Branch Township

Mason Co Michigan

Branch Township was erected by an act of Legislature of the session of 1871, and comprises the territory of Townships 17 and 18 north of Range 15 west, in the county of Mason. Henry Flynn, Charles T. Carr and William Wellers were appointed inspectors of the first election held in the township.

The township is bounded on the north by Sherman, on the east by Lake County, on the south by Oceana County, and on the west by Eden and Custer Townships.

The present supervisor is B. P. Barnett, and the clerk is W. C. Arnold.

The population of the township in 1830 was 400, and the total vote 121.

The township abounds in small streams and lakes, and is still covered for the most part with timber.

There is but one schoolhouse in the township outside of Tallman.

The main line of the F. & P. M. Railroad extends across the township, and the Manistee branch extends north from Manistee Junction to Tallman.


This active little lumber village is situated on the Manistee branch of the Flint & Pore Marquette Railroad, and in the northwest portion of the township of Branch. The village is a part of the lumber interest of Butters, Peters A Co., and was started by Mr. Butters in 1879. The firm have recently purchased a large tract of line land near or at the middle of which is a beautiful little lake. Upon the edge of this lake Mr. Butters built a sawmill, which started up in the Spring of 1880. The main mill is 200 feet long, by 50 feet in width, with an engine and boiler room 50x50 feet in sire. There is also a shingle mill 50x50 feet in size. The power is supplied by a powerful engine, with six boilers, each of which is twenty- two feet iu length, and forty-four inches in diameter. Both the saw and^shingle mills are supplied with the very best machinery and all latest improvements. The capacity of the sawmill is about 15,000,000 feet of lumber, and of the shingle mill about 80,000,000 shingles a year. The business of the firm gives employment to about 150 men. The firm also have a large store, which is in charge of Marshall F. Butters, son of Horace Butters, who also assists in the general management of the business. The mill boarding-house is a large, two-story building, situated in the center of ample grounds, at a convenient distance from the mill. There is a Congregational Church edifice, a very tasty school building, and a postoffice building. The lumber manufactured by the mill is transported to Ludington by car and then shipped by vessel to Chicago. During last season the firm built an elegant steam barge, costing $10,000, and capable of carrying 100,000, feet of lumber. The firm own at the present time about 200,000,000 feet of standing pine.

Butters & Peters Company & Mill Properties Tallman


Frank H. Smith is a native of Pontiac, Mich., but most of his life, thus far, has been spent at Muskegon and Grand Rapids. About the time that Butters, Peters & Co. started at Tallman, Mr. Smith began in their employ its bookkeeper, and still continues in that position. Mr. Smith is a first class accountant, and stands high in the esteem of his employers.

J. J. Johnson, head sawyer at the mill of Butters, Peters & Co., Tallman, is a native of New York State. In 1862 he enlisted at Madison County, N. Y., in the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh New York Volunteers, and served in the army until the close of the war, in l865. In 1860 he went to Wisconsin, and remained for two years. He then went to Manistee, and remained there until the Spring of 1880, when he came to Tallman and entered the employ of Batters, Peters & Co., as head sawyer, which position he still holds.

Charles H. Ramsay, saw-filer at Butters, Peters & Co’s sawmill, Tallman, is a native of Canada, and came to Bay City, Mich., in 1875. From Bay City he went to Manistee, where he remained until the Spring of 1880, when he came to Tallman, as saw-filer for Butters, Peters & Co., which position he still holds. Mr. Ramsay is a married man and has a home at Tallman.

J. S. Francis Lloyd, engineer at the mill of Butters, Peters & Co., Tallman, is a native of Baltimore, Md., and came to Saginaw, Mich., in 1879. In the Spring of 1881 he entered upon his present position at Tallman. He has been at work at his trade for fourteen years, and is regarded as a thoroughly competent engineer. Patrick O'Connor, foreman of Butters, Peters & Co’s mill at Tallman, is a native of Virginia. When a young boy he went to Wisconsin and remained there until 1878, when he came to Ludington, and went into the employ of Mr. Butters. When the firm of Butters, Peters & Co. began operations, at Tallman, Mr. O’Connor went there and has been foreman of the mill ever since it was first started. He is thoroughly competent, and very faithful to the interests of his employers. He has a wife and two children and lives at Tallman.
History of Manistee, Mason and Oceana counties, Michigan 1882