County of Sanilac MI
Greetings to Watertown 1909
- Contributed by Paul Petosky
James McCLURE was elected the first Supervisor of Watertown, in 1868, when the town was organized; George Morris was also elected Town Clerk and Edward Cash Treasurer at the same meeting, which was held at the house of Mr. Cash. All these were re-elected. There were only seven voters at the time, the remaining four being Thomas, Morris, and Hugh Codington and Hugh Johnson. All were elected to office and some held three or four offices. For instance, Mr. Cash was at the same time Treasurer, Highway Commissioner, School Inspector and Justice of the Peace. What a happy condition of political affairs that was,—when every office-seeker could "sleep, snore and forget," in the full knowledge of a contented ambition!
Mr. Cash was the first settler (on section 35), coming in 1851; and for eight long years he was the only human master of the wilderness. Then came John Doan, and three years later Mrs. Mary Doyle bought 40 acres of Mr. Cash and settled on it. The other settlers have come in since the '81 fire.
The first school-house was built on the northeast quarter of section 35, in 1867, and the first school was taught that winter by Mrs. Sophia Wilson, at that time 70 years old. She received $12 per month, and her pupils were the children of Mr. Cash and Mr. Codington.
John Gimmel built the first mill in the township, in 1882. It was a shingle mill and was operated about one year, when it was moved to Sandusky. A saw-mill and shingle-mill was built by David Fowles in 1882, and is at present located in the village of Cash. In 1883 William Tomelson started a general merchandise store in the village, but sold to Frank Agle a year later. The postoffice was established here at the same time as the store. The mail comes twice a week, from Peck, eight miles south.
A large State ditch was finished in 1884. Commencing on section 35, it runs north, bearing a little west, and comes out on section 3. The township is now all cleared, and is settling rapidly, owing to the fact that the county seat is on the north line.
There is a Methodist church, built in 1877; and a Baptist church, erected in 1878.
Watertown is a little south of the center of the county, being in range 14 east, town 11 north. North of it is Custer, east of it Washington, south of it Elk, and west of it Elmer.
These are its Supervisors from the first: