Kalkaska County

History of Kalkaska County

History of Kalkaska Co MI - Chapter XLVI
The Traverse Region - H.R. Page & Co 1884

Kalkaska County is composed of Townships 25, 26, 27, 28, north of Ranges 5, 6, 7 and 8 west, all but four of which are organized into towns. It is bounded on the north by Antrim County, east by Crawford County, south by Missaukee County, and west by Grand Traverse County. It forms a part of the Traverse Region so famous for its productiveness of soil, salubrious climate and romantic scenery. The county is what is known as "heavy timbered" land—sugar maple largely prevailing. The other timber is pine, ash, elm, basswood, oak, and hemlock. The soil is a sandy loam, and exceedingly fertile. The crops grown are wheat, corn, clover and timothy, rye, buckwheat, beans, oats, potatoes, turnips and other root crops—all of which yield abundantly. Forty bushels of wheat and one hundred bushels of com have been grown to the acre. The common yield of wheat is from fifteen to twenty-rive bushels, and of corn from forty to sixty bushels; potatoes from two to four hundred bushels. It is a natural fruit country, growing the finest apples, pears, plums, grapes, cherries and small fruits of any portion of the state.

There is still a large quantity of standing pine in the eastern portion. It is estimated at six hundred million feet—more than is contained in any other county on the lower peninsula.

The entire country, with very rare exceptions, is well watered by streams, originating from springs, of clear mid cold water. These streams literally swarm with speckled trout, which afford the most delicious food, and rare sport for the leisure hours. There are also numerous small lakes, clear and deep, fringed with dense foliage, romantic, chasing away the monotony of the forest, and concealing within their waters an abundance of pickerel, bass and other kinds of fish. The Manistee River touches the east line of the county and flows in a southwesterly direction across its southern portion. The Boardman River also crosses a portion of the county. There is a good slate road running east and west through the county, from Traverse Bay, on Lake Michigan, to the Manistee River. An excellent road from Kalkaska to Torch River connects in the business season with steamboats on the numerous inland lakes in Grand Traverse and Antrim Counties, several of which enter Kalkaska County in its northwest corner. The face of the country is such that roads can easily be made, and there is the purest water in abundance. Torch Lake and Round Lake—the latter an arm of Elk Lake—enter the northwest corner, and into the former Rapid River discharges its waters. The four northwestern towns contain numerous small lakes formed from springs, in which plenty of fish ere found.

A number of the towns in this county show almost marvelous development. Good roads and schools, church privileges, Homing and saw-mills conveniently located, a highly intelligent and rapidly increasing population, together with cheap lands and a good soil, present a most inviting field to the seeker for a new home. The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad traverses the northwest tier of towns, in a northeasterly course, crossing the Boardman, South Boardman & Rapid Rivers. The railroad stations in Kalkaska County are South Boardman, Crofton, Kalkaska, Leetsville and Westwood.


Very few of the early settlers in Kalkaska County, who do not have occasion for remembering with grateful feelings the services rendered by A. K. Fairbanks, then and now a resident of the town of Whitewater in Grand Traverse County, and near the Kalkaska County line. He was familiar with the land in this whole region, and interested himself in going with those who came to this region seeking homes, and aided them in various ways after they had located here. His latch string was always out, and while there was meal in his barrel a neighbor in need was welcome to his portion of it.

The first settler in Kalkaska County was William Copeland, who located in what is now the town of Clearwater, in the fall of 1855, and is still a resident of that town. For twelve years Mr. Copeland and wife were the only permanent residents of the county. About the time Mr. Copeland located there a dam was built on Barker Creek, but the parties did not build a mill, and did not become residents of the county. Mr. Copeland was near the Grand Traverse County line and had neighbors in that direction, but in his own county he was the monarch of all he surveyed and a good deal more. The following is a brief personal sketch of Mr. Copeland:

William Copeland, farmer, Clearwater, was born in Nottinghamshire, England, Aug. C, 182*2. He spent his youth in his native country, and removed lo America in 1844. He resided for a short time at Grandville, Mich., and then spent some years in millwright work in various places. He came to what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska County, then a part of Antrim County, in the fall of 1855, located land in Section 81, and opened a pioneer home in the magnificent Traverse forest. He was the first settler in the county- On July 11, 1859, he was married to Miss Mary Swaney, of Old Mission. She was born in Crawford County, Penn., Jan. 20, 1836 She came to Old Mission when only sixteen years of age, and consequently has had personal experience from childhood of the stern realities of pioneer life in Traverse Region. Mr. Copeland has in all 860 acres of land, with about 100 under cultivation and grass. They have some two acres of thriving orchard, part of which has been in bearing over twenty years. They have good buildings and commodious and inviting home surroundings. Thus while they were The first to invade the lofty forest, the first to grapple with the untold hardships of pioneer experience in the wild domain, having nobly met the emergency, and grandly fulfilled the task, they now enjoy the reward of their early toil and momentary hardships. Multitudes of others also have imitated their worthy example, and the mighty forests of the county already bud and blossom as the rose. Mr. Copeland has been treasurer of Clearwater six years, and has been school assessor ever since the district was organized in 1870.

The second settler in the county was L. A. Haynes, present county treasurer, who located in what is now Wilson, in September, 1866. This year the settlement of the county really began, although for the next year only a very few arrived.

William H. Bockes, farmer, Clearwater, was born in Medina County, Ohio. Feb. 18, 1842. He was reared and educated in his native state. In May, 1861, be enlisted in Company K, Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, served his country seventeen months in that regiment, and then re-enlisted in the Sixth United States Cavalry and served nineteen months. At the close of his term of three years. He enlisted in the Second Ohio Cavalry and served until honorably discharged in September, 1865. He then returned to Medina County, and in June, 1866, he made a tour into Traverse Region and purchased lands in what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska County, Mich., before the organization of either the county or township. The only settler then in the county was Mr. William Copeland. Mr. Bockes then returned to Ohio, and on Oct. 11, 1860, was married to Miss Margaret Cook, also of Medina County. She was born there May 4, 1844. Their children are W. Everetta, Margia E., Z. Cook and Lena 0. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bockes went immediately to their chosen pioneer home, where they still reside. They then had to obtain their supplies from Elk Rapids. Mr. Bockes has in all 800 acres of laud, about 100 of which is now under cultivation. He has a flourishing orchard of apples, pears, cherries, plums, quinces and small fruits, and an elegant dwelling and other good farm buildings. He has served about eight years as township treasurer, and is now, in 1884, serving in his sixth year as supervisor of Clearwater. He has also been for some six years postmaster of Barker Creek postoffice. Fraternally he belongs to the I. 0. 0. F. and the G. A. R.

John H. F. Letherby, mason, Clearwater, was born in England, Nov. 30, 1886. He left his native country for Woodstock, Ont., when sixteen years of age, and remained in that vicinity until the fall of 1865, and then removed to Traverse Region, Mich. His marriage was on April 11, 1850, to Miss Matilda Lloyd, also of England. She was born Aug. 28, 1836. Their children are John W., Mary E., James Emma, Rebecca., Irene Leslie F. and George Herbert. In October, 1860, Mr. L. brought his family from Canada to what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska County, Mich., then a part of Antrim County, and opened a home in the lovely forest of Section 82. Ho was then the farthest east of any settler in the locality. Their supplies came chiefly from Elk Rapids, brought part way by boat, and carried the rest of the way through a swamp to the home. He has eighty acres of land, with about forty improved. He has also a thriving orchard of apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches and small fruits, and an excellent dwelling and other farm buildings. Mr. Letherby devotes his time chiefly to his work as a mason. The farm is conducted by his son, John W. Mr. Letherby has served as county surveyor, township superintendent of schools, township clerk and school director, and is now, in 1884, serving as county coroner. Fraternally he is a Free Mason, and glories in the promulgation of brotherly love, relief and truth.

D.P. Beebe located on section 36 in the present town of Clearwater, in the spring of 1867. He was born in Susquehanna County, Pa., in the year 1838. In 1861 he married Ellen, daughter of Norman Boss, who is also one of the pioneers of Kalkaska County. September, 1862, Mr. Beebe enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and Forty-third Pennsylvania regiment, and was in the service one year, at the end of which time he was discharged for disability. He had been brought up on a farm and desiring to find a home in some new country where land was cheap, decided to try northern Michigan. Accordingly, in the spring of 1867 he brought his family to Indiana, where Mr. Boss was then living, and leaving them there he came up to the Traverse Region and selected a location on Section 36, as above stated. He then brought his family and they lived in what was known as the Jerry Curtis house until he could build one. They moved into their own house the following fall, and Mr. Beebe went at work to make a farm. The next year the town of Clearwater was organized and he was elected the first town treasurer. In 1870 he was elected sheriff of the county and removed to the village of Kalkaska where he still lives. He sold his farm to the county for a part of the poor farm. He afterwards purchased land in Excelsior, and still owns a farm not far from the village. Mr. Beebe is a prominent member of the Odd Fellows and Masonic fraternities. They have four children.

Norman Boss moved from Indiana to Clearwater in the summer of 1867, and located on Section 36, where he lived until the fall of 1882, when he removed to the village of Kalkaska where he now resides. He is a native of Susquehanna County, Pa., and was born in January, 1808. In 1866 he removed to Indiana. Mr. Boss took a leading part in the organization of the town of Clearwater, and was the first supervisor from that town. He has also been prominently identified with the religious activities of the county.

Elisha W. Clement, farmer, Clearwater, was born in Brantford, Canada, Sept. 7, 1840. His early youth was spent in his native country. He came to Macomb County, Mich., in the fall of 1864, and in the spring of 1867 he removed to Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, and in December following settled on Section 14, of what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska County. His marriage was on May 7, 1867, to Miss Amelia Fox, of Macomb County. She was born in Westminster, Canada, May 29, 1889. They have five living children, Charles W., Minnie, Delia, Allena and Anna. He has 200 acres of land with about fifty under cultivation, an apple orchard and a pleasant home. He has a mill in course of erection for the manufacture of lumber, with a capacity of cutting eight thousand feet per day. He has served as highway commissioner one year. He and his family are members of the Roman Catholic Church.

A. C. Beebe settled on Section 86, in Clearwater, in May, 1868. He came from Susquehauua County, Pa. He had served three years in the war, from 1862 to 1865, and came west to make a home where land was cheap. By the time he had settled his family in a home his money was exhausted. He had no team but was fortunate in the possession of a wife who could be a helpmate, and together they did the first work of logging and clearing. Mr. Beebe was town clerk three years and was the first treasurer of the county. The first term of court in the county was held at his house. In the fall of 1876 he removed to the village of Kalkaska where he has been engaged in mercantile business, lumbering and milling. He has a wife and two sons.

Eli Gillett farmer and postmaster, Clearwater, was born in England, Nov. 22, 1833. His youth was spent in his native country. On March 28, 1855, he started for New York, arriving on May 11. Ho went from there to Lisbon, Wis. He remained there seven years, and then returned and spent two years more in England. On June 2, 1864, he was married to Miss Mary Bolton, also of England. Their living children are Jemima, George W., Charles P. and John Elmer. In the summer of 1886 Mr. Gillett returned to Wisconsin, and in the spring of 1868 they removed to what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska County, Mich. They located land in Section 22, and opened a pioneer dwelling in the majestic forest. They covered their dwelling first with hemlock boughs. No lumber could then be obtained. Later they covered it with brick, and after some three years obtained and put on a more perfect and permanent roofing. At various times he has traveled over forty miles in a day in getting their supplies, carrying them on his back over twenty miles to his home. He has 120 acres of land, with about twenty-eight acres under cultivation. He has an orchard of various fruits, and inviting home comforts. He has been school officer nearly nine years, and postmaster of Clearwater postoffice since 1877. In the spring of 1851 they opened a small store of general merchandise, and are receiving a liberal patronage. They are members of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Jacob N. Rickers, of the firm of Rickers Bros., of the township of Clearwater, was born in Holstein, Europe, May 18, 1651. In August, 1864, he arrived with his parents and their family in Quebec, Canada. About two years later they removed to Detroit, Mich., and in August, 1868, they located land in what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska County, and prepared them a pioneer home in the forest. His parents are now both deceased. Their present mill was built in 1882 by himself and his brothers, Julius, William and Carl Rickers. It has a capacity for cutting about 10,030 feet of lumber per day. They also have 400 acres of real estate, with about seventy-five acres under cultivation. They have also a thriving orchard, a good dwelling, and inviting home conveniences. Julius and William Rickers, twins, were born in Holstein, Feb. 15, 1867. Carl was born Aug. 28, 1864, in Montreal, Can. Mr. J. N. Rickers has been justice of the peace four years, clerk over two years and treasurer two years in Clearwater.

