Livingston Co. Michigan

History of Livingston Ellis, Franklin, 1828-1885.,
Everts & Abbott. 1880 Philadelphia: Everts & Abbott, 1880.

The northwest corner of Genoa township is at the geographical centre of Livingston County. The township is bounded north by Oceola, east by Brighton, south by Hamburg, and west by Marion. It is crossed diagonally, near the centre, from southeast to northwest, by the Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad, upon which is a flag-station at the corner of sections 14, 15, 22, and 23. The old “Grand River road,” now a toll turnpike, extends across the northern portion of the town, and through some of its best-improved parts. On section 6 the Ann Arbor road leaves the first-named highway, and after a course of several miles enters Hamburg from section 33.

The water area of Genoa is extensive, although no streams of note flow within the township. Numerous lakes, which are peculiar to and characteristic of Michigan, exist, of greater or less area. Of these the finest is Long Lake, on sections 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11. Its shores are for the most part wooded, and abound in pleasant camping and fishing resorts. Much of the lake is shallow, and filled with the grassy growth common to the waters of the county. This pleasant sheet of water was one of the prominent landmarks known to the early settlers, and more than one pioneer camped with his family on its shore and admired its beauty. The origin of its name is apparent when a glance is taken at the map, or at the lake itself. Its length is about one and three-fourths miles, and its average width in the neighborhood of one-fourth of a mile.

Crooked Lake, lying south of the centre of the township, on sections 21, 22, 27, and 28, is a large body of water, of such peculiar form as to render its name appropriate. In its southern arm are several small islands, as shown on the map. Its outlet flows south, and furnishes power at least at one point before it joins the Huron, viz., at Petteysville, in Hamburg township. Peet, Lime, and other lakes in the township, some of which are not possessed of names, are of lesser area. Round Lake lies partially in Oceola and partly in the northwest part of Genoa. Ore Creek, after leaving the township of Brighton, crosses the southeast corner of Genoa, in which it receives one or two small tributaries. Tamarack swamps are common in portions of the township, and open marshes are met with in numerous places.

The general surface of the township of Genoa is undulating, with occasional fertile plains, and, in the southern portion, high gravel ridges. Its soil is generally productive, and many of its farms are improved to an extent which gives evidence of their value, as well as the thrift and enterprise of their owners. The township has not as large an area available for agricultural purposes as some others in the county, yet it ranks among the first in importance, and is strictly a farming township.


The following is a list of those who entered land in what is now Genoa township, together with the sections upon which they located and the years in which the entries were made: Section 1.—1835, Alvin F. Benjamin, William S. Conely; 1836, Peter Duross, Erastus Kellogg, Alvin Norton, Andrew Lamb, John W. Williams, Valentine Strack, Horace R. Hudson; 1837, William Placeway.

Section 2.—1835, Chester Hazard; 1836, James M. Murray, Erastus Kellogg, Abram Hankins, Joseph Placeway, John White; 1837, Amasa Dean; 1838, John Clark.

Section 3.—1835, John L. Martin; 1836, Benjamin Earl, Benjamin J. Boutwell, Erastus Watrous, Richard Brown, John White; 1837, William Jacobs; 1853, Charles P. Bush, J. J. Bush.

Section 4.—1835, Samuel West, John Ellis, John L. Martin; 1836, Benjamin Earl, John Earl, John Ellis, John F. Law. son; 1837, Cornelius W. Burwell.

Section 5.—1833, John Drew; 1835, John Asahel Dibble; 1836, Asahel Dibble, John Ellis; 1837, Cornelius W. Burwell, Orson Elliott.

Section 6.—1835, Asa Cobb, William Shaft, Asahel Dibble, Flavius J. B. Crane; 1836, Horace M. Comstock, Mark Healey, B. B. Kercheval.

Section 7.—1834, Ely Barnard; 1835, Edward Latson, William Shaft; 1836, Asahel Dibble, William Burr Curtis, Peter Shaft; 1837, David Parker, Asahel Dibble.

Section 8.—1834, Ely Barnard; 1835, John Ellis, Asa Cobb, Jr., Jacob Vandewalker.

Section 9.—1834, Zachariah Sutton; 1835, Samuel West, Neil F. Butterfield, Lucius H. Peat; 1836, William P. Patrick; 1837, John F. Lawson.

Section 10.—1833, John Whyte; 1834, Jehiel Barron; 1835, John White; 1836, Horace H. Comstock; 1837, Steward H. Hazard; 1853-54, Charles P. Bush.

Section 11.—1835, Jacob Euler, Lavina Robbins, Thomas Pinckney, Chester Hazard; 1836, Steward Hazard, Oren Rhoades, Lucius H. Peet, Pamelia, Lavina, and Jane E. Ward, John White.

Section 12.—1835, Alvin F. Benjamin, Peter Euler, George Henry Zulauf, Aaron H. Kelley, John Euler; 1836, Peter Duross, John J. Brown, Elisha Hodgman; 1837-47, Lawrence Euler.

Section 13.—1834, Alexander Fraser, Thomas Pinckney, Charles A. Green; 1835, Mansing Hathaway, Alvin F. Benjamin, Roswell Barns; 1836, Horace H. Comstock, Benjamin J. Boutwell, Nehemiah Boutwell.

Section 14.—1835, Lucius H. Peet, Neil F. Butterfield, Isaiah P. Robbins, Abigail A. R. Pinckney; 1836, Mark Healey and B. B. Kerchcval; 1837, Philip Coon.

Section 15.—1835, Isaiah P. Robbins, Peter McDerby; 1836, William Miller, Mark Healey and B. B. Kercheval, Jacob Fishbeck, Charles Benedict, Patrick Bogan, Samuel Sewall.

Section 16 (school lands).—1846, Freeman Fishbeck; 1851, Jacob Fishbeck, Charles Benedict; 1853, Hans Russell, William Crostick, John E. Dorn, William Van Blarcom, James O’Hara, John Duffy, John Bogan, Freeman Fishbeck; 1854, Catharine McGark, Charles Benedict.

Section 17.—1834, Ely Barnard ; 1835, Asa Cobb, Pardon Barnard, Elias Davis,Joseph Rider; 1836, Isaac Morse, David Pierce, Henry Williams.

Section 18.—1834, Ely Barnard; 1835, Pardon Barnard, Jr., Josiah Ward; 1836, George Babcock, Timothy R. Bennett, William T. Curtis, Lawrence Noble, Asahel Dibble; 1854, Richard Britten.

Section 19.—1835, Timothy R. Bennett, Reuben Moore ; 1836, Richard Britten, John Tompkins, Enoch Webster, Samuel W. Baldwin, Joseph Bower, Lawrence Noble, Samuel Sewall; 1837, Consider Crapo.

Section 20.—1835, James H. Cole; 1836, Elias Davis, Amariah Hammond, Hubbard McCloud, Henry S. Lisk, Margaret Cantine, Caleb Curtis; 1838, Wm. T. Curtis; 1854, James Welch.

Section 2l.-—1835, Freeman Fishbeck, David Pierce, Jemima Fishbeck; 1836, William B. Yauger, Charles Benedict, Abram Cantine, Freeman Fishbeck, Philip Fishbeck; 1854, William Suhr, Alexander Carpenter.

Section 22.—1835, Peter McDerby; 1836, Chauncey Symonds, Lawrence Euler, John Magee, Gardner Carpenter; 1837, Daniel Jones, Peter Coon; 1840, Rodman Stoddard; 1850, Lewis Dorr; 1854, William Suhr, Joseph M. Gilbert.

Section 23.—1836, Henry Smith, Martin Hartman, Charles Conrad, Hazard Newton; 1837, Henry Smith, George Ranscher, Catharine Hartman, Henry Foster, William Hacker; 1838, Moses O. Jones; 1839, Henry Bush; 1852, Jacob Conrad.

Section 24.—1835, Chester Hazard; 1836, Benjamin J. Boutwell, Mark Healey, B. B. Kercheval, Charles S. Emerson.

Section 25.—1833, Almon Maltby; 1835, Joseph Brown, Jr.; 1836, Mark Healey, B. B. Kercheval, Hiram Olds; 1837, Truman B. Worden; 1839, Grace Thomson; 1847, John Cushing.

