The first settlement made on Section 6. Town 9, range 1 east,
where the village of Morenci now stands, was in 1833. It is situated
on the bank of the Tiffin river (Bean Creek), near the Ohio line, in
the southwest corner of the township of Seneca. Martin Hoag and
Mr. Sherman entered the first land. Dennis Wakefield. Simon D.
and James Wilson, and Ellas Baldwin settled there in 1834.
Jephtha Whitman built the first log house, in which he lived
and kept a store and postoffice. The first hotel was a double log
house built and run by William Sutton. The first school was taught
by Miss Louisa Dell man, in a log house erected for that purpose.
The first church organization was the Methodist, in 1836, with seven
members. Rev. Mr. Staples was the first minister. The first
Methodist church edifice was dedicated in May, 1852, R. R. Richards
presiding elder. The trustees were Hiram Wakefield, Josiah Osgood,
Daniel Reed, S. D. Wilson and Samuel Warner. A Baptist church
was organized in 1852, with fifteen members. The Congregational
church was organized in 1858, with the Rev. George Barnum as
pastor. The first frame building was erected by David M. Haight,
and was occupied as a store. The first gristmill was erected in 1852
by Franklin Cawley and Dennis Wakefield. The first plat of the
village was made in 1852 by Franklin Cawley, who platted an addition in 1858. The first name given the village was "Brighton," but
owing to the fact of there being another village in the state of the
same name, it was changed to Morenci by Mr. Whitman and S. D.
Wilson. At that time there were four stores in the village, the
original one having ceased to exist.
From this time, 1852, until the present the village has steadily
grown in importance and wealth. It was incorporated in 1871, and
is now one of the most thriving business points and growing centers
of population in the county, outside of Adrian and Hudson. There
is a splendid public school system, adequate churches, and a sound
and progressive social sentiment, while the village today is one of
the handsomest and most desirable places of residence in the county.
The business interests of Morenci are large and varied. There
arc two banks with an abundant capital, with surplus and deposits
amounting to more than $500,000. Two brick and tile yards have
recently been opened with good material and very large capacity.
The Chappell Healing Furnace Company is an important industry.
E. W. Scofield, dealer in furniture and undertakers' supplies, manufactures a casket fastener that finds a ready market. The Michigan
Brick and Tile Machine Works is a prosperous concern. The
Morenci Holler Mills Company, merchant millers, is also another
flourishing concern. The Ohio Dairy Company commenced the manufacture of condensed milk in 1902, and consumes daily more than
13 pounds of milk, the product being about 4.800 pounds. In
1902 the Morenci cheese factory made more than 148,000 pounds of
cheese. There arc many more important enterprises that go to make
up a prosperous and happy community. The village is the center of
an excellent farming region and enjoys a large patronage from the
nearby Ohio farmers.
The village has recently expended over $14,000 in laving brick
pavement upon the principal streets, and the business places are
lighted with electricity.
For railroad facilities the main line of the Wabash railroad, the
Fayette branch of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, and the
Toledo and Western electric line furnish adequate and complete-
service. Other public improvements are contemplated.