Kalkaska Co Michigan
Welcomes You To
South Boardman, MI (Church Street) (1910s)
This is the only village of growing importance, excepting the village of Kalkaska, in the county. It is located on Sections 16 and 21, in the town of Boardman, eight miles southwest of Kalkaska and thirty-seven miles from Traverse City. The Grand
Rapids & Indiana Railroad enters the southwest corner of the town and extends in a northeasterly direction through it, crossing the south branch of the Boardman River at this point. There is an excellent water power that originally induced the location of this village on the plains.
By far the larger part of this township is justly rated as good fanning land. It is traversed in nearly every direction by good roads, while neat school-houses and church privileges attest the importance attached by its citizens to intellectual and religious instruction and cultivation. Within the distance of one mile from
the railroad station spoken of except, perhaps, on the north and northwest, the usual varieties of hardwood timber of this part of Michigan are found of splendid growth and appearance. An intelligent and enterprising population are constantly receiving additions from the older parts of the United States and Canada. There are many well improved farms in Boardman.
The history of the village is substantially as follows: Hamilton Stone, of Ovid, Mich., was engaged in lumbering and handling
timber and wood. He was a native of Syracuse, N. Y., and came
to Ovid in 1858. Coming at that early day he had participated in
all the development and progress of Ovid. In 1871 Orange A.
Row located in what is now Orange Township, and, being acquainted with Mr. Stone, told him of a tract of eighty acres of
land lying near the crossing of the railroad and the south branch
of the Boardman River. Mr. Stone purchased the tract upon the
representations made by Mr. Row and soon afterward came up to
look at it. The line of the railroad was at that time established
and Mr. Stone found a letter water power than he had anticipated.
The railroad company platted a village which Mr. Stone afterward
In the fall of 1874 Mr. Stone, accompanied by several others,
came here to commence operations. He brought some lumber
from below, the railroad being in operation at that time. They
arrived here about sundown and proceeded to build a shanty with
some of the lumber. A temporary structure was put up, open at
one end, and then a huge fire was built. They cooked supper, and
through the night took turns in standing guard over the fire. Two
of the party were 0. A. Row and J. D. Dagle. This was the
initial movement toward the village of South Hoard roan. Mr.
Stone then went at work and built the depot and the building
known as the Boardman River House. Early in 1875 a man
named Thomas Wasson moved a portable saw-mill to this point
from Mancelona, and operated it a short time when it was spirited
away and seen no more.
A postoffice was established, with Addison McCoy as postmaster. The office was kept in the depot and the business attended
to by the station agent.
Early in the summer of 1875 Frank P. Smith moved his stock
of goods here from Fife Lake and opened a store in the building
next to the Boardman River House. He was appointed postmaster
and moved the office to his store. He carried on business until
1888, when he sold his stock to E. Murray, who succeeded him as
postmaster. Mr. Smith is now a resident of Grand Rapids.
When he began business here it was literally in the midst of a
wilderness, and in the town of Boardman there were not to exceed
fifteen families. He did a successful business despite the solitude
of the region.
Mr. Stone, upon examining the situation, realized that the beginning of a village in 1874 was too far in advance of agricultural
development to prove successful, and nothing was done, beyond
what has been mentioned, for nearly two years. In 1870 Mr.
Stone began the improvement of his water power. It was attended
with hard work, but in 1877 a dam was completed, and in 1878 a
saw-mill ready for operation. Even the full extent of the power
was not understood, and a muley saw was put into the mill. Mr.
Stone leased the mill to T. P. Shuerts who operated it for a time,
and it was then leased to M. D. Mapes & Son, who still continues
to operate it. After the mill had been operated awhile it was
found that the power would warrant increased capacity for work,
and the old muley saw was replaced with a circular and other
machinery added. There is a fall of ten feet at this mill, giving an
excellent power. The capacity of the mill was increased from
2,000 to 15,300 feet of lumber a day.
A school building had been built in 1875, the saw-mill continued to be operated, but for several years there was little activity
in building. In 1879 T. P. Shuerts built a dam and grist-mill on
the river and commenced running the mill in 1880. He afterwards sold it to W H. Leach and Frank P. Smith, and the latter
now owns it. It is operated by George A. Sheldon.
In 1888 the village took a new start and most of it has been
built up since the beginning of that year. Large steam saw-mills
were built by J. L. Quinby, of Grand Rapids, and M. B. Farrin &
Co., of Cincinnati. Mr. Stone is improving another water-power
and erecting large taming works, which will be a material addition to the industries of the place. The various brunches of mercantile business are represented. The Boardman River House is
kept by Deney & Wells, and is a good hotel. New buildings are
rapidly multiplying and the future of the village is promising. The
religious denominations represented here are the Methodist and
United Brethren. A Grand Army poet is about to be established,
twenty-two members having already signed the roll.
