancy, N. M. 
Showers ; Sch. Insp. — Ed. J. Hasbrook, Percy Allen ; Review — Dean S. 

April, 1900: Sup. — John L. Smith; Clk. — Bernard L. Case; Treas. — ■ 
Sheridan Somerville ; H. C. — Samuel K. Simmons; J. P. — Chas. H. Webster; 
Sch. Insp. — Robert Brown ; Review — Jesse Guthrie. 

April, 1901: Sup. — Bernard L. Case; Clk. — Ernest Muscott; Treas. — ■ 
Walter G. Whiton; H. C. — Geo. Gidley; J. P. — Albro Curtis; Sch. Insp. — ■ 
A. H. \Vebster; Review — Gilbert Goodhue. 

April, 1902: Sup.— B. L. Case; Clk.— E. Muscott, Treas.— Walter L. 
Whiton; H. C— L. W. Fidler; J. P.— C. A. Van Deventer; Sch. Insp.— 
R. H. Brown; Review — Duncan McKenzie, Ira Sayles. 

April, 1903: Sup. — B. L. Case; Clk. — Frank Shaver; Treas. — Ernest 
Muscott; H. C. — Melvern Sanders; J. P. — N. M. Showers; Sch. Insp. — 
T. Bloss ; Review — Rob. Gamble. 

April, 1904: Sup. — lohn L. Smith; Clk. — Percy Allen; Treas. — Ernest 
Muscott; H. C— L. W. Fidler; J. P.— Chas. H. Webster; Sch. Insp.— R. H. 
Brown ; E. R. Allen. 

April, 1905: Sup.— John L. Smith; Clk.— Percy Allen; Treas.— Rob. 
Gamble; H. C. — D. McKenzie; J. P. — .\lbro Curtis; Sch. Insp. — Jay Allen; 
Review — B. L. Case, Albert Smith. 

April, 1906: Sup. — John L. Smith; Clk. — Percy Allen; Treas. — Rob. 
Gamble: H. C. — Duncan ^McKenzie; J. P. — Peter McAdam ; vacancy, H. W. 
French ; Sch. Insp. — Robert Brown ; Review — N. W. Waddell. 

April, 1907: Sup.— John L. Smith; Clk.— Percy Allen; Treas.- B. L. 
Case; H. C. — Walter G. Whiton; J. P. — N. M. Showers, Jesse Guthrie, 
Newton L. Case ; Sch. Insp. — Archie Walter ; Review — C. A. Van Deventer. 

April, 1908: Sup.— John L. Smith; Clk.— Percy Allen; Treas.— B. L. 
Case; H. C. — Walter G. Whiton; Overseer — Melvern Sanders; J. P. — 
Newton L. Case ; Sch. Insp. — Wm. McKenzie ; Review — Ernest Muscott. 

April, 1909: Sup.— John L. Smith; Clk.— Percy Allen; Treas.— Frank 
Herron; H. C. — C. J. Shepard ; Overseer — Theo. Bloss; J. P. — Wm. T. 
Clark ; vacancy, C. A. Van Deventer ; Review — Robert Brown. 

April, 1910: Sup. — B. L. Case; Clk. — Percy Allen; Treas. — Frank Her- 
ron; H. C. — Claude D. Knapp ; Overseer — Jesse Guthrie; J. P. — Wm. T. 
Clark ; vacancv, Rob. Gamble ; Review — Duncan McKenzie. 

April, 19l'l: Sup.— B. L. Case; Clk.— Percy Allen: Treas.— Robert 
Gamble: H. C. — C. D. Knapp; J. P. — N. M. Showers; vacancy. F. A. 
Herrim; Review — R. H. Brown. 



April, 1912: Sup. — B. L. Case; Clk. — Percy Allen; Treas. — Rob. 
Gamble ; J. P. — X. L. ; vacancy. Archie Walter : Review — F. .\. Her- 
ron ; one vear. Ernest Miiscott ; H. C. — C. D. Knapp. 

April,' 1913: Sup.— B. L. Case; Clk.— Percy Allen; Treas.— B. M. 
Coffin; H. C— Frank Shaver; O. of H. — Jacob Peters; J. P.— .Archie 
Walter; Review — Ernest ]\Iuscott. 

Vote on Woman Suffrage: Yes, 71 ; no, 138. 

Vote on Co. Road System : Yes. 24 ; no. 192. 


Melancton Pettit, Oct. 24, 1855; '56, Jesse Pepple, 1880, '81, '83. '84. "85, 

'59, '60. 
Oscar A. Everden, 1857, '61. 
Reuben Coft'in, 1858. 
Louis Hetzman, 1862. '63. '64, '65, 

'66, '70, '71. 
Daniel F. Muscott, 1867, "68. 
Lewis S. Brooke, 1869. 
Isaac N. Coleman, 1872, '72>, '74. '7?', 

John M. Everden, 1877, '78. "82. 
Jeremiah .Shaver, 1879. 

Township Clerks 

86, '87. 
Gaylord Flelms, 1888. "89, '90 "91, 

'92, '94. 
Gilbert Goodhue, 1893. 
Binnie M. Coffin, 1895, '96. 
Jonathan Gidley, 1897, '98, '99. 
Tohn L. Smith. 1900, '04. '05. '05, 

'07. '08, '09. 
I'.ernanl L. Case. I'-'Ol, '02. "03, "10, 

•11. '12, '13. 

Alanson B. Bailey, Oct. 24. 1855. 

Oscar A. Everden, 1856. 

Reuben Coffin, 1857, '61, '62, '65, 

'7^, '74. 
Wm. W. Comstock, 1858. 
B. E. Sawtelle, ap. Nov. 24, '58. 
Wm. C. Beckwith, 1859, '60. 
Philip P. Allen. 1863. 
Reuben C. Ilaight. 1864. 
Wm. D. Scott, 1866. 
Lewis S. Brooke, 1867, '68. 
.Alanson Jefferv, 1869, 70. 
Chas. H.'Webs'ter, 1871, '72. 
John \\\ Coffin, ap. July 18. '74; IS. 
Wallace \\'. Wetherwax. 1876, '77. 
Abraham \\'. Russell, 1878, 'SO. 


Curtez C. Clark, 1879. 

Isaac X. Coleman, ap. Feb\-, '81 : '81, 

Gavlord Helms. 1883, '85, '86. 
Marion F. Curtis. 1884. 
Robert Gamble, 1887, '88, '96, "97, 

Binnie M. Coffin .1889. '90, '91, '94. 
Geo. G. Ingledue, 1892, '93. 
Noah Greene, 1895. 
Bernard L. Case, 1899, '00. 
Ernest Muscott. 1901, '02. 
Frank Shaver, 1903. 
Percv Allen, 1904. '05. '06, '07, '03, 

'00, '10. 'll, '12, '13. 

Levi 11. Ilai-ht, Oct. 24, 1855, 
Philip P. Allen, 1856, '57, '58. 'Ol. 
Isaac N. Coleman, 1859, '60, '67, 'GS. 

'69, '70, '71. 
Jacob N. Decker, 1862. 
John Knight, ap. Aug. 21, '62. 
Chas. C. Johnson, 1863. 
Theron Finnev. 1864. 
Reuben C. 1 laight. 1865, '66. 
Harvey Cady. 1872. 
Spencer Monroe, 1873, '74, "75, '76. 
Daniel C. Johnson, 1877. 
F. W. Curtis, 1878, '79. 
Harvev Rice, 1880. 
D. F. 'Muscott, 1881, '82. 

Matthew Toles, 1883, '84. 

Robert Gamble, 1885, '86, "05, "06, 

'11, '12. 
Jonathan Gidlev, 1887. '88, '94, '95. 
Geo. J. Coleman. 1889. 
Gilbert Goodhue. 1890. '91. 
Binnie ^L Coft'in, 1892, '93, '13. 
John L. Smith. 18')6, '97, '99. 
Jotham Allen. 1898. 
.'-^heridan Somerville, 1900. 
\\alter G. Whiton, 1501. '02. 
Ernest Muscott, 1903, '04. 
Bernard L. Case, 1907, '08. 
Frank TTerron, 1909, '10, 




Isaac N. Coleman helped to organize the Township of Emerson and 
was for many years identified with its growth and development into one 
of the best townships of the county. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, 
December 2, 1832. He was the son of Isaac 
and Emma (Piper) Coleman, natives of Ger- 
many and New England, respectively. Our 
subject removed to Lenawee County, Michi- 
gan, in January, 1853, and on September 8th 
of the same year he was married, at Litch- 
field, Hillsdale County, to Louisa J., daugh- 
ter of David and Louisa (Ketch) Moon, 
natives of New England. She was born in 
Niagara County, N. Y., November 8, 1836. 
Mr. and Mrs. Coleman, with their first born 
— George J. — came to Gratiot County in the 
spring of 1855, locating in Emerson Town- 
ship. They were among the first settlers, 
and consequently became familiar with all of 
the hardships as well as the pleasures of life 
in the wilderness. 

At the first township election held Oc- 
tober 24, 1855, Mr. Coleman was elected one 
of the justices of the peace, and in the course 
of time he held all of the principal offices of the townshi[) — clerk, treasurer, 
supervisor — several terms each. He was a man of strict integrity, possessing 
the confidence and respect of his constituents in the fullest degree. He 
enlisted as a soldier in the Civil War, being a member of Company D, 26th 
Mich. Infantry, the company composed wholly of Gratiot soldiers. He 
served nearh- four years. Late in life he suffered the amputation of a leg 
as a result of ailments brought on by army life. He died August 24, 
1896, at the home of his daughter in Pasadena, California, where he had 
gone for the benefit of his health. 

Children came to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Coleman as follows: 
George J., Charles W., Ozro E., S. Effie. Frank A., Ray N., Earl. Frank 
and Earl are deceased. Mrs. Louisa J. Coleman, the mother, died October 
17, 1908, at the home of her son, George J. She was a woman of sturdy 
and positive character who fought the battle of life bravely through Gratiot's 
starvation period, and through the depressing war times, with fortitude 
and with comparative success. 

Mr. Coleman was a Republican in politics, and in religious belief he 
and I\Irs. Coleman were devoted members of the Adventist Church. 


John Henry Daily, farmer, residing on section 17, Emerson, was born 
at Eaton Rapids, Mich.. November 25. 1844. His father, John Daily, Sr., 
was born in County Cork, Ireland. His mother, Ellen Daily, was a native of 
Belfast. Ireland. The parents were married in the State of New York, 
afterward emigrating to Michigan. They came to Gratiot County in 1858, 
settling in the woods, on section 16 of Emerson. Their six children were 
born as follows : Lorenzo Daily, born in the State of New York in 1836 ; 
James Daily, born in 1839, in New York State: John H., born in Eaton 
Rapids. Mich., in 1844: Hugh Daily, born in Eaton Rapids. November 26, 
1846; Mary Jane Daily, born in Dewitt, Clinton County, Mich., 1849; Ellen 
Daily, born in Dewitt, 1852. 


John H. Daily came to Gratiot County with his parents in 1858. He 
was married at Ithaca, May 10, 1894, to Elvina Bliss, who was born June 
20, 1873, daughter of Ezra and Alwilda Bliss, the former born in England 
in 1842, the latter born in Ireland in 1853. They settled in Lafayette, on 
section 9 in 1877. Their children are as follows: Oman W. Bliss, born in 
New York, 1871 ; Elvina Bliss, born in New York, June 20, 1873 ; Franklin 
Bliss, born in New York. 1875; Ilila Bliss, born in Gratiot County, 1877; 
Cora Bliss, born in Gratiot, 1879. 

John H. Daih- and wife have children with birth-dates as follows, all 
born in Emerson : Emma Daily, born February 25. 1895 : Hugh Daily born 
December 23, 1896; Floyd Daily, born October 22, 1898; Clarence Adelbert 
Daily, born June 4, 1901; Johnnie Rufus Daily, born Septeml^er 30, 1904; 
Ellen Alwilda Daily, born October 17, 1910. 

Mr. Daily served his country three years as a soldier in the Civil War. 
He is an Odd Fellow, a member of Emerson Lodge No. 375. for the past 
23 years. He also belongs to St. Louis Lodge No. 188, F. & .A.. 1\L He is 
one of the hardy and honest pioneers of the county and has done his share 
of the hard work required to transform a wilderness into a fertile and pros- 
perous portion of the state. He relates some of his experiences in the 
early days as follows : 

"We wintered the first winter in a shanty, and built a liouse in the 
spring of 1859. I tell you it was a wild place. I remember one frosty 
morning we heard a wolf howl. My father put his hands to his mouth and 
howled, and in less than five minutes the woods seemed to be alive with 
wolves. My mother begged of him to stop or they would have the wolves 
right in the house. I want you to remember there were no roads, only 
winding tracks through the woods, along on the highest places, to get to 
Ithaca and St. Louis. 

"Emerson cemetery is in the northeast corner of section 17. That was 
the highest place they could find. I remember the first burial that took 
place. It was that of the wife of Thomas Reed who lived two miles south 
of Emerson center. A rough bo.\ answered for a coiTin ; the best they could 
do. They had to make six miles around to get to the cemetery. The men 
carried it on their shoulders. My father went to meet them with his oxen 
and wagon. \Mien they got along at a place back of Albert Smith's place 
they got stuck. The water came into the wagon box. Rather than take the 
cofTin out, the men jumped into the mud and lifted till they got the wagon 
out. The men were Samuel Newton, Parks Allen, Wm. Imisson. Ransom 
Allen, B. F. Stocum, Jerry Shaver and Wm. Preston. 

"When I got home from the service, in 1865, the old shanty we lived in 
had begun to leak pretty bad. By that time they had got a saw mill in 
.St. Louis, but the next thing was how to get the lumber home, .\ndrew 
Thompson was the only man who had a wagon, and you had to speak for 
it two or three days in advance. He charged 25 cents a day whether you 
used it or not. I got the lumber home and was taking the wagon home 
when one of the tires dropped oflf and down went the wheel. By chance 
I had an ax with me. so I cut a pole for a tongue and made a cart of 
the hind wheels. Then I loaded on the pieces and started for Kinkerter's, 
the only wagon makers. They lived one mile north of Ithaca. They 
charged me $8 for fixing the wheel. If I had been compelled to pay for the 
use of the wagon all the time they were fi.xing the wheel it would have 
cost me $25. 

"These incidents give something of an idea of life in a new country." 



John L. Smith, a prominent farmer, and for several years supervisor of 
Emerson Township, is well known throughout the county, and highly es- 
teemed wherever known. He has been a resident of the township since 

July, 1872. He was born near Forres, Moray- 
shire, Scotland, February 9, 1856; the third 
in a family of five children. His brother, 
Tames, is a resident of Edinburgh, Scotland, 
and has been in the employ of one company 
there for over thirty years. His older sister, 
Jane, is the wife of J. S. Bocock who is a 
school teacher in Brandsby, in the North 
Riding in Yorkshire, England. Next is John 
L., our subject; then Bessie, who died in in- 
fancy ; Margaret, the youngest, now married 
to William Cameron, of Wilmot, South Da- 
kota, who has extensive farming interests 

John L. Smith was reared in Scotland, 
receiving a good education. At the age of 
sixteen he came to the United States and to 
Gratiot County. For five consecutive years 
he worked for James Riddle, one of the early 
settlers of Emerson Township. By strict 
economy he was enabled to buy the land on 
which he now lives. It was then all woods and very heavily timbered, but 
by dint of much hard work it has been cleared of timber and stumps, is now 
well underdrained with tile and has become a very productive farm. 
The buildings are large and commodious. 
Mr. Smith was married in Oakland 
County, Michigan, to Aliss Katie R. Foote. 
a native of Milford, in that county, and tu 
this union one son — Clair — was born, July 
20, 1887. He is now twenty-five years old 
and is a resident of Edmonton, Alberta, Can- 
ada. Mrs. Smith left an old-settled section 
of country to begin married life in a new 
county, and to face all the privations inci- 
dent to pioneer life. .\nd right nobly did 
she do her part. But at last, after all the 
hard lal)or was over, and when a fine new 
house was near to completion, she succuml^ed 
to an attack of inflammatory rheumatism, 
.\pril 21, 1906, and was laid to rest in the 
Breckenridge cemetery. She and her hus- 
band have been devoted members of the local 
Presbyterian Church ; and she has been sadly 
missed in many ways, in the councils of 
that body as well as in the Sunday school. 

In the summer of 1906 Mr. Smith visited his native country and the 
north part of England, spending nearly three months there. He came back 
thoroughly satisfied that there is no country like the United States; no 
better state than Michigan ; no county superior to Gratiot — the county in 
which he has lived since 1872, with the exception of two years in Oakland 



County, and two years in the State of Washington where he was engaged 
in the kimber business. 

For several years Air. Smith has been prominent in the official affairs 
of his township and county. In 1896 he was elected township treasurer, and 
was re-elected in 1897. He was again elected treasurer in 1899, and in I'OO 
he was elected supervisor, serving one year. Again in 1904 he was elected 
supervisor of his township, and in that position his townsmen kept him con- 
tinuously for six years. These facts attest the respect and confidence in 
which he is held by his fellow-citizens of the township. As showing his 
standing as a member of the board of supervisors, it is no more than justice 
to mention that he was elected chairman of the board in 1506, by a Repub- 
lican board; and unusual occurrence; again in 1908, and in 1''09 he was 
elected chairman. 

In the election of 1908, Mr. Smith was the Democratic nominee for 
county treasurer; and when the ballots were canvassed it was found that 
he had received the highest vote of any condidate on the ticket with the 
exception of that for sheriff. This fact emphasizes the confidence reposed 
in him by the citizens of the county at large. At the state convention of 
his party in Alarch, 1509, Mr. Smith was nominated as one of the members 
of the state board of agriculture. His party being largely in the minority 
in the state, his defeat was but the fate of the entire ticket. 