A.T. Kellogg one of the early settlers in the town of Clearwater. He was born in Cortland County, N. Y., in the year 1834. Lived in Allegany County twelve years. He was a carpenter and wagon maker by trade, and was in the army nearly a year engaged in building bridges. In September, 1868, he came to the Traverse Region to select a site for a home. He landed at Elk Rapids, and went from there to Torch Lake on a tug boat. From that point he started into the woods without a compass or anything to cat, but fortunately found a settler s cabin before going a great distance. He located 160 acres of land on Section 14, in Town 28 north, of Range 8, built a house, and in November was joined by his family. They came to Elk Rapids, and thence on a tug boat to Torch Lake. From there they walked to their new home, a distance of four miles, their household goods being carried on a wagon. He lived on the farm about six years. In November, 1874, he moved to the village of Kalkaska, and opened a general store where the bank now stands. He also owned and kept the hotel now called the Manning House. He has been engaged in mercantile business more or less to the present time; is also interested in a lumber yard, and in the Kalkaska Manufacturing Company. He owns about 1,000 acres of timbered land, and is engaged in lumbering. He has built a number of dwelling-houses in the village. In 1872 he was admitted to the bar, and in the fall of that year was elected prosecuting attorney. He has held the office of supervisor of Clearwater and Kalkaska about eleven years. He owned the second horse team in the county. Has a wife and three children.

Thomas Lancaster, farmer, Clearwater, was born in Canada Oct. 27, 1844. He spent his youth and received his early education in his native country. In the fall of 1866 he removed to Forestville, Mich. Two years later he removed to what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska County, before either the county or township was organized. He located land in Section 26, and opened a pioneer home in the beautiful Traverse forest. The nearest store and postoffice were at Elk Rapids. He had to carry the lumber for his dwelling three-quarters of a mile, and draw the shingles over three miles on a hand sleigh. The logs for the dwelling, also, they carried to the place on their shoulders. There was then but one ox team and one horse team in the county. On April 16, 1870, he was married to Miss Amelia Ross, also of Clearwater. She was born in Susquehanna County, Penn., Jan. 14, 1862. Their living children are Flora B., Albert A., Roy A. and Tula A. Mr. Lancaster has eighty acres of land, with forty acres under cultivation. He has a flourishing fruit-bearing orchard of apples, peaches, plums, quinces, pears, cherries, grapes and other small fruits, and also commodious farm buildings. He has served as school assessor nine years, as highway commissioner three years, and two years as county superintendent of the poor. He and Mrs. Lancaster are members of the Protestant Methodist Church.

Thomas Hurley, farmer, Clearwater, was born in England Feb. 21, 1857. He came with his parents in the fall of 1867 to Waukesha County, Wis. In April, 1869, they came to what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska Co., Mich. They located land in Section 22, and forthwith prepared them a pioneer forest home. Mr. Hurley has spent five years in the butcher business in Elk Rapids, and has purchased and now resides on the homestead farm taken up by his father. He owns 120 acres of land, with about sixty-five acres under cultivation. He has a fine fruit-bearing orchard and good farm buildings. His marriage was on November 25, 1879, to Miss Charlotte E. Baynton, of Whitewater, Grand Traverse County. She was born in Canada in 1868. Their children are Clarence H., and Bertha Hay. Mr. Hurley is overseer of highways, and also county constable.

Richard Towers, teacher and tanner, Clearwater, was born in England March 9, 1887. He came from his native country to New York in 1855 or '56. Thence he went to near Litchfield, Conn., and from there to Waukesha County, Wis. After some time spent there in farm work and school teaching, and in attendance at Carroll College, he traveled through parts of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Tennessee to Ohio, where he spent some two years at Oberlin College, and then, returning to Wisconsin, resumed his work of teaching. Later he taught in Illinois and also in Iowa. In April, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served four months in the suppression of the rebellion under the first call for three months of service. In March, 1868, he was married to Miss Catharine Small, also of Waukesha County, Wis. She was born in Scotland in 1889. Their living children are Alice L, Edith J., Willard J., John S. and Amy Laura. From Iowa Mr. Towers returned to Wisconsin, and in 1869 they removed to what is now Clearwater, Kalkaska County, Mich. They located land on Section 22, where they have eighty acres, with about twenty-five acres under cultivation. They have also a thriving orchard of apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries and small fruits, and various home comforts. Mr. Towers has been school inspector several years, and is now (1884) serving in his third year as township clerk of Clearwater. He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a local preacher in that church, and also has been ten or twelve years superintendent of the Sabbath-school in his district. Fraternally, he is an Odd Fellow and a Free Mason. There were a few others who settled in Clearwater at an early day, among whom were Varguson Balch, Master, Lane, 0. S. Curtis and Brookmyer, most of whom are now gone from the town.

Mr. M. Moran came from Kentucky in the fall of 1860 and settled in Clearwater. He lauded at Elk Rapids in the month of October. He had started from Kentucky with the intention of going to Minnesota. A sister-in-law whom he visited in the state of Wisconsin advised him to visit this part of Michigan which he did. After looking about he bought eighty acres in the township of Clearwater of Cornelius Cronin, who was at that time working at Elk Rapids. He then bought his furniture and started with his family for his new possessions which were perfectly wild. Lumber had been delivered on the spot for building a temporary shelter, but it was raining every day and rather than take the risk of this exposure of his family to the elements, Mr. Moran bought eighty acres adjoining, upon which a rude log house had been built, paying there for $800, the man to give immediate possession; accordingly he moved out and Mr. M. moved in. The family were a little homesick while backing a stove and other furniture through the woods.

L. A. Haynes, the present treasurer of Kalkaska County, was the second settler to remain permanently in the county, and the first in what is now the town of Wilson. He was born in Livingston County, N. Y., in the year 1829. When he was about two years of age his parents removed to Ohio, and settled in the township of York, Sandusky County. February 24, 1851, he married the daughter of a Mr. Hoot, one of the early settlers in that township, and in 1855 they removed to Michigan and settled in Lenawee County. September, 1884, he enlisted and was in service until May, 1866. After the close of the war his company was sent to Texas. After returning home he made up his mind to go into a new country where he could settle upon a homestead, and in August of that year, 1888 visited the Traverse Region. A friend who had located in Traverse County gave him information about the country, and after looking about, he located eighty acres on Section 8, in what is now the town of Wilson. In September, 1800, he brought his family. They went to Elk Rapids and were taken by team to Smith Lake, where they lived in a lumber shanty about a month, while their log house was being built. William Hough, also of Rome, Mich., settled with his family at the same time, and located on a homestead adjoining Mr. Haynes. Mr. Hough afterward went into lumbering and removed from the county.

The first clearing in Wilson was done by Mr. Haynes. Mr. Hough had some money but poor health, while Mr. Haynes had no money and with pork at thirty-six dollars and flour at fourteen dollars per barrel, it was necessary to labor. During that winter he chopped five acres for Mr. Hough and five acres for himself. He was the first justice of the peace and first supervisor in the town, and as a member of the board of supervisors, took an active part in the first affairs of the county. In the fall of 1800 he went to Rome with his family, and remained there until February, 1871, when they returned and located on Section 7, where they lived until the winter of 1888, when, having been elected treasurer of the county, Mr. Haynes removed with his family to the village of Kalkaska. They have had four children, and buried one son. The first school in Wilson was taught by Miss Ada Haynes, at Mr. Haynes' house, in the winter of 1868-69. The first death in Wilson was that of a son of Mr. Hough, which occurred about 1869.

Thomas Johnson owned the first team, a yoke of oxen. The next settlers in Wilson after Messrs. Haynes and Hough were William Gibson and Thomas Johnson.

Very early in the history of the county a few settlers found their way into what is now Rapid River, the first settlement in this town being made in the full of 1867. H. U. Hill, Horace Rice and his two sons, L. A. and S. A. Rice, were the first to locate and build houses. William H. Ashdon came about that time. Wood, Evans, the two Holleys, Henry Lannin and McCutcheon followed the next spring.

H.U. Hill was born in Ontario County, N. Y., in the year 1825. His parents removed to Chautauqna County. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company G, Forty-ninth New York Infantry, and remained in the service until September, 1864. In the spring of 1867 he went to Iowa in pursuit of a home in a new country, but not liking the climate, did not make a location. He was at that time a reader of the New York Tribune, which was then publishing letters from Michigan descriptive of the country. He was broken in health as the result of his army experiences, but had sons old enough to engage in labor. They decided to try the new country in Michigan. In September, 1867, Mr. Hill came to the Traverse Region. He landed at Traverse City and spent several days examining maps and making inquiries regarding the country. The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was projected although not surveyed. He was of the opinion that such a road would be built, and desired to select a location as near the line of the road as possible. Taking a land looker he visited the present township of Clearwater, and thence into other townships. He finally made a location on Section 82, of Town 28 north, of Range 7, now in the town of Rapid River. He took up a homestead of eighty acres, and subsequently located another eighty acres adjoining. He was accompanied by one son, and they immediately went at work and built a good log house, completing it in December. In October his family came to Traverse City by way of the straits, and were taken to their new home by team. He lived on his farm until the fall of 1880, when he removed to the village. Mr. Hill was the first judge of probate in the county, and held that office until 1881. He was the first justice of the peace in the county, being elected in the spring of 1868. The county at that time belonged to Antrim County. He also held the office of supervisor for several years, and was president of the county Farmers Club for sometime. Married in 1846, at Ripley, Chautauqua County. N. Y., to Climena P. Bigelow. She died Jane 1,1879. Seven children were born to them, of whom four are now living. Mr. Hill is now a justice of the peace.

The first death in the town of Rapid River was that of Horace Rice, father of 8. A. and L. A. Rice, which occurred in March. 1868. The snow was deep, and there being no roads, it was impossible to get a coffin from outside, and one was made of boards taken from the floor overhead in one of the log houses. Rev. Daniel Schofield, of Williamsburg, preached the funeral sermon.

The first team in Rapid River was a yoke of oxen which S. A. Rice brought with him when he moved into the township.

The first school in Rapid River was taught by Mrs. H. U. Hill at her home, in the summer of 1868. The lint school-house was built in 1869. It was of hewed logs and is still standing. Mrs. Hill and her daughter Eliza taught the first three terms of school in the township. Roth are now dead.

The first store in that part of the county was started by James Campbell in 1878, about a mile from the present village of Westwood. This was one of the earliest stores to the county.

William H. Ashdon, farmer, Rapid River, was born in England, Aug. 25, 1825. At the age of eighteen years ho enlisted in the British Army and spent six years in the service of his native country. In 1818 he came to Lock port, Niagara County, N. Y. He purchased land and remained there several years. His marriage was to Miss Mary A. Harmer, also of Niagara County, They had three children, Myron H., Mary M., and William R. Mrs. Ashdon died Nov. 2, 1862. His second marriage was on July 2, 1868, to Miss Miranda C. Dean, of Tuscola County, Mich. She was born in Sanilac County, July 10, 1845. Their children are George L., Edwin S., Alice L., and Annie Grace. Mr. Ashdon's removal from New York State was to Tuscola County. Mich. From there, in 1867, he came to Rapid River, Kalkaska County, where he located land on Section 6, and opened for himself and family a pioneer home in the waving forest. He then had to bring their supplies from Elk Rapids, a distance of twenty miles. He has eighty acres of beautiful land, with forty-live under cultivation. He has also a fruit-bearing orchard of choice varieties of fruit, and an inviting home. He has been four years township treasurer, and five years commissioner of highways. He is a member of the I. 0. O. F.

