Tustin Michigan Osceola County

Tustin, MI (Street Scene) (1910) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

This village is located on the line of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway, in the eastern part of Burdell Township. It was laid out upon the advent of this railroad, the first train of which gave a happy New Year's greeting to the pioneers January i, 1872. Its site is on rolling ground, which affords the residents some very fine locations for dwellings. W. J. Townsend was the enterprising man first to locate here, who after settling had energy enough to cut the first tree. In the spring of 1872, a general store was opened by Daniel McGovern. About this period the Swedish colony of New Bleking located in and around here, with headquarters at the village. The railroad company, to encourage Swedish immigration, gave the colony 40 acres of land here for church and school purposes, and for building lots. There were in this colony some 80 families, numbering in all about 300 persons.

In the spring of 1875, Mr. Townsend erected and opened the first hotel, which was called the Tustin House. This building is still used as a hotel. In 1880, the first Fourth-of-July celebration was held. A gentleman from Chicago delivered the oration, which is reported to have been very eloquent and patriotic. A liberty-pole was raised, games of various kinds were indulged in, and a grand old time was had.

Tustin has a population of about 350, and is a thrifty, growing town, sustained principally by the lumbering trade.


Belsher & McGowan and Truman A. Stephens, have two good saw-mills in the place, which were started in 1883.

Sawyer & Knox are manufacturing bowls.

Gideon A. Estes is one of the old merchants, and has a large stock of general merchandise, with a thriving business.

Kennedy & Sons are manufacturers and dealers in flour, feed and grain.

George W. Bevins, who is one of the old settlers, has an extensive line of general merchandise.

Stokes & Co. deal in groceries, provisions, dry goods, drugs and medicines.

D. S. Liddle is agent for Ransom & Giles, of Detroit, in general merchandise.

A. J. Thompson has a full line of drugs and medicines, and is also a practicing physician.

J. W. Ransom has drugs and medicines.

F. J. Luick deals in confectionery, fruits, tobacco and cigars.

L. B. Stephens has a real-estate office, and is also a Justice of the Peace.

Stark Layman looks after the surveying interests.

S. S. Stephens has a billiard hall, and keeps "soft drinks."

P. L. Compton and J. T. Willner carry on the livery business.

Maxwell & Moore have a wagon and blacksmith shop

G. S. Deal does blacksmithing.

O. L. Knox handles groceries and provisions.

Charles Johnson keeps a restaurant, and A. J. Anderson wines and liquors.

The Commercial House is conducted by S. C. Jones, proprietor. He has recently purchased this house, and when completed will be one of the largest hotels in the county. He is an old pioneer of this part of the State. In early days he was an extensive trapper, and in this business having of necessity roughed it much, he now knows how to make his guests comfortable and at home.

The Tustin House, kept by J. T. Cavanaugh, is a good hotel, and the first opened in Tustin. Mr. Cavanaugh also keeps a meat market.

The postoffice was established here in 1872, with W. J. Townsend as Postmaster. He was succeeded by George W. Bevins in 1878, who is still in possession of the office.

Tustin has a flourishing and attractive school, with 85 scholars. They have a good school building, which cost $1,250. Albert Demory is the present teacher.


The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the spring of 1882, with 16 members, namely: L. D. Cool and wife, Henry D. Mowers and wife, Daniel McGovern and wife, Wm. E. Walker and wife, John E. Mitchell and wife, Mrs. Mary Stokes, A. M. Demory, Mrs. Alice Letson, Mrs. Jane Edgett and Mrs. Lucy DuBois. It was organized by Rev. Owen J. Golden, of LeRoy. This society has no church building, but hold their meetings in the building formerly occupied by the Swedish Church. Services are held here every Sabbath by Rev. J. F. McKinley, of LeRoy. It has a membership at present of 25.

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized April is, 1874, with 10 members. Articles of faith are those of the Augsburg Confession, and accepted by the Scandinavian Augustana Synod, to which body this society belongs. This was the first Church organized in Tustin. In 1882, they erected their new church edifice, which cost $2,500. At present there are 225 members, having one of the largest congregations in the county. Rev. John Forsburg is their Pastor.

Episcopal Church.—This Church was organized soon after the town was settled, and embraced in its membership a part of the Swedish colony. Owing to some misunderstanding, the Swedish portion of the congregation withdrew and organized a separate society, known as the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, and erected for themselves a new church building. This action reduced the membership of the Episcopal Church to a very few. The society, however, still holds together, and is occasionally served by Bishop Gillespie, of Grand Rapids.


The Tustin Echo is a six-column folio paper, published and edited by Frank J. Luick. The Echo is a very neat, newsy sheet. The editor says there is nothing miraculous about his paper further than that "it has come to stay." It first presented itself to the reading public Dec. 18, 1884. The office was formerly the plant of the Advance, which was established in 1878. It existed until Oct. 1, 1884, when its light was withdrawn from the world. Another paper was published in the office, called the Herald. It had a brief life and then its flickering light went out, to be rekindled by the Echo. The Echo will be independent in politics, enterprising, and faithful to its patrons. We bespeak for it a successful future.


Col. Stewart Lodge, No, 285, Grand Army of the Republic was instituted Oct. 8, 1884. Charter members—A. Corwin, Daniel McGovern, Stark Lampman, S. N. Barron, M. B. Houghton, G. F. Naygle, Joseph G. Fenner, H. B. Chapman, John Byers, John Grove, John Mitchell, G. C. Taylor, Frank Allen, William Degart, Frank Edgett, Jerome Morgan, Charles Winchell and C. A. Bolin. The lodge has at present 20 members, with the following officers: Commander, M. B. Houghton; Senior Vice Commander, Stark Lampman; Junior Vice Commander, George Naygle; Quartermaster, John Grave; Adjutant, Areteus Cannon; Chaplin, Daniel McGovern; Officer of the Day, H. B. Chapman. This lodge has a good hall and is in good working order.

Odd Fellows, No. 372, was instituted in October, 1882. Charter members—Oliver Platts, A. M. Demory, Stark Lampman, Davis Collins, Wm. Laughrae, James H. Anderson, Joseph H. George, A. J. Morgan, Israel Sherman, S. B. Root, Wm. Gage and W. J. Townsend. The lodge is in a flourishing condition and has now 38 members, with a good, well equipped hall. Officers—N. G., W. J. Townsend; Recording Secretary, D. R. Marvin; Treasurer, A. J. Thompson.

Rebecca Lodge, Florence, No. 64, was chartered April 6, 1883. Members—Oliver Platts, D. F. Collins, Stark Lampman, David Kennedy, A. J. Thompson, Wm. Byers, S. D. Cool, H. A. Morgan, George Hawkins, J. H. Anderson, George Clark, Henry Hoover and George W. Davis. Sisters —Mary R, Collins, Nellie Kennedy, Eunice B. Thompson, Alta Hoover, Maria George, Mary A. Townsend, Mary Byers, Lucy B. Cool, Jane Morgan, Mary M. Somers, Sarah L. Anderson and Elma Clark. Officers—Mrs. A. W. Somers, N. G.; Mrs. K. Anderson, Secretary; and Mrs. M. A. Townsend, Treasurer.

The lodge of United Workmen was instituted March 11, 1881. Charter members—Francis Smith, Daniel McGovern, W. J. Townsend. W. E. Walker, A. L. Cool, D. T. Jaques, Daniel Buse, H. D. Mauer, J. E. Graves and Oran Hewit. Present membership, 28. Officers—Master, M. W. Perry Secretary, S. B. Root; Treasurer, A. J. Thompson Chaplain, Daniel McGovern.

Portrait & Biographical 1884