Fraternally, Mr. Smith affiliates with Emerson Lodge No. 3i7^. I. O. 
O. F., Peterman Tent K. O. T. M. AI. of Breckenridge, and Union Camp 
No. 1, Woodman of the World, Niles, Mich. In his own school district he 
has been director for fourteen years. In matters pertaining to the welfare 
of the county and of his fellowmen generally, he has always been found on 
the side that was for the betterment of the toiling masses, and always 
energetic in promoting conditions likely to be of lasting benefit to the ta.x- 
payers. He was a member of the first new-court-house-building-committce 
that got the construction well under way. As chairman of the board of 
supervisors at the time of the controversy, litigation and legislation which 
resulted in the adoption of the present system of managing the county 
funds, by which the taxpayers are saved about $2,000 a year, he did valiant 
service in behalf of the reform, and was largely responsible for the victory 
of the people in the matter. 

August 20, 1910, Mr. Smith was married to Miss Lenore Case, daughter 
of Newton L. and Mary (Blackwell) Case. She was born November 1, 
1880, in Lorain County, Ohio. Children have been born to John L. and 
Lenore Smith as follows: J. Kenneth, born May 22, 1911; Mary Rachel, 
born Alay 27. 1913. 


This is the family history, briefly told, of one of Emerson Township's 
energetic and successful citizens. Henry Eichorn lives on section 16 of 
the township mentioned, and is the owner of 278 acres of land, mostly 
impro\'ed, with good buildings, and what is a valuable and attractive con- 
sideration, it is all paid for, thanks to hard and persistent work by himself' 
and family. 

Henry Eichorn is one of a family of five children — four Ijoys and one 
girl. The parents. John Eichorn and Sophia ( Beever) Eichorn, were l)orn 
in Leipsic, Germany. The father was a policeman in his native city for 
several years. After their marriage, the parents emigrated to America, land- 
ing at New York after a tedious voyage lasting seven weeks, in a sail boat, 
this being more than fifty years ago, before the days of steam navigation as 


we now have it. They were people with limited means, but full of hard 
work. The father worked on a railroad for a while and then removed to 
Pennsylvania and engaged in work in the coal mines until he had accumu- 
lated enough money to buy an 80-acre farm. After clearing part of this and 
putting up some buildings, he came to the conclusion that the land was 
more suitable for coal mining than for agricultural purposes, and so he 
sold it and removed to Adrian, Mich. This was in 1860. At the breaking 
out of the Civil War, he would have joined the army, but owing to partial 
deafness he was unable to do so. 

In the year 1865 John Eichorn removed with his family from Adrian 
to the wilds of Gratiot ; "into a howling wilderness with no roads and only 
blazed trees to show the way." A tract of 120 acres on section 16 — the 
"school section" — of Emerson Township, was bought. There were no build- 
ings, so the family moved into the school house at Emerson Center ; which 
was the "center" all right enough, but far from being the fine and pros- 
perous locality that it now is. Then all hands went to work, and after 
building the log house and other buildings, and getting some land cleared, 
starvation still seemed probable, for the land was so wet it was about im- 
possible to raise anything. It was about an even bet whether they would 
get out or stay and conquer. They stayed and conquered. 

The family of John and Sophia Eichorn : John F., born in Pennsyl- 
vania, .April 23, 1856; Henry, born in Pennyslvania, August 4, 1859; Ella, 
born in Pennsylvania, May 2, 1861 ; William, born August 27, 1864, in 
Emerson; Albert, born in Emerson in 1868. John F. Eichorn died in August, 
1902. All the rest reside in Gratiot County. The father, John Eichorn, 
died March 18, 1901. Sophia Eichorn, the mother, died at the home of her 
son William, November 23, 1909. 

Henry Eichorn was married to Josephine Anderson, November 20, 1882. 
She is the daughter of Alfred and Elizabeth Anderson, of Emerson, and 
was born in Canada. Children have been born to this couple as follows : 
Ella, born September 25, 1883; Alfred, January 18, 1865; Mary, April 12, 
1886; Lotta, March 7, 1888; Leslie, October 16, 1891; Robert, July 22, 
1893; Grace, June 11, 1896. 

Ella is married to Roscoe Coleman. They have a daughter — Violet — ■ 
born November 12, 1906. Mary is married to Lloyd Mann. They have — 
Harvey, born April 14, 1904; Florence, April 2, 1910; Glenn, October, 
1911. Lotta was married to George Crittenden, August 1, 1910. They 
have a son, born May 26, 1911. All reside in Emerson. 

Mr. Eichorn takes much interest in local aiTairs — political, social and 
educational. He has been a careful, but progressive, school officer in his . 
district for more than twenty years. 

In telling of his early experiences in Gratiot, Mr. Eichorn seems to 
have a most vivid recollection of rattlesnakes. Musingly he remarks that 
"rattlers used to be very numerous in Emerson during those early times. 
One day when I was cradling wheat, I heard a loud noise suggestive of 
rattlesnakes, and on investigating I found two big fellows curled up close 
together. With the help of John and father the live snakes of Emerson 
were then and there reduced by two. Judging by their size they must have 
been pioneers. That summer I killed no less than eight of them. One of 
them came pretty near doing me up. I was drawing logs to be made into 
rails. In reaching under a log to get hold of the chain, a big rattler whicli 
was concealed there, showed his opposition to the proceeding, by biting me 
on the hand. I got to Dr. Scott as soon as possible, and he saved my 
life with whiskey. I never drank so much whiskey in all my life," savs 
Menry. "The last one I killed was nine years ago. He had eight rattles, 



and I guess he was the last one in the county, .\ny\vay, it was the last 
one I have seen; and if there is a snake around, I am sure to see it." 

Mr. Eichorn has passed through many experiences as a pioneer, but he 
has come out ahead, and is now enjoying the results of his hard labors. 


Cieorge Wonnacott, now of St. Louis. ^lich.. was burn aboard ship while 
his parents were enroute from Englanil td America, December 6. 1832. 
His father, Arscott \\'onnacott, was Imrn in Devonshire, England, in 1812. 

His mother, whose maiden 
name was Ann Sanders, was 
ijorn in England in 1802. 
Thev were married January 
1, 1S31. Eight c h i"l d r e n 
came to justify this union. 
Following are their names: 
Grace, born C) c t o b e r 3 0, 
1831 : George, our subject, 
Mary Ann, Eliza, Fanny, 
John, Thomas and William. 
John died in the army dur- 
ing the Civil War. and is 
buried at Nashville, Tennes- 
see. Besides George only 
two — Thomas and Eliza — 
are living. 

George Wonnacott was 
married to Louisa Lincoln, 
November 15, 1858. at St. 
Thnmas, Ontario. She was 
born in Xew York State, 
January 10, 1839. daughter 
of Charles Lincoln who was 
born in \'ermont, and who 
was a cousin of President 
.■\braham Lincoln. Her 
mother, who was Elizabeth 
llailey, was of English descent. There were ten children born to Charles 
and Elizabeth Lincoln, as follows: John, Melinda, Joseph, Mary, Jesse, 
Elvira, Annie, Charles, Louisa and .Augustus. All are deceased excepting 
Melinda, of Dakota, Dr. Charles, of Pontiac, Augustus, of Saginaw, formerly 
of Ithaca, and Louisa, wife of our subject. 

George Wonnacott's early life was spent near St. Thomas. Ontario, on 
his father's farm. In the fall of 1854 he located 160 acres of land on section 
18, Township of Lafayette, this county, built a shanty and cleared seven 
acres during the winter. In the next five seasons he walked l^i miles each 
season for a chance to work in haying and harvesting. In the fall of 1857 
he sowed seven acres of wheat, and it was killed liy frost in the following 

After his marriage, as above narrated. Air. Wonnacott brought his wife 
to Jiis wilderness home, in February, 1859. They came to Corunna by 
railroad, and from there to Chesaning by stage, thence to St. Louis by 
wa.gon, thence following Bad River to where Edgewood now is. thence up 



the creek to their home where everything was ready for keeping house. 
They had the best house in Lafayette Township. It was 16 by 20 feet in 
size, and Jmilt mainly with an ax and auger; (so he says, and he is a 
truthful man). All the lumber and shingles were split and fashioned with 
an ax. On one of his trips to Corunna he brought back a board to make 
a door for his shanty. The furniture was all home-made. Here he brought 
his wife to be met only by the welcome of a cat; and the cat was frightened 
at the unusual sight of a woman. Here was born their oldest child. Clara 
Ellen, .\ugust 24. 18.^9. Charles William was born July 26, 1861. Then, 
in 1863, they sold the farm to David and John Zimmerman, and went to 
Livingston County, thence to Canada on a visit, where Clara died March 
23, 1864, and Jesse Melvin was born July 25, 1864. 

Coming back to Michigan they bought the west half of the southwest 
quarter of section 28, Emerson, of John Jeffery, for $360. While the mother 
was on a visit to Canada, Ida Jane was born, February 28, 1867. Arthur 
Henry was born February 16, 1869. George Edward was born January 28, 
1872. \\illie Earl was born May 22, 1874. Freddie Glenn was born De- 
cember 4, 1877. Carrie Pearl, the youngest was born January 11, 1880. 

In 1876 Mr. Wonnacott traded his farm in Emerson to Elder Moss for 
his farm on section 25, Arcada. This farm he sold to Daniel W. Altenburg 
in 1883, and bought on section 9, North Star; afterward — in 1884 — going 
to section 33, North Star, to the William J. Marshall place ; thence in 1885 
to section 36, Newark — the C. C. Kr^der farm; thence in 1891 to section 
15, Emerson, to the A. J. llattield farm; thence in 1896, back to the .Mten- 
hurg farm, section 25. .Arcada ; thence, in 1903, to section 20, Emerson, 
where they Vne<\ several }ears enjoying the comforts of a good home. No- 
\ember 16, 1908, the worthy couple celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 
wedding, with 55 relati\'es present, and a very interesting occasion it was. 
heartily enjoyed by all, and by none better than by the genial couple, the 
principal subjects of this sketch, and the principals in the golden wedding- 
celebration. The picture herewith presented, shows Mr. and Mrs. Wonna- 
cott as they appeared on that occasion. 

In furnishing facts for his sketch Mr. Wonnacott indulges in some more 
reminiscences: In the year 1862 he took part in 78 house-raisings and 
logging bees. In the fall of 1856 he left home at eight o'clock one morn- 
ing, and it was four o'clock in the afternoon when he got to Ithaca, being 
hindered by the tire and sumke which were so bad that fall. On his way 
home he killed a bear and took it to Mr. Imisson's and dressed it, giving the 
carcass to the family, as they had nothing to eat but leeks. The smoke was 
so l)ad it nearly choked the cattle, and you could hear them wheeze forty 
rods away. "I took a gallon of bear's oil to save the lives of Emery Allen's 
cattle," says Mr. Wonnacott; ]3resumably to oil up their breathing apparatus. 
There was but one building in Ithaca the first time he was there, and it 
was the same with St. Louis. When he went to St. Louis to mill, the 
water was so deep in the woods on the way, he had to put sticks across 
the top of his wagon-box and put his grist on top of the sticks to keep it 
dry. Summing up his troubles and to show how the recollection operates 
on his mind, Mr. \\'onnacott says, "I would not pass through again wdiat 
I have passed through, for the best 160 acres of land in Gratiot County." 
And that is about equivalent to saying that $30,000 wouldn't tempt him. 

Mr. and Mrs. \\'onnacott have been residents of St. Louis about three 
years, having bought the ^^'illianl Rose residence property in the south 
part of town. 




Charles H. Webster was born May 28, 18-14, at Wellington, Ohio, where 
he li\c(l and attended the \-illage school until he was thirteen years of age, 
when he went to work on a farm by the month. In the spring of 1861 

he began as an apprentice in the shop of his 
vincle, E. S. Tripp, to learn the trade of a 
carriage painter. On the 25th of July of that 
year, having passed his 17th birthday, he 
enlisted in Capt. Lindsley's company — Com- 
])any H — of the 2nd Ohio Cavalry, "for three 
}'ears or during the war." He served in the 
Southwest under Gen. Blunt, and partici- 
pated in a number of engagements. The 
first was with Quantrell's Guerrillas at Inde- 
jiendence, Missouri, February 22, 1862 — the 
Lone Jack raid which lasted seven days and 
nights. The next were, Xewtonia. Mo., Fay- 
L-tte\ille, .\rk., second battle of Pea RidL'e, 
Ark., then Brownsville. Ark., where Price's 
army was driven across the .Arkansas River 
in November of that year. The regiment 
was ordered back to Camp Chase, Ohio, in 
December, 1862, where it remained until 
early the next spring, when it was assigned 
to Burnside's 9th Army Corps in Kentucky. 
In .\ugust. the regiment crossed the Cumberland Mountains into East 
Tennessee, where, with his regiment, Mr. \\'ebster served through all of the 
engagements of that strenuous campaign, ending with the siege of Knoxville. 

January 1, 1864, Mr. Webster re-enlisted 
for three years. The regiment was then 
sent Ijack to Camp Chase, Ohio, where the 
members received a 30-day furlough to re- 
cruit and fill up the depleted ranks. In the 
spring of 1864 the regiment was assigned to 
the Potomac Army and crossed the Rappa- 
hannock May 2nd. Two days later the reg- 
iment was assigned to Sheridan's Cavalry 
Corps, 3rd Division, commanded by Maj. 
Gen. Jas. H. Wilson, serving through the 
Wilderness, Cold Harbor and on to Rich- 

June 18th the regiment started on the 
famous Wilson Raid to destroy Lee's com- 
munications, south. After ten days and 
nights of hard work, the subject of this 
sketch was badly wounded at Stony Creek- 
Station, twenty miles below Petersburg. The 

following day he was left on the field with ,^^3 c h webster. 

the other wounded, was captured and taken 

to Petersburg, and' later to Libby Prison. He was afterward released on 
parole and joined his regiment at Winchester, \'a., December 25th. The 
regiment now belonged to Gen. Custer's 3rd Division, Gen. \\ ils m lla^■ing 
been assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. 

Mr. Webster took part in all of the engagements .of his regiment up 
to .\pril 1, 1865, when he was again wounded, at the I'attle of Five Forks, 


Va. Seven days later he joined his regiment at Farmville, or Sailors' 
Creek, and was present at the surrender of Gen. Lee. 

.After the Grand Review at Washington, the regiment was sent West 
again, where it remained until its final muster-out. Mr. Webster was dis- 
charged at Camp Chase, Ohio, September 18, 1865, having served contin- 
uously from July 25, 1861. 

On the 22nd of October, 1865, Mr. Webster reached Ithaca, Mich., and 
later he purchased 200 acres of land on section 27, Emerson Township, 
paving the government $1.25 per acre. Here he worked during the next 
year and then clerked in the store of Nelson iK; Church during the winter, 
afterward clerking for Frank Shepard and John Jeffery, and again in the 
winter of 1868 for Nelson & Church. 

December 28, 1868, he was married to Marie E. Church, daughter of 
Rev. Lafavette Church. To this union five children were born: Addie E, 
December"4, 1869, died November 4, 1886; Arthur L., .\ugust 5, 1872. died 
September 13, 1874; .Albert H., October 28, 1874; Alta C, November 10, 
1879, died November 26, 1879 ; an infant who died at six days of age. 

In the spring of 1869, Mr. Webster moved to his farm in Emerson, In 
the spring of 1873 he went to work for Gen. N. Church at his mill four 
miles north of Ithaca, and remained in charge as superintendent until 1886. 
He then resided on his farm on section 7, Emerson, until his health failed, 
when he disposed of the farm and, in the spring of 1904, moved to Alma 
where he lived till September, 1910, when he moved to Tacoma, Wash- 
ington, where he still resides — 819 South G Street. 

Mr. ^^'ebster always maintained a good standing as a citizen. He is a 
staunch Republican and was elected clerk of his township in 1871 and '72, 
was elected justice of the peace in 18^)0. '89, '00 and "04, resigning when he 
moved to Alma. 


Charles T. Eno, of Emerson Township, was born in Cairo, Green 
County. N. Y.. July 22, 1830. His father's name was Isaac Eno. born in 
Connecticut, died in New York State. The mother was Hannah (Smith) 
Eno, daughter of Michael and Mary Smith. She was born in the State of 
New "S'ork. Charles T. Eno was the only child of his parents. He was 
married in the Township of Catskill, Green County, .\pril 23. 1853, to Miss 
Phebe .\. Jones, who was born September 3. 1835. Her parents were 
Cornelius and Elizabeth (Ttirner) Jones. 

Mr. Eno attended the common schools until he was fifteen >ears of 
age, and thus obtained a fair education in the usual branches taught in 
those days, .\fter his marriage he removed — in 1855 — to Michigan, stopping 
in Kent County where he remained two years, and then removing to 
Clinton County, remaining there about two years. Then — in 1860 — he 
moved back to the State of New York. While in Michigan during the 
years mentioned, the great forest fires occurred, and Mr. Eno will never for- 
get the fall of 1856, rendered dismal as it was by the dense smoke that pre- 
vailed. .A.t that time St. Johns was the western terminus of the Detroit, 
Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad, and Mr. Eno says, "the streets of St. 
Johns were full of logs and stumps ; and Ithaca was too young to lie notice- 
able." All of which is true, for it is all down in the records and can also be 
vouched for by the oldest inhabitants. 