Henry Lannin, proprietor of mill, Rapid River, was born in Canada, March 8, 1845. He spent his youth and learned the trade of carpenter and joiner in his native country. In 1886 he came to Saginaw, Mich., and spent two years. In 1868 ho removed to Rapid River, Kalkaska County, and located land on Section 6, where he still resides. In 1870 he opened a mill in which he manufactures shingles and lumber. Mr. L. has been twice married. His first marriage was to Miss Mary L. Barber, of Canada. She died in 1875. His second marriage was on Oct. 28, 1878, to Mi»s Lucinda A. Herriman, of Rapid River. They have one daughter, Mary Arvilla. He has been supervisor of Rapid River four years. Hie fraternity is the I. 0. 0. F.

The first settlement in the present town of Kalkaska was made by William Richardson, who came from the southern part of the state in March, 1867. He hauled his goods into the county on a hand Bled, and suffered a good deal from hardship on account of the cold and deep snow. George W. Smith, Antoine Buckle and a man named Gerber came in soon after. There was quite a length of time that there were no additions to the number of settlers. In 1878 the village of Kalkaska was started in this town and its population suddenly and rapidly increased.

The town of Springfield was settled about this time, and was organized in 1871. H. H. Haskin, Adrian Clark and Robert Creighton were among the first settlers. Mr. Haskin came from Traverse City, where he was foreman of the first planing-mill operated in the Traverse Region.

Hymen H. Haskin was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., Oct. 18, 1881. He came with his parents to Washtenaw County, Mich., in 1844, and went thence to Kent County in the spring of 1849. Five years later he removed to St. Joseph County, Ind. His youth and early manhood were spent chiefly in farming and school teaching. On March 25, 1858, he was married to Miss Sarah Ann Rupel, also of St. Joseph County. They had one daughter, Harriet. Mrs. Haskin died Aug. 80, 1855. His second marriage was on March 18, 1857, to Miss Adelia P. Orommon, of Marshall County, Ind. She was born in Jefferson County, N. Y., April 18, 1828. Their children* arc Elthea E., Octavia S., Grant and Henrietta A. In 1801 Mr. Haskin went to California, and was engaged chiefly in mining until June, 1800. He then returned, visited Traverse Region to August, and in November brought his family to Traverse City, where he put up the machinery, and for five years conducted the work to the planing-mill of Hannah, Greilick A Co. It was the first ever operated in Traverse Region. In May, 1869, he located land in Springfield, Kalkaska County, before a tree was felled on the shores of Fife Lake, and before any railroad or village there was contemplated. He often had to carry supplies from Traverse City on his back. In going to his homestead he and three others drew a load of some 200 pounds on a light sleigh from Traverse City twenty-two miles. Through twelve miles of the distance there was no track broken and the snow was two feet deep. He and his family entered their chosen home in November, 1870. He has eighty acres of land with about thirty under cultivation. He has also a flourishing fruit-bearing orchard of various kinds of fruit, and an inviting home. In the early pioneer times the forest was greatly infested by wolves. Mr. Haskin has caught gray wolves on his own premises weighing 100 pounds. Mr. Haskin was one of those who organized the county and also the township. He was appointed by the legislature as one of the inspectors of the first election held in the county. He was the first township clerk in Springfield and served two years. He then served as supervisor the next throe years, and has filled various other official positions.

The first land entered in the town of Boardman by any person who became a settler of the town was by W. H. Leach, now a resident of South Boardman, in the fall of 1870. He did not become a resident of the town until 187-2. The first settlers came in, in the spring of 1871. They were F. Sutter, J. M. Myers, J, S. Ely, J. M. Rhodes, the Wells, E. and C. Luce, S. Heller. Soon afterward came J. McClory, James M. Flagg, M. C. Smith and Mr. House. J. M. Myers was the first supervisor, and Mrs. Myers taught the school in District No. 1 six terms.

The town of Orange dates back to the spring of 1871, when Orange A. Row, A. P. Wheeler and Lewis Deuel located homesteads, Row and Wheeler on Section 18, and Deuel on Section 8. The three men named from Hillsdale County set out in March to locate homes in this new country. They were accompanied by four others who came up here but did not remain. The party came by train to Paris, near Big Rapids, and from there the journey was made on foot. The first night after arriving here they camped out in the woods. There were plenty of hemlock boughs for shelter, but their stock of provisions consisted of one loaf of bread. A pioneer, however, was never known to starve. Persons die of hunger in crowded cities and in midst of plenty, but all the annals of history do not furnish an instance where the genuine pioneer has died of starvation.

The three men first named selected their homesteads, and the preparations for homes were begun. Mr. Bow built the first house and Mr. Wheeler's family arriving in August lived in it until his own was finished a little later.

Mr. Row's family arrived in February and Mr. Deuel's in the summer. James Drake and Edward Davis were also among the first to locate in the town. Their homesteads were on Section 4. Their families came in 1872.

In the fall of 1872 the town was organized and those who signed the petition as residents and freeholders were as follows: James H. Drake, John Dubois, Lewis Deuel, 0. A. Row, Francis Doyel, L. W. Blanchard, A. P. Wheeler, E. C. Davis, A. S. Pool, N. Patterson and Andrew Nelson.

The first election was the Presidential election of 1872, at which nine votes were cast.

The first teams in the town were owned by Drake and Wheeler.

0. A. Row was the first supervisor, James U. Drake, first clerk, and Norman Saunders, first treasurer.

The first chopping was done by Bow and Wheeler.

The first school was kept by Mrs. Mary Dixon at her home.

The first school-house, known as " Row's school-house," was built on Section 19 about four years after the town was settled.

The postoffice was first established in 1879 with 0. A. Bow postmaster. The office is called Lodi. William Barnes is the present postmaster.

The first frame barn to Orange was raised May 15, 1878, on the farm of Mr Row.

The town of Orange settled very rapidly, and by the fall of 1871, the government land had been nearly all taken up. When When the first house was built there was not another within a distance of seven miles. The nearest postoffice was at Traverse City, thirty-five miles away, and from that place the settlers had to transport their supplies upon their backs.

Orange A. Row was born in Monroe County, N. Y., in the year 1887. About the year 1849 his parents removed to Michigan and settled in Eaton County October, 1862, Mr. Row enlisted in Company K, Forty-fourth Indiana Infantry, and remained in the service until the close of the war. Sept. 7, 1871, he was married at Wright, Hillsdale. He was engaged in farming in that county before coming to Kalkaska County, in 1872, as already stated. He lived on his farm in Orange until 1881, when, having been elected sheriff of the county at the previous fall election, he removed to the village of Kalkaska. Since his term of office expired he has been in the real estate business. His homestead farm is one of the finest in the county, there being about seventy- five acres improved and good buildings.

The first settler in the town of Cold Springs was David Horsburg, who came from Ionia County in 1871, and settled on Section 18. He came by railroad as far as Big Rapids, thence by stage to Traverse City, and by boat to Spencer Creek, by way of Elk Rapids and Brownstown. From Spencer Creek he walked fourteen miles through the forest to his homestead, with nothing but section line's to guide him, and not a habitation on his route. He carried on his back fifty pounds of flour and some groceries. His first habitation, in which he spent six weeks, was made of hemlock boughs. While staying in this shelter he was taken sick and for three days could not help himself to a drink of water at the brook only two rods distant. When he got ready to build his house, he went to Mancelona, six miles distant, and got Perry Andrews' team to draw the logs together. L. M. Nye and Nathan Holiday assisted him in erecting his house.

The second settler was Samuel Bigerow, who came from Canada and located on the cost one-half of the southeast one-quarter of Section 20, in May, 1872. He came by boat to the Pine River, in Charlevoix County. There he loaded his family and household goods into a wagon, attached to which was a team be had brought with him from Canada, and drove through to his homestead. Four miles of the way be had cut his own road, which cost him twenty dollars. When he got within half a mile of his place the wagon upset, killing his little boy, aged five years, and dangerously wounding a little girl. Mr. Halverson, who came here a few days previous, heard the noise and went to their assistance. They made a box of rough boards and buried the little fellow by the roadside. Arrived at his destination, Mr. Bigerow built a shelter of elm bark laid on poles, in which himself and family stayed for two weeks. In the meantime Mr. B. cut and drew together logs, and, with the help of five or six neighbors, raised a substantial house. His next operation was to chop and clear two acres and sow it to millet and rutabagas, from which he cut two tons of the millet and dug forty bushels of the vegetables. On these crops he wintered twelve head of cattle, with what they would manage to pick up during the day.

For his family supplies Mr. B. had to go to Elk Rapids or Traverse City, the former twenty-five miles and the latter thirty- four miles distant

The third settler in Cold Springs was Joseph Halverson. who located on Section 20 in March, 1872. He came on his homestead in-May, built a house and remained until the following November, when he went after his family. They came from Fife Lake to Kalkaska on a construction train, and were taken by wagon to their new home, arriving there in December. In the fall of 1878 he sold fifty bushels of potatoes.

Joseph Halverson was born at Fall River, Mass. July 31, 1830. He was bereft of his mother, and removed with his father to Rochester, N. Y., in childhood. In 1841 they removed to Hillsdale Comity, Mich. Shortly after he attained his majority he went to California and was engaged in mining until 1862. He then re- turned home, and on May 4, 1863, he was married to Miss Hattie L. Mead, of Spring Arbor, Jackson County, Mich. She was born in Livingston County, Mich., June 25, 1828. Their children are Nettie, Anna S., Grace and an infant daughter. After marriage Mr. H. spent three years in farming in Spring Arbor, and then removed with his family to California, and continued his work of mining until December, 1871. In March following he located land on Section 20 in what is now Cold Springs, Kalkaska County, Mich. On Dec. 12, 1872, his family arrived and took possession of their primeval forest home. They arrived at what is now Kalkaska on a construction tram. There was no dwelling there then. They took supper in a cloth tent. When preparing his dwelling Mr. Halverson had to carry his supplies from Elk Rapids and Spencer Creek. He bought lumber for his house at eight dollars per 1,000 feet at a lumber camp and had to give nine dollars per 1,000 to have it drawn nine miles to his place. He has eighty acres of land with nearly forty under cultivation. He has an orchard of apples, pears, cherries, plums and small fruits, and an inviting home. He has served as township superintendent of schools two years, justice of the peace eight years, and is now, in 1881, serving in his fifth year as township clerk of Cold Springs.

Allen E. Burnham, carpenter and joiner and farmer, was born in Shelby, Orleans County, N. Y., April 14, 1880. He came with his parents to Washtenaw County, Mich., in 1888, and, with the exception of two years, remained there until his removal to Traverse Region. In August, 1847 he enlisted in Company D, First Michigan Infantry, and served his country in the Mexican war until its close. His honorable discharge was on July 26, 1848. On April 6, 1854, be was married to Miss Nancy A. Squire, of Milan, Monroe County, She was born to Villanuovia, Chautauqua County, N. Y., Dec 7, 1880. Their children are Charles E., William A. and Minnie G. In October, 1872, Mr. Burnham located lands in Section 20, in Cold Springs, Kalkaska County, and opened them a pioneer home in the waving forest, before Kalkaska village was commenced. He then had to obtain their supplies from Grand Traverse and Elk Rapids, He thinks his was the third family that settled in that township. After dealing forty acres and erecting good buildings on his homestead land, he sold it, and in March, 1882, removed to Section 30, where he is again causing the wilderness to bud and blossom as the rose. He took part in the organization of Cold Springs Township; was its first treasurer and its second supervisor. He has also been superintendent of schools, highway commissioner and justice of the peace. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. In the fall of 1864, Sept, 1, he again enlisted, and on November 8 muttered Company B, Hall's Battalion Independent Sharpshooters, Michigan Volunteers (afterward consolidated with the First Michigan Volunteers). He received his com- mission as captain and served until honorably discharged April 10, 1805. His regiment was the first to plant the Union flag in Petersburg.

