Colfax Township

Oceana County Michigan


The township was organized in 1869, the first election being held April 5, 1869.

The following is the list of supervisors, clerks and treasurers: Supervisors — O. C. Benton, 1869-70; C. Woodworth, 1871- '72 3-82; Fayette Walker. 1874-75-6-7-8-9-'80-1.

Clerks, A. S. Perring, 1869; James B. Winans, 1870-75; Stephen A. Blanchard, 1871-76-'82; Alfonso C. Gowen, 1872-73-71. Andrew J. Cole. l877-78-9-'80-l.

Treasurers. Anson Freeman, 1869-77-8-9-'80; Fayette Walker, 1870-71-2-3; Albert Draggo, 1875-76-'8l-2.

The first settler was Anson Freeman, who came into the town and look up land, homesteading 160 acres, and erecting a house in October, 1863, being the first house in the township. He took his family in January, 1864. when he had to cut a road eight miles through the woods, and build a bridge across a good-sized creek, in order to get his family on their new place.

He was followed by Calvin Woodworth, in 1864, L. M. Keyes, and R. Jewell, in 1866, Allen and Willard R. Draggoo, and Moses Bolton, in 1867; Stephen A. Blanchard came in 1870. Among other early settlers were William A. Hoskiss, G. C. Benton, A. H. Perring, S. Rackliff, J.B. Winans, and Fayette Walker.

About the first public move that was made was the erection of a hastily-constructed schoolhouse, in which, as soon as the roof was on, and before a floor was laid, a school was commenced. Miss Axie Jewell (Mrs. A. H. Freeman) being the first teacher. There are now two good frame schoolhouses in the town, in which schools are taught during the Summer and Winter terms.

In Colfax over half the town is unorganized, as far as schools are concerned. In No. 1 there are seven pupils of school age; in No. 3, fifty-four of school age. F. Walker is chairman of inspectors, H. Draggoo, inspector.

BIOGRAPHICAL.

Stephen Augustus Blanchard, farmer, Section 25, was born May 27, 1840, in Holyoke, Mass., and resided in Florence, Easthampton, Hadley Falls, and Springfield. At the last mentioned place he worked in the armory three years during the war. He removed to Iowa, in 1868, remaining there until 1870, at which date he came into this state, and purchased his land from the railroad company. During his boyhood he had but limited educational advantages, being able to attend school only in winters, and that only until he was sixteen years of age. He married, February 22, 1881, Wealthy J. Bolton, at South Hadley Falls, Mass. They have three surviving children. George G., Enlys E., and Merwin O. They lost one son, George G., who died in 1862.

Mosas Bolton, farmer and fruit grower, Section 21, was born in North Wilbraham, Mass., June 1, 1828, and at the Age of fifteen went to South Hadley Falls, where he remained eight years, removing to Springfield, where he resided till the Fall of 1867, when he came to Colfax aud homesteaded 160 acres, where he still resides. He has made large improvements in his farm, and has devoted much care to the cultivation of fruit, making a specialty of plums, having a very large orchard of this fruit, the trees being very thrifty and hardy, with an excellent qualify of fruit, remarkable for their keeping qualities, bearing transportation well. He married, in 1851, Augusta Vinton, and Mary Wells, his present wife, May 8, 1878. He has three children, Herman J., Nellie and Minnie Edna.

William R. Dragoo, farmer, Section 26, was born in Richland, Ashland Co., Ohio, whence he removed to Indiana, coming to this state in 1867, homesteading seventy-five acres in Colfax, upon which he built a log dwelling, and moved his family March 16, 1867, and has now good improvements on a well tilled farm, with a good variety of fruit. He married, July 19, 1860, Hannah Morr, of De Kalb County, Ind., and they have a fine, healthy family of intelligent children, nine daughters and one son—Mary Jane, Sarah C, Laura E., Emilia, Ida B., Cora E., Gertha A., Blanche M., Maude L. and Samuel R.

Rufus Jewell, farmer, Section 34, was born in Chenango County, N. Y., November 1, 1820; came into this state in October, 1865, remaining in Newaygo until March 20, 1866, at which time he came into Colfax and homesteaded 120 acres. He located his land April 20, 1866, at the same time purchasing eighty acres in addition. He erected a dwelling and moved his family into it, April 14, 1867, and has resided there ever since. He married, June 22, 1842, Miss Rachel M. Bosworth, of New Hudson, Allegheny Co., N. Y., and they have two surviving children, Maggie and Axie (Mrs. A. H. Freeman).