After their return to New York State Mr. Eno — in 1862 — entered the 
army and served until the close of the war, being connected with Company 
D, 80th X. Y. \'olunteers. In the spring of 1876 he removed with his 
family to ( iratiot County and settled on section 35 of Emerson Township, 



and there he has resided till the present time, owninc; 40 acres, with good 
huildinijs and all the modern conveniences for carrying on agricultural 

There have been eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Eno. four of 
whom are still living. Theodore Eno, born January 15. 1854, is unmarried, 
and lives at home. Willis Eno, born June 9, 1860, married Frances E. Bing- 
ham. Their son, Charles J., was born Deceml)er 28, 1890. Frances E. Eno 
died January 30, 1912. The husband. Willis Eno lives in Lansing, Mich. 
Jerome Eno is married to Maggie M. Uhrbrock and resides in Emerson. 
They have one son — Louis S. — born December 20. 1905. Curtis Eno mar- 
ried Miss Flora C. E. Uhrbrock. They reside in Greenbnsh, Clinton County. 

In the davs of his young manhood and on through middle life, Mr. Eno 
followed the business of teaching in the common schools, his term of service 
covering a period extending from 1849 to 1880; his field covering territory 
in New York State, and Gratiot and Clinton Counties, in ^Michigan. He 
says he was a typical old-time "pedagogue." He has been a member of 
the M. E. Church for the past forty-five years and has held many local 
offices of trust in his community and township. He and his wife, his faith- 
ful companion for about sixty years, are living a quiet life in their old age, 
and it is the hope of all who know them that they have yet man\ happy 
years before them. 


Joseph A. Guthrie was born in Chenango County, N. Y., December 12, 
1815! His parents, Nathan and Abbie (Richardson) Guthrie, were natives 
of New England. They both died while Joseph was yet a child. He 
acquired a common school education and be- 
came a teacher. Later he studied medicine, 
and in 1842 secured his diploma, thereafter 
practicing his profes.sion, and after his migra- 
tion to Gratiot in 185C, dividing his time be- 
tween doctoring, and clearing his wild land 
on sections 14 and 15, Emerson Township. 

Dr. Guthrie acted as clerk of the first 
session of circuit court ever held in the 
county, that of September 15, 1858. held at 
Alma. He served as justice of the peace 
several years, and was elected one of the 
county coroners in 1856, '71, 74 and 76. He 
was an active and influential citizen. 

Our subject was married July 16, 1844, 
at Sandy Hill, N. Y., to Eunice Town, who 
died in 1846. He next married Emma M. 
Convis, and they became the parents of 
Justus N., Jesse C. and Ella C. Dr. Guthrie 
died December 3, 1892. Justus N. Guthrie 
was born at Byron, Mich., May 21, 1848. He was married December 14, 1875, 
to Annie Gamble, daughter of the late Robert and Esther Gamble, of Emer- 
son. Justus N. Guthrie and wife are residents of Ithaca. His aged mother, 
now about 84 years of age, lives with them. Jesse L. Guthrie was born 
at Byron, Mich., September 9. 1850. He married .\nna C. Sutton, of 
Emenson, November 30. 1872. They reside in Emer.son. Ella C. Guthrie 
was born in Emerson. March 26. I860. She married lohn Fitzgerald, 
May 11. 1880. Thev live in Coe, Isabella d.untv. Mich. 





Noah Greene, a farmer owning and occupying an 80-acre farm on 
section 14 of Emerson Township, was born in Ashland County, Ohio, 
NovemJjer 2, 1857. He is the son of Solomon Greene who Avas born in 
the State of Ohio, December 6, 1831. His mother, whose maiden name was 
Margaret Eddy, was also born in Ohio, December 25, 1834. Their family 
consisted of eight children, three of whom died young. The father had 
one brother who went to California by the overland route in an early day. 
He married there and afterward came to his death by drowning. Mr. 
Greene's father died July 24, 18''4, his mother passing away in 1877 at 
the early age of about 43 years. 

Noah Greene has two brothers and two sisters living at the time of 
this writing, namely, Amanda Markham, born in 1854; Maggie L. Baxter, 
l)orn February, 1868; John \\'., born November 23, 1860, and Sherman, 
born .\pril, 1873. 

In his early daA'S Mr. Greene lived in various localities, his parents 
doing more than an average amount of moving about the country, living 
some time in \'irginia, and then returning to Ohio and locating in Wood 
County, on land purchased of R. B. Hayes, who was afterward president 
of the United States. At the age of about 18 years Mr. Greene learned the 
carpenters' trade, a fact which he says cost him many a hard day's work 
later on. 

November 16, 1882, Mr. Greene came to Gratiot County, and on tnc 
30th of the same month was married to Amelia J. Briner, of Arcada Town- 
ship, who, with her parents, had recently removed to this county from Wood 
County. Ohio. She was born in Seneca County, Ohio, October 6, 1856, 
daughter of J. D. Briner and Mar}' A. Briner. After his marriage Mr. 
Greene worked at his trade several years, and gained a reputation for doing 
good work. In 1884, his father, having sold his farm in Ohio, came to 
Gratiot, and Mr. Greene then bought the farm which has ever since been 
liis home. 

Mr. Greene lays no claim to being a pioneer, but he came to Gratiot 
County early enough and lias lived here long enough to witness great 
changes in tlie appearance and in the condition of things in the county, 
and has done his share to bring about the great changes. 

Mr. and Mrs. Greene became the parents of three sons. Lester was 
born .\ugust 27, 1883, in Arcada Township. June 27, 1900, he was drowned 
while sailing on the Great Lakes. George B. was born May 17, 1892, in 
P'merson. He and his brother, Stanley W., who was born July 11, 18''3, 
live at home. They are both graduates of St. Louis High School. 

Mrs. Amelia J. Greene passed away October 26, 1907, after a long and 
tedious illness, sincerely mourned by a devoted family and a large circle of 

As a ])roof of the confidence reposed in Mr. Greene by his townsmen, it 
seems proper to mention that they have repeatedly placed him in positions 
of trust and responsibility. He has been an officer in the schools several 
years, and was township drain commissioner in the years 1890-'91. school 
insi)ccliir in 1893, and township clerk in 1895. 

November 1, 1910, Mr. Greene again entered the matrimonial state. 
Miss Ella M. Weiss, of Tiffin, Ohio, becoming his bride. She is daughter 
of Mr. and Mrs. John D. W'eiss, and was for a number of \-ears a teacher in 
the schools of Tiffin and Seneca Countv. 


llusjli Daily whose residence is on section 9, Emerson, was born in 
Auburn, X. Y., November 26, 1846. His father was John Daily, born in 
Ireland. He died in the army during the Civil War soon after the Battle of 
the Wilderness, in which he was engaged. Hugh Daily's mother was Ellen 
(McDonald) Daily, also liorn in Ireland. She died about the year 1885. 
Their children were Lorenzo ("Jack"); James (killed in the army); John; 
Hugh; Mary Jane Heal_\-, now of St. Louis; Ellen Fulton, now of Maple 

Hugh Daily settled in Emerson in 1858, and did his share as a pioneer. 
He, together with his father and three brothers were soldiers in the Civil 
War. Five soldiers from the same family is a circumstance not often 
equaled ; a record perhaps never excelled in Gratiot County. 

Mr. Daily was united in marriage (first) to Nora Slater, daughter of 
John and Lucinda Slater, of Lafayette Township. Children born to them 
were Thomas, Richard, Lucy. Ellen and John. Mrs. Lucinda Daily, the wife 
and mother, died October, 1893. Mr. Daily was married, (second) to Mrs. 
Nancy Simmons, whose maiden name was Adams, August 24, 1897. Chil- 
dren have been born to this union as follows: Ruth. James, Hannah Jane, 
and Mary Marie. Mrs. Nancy Daily was first married to Isaac Simmons, 
and one daughter — Exie — was born to them. She is married to Will De 
Peel, lives in Ithaca and they have a son, Raymond. 

Mr. Daily had the misfortune to suffer a stroke of paralysis on the 
27th of April, 1913. It was a severe stroke, but he is slowly recovering 
from its effects. He furnishes some interesting reminiscences of the early 
years in Gratiot as he experienced them, as follows ; "We came to Gratiot 
County by ox-team in the fall of 1858, by way of Maple Rapids, moving 
into a shingle-shanty until we could build a log house. When we moved 
from the shanty to the new house we had to break the ice in front of the 
oxen. The shanty was located on the farm where L. D. Baker now lives. 
The new house was located on section 16, where Henrv Eichorn now lives. 
In the winters the snow was awful deep ; but we didn't have to turn out 
for automobiles. I helped to chop out lots of roads on section lines ; took 
jobs ditching, and otherwise improved the time. We used to have good 
times those days. Neighbors were scarce, but they were neighbors when 
they met. Spelling schools and surprise parties and sleigh-riding with ox- 
teams were some of the amusements in winter time. We used to haul 
shingles to St. Johns and bring back goods for the merchants of Ithaca and 
St. Louis. One time there were four of us with teams going to St. Johns — 
Parks .Allen, Jerry Shaver, Herman .Shaver and myself. \\^e stopped over 
at Coleman's, four miles this side of St. Johns. The next morning Herman 
and I ran four miles to see the cars, leaving our ox-teams in charge of 
the others. We had never seen a railroad. We saw the railroad that morn- 
ing, but the cars had gone before we got there ; but it was quite a treat to 
seen even the railroad. Afterward I worked on the railroad that came into 
St. Louis. 

We used to have great times at the log house raisings and the logging 
bees. The pumpkin pics and the jammed taters were great, ^^'ild game 
was everywhere — deers. bears and wild turkeys, and plenty of wolves, 
panthers and lynx." 

But times are changed. The automobile has taken the place of the ox- 
cart and sled; and there is nothing wilder in Hugh's neighborhood than 
the gentle sheep and the docile, peaceful and friendly swine; all as harm- 


less and domestic as Hugh himself, in his afflictions. May he regain his 
health and become "himself again", is the earnest wish of all his many 

Hugh Daily's army experiences were with Company B, 16th Mich. In- 
fantry, in which he served one year. He was brought up in the Roman 
Catholic faith, and is an adherent to the doctrines of Christianity as ex- 
emplified by that Church. 

It is a pleasure to write the history, though briefly, of Henry Huber, 
an enterprising farmer located on section 33 of Emerson Township. He has 
a fine 60 acres of land that is capable of and does produce in satisfactory 
abundance the various crops that usually occupy the time and attention of 
the agriculturists of Gratiot County. The buildings compare favorably with 
the average, the barn being especially noticeable as one of the best among 
the good ones in the vicinity. 

Henry Huber was born in Osceola County, this state, March 22, 1872. 
He is the son of Henry and Amelia (Gigax) Huber, both of whom are 
still living, as are also his five brothers, John, Fred, Charles, Solomon and 
Alpha, and his sister Emma. November 29. 1884, the family moved from 
Oscola County to Gratiot, settling on section 7 of Newark Township, on a 
l)iece of land that was a part of the David Diller farm. There they lived 
till the fall of 1888 when they moved to a farm in the woods on section 33 
of Emerson Township, the farm that is now owned by C. Bloss. At that 
time there were but two acres cleared, and the house was but a small 
board shanty. They built the log house that is still standing on the farm, 
and cleared up 35 acres. 

In the fall of 1893 Henry Huber bought out the interests of the other 
members of the family, and afterward, in 1898, sold the place to Will 
Aumaugher. He then bought out Ed. Allen, on section 33. On the 1st 
day of January, 1902, Mr. Huber was married to Miss Hattie Huntoon at 
her home in Beebe. The next day they went to keeping house on the 
farm that he had previously bought, and where they still live. Mrs. Huber 
was born in Bridgeville, this county. May 26, 1884, the daughter of Delbert 
and Melissa (Doan) Huntoon. The parents now live in Lafayette Township. 
Mrs. Huber has two brothers, George and Frank Huntoon. 

Mr. and ^Irs. Huber have an interesting family of three sons and one 
daughter. Delbert was born Novemljer 5, 1'''02: Frank was born Mav 23, 
1905; Burl, born February 27, 1908; Hazel Melissa was born June 20, '1912. 
Henry likes to refer to his varied e.xperiences as a resident in a new 
county; experiences that have run all the way from good to bad. But his 
is that jovial sort of disposition that inclines to dwell on what he terms 
the joyful incidents of his life. One incident that seems to have a promi- 
nent place in his memory "harks back" to the Christmas eve of 1889, when 
Mose .\ckles hitched up his oxen and took the women and children of the 
whole neighborhood to a Christmas tree at the Hetzman school house, five 
miles away, the men all walking behind. Nothing so striking about it, only 
as it shows the readiness of the pioneers to make the most of their meager 
opportunities for recreation and amusement ; and a five-mile ox-team ride 
in the night over the roads of those times, for pleasure, may well be taken 
as proof that their amusements were not so numerous as to become burden- 
some in those days. And it is enough to make one shudder to think what 
their cares and trials must have been if a ten-mile walk such as Henry and 
the other devotcil men took that night can be designated as "joyful," 



Jerry Shaver, section 17 of Emerson Township was born in Delaware 
County. X. Y., Xovember 19. 1822. He is a son of Jacob and Sally (Kinch) 
Shaver, of Delaware County. X. Y.. and grandson of John and Elizabeth 
(Parks) Shaver, the former born May 19. 1763, the latter born May 13, 1763. 
Jacob Shaver came to Gratiot in 1856, settling on 80 acres, section 2 of 
Emerson, and remained there until his death, July 21, 1873, at the age of 
77 years. His wife, Sally Shaver, lived but two months after his death, 
passing away in her 77th year. 

Jerry Shaver was the tenth in a family of eleven children born to Jacob 
and Sally Shaver. Now in his 91st year he is remarkably well preserved, 
considering his advanced age, getting about quite lively and without the 
aid of a cane. His wife, now deceased, whose maiden name was Ursula 
Sawtell, was one of twelve children born to Richard and Cordelia (Reid) 
Sawtell. She was born in Chenango County, N. Y., September 27, 1826, 
and died at her home in Emerson, August 25, 1909, aged nearly 83 years. 
Her father who was a ])hysician, died in the State of New York in 1842. 
Her mother came to Michigan after the death of her husband, and died 
at the home of her daughter Ursula in 1865. Jerry Shaver and Ursula 
Sawtell were married May 30, 1846, in Canisteo, Steuben Count}-. X. Y. 
Four children were born to them. William died in infancv. Herman D., 
born March 2, 1848; Mary A., born July 21. 1850. died January 10. 1870: 
J. Frank, born June 2, 1864. 

Henry Huber was born in Osceola County, this state, March 11, 1872, 
who (lied in Isabella County in 1909. They are the parents of three children 
— Lillie, Vern and Daisy. Lillie married C. .\. Sanderson, and lives at Beebe, 
this county. Vern married ]\layme Herr, of Emerson and lives at Prince- 
ton, California. Daisy lives with her parents. Herman D. Shaver and 
family lived in Michigan until 1906 when they moved to California. They 
now own a farm and reside in the Sacramento \'alley. 

Frank Shaver, born in Emerson Township, June 2, 1864, has lived until 
the ])resent time on the same farm on which he was born. He was united 
in marriage in 1889 to Edna Brown, daughter of Edgar A. and Mary (De 
Peel) Brown, of Emerson, Rev. C. A. Jacokes performing the ceremony. 
From this union three children have been born — Irl. born May 4, 1892; Carl, 
born January 30, 1894; Marjorie, born December 4, 1896. Irl is now a 
resident of Princeton. California, where he went in 1909 for the benefit of 
his health. 

Jerry Shaver, the father, came to Michigan from the -State of Xew York. 
with his family, in 1855. lie lived in Ingham County one year and then — 
in 1856 — came to Gratiot and settled on wild land, section 17. Emerson 
Township, where he still resides with his son Frank. He and his family 
were here all through the "starvation times", and. with many others, suffered 
many of the hardships and privations that fell to the lot of those early 
settlers : hardships difficult to exaggerate in the telling, and which none of 
them ever desired to have duplicated. The aged pioneer has always en- 
joyed the confidence and good will of his townsmen. Politically he has 
always been a Democrat. Ofificially he has served his township acceptably 
as supervisor. The oldest son. Herman, was elected justice of tlie peace 
in 1890. and was re-elected in 1894. 

Frank Shaver has served his township as clerk, and is now serving in 
the important ofi'ice of highway commissioner. He is prominent in secret 
society work; a member and Past X. G. of Emerson Lodge Xo. ZTt^, T. O. 
O. F., and has been secretary a numlier of terms; is Past Ch. Patriarch of 


Ithaca Encampment No. 106, and a Past Com. of Gratiot Canton No. 11, 
and is a member of Ithaca Camp No. 4713, M. W. A. Also a member of 
the school board of his district. His esteemed wife is prominent in D. of R. 
circles and is also a member of Oak Leaf Camp No. 1227. R. N. A. 


Charles H. Coston, owning and occupying the old Coston homestead 
on sections 2 and 11, of Emerson, was born in that township November 18, 
1858. His father, Jotham Warner Coston, was born in Steuben County, 
N. Y., June 10, 1818, son of John and Margaret (Budlong) Coston, both 
natives of Connecticut. His mother, Sarah Ann (Shaver) Coston, was born 
in Delaware County, N. Y.. August 20, 1820. J. Warner Coston was next 
to the youngest of a family of 13 children. He and Sarah Ann Shaver were 
married in Canisteo, Steuben County. N. Y., February 22, 1844. 