W. H. Leach, one of the first to locate land in what is now
the town of Boardman, is a native of Erie County, Ohio. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, First Michigan Cavalry. He
was subsequently commissioned second lieutenant in the Fourth
Cavalry, and still later promoted to captain. He remained in the
service until August, 1864. In the fall of 1870 he came to Kalkaska County, then a part of Antrim County, and located land on
Section 82, in what is now the town of Boardman. In 1872 he removed here with his family and began the hard work of making a
farm in a new country. He continued to live upon his farm until
the full of 1882, when he moved to the village of South Boardman,
having purchased an interest in the grist-mill at this place. He
afterward sold his mill interest and opened a flour and feed store.
He is also a local agent of the express company. Mr. Leach was the
second supervisor of the town and held that, office seven years. He
has a wife and four children.
John D. Dagle, supervisor of the town of Boardman in 1883 and 84, is an early settler in the township. He is a native of
Vermont and in 1849 came to Michigan with his parents from Ohio, where
they had lived several years. After coming to Michigan they settled
in Huron County, and in August, 1862, Mr. Dagle enlisted in Company A, Twenty-sixth Michigan Regiment. He was promoted to
Second Lieutenant and was a scout under Gen. Miles about a year.
He remained in the service until the close of the war in 1865. His
father, Francis Dagle, had settled in Orange Township, in 1871,
being one of the first settlers in that town, and in the fall of 1878
John Dagle settled on Section 21, in the town of Boardman. In
January, 1888, he removed to the village of South Boardman and
engaged in business. He has taught, school several terms and held
the office of supervisor.
Crofton is a station on the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad,
five miles south of Kalkaska. Operations at this point were begun
in 1875 by the firm of Meek, Junk and Hiate, who built a mill and
engaged in lumbering. The village was platted in 1877, and the
same year was almost entirely destroyed by fire, but at that time it
was quite a lumber center and speedily recovered from the disaster.
We find mention of Crofton in May, 1878, as follows: — “Less
than a year ago, Crofton, then only consisting of a saw mill, boarding-house, store, and three or four dwellings, was almost entirely
burned. With characteristic enterprise the proprietors, Messrs.
Meek, Harper & Duthie, immediately rebuilt the mill mid put it in
operation. Since that time the town has been platted. There are
now about twenty-five buildings. The principal business is the
manufacture of lumber by the firm above mentioned. About one
million feet have been shipped to the southern markets since the
first of March. Fifty-one car loads were shipped in the month of
April alone. The saw-mill is kept constantly in operation, and it
requires twelve teams to supply the logs. Between thirty and
forty men are employed. There is also a store, owned by the proprietors of the
mill and town, stocked with a general assortment of
groceries and provisions, and a considerable trade is supplied from
the surrounding country. There is it large and convenient hotel or
boarding-house. Also a postoffice. Quite a number of lots have
been sold, and substantial dwelling-houses are being erected thereon.
Lots arc being cleared and fenced, and-the place is really assuming
the appearance of a growing town. It is situated five miles south
of Kalkaska, on the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, and is surrounded by excellent farming lands, and the country is rapidly settling up. The proprietors of the town are energetic find enterprising business men.”
Since that time the village has rather gone backward, and there
is but little business done at the present time.
Westwood is a station on the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, about nine miles north of Kalkaska, and in the town of Rapid
River. The place was started in 1877. The first business interests
were the saw-mill of Campbell, Duncan & Co., James Campbell's
general store, William E. Hopkins’ bowl factory, the Westwood
House, O. B. Dewey, proprietor, and a wagon and blacksmith shop.
The store of Mr. Campbell was started in 1873, about a mile from
the present site of the village, and afterwards removed to its present location. Several stores were opened at this point, but in the
summer of 1882 the village was visited with the scourge of smallpox, which prevailed for a period of two months. Business and
all communication with the outside world of any business character
was suspended. Five deaths occurred and the village has never
recovered from the effects of the blight. There is a church building, on Odd Fellows' hall, the mill and store of James Campbell.
James Campbell, merchant, Westwood, was born in London,
Canada, July 25, 1845. He spent his youth and received his education chiefly in his native country. Shortly after he attained his
majority he went to California, and a few months later to Washington Territory, where he remained nearly three years. From
there he came to what is now Westwood, Kalkaska County, Mich.,
before the railroad was built and when the forest there was yet
almost unbroken. He purchased some 600 acres of land at various
points, spent some time in the improvement of some of the land,
and in May, 1878, he opened mercantile business about two miles
south of his present location, just when the railway track reached
that point. He occupied a temporary building there until stations
were established on the road, and then removed to his present
place of mercantile business at Westwood Station. In October,
1877, with William Duncan and C. Graham, of Sturgis, and C. M.
