VILLAGE OF BANGOR
Bangor, MI (North Side Main Street West from
Railroad Bridge) 1909 - Contributed by Paul Petrosky
The village of Bangor is situated near the northeast corner of the township,
a portion of its site extending into Arlington.
;privileges are here afforded by the Black River, and the village is also a
station on the line of the Chicago and West Michigan Railroad.
lands embraced within the corporate limits were purchased from the general
government by the following named parties: The east half of the southwest
quarter of section 1, Bangor township, by J. R. Monroe; the southeast
quarter of section 1, by Ostrom, Walker & Co.; the east half of the
northeast quarter of section 12, bgy Samuel Payne; the west half of the
northeast quarter of section 12 by T. S. Camp; the east half of the
northwest quarter of section 12, by T. S. Camp; the northeast quarter of the
southwest quarter, and the north half of the southeast quarter of section
12, by Tomlinson & Co.
In Arlington, the southwest quarter of section
6, by Peter Schermerhorn; the west half of the northwest fractional quarter
of section 8, by John Allen; the east half of the northwest quarter of
section 8, by J. R. Monroe, and the north half of the southwest quarter of
the same section, by Horace Butler.
First and Other Early
Settlements -- To Charles U. Cross, the first settler in the township,
may be accorded the honor of being the first settler upon the village-site
of Bangor. Mr. Cross came to the State of Michigan from Madison Co., N., Y.,
in 1834. Having come into the possession of lands entered by him in 1834, in
the name of his uncle, Samuel Payne, he, about the 1st of March, 1837, began
the construction of a log house upon the same, and in this dwelling his
family (consisting of only his newly-married wife) was installed upon its
completion, on the 8th of the same month. His attention was not wholly
devoted to farming pursuits, however, for he depended much upon his
profession as a civil engineer and surveyor. The country was meagerly
supplied with roads and bridges, and an almost constant demand was made upon
his skill for years to aid in their construction.
following spring (April 14, 1838) a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Cross, who
enjoyed the distinction of being the first white child born in the township.
The second settler in the village was Orlando S. Brown, who removed to
the State from MOnroe Co., N. Y., in 1837, and to Bangor in 1839. Mr. Brown
had already entered 80 acres on section 14, in the township, on which he had
made a slight improvement, when an opportunity was afforded him to effect an
exchange for 80 acres on section 12, entered by Wm. L. Booth. One half of
this land is now embraced within the village limits. On this ground by a
single tree had been felled, probably by the Indians in search for honey.
Its owner at once began a vigorous system of improvements. After the
erection of a log house of sufficient dimensions to contain his family he
cleared six acres and planted it with corn. The timber which at this time
covered the present village limits was of the most gigantic proportions,
some of the trees of black walnut and whitewood reaching six feet in
diameter. For these splendid monarchs. of the forest no market could be
found, as the want of roads made their transportation in the form of lumber
impossible. Later, the opening of highways created a demand, and ultimately
made the timber of hte settler one of his most profitable source of revenue.
Many Indians were to be found following the streams for fish or pursuing the
hunt, those in the immediate vicinity being under the direction and control
of a chief of the Pottawatamies named Pi-pa-wa. They were on amicable terms
with the settlers, often exchanging supplies of game for bread, and were
frequent visitors to the cabin of Mr. Brown. when overtaken by the
approaching night, they found a cordial welcome and as comfortable a
lodging-place as they desired upon the floor, where, wrapped in their
blankets beside a blazing fire of logs, they slumbered, oblivious of care.
The early pioneers were for a time profitably employed by the highway
commissioners in making roads, for which they were paid in orders. These
orders, which were the nearest approach to currency obtainable, were
exchanged in Paw Paw for supplies at a discount of twenty-five per cert. Mr.