Section 26.—1836, Nathaniel Carr, Henry Earl, Justin Willey ; 1838, Francis W. Brown; 1839, Daniel S. O’Neal; 1840, Nathaniel Carr; 1854, John Bauer, Gustav Baetcke.

Section 27.—1835, Herman C. Hause; 1836, Nathan Hawley, John D. Robinson, Luther H. Hovey, Henry Hand; 1837, Charles Weller; 1838, Moses O. Jones, Betsey McMulling; 1856, Philip Conrad.

Section 28.—1835, Nicholas Kristler, William Hannon, Herman C. Hause; 1836, Justus J. Bennett, Amariah Hammond, Daniel B. Harmon, Norman L Gaston, Abner Ormsby, Margaret Cantine; 1854, Alexander Carpenter; 1857, Edward N. H. Bode.

Section 29.—1835, Nicholas Kristler, David Hight, Daniel Jessup; 1836, Reuben Haight, Ira White, Caleb Curtis, Byram Timmons, Patrick Smith, Asahel Dibble.

Section 30.—1835, Reuben Moore; 1836, Richard Britten, John Jennings, Enoch Webster, Patrick Smith, Samuel Sewall, William L. Tompkins; 1837, Jonathan P. King, Nicholas Fishbeck; 1846, Jacob D. Gall ; 1854, Matthew Brady.

Section 31.—1837, John B. Britten, Samuel Dean, Michael Fuhay; 1838, James Collins, Joseph Gruver; 1847, Seymour Phillips; 1850, Matthew Brady; 1853, Philip Brady.

Section 32.—1836, Parley Phillips, Henry Phillips, David Hight, David Wells, Francis A. Fisk; 1837, William Blood worth, John B. Britten, Denison Tisdale; 1838, Joseph Gruver; 1853, Timothy Phillips.

Section 33.—1835, Garner Carpenter, Eastman Griffeth ; 1836, Daniel B. Harmon, Miletus H. Snow, Fanny L. Snow, East- man Griffeth, Reuben H. Bennett, Christopher Hoagland, Caleb Curtis, Jonathan Stone, Rodney D. Hill; 1837, Denison Tisdale, Jr.

Section 34,—1836, Nelson Hawley, David Whitney, Rodney I). Hill, B. B. Kercheval, Luther H. Hovey; 1837, George J. Moon.

Section 35.—1836,Samuel E. Chapman, Levi Hanley; 1836-37, Joseph Charles.

Section 36.—1835, Elijah Fitch, William IT. Townsend, Philip Stewart, Amy Hawkshurst; 1837-54, George J. Moon.


Although the first entries of land in Genoa were made by Almon Maltby and John White in May and July, respectively, in the year 1833, yet it was not until the second year afterwards that a settlement was made. The veil of uncertainty is thrown around the first improvements and their projectors, but the following arc the facts as near as can at present be ascertained:

In the summer of 1835 the township received the advance guard of its pioneer army in the persons of Thomas Pinckney and Pardon and Ely Barnard,—the latter two named being brothers,— all since deceased. Pinckney came from Dutchess Co., N. Y ,and the Barnards from Madison County, in the same State. It has been the general opinion heretofore that Pinckney’s log house was the first structure built in the township for the use of a white family, and such is probably the case, although it can have the precedence by only a few days to that built by the Barnards. Both were built in the summer of 1835. Thomas Pinckney was a brother of John D. Pinckney, one of the early settlers of Howell, in which village the latter’s widow yet resides.

In the fall of 1834, Ely Barnard visited Genoa, and entered considerable quantities of land for himself and his brother. Ely Barnard was at the time a single man, and, with his brother, “ kept bachelors’ hall” in 1835 in the log house they had erected. Pardon Barnard had come in the spring of that year to the State. He was a native of the town of Lenox, Madison Co., N. Y., where he was born Jan. 11, 1812. In 1832 he was married to Eliza A. Curtis, of Morrisville, N. Y., and in 1834 was licensed as a Methodist preacher. In November, 1835, he moved his family into the log house in Genoa, his wife's brother, Burr Curtis, coming with them. The father of the latter, William T. Curtis, moved into town in June, 1836, with his wife and daughter,—the latter afterwards becoming the wife of Ely Barnard, who was much of a sportsman and a true lover of the chase. He was also a man of remarkable business capabilities, and one of the foremost citizens of the town and county in which he had made his home. Burr Curtis is now a resident of Howell, where also dwell Pardon Barnard's widow and one son, William. A second son, Henry, lives at Brighton, to which place he moved, from Howell, in August, 1879. Mrs. Barnard, Sr., relates that from the time when she came to Genoa it was six weeks—and long enough they seemed to her—before she saw another white woman. The farms of the Messrs. Barnard were upon the Ann Arbor road, and arc now owned by Henry Spencer and William Bell. Thomas Pinckney’s place was in the eastern part of town, on the Grand River road, and is the present property of Andrew Pless.

Joseph A. and Asahel Dibble were among the pioneers of the last-mentioned part of the township, arriving in June, 1837. The latter is deceased and the former resides north of Howell. John W. Lawson settled west of Long Lake in the summer of 1836, and built his house in the fall of the same year, it being well under way in November, when C. W. Burwell arrived. Mr. Lawson’s son, John, occupies the old place at present. In this locality are some of the best improved farms in the township. A plain of considerable area offers special attractions and advantages to the agriculturist, and the settlers were not slow in appreciating them.

Two of the most attractive places along the Grand River road in Genoa are those owned by William and Albert Tooley. The latter came from Wayne Co., N. Y., in June, 1841, and settled on the farm east of the one on which his brother located in September, 1844. William Tooley was accompanied by his wife. The land on which these gentlemen settled was originally located by their half-brother, Samuel West, but he made no improvements whatever upon it. The two brothers are still residing upon the homesteads they originally settled, and which they have so extensively improved.

The following sketch of the early history of Genoa was prepared by Mrs. C. W. Burwell in 1877, and read before the June meeting—in that year of the Pioneer Association:

“The first location was made in what is now Genoa, on section 25, near Brighton village, May 13, 1833, by Almon Maltby, and sold by him to B. Cushing, in 1841. Mr. Maltby is still living in the town of Green Oak; has held the office of supervisor of that town, and other offices; is to-day one of our best citizens. "The second location was made on section 10, July 22, 1833 (land now owned by Henry Weimeister, on Long Lake), by John White, an Englishman and a bachelor. He built a small log house and then went to Detroit to live, where he died in 1847. After his death, A. Harvey, of Detroit, an administrator of White’s estate, sold the land to C. P. Bush.

“The third location, 240 acres on section 5, by John Drew, Aug. 13, 1833. These were the only lands located in 1833, and the first in the township as above stated.

“The fourth location was made Aug. 9, 1834, by Alexander Fraser, of New York City (father of Mrs. John D. Pinckney, of Howell), on section 13, now owned by N. S. Benjamin.

“The fifth location was made by Thomas Pinckney, on section 13, Sept. 30, 1834. Mr. Pinckney soon settled on his land, and there the first white child in Genoa was born. This land is now owned by A. Pless.

"The sixth location, October 24, on section 9, by Zachariah Sutton, and sold to John F. Lawson, July 9, 1836, who settled on it that year. It is now owned by his son, J. W. Lawson. “Charles A. Green located on section 13, Aug. 22, 1834, forty acres, now owned by Louis Meyers. Ely Barnard, of Madison Co., N. Y., located on sections 7, 8, 17, and 18, in all 240 acres. “Chester Hazard located the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 3, and other lands, Nov. 3, 183$. Mr. Hazard still lives on and tills, or oversees the tilling of his farm, and is now a very old but hale man.

“C. W. Burwell located lands in 1837 on sections 4 and 5. “Thomas Pinckney built the first house in the town, and Pardon Barnard the second, I believe. Mr. F. Curtis was the first supervisor of the town of Genoa under that name in 1837.