Elijah Goodwin, farmer, Cold Springs, was born in Cayuga County, N. Y., on Oct. 3, 1842. He came with his parents to Oakland County, Mich., in October, 1845, and remained there until 1878. On Aug. 6, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Fifth Michigan Infantry, served his country about three years in that capacity, and then re-enlisted as a veteran and served until honorably discharged in July, 1865. After the close of the war he returned home, and on Feb. 27, 1866, he was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Urch, of Independence, Oakland County, Mich. She was born there Feb. 8, 1844. Their living children are Etta L., William A., Alice and Elwin Clarence. After marriage they resided seven years in Milford, and then removed to Cold Springs, Kalkaska County, and located 100 acres of land on Section G. Mr. Goodwin has nearly fifty acres of his estate under cultivation, and has a thriving fruit bearing orchard, a pleasant dwelling, commodious barn and other farm buildings. His residence is beautifully situated in full view of the rising village of Westwood, on the Grand Rapids A Indiana Railway. He has served two years as highway commissioner, eight years as justice of the peace, two years as clerk and three years as supervisor of Cold Springs. He is now, in 1884, noble grand in the I. O. O. F.

John E. Rainbow, farmer, was born in Wheatland County, N. Y., April 26, 1840. At the age of eight years he removed with his parents to Canada. Two years later they removed to Coldwater, Mich., where he remained several years, On Dec. 7, 1872, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Nye, also of Cold water. She was born there in 1847. She died in August, 1880. His second marriage was to Miss Libbie Heart, of Cold Springs, May 11, 1882. She was a native of Indiana. In 1878 Mr. Rainbow removed to Mancelone spent one year, and then settled in Cold Springs, Kalkaska County. He has 210 acres of land with fifteen under cultivation, a thriving orchard and a pleasant farm-house. He has filled all the township offices except that of clerk. Fraternally he is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. and of the Grand Army of the Republic. He has served his country three years in the suppression of the rebellion, and receives a pension for a wound received in his left shoulder at the battle of the Wilderness.

James F. McKay came from Canada in the spring of 1878 and located on Section 20. When he arrived here his money was gone and he had to work out to earn enough to enable him to enter his land. He found employment on the railroad and his wife worked In Traverse City. In the full of 1878 they came to their homestead and built a small shanty.

The first settlers in this part of the county had a long distance to go for provisions until James Campbell started his store on the line of the railroad in 1873.

The first settlement in the town of Excelsior was made in 1874. During that year Nathaniel Woodfield took up a homestead and located. The next to hew out homes in the woods were James Elliot, W. W. Crippen, D. E. Wherry and the Hughes family. All moved here with families, except Nathaniel Woodfield, to commence making their homes in the forest, without either houses or roads. At the October session of the board of supervisors in 1874, the above named and other gentlemen who had located in the town at the same time, presented a petition for the organization on the township. In the spring of 1875 the first township meeting was held, fifteen votes being cast. W. W. Crippen was elected supervisor; W. L. Stewart, clerk; L. I.. Eldred, treasurer; D. E. Wheny, commissioner of highways. The first improvement in the township was made by W. W. Crippen, who cleared about five acres. Other improvements were started by each of the early setters. During 1875 quite a number were added to the list, and the immigration to the town has steadily increased from then down to the present time, until now there is a population of 800 or more, and about ninety voters. There are now 1,300 acres of land under cultivation. The largest improvement is that of W. W. Crippen, being about seventy acres, while James Greacen and William Lewis come next, with fifty acres each. At present there is one saw-mill in operation, an Odd Fellows hall and a postoffice. The postoffice that was used first was a large elm tree on the premises of James Greacen. It was probably the largest tree in the county, measuring thirty-three feet around the body, and hollow at the bottom. It flood at the side of a by-road, and those who went to Kalkaska would carry back all mail for parties residing here, who would then go to the "postoffice" and get it. There are now a good postoffice and a tri-weekly mail. There are six school-houses in The town, four of which are supplied with patent seats; one church society and three Sunday-schools, with occasional preaching at two or three points.

Forest Lodge, No. 379, I.0. 0. F., located in the town of Excelsior, is of recent birth, and its history is as follows: Early in 1883 a call was made for all Odd Fellows in Excelsior to meet at the school-house in District No. 2. This meeting was followed by others, it was agreed to build a hall and organize a lodge. One-half acre of laud was purchased of John Lewis, and a building counties, consisting of P. Grands, S. J. Raker, James Greacen and A. H. Clark, appointed. December 17 a dispensation was issued and a commissioner sent to the D. D. G. M. of Kalkaska Lodge, to institute a lodge in Excelsior. December 29 the lodge was formally instituted. The following officers were installed:—N. G., 8. J. Baker; V. G., M. S. Weed; B. S., A. II. Clark; -P. H., E. 8- Carpenter; treasurer, James M. Porter; W. M., J. Stewart; conductor, F. Hotelling; J. G., John M. Guilford. The new lodge started out with eighteen members.

We have traced the early settlement far enough to show the early stages of development in the county. We have not undertaken to give the names of every person who may have located in the county during the period covered; that is not important. It is, however, important to know the general progress of early development. The statistics which are hereafter given, show that in 1870 the aggregate imputation of Kalkaska and Crawford Counties was only 424, and four years later it had increased to 1,259; while in 1880 Kalkaska County had a population of 2,937.

During the time of which we have been speaking, Kalkaska village was started, and its history is given in a separate chapter.


The first Fourth of July celebration in the county was held in 1868, at what is now the Rice school-house, near the line between Rapid River and Kalkaska Township. There were thirty-four persons present, which comprised a good share of the population of the county. The national anniversary was there observed with as true and earnest a patriotism as though it had been attended by the most glittering pageantry. At the close of the day it was agreed to meet at the same place each year, and for three years that arrangement was carried out. By the time the fourth year had arrived other settlements had been planted in the county, and each neighborhood regulated its own social festivities.

The first horse teams in the county were owned by Messrs. William Copeland and A. T. Kellogg, of Clearwater Township. We will now turn to matters connected with the civil history and general progress of the county.

The first Sunday-school in the county was organized at the house of Mrs. Betsey Rice, in the town of Rapid River, July 11, 1869. S. W. Stacy was superintendent. There were eleven pupils. The school was continued until the following October, and a portion of the time meetings were held in the woods. The number of members was increased to twenty-six, some of them walking five miles to attend these meetings. Civilization works great changes. The number of persons who, walk five miles to attend Sunday-school in 1684 is not so large us to excite astonishment. The first term of court in the county was held at the house of A. C. Beebe in the town of Clearwater. CHAPTER XLV1I.

County of Wabassee laid off—Name Changed to Kalkaska—Organization of the County—Acts of Supervisors—Organization of Towns
—Town Officers—County Officers—The Bar—Church Organizations—School Matters—War Pensioners—
County Agricultural Society—Statistical —Postoffices.

In 1840 when the northern part of the southern peninsula was laid off into unorganized counties, the present territory of Kalkaska County was laid off and named Wabassee. In 1843 the name was changed to Kalkaska. The county was for some time attached to the county of Grand Traverse and afterward to Antrim, remaining attached to the latter until its organization was effected.


The county of Kalkaska was organized under an act of legislature approved Jan. 27, 1871, which provided as follows: "That the county of Kalkaska consisting of the territory embraced by the present county of Kalkaska, be and the same is hereby organized into a separate county by the name of Kalkaska, and the inhabitants thereof shall be entitled to all the privileges, powers and immunities to which by law the inhabitants of other organized counties in this state are entitled.

The unorganized county of Crawford shall be attached to the county of Kalkaska, for municipal and judicial purposes. "Joseph B. Haviland, Charles H. Estes and Morris Mahan, are hereby appointed commissioners to locate the county seat for said county. The county seat for said county shall be located by said commissioners during the year 1878. If said commissioners or any two of them shall fail to locate said county seat at the time herein specified then the board of supervisors and county clerk of said county shall locate the same.

"At the township meeting of the several townships in said county to be held on the first Monday of April next, there shall be an election of all the county officers to which the said county is entitled, who shall hold their several offices until the first day of January, in the year of our Lord 1873, and until their successors shall have been elected and qualified. Said election shall be conducted in the same way, by the same officers, and the returns thereof made in the same manner, as near as may be, as is now required by law in the election of county officers in this state. "The county canvass of votes cast for county officers shall be held on the second Tuesday succeeding the election, at the house of John Sheldon, in the township of Round Lake, county aforesaid: and said canvass shall be conducted in the same way, and by the same officers as the requirements of law now provide in organized counties, as nearly as may be, by the appointment by the board of canvassers, of one of their own number to act as secretary to said board of county canvassers.

"Said county shall be in the thirteenth judicial circuit. "It shall be the duty of the register of deeds for said county of Kalkaska, when elected, to procure, maintain and keep in his office two sets of books for the record of deeds, mortgages, and other instruments affecting the titles of real estate, the one to be denominated 'Records for Kalkaska County,' and the other to be denominated 'Records for Crawford County.' All deeds, mortgages, conveyances and other instruments affecting real estate which shall be situated in Kalkaska County shall be recorded in the books denominated 'Records for Kalkaska County,' as the same are now required by law; and all deeds, mortgages, conveyances and other instruments affecting real estate situated in Crawford County shall be recorded in books designated 'Records for Crawford County,' with the same effect, and to the same purpose as the same are now authorized to be recorded by law."


The first meeting of the board of supervisors was held at the school-house in District No. 1 of Round Lake, April 25, 1871. There were present, A. T. Kellogg, of Round Lake; H. U. Hill, of Rapid River, and A. W. Jones, of Kaska. On motion of H. U. Hill it was voted to fix the amount of the bonds of the county treasurer at $5,000. The house of A. C. Beele was designated as the place for holding circuit court.

The salaries of county officers were regulated as follows: Sheriff, $100; clerk, $150; prosecuting attorney, $200; judge of probate, $100.

E. S. Pratt and A. T. Kellogg were appointed a committee to settle with Antrim County.

The Traverse Bay Eagle was designated as the official paper of the county.

The next meeting of the board at which any business was transacted was held at the office of the county clerk at Clear Water, June 14, 1871. Present, A. T. Kellogg, of Round Lake; H. U. Hill, of Rapid River; and A. W. Jones, of Kaska. The assessment rolls were equalized as follows:

Round Lake: Acres, 50,088; equalized valuation $62,530; personal property. $7,980.

Rapid River: Acres, 42,468; equalized Valuation, $51,891; personal property, $8,195.

Kaska: Acres, 44,871; equalized valuation, $55,011; personal property, $1,647.

The board voted to issue orders on the county treasurer to the amount of $100, to be disposed of by him for money to be used as a contingent fund. It was voted that swine be prohibited from running at large between the first day of April and the first day of September each year.

At a meeting held in July, 1871, it was voted to pay the register of deeds $150 for transcribing the records from the books of Antrim County.

At the October session it was voted to raise by tax $3,400 as a contingent fund, and $447 for a poor fund.

The following persons were elected county superintendents of poor: Lorenzo Evans, L. A. Haynes, Martin V. Taylor.

The first recorded opinion of the board upon the constitutionality of any law, was uttered at a meeting held Jan. 2, 1872, when the claim of John Pulcipher, local commissioner of the Traverse Bay and Harrisville state road, was presented for the expense of survey through the counties of Kalkaska and Crawford. After considering this claim the board adopted a resolution rejecting the claim, on the ground that in the opinion of the board, the law requiring this county to pay the expense of surveying said road through said counties, was unconstitutional.

At the January session in 1873, the boundary line between the counties of Antrim and Kalkaska was changed so that Torch River should constitute the boundary. The name of the town of Round Lake was »hanged to Clearwater, and that of Kaska to Springfield.

A meeting of the board was called for June 20, 1878, to meet the commissioners appointed to locate the county seat. Owing to the illness of J. B. Haviland, one of the commissioners, they were unable to meet, and the board of supervisors adopted a resolution, requesting the commissioners to locate the county seat at the village of Kalkaska.