Hall, now of Elk Rapids, he built the saw-mill at Westwood and
engaged in manufacturing lumber, but from Want of experience,
the business the first year resulted in heavy loss. Mr. Campbell,
still hopeful, bought the interests of the other parties, and benefiting.
by former experience, and taking, in some respects, a new line of
operation, has secured profitable and satisfactory results from the
enterprise. He is also still engaged somewhat in agricultural
enterprise near Westwood. In the spring of 1875 he built and
opened the store now occupied by Mr. Vinton at Leetsville, and
under the management of Mr. David Nimmo, conducted it as a
branch store for two years in October, 1881, he opened the
store of general merchandise at Spencer Creek, now conducted
under the firm name of M. M. Elder & Co. It is in an enlarging
and prosperous condition, and he still retains ah interest in the
business. On April 8, 1874, he was married to Miss Esther E.
Evans, of Rapid River. She is daughter of the late Lorenzo
Evans, one of the earliest and past known pioneers of Rapid River.
Mr. Campbell has served two years as clerk and four years as
supervisor of Rapid River Township, and has been postmaster of
Westwood postoffice ever since its establishment in October, 1878.
Westwood Lodge, No. 854, L O. O. F., was instituted at the
village of Westwood, Nov. 28, 1881, by D. D. O. M. James
Greacen, assisted by J. W. Mosher, H. U. Hill, W. B. Ferguson,
J. F. McClung, 0. A. Row, R. L. Thompson and William Sheldon,
of Kalkaska Lodge, and other members of the fraternity from
other neighboring lodges. The new lodge had about twenty members, and the first officers were as follows: T. Landon, N. G.;
William Johnson, V. G.; Henry Lannin, Secy; M. M. Elder,
Leetsville is a station on the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, about five miles north of Kalkaska. There are a general
store, saw-mill, postoffice, etc. It is situated in an excellent farming region, but does only a small local business.
S. M. Vinton, merchant, Leetsville, was born in South Hadley
Falls, Mass., Jan. 21, 1846. When about thirteen years of age
he removed with his parents to Waterloo, DeKalb County, Ind.,
and, with the exception of two years spent in fanning in Ohio,
resided there until April, 1878. His early years were devoted
chiefly to school studies and agricultural pursuits. He was for
five years baggage master at Waterloo and Goshen on the L. 8.
& M. S. R. R. His removal in 1878 from Waterloo was to
Williamsburg. Grand Traverse County, where he spent two years
in mercantile work, and two in the manufacture of lumber. On
April 8, 1875, he was married to Miss Ellen C. Follett from near
Williamsburg. They have had two children, now both deceased.
Mrs. E. C. Vinton died Dec. 17, 1879. Mr. Vinton's second marriage was to Miss Viola F. Banfill, of Capac, St. Clair County,
Nov. 28, 1881. She was born in St. Clair County, Sept. 2, 1869.
They have one infant son, born June 29, 1888. In May, 1877,
he removed to Leetsville, Kalkaska Comity, and engaged in mercantile business, where he is enjoying a liberal and growing
patronage. He has been two years township treasurer and two
years township clerk of Rapid River Township. He has been
postmaster at Leetsville since 1877. Fraternally, he is a Free
Mason, and exults in brotherly love, relief and truth.
Burton A. Jones, manufacturer of lumber, Leetsville, was
born in Crawford County, Penn., May 28, 1852. He left his
native state with his parents in 1805, spent two years in Genesee
County, Mich., and then removed to Lagrange County, Ind. On
June 15, 1878, he was married to Miss Mary Strung, also of
Lagrange County. She was born there Aug., 1818. Their children are B. Eugene, Lena Blanche and Bertha Augusta. In 1882
they removed to Leetsville, Kalkaska County, Mich. Mr. Jones
has erected and is conducting a saw-mill, manufacturing pine and
hard wood lumber. The mill has capacity for cutting from fifteen
to eighteen thousand feet per day. Mr. Jones is now, in 1881,
highway commissioner of Rapid River.
