Genealogy Trails

Oakland County Michigan

 Holly Township


This township embraced within the limits of Oakland County was divided, in 1820, into two townships, named respectively Oakland and Bloomfield.  The former included the north three fifths of the county and the Upper south two-fifths.  This arrangement was continued until 1827, when these two townships were subdivided and five townships erected from the named territory.  These were Oakland, Bloomfield, Farmington, Troy and Pontiac.  The latter included, with others, within is its limits the present townships of Groveland and Holly. Groveland township was organized in 1835, including what is now Holly.  The legislature passed an act on the 6th of March, 1838, creating a new township, called Holly, from the west half of Groveland, or the congressional township designated on the government surveys as "town 5 north, range 7 east."  Strenuous efforts had previously been done to organize a separate township for civil purposes, but the project was opposed by several of the settlers in better circumstances, from the fact that the population with it's limits was then so small that they would have the bulk of the taxes to pay if the parties for the division should attain the object they were seeking for.  Principal among the opposition party was Peter Pagen, then the largest property-owner in the township.  Finally he withdrew his opposition, as did the others, and the new organization was effected.  The township was named by Jonathan T. Allen, after Mount Holly in New Jersey.

THE SURFACE of the township is much diversified, and the landscape is dotted with hill and valley, lake and stream, marsh and swamp, smiling fields and green forests, while in nearly every part the improvements which have been made keep pace with the general advancement of the country, evince the taste of its inhabitants, and lend a pleasing variety to the view.  The higher land, though not rising to the attitude reached in other parts of the county, are of sufficient elevation to be classed as hills, and are of the formation so common in the southern peninsula of Michigan, -- merely upheaved piles of gravel and boulders, the latter worn smooth in their tossing and grindings during the period of glacial drifting, when the mighty commotion of ice and water which swept over the land hollowed out the depressions where now are found lakes and swamps, and rolled together promiscuously the deposits of rocks and mineral which were borne on their icy car from regions further north and west.  Holly township contains a considerable number of lakes, mostly surrounded by marsh and tamarack swamp.  All abound in fish of a fine quality, and the disciple of Izaak Walton here finds rare sport in angling for the varied members of the finny tribe, while in their season vast numbers of wild fowls frequent the country, seemingly created for their especial benefit, and the crack of the sports man's gun is heard far and near.  Principal among the lakes are Bush, Crotched Pond, Gravel, Fagan and Bevins.  There are in the township about fifty lakes and ponds, and by them and their outlets, including Swartz creek and the Shiawassee river, it is well watered.  The soil is generally sandy.  Though a system of summer following and persevering labor it is made to produce excellent crops of wheat, which is the staple grain in this part of the State.  Other small grains are raised with very good success, and corn averages fairly with that raised in any other township in the county.  Much land-plaster is used, its fertilizing properties being of great assistance in preparing the land and for successful returns for the labors of the farmer.

IRON ORE appears in places in the quality known as "bog ore" but not in sufficient qualities to pay for working.  The township contains in the western part many mineral springs, some of their waters possessing strong medicinal qualities.  By a small outlay some of these springs might be made the source of a considerable income, and the "Holly Springs" become as famous as those of Saratoga, New Bedford, or Berkeley.

THE TIMBER of the township is principally of the several varieties of oak, and in but few places are there any remains of the heavy timber, it being generally of a second growth.  When the country was first settled the underbrush was kept down by the extensive fires which swept over its surface, and only since the fires have ceased has the new supply been allowed to grow.  As a result the young timber stands thick upon the ground, and the supply is unlikely soon to be exhausted.

Township Information

William Gage  Marriage, Death
Nathan Herrick  Daily Life
Terrence Fagan  Election
Alonzo R. Rood  Town Meeting
Edwin Edwards  Town Officials (pre 1842)
Jonathan T. Allen  Town Officials (post 1842)
William Young  Post-Office
Moses Smith  Misc. Businesses
Joel Warren Business Resume
Samuel Green Newspapers
1832 First Road
1833 Detroit and Milwaukee railway
1834 Flint and Pere Marquette railway
First School First National Bank
  Merchant's National Bank
Cemeteries in Holly Township Holly Lodge, No. 134
  Holly Chapter, No. 80  R. A. M.
  Holly Council, R. and S. M
RELIGION Protection Lodge, No. 202 . K. of H.
Methodist Episcopal Church Grand Lodge of Michigan
The Christian Church Independent  Order of Odd-Fellows
First Baptist Church Holly Grange, Patrons of Husbandry
First Presbyterian Church Red Ribbon movement
Township response in 1861 William E. Pier
Company C, Eighth Michigan Calvary Martin Stiff
First 4th of July Celebration Samuel Green
  Nathan T. Elliott



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