July 14, 1878, tee commissioners met and located the county seat at the village of Kalkaska. At the October session of the supervisors, it was voted to appropriate $1,000 for the purpose of erecting a building on Court House Square for county proposes. The prosecuting attorney was appointed to confer with Mr. A. A. Abbott, with a view of procuring a contract for the lot called and known as Court House Square. A building committee was appointed, consisting of the following persons: S. Bacheller, L. A. Haynes, and H. H. Haskins. The contract for the lot above mentioned was obtained and presented to the board at this meeting. At the January session in 1874, the building committee imported the county building completed at a cost of $1,075.51. The contract for building was let to H. L. Birdsall, and the lathing and plastering to A. W. Jones.

At this session the sum of $2,500 was appropriated for the purpose of building a jail. S. Bachelder, L. Haynes and J. M. Myers were elected a building committee.

At the October session, 1874, it was voted to purchase laud of D. B. Beebe, to the amount of eighty acres in Clearwater Township, also the north half of the northeast quarter of Section 1, in the Township of Wilson, for a poor farm. The appointment of state and county taxes for the year 1875 was as follows:

In 1883 a new court-house was completed at a cost of about $20,000 that is an ornament to the village and a credit to the county. It is without doubt one of the finest in northern Michigan. It is built of red brick and occupies an elevated position in the western portion of the village.


Rapid River was the first town organized, in what is now Kalkaska County. In 1808 a few settlers had located in the territory, and they were desirous of voting at the Presidential election. The territory was thou attached to Antrim County, and the distance to the polls was so great that some would be deprived of the privilege of voting. Norman Ross, then a resident of what is now Clearwater, circulated a petition to the hoard of supervisors for the organization of a town to be called Rapid River. The first town election was held at the house of S. A. Rice, in what is now Rapid River, and nineteen votes were cast. H. U. Hill had been elected justice of the peace at the spring election, and Norman Ross was elected first supervisor. The day following was the Presidential election and the voting place was at the house of Norman Ross. At this election fifteen votes were cast.

The town of Clearwater was organized under the name of Round Lake, by an act of legislature approved Jan. 18, 1871. The act provided that Township 26 north of Ranges 5, 6 and 7 west, Township 27 north, of Ranges 4, 5 and 6 west, also Townships 27 and 28 north, of Range 8 west in the unorganized counties of Kalkaska and Crawford, be detached from the town of Rapid River, and organized into a separate town by the name of Round Lake.

The first election was appointed at the house of John Sheldon, and A. T. Kellogg, Asa D. Fessenden and Calvin Storms were inspectors of election. In 1878 the name was changed to Clearwater.

The town of Springfield was organized under the name of Kaska, by an act of legislature approved Feb. 14, 1871. The territory embraced was described as follows: Township 25 north, of Ranges 1, 2, 8, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 west, also Township 26 north, of Ranges 1, 2, 8, 4, and 8 west, also Township 27 north, of Range 8 west.

The first election was appointed at the house of Adrial Clark, on the first Monday of April, 1871, and H. H. Haskin, Robert Creighton and Adrial Clark were inspectors of election. The town at present is bounded on the north by Boardman, east by Garfield, south and west by county line.

The town of Orange was organized by the board of supervisors at a meeting held at Rapid River, Oct. 14, 1672. The territory embraced was Township 26 north, of Range 7 west. The first election was appointed at the house of A. P. Wheeler, Oct. 20, 1872, of which James A. Drake, Lewis Deuel and Robert 0. Pool were inspectors. The town is bounded on the north by Kalkaska, cast by Oliver, south by Garfield, and west by Boardman. The town was named in honor of one of its first settlers. Orange A. Row. The petition asked for the name of Roseville, but there being another town of that name, Orange was taken instead. The town of Boardman was organized by act of legislature approved Feb. 28, 1873, and embraced the territory of Township 20 north, of Range 8 west. The first election was held at the house of Emery Myers, on the first Monday of April, 1873. Edwin Luce, H. H. Cole and W. H. Leach were appointed inspectors of election. Boardman is bounded on the north by Wilson, east by Orange, south by Springfield, and west by county line.

The town of Wilson was detached from Clearwater by act of legislature, approved March 14, 1878. It comprised the territory of Township 27 north, of Range 8 west. The first election was held at the house of William Huff, on the first Monday in April, 1873. Asa D. Fessenden, William Huff and Empire Stiles were appointed inspectors of election. Wilson is bounded on the north by Clearwater; cast by Kalkaska; south by Boardman, and west by county line.

The town of Kalkaska was organized by the board of supervisors, and the first election held at the house of Charles E. Whitney, April 7, 1873. Albert A. Abbott, W. C. McLarren and C. W. Smith were inspectors of election. The territory embraced was described as follows: Township 27 north, of Range 7 west. The town is bounded on the north by Rapid River; east by Excelsior; south by Orange, and west by Wilson.

The town of Cold Springs was organized by the board of supervisors, at a meeting held Oct. 13, 1873, and embraced Township 28 north, of Range C west. The first election was held at the house of A. E. Burnham, on the first Monday in April, 1874, and A. E. Burnham, Andrew Croy and W. H. Stoddard were inspectors of election. The town is bounded north by county line; east by the unorganized Township of 28-5; south by Excelsior, and west by Rapid River.

The town of Excelsior, comprising the territory of Township 27 north, of Range 0 west, was organized by act of legislature approved March 12, 1875. The first annual meeting was held at the house of David E. Wherry, on the first Monday of April following. The inspectors of election were David E. Wherry, James Crawford and John Elliot. Excelsior is bounded on the north by Cold Springs: east by unorganized territory; south by Oliver, and west by Kalkaska.

Garfield was organized by the board of supervisors, at a meeting held in October, 1880, and comprised the territory of Township 25 north, of Range 7 west, formerly belonging to Springfield. The petition was signed by the following persons, residents of that township: Names of freeholders of Town 25 north, of Range 7 west: Ervin A. Fuller, John M. Calkins, L. W. Fifield, Joseph Doherty, Delevan Smith, George D. Higley, Charles Carpenter, John J. Davis, William Rosebrook, Isaac Eldredge, Philo J. Hen Bey, Delos Rosebrook. The first election was held at the Davis school-house the first Monday in April, 1881. George D. Higley, Ervin A. Fuller and Daniel D. Smith were appointed inspectors of erection. Garfield is bounded on the north by Orange; east by Oliver; south by county line, and west by Springfield.

The town of Oliver, comprising the territory of Township 20 north, of Range 0 west, was detached from Clearwater by act of legislature, approved March 22, 1881 The first annual meeting was held on the first Monday of April, 1891, at tho house of W. G. Barnes. J. J. Harshman, Jerry H. Kniss and David Arres were appointed inspectors of election. Oliver is bounded on the north by Excelsior; east and south by unorganized territory, and west by Orange.

The town of Glade, comprising the territory of Township 25 north, of Range 5 west, was organized by the board of supervisors at the October session in 1883. The first election was held on-the first Monday in April, 1881, at the residence of John F. Clark. Oscar L. Giddings, Oscar J. Smith and Samuel Laughlin were appointed inspectors of election. Glade is bounded north by unorganized territory; east and south by county line, and west by unorganized territory.


Boardman.—Supervisor, John D. Dagle; clerk, Charles H. Brown; treasurer, James Isbell.

Clearwater. —Supervisor, W. H. Bookes; clerk, John H. F. Letherby; treasurer, Robert Morrison.

Cold Springs.—Supervisor, Elijah Goodwin; clerk, Joseph Halverson; treasurer, John E. Rainbow.

Excelsior.—Supervisor, James Greacen; clerk, A. H. Clark; treasurer, Samuel J. Boker.

Garfield. - Supervisor, George D. Higley; clerk Delevan Smith; treasurer, A brain West.

Oliver.—Supervisor, J. H. Kniss; clerk, James Jenkins; treasurer, J. M. Hamilton.

Orange.—Supervisor, E. R. Parmelee; clerk, Elmer Jenks; treasurer, William Richardson.

Rapid River.—Supervisor, Henry Lannin; clerk, Zach. Taylor; treasurer, Henry M. Crane.

Springfield.—Supervisor, John A. Butterfield; clerk, William S. Crooks; treasurer, Henry Howe.

Kalkaska. Supervisor, C. C. Jencks; cleric, A. G. Drake; treasurer, Henry Harvey.

Wilson.—Supervisor, Sperry Storms; clerk, C. J. Clausen; treasurer, Patrick Bristlin.


Boardman.—John Thompson, Asa Purler, James Isbell, Henry Harper.

Clearwater.—Seth Dandas, Uriah Vargasou, George Knight, John Jordan.

Cold Springs.—Albert Farrar, Daniel A. Steele, Albert Barker, Thomas Catlin.

Excelsior.—Abraham Roosa, James M. Potes, Frederick Wagenshuty, John Austin.

Garfield.—John M. Calkins, Delos Rosebrook, Joseph Doherty, Charles Carpenter. Kalkaska — Anthony W. Carroll, Charles E. Ramsey, Henry U. Hill, H. Wright

Orange - Lewis Deiel, W. J. Reynolds, Allison Drake, E. K. Parmelee.

Oliver.— Anthony C. Labadie, J. H. Kniss, James H. Jenkins, Elijah Kniss.

Rapid River.—Sherman W. Beebe, Allen Lannin, Alanson Barden, Erastus Watrous.

Springfield.—Ambrose W. Jones, John A. Battenfield, Ira J. White, Henry Howe.

Wilson.— James W. Mosher, Giles Milke, Patrick Bristlin, William Sheldon.


1871. —Sheriff, William Sheldon; clerk and register. 0. S. Curtis; treasurer, A. 0. Beebe; judge of probate court, H. U. Hill; prosecuting attorney, E. S. Pratt, of Traverse City; county surveyor. D. E. McVean.

1872. —Sheriff. A. W. Jones; clerk and register, 0. S. Curtis; treasurer, A. C. Beebe; judge of probate, H. U. Hill; prosecuting attorney, A. T. Kellogg; county Surveyor, D. E. McVean.

1874.—Sheriff, A. W. Jones; clerk and register. O. S. Curtis; treasurer, A. C. Beebe; judge of probate, H. U. Hill; prosecuting attorney, C. P. Sweet; county surveyor, D. E. McVean.

1876.—Sheriff, D. P. Beebe; clerk and register, 0. S. Curtis; treasurer, A. C. Beebe; judge of probate, H. U. Hill; prosecuting attorney, C. P. Sweet; circuit court commissioner, A. T. Kellogg; county surveyor, D. E. McVean.

1878.—Sheriff, D. P.-Beebe; clerk and register, 0. S. Curtis; treasurer, C. Cronin; judge of probate, H. U. Hill; prosecuting attorney, H. S. Howe; circuit court commissioner, J. H. Boyd; county surveyor, D. E. McVean.

1880.—Sheriff, O. A. Row; clerk and register, C. V. Selkirk; treasurer, C. Cronin; judge of probate, W. E. Clark; prosecuting attorney, A. A. Bleazby; circuit commissioner, W. D. Totten; county surveyor, D. E. McVean.

1882.—Sheriff, C. Cronin; clerk and register, C. V. Selkirk; treasurer, L. A. Haynes; judge of probate, W. E. Clark; prosecuting attorney, J. L. Boyd; circuit court commissioner, C. C. Jenks; county surveyor, E. Mosher.


Burton S. Howe was the first lawyer to locate in Kalkaska County for the purpose of practicing law. A. T. Kellogg had been admitted to the bar and held the office of prosecuting attorney of the county, but did not make the practice of law a pursuit. Mr. Howe was born at Centerville, St. Joseph County, Mich., in 1833. In September, 1861, he enlisted in the Fourth Michigan Battery. At Pittsburgh Landing he received severe internal injuries, and a gunshot wound in his left hand. At the end of eighteen months he was discharged for disability and returned home. He engaged in the hardware business, but suffering from injuries received in the war, was led to take up the study of law. He was admitted to the bar in 1868, and practiced iu St. Joseph County until the winter of 1874, when he removed to the village of Kalkaska, and was the only attorney in the county for about two years. Has held the office of prosecuting attorney one term.