R. L. Thompson, one of the first residents of the village, was
born in Scotland, in the year 1882. At the age of three years his
parents emigrated to America, and he was brought up in Cattaraugus County, N. Y. In 1865 he came to southern Michigan and
engaged in farming. He afterward carried on lumbering and at the
time the enterprise at Kalkaska was projected, was living at Grand
Junction. In the fall of 1872 he came to Kalkaska in company
with A. A. Abbott and built a saw-mill as already narrated. Since
selling the mill he has been engaged in farming and lumbering.
In December, 1857, he was married to Harriet A. Pratt, in Chenango County, N. Y.
Cornelius Cronin, present sheriff of Kalkaska County, is one
of the early settlers of the county. He was born in Ireland and
went to Canada when quite young. In 1862 he came from Canada
to Traverse City, where he was in the employ of Hannah, Lay &
Co. three years. He then went to Elk Rapids, where he was in
the employ of Dexter & Noble. In the fall of 1869 he moved to
Section 31, in what is now known as Clear Water, and engaged in
farming. In the fall of 1878 he was elected treasurer of the county
and removed to Kalkaska Village. In 1881 he went into the
grocery business, which he carried on about two years. In October,
1888, he engaged in the boot and shoe business, which he still
continues. In the fall of 1882 he was elected sheriff of the county,
which office he now holds.
Ambrose E. Palmer, merchant at Kalkaska, is one of the
pioneers of this section, and a prominent business man. He was
bora in the city of New York. He received a liberal education,
and leaving school in 1868, traveled a year in the West to
recuperate his health. In 1869 he located at Torch Lake and
remained there several yews, engaged in the lumber and mercantile business. In 1876 he removed to the village of
Kalkaska and engaged in the mercantile business in the building known as the
Kalkaskian Building. In 1880 the large brick block of which he
is one of the owners was built, and upon its completion he removed
to the store-room which he now occupies. His stock includes dry
goods, clothing and boots and shoes, and is the most extensive of the kind in the county. He is also president and general
manager of the Kalkaska Manufacturing Company. He has held
numerous local offices. Has a wife and two children.
D. E. McVean, wholesale and retail dealer in groceries, Kalkaska, is of Scotch descent and was* born at Scottsville, Monroe
County, in the year 1842. In 1846 his parents removed to Michigan, and settled in Kent County. His father was surveyor of that
county for a number of years, and one of its pioneers. Mr. McVean
learned civil engineering and took up surveying as a pursuit. In
1872 he came to Kalkaska with a view of locating, and was promised the office of county surveyor upon becoming a resident of the
county. The following spring he moved here and was county
surveyor until 1882. Soon after coming here he purchased a
building begun for a hotel, now the Manning House, and finished
it. He kept the hotel a few months and then sold it. About 1878
he began to deal in pine lands and other real estate, and still continues that business. He has sold within the past few years up-
ward of $700,000 worth of pine lands. In the summer of 1879
he went into the grocery business on the corner now occupied by
the hank. The following spring he was burned out, and afterward
purchased the grocery stock of R. S. Abbott. During the season of
1880, in company with A. C. Beebe, who for a short time was a partner in business,
he built one-quarter of the large brick block in which
his store is now situated. In 1882 he bought out Mr. Beebe and
curries on business alone. He does a large wholesale and retail
business, and is one of the most successful business men in this
portion of the state. He has a wife and three children. Mr.
McVean took part in the civil war, being in service from the summer of 1862 until December, 1865. He went into service with
Company B, Sixth Michigan Cavalry, and at the close of the war
was sent to the western frontier, where he remained until
mustered out in December. He ranked as quartermaster sergeant.
C. V. Selkirk removed to Kalkaska from Van Buren County in
October, 1878, and opened the first drug store in the village, in the
building now occupied by Goodrich & Son. For a time the firm was
Selkirk & Hodges. Mr. Selkirk remained in this business about
three years and was salesman in Mr. Palmer's store about three
years. In the fall of 1882, in company with Mr. Ramsay, he bought
out the grocery store of R. S. Abbott. The firm is now Selkirk,
Ramsay & Morrell. In the spring of 1874 he was elected justice of
the peace, and held the office until the spring of 1881, when he resigned. In the fall of 1880 he was elected clerk and register of the
county, and re-elected in 1882. He has also held the office of town
clerk one term. Mr. Selkirk is a native of the state of Illinois. In
December, 1863, he enlisted in Company I, Seventh Illinois Cavalry,
and was in the service until the close of the war. In 1866 he removed to
Van Buren County, Mich., and in 1873 became one of the
pioneer merchants of Kalkaska as heretofore mentioned.
0. C. Goodrich, of the firm of Goodrich & Sou, druggists, Kalkaska, is one of the pioneers of Michigan. He is a native of Jamestown, Chautauqua County, N. Y., and came to Michigan in 1880,
before it was in full operation as a state. He located near Flint.