\\'arner Coston removed with his family to Michigan in 1855, settling 
first in Ingham County, and in 1856 coming to the wilds of Gratiot, settling 
on sections 2 and 11 of Emerson, when there was but one enighbor within 
four miles of them. That neighbor was Dr. Joseph A. Guthrie. There they 
spent the remainder of their lives, and there they passed through all of 
the varied experiences that fell to the lot of the early settlers in the 
county; experiences, some of which left pleasant memories; others left 
memories not so pleasant. Mr. and Mrs. Coston were for many years and 
to the time of their deaths, professing christians and church members. Mrs. 
Coston died July 29, 1887. Mr. Coston died May 26, 1901. 

Two children were born to Warner and Sarah Ann Coston : John J. 
was born in Canisteo, N. 'S'., March 25, 1847. He was married to Renna A. 
Coston, April 11, 1871, at Bath, Clinton County, Mich. She is a daughter of 
Nelson and Alma Coston. They live in Owosso, and have one son — Leslie — 
born in Emerson July 4, 1880. 

Charles H. Coston, the second and younger son of W'arner and Sarah 
Ann Coston, was born, as above mentioned, in Emerson, November 18, 
1858. His boyhood was spent after the usual manner of farmers' sons in a 
new country — helping in the strenuous work of the farm and attending 
winter terms of the district school. He was married September 18, 1888, to 
Miss Stella C. Somerville, of Emerson, daughter of David and Rebecca 
.Somerville. She was born in Cambria County, Penn., December 30, 1862. 
Her fatlier, David Somerville, was born in Cambria County, March 23. 1833, 
and died in Emerson luly 4, 1896. The mother, Rebecca Somerville, died 
in Emerson. December 5, 1912. They removed from Pennsylvania to In- 
diana in 1881. Three years later they removed to section 10 of Emerson, 
and there tliev spent the rest of their lives. Mr. Somerville was a soldier in 
the Civil War. 

Charles H. Coston and wife are the parents of children as follows: 
Anna L., born December 20, 1889; Wavne W.. September 27, 1891 ; George 
\\'.. December 13, 1808; Charles Russell, April 5, 1901. 

Anna L. Coston was married to John \\'alker, March 16, 1913. They 
live in Bethany. 

Wayne A\'. Coston married Martha Patterson, March 9, 1913. They, 
and the two younger children — George W. and Charles Russell — li\'e at 
home with their parents. 

Charles H. Coston is an industrious, thorough-going and successful 
farmer, and he and his family enjoy the esteem of the community. 



\\'illiam H. Het;^maii. successful farmer and breeder of pure-bred live 
stock and poultry, residing on section 13, Emerson, has long been identified 
with the agricultural, educational and religious interests of Gratiot County. 
His parents — Louis and Martha (Hands) Hetzman. in the year 18.^9, located 
on a piece of swamp land (appropriately so called at that time) in Emerson, 
heavily timbered and at times pretty well covered with water. On this 
farm William H. was born. January 1, 1872. Here he grew to manhood, 
receiving a good common school education which he has added to materially 
by private study and research, especially along the lines of stock-breeding 
and general farming. This farm which he helped to clear, drain and other- 
wise improve, and which he now owns, has all his life been his home, and 
it has come to be one of the most productive in the county. He was one 
of the first to erect a silo and adopt scientific methods in dairying and stock 

Louis Hetzman was born and educated near Belfort, France, March 8, 
1827. At the age of 17 he came to America, locating in New York where 
he learned the trade of a cabinet maker. He worked at the trade in New 
York. Philadelphia and other eastern cities, in the meantime gaining pro- 
ficiency in speaking and writing the English language, also learning to speak 
German. Coming to Michigan he located at Concord, where he worked at 
cabinet making and undertaking. 

About the time that young Louis left France, a little girl, destined to 
become his wife, but at that time only eight years of age, accompanying 
her mother — her father, John Hands, gardener and florist, being then de- 
ceased — left her birthplace, Banbury, England, to undertake what proved 
to be a six-weeks voyage, their destination being Guelph, Canada. Here she 
became a member of the family of her uncle, ?ilartin Dew. After growing 
to womanhood she came to Concord, Mich., where her mother then resided. 
There she was married to Louis Hetzman. They removed to the "north 
woods" in 1859, settling on section 13, Emerson, as stated. This place was 
their home until their deaths, the father passing away February 23, 1898, 
the mother March 8, 1909. Children were born to them as follows: Mary 
E., now Mrs. Marion Curtiss, of Emerson, born at Concord; .\lice E., now 
Mrs. O. L. Maxson, of AN'heeler, born in Emerson ; Frank AL, long a 
resident of his native township, Emerson, now a farmer, of Eaton County; 
Amos v., born in Emerson, is a farmer of that township; John L.. a 
farmer, of Emerson, his native township; William H.. principal subject of 
this sketch ; Emma, twin sister William H., died in infancy. 

Here this resolute and worthy couple lived and endured all the privations 
and hardships incident to pioneer life, far from towns and railroads, and 
even wagon-roads as we know them, with a courage and a spirit of hope and 
cheerfulness that never failed. No language can adequately express a fit- 
ting tribute to the unselfish spirit with which they devoted themselves to 
the best interests of their children and the community in which they lived. 

Louis Hetzman served his township many years as su])ervisor. and in 
other official capacities. Mrs. Hetzman, one of those rare spirits born to 
be a scholar and poetess, but denied, by circumstances, the blessings of a 
good education, was, nevertheless, a woman of real culture, and was best 
loved and appreciated by those who knew her best. 

William H. Hetzman was married August 31, 1898, to Miss Eva C. 
McClure, who was born in Logan County, Ohio. July 18, 1868, daughter of 
Alonzo C. and Sarah J. (Leggit) McCIure. Mr. McClure served with dis- 
tinction in the Civil War, and twice barely avoided cajiture only liy the 


most heroic bravery. He served his county as commissioner seven years — 
1888 to 1895. .\ farmer owning about 300 acres of land; prominent and in- 
tkiential in his community. 

To Mr. and Mrs. \\'illiam H. Hetzman have been born children as 
follows : Martha G., Marion C, Ruth A., William Lowell and Lois Gail. 


Nalhan M. Showers, the subject of this sketch, was born October 2, 
1842, in De Kalb County, Indiana. His father, Daniel Showers, was born 
in Russellville, Albany County, N. Y., May 17, ISOt-. He removed to In- 
diana in 1839, settling in De Kalb County. He was married to Hannah 
Campbell, and to this union there were nine children born. The mother 
dying in 1850, the father married Mrs. Mary Ann (Chaffee) Cook, removing, 
soon afterward, to Noble County, Indiana. Three children were born to 
this union. 

After clearing up a large farm, in which work Nathan contributed Ins 
share, the father, Daniel Showers, died at the age of 83 years. Hannah 
(Campbell) Showers, mother of Nathan, was born December 3, 1804, in 
Newborough, Orange County, N. Y. She died at the age of a little over 
45 years. 

Nathan M. Showers enlisted in the military service of his country in 
1861, as a member of Co. H, 30th Indiana Yol. Infantry. Near the close of 
his three-year term he re-enlisted, and, returning home on furlough, he was 
married to Eunice L. Bangs on the 24th of January, 1864. Returning to 
the front, he served until the close of the war, as first corporal in his 
company. He was twice wounded, once at Pittsburg Landing and again at 
Alurfreesborough. The last time, while helpless on the field of battle, the 
ground on which he lay was fought over twice by detachments of cavalry. 
Besides the two battles mentioned, Mr. Showers took part in the following: 
Shiloh, Siege of Cornith, Lavergne, Stone River, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga, 
Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge. In the Atlanta campaign in Northern 
Georgia he was under the enemies fire for 100 days continuously. Later he 
participated in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and took part in a 
number of smaller engagements. 

Receiving an honorable discharge, Mr. Showers returned home in De- 
cember, 1865, and settled on a part of the home farm, remaining there till 
1876, when he removed to Michigan, settling in Emerson Township, Gratiot 
County, on the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 22, 
where he still resides. 

Mrs. Showers, whose maiden name was Eunice L. Bangs, as hereto- 
fore stated, was born September 30, 1843, in DeKalb County, Indiana. Her 
father, Henian Bangs, was born in Bennington County, Vermont, June 14, 
1813. removing to Indiana in 1840. He was married November 22, 1842, to 
Catharine E. Chaffee. They were the parents of seven children, six of whom 
are living. Heman Bangs died in Richland Township, De Kalb County, 
Indiana, May 31, 1902, aged nearly 89 years. His wife, Catharine (Chaffee) 
Bangs died at the same place in 1900, aged 78 years. Heman Bangs was 
one of the first settlers in Richland Township, De Kalb County, Indiana, 
and one of the foremost workers in the U. B. Church. He was the son 
of Nathaniel and Julia (Elwell) Bangs, and was of English descent. His 
great grandmother accompanied her 16 sons to the place of enlistment, and 
saw them enrolled in the service of their country in the Revolutionary 
\\"ar. She died at the age of 104 years. Heman Bangs' father died at the 
age of 97 vears. 


Nathan M. Showers and wife have been the parents of nine children, 
three dyine; in infancy. Of the six growing to manhood and womanhood, 
three — l^aniel D.. Ida C. and Maurice G., have passed to their reward. 
John H., Mettie M. and Miles N. are hving. John II. was married Ni)vem- 
ber 23. 1890, to Anra L. Curtiss. Mettie ^l. married L. Mead Cramer, 
March 30, 1892. Miles N. married Edna Presler, September 8, 1901. There 
are twelve grandchildren. 

Mr. and Mrs. Showers have always been active and respected citizens in 
the locality in which they reside. Air. Showers is serving his third term 
as justice of the peace. In 1866 he became a member of the U. B. Church, 
afterward joining the M. E. Church and has faithfully and satisfactorily 
filled all the local offices in his church and Sunday school. 


Mortimer G. Shook, late resident ou section 3, I'-nierson, now residing 
near Wolverine, Mich., was born in llethany Township, November 6, 1872, 
being the fourth, in their regular order, of the children of John J. and Eliza 
(Chase) Shook, lohn ]. Shook, the father, was born in Phelps, Ontario 
County, N. Y., Alarch 20, 1829. The mother was born June 11, 1839, in 
Oneida County, N. Y. They were married in Bethany, this county, April 
21, 1861. The family resided in Bethany until Mortimer was ele\en years of 
age, and then — in 1883 — remo^■ed to Emerson Township. 

Shortly after his marriaee John J. Shook took leave of his bride and 
other friends in answer to his country's call for volunteers to put down the 
rebellion that was inaugurated that spring. He enlisted in Company I, Third 
Mich. Cavalry. .After serving two years he was wounded at Petersburg, 
Virginia and was sent home for treatment. After recovering from his wound 
he returned to his regiment and served eight months more, to the end of 
his term of enlistment. He was a participant in several l^attles and 
skirmishes, acquitting himself as a true and loyal soldier. He was honor- 
ably discharged, and, returning to his home, resumed his occupation as a 
carpenter, which trade he followed as l^ng as his health wrudd permit. He 
died March, 1904, in his 75th year. 

To John J. and Eliza Shook five children were born in the following 
order: Alfred H. ; Walter P>. ; Bessie M.; Mortimer G. who furnished the 
data for this family history; Carrie E. Mortimer G. Shook was married 
in Alma, May 29, 1897, to ^liss Edith E. Clark, daughter of Gardner and 
Mary (Fenton) Ciark, of Alma. Gardner Clark was born in Mcrrillsville, 
Madison County, N. Y.. November ?S. 1834. His wife, Mary Eenton, was 
born February 19, 1847, in Oneida County. N. Y. To them were born seven 
children as follows: George G., .\shley J.. Mary E., Lillian .A.., Edith E., 
Francis A., and Florence M. Edith E. lived at home until her marriage to 
Mr. Shook. After their marriage they resided on the old homestead in 
Emerson, engaged in agricultural pursuits for more than fourteen years. 

December 20, 1911, Mr. Shook sold his Emerson farm, and on the 13th 
of March. 1912, removed to a farm of 120 acres which he purchased, Iving 
three and a half miles southeast of Wolverine, Cheboygan County, Mich., 
where he still lives, engaged in farming. His aged mother, who lived with 
him and whom he cared for loyally, died in Emersim. ( )ctnber. I'MO, aged 
77 years. 

\\hile a resident of Emerson Mr. Shook was connected with the I. O. 
O. 1'"., No. 375, of Emerson, and also with the .Ancient Order of Gleaners. 
He is a reliable citizen and he and his estimable wife are justly popular in 
their communitv. 



This sketch records some of the principal events in the life of Edwin 
R. Bellows, a prominent farmer residing on section 20, Emerson Township. 
Starting at the heginning of his career, he was born in Eaton County, Mich., 
January 16. 18.^*>. TTis father, Ralph Bellows, was born in New York, 
September, 181.^, and died in Gratiot County, February 11, 1863. His 
mother was Jane (Terry) Bellows, born March 28, 1822, the first white 
child born in I'ontiac, ^lich. She died in Gratiot, March 2, 1870. 

Ralph and Jane (Terry) Bellows were the parents of children as fol- 
lows: Minerva J., born in Genesee County, ]\lich,, October, 1843; Emma, 
born in Marshall, Mich., January 25, 1846; Charles J., born February 28, 
1849, in Eaton County, Mich. ; Mary H., born in Eaton County. November 
29, 1850, died August 25, 1862, in Gratiot County; George W., born in Eaton 
County. November 14, 1852, died December 7, 1874, in Gratiot: Austin J., 
born in Eaton County, August 17, 1854; James B.. born in Eaton County. 
September 3, 1856; Edwin R. ; Ralph W., born in Gratiot County, June 
22, 1862; Myrtie E., born in Gratiot County, January 14, 1864. 

Minerva J. Bellows married Parks Allen, of Emerson, now deceased. 
Their children were — Ella J.. Ernest R., Percy C. J. Alton. Blanche G., 
Ray and Pearl. Parks Allen is now deceased. Mrs. Minerva .\llen resides 
in Ithaca. 

pjnma G. Bellows married I'hilip P. Allen. They had children — Leland 
\\'., Cecil W., Tessie M., Rexford E. Philip P. Allen is deceased. 

Edwin R. Bellows came with his parents to Gratiot County December, 
1860. They settled on section 29, Emerson. By the death of his father 
in 1863 and of his mother in 1870, he was left an orphan at the age of 
eleven years. After living one year with his sister, Mrs. Parks Allen, he 
went to Eaton County and lived with his uncle, Jonas Bellows, and at- 
tended the country schools during the winters. At the age of seventeen 
he went into the hnnber woods and worked at the lumbering business the 
next ten winters. 

May 8, 1886, Mr. Bellows was united in marriage, at Maple Rapids, 
Mich., to Mary E. (.^tocum) De Peel, nf lunerson. She was born March 
17. 1858. in Portage County, Ohio, daughter of B. Frank and Alice F. 
(Brace-Hopkins) Stocum, the former born in Rome, N. Y., May 28, 1828, 
the latter in Herkimer County, N. Y., September 4, 1827. B. F. Stocum 
and family, coming to Gratiot County in 1868, settled in North Shade Town- 
ship wdiere they remained one year and then removed to section 20, Emer- 
son, where Mr. Stocum died September 13, 1894. Mrs. Stocum passed 
away at the home of her son in Jackson, Mich., .\pril 24, 1903. The children 
of Mr. and Mrs. Stocum, besides Mrs. Bellows, are — Ernest F., born No- 
vember 4, 1861, in Portage County, Ohio; Walter E., born July 8, 1873, 
in Gratiot County. 

After his marriage, Mr. Bellows settled rm a new farm in New Haven 
Townshi]) which he cleared up, and where he remained for thirteen years. 
He then purchased the homestead farm of his wife's parents, section 20, 
Emerson, where he and his family have since resided. 

Children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bellows as follows : Shirley 
M., May 31. 1891; Mabel M.. October 5. 1894; Paul B., July 29, 1899; 
T. .\ilecn. June 9, 1901. The children are all at home. 

Mr. I'lellows has often been the choice of his party for ofTicial positions. 
l)Ut being a Democrat, he lasted, he says, about as long as the proverbial 
sntiwhall in — hot weather. 


Melancton Pettit came to Gratiot County in 1855 from Ohio and took 
up a tract of land in Emerson Township where he resided until his death, 
August 5, 1866. His wife, Jane (Thorpe) Pettit passed away January 25, 
1865. Mr. Pettit, was prominent in the early history of Emerson being 
one of the inspectors of election at the first election held in the township, 
the special election of October 24, 1855, at which 11 votes were cast and 
all for Mr. Pettit for supervisor. He was re-elected in '56, '59 and '60. As 
a member of the board of supervisors he was active and trustworthy, and 
was made chairman of the board in '59 and '60. He took a leading part in 
the strife over locating the county seat, putting in his efforts in behalf 
of Ithaca. 

Isaiah Allen came to Gratiot in 1855, and with his five sons settled in 
Emerson Township. The Aliens took a leading and honorable part in 
Emerson affairs many years, and members of the second and third genera- 
tions are well maintaining the honorable example set by their pioneer 
ancestors. The sons were Isaiah Jr., Philip P., Ransom, Parks and Ira S. 
Isaiah Allen, Sr., was present at the first election — that of October 24, 1855 
— and was chosen highway commissioner. He died in 1869 at the age of 
64 years. Ransom Allen was elected school inspector in '55, '57 and '70, 
justice in '71, "81 and '84. He is the only one of the five brothers still living, 
a resident of Ithaca. Philip P. Allen was chosen treasurer four years. 

William Imisson was a popular and prominent early settler in Emer- 
son ; said to have been the very first settler. It was the intention to name 
the township in his honor, but by an unfortunate blunder it was written 
'Emerson" in the record, instead of "Imisson," and it was allowed to 
stand. Mr. Imisson, the wife, died August 25, 1887, at the home of her son-in- 
Isabel Immisson, the wife, died August 25, 1887, at the home of her son-in- 
law, Samuel Newton, aged 81. 