Brown while engaged in this lucrative pursuit was accustomed, when at a
distance from his home, to build a hut of brush for shelter at night. A
cluster of boughs answered as a bed, and a fire of logs modified in some
degree the severity of the frost. Frequently the morning would find him
almost enveloped in snow, and on many occasions the dinner was so frozen
that his axe was called into requisition to cut it in pieces.
schooner laden with apples and shipwrecked on Lake Michigan afforded an
opportunity for raising an orchard. The seeds of the apples washed ashore
were planted in 1841, and produced the earliest fruit raised in the
township. Mr. Brown still resides within the village limits, on the land of
which he became an early possessor.
Calvin Cross, a brother of the
earliest pioneer in Bangor, came in May of 1844, and pursued his calling of
a millwright. Discerning the advantages to be derived from the fine
water-power, in connection in Charles U. Cross he erected in 1846 a saw-mill
on the Black River, being assisted in its construction by William Rea,
Orlando S. Brown, David Taylor, Christian B. Gross, and William H. Hurlbut.
An examination of the records establishes the fact that this property was
conveyed by Charles U. Cross and wife to Calvin Cross, May 3, 1850. Mr.
Cross managed it for a period of six years, and then sold to Marcello P.
Watson, who conveyed in 1856 to Joseph H. Nyman, who subsequently erected
upon the same site a sash- and blind-factory. Mr. Cross then removed
to Paw Paw and erected a mill, and later another mill in Hartford, on the
Paw Paw River, which was sold two years later. After following agricultural
pursuits during the interval, he removed again to Bangor in 1873, where he
William Rea purchased in 1846 a fractional quarter lying
in the township of Arlington, a portion of which is now embraced in the
village. He improved this land, erected upon it a small dwelling, and
removed his family there the following year.
William S. Camp settled
upon 160 acres of land on section 12 in 1846, and became a resident of the
hamlet. He took immediate measures to clear and cultivate his land, and
resided upon it until his death, in 1870. The land was entered by his
father, Thomas S. Camp. Rossiter Hoppin and Christian B. Gross soon after
located within the village limits.
Marcello P. Watson was the
earliest settler who embarked in commercial pursuits. In 1852, in connection
with Albert Comstock, he purchased a stock of goods and opened a general
store. The demand for their wares was not large, and the ambitious merchants
found it expedient to reduce their stock, and finally to close it out, Mr.
Watson soon after becoming the owner of the saw-mill.
A very marked
impetus was given to the growth of Bangor and its business interests by the
settlement of Joseph H. Nyman, who came from Niles, Mich., in 1856, and
purchased the saw-mill and water-privilege. He replaced the old mill by a
new and larger one, and the year following his arrival built a grist-mill.
In 1865 he erected an extensive woolen-mill, having meanwhile much improved
the water-power. Through his influence a post-office was established, of
which he was postmaster, -- the mail having been carried at first from
Arlington. Later, a tri-weekly state conveyed it from Paw Paw and South
Haven to Bangor.
The store erected by Watson was in 1862 purchased by
J. D. Kingston, and in response to the urgent demand of travelers in search
of shelter and good cheer, he converted it into a hotel and became the first
landlord of the place. L. S. Russell became his successor, who added
considerably to its dimensions and sold to L. H. Perkins, who in term sold
to its present proprietors, when it was christened the Sebring House.
In 1864, A. B. Taft came from New York State and opened what was at the
time the only general merchandise store in the place, in a building standing
just north of the present site of the depot. The room was not only very
limited in proportions but exceedingly dilapidated in condition, and the
citizens did Mr. Taft the justice not to judge the quality of his stock by
the uninviting aspect of the store. The same building did good service in
the celebration of the opening of the railroad, in 1870. Mr. Taft was
followed by the Ferguson brothers, who embarked in business on the north
side in the spring of 1866, and the same summer Silas De Long opened a stock
of goods, which the following year was sold to D. K. Charles.