"Ely Barnard was the first register of deeds for the county and clerk of the first Board of Supervisors in 1836. He was afterwards a member of the State Legislature, and one of the members to amend the constitution in 1850. The first year after the town was organized the valuation was $60,000; no town tax; $18 State, and $110 county tax.

“John Ellis located in 1835, where C. W. Burwell now lives; Samuel West, where the Tooleys live, afterwards the Bush farm, where C. P. Bush settled in 1837, first in a log house on the site of what is now the Widow Sweet’s house and farm. Afterwards he built the first frame houses in Genoa, in 1838 or ’39,—a part of it is yet standing on the farm now owned by Kinsley Tooley, in full view of our beautiful Long Lake. C. P. Bush settled first in the town of Handy, and then here, in the fall of 1837. He was a "mighty hunter." The first winter of his residence here he shot thirty-three deer, besides other game, and his neighbors well remember the savory bits he sent so often. . . .

“Mr. David Hight is still living, aged ninety-six or over. The writer and family came to Michigan and settled in Genoa in the autumn of 1836. The face of the country was even then very pleasant. These openings were not at all like timbered woods, but like trees set in a park, as they were by the All Father. One could walk anywhere he pleased, as there was no underbrush. We stayed in Ypsilanti a short time. In the mean time Mr. Burwell came out to Livingston and engaged a man to put up for us a log house. It was to be finished in three weeks. Within half a mile of our place were two families (transient settlers) living in shanties, one on the site of our neighbors (Mr. Crostick’s) old house, the other exactly opposite. The last-mentioned family agreed to vacate and rent to Mr. Bush for twenty-five cents. He paid in advance, and when we came we took possession. It was about 17 by 14. There were eight in our family, including three little children. There we stayed six weeks. Our-goods, except some of our beds and bedding, were still in Detroit, and our journey to Detroit in those days was about like going to California now. Mr. Fraser, our nearest neighbor west, and the only one between here and Howell, kindly lent us a small iron kettle and spider, a tea- kettle, and a tea-pot without any cover. Of our 4 opposite neighbor' we borrowed one plate, one knife and fork, and one chair, all of which we courteously left for the mistress of the mansion.

The rest used cleaned chips for plates, and pocket-knife and fingers for forks. The meat was fried in the spider and served in the same. Thanks to our Michigan appetites, nothing before nor since was ever eaten with a better relish than was that fried meat, well- watered gravy, excellent potatoes, bread, cheese, etc. Can’t remember that we had a spoon; think that we all dipped our morsels in the same dish,—said spider. We brought a cow with us, and to change our diet occasionally made a dish of thickened milk, the milk well diluted with water, to make it go further, until about the color of clear-starch,—delicious nevertheless.

“There are few evils so bad but some good comes out of them, and when at last our house was so we could move into it, no room I ever was in (thanks to our shanty experience) seemed to me so grand and spacious as did that log house, with its clean hewn logs, rough board floor, a partition for bedrooms, a fireplace, the back of which took in almost the whole end of the house; a stick chimney, through which we could look up and see the stars; round stones for a hearth,—no others could be got at that time of the year, and such fires, as high as our heads, made of oak limbs and logs, crackling and sparkling, making the room glow like a fairy palace. The pine boxes were soon converted into closets and shelves for dishes and books, by the ingenious hands of the hired man that came with us from York State; with old white muslin for curtains, it all looked indeed homelike and cosy. Thanks again to the shanty, it magnified by comparison every after comfort and convenience. We can never fully appreciate the value of what we have never had. There is nothing like a new country experience to make us appreciate home comforts, as they are brought about one by one by our own exertions. And the greatest blessing of all, we were in perfect health; especially were the children so much better than they ever were in New York. That alone would have reconciled us to any amount of discomfort, but we were resting very comfortably after we got settled. The winter was very mild, with only snow enough to be pleasant, as were many of the succeeding winters. The deer were very numerous, would come sometimes almost to the door, and if we went only a little distance from the house we were almost sure to see two or more of the graceful creatures. Once, and only once, we were surrounded by wolves. We did not seek for nor admire them as we did the deer. wolves. We did not seek for nor admire them as we did the deer. Game of all kinds was very plenty, also fish in great abundance in our numerous lakes,—a great help and luxury to new-comers. Our nearest neighbor, until after the Tooleys came, was the family of John T. Lawson, about three-quarters of a mile east of us, where his son, John W. Lawson, now lives. They came in the spring of the same year we did. I think Mr. Pardon Barnard came a year before; he lived about three miles from us,—near neighbors in those days,—and we visited them and others often, and they us, with oxen and sleds. The sleighing was good, and riding through among the trees very pleasant, oxen notwithstanding. Mr. Curtis, too,—Mr. Barnard’s father-in-law,—lived near them, and came soon after we did, One knows how to value good neighbors and pleasant intercourse with them in a new country. Before the next winter the Hon. Charles P. Bush settled near us, as I mentioned elsewhere. He was one of the first to represent our county in the Legislature, and helped to bring about the removal of the capital from Detroit to Lansing, Ingham Co., then a ‘wild wood,’ and very few settlers between Howell and there. A few years after, Mr. Roswell Pettibone settled and lived many years on the place now owned by Mr. Conrad Shoenhals. He now lives in Oceola, but is a near neighbor yet. Our neighbor, Rev. William Stedman, came in a few years later than we did; he settled on the place owned now by Mr. Fitch, and resided there until recently; he lives now in the village of Howell. Mr. Brewster Carpenter came still later, and settled about one mile, I think, from what was the Buckland place, on the Ann Arbor road, and is still living on the old homestead. Mr. A. Dibble also settled on the same road in either 1836 or ’37, but has left long ago; the place is now owned by Mr. Garlock. Mr. William Shaft settled 011 the adjoining farm, now owned by Mr. Wesley Garlock.

“Mr. William A. Buckland, now deceased, located and resided for many years on the corner of Grand River and Ann Arbor roads, now owned by the Messrs. Hubbard. Mrs. Buckland was the daughter of Dr. Wheeler, of Howell, still well remembered by pioneers of Howell and Genoa. Mrs Buckland resides at present with her family in the village of Howell.

“For several of the first years we all went visiting and to meeting (as we sometimes had preaching at our different houses), and to church at Howell,—after one was organized there,—with our own ox-teams. A horse at the church door was a rare sight. We could not boast of their speed, but they were safe, especially if a man was at their heads, and their lack of speed was only a source of merriment, as was every other annoyance from what we had not, but hoped some time to have. . . .

“In the spring of 1839 we commenced our first school in District No. 2, consisting of three families,—Lawson, Bush, and Bur- well,—nine children in all, part of them hardly old enough to go, but we must send all we could of those nine. All are still living, and heads of families, except George Lawson, who died in early manhood. Our first school-house (log, of course) was nearly opposite Mr. Lawson’s house, and on his land. Our first teacher was Miss Electa Bush, a daughter of John Bush, of Handy, and mother of Mrs. John W. Lawson. She was then a very young girl. C. W. Burwell, being director, went after her with his pony. She rode and he walked back, a distance of fourteen miles. A killing matter that would be now, but teachers were not so plenty then. District No. 2 built the second school-house in Genoa, I think, that in the Benjamin district being the first. ...”

Mr. Burwell and his family still reside on the place they settled in 1836, and he has grown old in the land of his adoption.