Justice demands a long list of distinguished names to represent only a 
portion of Emerson's notable pioneers not otherwise fairly dealt with in 
these pages. The Hst, however, will have to be limited : Oscar A. Everden, 
(see sketch of John M. Everden); Alanson B. Bailey; Isaac Preston; 
William Preston, (still living, a resident of Ithaca) ; Reuben Coffin; Daniel 
F. Muscott; Louis Hetzman ; Reuben C. Haight ; John Knight: Warner 
Coston ; Samuel Newton ; Theron Finney ; Spencer Monroe ; Erastus C. 
Farrington, (was present at the first election in Emerson, and still living, 
surprisingly vigorous, on the land — section 30 — selected by him in the fall 
of 1854. He is in his 90th year) ; Jesse Sherck and son, Joseph F ; Delbert 
Davis; Jesse Pepple served seven years as supervisor, commencing in 1880; 
Geo. W. Presler; Duncan McKinzie ; John L. Smith commenced in 1900 
and served seven years as supervisor; Gaylord Helms filled the position 
six years; Bernard L. Case is serving his sixth year; Benjamin E. Van 
Deventer and his sons ; Chas. A. Van Deventer was the Republican candi- 
date of register of deeds in 1898; John Mull came to Emerson in 1861, 
settling on section 5. He served in the Civil W'ar, as also did his son, 
William, who lost his life in the service. The other sons — Joel, Edwin and 
John, also the father, are all deceased. The Curtis brothers — Albro, Waldo, 
Seneca and Francis — came to Emerson in 1862, and were among the most 
hardy, upright and energetic of the pioneers. 


Allen. Mrs. Jane, March 2, 1870. aged 48. 

Allen, Parks, July 22. 1897, aged 61. He settled on section 19. in 1854. An 
energetic citizen of strict integrity. The mourning relatives at his 
funeral numbered over 50, and the procession was over half a mile long. 


Bell, Mrs. Lottie S., Dec. 2. 1873, aged 29. Daughter of Sheriff W. H. Pratt. 
Burnham, Harrison, June 26, 1883, aged 48. He was a pioneer of St. Louis, 

with his father, Jacob lUirnham. 
Brown, W. H., June" 22, 188.% aged 49. 
Beard, Rev. Elijah, Sept. 15, 1894, aged 87. He came to Gratiot in 1855; a 

minister in the Christian Church, serving a very useful purpose in the 

county's primitive days. A very kindly and conscientious man. 
Beard, Mrs. wife of Rev. Elijah, Dec. 12, 1898, aged 88. 
Bailey, Frank E., at his home, the Finney place, three miles north of Ithaca, 

.\ug. 12. 1899, aged 45, leaving a wife and two children. The widow 

afterward married Elmer Ouimby, and murdered the two children. 
Borton, Samuel, at the home of his son, B. B. Borton, Sept. 18, 1902, aged 7S. 
Brown, Alva, |ul\' <). l''ll, aged 36. An exemplary young man, son of Ed- 
gar A. Brnwn. 
Coffin, Reuben, July 1, 1874, aged 64. He came to Emerson in 1856, and 

was popular among the pioneers. He served as supervisor, clerk and 

justice of the peace. 
Cramer, Mrs. Priscilla, Aug. 30. 1882, aged 87. 
Coston, Warner, May 26, 1901, aged 83. A valued citizen who settled on 

section 11 in 185'). 
Coston, Mrs. Sarah Ann, July 29, 1887, aged 68. Wife of Warner Coston 

and ;in estimable woman. 
Curtis, Mrs. Sylvia, Dec. 19, 1894, aged 88. Widow of Waterman F. Curtis, 

and mother of Albro, Waldo, Seneca and Francis Curtis who settled in 

Emerson in 1862. 
Cochran, John, Dec. 17, 1890, aged 58. 

Crosby, Virgil, May, 1907, aged 57. He was son of Emery Crosby, a promi- 
nent earl\- settler, and county clerk in 1858. 
Coffin, Hannah H., January 9, 1503, aged 80; widow of Reuben Coffin; 

among the earliest settlers. 
Curtis, Waldo, January 13, 1907, aged 66. One of the hardy pioneers. 
Curtis, Albro, .Mav 15, 1911, aged 71. A hardy pioneer and a veteran of the 

Civil War. 
Devereaux, Theodore, at the home of his son, Alden, at Beebe, Aug. 6. 1909, 

aged 85. .\n esteemed pioneer, justice of the peace in 1857. 
Edgar, Stewart, Oct. 12, 1889, aged 70. A conscientious and reliable pioneer. 
Erickson, G., lulv 13. 1899. aged 61. 
Eichorn, John, March 18, 1901, aged 76. 
Eichorn, Mrs. Sophia, at the home of her son, William, Xov. 25. 1909, aged 

78; widow of ]ohn Eichorn. 
Fisher, Mrs. Fannie E., wife of Daniel Fisher, Xov. 4, I'Ul, aged 38 years. 

Only child of ex-Sheriff Jas. P. King and wife. She left a husband 

and six children to mourn the loss of a good wife and mother. 
Gamble, Robert, h'ebruary 15, 1880, aged 62 years. 
Gamble, Mrs. Esther, Nov. 18, 1903, aged 90 years; widow of Robert 

Gamble; <ild residents of Emerson, formerly of St. Louis. . 
Griffith, James, Xov. 23, 1908, aged 72. .\n old soldier, and a resident of 

Emerson more than 50 years. 
Greene, Mrs. estimable wife of Noah Greene, Oct. 26, 1907. 
Griffith, Jay A., at Pasadena, California, Jan. 1913, aged about 58 years. He 

was son of the late Daniel Griffith, a pioneer of Emerson, who died in 
St. Louis, May. 1907. Jay had li\ed in California about three years, 
going there for the benefit of his health. 
Hendershott, Wm. W., January 5. 18''5, aged 57. 


Hetzman, Louis, February 23, 1898. A reliable pioneer who was entrusted 

with many important public duties — was school inspector, drain com- 
missioner, justice: was supervisor six years. 
Houlden, Wm., Feliruary 24, 1907. aged 78. .\ worthy pioneer. 
Hetzman, Mrs. Martha, March 8, 1909, at the age of 7? years. 
Hiller, Mrs. Caroline, at tlie home of her daughter. Mrs. .\. J. Rare. Nov. 21, 

I'llO, aged nearly 17. Her husband, John Hiller. died in 18''9. 
Houlden, Mrs. Hannah, at the home of her daughter, .Mrs. ( leo. Kitchen. 

Dec. 7, 1912, aged 76. Her husband, \\'m. Houlden died in 1907. They 
were highly esteemed citizens, settling in Emerson in 1880. 
Johnson, W. B., Mav 16, 1888. aged 84. 
Johnson. Mrs. J. R., February 19^ 1884, aged 63. 
Jennings, Mrs. Elizabeth, May 25, 1910, aged 76. Widow of Win. Jennings. 

whc I (lied in 187.^. 
Kitch, Wm., Nov. 24, 1877, aged .=;8. 
Knapp, Lewis, July 25, 1887, aged 78. .\ pioneer. 
Kostenbader, Daniel, April 29, 1892, aged 77. 
Knapp. Mrs. Henry S„ Oct. 9. 1895, aged 62. 

Knapp, Henry S., Oct. 19, 1899, aged 70. .\n old teacher and worthy citizen. 
Knapp, Peter, Aug. 6, 1906, aged 65. A resident of the county many years. 

coming here from Riverdale. 
Lewis, Mrs. Wm., Sept. 7, 1895, aged 63. 
Lewis, Wm., Nov. 9, 1907. aged 80. Respected pioneers who settled in 1868 

im thu farm where they died. 
Lewis, Walter W., son of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Lewis, at the home 

I if his parents in Emerson, .\pril 30, 1913, at the early age of 20 years. 
His death was greatly regretted. 
Mygrant, John H., February 25, 1888, aged 51. -\ leading citizen who 

settled first in Ithaca, later removing to a farm in Emerson. 
McDonald, Alex., Nov. 18, 1877, aged 49^ 
McArthur, Isabella, June 4, 1882, at the age of 82 years. 
Mull, Edwin E., Aug. 8. 1883, aged 48, son of John Mull, Sr., who settled 

here in 18(il, 
Muscott, Daniel F., March 9, 1885, aged 74. .\ pioneer of 1854, treasurer ano 

supervisor of his township, and several years keeper of the county farm. 
Mull, John, Sr., March 13. 1888, aged 77. One of the pioneers of 1861. 
McArthur, James, May 21, 1890, aged about 60. Located in Emreson in 

lS5'i. 1 lad no relatives; left property of $6,000 value. 
Mull, Mrs. Eliza, widow of John Mull, Sr., March 5, 1894, aged 87. 
Mull, John, Jr., April 19, 1907, aged 58. 
Muscott, Theodore W., July 19, 1911, aged 68 years. One of Emerson's 

meritorious citizens, son of Daniel Y . Muscott. 
Newton, Samuel, .^pril 27 . 1894, aged 63. He came in an early day and 

was an active and reliable citizen : father of nine children. Supervisor 

Fred C. Newton of the second ward, St. Louis, being one of them. 
Newton, Mrs. Samuel, February 13, 18''4, aged 60 years. She was a daughter 

of A\'m. Tniisson. the pioneer whose name formed the basis for the 

name of the township. 
Newcomb, W. C, February 2h. 18''5, aged ''1 : at the residence of his 

daughter. Mrs. Ira Livingston. 
Pepple, Jesse, Sr., February 4, 1869. aged 63: father of Jesse and Isaac 

l'e]iple, well-known residents of Ithaca. 
Preston, Mrs. Isaac, March 29. 1876. at the age of 71. A ]Moneer, coming 

here in 1854. 


Preston, Isaac, February 16, 1880, aged 86, at the residence of his son Wil- 
liam. Isaac Preston was one of the election inspectors at the first elec- 
tion held in the township, that of October 24, 1855, at which 11 votes 
were cast. 

Pendell, Moses L., June 20, 18''4. at the age of 60 years. An energetic and 
trustwurthy citizen. 

Parks, Horatio D., Now 13, 1897, aged 67. A valued jnoneer. 

Putnam, Wm. A., Sept. 29, 1901, at \\'est Branch, where he had lived a 
year. He was an old settler in Emerson, standing well in his community. 

Putnam, Mrs. Lydia, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Geo. J. Coleman, 
Dec. 8. 1907, aged 67; an estimable woman, widow of \\'m. A. Putnam. 

Parker, Dean S., February 27. 1911, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. James 
Sturgis, Norman, Oklahoma, where he had gone for the benefit of his 
health, accompanied by his wife. A respected old resident of Emerson, 
aged 71 at his death. 

Posey, Mrs. Sarah E., wife of David Posey, Dec. 11, 1911. aged 58 years. 
\\'ell kno\\n in Emerson where they took up their residence in 1892. 

Ryckman, Mrs. Alevia F., esteemed wife of Theodore Ryckman, Nov. 13, 
1872. aged 22 years. 

Ramsey, Jas. F., January 17, 1879. aged 16; result of pistol-shot accident of 
the previous September. Son of Abner Ramsey. 

Ramsey, Abner, Sept. 20, 1896. A settler here in 1871. 

Ramsey, Mrs. Nancy A., Nov. 19, 1908. aged 82; widow of AJ^ner Ramsey. 

Randels, Charles, at his home in Ohio, Aug. 25, 1899. He had formerly Jieen 
a respected resident of Emerson for several years. 

Shaver, Lew^is, l''ebruar\- 21, 1870, aged 51 vears. 

Simmons, Permelia, Oct. 14, 1889, aged 82.' 

Smith, Josephine, wife of Albert Smith, and daughter of Daniel and Nancy 
Criffith. January 4, 1890. aged 37. 

Sanders, Samuel, February 2, 1890, aged 64. 

Stacey, Calvin S., March 17, 1891, aged 42. 

Smith, Mrs. Ella C, wife of Albert Smith, Dec. 5. 1905, aged 48. 

Snedicor, Samuel, Dec. 14, 1893, aged 80 years. A valued pioneer. 

Snedicor, Mrs. Helen, widow of Samuel Snedicor, at the home of her son 
Marshall, Chicago, March 15, 1910, aged 71 vears. 

Stocum, B. F., Sept. 13, 1894, aged 67. 

Stocum, Mrs. B. F., at the home of her son, in Jackson. Mich., April 24, 
I'Oo, aged 77. Residents of Gratiot County dating from 1868. 

Somerville, David, July 4, 1896, aged 63. 

Sullivan, Timothy, "May 6. 1907. aged 65. 

Shaver, Mrs. Ursula A., wife of Jerry Shaver. Aug. 2S, 1909, aged nearly 83 
years. They were among tlie earliest and best of the pioneers, coming 
here in 1856. 

Spear, John, Sept. 12, 1909, aged 66. 

Stacey, Mrs. Ann, widow of John Stacey, January 22i, 190'', at the age of 56 

Spear, Gideon, .\pril. 15, 1913. aged 65 years. He settled in Emerson in 
18,'^(J, and was a citizen highly esteemed. 

Thompson, Mrs., wife of Samuel D. Thompson. .\ug. 9, 1891, aged 54. 

Thompson, Samuel D., February, 1908, aged 75. Respected early settlers. 

Traver, Bushnell, pioneer and old soldier; lanuarv 10, 1894, aged 60. 

Tyler, John B., March 11. 1903, aged 72. ' ' 

Van Buskirk, Mrs., January 5, 1889, aged 58; wife of Ira S. \'an P.uskirk, 
nianv vears in the hotel business at Ithaca. 


Van Buskirk, Ira S., February 18, 18^1. aged 69. Popular landlord; father 

of (icdri^e, \\'ill and Fred \'an lUiskirk. Came to Gratiot in 1867. 
Valentine, George, May 28, 1879. aged 60. 

Woodward, Allen, March .t, 1884, aged 67. Came here in 1872. 
Welper, N. B., Dec. 14, 1890, aged 83. 

Whiton, Mrs. Ellen, wife of J. B. Whiten, .\pril 18, l'X)3, aged 74. 
Whiton, Josiah B., at the home of his son, W. (r. \Miiton, Ajjril 6. 1911, 

aged 85. They settled in Emerson in 1875. He was an old soldier and 

highly regarded. 
Whiton, Mrs., estimable wife of Walter G. Whiton, March 31, 1''10. aged 45. 
Wilkins, Mrs. respected wife of Ir\ing T. Wilkins, Oct. 11. I'HO. at the age 

uf 45 years. 
Walsworth, Mrs. Jane L., at the residence of her grandson, Harrison \'ernon, 

Emerson, February 24, 1912, aged 90 years. 


1884, June 23 — B. F. Stocum"s barn was struck by lightning and de- 
stroyed, together with its contents ; some insurance. 

1897, lanuary 23 — The residence of Charles Coleman, with its contents, 
was burned. 

1897, Sept. 11 — -A.. .Augustine lost a barn and its contents by tire. 

1898, Dec. 17 — The large barn of Wallace Irving was burned, together 
with a horse, two cows, a yearling, hay, oats and other property. There 
was some insurance. 

1904, June 30 — During a severe storm lightning struck the barn of 
Ernest Allen, and it was burned with most of the contents. Insured. 

1904, Nov. 29 — The house of Joseph Sanders, at Beebe, was burned, 
and most of the contents also. 

1906, Jidy 6 — Bert Failing's house burneil at midnight, caused by the 
explosion of an incubator lamp. The house and contents were destroyed, 
the family barely escaping. 

1907, .April 21 — The residence of I^. C. Farrington, a mile and a half 
north of Ithaca, was burned, together with most of the household goods. 
There was some insurance. 

1907, July 17 — S. P. Miller lost his barn and granary, a horse, seven hogs, 
wagon, three buggies, grain and farming tools, by fire. Loss, $1,600: partly 
covered by insurance. 

1909, Feb. 11 — The residence of George Williams was burned, morning 
of Feb. 11th, with the household goods. No insurance. 

1909, Sept. 11 — Henry Cook lost his barn and its contents, by fire. 
Partly covered by insurance. 

1911, Feb. 9 — The residence of Will Tubbs, of Emerson, was destroyed 
by fire, together with its contents. 

1912, Sept. 8 — Lightning struck the barn of C. C. Noe and it was burned, 
together with seven horses, a cow, 50 tons of hay, 1,200 bushels of oats and 
much other property. There was some insurance. 

1913, June 6 — Lightning struck C. K. Overmire's barn, in h'mersnn. and 
the barn was destroyed by fire with some of the contents. 

1913, Sept. 7 — Barn of Martin Marzolf, of Emerson, was struck by light- 
ning and was destroyed by fire, with the contents, including four horses, 
grain, machinerv, etc. There was some insurance. 




As has heretofore been recorded in these pages. Fulton was the first 
township of the county to secure a permanent settler. The township is de- 
scribed as town 9 north, range 3 west, and got its name from three brothers 
named Fulton who were the next settlers after Arnold Payne. The surface 
is gently rolling as a rule, and is drained by Maple River on the south and 
by Pine Creek" which takes a course across the township from north to 
south. The Toledo, Saginaw & Muskegon railroad cuts across the township 
east and west a mile and a half south of the north line, and no farmer in 
the township has more than eight miles to go to find a market in the town- 
ship for his produce ; and the southeast corner is only about ten miles from 
St. Johns. 