He was a mechanic and worked at his trade for several years. During the war he was in the mechanics department, and for some time
was stationed near Nashville, Tenn. For some time before coming
to Kalkaska he was engaged in farming, and his son, L. C. Goodrich, was in the drug business in Flint. In February, 1870, they
Came to Kalkaska, and bought the pioneer drug store of L. M. Mills,
and have curried on the business since that time under the
firm name of Goodrich & Son. This was the first drug store started
in Kalkaska, the business being established by 0. V. Selkirk in
1878. Mr. Goodrich’s family consists of his wife and three children.
Alfred G. Drake, merchant, Kalkaska, is a native of London,
England. In 1868 he came to this country and located at Mendon,
St. Joseph County, Mich. He was engaged in the mercantile business in that county until the spring of 1880, when he removed to
Kalkaska. That spring he built the store in which he now carries
on business, and opened a large dry goods store. He has held the
offices of town clerk and assessor. Has a wife and four children.
C. E. Ramsay, Kalkaska, is a native of Oswego County, N. Y.
In the spring of 1878 he came to Kalkaska from Decatur, Mich. In
September, 1881, the went into the grocery business with C. V. Selkirk. They purchased the grocery' stock of It. S. Abbott, and carried
on business under the firm name of Selkirk Ramsay until September, when M. A. Morrell purchased an interest, and the style of
the firm was changed to Selkirk, Ramsay Morrell. Mr. Ramsay
has been local agent of the express company for the past three
James Crawford, of the firm of Crawford & Clark, furniture
dealers, Kalkaska, is a native of Canada, and came to Michigan in
1872. In the fall of 1871 he came to Kalkaska County from Oakland County, and located on land in what is now the town of Excelsior. He was engaged in farming most of the time until 1880,
when he went into the furniture business in Kalkaska, which he
still continues. He was one of the early settlers of Excelsior and
was supervisor of the town three years.
A. D. Fessenden, one of the early settlers of the town of Wilson, is a native of Susquehanna County, Pa.
In 1861 he enlisted in the army and remained in the service until the close of the war.
After returning from the army he removed to Indiana. He was
much broken in health, and Mrs. Fessenden, being a daughter of
Norman Ross, who had located at what is now the town of Clearwater, they decided to remove to Michigan, which they did in the
spring of 1869. In June of that year they located on their homestead on section of what is now the town of Wilson. Mr. Fessenden
followed carpenter work most of the time, and his sons cleared the
land. In the fall of 1888 he removed to the village of Kalkaska,
and is now carrying on a wagon-shop. They have four sons and
George E. Smith, president of the Smith Lumber Company,
at Kalkaska, is a native of Ontario County, N. Y. In the summer
of 1872 he came to Kalkaska County from Kalamazoo, Mich., and
located on some laud in the town of Wilson. He curried on farming until 1882, when he removed to the village of Kalkaska, and
engaged in the lumber business. In 1883 he assisted in organizing
a stock company, which is incorporated under the name of the Smith
Lumber Company, and of which he is president. He now devotes
his time to a supervision of the saw-mill and lumbering operations
of the company.
Orlando Christian is a native of Mason, Ingham County, Mich.
In February, 1883, he came to Kalkaska from Detroit, where he had
been engaged in the grocery business. He is engaged as salesman
in the store of Alfred G. Drake. He is a prominent member of the
M. E. Society and the lodge of Good Templars. Is married.
L. J. Eckler, merchant at Kalkaska, is a native of Oakland
County, Mich. In 1862 he enlisted in Company G, Sixth Michigan
Cavalry, and was in service until the close of the war in 1865. In
the spring of 1882 he went to Westwood from Ionia County, and
engaged in the mercantile business. In March, 1884, he removed
his store to the village of Kalkaska, where he is now carrying on a
general mercantile business.
James Greacen, farmer, was born in Ireland, April 12, 1841.
He came with his parents to Commerce, Oakland County, Mich.,
in 1847. From there they removed to Nankin, Wayne County,
and remained eight years. From Nankin they went to Milford,
Oakland County, where they still reside. On Aug. 14, 1862,
Mr. James Greacen enlisted in Company I, of the Twenty-second
Michigan Volunteer Infantry, in the service of his country. One
of his fiercest conflicts with the rebels was in the memorable battle
of Chickamauga. On the second day of the fight he received three
wounds, the severest of which was from a bullet which would have
passed through his body, but striking the brass eagle on his cartridge-box strap, immediately over his breast, it tore it to pieces
and glanced, passing through his left shoulder. Thus his life was
spared, but for a long time he lay on the ground stunned and
bleeding, yet finally he rallied and resumed firing on the enemy.