Chester Hazard, from Steuben Co., N. Y., came to Genoa in 1835 and purchased land, returning afterwards for his family. July 4, 1836, he left his home and started on the overland journey to Michigan, accompanied by his family. His wagon was drawn by two yokes of cattle, and nine additional head were driven. The trip was made through Canada, and in the course of time Detroit was reached. Mr. Hazard’s brother, Stewart Hazard, was then living in Wayne County, and with him the family stayed until some time in the month of August, when they proceeded to the new home in the wilderness. One child had been buried before leaving New York; but four sons and three daughters accompanied their parents to Michigan, and aided in the conquest of the difficulties which there beset them. On the place adjoining Mr. Hazard’s, at the east, a log house had been erected by Mr. Butterfield, of Kensington, Oakland Co., but it had not been completed. Mr. Butterfield informed Mr. Hazard that if he chose to finish it up he was welcome to the use of it until he could build for himself, and his offer was gratefully accepted. William Wood, a carpenter and joiner by trade, who had been one of Mr. Hazard’s neighbors in the State of New York, came to Genoa early in 1837. He wished for work to enable him to purchase some land, and Mr. Hazard employed him to build the frame house which is still standing 011 the latter’s place. Mr. Hazard cut whitewood (tulip) trees on his own farm, drew the logs to Maltby's mill below Brighton, and had them sawed into lumber. This was in the winter of 1836-37, and it was principally of this lumber that the house was built. Mr. Hazard is of the opinion that his was the first frame house erected in the township. When he arrived here his nearest neighbors were Thomas Pinckney and Lucius H. Peet. Manning Hathaway came soon after. In early life Mr. Hazard learned the trade of tanner, currier, and shoemaker at Arlington, Bennington Co., Vt., and conducted a moderately extensive business in that line while living in New York, but never after coming to Michigan. In 1842 he was elected treasurer of Livingston County, which office he held two successive terms, residing during the time at Howell. While absent from the farm his son-in-law, Abram Upthegrove, kept a hotel in the house he had vacated. In 1848, Mr. Hazard was chosen to the State Legislature, and has also held other offices, having been a justice of the peace for many years, and supervisor of Genoa several terms, etc. Since 1849 he has resided upon his farm.

Lucius H. Peet for a number of years kept a tavern in the log house he had erected on his place. A frame house was subsequently built by Jacob Euler, who had purchased the property. The farm is now owned by Henry Ratz, as is also the one near, which was settled quite early by Louis Dorr.

The Manning Hathaway place was purchased by Charles and John Myers in 1837, in which year they came, and is. now owned by Louis Myers. These two brothers stayed for a short time with Mr. Hazard upon their arrival. Their father followed them, and settled in town in 1838. Mr. Hathaway removed from the township.

When Chester Hazard came into town with his family he left a portion of his household goods in Detroit. He subsequently went after them, and on the way met Patrick Bogan, who was out on a peddling tour, and expressed himself as desirous of purchasing some land. He had a description of a certain tract with him, and was quite free in showing it, and Mr. Hazard advised him to be more quiet about it, or he would run the risk of having some other person reach the land-office and locate it before him. Hazard told Bogan where he lived, and on the return of the former from Detroit the latter came to see him. Mr. Hazard conducted him to his land, and he settled upon it, and lived there until his death, which occurred about 1876- 77. Mr. Bogan was a native of Ireland, and the father of the present postmaster at Genoa Station. Mr. Hazard mentions the fact that upon his arrival in town he found the deer to be very plenty. He had never in his life killed one, but it tempted him to such an extent to live, as it were, among them, that he finally went to Ann Arbor and had a rifle made. The weapon proved an excellent one, and its owner seldom missed a shot with it at any distance. On one occasion he killed four deer inside of six hours, coming to the house twice in the time. Whenever the supply of fresh meat gave signs of failing, Mrs. Hazard mentioned the fact, and her willing lord, as soon as a leisure moment offered, took his rifle, and soon returned with an addition to the larder. On five successive occasions he went out, and inside of two hours returned with a deer he had slain. Mr. Hazard does not claim to have been the hunter which Charles P. Bush undoubtedly was, as he hunted from necessity many times, while Bush was a genuine lover of the sport, and passed more time in that way than perhaps any other man in the township. Erastus Watrous, from Connecticut, came to the township in June, 1836. He was then a bachelor, but afterwards married a Miss Walker, of Oceola, the ceremony being performed by Chester Hazard, Esq., who was called upon to do the greater proportion of such business in the township during his long service as magistrate. Mr. Watrous, whose home was on the northeast shore of Long Lake, is at present residing in Howell.

Richard Behrens, from Hanover, Germany (near Bremen), emigrated to the United States in 1837, and located in New York. In 1845 he came to Genoa and settled on section 14, where he still resides. A few other German families had previously settled in the township.

Henry Hartman, from the State of New York, came to Detroit in 1836, and obtained employment at his profession, that of a cook. In 1841 he removed to Genoa and settled on the farm he still owns, his first house having stood on the opposite (south) side of the road from the site of the present one, or on section 23. His son, John G. Hartman, at present occupies the place, and Mr. Hartman lives in Brighton, where he is engaged in the grain trade. His father, Martin Hartman, entered the land in 1836, and settled upon it with his youngest son, John Hartman, who yet resides on the south line of the same section (23).

William Suhr, from the city of Hamburg, Germany, came to Michigan first in 1838, but did not settle until 1842, when he located on the place he now owns and occupies in Genoa, on the eastern and most picturesque shore of Crooked Lake.

He was accompanied by his wife. Mr. Suhr, who is possessed of most excellent business tact and is a neat penman and accountant, holds the present position of secretary and treasurer of the Livingston County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, beside numerous others of greater or less responsibility. He has also held the position of town clerk of Genoa since 1850, with the exception of the three years from 1861 to 1863, inclusive; and without flattery it may be said that the township records of Genoa are the neatest, most thorough, and convenient of any in Livingston County.

Gustav Baetcke, also from Hamburg, settled where he now lives in 1837, having previously resided one year in Oceola. The same year in which he located in Genoa, four other Germans settled with their families, viz.: George Ransher, Martin Hartman (who had purchased in 1836), Charles Conrad, and Jacob Euler. These, with Mr. Baetcke, were the first of the nationality to settle in the township. Jacob Euler was the pioneer, having entered his land in 1835. The others, except Mr. Baetcke, entered in 1836. William Suhr lives in the frame house he built and moved into in 1842. Like all the dwellings of that day, it originally possessed a huge fireplace, but that has been removed and a stove substituted. The early settlers suffered considerably at times from scarcity of food and clothing, yet, withal, they were sociable and happy. From the beams in the house hung festoons of dried pumpkin, known in the parlance of the day as “ Michigan apples,” and a frontiersman’s house was scarcely homelike in the fall and winter without this appendage. Most of the pioneers of this township were men in the prime of life, and the heads of families.

Joseph Rider, from Oswego, N. Y., in company with his father, Joseph Rider, Sr., came to Michigan in 1833, and settled in what is now the township of Milford, Oakland Co. In December, 1835, the son removed to the place he at present occupies, upon section 17, in Genoa. His mother died several years before the family left the State of New York. While building their log house on the place in Genoa, the Riders boarded with a man named Johnson, who had squatted and erected a log cabin on a piece of land to the eastward, which had been taken up by a man named Cole. Johnson remained but a short time; the place is now owned by Mr. Holtforth.

As soon as the Riders completed their house they moved into it. Hay and stock were brought in from Oakland County. The senior gentleman died during the war of the Rebellion, and the son still lives on the old place. The log house stood about twenty-five rods east of the present frame residence.

Another early settler in the same neighborhood was Freeman Fishbeck, who married a sister of Joseph Rider, Jr., while living in Oakland County, to which he had come with the Rider family. He purchased in Genoa a short time previous to the date of Mr. Rider’s purchase, and the latter helped him build a house, after which the elder Rider went to Ohio, and his son boarded for a time with Mr. Fishbeck. Mr. Rider, Jr., was soon afterwards married to Mr. Fishbeck's sister, Miss Isabella M. Fishbeck, and was one of the earliest residents of the township who took upon himself bonds hymeneal. The father of Freeman Fishbeck and sister, Jacob Fishbeck, lived in the township of Marion. The son is at this date (1879) a resident of Howell.

David B. Pierce, who married a sister of Mrs. Joseph Rider, Sr., came from New York with the j other two families, and when Fishbeck first located in Genoa, Mr. Pierce built a house on a portion of his (Fishbeck’s) land. He was a carpenter and millwright by trade, and built the mills at Milford j and aided in building one in the township of Brighton. He also aided in erecting numerous barns and other buildings. The first mill he built in Michigan was for parties at Kensington, Oakland Co. He is now deceased.

Edward Latson settled in the northwest part of the township in 1836, and still resides on the place he then located. The land was purchased from the government in 1835.