Arthur A. Bleazby was the second lawyer to locate in Kalkaska Comity. He is a native of Ireland and emigrated to Canada with his parents at the age of six years. He attended school there and subsequently entered college. Before completing the course he came to the States, and in 1861 enlisted at Lockport, N. Y., and went into the service with Colonel Ellsworth. He remained in the service about two yearn, and soon after his return north went to Kalamazoo, Mich., and entered Kalamazoo College. After graduating from that institution he studied law in the office of Severance & Burroughs, and was admitted lo the bar in 1873. Having business interests at Niles requiring his attention he went there and remained until March, 1870, when he removed to the village of Kalkaska, and engaged in the practice of law. He has held the office of prosecuting attorney one term and is extensively connected with the business interests of the village. He is one of the owners of the large brick block built in 1880, is secretary and treasurer of the Smith Lumber Co., and vice president of the Kalkaska Manufacturing Co. He also has manufacturing interests at Mancelona, Antrim County.

William D. Totten was born at New Loudon, Oneida Co., N. Y., and came from that county to Kalkaska in 1877, arriving here in June. His first work at this place was logging several acres of land, in what is now the village. He made a bargain to do the work at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, but realized be- fore he had finished that he was not posted as to prices for such work in a new country. He taught school several term-, and studied law here and at Grand Rapids. September, 1880, he was admitted to the bar, and engaged in the practice of law. He is now a member of the law firm of Boyd & Totten. He was elected circuit court commissioner in the fall of 1880 and held the office one term.

C. C. Jencks was born at Dansville, Livingston County, N. Y., and came to Kalkaska in the spring of 1880. He studied law in Kent County and here, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1881. Since that time, he has been engaged in the practice of law, and has taken a prominent part in local affairs. He is circuit court commissioner, moderator of the school board, and was supervisor of the town of Kalkaska in 1883-84.

Willis B. Perkins is a native of Linden, Genesee County, Mich. He graduated from the law department of Michigan University at Ann Arbor, in the spring of 1883. He began the practice of law at Grand Rapids, and remained there until September, 1888, when he removed to Kalkaska, and formed a law partnership with A. A. Bleazby, which still continues. The style of the firm is Bleazby & Perkins.

J. L. Boyd, prosecuting attorney of Kalkaska County, is a native of Hillsdale, Mich. He came to Kalkaska about six years ago and was subsequently admitted to the bar, having studied law at Hillsdale, and also at Kalkaska. He was elected prosecuting attorney in the year of 1882.


The following religious societies in the county have been incorporated in addition to those else where mentioned: The Methodist Protestant Church in Wilson was organized in January 1877. Names of members as follows: Eli Pickard, Lyman Bears, Malcolm Pickard, Sarah J. Pickard, E. A. Sheldon, Lizzie Way, John Way, S. W. Beebe, Margaret Sheldon, George Way, Benjamin Pickard, Norman Ross, Benj. W. Wilson.

The first pioneer Free Methodist Church of Orange was organized and incorporated in November, 1878. The names of charter members are as follows: Christopher J. Schnurer, Eber A. Blodgett, Jesse Decker, Wm. Richardson, E. K. Parmelee, Joseph Doherty, Joseph M. Blodgett, Sidney W. Butler, K. Hartman.

The first Congregational Church of Excelsior was incorporated in April, 1881. The charter members were William H. Eckler, Almedia Eckler, Emma H. Lewis, Juliet Wright, John Lewis, Benjamin Barns, Alison Webb, A. L. Williams, Eliza Woodruff, Charles Bailey, Hiram Bailey, Nettie Steward, William J. Steward, Elizabeth Campbell, Samuel Burns, Harriet Burns, Richard Lewis.

The first Congregational Church of Christ of Westwood was incorporated in April, 1881. The charter members were as follows: Erastus Watrous, Sarah M. Watrous, Eliza Campbell, Charles Leonard, Sarah Leonard, Christian Hansen, Christine Hansen, Thomas H. Paige, Eunice M. Paige.


The annual reports of school inspectors of the several towns in the county for the year 1883 contain the following facts: Boardman.— Number of school children, 176: number of frame school-houses, 5; whole number of volumes iu the district libraries, 86.

Clearwater:—Number of school children, 147; number of school buildings, 8 frame and 2 log.

Cold Springs:—Number of school children, 35; number of school buildings, 2; number of volumes in the district libraries, 140. Excelsior:—Number of school children, 100; number of school buildings, 6; number of volumes in district libraries, 21.

Garfield:— Number of school children, 40. There is only one school building and no library.

Kalkaska—Number of school children, 367; number of school buildings, 4: number of volumes; in district libraries, 155, all in District No. 1.

Orange: —Number of school children, 118; number of School buildings, 4.

Oliver:—Number of school children, 22; number of school buildings, 2.

Rapid River:—Number of school children, 160; number of school buildings, 5. The school-house of fractional District No. 1 is in Kalkaska Township. There are 38-volumes in the school libraries.

Springfield: —Number of school children, 110; number of School buildings, 4: number of volumes in district libraries, 163.

Wilson: -Number of school children, 42; number of school buildings, 5.


Following is a complete list of government pensioners in Kalkaska County, also the amount received monthly by each:

Hilland S. Beach.................................... $4.00

Charles Van Buren.................................. $8 00

Gardner C. Abbott $8.00
Geo. W. Simonson..$8.00
Ann E. Cohoon, widow..$8.00


In 1878 a number of the lending farmers of the county determined to interest themselves in promoting the agricultural interests of thee county, and with that end in view a farmers club was organized. The meeting for the purpose of effecting an organization was held at the courthouse in Kalkaska. Wednesday, July 21, 1878 A committee on permanent organization was appointed to report at a subsequent meeting. August 15 an adjourned meeting was held, of which H. U. Hill was chairman and D. D. Smith, secretary. A permanent organization was effected by the election at the following officers: President, H. U. Hill, vice-presidents, one from each township; secretary, C. H. Metzgar; treasurer, Henry Spence. The object of the organization was to facilitate the study of agriculture, gather statistics for local and general circulation and promote the general welfare of the county. Stated meetings were held for discussion, and the membership of the organization steadily increased.

In April, 1879, it was decided to organize for a county fair, and such an organization was effected. J. E. Rainbow was elected president, C. H. Metzgar, secretary, and Henry Spence, treasurer. A constitution and by-laws were adopted, and a very successful fair was held in the fall of that year. Grounds were provided and buildings erected. This society has been liberally encouraged by the people of the county and village, and its annual exhibitions have increased in variety and interest. The officers in 1881 are as follows: President, D. E. McVean; vice-president, James Greacen; secretary, A. E. Palmer; treasurer, L. A. Rice.


In 1870 the population of the county was 424, including the unorganized county of Crawford.

The census of 1874 gives the population of the several towns as follows: Boardman, 127; Clearwater, 310; Cold Springs, 51; Kalkaska, 207; Orange, 61; Rapid River, 235; Springfield, 109; Wilson, 96; total, 1,259. This included the population in the unorganized county of Crawford. Number of marriages in the county, 6; number of deaths, 16; number of acres of improved land, 1,591.

In 1878 there were harvested 170 acres of wheat, 175 acres of corn, 11,178 bushels of potatoes, 294 tons of hay; 82,715 pounds of maple sugar was made in 1871.

In 1874 there were owned in the county 04 horses, 4 mules, 138 work oxen, 173 milch cows and 15 sheep.

According to the census reports there were in the county in 1874, 309 farmers, one grocer, one druggist, one clergyman, one saloon, one lawyer and eight lumbermen.

The census of 1880 gave the population as follows:—Boardman, 807; Clearwater, 350; Cold Springs, 101; Excelsior, 168; Kalkaska, 690; Orange, 324; Rapid River, 882; Springfield, 404; Wilson, 151; Total, 2,987.
Total school population in 1880, 917.
Total number of votes cast in the county 1880, 695.
Total number of school children in 1888, 1,386.
In 1880 there were 15,397 bushels of wheat harvested from 1,142 acres.


The following postoffices are in Kalkaska County:—Barker Creek, Clearwater, Cold Springs, Crofton, Excelsior, Ivan, Kalkaska, Leetsville, Lodi, South Boardman, Westwood.


This village is the county seat of Kalkaska County and contains about one thousand inhabitants. The village is located on the Grand Rapids \ Indiana Railroad, in the town of Kalkaska and but a short distance from the geographical center of the county. It is a natural center for business and general trade controlling an area of over forty miles square in territory unsurpassed in its resource. There is no town west nearer than thirty miles, northwest nearer than twenty-two miles and none east.

The village has reached its present size through gradual and steady development. There have been no periods of spasmodic prosperity or business booms, but a continuous and healthy growth duriug the eleven years since the first blow was struck upon its site. In the spring of 1872 Mr. A. A. Abbott, then living at Decatur, Van Buren County, started out to find a suitable location for n mill and village site. The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was finished and trains running as far as Cadillac, and work on the grade was being prosecuted as far as Walton. Mr. Abbott visited the present site of Kalkaska nnd was favorably impressed with the location. The county had been organized but the county seat had not been located. He reasoned that a village at this point being on the line of the railroad and near the center of the county would probably become the county seat. The north branch of the Boardman afforded a desirable location for a mill site, and he made a purchase of one thousand acres of laud of the railroad company, Hannah, Lay & Co. and Dexter & Noble. He remained here until August aud then returned to Decatur to complete his arrangements for beginning work at this point.

Before starting on his prospecting tour, Mr. Abbott had arranged with R. L. Thompson, then living at Graud Junction, to join him in the enterprise, should he find a satisfactory location. In October, 1872, Messrs. Abbott and Thompson arrived upon the site of their operations with men to begin wink. Trees were cut down and a log house built for a boarding house. After work was well under way, Mr. Thompson went hack after teams and tools necessary for lumbering, and returned with them in December. Work was pushed forward on the mill and some time in February it commenced running, Mr. Thompson owned and operated the mill. The site and lands belonged to the firm of H. S. Buskirk & Co. During the winter Mr. Buskirk sold his interest to 0. S. Abbott, brother of A. A. Abbott, and the style of the firm was changed to O. S. Abbott & Co. The instincts at this point, however, was transacted by A. A. Abbott, who remained upon the ground and became a resident of the place. Mr. Abbott carried on lumbering operations and stocked the mill for several years. Mr. Thompson operated the mill about a year when he sold it and took up a homestead on Section 36, in what is now the town of Kalkaska.

During the winter of 1873 Mr. Abbott platted 210 acres lying upon both sides of the railroad and commenced selling village lots. At the same time the mill was building, Charles E. Whitney built a log house which he finished in February and opened as a hotel called the Kalkaska House.

During that winter, R. S. Abbott, son of A. A. Abbott, kept a store in a small shanty which he built where the depot now stands. The following spring he put up a frame building where the bank now stands, and moved his stock of goods into it. This was the first store in the county.

Toward spring, Tracy & Kendall began a building for a hotel which was the original part of the present Manning House. It was soon after purchased by D. E. McVean, who furnished the building and kept hotel a short time.

As spring opened settlers began to come in and a number of buildings were put up. Jacob Hunt and M. D. Mapes put up store buildings and general stores were started by Mr. Hunt and a Mr. Groff. A post office was established with A. A. Abbott postmaster. The office was kept in K. S. Abbott's stole and the mail brought up from Walton. Mr. Abbott has continual to be postmaster to the present time. A money order office was established in July, 1877.

In July, 1873, the county seat was located at Kalkaska and a court-house was erected the following full.

The ground upon which the village stands was covered with brush and logs making it difficult to determine distance without actual measurement. Lots located a few rods away from the railroad seemed to he out of reach. The consequence was that stores were built near the truck and parallel with it, giving the business street of the village an unfortunate location.

The business that first flourished most luxuriantly was that of selling liquor. In the spring of 1873 five saloons were running, and full doing a good business. They were mainly supported by men connected with the construction of the railroad, and as they passed along with their work beyond the village, the saloon business became less profitable, and finally was driven out by force of public sentiment.


