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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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. Squier, 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
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
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.
To be Continued --