Charles P. Bush came to the township of Handy in 1836, in company with Calvin Handy and family, from Danby, Tompkins Co., N. Y.,—his native place. These were the first settlers in the township named, and Mrs. Handy was the first white woman who had ever set foot within its limits. Both men purchased land. Mr. Bush built a log house on his place, and returned to New York for his family. In the spring of 1837 he moved with them to the place he had prepared, and was also accompanied by his brother, Richard P. Bush, and their cousin, John Bush, both having families with them. The Bush’s were connected with the Platts, of Oswego, N. Y., one of the prominent families of the State.

The Messrs. Bush all located in Handy. Crops had been put in, and after that of C. P. Bush’s was harvested 1837, he sold out to John B. Fowler, brother of Ralph Fowler, of Fowlerville, and moved in the fall of the same year to Genoa township, in which he purchased land on sections 8, 9, and 10, and made the first improvements upon it, although buying from second hands. He at one time owned about 1700 acres in this township. The old home in Genoa is now owned by the heirs of Newberry Sweet. Mr. Bush’s house was at first half a mile or more back from the Grand River road, south of John Lawson’s present place, and there his youngest son, Elbert C. Bush, now of Lansing, was born in 1838. Mr. Bush ere long moved up nearer the highway, and built one of the earliest frame houses in the township. The latter place he owned at the time of his death, which occurred in Lansing, where members of his family at present reside. The only one left in Livingston County is his son, Isaac W. Bush, Esq., of Howell.

Mr. Bush has elsewhere been mentioned as a hunter of note. So much of one was he that he would acknowledge but one superior in all this region at the time, and that was “ Old Si Badgero,” a professional hunter, who lived in Conway township. Elias Sprague, then of Brighton, and now living in Cohoctah, was nearly the equal of Mr. Bush, but the latter always claimed superiority. But few men who ever hunted with Mr. Bush were able to follow him all day in the chase, and he always went on foot. Joel Rumsey, of Oceola, was one who claimed equal endurance. As a rifle shot Mr. Bush was unexcelled. He finally moved to Lansing, where he was frequently known to cross Grand River in the winter after a deer. His official record will be found elsewhere in this volume.

Andrew Sharp, from the town of Bennington, Genesee Co., N. Y. (now in Wyoming County), came to Michigan with his father, Andrew Sharp, Sr., in the fall of 1837. They stopped for one week at Pontiac, and then moved into Genoa, and settled on the place where the elder Sharp’s widow and widowed daughter—Mrs. Melvin—now live, on the west line of town. Andrew Sharp, the son, was then but twelve years of age. He at present resides a mile south of the old place. His father purchased his land in Genoa, of a brother, who lived in Eaton County. Mr, Sharp, a blacksmith by trade, built a shop on his place, and used it a number of years. The son learned the same trade, and operated a shop two years in Howell. Farming was, however, the principal business of both. Mr. Sharp, Sr., has been dead about ten years.

Cyrus Hoyt, from Yates Co., N. Y. (his wife from Steuben County), and a native of Connecticut, came with his wife to Genoa early in June, 1846, settled on land he had previously purchased from second hands, built a log house, and is yet living in it. He first came into the township in April, but was unable to prepare a house before June. The first improvements were made upon the place by Mr. Hoyt. Mrs. Hoyt’s brother, Jacob N. Switzer, a single man, came with the Hoyts, and at the same time Mr. Hoyt went to Gratiot to purchase land for himself; he bought 80 acres also for Mr. Switzer. The latter did not settle in town, and now lives in the State of New York.

David Hight, a native of New Jersey, and for some time a resident of Steuben Co., N. Y., came to Michigan, with his wife and two children, in 1835, and settled on the place where he yet lives. Nathan and Deborah, the two children who came with their parents, were unmarried, while a second daughter, the wife of Reuben Haight, came at the same time with her husband and three children. They arrived in the fall of the year, and during the winter remained with Timothy Pettit, who lived in the edge of Hamburg township, two miles south- east of Mr. Might’s place. During the time thus spent Mr. Hight built a log house, and, in March, 1836, moved into it with his family. The lumber used inside was hauled from Redford, thirty miles away, in the direction of Detroit, and the glass and sash were brought from Detroit. The only house between their place and Howell was that built by Pardon and Ely Barnard. In the opposite direction, between them and Timothy Pettit, lived Christopher Hoagland and Nicholas Kristler, the former in Hamburg; the latter came from Delaware in October, 1835. Mr. Hight is now in his ninety-ninth year. His wife died in 1864, at the age of eighty-four. Nathan Hight lives near his father, on the old place. His wife is the daughter of Elijah Bennett, who settled in Hamburg in the spring of 1835.

Among those who had settled in this immediate region at that time, and who were pioneer neighbors of those already mentioned, were Garner Carpenter and soon after Samuel Case and his sons, Joseph and Elisha, the latter at present living in Brighton. Joseph Case’s son, Oren Case, owns and occupies a farm in the south part of Genoa; and Elisha Case’s son, Niles N. Case, occupies his father’s old farm in Hamburg.

1836, moved into it with his family. The lumber used inside was hauled from Redford, thirty miles away, in the direction of Detroit, and the glass and sash were brought from Detroit. The only house between their place and Howell was that built by Pardon and Ely Barnard. In the opposite direction, between them and Timothy Pettit, lived Christopher Hoagland and Nicholas Kristler, the former in Hamburg; the latter came from Delaware in October, 1835. Mr. Hight is now in his ninety-ninth year. His wife died in 1864, at the age of eighty-four. Nathan Hight lives near his father, on the old place. His wife is the daughter of Elijah Bennett, who settled in Hamburg in the spring of 1835.

Among those who had settled in this immediate region at that time, and who were pioneer neighbors of those already mentioned, were Garner Carpenter and soon after Samuel Case and his sons, Joseph and Elisha, the latter at present living in Brighton. Joseph Case’s son, Oren Case, owns and occupies a farm in the south part of Genoa; and Elisha Case’s son, Niles N. Case, occupies his father’s old farm in Hamburg.

Among other early arrivals in the township were Charles E. Beurman, from Germany, August, 1840; H. Kellogg, 1842; G. C. Westphal, 1846; and Riley and John Earl. The wife of the latter died in the winter of 1835-36, and it is probable that this was the first death among the white population of the township. The grave was dug by Hen- son Walker, of Oceola. The Earls lived on the north line of the township, and were among its earliest settlers.

The following is an alphabetical list of the resident tax-payers in the township of Genoa, for the year 1844:

Acker, Frederick D.
Abbey, Jerry.
Benjamin, Alvin F.
Brown, Richard.
Butler, Catharine.
Burwell, Cornelius W.
Buckland, William F.
Barnard, Pardon.
Barnard, Ely.
Bush, Charles P.
Bennett, Morris.
Benjamin, Nelson S.
Brown, Allen G.
Benedict, Charles.
Bogan, Patrick.
Bennett, Elijah.
Britton, Richard.
Baetcke, Gustav.
Behrens, Richard.
Barnard, James.
Barnard, Amos.
Burmann, William H.
Britton, John B.
Bloodsworth, William.
Bradner, John D.
Chandler, D. D. T.
Conrad, Charles.
Crosman, Frederick G.
Carpenter, Garner.
Curtis, William It.
Curtis, William T.
Dean, Amasa.
Dibble, Asahel
Dibble, Silas A.
Dibble, Amos.
Dickerson, Alanson P.
Dorr, Lewis.
Davis, John.
Earl, Riley,
Earl, William.
Elliott, Henry.
Ellis, James.
Edmunds, James.
Euler, Jacob.
Euler, John.
Euler, Lawrence.
Euler & Dickerson.
Elliott, Orson.
Everett, Sophia.
Fishbeck, Jacob.
Fishbeck, Freeman.
Filch, Elijah.
Fewhey, Michael.
Hazard, Chester.
Hunt, Joseph.
Hartman, Henry.
Hinckley, Benjamin.
Hause, Herman C.
Hight, David.
Jacobs, William.
Jacobs, Mark.
Jessop, Daniel.
Kristler, Nicholas.
Latson, Edward.
Lawson, John F.
Latson, John.
Lawrence, George.
Laughlin, John.
Murray, James M.
Moore, John.
Morse, Francis.
Morse, Isaac.
Morse, Benjamin.
Moon, George J.
Orr, Joseph.
Placeway, Joseph.
Pettibone, Rowell.
Pless, Andrew.
Pierce, David B.
Paddock, George W.
Paddock, Richard.
Paddock, John.
Stedman, George.
Shaft, William C.
Steel, Joseph H.
Sharp, Andrew.
Stedman, William.
Sutton, Richard.
Snider, Isaac H. R.
Suhr, William.
Sione, David.
Tooley, Albert.
Terry, Stephen H.
Timmons, Bryan.
Upthegrove, Abram.
Vealy, Benjamin.
Walker & Foster.
Weichers, John E.
Winter, Theodore.
Yawger, William B.