I'ut right here and now. I am taking advantage of the fruitful researches 
into P"'ulton's early history, by W. W. Dalgleish, for a long time a leading 
citizen of the township, but for the past five years residing in California. 
In September, 1507, Mr. Dalgleish read a paper on that subject before the 
Gratiot County Pioneer Society, the main portions of which I take the 

/v £ WA ff /r ~rfi 

£s3£y T>. CC / /^ TO f^ Co 


liberty to "crib", with due apologies; apologies for the "critj" but not for 
the article, for it is well worthy of perusal, and may prove a happy change, 
in the opinion of the reader. Mr. Dalgleish's article follows: 

"What is now the Township of Fulton, in its state of nature was an 
unbroken forest. Timber of most varieties found in the state grew in its 
forests, and as a rule was of immense size, showing that the soil was strong 
and vigorous, and promising to the early settlers, farms capable of produc- 
ing immense crops. There were a few acres of pine, growing on the banks 
of Pine Creek, on section 16. The township in general was covered with 
hardwood, interspersed with some varieties of soft wood. Maple River and 
Pine Creek, with their triliutaries. were the outlets for the surplus water of 
the township. These streams were well sup])lied with fish of various sorts, 
capable of supplying the tables of the early settlers w ith a gratifying variety 
of food. 

"The Township of Fulton was for some time attached to and was con- 
sidered a portion of Essex, in Clinton County. .\11 elections were held in 
Esse.x at the homes of Hiram Pienedict and Jas. Sowle. alternately or by 

"In 1846, Arnold Payne, with his family, moved from Ingham County 
to section 31 of Fulton and took up land for a home. His was the first 
white family to settle in Fulton, and they were also the first settlers in the 
county. Nicholas and Robert Fulton and Nelson Johnson came a little 
later, but before 1850, and took u]) land for homes, and, next to .Arnold 
Payne, were among the first settlers. Parmer R. Phillips came in 1849 and 
located land on the south side of Maple River, moving on in 18.51. Ben- 
jamin Cowles, Wm. H. Laycock, Lehman Johnson, Whipple Martin and 
several others came to the township during the years 18.50. '51, '^2 and !53. 

"Arnold Payne, the most conspicuous figure among Fulton's early 
settlers, brought a family of a wife and thirteen children. He carved out 
homes for himself and his numerous family. He took up a large tract of 
land on section 31, and erected a good-sized log house for a home, and then 
he and the boys commenced to clear off the land and put in crops. Mrs. 
Payne lived but a short time to share the trials and enjoy the fruits of 
pioneer life. On February 25. 1850, she died and was buried on a part 
of the farm now known as the Pa\'nc cemetery. This was the death and 
burial of the first white person in I-'ultrm, and ])riibabl\- tlic first in the 

"We can scarcely imagine at this late day, the inconveniences, the labors 
and trials of those early settlers. No roads, no scjiools, no churches, and 
poor markets a great distance away ; for them farther away than Saginaw 
or Lansing are for the present inhabitants of the township. Iliram P)en- 
edict, on Benedict's Plains, Clinton County, kept a few of the common 
necessaries of life, such as flour, meats and a few groceries. 

"One of the many trials the pioneers had to endure is well illustrated in 
the following incident: In the second year of .\rnold Pa\ne's residence liere, 
he raised the first frame barn erected in the county. When the frame was 
ready to be raised, he set out to find help to raise it. By inviting all the 
male residents for miles around, he got the promise of thirteen men. .\long 
Maple I-iiver at this time there were encamped about 2,000 Indians, most 
of them u]) tlie ri\ er. on the south side of sections ^5 and 36. Mr. Payne 
went to the chief, who was a French half-breed, and asked him to send, if 
he cfiuld. some help to raise the building, and he said he would do so. He 
told him the day and the hour v>lien they would 1)e needed, and at the 
appointed time ten l)ig. strapping fellows marched uji in Indian file. Mr. 


Sowie, tlie boss carpenter, greeted them kindly, and when ready got them 
arranged about the first bent to be raised, along with the thirteen white 
brothers, and commenced business. Everything moved along nicely until 
the bent was up as high as it could be lifted without pike poles. The bent 
was shored up with timbers provided for the occasion, then the pike poles 
were arranged as was necessary to complete the work of setting up the bent 
to an upright position. In the meantime the ten braves had lined up be- 
hind the others and had a consultation among themselves. Doubtless they 
thought there was a trap being laid to hurt or frighten them, and they 
flatly refused to lift another pound. The men coaxed and pleaded with them 
to help push up the bent, but they were unmovable, and soon departed in 
their boats as they had come. 

"\\'hat was to be done now was a puzzle. The barn was about 34 by 
50, and the timbers were a foot square. Finally, as a last resort four 
daughters and the mother came to the rescue. By the exercise of much 
ingenuity, and employing every possible device the work was finally accom- 
plished ; but not in one day. Just imagine, today, thirteen men and five 
women going out to do such a piece of work as they had to do ! If duly 
advertised they would have more spectators and be of more interest than 
any of the Sunday base ball games of today. 

"The first white child born in the county, was James Fulton, now 
(1907) living in Maple Rapids, aged about 61. The first school house was 
known as Payne's school house. It was erected in 1853, one-half mile north 
of the Payne corners, and is now converted into a dwelling house. The 
first teacher was Miss Jeannette Grace, daughter of John \\'. Grace, and 
now the wife of Gaylord Helms, of Ithaca. The first school house built on 
the east side of Pine Creek was erected in 1854, on the corner of section 
11. The first teacher was Maria Hawkins, afterward the wife of Horace 
Sowle, of Essex. Preaching services were held occasionally in each of those 
school houses by Rev. H. T. Barnaby and Rev. M. Teed, both of North Star 

''The first wedding in the township was that of Jas. Carpenter and Lucy 
Payne, daughter of Arnold Payne, in the winter of 1852. 

"During the period between 1846, when the first settler located, and 
1855 when the township was organized by itself, manv changes had taken 
place. .Several families had moved in and settled in the southwest portion 
of the townshi]-), among whom were the Martins on the west side of Pine 
Creek, and on the east side were W'm. Laycock, Ben. Cowles, Rowell Smith, 
Peter and Daniel Helms and others. With these changes, there being popu- 
lation sufficient to efTect an organization. Fulton set up housekeeping by 
herself. During these years there had been hundreds of families moving 
into \arious parts of the county, and all, or nearly all had to pass through 
Fulton, as there were no fords over Maple River available except at Maple 
Rapids, or about a mile further down stream, since known as the Mosier 
Ford. Nearly all moved with ox teams. They were entering an almost un- 
l^roken wilderness, and places to stay over night were scarce. There was an 
Indian trail running zig-zag from Maple Rapids to the Indian Alission in 
Bethany, and all lra\eled that road. Arnold Payne's was the first stopping 
place in the county, and, though house room was none too ample for a 
large family, room was made for all who came. As many as fifty would 
be fed there sometimes at one meal, and once at least thirty-six peonle with 
their teams remained over Sunday. 

"The next stopping place was at Ben. Cowles', at the corner of section 
16. the farm now owned by .\. C. Gillett. Who has not heard of Ben. 



Cowles ! His shanty. 16 by 20, was big enough for all that came. Although 
rough in speech and uncouth in garb, he was a man with a heart large 
enough to take in all who were in need or in distress. No one was ever 
turned from his door, if in any way he could give help. And anyone suffer- 
ing the blues would soon be cured by listening to his side-splitting stories, 
and start anew on the journey with lighter hearts and higher resolves. 
These were not the only ones who showered hospitality upon the weary 
ones moving into the county. Every latch-string hung on the outside, and 
all were welcome. They were not doing this merely for the pay. for many 
were too poor to pay; but all were welcomed alike. 

"Two other men came into Fulton in the early '.SOs who were a great 
help to those trying to make themselves homes. They were A. J. and T. J. 
Morse, brothers, from Lenawee County. They settled on section 4 and 
built a small saw mill on Pine Creek. Though a small affair, it was of 
great benefit to many in converting their logs into necessarv lumber to 
erect homes for themselves. 

"The first town meeting, special, was held at the home of Ben. Cowles. 
November 2, 1855. to elect officers for the remainder of the year. There 
were 29 votes cast. W'm. Norton was elected supervisor, J. P. Rathbun 
clerk, Marcus Serviss treasurer, Peter Helms highway commissioner. Jas. 
.\. Cassada justice of the peace. The latter held this office most of the 

time until his death. 

a few 3'ears since. 

I Elections w e r e all 

held at ]) r i \- a t e 
houses till about war 
time, vv h e n houses 
of the residents could 
no longer accommo- 
date the voters, and 
then the school 
houses were used for 
the purpose. 

"There need not be 
much said about the 
hard times of '57. "58 
and "5 9. It w a s 
something that af- 
fected t h e \v h ci 1 e 
county, but perhaps 
was w ci r s e in the 
northern part, as the 
settlers there were 
farther from the base 
of supplies than were 
those of Fulton. Will 
say that 'Starving 
Gratiot' has outlived 
all that the ]> h r a s e 

"I will now cume down to the Ci\il War period; the time that tried 
mens souls. Fulton, like all other loyal communities must and did furnish 
strong young men to uphold the flag. The ]iopulation had grown to be ot 
some importance, and their iiower nnist lie felt at the seat of war. I'rom 



1846 to 1861. many families had settled in the township, until from a voting 
IKipnlation of 29 in 1855, there were cast 83 votes at the spring election of 
1861. No doubt there were many more voters, but that, according to the 
records, was the vote cast. Nearly every family sent a father or son to 
the country's defense. One family of thirteen sent five sons and four sons- 
in-law. and Uncle Jacob Helms sent four sons and two sons-in-law: and so 
it went, until at the time of the draft in 1864 there were only nine men 
lialjle to military duty in the entire township. I have found the names of 
70, and doubtless there were others of the bone and sinew of the young and 
vigorous manhood of the township that either gave their lives or the best 
years of their lives that we might enjoy tlie blessings of a truly free 

"What an.xious days, weeks and even years, were spent here in the 
mirth (i\er the fate of loved ones wearing the Ijlue on southern soil, or 
worse, a thousand times worse, in those vile prison pens in the south. A 
good many lie buried in southern soil ; others, broken in health, drag out 
a miserable existence with us ; and many others fill premature graves in 
our cemeteries here in our midst. In '65, after the surrender of Lee at 
Appomattox, those that were left came trooping home to take up the duties 
of life again as they laid them down in '61, '62 and "63. 

"This ends my story, such as it is. Xo doubt there are inaccuracies, as 
it is hard to arrive at the exact truth at this late day. when Init little or 
11(1 record has been kept." 


Nov. 2, 1855: On this date occurred the first election in Fulton Town- 
ship. It was a special election, called to organize the township and elect 
township officers. The election was' held at the house of Ben. Cowles, on 
section 15. Ben. Cowles was a prominent and popular pioneer, who re- 
mained a resident of the township until his death in 1890. 

There were 29 votes cast at this first election, and but one ticket in the 
fiehl. The result was as follows : 

Sup. — Wm. Norton: Clk. — J. P. Rath])un: Treas. — Marcus Serviss : 
H. C. — Peter Helms, John Gardner. Simeon Gray; J. P. — Benj. Cowles. Levi 
Smith, Jas. A. Cassada : Sch. Insp. — Wm. Norton. Marcus Serviss: Over- 
seers of the Poor — Geo. Penoyer, Chester Townsend ; Const. — Simeon Gray, 
Merrick Corps, Dennis Glover. 

Feby 16, 1856, the township Ijoard appointed Wm. L. Sutherland, treas- 
urer, to fill vacancy, and Thos. Matheson and John Grace to fill vacancies 
for overseers of tlie poor. The record fails to show what caused the va- 
cancies — whether death, resignation or reiuoval from the township. 

April, 1856: The vote jumped up to 70 at this election. Sup. — A\'hi])ple 
Martin: Clk. — Henj. Cowles: Treas. — Alfred Cowles: H. C. — Washington 
Dark: J. ]'. — Levi Smith, Wm. L. Sutherland. Marcus Serviss; Sch. Insp. — 
Jas. 11. Lewis; Overseers of Poor — John Grace, Levi Smith. 

1857: Sup. — Henry P. Howd ; Clk. — Simeon Howe; Treas. — Andrew 
S. Laycock; H. C. — Jas. W. Martin; J. P. — Lyman T. Cassada, Nathan 
Minard; Sch. Insp. — Henry P. Howd; Directors of Poor — Ashbel W . Her- 
rick, Geo. A\". Wileox. 

The township was divided into 12 road districts and overseers were 
elected as follows: Arnold Payne. John S. Gardner, Jas. Sanford, Henry 
Porter, Conrad Westenhaver, Geo. Roderick. Jackson Morse, Parmer R. 
Phillips, Gilbert E. Hall. John Deline. John Tinklepaugh. 


The meeting voted contingent money $150. and "for fencing and pre- 
paring burial grounds. $7S — $50 to be laid out as near the center of the 
town as possible, and $25 at Arnold Payne's". 

1858: Sup. — Lvman T. Cassada : Clk. — Simeon Howe; Treas. — An- 
drew S. Laycock: H. C— A. J. ^lorse; J. P.— G. W. Clark; Sch. Insp.— 

C. D. Boardman ; Overseers of Poor — Asa Arnold, 48; Nathan Minard, 48; 

D. Helms, Jr., 48; H. W. Alusser, 49. No record as to how the ties were 

1859: Sup. — Lvman T. Cassada; Clk. — Jas. .\. Cassada; Treas. — .\n- 
drew S Laycock; H. C— H. W. Musser; J. P".— Nathan Minard; Sch. Insp. 
— .\lison Jenne ; O. of Poor — Ben. Cowles, Joseph Bentley. 

April, 1860: Sup. — Lyman T. Cassada; Clk. — Simeon Howe; Treas. — 
A. S. Laycock; J. P. — Jas. H. Lewis, A. Jenne. 

April, 1861:" Sup."— L. T. Cas.sada ;" Clk.— Geo. C. Bas.sett ; Treas.— 
A. S. Laycock: H. C. — .A. J. Xdrton ; J. P. — Edward N. Du Bois : Sch. Insp. 
— .\. Jenne. 

April, 1862: Sup.— L. T. Cassada; Clk.— A. ^^^ Herrick 59. J. A. 
Cassada 5^'; Cassada won the tie; Treas. — .\. S. Laycock; H. C. — Roswell 
Jones ; vacancy, Oscar F. Baker ; J. P. — L. T. Cassada ; vacancy, .\. S. 
Cowles, 55 ; Win. R. Price. 55 ; Price won the draw. W'm. R. Price repre- 
sented the township as supervisor at the Tanuarv session, 1863. Sch. Insp. — 
G. W. Price. 

April, 1863: Sup. — Roswell Danlcv ; Clk. — las. A. Cassada; Treas. — 
Robert Fulton: H. C— Jas. H. Lewis; J. P.— Chas. E. Webster; Sch. Insp. 
— W'akely J. Coleman. 

Dec. 28, 1863: .\ special election was held Dec. 28, 1863, to vote on 
the question of issuing bonds for the purpose of raising money to pay $150 
to each volunteer or drafted man, for the federal army. The vote was, yes. 
64; no, 6. The record shows the following as having received the bounty: 
Nelson P. Herrick, Henry A. Johnson, Wm. H. Helms, David Helms, Samuel 
Helms, Gilbert E. Plall, Harry H. Carr, Nelson Smith, Egbert Ratlibun, 
Jacob Grubaugh, Jas. Brown. 

April, 1864: Sup. — L. T. Cas.sada; Clk. — Jas. A. Cassada; Treas. — 
Robert Fulton; H. C. — Daniel C. Johnson, 59; A. J. Norton, 59; and Nor- 
ton won the office; J. P. — Roswell Danley, 60; Jas. H. Lewis, 60; and 
Danley won the prize ; Sch. Insp. — Geo. W. Price. 

.\ vote was taken, which carried, giving each volunteer for the town- 
ship, $100. 

A special election was held Jan. 23. 1865, to vote on raising — by bond- 
ing — sufficient to pay $400 to each volunteer, drafted man or to those fur- 
nishing substitutes: and to pay $400 to each of the following: Hiram 
Cowles. Wm. F. Collister, Chas. Kellogg, Joseph Harlock, Roswell Jones, 
Martin H. Baker, Henry Stitt, Merritt Wilcox, Wm. H. Laycuck, Gaylord 
Helms. Alison Jenne, Winfield .Stitt. 

Tlie vote was 47, yes ; 27, no. 

April, 1865: Sup.— L. T. Cassada; Clk.— Jas. .\. Cassada; Treas.— 
Robert Fulton; H. C. — Thos. Helms; J. P. — Daniel C. Johnson; vacancy. 
Wm. L. Herman ; Sch. Insp. — Dwight Stitt. 

April, 1866: Sup. — Chas. E. Webster; Clk. — I. .\. Cassada; Treas. — 
Robert Fulton; H. C— Andrew T. Wardwell ; J. "P — L.- T. Cassada; Sch. 
Insp. — Stephen AI. Bovle. 

April, 1867: Sup'— Chas. E. Webster; Clk.— J. .\. Cassada; Treas.— 
Robert Fulton; H. C. — .\lison Jenne; vacancy. Gaylord Helms; J. P. — 
Geo. W. Price; Sch. Insp.— Dw'ight Stitt. 


Oct. 31, 1867, the board appointed H. S. Gardner, treasurer, vice Robert 
Fulton, deceased. 

April, 1868: Sup.— C. E. Webster; Clk.— T. A. Cassada ; Treas. — 
Dwig-ht Stitt; H. C— Wm. K. Miller: J. P.— W^m .R. Price; Sch. Insp.— 
Henry J. Ridenour; vacancy. J. Wakely Coleman. 

The meeting voted $150 to be expended in grading down three hills 
on the banks of Pine Creek ; presumably in the highway. 