In May, 1871, a visitor to the village of Kalkaska described the place as follows: "About three o'clock in the afternoon we landed at Torch River camp and took the new Kalkaska stage line, 0. S. Curtis, proprietor, and arrived at our destination about seven o'clock in the evening. The last time that we visited this spot there was only a logging camp in the midst of an uninhabited wilderness. Since then the railroad track has been laid through the county, but the cars are not yet running regularly. In anticipatioin of tho opening of this road at a much earlier period a village had been laid out here and the county seat established. Knowing they had bean disappointed in their expectation about the running of the road at an earlier period, we were not prepared to see such evidences of life and growth as met our eyes when we first rode into the town. In spite of discouragements and unexpected obstacles they had already put on every appearance of a thriving village. We were agreeably entertained at Hicks & Abbott's hotel and after a good night's rest we ..... view the various improvements and enterprises of the place. We found the proprietor of the Kalkaskian "sweet" tempered and confident of success. He has shown his faith in the future of the place by not only bringing type and press, but by putting up a new, large and substantial building for permanent use with stores below to rent. Hicks & Abbott are enlarging their hotel to meet the demands of an overflowing custom, and Messrs. Tyler & McVein are putting up a still larger one to be opened this summer.

Several branches of trade are now represented there, and new ones to be established as soon as buildings can be completed. A large saw-mill has just been completed, and is now ready for business with a full stock of logs already in its yard. The county last winter built a court house containing also rooms for county offices, and also another building which is really a permanent ornament externally to the place, though designed for sheriff's residence and jail. New buildings are constantly going up and village lots are almost daily selling at from fifty to three hundred dollars each. All these improvements have been made in advance of the running of the cars, while shut out from the rest of the world, in the midst of a great financial panic throughout the country, and in spite of the most discouraging obstacles. If luck, faith and enterprise deserve reward, surely the Kalkaskaians must be among the recipients of such blessings. We see no reason now why they should not. It must be the first important town on the main line of the road north of Clam Lake at least. It is surrounded by sufficient pine forests to give it a lively impetus for years to come, and the good farming lands in the country arc abundant and fast filling up with settlers. Even now, in advance of the cars, squads of men daily arrive, who either locate in the village or select some location in the surrounding country for a farm."

The village continued to grow steadily and the various interests of the place prospered. In March, 1874, the Kalkankaian was started by C. P. Sweet, and the interests of the village and county were advocated in its columns.

In 1877 G. A. Sheldon built a grist-mill, and a tannery was built by C. W. Farrand. The former is now owned by A. C. Beebe and the latter by Jacob Hunt.


As soon as the nucleus of a village was formed in 1878, religious work was inaugurate!. Tho first sermon preached in the village was in the sitting-room of the hotel, now the Manning House, by an itinerant preacher. During that first year Elder Kilgore, a Free-will Baptist minister, preached hare several times and a number of that denomination associated themselves together for religious worship, but it was only a temporary effort. A Methodist class of three members was also formed and conducted religious worship a short time. The Congregational society was the first one regularly organized. In the spring of 1871 Rev. J. R. Savage, a Congregational preacher, came to Kalkaska occasionally from Mancelona, and preached in the old school-honse. These services continued until December of that year, when a meeting was held at the courthouse for the purpose of the initiatory steps toward organizing a society. The following named persons were presented to become members, viz: S. W. Stacy, W. C. McFarren, Jacob Metzgar, Catherine Metzgar, Mrs. Lottie Houck, Mrs. Anna A. Sweet, Judith Stacy, Cynthia McFarren. Jacob Metzgar was elected deacon, S. W. Stacy clerk, and W. C. McFarren treasurer. Jin. 15, 1875, an ecclesiastical council was held at the court-house, of which Rev. Leroy Warren was moderator. In February the following persons were elected trustees: W. C. McFarren, S. W. Stacy and A. A. Abbott. Early in 1876 steps were taken toward building a church edifice, and about one thousand dollars subscribed for that purpose. A judicious business course was pursued by the trustees, who sought to avoid burdening the church with debt. The enterprise was forwarded with caution and the building was not formally opened until March, 1880. It was plastered in the fall of 1879 and Christmas festivities were held in the building that season. The seats of the church were made by A. D. Fessenden, assisted by L. D. Curtis and A. F. Smith. The society has had only three pastors, Revs. J. R. Savage, S. 0. Bryant and T. A. Porter.

The first Baptist Church of Kalkaska was duly organized May 18, 1876. At the meeting held for the purpose of perfecting an organization, A. A. Bleazby was moderator and R. S. Abbott clerk. The charter members of the society were as follows: Maggie C. Hunt, Mary A. Hough, Mrs. Arthur A. Bleazby, Mrs. Miry A. Hunt, Mrs. Kate Barber, Mrs. Nellie Carlisle and Jacob Hunt. The trustees were Albert G. Barber, Jacob Hunt and Arthur A. Bleazby. Church officers: Deacon, Jacob Hunt; clerk, Mrs. Arthur A. Bleazby; treasurer, Mrs. Kate Barber. It was proposed to make immediate arrangements for building a church edifice and a building committee was appointed consisting of Jacob Hunt, Arthur A. Bleazby, Albert G. Barber, F. R. Osgood and R. S. Abbott. Tho first pastor was Rev. F. R. Osgood, who came from Clam Lake but remained only a short time. In the spring of 1877 he was succeeded by Rev. W. S. Munger. April 1, 1877, the rite of baptism was conferred on Robert S. Abbott and Miss Lena Hunt by Rev. W. 8. Munger. Nothing was done toward building a church until the spring of 1878, when it was voted to proceed with the erection of a church building and a new building committee was appointed, consisting of the trustees and A. E. Palmer and Lloyd M. Mills. In the summer of 1878 Rev. J. Munro became pastor. He was succeeded the following year by Rev. C. H. Rhodes. The corner stone of the church building was laid with appropriate ceremonies May 9, 1878, but it was not dedicated until the fall of 1879. It was built, however, only to be suddenly destroyed, for Dec. 21, 1879, the building caught fire from a defective flue and was totally destroyed. It was a severe misfortune to the society, the loss being about $1,500. There has been occasional preaching but no pastor since the church burned until, early' in 1884, Rev. S. G. Bruuitage entered upon tin pastorate of the society. There are about twenty-five members of the church in 1884. Officers: Clerk, W. E. Martin; treasurer, Miry A. Hunt: trustees, J. P. Hunt, A. A. Bleazby, C. P. Sweet. The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Kalkaska was incorporated Oct. 15, 187(J. A. F. Smith, C. S. Edwards, N. E. Esty, N. A. French and G. Myers were elected trustees. Soon after the village started a Methodist class was formed with three members, viz: Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Alson Webb. This class continued but a short time and a society was not organized until 1879. In September of that year Rev. Joseph Greenstead came here and services were held in the school-house. The following month an organization was effected. Services were held in the school-house until after the Congregational Church was completed and services were held there every other Sunday. They continued for a time and then the society occupied a public hall. A house of worship was begun in 1882 and is not yet finished.

The officers of the society have been elected as follows: 1881, president, Joseph Bakery-secretary, H. Van Warstrun; treasurer, A. F. Smith. 1882, president, Joseph Baker; secretary, A. F. Smith; treasurer, K. B. Lapham. 1888, Mr. Baker having removed from the place, 0. Christian was elected to fill the vacancy. Since Mr. Greenstead the pastors have been Revs. 0. G. Golden, S. Moves, 0. G. Whitman, C. Becker, G. S. Barnes. The church was made a station in 1888. The new church building when completed will cost about $4,000. During a short portion of this time Rev. J. R. Savage held what were called union services. There was, however, no organization and the effort was of brief duration. Soon after religious work was begun in the village a union Sunday school was organized and very successfully maintained until recently, when the several denominations organized schools in their respective churches.

The first Episcopalian services ever held in the village were held in December, 1888, by Rev. E. J. Babcock in the Congregational Church. There are upwards of twenty persons in the village and vicinity belonging to this denomination, and it is proposed to soon organize a society. Occasional services are now held. Mr. Alfred G. Drake, a merchant in the village, has been mainly instrumental in the inauguration of the movement.


Kalkaska. Lodge, No. 287, I. 0. 0. F. was instituted on Friday evening, July 81, 1874, by the Grand Master of the state, George W. Griggs, of Grand Rapids, assisted by several prominent members of the order from Traverse City and other places. The following persons were duly elected and installed officers of the lodge:

Peter C. McKay, N. G., S. Bachelder, V. G., C. H. Metzgar, R. S., H. U. Hill, Treas.

This lodge has been a faithful exponent of Odd Fellowship. Its first meetings were held at private houses, and many of the members lived several miles from the village. A number of neighboring lodges have been organized from its ranks, and many of its members are now scattered. C. H. Metzgar is the only one of the charter members left in Kalkaska who is now a member of the lodge. The present membership is 55. Officers in 1884: — D. P. Beebe, N. G.; 0. A. Row, V. G.; R. L. Thompson, Sec'y; W. B. Ferguson, Treas. There is also a Rebekah lodge that was instituted in June, 1882.

Kalkaska Lodge, No. 382, F. & A. M., was instituted in 1875, and the first meeting held June 4 of that year. The first officers were as follows: D. E. McVean, W. M.; C. W. Farron, S. W.; Austin Corpe, J. W., George Leibarker, S. D.; A. W. Jones, J. D.; A. C. Beebe, Secy; A. S. Pool, Treas.; P. H. Russell, tyler. Officers in 1884 as follows: —N. A. French, W. M.; D. P. Beebe, S. W.; T. D. Hobbs, J. W.; C. E. Ramsey, Secy; C. V. Selkirk, Treas.; G. W. Wooden, S. D.; Henry Harvey, J. D.; A. 0. Burt, tyler; P. H. Russell, chaplain; Robert Campbell, and D. D. Haven, stewards.

Royal Orange Lodge was instituted in 1879; Henry Harper was W. M., and George Scafe, secretary. The society has enjoyed a good degree of prosperity. In 1884 James Greacen is W. M. and George Scafe, secretary. -

Col. Baker Post, No. 84, G. A. R., was mustered in, during September, 1882, with thirty-five members. The principal officers were as follows: Commander, D. E. McVean; S. C, C. V. Selkirk; J. C, James Greacen; adjutant, J. W. Morelyr quartermaster, A. C. Beebe. There are in 1884 about sixty-five members, and the following officers: Commander, D. E. McVean; S. C, James Greacen; J. C, J. W. Morely; adjutant, J. W. Wilson; quarter- master, M. C. Kidder.

Kalkaska Lodge, No. 880, I. O. G. T., is in the succession of efforts started in 1876. A lodge was then organized which subsequently became inoperative. Some form of temperance, however, has been kept in existence during the whole time. The present lodge is in a prosperous condition. Officers in January, 1884, as follows: W. C. T., 0. Christian; W. V. T., Mrs. C. R. Hill; W. S„ Edgar S. Carroll; W. A. S, Mrs. Maude Hughes; W. T., Arthur Gibson; W. M., H. H. Miller; W. D. M., Adda Gardner; W. I. G., Bertha Whipple; W. 0. GM George Moses; W. F. S., W. F. Ramsev.


The first fire in the village occurred Jan. 28, 1877, and was the first calamity that had befallen the place.

The Clayton House, the store of R. S. Abbott, and the store of M. D. Mapes, were totally destroyed by fire. The Clayton House was occupied by Coakley & Moore, and the store of M. D. Mapes by J. H. Collins as a grocery. The loss to the village was a serious one, and fell heavily upon individuals who were ill able to bear it.

The losses were in amount about as follows: Clayton House, about three thousand dollars. No insurance. It was owned by W. C. Abbott, with an interest by Hicks of about $800 and 0. S. Abbott & Co. of about $400.