Many of these were enrolled among those who had a personal tax to pay only. Among the heavier tax-payers were the following:

Total Tax. Total Tax.

Chester Hazard.......$33.62
Morris Bennett......$14.95
Charles P. Bush......13.49
Andrew Ple'S.........11.62
William Jacobs.......14.80
Benjamin Vealy.......10.50
John Euler...........11.12
Lewis Durr...........12.79
Euler & Dickerson....22.77
Frederick D. Acker...12.01

The non-resident tax payers numbered at that time in the neighborhood of 100.

From some of the early records it is utterly impossible to determine the correct orthography of certain proper names, as many as four or five different ways being often found of spelling the name of but one person. This will account for any errors in that respect which may be discovered.


On the 26th of March, 1835, the township of Hamburg was created by the Legislative Council, including the present township of the same name, together with what is now Genoa. The latter township was formed from the north half of Hamburg, by an act of the Legislature approved March 11, 1837, and reading as follows:

“A;; that portion of the county of Livingston designated in the United Slates survey as township 2 north, range 5 east, be, and the same is, hereby set off and organized into a separate township by the name of Genoa; and the first township-meeting therein shall be held at the house of Lucius II. Peet, in said township.”

The first township-meeting was held in and for the township of Genoa, at Lucius H. Peet*s inn, on the first Monday in April, 1837, and the following persons were elected to office, viz.: Supervisor, William T. Curtis; Township Clerk, Charles Benedict; Justices of the Peace, Chester Hazard, William Tompkins, Cornelius W. Burwell, David B. Harmon ; Assessors, Daniel Jessup, Joseph Placeway, Asahel Dibble; Commissioners of Highways, David Hight, Freeman Fishbeck, Thomas Pinckney; Poormasters, Caleb Curtis, William T. Curtis; Commissioners of Schools, Zebulon M. Drew, David B. Pierce, Isaac Morse; School Inspectors, Z. M. Drew, Pardon Barnard, Jr., Lucius H. Peet; Collector, William C. Shaft; Constables, William C. Shaft, Lucius H. Peet.

The following list comprises the officers for Genoa township from 1838 to 1879. inclusive:


1838, Charles P. Bush; 1839, William T. Curtis; 1840, Charles Benedict; 1841-42, Chester Harm!; 1843-44, Charter Benedict; 1845-46, James M. Murray; 1847, Daniel D. T. Chandler; 1848-49, Charles Benedict; 1850-51, William A. Buckland; 1852-54, Henry Hartman; 1855, Chester Hazard; 1856-57,01-611 H. Winegar; 1858-59, James M. ----;, Cornelius W. Burwell; 1862-63, William Curtis; 1864, Oren H. Winegar; 1865, Ely Barnard; 1866-67, Chester Hazard; 1868-71,Charles Fishbeck; 1872, Omar H. Benedict; 1873, William H. Halleck; 1874, Chester Hazard; 1875, Charles Fishbeck; 1876-77, Gustave J. Baetcke; 1878-79, Louis Meyer.

TOWNSHIP CLERKS. 1838, Charles Benedict; 1839,Chester Hazard; 1840 42, Charles Benedict; 1843-46, Joseph Rider, Jr.; 1847, Charles Benedict; 1848, Ely Barnard; 1849, Oren H. Winegar; 1850-60, William Suhr; 1861-63, William J. Hazard; 1864-79, William Suhr.


1839, William T. Curtis; 1840-41, David Hight; 1842-46, John Davis; 1847-50, Albert Tooley; 1851-54, John E. Dorn; 1855,0. H. Winegar; 1856, John Hartman; 1857-58, Richard Behrens; 1859-60, James Bogan; 1861-63, Lewis Pless; 1864-66, Freeman F. Pierce; 1867-68, Conrad Schoenhals, Jr.; 1869-70, Samuel Stark; 1871-72, William Fishbeck; 1873-74, Gustave J. Baetcke; 1875-76, Charles Grosstick; 1877, Frank W. Benedict; 1878, Frederick C. Benedict; 1879, John Seim, Jr.


1838, Chester Hazard, David B. Pierce, Gardner H. Carpenter ; 1839, G. H. Carpenter, C. P. Bush; 1840, Charles P. Bush, Chester Hazard; 1841, Chester Hazard; 1842, Ely Barnard; 1843,G. H. Carpenter,J.M. Murray; 1844, Win. A. Buckland; 1845, Erastus Watrous, Charles P. Bush; 1846, Ely Barnard; 1847, Ely Barnard, Joseph Rider, Jr., H. Hartman; 1848, Joseph Rider, Jr.; 1849, Cornelius W. Burwell; 1850, H.C. Hause; 1851, Henry Hartman; 1852, Joseph Rider, Jr.; 1853, Cornelius W. Burwell; 1854, H. C. Hause; 1855, James M. Murray; 1856, David B. Pierce; 1857, C. W. Burwell, Wm. B. Curtis; 1858, Oren H. Winegar; 1859, Chester Hazard; 1860, Ely Barnard; 1861, Ely Barnard, Floyd S. Wykoff; 1862, Oren H. Winegar; 1863, Chester Hazard, Isaac W. Bush; 1864, Cornelius W. Burwell; 1865, Charles Benedict, Samuel Stark ; 1866, Charles Dingier; 1867, John A. Meyer, Chester Hazard; 1868, C. W. Burwell, Joseph Rider; 1869, Andrew C. Pless; 1870, Chester Hazard, Newberry H. Sweet; 1871,N. C. Sweet, Richard Behrens; 1872, Joseph Rider, Joseph Birkenstock; 1873, David Hughes; 1874, Peter T. Gill, David Hughes; 1875, James Timmons, John O’Connor; 1876, George A. Whitehead; 1877, James Boylan, Henry Ratz; 1878, Joseph Rider, William H. Trowbridge; 1879, George Bauer.


1838, Joseph Rider, James M. Murray, Daniel Jessup; 1839, William B. Curtis, James J. Forsythe, Charles Benedict; 1840, William A. Buckland, William B. Curtis, John D. Bradner; 1841, C. P. Bush, C. Hazard, J. D. Bradner; 1842, Ely Barnard, H. C. Hause; 1843, Amos Foster, Daniel Jessup; 1844, J. D. Bradner, E. Watrous; 1845, Albert Tooley, John D. Bradner; 1846, Daniel Jessup, Albert Tooley.


1838, Erastus Watrous; 1839-40, Reuben Haight; 1841, John Davis.