That evening he and a large number of others were taken prisoners.
He was sent first to Richmond for two months, and thence to Danville, and
from there about May 1, 1864, to Andersonville, being
one of the first batch of prisoners ever sent into that horrid stockade.
He was sent from there Oct. 1 to Florence, S. C. There
he remained until patroled on Nov. 26. He readied the
Union lines on the 1st of December, and was sent for a short time
to Annapolis, Md. He was then sent home on furlough to regain his strength,
after which he again joined his regiment at Chattanooga, Tenn., and remained in the service until honorably
discharged at the close of the war. He then returned home, and on
May 8, 1866, he was married to Miss Margaret Morrison, of Commerce. She was born there Sept. 8, 1848. Their children are
Clara E., James S. and Zora Vern. In September, 1874, they removed to Kalkaska, and some two years were spent in mercantile
business, and then they settled in Excelsior, where Mr. Greacen
has in all 240 acres of land, with about sixty under cultivation.
He has on the home farm a thriving orchard of 700 pear trees and
various other fruits, and an elegant residence and good farm buildings. In Milford and Kalkaska Mr. Greacen was highway commissioner and justice of the peace, and in Excelsior he has been
township clerk four years, and since 1888 has been supervisor. He
is also a notary public. He has been county superintendent of the
poor five years, resigning before the close of his term. He is county
agent for the State Board of Correction and Charities. Has served
nearly seven years. He is also county statistical correspondent for
the agricultural department at Washington. Fraternally he is an
William H. Eckler, farmer, was born in Oakland County,
Mich, Oct. 7, 1844. He spent his youth and early manhood in
his native county, chiefly in study and agricultural pursuits. On
Aug. 6, 1861, he enlisted in Company E Seventeenth Michigan
Volunteer Infantry, and served his country over two years i the
suppression of the rebellion. He was honorably discharged in the
fall of 1868. On March 20, 1865, he was married to Miss Almeda
Stowell, also of Oakland County. Mrs. E. was born there Feb.
28, 1847, and was afterward married in the same room in which
she was born. Their children are Ira H., Frank A., Homer C.,
and Luella Maud. In 1876 they removed from Oakland to Barry
County, and three years later they came to Excelsior, where they
still reside. He has sixty acres of land, with about twenty under
cultivation, a pleasant dwelling and other farm buildings, and also a
thriving orchard of apples and various other fruits. He has been
school inspector and school director, and is justice of the peace,
and postmaster of Excelsior P. 0. They have a tri-weekly mail
from Kalkaska. He has also served two years as county coroner.
John S. Baker, farmer, was born in England, March 16, 1885.
He came from his native country to Saratoga County, New York.
in 1852, and was employed there in farming until 1864, when he
removed to Plymouth. Wayne County, Mich. His marriage was
on Nov. 27, 1866, to Miss Mary Jane Updyke, of Galway. She
was born in Milton, March 16, 1888. They have one living son,
Samuel. In Wayne County, Mr. Baker was twelve years in the
employ of Mr. Calvin Whipple. In April, 1876, he purchased land
and settled in Excelsior, Kalkaska County. They have 120 acres
of excellent land, about twenty-live of which are under cultivation.
They have a thriving young orchard of apples, pears, peaches,
plums and quinces, and a choice variety of small fruits, good farm
buildings, and a truly pleasant home. He has served four years as
treasurer of Excelsior. Fraternally he and Mrs. Baker are active
laborers in the I. 0. 0. F.
Col. John W. Morley, teacher, Rapid River, was born in
Bradford County, Penn., June 1, 1845. He spent his early youth,
received his common school instructions and engaged in academic
studies in his native state; but on Sept. 10, 1862, he left his
studies and enlisted in Company D, Seventeenth Pennsylvania
Cavalry, in the service of his country. He first fought the rebels
near Dumfries’ Court House, then at Spotted Tavern, Kelly’s Ford,
Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Here he was severely wounded in
the right thigh while acting as orderly for Gen. T. 0. Ayers. He
was under hospital treatment some three mouths, and then joined
his regiment again. After this he took part in the battles of the
Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Southside;
and in a conflict with Longstreet’s corps, where his brigade captured two pieces of
rebel artillery and drove the rebel infantry before them. He also fought at Front Royal, where Devins’ and Custer's brigades took four stand of rebel colors, and prisoners equal to
their own number. He was in the battle of Winchester, and at
Cedar Creek, having ridden with Sheridan in his famous ride from
Winchester. In March, 1865, he took part in the memorable battle at Waynesboro, where they captured the fort,
four pieces of artillery and 1,500 prisoners. Beside these fierce general engagements Mr. Morley took part in all the scouting and skirmishing
duties of his regiment. He was honorably discharged June 19,
1865. He returned home and resumed his academic studies in the
Camptown Academy. Next he entered Eastman’s College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where he graduated in April, 1866. After this he
spent two years as book-keeper, and twelve years as teacher, in
Sussex County, Del. In that state he took a prominent part in
Republican politics, and was a stump speaker in two counties. He
was threatened on some occasions that if he spoke out his sentiments freely to the people ho would never return home alive, but,
undaunted by the voice of bulldozers, be pushed onward in the
campaign, raised four companies of the boys in blue, and was commissioned as colonel of the Third Delaware Boys in Blue, by Gen.
