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Monroe County

Berlin Township

The township of Ash was organized out of Frenchtown in 1837. In 1867 Berlin was organized out of Ash. The first supervisor elected was John Strong, in 1868 Wm. S. Morey. In 1869, 1871, 1872, 1873 and 1874 Fred Neidermeier, and for officers to and inclusive of 1889, the render is referred to statement in this volume on page 271.

Within the limits of this town are two thriving villages. South Rockwood is on the Lake Shore Railway. The leading and main proprietor, John Strong, has in successful operation a two story brick store with an extensive stock of merchandise, a public assembly room, a flouring and stave mill, with all modern improvements; a number of improved farms, well stocked with imported stock; a competitor at county and State fairs, and having ever been an industrious, prudent and enterprising business man, is regarded one of the wealthiest men of the county, through whose generosity the substantial church was mainly built.

Newport, through which the Michigan Central or Canada Southern and Lake Shore Railroads pass, comprises three dry good stores — Bargassa & Co., A. G. Gamble and J. F. Colburn; one grist mill, owned by T. J. Neidermeier; one feed mill and basket manufactory, owned by Calkins & Brothers; two basket manufactories, owned by Ward & Son and B----; one creamery stock company; three blacksmith and wagon shops, owned by A. Menard. P. Fix, and Mudge; two saloons, R. P. Navarro and Geo. Martin, proprietors; one millinery store, by Miss Lizzie Bondenet, one drug store, by Doctor J. J. Valade; one Congregational and one Methodist church; with two depots; and two practicing physicians — Drs. J. J, and J. L. Valade.
Talcott E. Wing's History of Monroe County, Michigan (New York: Munsell and Company, 1890).

Berlin Township

This township was formerly a part of Ash, which in 1837 was organized out of Frenchtown and became an independent township when it was organized out of Ash in 1867. Upon its first election in 1868. Hon. John Strong was chosen supervisor. The latter is a most public-spirited citizen whose residence and business interests of large magnitude are located in Smith Rockwood and comprise a large flouring mill, slave mill, extensive general store occupying a two-story brick block and filled with a very large stock of general merchandise, and in the second story a large public hall for the convenience of the public. Two steam railroad lines pass through the village, the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, and Michigan Central Railroads, and the electric suburban of the Detroit Cnited Short Line, between Detroit. Monroe and Toledo, affording ample transportation facilities. A tasteful and substantial brick church (undenominational) was built by the generosity of Mr. Strong for his fellow residents in the village. Newport is a thriving village also in tins township, with an enterprising community, supplied with manufacturing and mercantile houses, which have had a uniformly prosperous career, a Methodist, Congregational and Catholic church, two hotels and two railroad stations, and the station of the Detroit, Monroe snd Toledo Electric Railroad.

The geological features in this neighborhood center in the limestone quarries, which at this point are rich in building stone, lime and road metal. A large stone crusher was operated here for many years. The supervisor of the township is Frank W. Partlan of Newport. The first settlers in the township were William White and Louis Le Due. The former settled on a farm one mile east of the present village of Newport and for many years was the enterprising and somewhat eccentric proprietor of a hotel and general store. When the Detroit. Monroe and Toledo Railroad was built the line planned Mr. White by choosing a route westerly, where a village sprung up and the station named Newport also. To avoid confusion the name of the first town was changed to Old Port and so remains. One of the largest Catholic churches in the county is located here.
HISTORY of Monroe MI; by John McClelland Bulkle Lewis Publishing Co., 1913