1838, C. P. Bush, C. Hazard, W. T. Curtis; 1839, C. P. Bush, Lucius H. Peet, G. H. Carpenter; 1840, C. P. Bush, C. Hazard, Wm. A. Buckland; 1841, C. P. Bush, C. Hazard, H. C. Hause; 1842, W. A. Buckland, E. Barnard, Wm. Stedman; 1843, Wm. B. Curtis, Wm. A. Buckland; 1844, Wm. H. Beurman, D. D. T. Chandler; 1845, Wm. H. Beurman; 1846, D. D. T. Chandler, Charles Benedict; 1847, William B. Curtis; 1848, William Suhr; 1849, Alexander Carpenter; 1850, Charles Benedict; 1851, George A. Lawson; 1852, Alexander Carpenter; 1853, Chester Hazard; 1854, Olympus Spencer; 1855, Barnard; 1856, Wm. J. Hazard, B, H. Lawson; 1857-58, Charles Benedict, Ely Barnard; 1859, Omar H. Benedict, W. Wallace Carpenter; 1860, W. Wallace Carpenter; 1861, Smith Benson, J. Bruce Fishbeck; 1862, Ebenezer Culver; 1863, Charles Benedict, Charles Fishbeck; 1864,0. H. Benedict, Dwight T. Curtis; 1865, Dwight T, Curtis; 1866, A. M. Davis, O. H. Benedict; 1867, Omar H. Benedict; 1868, A. M. Davis; 1869,0. H. Benedict; 1870, Conrad Schoenhals; 1871, A. M. Davis; 1872, Peter P. Gill; 1873, A. M. Davis; 1874, O. H. Benedict; 1875, Frank W. Benedict; 1876-77, Henry D. Rider; 1878, Charles T. Barnard; 1879, Henry Holtforth.


1875-76, A. M. Davis; 1877-79, Peter T. Gill. The vote on the license question of Genoa in 1845 stood 53 in favor to 19 against. In 1850 the following persons received the number of votes set opposite their names as delegates to the State Constitutional Convention:

Daniel S. Lee................. 71
Ira Jennings.................... 19
Robert Crouse................. 61
Robert Warden, Jr.......... 66
Ely Barnard.........65
James W. Stansbury......... 9
Pierrepont P. Smith.......... 15
Austin Wakeman............. 14

SCHOOLS. The present District No. I was the first one formed in the township. Probably in 1836 or 1837, the first school in town was taught in this district by Alexander Carpenter, who was afterwards a school inspector. The school-house, Mr. Hazard thinks, was possibly a frame building, though said by some to have been constructed of logs. It stood near the site of the present frame school-house in the same district. A brick building was subsequently erected, and is now used as a blacksmith-shop.

In District No. 3 a log school-house was built about 1839-40. It stood on the south side of the road, a short distance east of the site of the present frame edifice. Mariette Hayner, a lady whose home was in Brighton, was One of the earliest teachers. The log school house was finally removed.

The first school in District No. 5 was taught by George Griffith, in the winter of about 1837-38, or the one following. A log school-house had been built, and was used also as a place in which to hold religious meetings. The building was used a number of years. The first school was not largely attended, as the number of children in the district was few. The first summer term was taught in the season following Griffith’s term, by Mary Ann Hinkley, who was retained through several subsequent ones. Griffith returned East not long after his administration as a teacher here had closed. The present stone school-house was built about 1857.

The following statement of the condition of the schools as appearing Sept. 2, 1878, is from the report of the township school inspectors for the year ending at that date:

Number of whole districts........................................22
Number fractional districts............................................10
Number children of school age............................. 344
Attendance during year..............................................................307
Number of school-houses........................................9
Value of school property................................................$6000
Number of male teachers employed...............................8
Number female teachers-employed..................................................10
Amount paid male teachers...................................................$821.50
Amount paid female teachers...................................$370
Total receipts for year............................................ $2096.46
Amount on hand Sept. 2, 1878................................ $410.23
Expenditures, less amount on hand................... $1686.23



Probably the first religious meetings in the township were held in the fall and winter of 1835-36, in the house of David Hight, continuing, with Sabbath-school, for a period of two years or more, or until the school-house was built in District No. 5, when that was made the place of meeting for such services. Elder Jonathan Stone, a Baptist minister, who had previously lived for several years in Webster, Washtenaw Co., purchased land in Genoa, south of Mr. Hight's place and in the fall of 1836 built a house upon it, boarding with Mr. Hight during its construction. He, some years later, died on the farm where he had settled. Meetings were held also in the winter of 1835-36, at the house of Justus J, Bennett, in the north part of Hamburg, and Mr. Stone preached both there and in the Hight neighborhood. In a year or two a Baptist society was organized under the leadership of Elder Post. It was given the name “ Hamburg,” but was subsequently changed to“ Hamburg and Genoa.” It continued to hold Services until about 1865-67, when it was finally disbanded. No house of worship had been erected, the “ stone school-house” furnishing accommodations for the congregation.

“Preaching” was also held in other parts of town at an early day, at the dwellings of numerous individuals, and by ministers of different denominations. Howell, however, was the principal place at which the settlers attended religious meetings, and has continued to be to the present.


About 1858 “St. George’s German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation” was organized by Rev. Mr. Smith, of Ann Arbor. In 1861, three acres of land were donated by Richard Behrens, on section 14, for a church and burying-ground site, and at a later date three acres on section 13 were given for the use of the minister. Dr. Buck (LL.D.), father-in-law of John Weimeister, of Howell, after the organization of the society, went to Europe to raise sufficient funds to build a church. The sum of $300 was given by Hamburg, Germany, and the present frame building was erected. Dr. Buck succeeded Smith as minister. The succeeding ones have been Revs. Meyer, of Genoa township, Christopher Watt, Mr. Kramer, and Mr. Sheibly, who is at present in charge. The resident membership of this church in July, 1879, was from 50 to 60, and others attend who do not live in the neighborhood. The church erected by this society is the only one built by any denomination in the township.


The oldest burial-ground in the township is the one on section 13, off land now owned by Nelson S. Benjamin, and it contains the dust of many of the early settlers of this and neighboring townships. A second one is located in the Benedict neighborhood, in the south part of the town, and is also old; and a third, belonging to the Germans, is near their church on section 14, cast of Genoa Station.


The number of white inhabitants in the township of Genoa in 1837 was 361. In 1874 the number had increased to 921, including 475 males and 446 females. From the census of the latter year are compiled the following statistics:

Number of acres of taxable land in township-..................22,800
" " land owned by individuals and companies............ 22,890.50
" " improved land..........................11,478
" " land exempt from taxation.......90 50
Value of same, with improvements....................... $11,119
Number of acres in school-house sites.................. 5.50
" " church and parsonage sites..................2
" " burying-grounds..........................................3
" " railroad-right of way and depot grounds..... .........80
" " wheat raised in 1874.......... 3,193
" 1873 ....................2,88l
" corn "" 1873..................................1,229
" bushels of wheat raised in 1873 ......................38,684
" corn “ 1873..........................34,446
" all other grain raised in 1873... $6,045
" " potatoes raised in 1873......................7.964
" " tons of hay cut in 1873....................... 2,919
" pounds wool sheared in 1873 ................. 27,137
" " pork marketed in 1873..................82,772
" " cheese made in 1873.................. 60
" " butter made in 1873..... .............37,483
" "fruit dried for market in 1873....................6,707
" barrels cider, made in 1873........................307
" acres in orchards.................. ...................407
" bushels of apples raised in 1872........................13,282
" " pears, cherries, and strawberries, 1872.. 126
" " pears, cherries, and strawberries, 1873..... 115
Value of fruit and garden vegetables, 1872............................$5.000
Number horses, one year old and over, 1874........................415
" mules, 1874..............................................................8
" work oxen, 1874.......................................................36
" milch cows, 1874.....................................................482
" neat cattle, one year old and over, other than
" oxen and cows..................................................373
" sheep over six months old....................................6,060
" " sheared in 1873.................... ................6,314
Number saw-mills...............................................1
Persons employed in same.......................................1
Amount of capital invested....................................$1,800
Number feet of lumber sawed............................................80,000
Value of products..................................................$960

Among the many who have aided in furnishing the facts which are included in the foregoing history of Genoa are C. W. Burwell and wife, Chester Hazard, Isaac W. Bush, Esq., of Howell, Richard Behrens, William Suhr, Joseph Rider, Andrew Sharp, Mrs. Cyrus Hoyt, Miss Deborah Hight (daughter of David Hight), Mrs. Pardon Barnard, of Howell, and numerous others. The thanks which are justly due them are hereby tendered.