James A. Garfield, our late martyr President. In the spring of
1880 he came and purchased lands in Rapid River, Kalkaska
County, Mich., and opened a pleasant home in the fertile valley forest Here also ho takes an active part in politics, but his
chief employment is teaching. He is now, in 1884, principal of
the South Boardman school. He has been president of the county
board of examiners two years. He has been school inspector and
justice of the peace in Rapid River. His marriage was on Sept.
19, 1860, to Miss Rosa Belle Follett of Delaware. She was born
in Warren County, Penn., Jan. 18, 1886. They have two sons
and four daughters.
Martin H. Manning, farmer, Rapid River, was born in Catskill, Greene County, N. Y.,
June 18, 1827. He left his native
state for Willimantic, Conn., at ten years of age, and went thence to
Bradford County, Penn., in 1889. From that time his home was
in that vicinity until his removal to Michigan. On April 21,1859,
he was married to Miss Eliza Scarvell, of Bath, Steuben County.
N. Y. She was born there March 17, 1841. Their children are
Frances A., S. Romanda, and Hattie M. On Feb. 19, 1864, Mr.
Manning enlisted in Company D, Fourth New York Heavy Artillery in the service of his country. His regiment left Washington
2,600 strong, and came out from the Battle of the Wilderness with
only 700 men. At Culpepper Courthouse Mr. M. received a wound
in his left eye, which greatly affected his sight and strength. He
was discharged by order of the war department, May 19, 1865. In
the spring of 1878 Mr. Manning located land in section 20 of
Rapid River, Kalkaska County, Mich., and forthwith prepared
for himself and family a home in the Traverse forest. He then had
to carry their suppliers from Traverse City and Elk Rapids. He has
eighty acres of land, with about forty-eight under cultivation. He
has also a thriving fruit-tearing orchard of apples, pears, cherries
and small fruits, and a pleasant home. He is moderator of their
school board and fakes true pleasure in educational progress. Fraternally he belongs to the I. 0. 0. F. and the G. A. R.
Henry M. Crane, farmer, Rapid River, was born of Puritan
ancestry, in Bridgeport, Vt., June 23, 1835. He left his native
state for Henry County, IL., in 1855, and in 1858 he removed to
Ashtabula County, Ohio, and remained until 1863. He then went
to Waseca County, Minn., and lived there until 1869. From there
he removed to Winnesheik County, Iowa. In 1872 he came to
Rapid River, Kalkaska County, Mich. He located land in Section
24, and opened a pioneer home in the lofty forest. There were
then only about thirty voters in the township. He has eighty
acres of land with eighteen under cultivation. He has taught
school six years in Traverse Region. His marriage was on April
13, 1880, to Miss Hannah M. Smith, of Bradford County, Pa.
She was born there May 29, 1845. Mrs. Crane also has spent
about nineteen years as a teacher. Mr. Crane has served three
years as assistant postmaster at Kalkaska. He has served as justice of the peace and as township clerk, and is now serving in his
second term as treasurer in Rapid River Township. He is a member of the I. 0. 0. F.
Albert Mann, farmer, Kalkaska, was born in Vermont, Feb.
14, 1880. He came with his parents to Rome, Mich., in his childhood. His youth and early manhood were spent in study and in
agricultural pursuits. On Sept. 27, 1858, he was married to Miss
Mary J. Ferguson, of Fairfield, Lenawee County, Mich. She was
born there Sept. 30, 1888. They have one daughter, Ida A., and
one son, Elmer Ellsworth. In August, 1862, Mr. Mann enlisted in
Company C, Eighteenth Michigan Infantry, in the service of his
country. He was head cook for his company for eleven months,
but took active part in the battles of Danville and Georgetown, Ky.,
and in those of Curtis, Wells and Pond Springs, Ala. In the latter part of his service he was mounted orderly, first for Col. Wormer, and later for Gen. Cutler. He was honorably discharged in
June, 1865. He returned home and continued his farming enterprise until 1880, when they removed to Section 86, in Kalkaska,
where he has 160 acres of excellent land with- about 80 under
cultivation. He has also a thriving young orchard of select varieties of fruit, end a desirable home. He is assessor in his school
district and superintendent in the Union Sabbath school, and takes
a lively interest in religious and literary education. Religiously he
and Mrs. Manning are Episcopal Methodists.