April, 1869: Sup.— C. E. Webster;' Clk.— Addis C. GiUett ; Treas.— 
Dwight Stitt; H. C. — .\lvin Hodges; J. P. — Parmer R. Phillips: Sch. Insp. 
— J. \\'akely Coleman. 

April, 1870: The township cast 170 votes at this election. Sup. — Ros- 
well Danley: Clk.— Gaylord Helms; Treas.— Dwight Stitt; H. C— T. W. 
Coleman; ]. P. — J. A. Cassada; vacancv, C. E. Webster; Sch. Insp. — Geo. 
W. Price. 

Nov. 18, 1870, the board appointed C. E. Webster supervisor, vice R. 
Danley. The record is silent as to the cause of the vacancy. 

April, 1871: Sup.— C. E. \\'ebster: Clk.— Gavlord Helms; Treas.— 
Oscar F. Baker; H. C— Emmett Himes ; J. P.— W. W. Dalgleish ; Sch. Insp. 
— Ed. X. Pierce; Dr. Com. — Lincoln L. Smith. 

April, 1872: Sup.— C. E. Webster; Clk.— J. A. Cassada; Treas.— Oscar 
F. Raker; H. C— Dwight Stitt; Sch. Insp.— G. Helms; Dr. Com.— D. Stitt. 

April, 1873: Sup.— Dwight Stitt ; Clk.— I. .\. Cassada ; Treas.— Andrew 
J. Xortim; H .C— G. Helms; J. P.— C. E. Webster; Sch. Insp.— J. B. 
\\ illoughby ; Dr. Com. — J. A. Cassada. 

Stitt resigned during the year, as supervisor, and C. E. \\"el)ster was 
appointed to the vacancy. 

The township meeting voted $700 to l)uild a town hall, and a Iniilding 
committee was appointed consisting of Roswell Jones, !'. ^^^ Creaser and 
Wm. R. Price. 

April, 1874: Sup.— C. E. \\'ebster; Clk.— G. Helms; Treas.— A. J. 
Norton; H. C— John T. Swigart ; J. P.— J. A. Cassada; 2 yrs, G. W. J. 
Willoughby ; 1 yr, Philip W. Creaser; Sch. Insp. — J. A. Cassada. 

April, 1875 : Sup.— C. E. W^ebster ; Clk.— Alvin Hodges ; Treas.— Lyman 
Crowlev; H. C— J. T. Swigart; J. P.— T. T. Swigart; Supt. Sch.— W. W. 
Dalgleish; Sch. Insp.— J. B. Willoughby". 

April, 1876: Sup.— C. E. \\'ebster: Clk.— T. A. Cassada; Treas.— 
Lyman Crowley; H. C— J. T. Swigart; J. P.— G.'W. J. Willoughby: Supt. 
Sch. — Thos. J. Hoxie ; Sch. Insp. — J. R. Willoughby ; Dr. Com. — Finlev Dodge. 

The building committee was appointed, and instructed to purchase one- 
fourth acre of land within 80 rods of the center of the township, for a town 
hall site. 

April, 1877: Sup.— C. E. Webster; Clk.— J. A. Cassada: Treas.— 
Lyman Crowlev; H. C— L T. Swigart; J. P.— C. E. Webster; Supt. Sch.— 
T. J. Hoxie; Sch. Insp.— J. B. Willoughby: Dr. Com.— J. B. Willoughby. 

April, 1878: Sup.— Nathaniel Walker; Clk.— John :\1. Trask ; Treas.— 
Lvman Crowlev; H. C. — Ira W. ?^Iontague : Supt. Sch. — W. W. Dalgleish: 
Sch. Insp.— G. '\\'. J. Willoughby; Dr. Com.— J. B. Willoughby. 

Nov. 23, 1878, the board appointed J. T. Swigart clerk vice J. M. Trask, 
removed from the township. 

Dec. 7, 1878, the board appointed G. \\'. J. Willoughbv highwav com- 
missioner vice Ira W. ^Montague, resigned. 

April, 1879: Sup.— C. E. Webster; Clk.— }. 11. WilldUghbv ; Treas.— 
Alvin Ilddges; H. C— Thos. R. Musser; T. P.— Robert M. Swigart; Supt. 
Sch.— ^\•. \V. DalLdeish; Sch. Insp.— G. W. J. Willoughbv. 


The question of a $4,000 tax to build a county jail and sheriff's residence 
carried by a vote of 240 to 0. 

May. 1879, the board appointed J. T. Swigart hi.nluvay commissioner 
\ice T. 1'.. Musser, resigned, 

April, 1880: Sup.— Nathaniel \\'alker ; Clk.— R. M. Swigart ; Treas.— 
Alvin Hodges: H. C— Ed. N. Pierce: J. P.— Jas. N. :\Ic:\Iannis : Supt Sch.— 
Henry L. Laycock ; Sch. Insp. — Arden Howe ; Dr. Com. — Ed. N. Pierce, 

April, 1881: Sup,— C. E. Webster: Clk.— David H. Pavne: Treas.— 
Henry Stitt ; H. C— Ed. N. Pierce: J. P.— J. A. Cassada : 3 yrs, J. T. Swi- 
g'art : 2 vrs, T"hn S. Seaver; Supt. Sch. — John S. Seaver: Sch. Insp. — Geo. 
W. Price. 

April, 1882: Supt.— C. E. Webster: Clk.— J. .\. Cassada: Treas.— 
Henry Stitt: H. C— Ed. N. Pierce; J. P.— Henry Read: Sch. Insp.— .Vlonzo 
W. Loomis : vacancy, John S. Seaver: Dr. Com. — Ed. N. Pierce. 

April, 1883: Sup.— Henry Stitt: Clk— Milton M. Lewis: Treas.— 
Joseph Sidel : H. C. — Ed. N. Pierce: J. P- — G. W. Clark: vacancy, Philip 
^^^ Creaser; .Sell. Insj). — .\. \\'. Loomis. 

April, 1884: Sup.— Henry Stilt: Clk.— Milton M. Lewis: Treas.— 
Joseph Sidel: H. C. — Jas. H. Lewis: J. P. — P. W. Creaser: Sch. Insp.— 
Orin G. Tuttle : Dr. Com. — Cornelius A. Franks. 

.\pril 20, 1884, Jas. A. Cassada was appointed census enumerator. 

April, 1885: Sup.— Henry Stitt: Clk.— Milton . ]\I. Lewis: Treas.— 
Oscar F. Baker; H. C. — Theo. O. Daniels; J. P. — J. A. Cassada: Sch. Insp. 
• — Ilarle\' J. Garlock. 

Ma\- 7, 188.^, board ajjpointed M. S, Howell highway commissioner in 
place of Theo. O. Daniels. 

April, 1886: Sup. — Henrv Stitt: Clk. — .\. W. Loomis: Treas. — Oscar 
F. Baker; H. C— M. S. Howell; J. P.— Joseph Sidel; Sch. Insp.— A. N. 
Howe; Dr. Com. — J. A. Crawford. 

April, 1887: Sup.— Henry Stitt; Clk.— A. W. Loomis; Treas.— L. Lin- 
coln Smith; 14. C. — John S. \\' right : J. P. — John S. Seaver: vacancy, Geo, 
H, Newton; Sch. Insp. — T. J. Hoxie ; vacancy, Thos. B. Creaser: Review — 
L. L. Smith. Wni. L. Herman. 

April, 1888: Sup.— Henrv Stitt; Clk.— J. 1'.. Willoughby: Treas.— L. 
Lincoln Smith; H. C— John S. Wright: J. I'.— J. T. Swigart': Sch. Insp.— 
P. W. Creaser ;■ Dr. Com. — Jesse A. Crawford. 

Nov. 16, 1888. board appointed Geo, H. Newton treasurer vice L. L. 
Smith, resigned. When Newton declined, ^Milton M. Lewis was appointed. 

Nov. 20, "88, board appointed Myron Troop drain commissioner vice 
L A. Crawford, resigned. 

April, 1889: Sup.— Henrv Stitt ; Clk.— T. B. Will.mghljv : Treas.— Geo. 
H. Newton: H. C— John S.' Wright; J. P.— J. .V. Cassada: Sch. Insp.— 
\\'alter L. Hoxie. 

April, 1890: Sup.— Henry Stitt; Clk.— J. B. Willoughby; Treas.— 
Jonathan Snider; H. C. — W. C. Stitt: J. P. — Geo, H. Newton; Sch. Insp. — 
Wm. E. Hoxie; Dr. Com. — ^Ivron Troop; Review — L. L. Smith, Oscar A. 

April, 1891: Suj). — Jas. \\'. Payne: Clk. — T. C. Chidestcr; Treas. — 
Jonathan Snider; H. C. — W. C. Stitt; J. P. — Isaac S. Seaver; Sch. Insj). — 
Walter L. Hoxie; Review — Nat. \\'alker. 

April, 1892: Sup.— Jas. W. Pavne; Clk.— T. C. Chidester; Treas.— Wm. 
H.Davis; H. C— Geo. Osborn : J. P.— J. T. Swigart : vacancy. Nat. Walker ; 
Sch. Insp. — Simeon .\. Howe, ^Valter L, Hoxie; Dr. Com. — Chas. Dodge: 
Review— )ohn W. Otto, Nat. Walker. 


April, 1893: Sup.— Henrv Read; Clk.— T. C. Chidester; Treas.— Clem. 
Naldrett: H. C— Nat. ^^'alke^ : Sch. Insp.— Wm. H. Davis: Review— P. W. 
Creaser; Dr. Com. — Henry McLean. 

April, 1894: Sup. — Henry Read; Clk. — John L. Richard; Treas. — 
Jas. \\ . Payne; H. C. — Chas. Dodge; Sch. Insp. — J- ^^'. Howe; Review — 
Nat. \\alker; Dr. Com. — G. W. Groom. 

Board appointed J. T. Swigart census enumerator; H. S. Phillips, as- 

April, 1895: Sup. — Henry Read; Clk. — Frank E. Durfee ; Treas. — 
L S. Seaver; H. C. — Chas. Dodge; Sch. Insp. — Win. H. Davis; Review — 
I. B. Resseguie. 

April, 1896: Sup.— Henry Read; Clk.— H. S. Phillips; Treas.— Chas. 
Dodge; H. C. — Geo. Osborn ; Sch. Insp. — H. L. Laycock ; Review — P. W. 
Creaser; Dr. Com. — W. H. Trask. 

Dec, '96, board appointed F. E. Durfee, supervisor vice Read, elected 
county treasurer. 

April, 1897: Sup.— Frank E. Durfee; Clk.— Wm. H. Davis; Treas.— 
Chas. Dodge; H. C. — Robert Wininger; J. P. — I. .V. Cassada ; Sch. Insp. — 
T. J. Hoxie ; Review— J. B. Willougliby. " 

April, 1898: Sup.— F. E. Durke ;' Clk.— Chas. Dodge; Treas.— I. S. 
Seaver; H. C. — Robert Wininger; Sch. Insp. — J. M. Hoxie; Review — 
P. W. Creaser. 

April, 1899: Sup.— F. E. Durfee; Clk.— Chas. Dodge; Treas.— Jas. 
Cushman; H. C. — Jas. R. Bolyard ; J. P. — John Henry Campbell; Review — 
John S. Seaver. 

April, 1900: Sup.— Fred Read ; Clk.— Chas. Dodge ; Treas.— G. M. Wil- 
Inughby; H. C— Jas. Otto; J. P.— J. T. Swigart; Sch. Insp.— J. M. Hoxie; 
Kex'iew — Frank Conley. 

April, 1901: Sup.— Fred Read; Clk.— T. J. Hoxie; Treas.— Wm. H. 
Davis; 11. C. — J. Snider; J. P. — Chas. I!. Doan ; vacancy, G. M. Willoughby ; 
Sch. Insp. — Frank R. Himes ; Review — P. W. Creaser 

April, 1902: Sup.— Henry Read; Clk.— John H. Zion ; Treas.— W. H. 
Davis; H. C. — H. L. Doan; J. P. — J. D. Smith; vacancy, John Rule; Sch. 
Insp. — Thos. B. Creaser. 

April, 1903: Sup.— Henrv Read; Clk.— Rov C. Dodge; Treas.— .\. X. 
Arnold; H. C— .A.. T. Willert ; J. P.— F. T. Is'liam ; Sch. Insp.— Geo. Os- 
born ; Review — Robert S. Cushman. 

April, 1904: Sup.— Henry Read; Clk.— Roy C. Dodge; Treas.— I. B. 
Kinney; H. C. — Geo. W. Crom ; J. P. — Ernest H. Naldrett, W. L. Herman; 
Rcvic\\— 1 1. Collett. 

April, 1905: Sup.— Henry Read; Clk.— Roy C. Dodge; Treas.— Wm. 
Alertz; H. C— Geo. S. Otto; J. 1>.— Howard Wood; Review— Geo. Osborn; 
Sch. Insp. — W. L. Herman. 

April, 1906: Sup.— Chas. B. Doan; Clk.— W. H. McRae; Treas.— Wm. 
Mertz ; H. C. — J. W. Cushman; Sch. Ins]). — Chas. Wininger; Review — 
Geo. Osborn. 

April, 1907: Sup.— Chas. B. Doan; Clk.— W. H. McRae; Treas.— Roy 
C. Dodge; 11. C— J. Snider; J. P.— W. P.. Foster; Sch. Insp.— E. R. 

' April, 1908: Sup.— Chas. 1!. Doan; Clk.— C. Frank Otto; Treas.— 
Roy C. Dodge; H. C— J. Snider; J. P.— .\. J. Preston; Overseer of High.— 
Elmer Stead; Sch. Insp. — Chas. \\'ininger; Review — Geo. Osborn. 

April, 1909: Sup.— Frank R. Himes; Clk.— C. F. Otto; Treas.— Wm. 
Mertz; 11. C— J. Snider; Overseer of High.— Fred .\. Willert; I. P.— 



Arthur C. Stead: vacancy, C. \\'. Kinney: vacancy, J. L. Ricliard: Review — 
R. S. Ciishman. 

April, 1910: Sup.— Frank R. 1 limes; Clk.— C. F. Otto: Treas.— \Vm. 
H. Davis: H. C— J. Snider: Overseer— Jesse D. Walker; J. V.—W. B. 
Foster; vacancy, Truman Harris; Review — Jesse D. Walker. 

April, 1911: Sup.— Frank R. Himes; Clk.— C. F. Otto; Treas.— Wm. 
H. Davis; H. C. — Jonathan Snider; O. of H. — Geo. Phippeny ; J. P. — Chas. 
Wesley Kinney ; vacancy. W'm. L. Herman ; Review — R. S. Cushman. 

April, 1912: Sup.— F. R. Himes; Clk.— Wm. H. Davis; Treas.— Fred 
Read; H. C. — J. Snider; O. of H. — Geo. Phippeny; J. P. — Elmer Stead; 
Review — Roy Randall. 

April, 1913: Sup.— Frank R. Himes; Clk.— \\'m. H. McRae; Treas.— 
Fred Read; H. C. — Ervey Laycock ; O. of H. — Geo. Phippeny; J. P. — 
Preston Dalgleish ; vacancy. Arthur Stead; Review — Robert S. Cushman. 

Woman Sufifrage ; Yes, 136; no, 126. 

Countv Road Svstem : Yes, 101; no. 159. 


\\'m. Norton, Nov. 2, 1855. 

Whipple Martin. 1856. 

Henry P. Howd, 1857. 

Lyman T. Cassada, 1858, "59, '60, 

'61, '62, '64, '65. 
Wm. R. Price, ap. Jan., 1863. 
Roswell Danlev, 1863. '70. 
Chas. E. Webster, 1866, '67, '68, '69, 

'71, '72, ap. '73; '74, 7:^, '76. 77. 

'79. '81, '82. 
Dwight Stitt, 1873. 
Nathaniel W^alker, 1878, '80. 

Henrv Stitt, 1883. '84. '85. '86. '87. 

'88, '89. '90. 
Tas. W. Payne. 1891. '92. 
Henry Read, 1893, '94, '95, '96, '02, 

'03, '04, '05. 
Frank E. Durfee. ap. "96; "97. '98, 

Fred Read. 1900. '01. 
Chas. i;. Doan. 1905, '07. "08. 
Frank R. Himes. 1909. '10, '11, '12, 

Township Clerks. 

J. P. Rathbun, Nov. 2, 1855. 
IJenj. Covvles, 1856. 
Simeon Howe, 1857, '58, '60. 
Jas. A. Cassada, 1859, '62, '63, '64, 

'65, '66, '67, '68, '73, "74, '76, 77. 

Geo. C. Bassett, 1861. 
Addis C. Gillett, 1869. 
Gaylord Helms, 1870, '71,' '74. 
Alvin Hodges, 1875. 
John M. Trask, 1878. 
John T. Swigart, ap. 1878. 
J. B. Willoughbv, 1879, '88, '89, '90. 
Robert M. Swigart, 1880. 

David H. Pavne, 1881. 

Milton M. Le'wis, 1883, '84, "85. 

A. W. Loomis, 1886. '87. 

T. C. Chidester. 1891. '92, '93. 

John L. Richard. 1894. 

Frank E. Durfee. 1895. 

H. S. Phillips. 1896. 

\\'m. H. Davis. 1897. 1912. 

Chas. Dodge. 1898, '99. '00. 

T. I. Hoxie. 1901. 

Tohn II. Zion. 1902. 

Rov C. Dodge. 1903. '04. '05. 

\\".' H. McRae. 1906. '07, '13. 

C. Frank Otto. 1908, '09. '10. '11. 


Marcus Serviss, Nov. 2. 1855. 

Alfred Cowles, 1856. 