Among the names of those who are conspicuous in the early history of Genoa, and in the various enterprises connected with its interests, none stand higher than Joseph Rider. He has not only witnessed the transition of a thin settlement into a busy and prosperous community, of a semi- wilderness into one of the most productive and wealthy towns in the county, but in his own person has typified so admirably the agencies that wrought many of these changes, that no history of Genoa would be complete without a sketch of his life. He was the son of Joseph and Sarah Rider, and was born in the town of De Kalb. St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., March 25, 1817. The elder Rider was a shoemaker by trade, and previous to his emigration to Rockland Co., N. Y., in 1810, lived in New York City. When Joseph was ten years of age he removed to Oswego, where he purchased a farm, upon which he resided until his emigration to Oakland Co., Mich., in 1833. He purchased in the town of Milford fifty acres of land, which he sold in 1835 and removed to Genoa. Here he located one hundred and twenty acres, which is a part of his present productive farm of two hundred and eleven acres, a view of which is presented in the history of the town.

Mr. Rider has been prominently identified with the development of the town and all its material interests. His life has been one of industry, and his aim has been to earn the position he now occupies among the successful and wealthy farmers in the county. That he had a full portion of hardships and privations in his pioneer life, none will deny.

In 1840, Mr. Rider was married to Miss Isabella M., daughter of Jacob and Elsie Fishbeck, one of the well-known early families of Genoa. Mrs. Rider was born in the town of De Peyster, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., in 1824, and emigrated to Michigan with her parents in 1836. She, like her husband, is one of that noble band of pioneers to whom the present generation is indebted for much that they now enjoy. Mr. Rider is a self-made man. Early in life he learned that the way leading to success was no royal road, but was open to strong hands and willing hearts that

Honor and fame from no condition rise.
Act well your part, there all the honor lies.”

He early established methodical habits, and his energy and perseverance, coupled with integrity of character, have rendered his life a success. Politically he is a Democrat. In his religious affiliations he is a Free-Will Baptist, and manifests a deep interest in religious matters.

CHESTER HAZARD was born at Arlington, Bennington Co., Vt., June 23, 1796, being the oldest of a family of nine children. His parents were Evans and Abigail (Hawley) Hazard. His mother belonged to one of the old Puritan families of Connecticut. His father was of Scotch-Irish descent, born in Connecticut in 1774, and lived at various times in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. He finally removed to Michigan, where he died in 1851. Chester Hazard was a studious boy, and acquired a thorough common-school education. In 1806 he went to the home of an uncle, with whom he lived until he was seventeen years old. He then spent four years in learning the tanner’s and shoemaker’s trades. He worked at these trades four years in Cambridge, Washington Co., N. Y. In 1821 he took a partner, by whose dishonesty he lost everything he had accumulated. By working his father’s farm in Chenango Co., N. Y., two years, and his grandfather’s in Broome County, N. Y., five years, he saved five hundred dollars. With this capital he engaged in farming and tanning at Wheeler, Steuben Co., N Y. After ten years of successful labor there, in 1836, he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of wild land in Genoa, Livingston Co., Mich., and worked till 1842 in clearing it. In that year he was elected county treasurer, and removed to Howell. This office he held for two terms, and in 1847 was elected to the State Legislature, where he was instrumental in procuring the passage of the bill appropriating ten thousand acres of land for internal improvements. Since 1849 he has resided on his farm. He has been supervisor of the town and chairman of the Board of Supervisors for many years, and justice of the peace for forty years, besides holding many other offices. He cast his first vote for Andrew Jackson,and has always been a Democrat. Simple in his manner of life, Mr. Hazard has acquired a fortune by honesty, industry, and economy. He is a man of marked character and striking appearance. Now, at eighty-three years of age, he is still hale and vigorous, and his voice is as strong and clear as at the age of forty. No man ever questioned his integrity, and no one more than he deserves the respect which is universally accorded to him. His first wife, to whom he was married Aug. 31, 1817, died March 6, 1858, leaving six children. His second wife was Julia A. Buck, to whom he was married Sept. 8, 1863.

CHARLES BENEDICT was born in Cambridge, Washington Co., N. Y., May 4, 1809. His father, Isaac Benedict, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution; after the war he settled on a farm at Cambridge, where he died at an advanced age.

Charles Benedict lived with his father until he grew to manhood, assisting on the farm, and receiving such educational advantages as were offered by the district schools.

When a young man, he taught school several terms in the neighborhood of Cambridge. In 1830 he emigrated to Michigan, purchasing some land near Dexter, where he remained two years, teaching school a portion of the time. In 1832 he returned to New York, and married Miss Amy Church, of Otsego Co., N. Y. They came to Livingston County in 1836, and settled on section 21, in what is now the town of Genoa. At that time neither the town or State were yet organized. Mr. Benedict at once took an active and important part in the erection and organization of the town. The first town election was held at his house, when he was elected township clerk, an office he filled for several years. Subsequently he filled several of the town and county offices, among others that of supervisor; and was for two terms county treasurer.

He was a man much respected for his sterling integrity and sound judgment. He died Nov. 22, 1870, leaving a family of seven children,—four sons and three daughters. Alexander, the oldest child, lives at Fowlerville, this county; Omer H. married the oldest daughter of the late Ely Barnard, is a farmer, and lives adjoining the old home; Mariette married James Taylor, of Chelsea, Mich.; Martha A. married Freeman W. Allison, a farmer in Putnam; Alida C. married Dwight T. Curtis, a farmer in Genoa; Frank W. married Henrietta Beurman, and died October, 1878, in his twenty- eighth year; Fred. C. married Julia E. Beurman, lives on the home-farm with his mother, who is now in her sixty-seventh year, but vigorous and healthy. Having shared in the hardships and privations of pioneer life, and witnessed the transformation of the wilderness into a prosperous community, she now looks back over a long and industrious life with the satisfaction of having acted well her part.

ELY BARNARD was born in Madison Co., N. Y., Sept. 9, 1807, and emigrated in company with his brother, Pardon Barnard, to Michigan in 1834, settling on the farm in Genoa, where he died Sept. 9, 1871. Possessing abilities of a commanding order, Ely Barnard soon took a prominent and active part in the early history of the county, and in the formation here of the Democratic party, of which he was an influential member throughout his life. Aside from local offices, at the first election, after Michigan became a State, he was elected to the office of register of deeds, and in 1842 and 1843 he was one of the two members to represent the county in the State Legislature, which then met in Detroit. He was also a member of the State Convention, which met in 1850, to revise the Constitution. In all these positions Mr. Barnard commanded the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens for his signal ability and rigid honesty. After his return from the constitutional convention he refused to accept office again. He retired to his farm, which he cultivated assiduously, and he was considered one of the best agriculturists of the county. In the private relations of life he was held in high esteem. Judge Turner, in an address before the Pioneer Society, said of him, “Well do we remember with what nobility and independence he always bore himself in all the business of life. He was a man who never abdicated his dignity for a moment, but was a gentleman at all times and on all occasions.” Mr. Barnard was married, Jan. 31, 1839, to Miss Aristine Curtis, daughter of William Curtis, who emigrated from Madison Co., N. Y., in 1836, and settled on lands adjoining Mr. Barnard, where he died April 8, 1850, in the seventy-third year of his age. Mrs. Barnard has conducted the farm since her husband’s death. She has been the mother of nine children, seven of whom are now living,—three sons and four daughters.

William Bloodworth was born in Creeton, Lincolnshire, England, Dec. 3, 1803. His parents, William and Elizabeth Bloodworth, were farmers, and reared a family of four children,—three sons and one daughter,—William being the youngest. He received the advantages of the schools of his native town, and at the age of nineteen enlisted in the “King’s Guard,” in which he served twelve years. In 1833 he emigrated to this country. He spent the first winter in Ann Arbor, and in the spring following, removed with his family upon the farm which he had located in Genoa the previous fall; here he has since resided. The pioneer life of Mr. and Mrs. Bloodworth was one of much hardship and privation. Did our space permit we could pen from their lips many a tale of early life in Genoa that to the present generation would sound more like fiction than fact. But they are now receiving the full fruition of their long and successful life; having amassed a competency, they are enjoying the benefits resulting from a life of industry and economy. Mr. Bloodworth was married in 1831 to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of John and Ann Lown. She was born in Little Bytham, Lincolnshire, England, May 4, 1805. They have one child, Mrs. Isaac Sapp, who is living with her husband at the old home.