Robert J. Nelson, farmer, Springfield, was born in Utica,
N. Y., and spent his early youth in Canada. In the spring of 1865
he came to the Saginaw country, Michigan, and remained there
until 1877, when he removed to Springfield, Kalkaska County, purchased eighty acres of land with some five acres under cultivation,
and settled where he now resides. In the fall of 1877 he was
married to Miss Mary Adeline Haskin, also of Springfield. Their
children are Samuel E. and Pearly. Mr. Nelson now has fifty-four
acres of his land under cultivation. He has five acres of thriving
orchard of various kinds of fruit, and pleasant home surroundings.
He has served nearly three years as school director in his district.
John U. Spiess, wagon maker and farmer, Cold Springs, was
born in Switzerland, July 28, 1821. He came to New York in
1818, and went thence to Maumee City, Ohio. Shortly after he
went to Perrysburg, Wood County, Ohio, and settled on a farm.
Since then he has wrought at his trade part of the time, but has
been chiefly engaged in farming. On April 25, 1848, he was married to Miss Margaret Eggly, also of Switzerland. She died in
Maumee in the following fall. His second marriage was on Oct.
28, 1860, to Miss Rosannah Ish, also of Switzerland. They have
five sons and three daughters. In the spring of 1882, Mr. Spiess
came north and purchased eighty acres of land in Cold Springs,
Kalkaska County, Mich., where he is now, in 1884, residing for
the improvement of his health, with the expectation of opening up
a fine farm and having his family with him in the healthful and
invigorating climate of the Traverse Region. On April 11, 1864,
Mr. Spiess enlisted as a mechanic and served in the army as such
nine mouths. On Feb. 9, 1865, he enlisted in the One Hundred
and Eighty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served until the
close of the war. In the service he lost his health and in part his
hearing, and now receives a pension for his relief and benefit.
Samuel B. Phelps, farmer, was born in Conquest, Cayuga
County, N. Y., June 4, 1837. He left his native state at about
eighteen years of age, and came to Wheatfield, Ingham County, Mich.
Four years later he went to Coldwater. His marriage was on
March 6, 1859, to Miss Maria F. Leversee, also of Coldwater.
Their children are Cassius M., Mortimer T., Edith M., Eugene N.,
Bertie S. and Mabel Edna. In 1864 they removed to South Haven
and remained until 1882, when they removed to Cold Springs, Kalkaska County, where they have 160 acres of land with twenty acres
already under cultivation a thriving young orchard, and a truly
desirable home. Mr. Phelps served his country about a year in
crushing the late rebellion, but was discharged for disability arising
from sickness. In other places he has served as highway commissioner and as township clerk and in various other offices, and is
now, 1881, supervisor of Cold Springs. Fraternally he is an Odd
Fellow and a Royal Arch Mason, and glories in faith, hope and
charity, brotherly love, relief and truth. The farm he is now
engaged in clearing is the fourth one cleared by him in Michigan.
George Knight, farmer, Clearwater, was born in Canada,
June 2, 1845. He went from his native country to Rock County,
Wis., in 1857. He remained there until after the outbreak of the
rebellion. On Aug. 17, 1868, he enlisted in Company F, Third
Wisconsin Cavalry, and served the Union until honorably discharged, Oct. 8, 1865. He then came to Wayne County, Mich.,
and engaged in farming. On Sept. 1, 1874, he was married to Miss
Nora Ada Wesemann, also of Wayne County. In the fall of 1875
they removed to Excelsior, Kalkaska County, and shortly after to
Kalkaska village. From there they returned to Wayne County,
and two years later came to Section 84, in Clearwater, Kalkaska
County, where they still reside. He has forty acres of land which
he is changing from its native wildness to an inviting home. He
has between twenty and thirty acres of improvement, a thriving
young orchard of apples, plums, peaches, "pears, cherries, grapes
and other small fruits, and enticing home surroundings. Mr.
Knight has served as school director six years, and six years as justice of the peace
The Traverse Region - H.R. Page & Co 1884
South Boardman, MI (Traverse Street from East) (1911) - Contributed by Paul Petosky