Mecosta County MI

Chippewa Township

Chippewa Township, situated in the northern tier of townships of Mecosta County, is township 16 north, range seven, Congressional survey, and is bounded on the north by Osceola County, on the east by Fork Township, on the south by Martiny Township, and on the west by Grant Township. It is on the divide between the two slopes drained by the Muskegon and the Chippewa, though most of it is tributary to the Chippewa. Pogie Lake, in the northwestern part, is the source of Pogie Creek, which unites with Muskegon River in Grant Township. South through the central part of the township flows Roundy Branch, which enters Upper Evans Lake on the southern line of the township. This lake has from its southern end, which is in Martiny Township, a short outlet flowing into Lower Evans Lake. This in turn flows by another short outlet into the South Branch of the Chippewa. On the head-waters of the Roundy Branch and tributary streams are Pine Lake, Emerald Lake, and a number of smaller bodies of water. On the northern boundary lies Big Stone Lake, which projects into Osceola County, and in the southwestern part of the township lies Chippewa Lake, the largest body of water in Mecosta County. It may be considered as the source of the South Branch of the Chippewa. It covers parts of sections 19, 20, 21,29, and 30, and is 800 or more acres in extent. A railroad has recently been built to Chippewa Lake, as a branch from the Detroit, Lansing & Northern railroad, and a small steamer plies on the lake. It may in time become a very popular resort. Chippewa Township was given a civil organization in 1868, and it elected as its first Supervisor, John W. Sparks. The first white settler, a Mr. Pollock, located on section six, in the spring of 1865. The first birth, that of Mary McCormack, daughter of Malcolm and Catherine McCormack, occurred April 20, 1868. The first death was that of Mrs. Sylvester Smith. The first marriage, that of Robert Jamieson and Minnie Martiny, was solemnized by Rev. E. B. Miner, in January, 1868. The first frame building was a barn, erected by William Perry in 1874. The first mill was a saw-mill, erected by R. W. Kimball, in 1872. The first school-house was a log building erected on section eight, in the spring of 1870; and the first school was taught by Z. N. Tidd, in the summer of the same year. The first store was opened by Wilson Brothers in June, 1873. The first postoffice, Chippewa Lake, was established in 1870, with S. V. Tice as Postmaster.

The Chippewa Grange is an organization deserving mention. It was started in 1874, with a membership of 25. At the present time it has 30 members, and is in excellent condition. They have a hall, built in 1879.

The lumber interest is of great importance in Chippewa Township. The Chippewa Lumber Company purchased 150,000,000 feet of timber near Chippewa Lake, in the fall of 1882. They also purchased the D. F. Comstock Mill at Big Rapids, and removed the same to Chippewa Lake during the winter. They commenced sawing the 1st of June. They will soon have a large planing mill and shingle mill in connection with their lumber business. The same firm have platted a village called Chippewa, which is growing rapidly, and has excellent prospects for future prosperity, as the nearest towns are Evart and Big Rapids, 12 miles distant. On section 2 is a saw-mill with a capacity of 18,000 feet per day, run by William Wilson, Bro. & Miller.

In 1870, the population of Chippewa Township was only 140. In 1874 this had increased to 291, and in 1880 the census credited it with 445. In 1878 it had 1,522 acres of improved land; and in 1881 it had 1,737 acres. In 1869, the equalized valuation of its real and personal estate was $32,414; and its present valuation is $426,680. The total vote of the township, in November, 1882, was 54.