Andrew S. Lavcock. 1857. '58. '59, 

'60, '61, '62. 
Robert Fulton, 1863. '64. '65. '66. 


U.S. Gardner, ap. 1867. 
Dwight Stitt, 1868. '69. '70. 
Oscar F. Baker, 1871. 72. '85. '86. 
Andrew J. Norton. 1873. '74. 
Lvman Crowlev. 1875, '76. 77. "78. 
Alvin i lodges, 'l87'). '80. 



Henry Stitt. 1881. "82. 

loseph Sidel, 1883, '84. 

L. Lincoln Smith, 1887, '88. 

Alilton M. Lewis, ap. 1888. 

Geo. H. Newton, 1889, '90. 

Jonathan Snider, 1891. 

\Vni. H. Davis, 1892. '01. "02, '10, 

Clem. Xaldrett. 1893. 
las. W. Payne, 1894. 

Isaac S. Seaver, 1895, '98. 

Chas. Dodge, 1896, '97. 

Jas. Cushman, 1899. 

G. M. Willoughbv, 1900. 

A. N. Arnold,^ 1903. 

I. B. Kinnev, 1904. 

Wm. Mertz' 1905, '06, '09. 

Rov C. Dodge, 1907, '08. 

Fred Read. imi. '13. 



Arnold Payne and his family are conceded to have been the first settlers 
in Gratiot County. Arnold Payne and Loana (Parker) Payne, his wife, 
natives respectively of Rhode Island and New York, were married in New 
York State, and in 1832 came to Michigan, 
settling in ^^'ashtenaw County, where they 
remained four years, and then removed to 
Li\'ingstiTn County, and later to Ingham 
County. In the winter of 1846, they came, 
with their thirteen children to Gratiot County 
and took up a large tract of land on section 
thirty-one in the township later known as 
Fulton. They huilt a log house and com- 
menced clearing their land, and on that farm 
.\rnold Payne spent the remainder of his 
life, passing away on the old homestead 
November 24, 1879. Loana Payne, the first 
wife, died February 25, 1850. In 1853 Mr. 
Payne was married to Mrs. Mary (Bussell) 
Dickerman, who died August 31, 1865. 

The names of the thirteen children of Ar- 
iii lid and Loana Payne were as follows : Alma, 
Lucy. Mary. Perry, Arnold, Abigail, James 
L., Day and Dvvight, (twins), Eliza, David 
H., Albert B. and Thomas R. Several of the descendants are still residents 
of the county. 

To know something of what it meant to settle with a family of fifteen, 
on section 31 of township 9 north, 3 west, in the year 1846, it must be 
remembered that that location was scores of miles from anythiu!:,^ like a 
settlement of any importance. 

Although some of the commonest and most indispensable supjilies 
could be procured at Maple Rapids, the place was but a frontier trading 
post established in 1835. It was not until 1852 that steps were taken to 
form a settlement and establish a station that could by any stretch of the 
imagination be called a market. "In 1852 Wm. A. Hewitt, one of the 
first settlers of Dewitt, Clinton County, came in and occupied about 240 
acres of land, and commenced the construction of a dam and sawmill which 
were completed in 1853. During the latter year he platted a village, es- 
talilished a store near his mill, and was elected sunervisor of Essex;" quot- 
ing from a history of Clinton County. After 18.^2. when landlookers and 



settlers began to push their way into the wilds of Gratiot County, Arnold 
Payne's log house proved a haven of comfort and necessity, as it was 
practically the last human habitation this side of the Straits of Mackinaw, 
and it was located on the Old Indian Trail that led up through the county, 
and frequently alluded to in this volume. 

An interesting and valualile paper read at the pioneer meeting of 1907 
by W. W. Dalgleish, giving pointers of early Fulton history, refers at con- 
siderable length to Arnold Payne and his settlement on the borders of 
civilization, so to speak, and is given in full elsewhere in this volume. 

Alore extended details of Mr. Pa\ne's doings as a pioneer are given in 
the department devoted to Gratiot County in its earliest dax's. 


Fred H. Read was born .August 13, 1871, in Fulton Township, Gratiot 
County. Mich., on what is known as the James Jenne farm. His father, 
Henry Read, was born in England, February 26, 1848, son of Henry and 
Sarah A. (Ranger) Read. Henry Read, the grandfather, died in England 
in the year 1853. and the grandmother soon afterward came to America 
bringing the young son, Henry. They settled first in Ohio, afterward 
removing to Gratiot County, settling in Fulton Township, where the son 
grew to manhood. In the year 1869 he was married to Mary E. Haines, 
in Fulton Township. She was born in Ohio, September 15. 1851, daughter 
of Jacob and Mary (Lewis) Haines, natives of Pennsylvania and Con- 
necticut, respectively. She died March 29, 1908. 

Fred H. Read, the subject of this sketch, was the oldest of the children 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Read. Robert, the second child was born July, 
1875, and died in 1876. Bessie F. was born March 3, 1880. Lewis E. was 
born April 6, 1887. 

Fred H. Read was married to 15essie E. White, at Pompeii. (Jratiot 
County, June 5, 1896. She is daughter of Hiram H. and Amelia (Hamilton) 
White and was born in Cranbrook, Canada, February 12, 1876. Her father 
was a native of Canada, born April 27 , 1848. and her mother was born in 
Almont. Canada, January 16,- 1856, and died September 18. 1890. She was 
a daughter of the late Dr. John Hamilton, for many years in active practice 
at Pompeii. 

Bessie E. (\Miite) Read was the oldest child in the family of Hiram H. 
White, and the oldest grandchild of Dr. John Hamilton. The other children 
are Henrietta A. Kinsel, born October 25. 1878: John Henry White, born 
August 7, 1880; Mabel L. White, born November 24, 1882. died in 1884: 
George Arthur White, born lune 26. 1886: Lillian Pearl \\'hite. born .Au.gust 
30. 1888. 

Fred H. Read and wife are the i)arents of two children — Pauline \.. 
born November 12. 1896. and S. Maurine. born October 8, 1898. Since reach- 
ing manhood Mr. Read has followed the occupation of farming on his farm 
on section 14, Fulton Township, excepting a four years' residence in Pompeii, 
and one and one-half years in British Columbia where he was enga,ged 
in railroad construction. In March. 1911 he returned to Gratiot and to the 
farm \\ here he now resides. 

Mr. Read and family are held in high esteem liy all. In the spring of 
1900 Mr. Read was elected supervisor of his township, and was re-elected 
in 1901. In April. 1912. he was chosen township treasurer, and was re- 
elected in 1013. All his official duties are performer conscientiously and 
with ahilitv, and to the entire satisfaction of his townsmen. 




On a farm of 80 acres, located on section 6, Fulton Township, lives 
Frank G. Herald, the subject of this biographical sketch, with his good wife 
and their two interesting children. He is the son of Albert A. and Emma 

E. (Bradstock) Herald, both of whom are 
dead, the latter passing away December *:>, 
1902, the former remaining till August 4, 
1905, when he, too, passed on to the other 

Albert A. Herald, son of Henry Herald, 
was born in Lorain County, Ohio, April 8, 
1S44, and lived with his parents until July 
4, 1870, when he was married to Miss Emma 
E. Bradstock. The lady who became his 
wife was the daughter of George and Chris- 
tina (Remer) Bradstock. The former wa? 
born in Herefordshire, England, August 11. 
1812, coming to America at the age of 21 
years, and settling in Lorain County, Ohio, 
where he lived to the time of his death which 
occurred March 12, 1891. His wife, Chris- 
tina, was born April 27, 1828, in Pennsyl- 
vania. They were united in marriage in 
ALBERT A. HERALD. 1847. and nine children was the result, six of 

whom are now living. They are as follows : 
John, George, William and Frank Bradstock ; Minnie and Lydia Jackson. 
The dead are Emma E. Herald, Eliza White and Mary Jackson. 

Albert Herald was of a family of six children, as follows: John; Mary, 
who is married to Carey Schinder, of Vermillion, Ohio ; Isaac and Oscar 
Herald, of Avon, Ohio, and Homer Herald, whose residence is unknown. 

In the fall after his marriage — that is, in 
1870 — Albert Herald moved with his wife 
from Ohio to Gratiot County, locating on 
section 6 of Fulton Township. Here he 
bought 80 acres of land right in the woods. 
Log buildings were put up to do duty till 
better ones could be afforded and put up later 
on. Then came the clearing of the land, 
sixty acres being gradually but Cjuite rapidly 
cleared and put in condition for crops. This 
called for strenuous and persevering exertion 
on the part of the parents and children, the 
result showing up in due time in the form 
of new frame buildings in place of the orig- 
inal log structures, and a well-cultivated and 
productive farm. 

Mr. Herald, as the years passed, took 
time for some recreation, indulging in hunt- 
ing and fishing, spending several falls in the 
Upper Peninsula, engaged in the sport ; and ^ 

he was always successful, invariably bring- 
ing home some of the wild game that he went after, 
the experience immensely. 

and al\va}s enjoying 


Tn the meantime three children were born to Albert and his wife Emma. 
Frank G. was born in Fulton, June 25, 1871. IMina H. was born in Fulton. 
February 25, 1873, and William was born in the same township, August 
21, 1884. Frank G. Herald spent his boyhood days in the manner usual to 
youths in a new country — getting a common school education and aiding 
in the work on the farm. On the 24th of December. 1901. he was married 
to Miss Cora Gilmore, of Gladwin County, Mich., daughter of Rev. ^^loulton 
Powell Gilmore and Mary Edith (Babbitt) Gilmore. Mr. Gilmore was 
born October 31, 1846, in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and in the year 1871 
was married to Mary Edith Babbitt, of Ashtabula County, Ohio, who was 
born in that county August 16, 1852. Mr. Gilmore has been a minister of 
the gospel for more than 34 years. He and his wife are the parents of nine 
children, six of whom are now living. 

Cora (Gilmore) Herald was born in Fulton Township, this county, 
April 11, 1885. She and her husband, Frank G. Herald-, are the parents of 
two children. Rav L. was born September 5, 1903, and Ruth B. was born 
February 28, 1905'. 

Returning now to a further consideration of the family of Albert .\. 
and Emma E. Herald: Mina H., the second child, remained at home 
until her marriage to Clayton White of Middleton, this county. He being 
a sailor on the lakes, they spent a few years in Milwaukee, but in 1906, they 
bought a farm near Middleton where they now reside. They have one 
child — W'ilfred— born May 25, 1905, in the Village of Middleton. William 
Herald, third child of Albert A. and Emma E. Herald, lived at the family 
home until his mother's death, which occurred December 9, 1902, after which 
he went to Lorain Count)', Ohio, where he worked for his uncle until 
called home on account df the severe illness of his father who passed away 
August 4, 1905. He then returned to Ohio, where — in 1906— he married 
Miss Mabel Shepard. He then returned to this county, purchasing a 40-acre 
farm in North Shade, near ]\liddleton. There they lived one year and then 
removed to Pittsfield, Ohio. 

Frank G. Herald is a worthy representative of worthy parents. Albert 
Herald and Emma, his wife, were among the county's most respected citizens. 
Both were consistent members of the LTnited Brethren Church, and both are 
held in kindly remembrance by all their acquaintances in the place where 
they so long resided. 

Lyman T. Cassada made an honorable record in Fulton's early history. 
He was born in New York State July 27, 1819, son of James. and Abigail 
(Kenyon) Cassada. He came to Gratiot County in 1856, stopping on section 
31 of Fulton Township, where he remained a resident until his death, April 
30, 1870. Mr. Caassada soon took a position as one of the most enterprising 
of the pioneers and won the confidence of his fellow citizens so thoroughly 
that they made him their supervisor in 1858 and retained him in that position 
seven years. He also served three terms as justice. In 1860 his party 
(Democratic) showed its confidence in his ability and integrity by making 
him its candidate for county treasurer, and though defeated with the rest 
of his ticket the record shows that he ran considerably ahead of his ticket. 

James A. Cassada took an active part in Fulton Township affairs in the 
early days and extending down as late as into the '80s. And still later he 
was prominent as a citizen of the \'illage of Perrinton. He was born Sep- 
tember 10, 1828, in Tioga County, N. Y., son of James and Abigail Cassada. 
In 1852 he was married in Monroe County, Mich., to Clarissa W., daughter 
of Matthias and Eunice Gardner. In 1855 they settled on section 32, Fulton 


Township, and tackled the pioneering problem. The record shows that Mr. 
Cassada took a hand in official affairs. He was township clerk 13 years, 
running from 1859 to 1882, and elected justice of the peace no less than six 
times. He was president of Perrinton Village in 1501. He passed to the 
other world March 7, 1905, at the age of 76 vears. His wife, Clarissa W., 
died July 12, 1890, aged 62. 

Charles E. Webster, now and for more than 25 years a resident of 
Ithaca, and jjreviously for about the same length of time a resident of Fulton 
Townshij) where he was prominent in a business way and oft'icially, was 
born in Clinton County, Mich., April 2, 1839. His father, Lyman Webster, 
was an early settler in Grand Rapids, later removing to Ionia County, and 
still later — in 1837 — to Essex Township, Clinton County, where he was one 
of tlie first settlers, and a prominent citizen many years. Charles E. Webster 
settled on section 12, Fulton Township, in 1862. and in due course of time 
transformed his landed possessions, which he extended to embrace tracts on 
sections 11 and 13, into a flourishing farm. In an offcial way Mr. Webster 
started in as justice of the peace in 1863. In 1866 he was elected supervisor, 
and was kept in that office most of the time until 1882, serving in that 
capacity 14 years. He was the candidate of his party ( Democrat) for 
county treasurer in 1872, and for sheriff in 1866, '68, 70, '78 and '80, and 
was Fusion candidate for representative in 1888. He has served as super- 
intendent of the poor several terms, and in various capacities in the Ithaca 
Village government, including that of president in 1904. He was married 
January 1, 1861, to Josephine E. Campbell, daughter of Cornelius Campbell, 
of Washington Township. Children born to them were Carrie E., Birdella 
I. and Cornelius S. ; only the first-named now living. 

Parmer R. Phillips settled on section 35, Fulton Township, in 1851, and 
remained a resident of Gratiot County until his death ; two years in St. 
Louis while he was proprietor of the stage line from St. Louis to St. Johns, 
and several years at Ithaca. He was one of the superintendents of the poor 
several years, being first appointed in 1879. His death occurred June 17, 
1898, at the age of 75 years. 

There is an unsually large number of Fulton citizens entitled to recog- 
nition in this connection if it were possible to give every deserving one the 
time and space in a single volume. W^ith no invidious discrimination in- 
tended, the following are mentioned as being among the most deserving: 
James, Robert and Nicholas Fulton, for whom the township was named, 
and who came in 1847, the first settlers after Arnold Payne ; Isaac Jones 
was a candidate for sheriff' on a mixed ticket at the first election, November, 
1855 : Ben. Cowles, who came in 1853, a genial, generous, eccentric and 
very popular pioneer, who passed away at the home of his son, Arthur, 
October 14, 1890. His wife survived until April 25, 1905, passing away at 
the age of 94. Oscar F. Baker, (see sketch) ; Warren W. Baker, who came 
in 1854 and died May 16, 1902, aged 80; William Norton who was the first 
supervisor : Whipple Martin who was the second supervisor ; Alvin Hodges 
who came in 1864 and died March 18, 1882; Simeon A. Howe, a pioneer of 
1S54. who died January 29. 1895; Douglas Hyatt; Roswell Danley who 
came in 1858; Finley Dodge, w^io came in 1858; G. Washington Clark, who 
settled on section 12, in 1854, Democratic candidate for county treasurer in 
1874, and Greenback candidate for county treasurer in 1878, died April 19. 
1901, aged 68; Simeon Gray, who came in 1854, died October, 1874, aged 
47; John C. Grace who died February 7. 1860; John E. Densmore who 
came in 1858, and died August 9, 1910, aged 72>\ Jo.seph Sidel who came in 
1868, and died January 27, 1895, aged 61; William and Philip W. Creaser; 


William H. Laycock ; J. B. Willoughby, Democratic candidate for sheriff 
in 1894, (see sketch); Lyman Crowley; Thomas J. Hoxie, came to Fulton 
in 1863, died at his home on section 22, March 6, 1912, aged 69 years; 
Nathaniel Walker, came in 1859, died May 18, 1912; Henry Stitt, came in 
1862, was supervisor eight years, died February 12, 1903 ; Dwight Stitt, 
Democratic candidate for register of deeds, 1870, for representative in 74, 
and for treasurer in 76 ; Albert Tuttle, an early settler, who died January 
30, 1896, (see sketch of O. G. Tuttle) ; Daniel Helms, came to Fulton in 
1853, died March 26, 1891, aged 81, (see sketch of Gaylord Helms) ; James 
K. Jenne, settled in Fulton in 1865, removed to Ithaca in 1886, and died 
May 12, 1889, aged 45; James Otto, came to Fulton in 1855, father of Ara, 
Ira, Amasa, Alma, Perry, Ampter, Leroy and Zelma, died August 28, 1908, 
aged 75 ; John \\'. Otto, brother of James and son of George Otto, was 
county treasurer in 1892 and '94, father of George, Charles and Cora, died 
in Ithaca, January 1. 1901, aged 63 years; George Otto, Sr., died at the home 
of his son, John \\'., October 8, 1899, aged 89; Conrad Westenhaver, came 
to Gratiot in 1854, settling first on section 36, Newark, but soon removing 
to section 22, Fulton, died August 22. 1909, aged 87 ; Andrew S. Laycock ; 
Henry Read, county treasurer in 1896, (see sketch); Frank E. Durfee ; C. 
Frank Otto; Will