R. S. Abbott, on building, $1,000. Insured for $500. The loss on stock fully insured.

M. D. Mapes about $2,000. Insured for $500. J. H. Collins, on stock, $300. Insured for $500.

W. C. Abbott, in addition to the building, lost a large portion of the hotel furniture, which was owned by him. Also a portion of the furniture and provisions in his dwelling, in the rear of the store of R. S. Abbott. Jacob Hunt, who occupied rooms in the upper story of the same building, was a considerable loser in furniture and provisions—probably $200.

The fire broke out about two o'clock a. m., on the outside of the front of the Clayton House. When first discovered the fire had made but little progress, and was burning between the siding and ceiling. It was supposed to have been, and undoubtedly was the work of an incendiary. An attempt was made only a few weeks before to burn this house in precisely the same way.


School District No. 1, Kalkaska, was organized at a meeting held May 17, 1873. The district consisted of the south half of Sections 7, 8, !), and all of Sections 10, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. L. H. Birdsall was chosen chairman, and W. S. Kendall, secretary. Mr. Mapes whs elected moderator, W. S. Kendall, director, and A. A. Abbott, assessor. It was voted to raise one hundred and seventeen dollars for teachers' salary and one hundred dollars for building a school-house.

The proprietor of the village site offered the board an acre of land for school purposes, for one dollar, which offer was accepted. The house of M. Pool was hired at one dollar per week for a school- house, until the new school building should be completed. Miss Lizzie Farnham was hired at a salary of eight dollars per week to teach for a term of twelve weeks from June 2, 1873. The school- house was finished ready for use, the following November.

At the meeting held Sept. 1, 1873, it was voted to raise three hundred dollars for school purposes. The second teacher was Miss L. Pratt. The board voted to open the school-house for singing and divine service.

The third teacher was Miss Emma Bachelder, who was paid seven dollars per week. Following Miss Bachelder was Ella Birdsall. The first male teacher was 0. S. Curtis, who was engaged to teach three and one half months, commencing Nov. 10, 1874, at a salary of $45 per month.

In the summer of 1874 the question of building a good frame school-house was agitated by the board, and in February, 1875, it was decided to borrow the sum of three thousand dollars on the bonds of the district for that purpose. In June, 1875, the contract was let to Myers and Gurnsey. The building was finished and accepted the following November. The location of the school- house was on Lots 14, 15, 16 and 17, Block 2, of the recorded plat of the village of Kalkaska.

In 1877 the schools were divided into primary and grammar departments, and Mrs. M. D. McVean elected teacher in the grammar department, and Miss Jennie Kellogg, teacher of the primary department.

At the annual meeting in September, 1882, a graded school district was organized, and it was voted to institute a school district library. The teachers engaged were Elmer E. Rogers, Florence L. Elms, and Ella E. Taber. The old Masonic hall on Third Street was hired for school purposes.

In 1888 it was found necessary to enlarge the school building and contract was let to Empire Stites to build a wing at a cost of $464.

At the annual meeting in July, 1878, $1,550 were voted for teachers' salary; $450 for contingent fund and $50 for library fund. It was also voted to purchase Lots 3,4, 5,6,7 and 13, in Block 2 for school purposes.

In July, 1883, it was voted to bond the district in the sum of five thousand dollars for the purpose of purchasing a school site and the erection of a school building. Plans and specifications have been adopted, and it is expected that the new building will be erected in 1884.

The teachers in 1884 are as follows: William E. Martin, principal; Miss Florence L. Elms, intermediate; Miss Ella E. Taber, 1st primary; Miss Hattie E. Borden, 2d primary. The trustees are Alf. G. Drake, A. E. Palmer, C. C. Jencks, A. A. Abbott and C. P. Sweet.

Officers of the board: A. A. Abbott, director; C. C. Jencks, moderator, and Alf. G. Drake, assessor.

The male teachers have been C. S. Edwards, now judge of probate of Antrim County; Alexander Hadlock, now professor of mathematics in Kalamazoo College; W. F. Hubbard, still teaching in another locality, and W. E. Martin, the present principal.


The first physician in the village of Kalkaska was Dr. E. Morgan, who was a resident of the county several years. In the spring of 1884 the profession is represented in the village as follows: B. C. Elms, M. D., homeoeopathist, is a native of La Fayetteville, N. Y. In September, 1863, he enlisted in the Fourth Michigan Battery, and was in the service until the close of the war. In the spring of 1880 he graduated from the Chicago Homoeopathic College. He practiced in Chicago until the fall of 1880, when he located at Kalkaska, where he is still engaged in practice, F. R. Boyd, M. D., a physician of the regular school, is a native of Genesee County, N. Y. He was in practice in Hillsdale County from 1875 to 1881. He then came to Kalkaska and remained a year, when he went to Berrien County. In the fall of 1882 he returned to Kalkaska, where he is now engaged in practice. Zina Pitcher, M. D., is a native of Detroit, and spent his early years in that city, mostly as a student. He graduated from the city schools and afterward receive I private instruction. Taking up the study of medicine he pursued it vigorously, finally graduating from the Michigan College of Medicine at Detroit early in 1883% He practiced a short time there, and in the spring of 1883 located in Kalkaska, where he is acquiring an extensive practice.


The first hotels in what is now the village of Kalkaska, were kept in tents near the river. This was in the early part of 1878 and during the time that preparations tor building were in progress. Iu February, 1873, Mr. Charles E. Whitney completed a log house which was kept as a hotel, and called the Kalkaska House. It was a primitive affair, but to the extent of its accommodations is Baid to have been well kept.

The same winter Messrs. Tracy & Kendall began to build what is now the Manning House, or rather the original part of it. Before it was finished it was sold to Tyler & McVean, who fitted it up and kept it as a hotel a few months, when Mr. McVean sold to H. E. Tyler. Mr. Tyler subsequently sold to A. T. Kellogg, and in 1882 the property was purchased by James L. Manning, the present proprietor. It is now a three-story frame building and well arranged for hotel use.

The Clayton House was burned in the fire of 1874 and never rebuilt.

The Kidder House was built by Kidder & Abbott in the fall of 1882. It is now kept by Mason C. Kidder, who purchased Mr. Abbott's interest in the property. It is a substantial frame building situated opposite the depot. Mr. Kidder is an old resident of Michigan, having come to the state from Maine in 1854, and was engaged in fishing at Beaver Island and other points. In 1857 he went to Grand Rapids and was there twelve years, with the exception of two years, which he served in the war. Iu 18(59 he went into the town of Algona where he built a mill and engaged in lumbering. In the fall of 1880 he came to Kalkaska County and was lumbering on pine land which he owned here, until 1882, when he went into the hotel business as above stated. He still owns an excellent farm in Kent County.


Nov. 9, 1882, the firm of Wylie, Bleazby A Co. began a banking business in one part of the room occupied by Bannard's drug store. In September, 1883, they purchased the building which had been begun on the comer of Cedar and Third Streets, by Messrs. Goodrich k Son. The building was finished and fitted up for banking purposes. Dec. 1, 1883, Mr. Bleazby withdrew, and the firm was changed to Wylie, Curtis ft Co. Mr. Bleazby's interest was transferred to James R. Wylie and W. L. Curtis, of the Petoskey bank, and Walter Wylie, of Kalkaska. The last named gentleman has the management of the business. He came to Kalkaska about the time the business was started in 1882 from Allegan County, Mich. He is a native of that county, and was engaged in the mercantile business at Martin in that county.


The Kalkaska Manufacturing Company is a stock company, and was organized in 1883, with a capital of $50,000, for the purpose of manufacturing druggists' boxes and sample wooden ware. The buildings were erected and work commenced in December.

The site purchased was the French & Palmer plant for manufacturing hoops. The officers of the company are as follows: President, A. E. Palmer; vice-president, A. A. Bleazby; secretary, J. J. Williams; treasurer, Walter Wylie; directors, the stockholders already named, and A. C. Beebe. The works give employment to about eighteen hands.

The Smith Lumber Company was organized in 1883, and purchased the saw-mill property that formed the nucleus of the village.

The mill has had various owners and varied fortunes since it first began operations. The present company was organized with a capital stock of $25,000. George E. Smith is presilent; A. A. Bleazby, secretary and treasurer, and D. E. McVean, vice-president; directors, George Smith, D. E. McVean, Robert Campbell, and A. A. Bleazby. The company manufacture lumber, lath and shingles.

There are also a grist-mill built by George Sheldon, and now owned by A. C. Beebe; planing-mill built in fall of 1882 by John Woodward & Son, the tannery of Jacob Hunt, and the usual variety of smaller industries.


The high order of public morals that prevails in the village of Kalkaska has much to do with the healthfulness of its prosperity and the stability of its interests. Churches are well sustained and religious interests are fostered by the masses. Educational matters are carefully attended to and the youth of the village are liberally provided with educational advantages. The school-house was one of the first buildings of the place, and the new school building to be erected in 1884, at a cost of about $6,000, is a monument to the intelligent enterprise of the people. The temperance sentiment of the community is a prominent feature. There is not a public liquor or beer saloon in the county of Kalkaska, nor has any been allowed to exist any considerable time for several years. The business and representative men of the village, while in no sense fanatical in their theories, are sturdy advocates of sobriety and good morals. They unite in their opposition to drunkenness and anything which is a menace to good order and the safety of the youth. Several attempts have been made to establish an open saloon but none have been successful. In 1877 the danger of an open saloon threatened the community, and the temper of the people may be seen in resolutions adopted at that time. These resolutions were signed by all, or nearly all, the business and representative men of the village, and read as follows: Whereas, An establishment for the sale of intoxicating liquor has been, or is about to be opened in this village; and Whereas, We believe that such an institution will work a great injury to this community; will retard and hinder the progress and prosperity of the town; will tend to corrupt morals, destroy peace, prevent good order, create idleness, disturbance and crime; and

Whereas, We regard the sale of liquor to working-men whose families depend upon their earnings for support, us nothing short of absolute robbery; and

Whereas, We believe the person who is engaged in an attempt to establish this infamous traffic well knew, and does know, that a large majority of the citizens of Kalkaska are temperate and order- loving people, and opposed to the sale of liquor in their midst; therefore

Resolved, That we consider the attempt to establish such a concern a flagrant insult to the people of this village and county.

Resolved, That we will use every honorable and legal means in our power to prevent the sale of this deadly poison.

Resolved, That we will use our influence at all times and under all circumstances to prevent our citizens from paying their money for liquor, which leads to poverty and degradation.

Resolved, That we will, under no circumstances, patronize or countenance a person who will thus thrust himself and his damnable wares upon a community that spurns his calling and repudiates his claims to manhood.

Resolved, That we will stand by each other, as one common brotherhood, in every effort that may be made to carry out the principles herein set forth.


The Kalkaskaian was the first newspaper published in Kalkaska County. It was first issued March 6, 1874. In January of that year Charles P. Sweet came to Kalkaska from Van Buren County with the view of starting a newspaper at the county seat. He first established his printing office in the Mapes Building, where he carried on business until he erected a building of his own, which is now occupied as a harness shop and is known as the Kalkaskaian building. He remained there until the new brick block was completed in 1880, when he removed to rooms in the second story. The Kalkaskaian is a Republican newspaper and has always been an earnest advocate of local interests. Mr. Sweet is a native of Vermont and began newspaper publishing in 1800, at Paw Paw, where he published the True Northerner. Subsequently be published the Tribune at Decatur, then the True Northerner again, and still later was connected with the Michigan Herald, published at Kalamazoo. He also published the Mendonian, at Mendon. He has held the office of prosecuting attorney of the county, supervisor, justice of the peace and various other local offices. In connection with his newspaper he has carried on a law and real estate business. In 1870 be platted an addition to the village of Kalkaska. He is one of the owners of the big brick block built in 1880. He also carries on a clothing store in addition to his other business interests.

The Kalkaska Leader, a Republican newspaper, was started in May, 1878, by Dennis & Tinklepaugh. The paper was started as a seven-column folio and has since been changed in form to a six- column quarto. The publishers are both natives of Wayne County, N. Y., and came from that county to Kalkaska in 1868.

SEE MORE ---- Village of South Boardman & other Cities Chapter XLIX Pg 329