village was already assuming importance as a business centre, and attracting
enterprising settlers from adjacent parts of the State, when the question of
building a railroad within its boundaries was agitated. The agent of The
Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad, now called the Chicago and West
Michigan Railroad, visited the county and secured from the inhabitants of
the township a pledge of $300,000 to aid in its construction. This was by a
subsequent decree of the State Supreme Court reduced to one-half that
amount, *(The township voted a tax of $30,000, which was declared
unconstitutional and void; the $15,000 was raised and paid by private
subscription.) and $15,000 was raised by the citizens and paid towards the
completion of the project. This railroad opened a means of transportation
for the products of the adjoining country, and made Bangor a central point
of shipment, very materially advancing the value of property and insuring
for the little village a future career of prosperity.
powerful lever to the advancement of Bangor since the opening of the
railroad has been the Bangor Blast Furnace. The company was organized in
1872, with a capital of $100,000, and was influenced by the ample supply of
hard timber and the inducements offered by leading residents of the township
to locate in the village. Its extensive demand for material and its immense
shipping interests have greatly advanced the business activity of the place.
The Bangor Chemical Works were next established, and they add
materially to the industries of the village. These interests, supplemented
by the prosperity of its business men and the ambition of its citizens, will
eventually place Bangor among the most advanced villages of the State.
VILLAGE PLATS. -- The first plat of the village was made by
Joseph H. Nyman, and recorded Nov. 12, 1860. It embraced 55 acres on the
north side of the river, and was known as the village of Bangor. The year
following Mr. Nyman built on one of the lots of this plat his present
residence, which was the first dwelling erected on the north side of the
river. The second plat was made by Charles U. Cross, July 11, 1867, and
included about 63 acres, embracing the east half of the northeast quarter of
section 12. North of this plat Mr. Cross owned 17 acres, which he disposed
of in parcels, giving five acres to the Blast Furnace Company as a site for
In 1872, Alexander H. Morrison platted the west half of
the east half of the north east quarter of section 12. In 1874 he also
platted 80 acres in addition, embracing the east half of the northwest
quarter of section 12, and later sold it. The later is now cultivated as a
Incorporation, Village Officers -- The act to
incorporate the village of Bangor bears date March 21, 1877, and reads as
"An Act to incorporate the village of Bangor.
"Section One - The people of the State of Michigan enact that all the tracts
of land situated in the townships of Bangor and Arlington, in the county of
Van Buren, and State of Michigan, which are known and described as follows,
to wit: the southeast quarter and the east half of the southwest quarter of
section one (1), the northeast quarter and east half of the northwest
quarter, the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter, and the north half
of the southeast quarter of section twelve (12), township two south, of
range sixteen west , the southwest fractional quarter of section six (6),
the northwest fractional quarter and the north half of the southwest
fractional quarter of section seven (7), township two south, of range
fifteen west, be and the same are hereby made and constituted a village
corporate by the name of the village of Bangor, by virtue of and under the
provisions of act Number Sixty-Two of the Session laws of Eighteen Hundred
and Seventy-Five, entitled 'An Act granting and defining the Powers and
duties of incorporated villages, approved April 1, 1875, and such amendments
as made thereto.'
"Section Two - The first election for officers of
said village shall be held on the third Monday of April, Eighteen Hundred
and Seventy-Seven (1877), at the office of Sebring's warehouse, in said
village, notice of which shall be posted in three public places of said
village by the board of registration hereinafter appointed, at least ten
days previous thereto."
The first election was held at the office of
Sebring's warehouse, April 16, 1877. The officers of the village elected at
that time and at subsequent elections have been as follows:
President, Ephraim Harvey; Trustees (two years), R. C. Nyman, John Desmond,
Judson B. Hall, (one year)
William H. Reynolds, James Salisbury, Mark
Remington; Clerk, William H. Reynolds; Treasurer, John E. Sebring; Assessor,
James E. Ferguson; Street Commissioner, Edwin Ruthruff; Constable, Thaddeus
1878 - President, James E. Ferguson; Trustees (two years),
Mark Remington, James Slinger, Josiah G. Miller; Clerk, William H. Davis;
Treasurer, Nathan W. Deak; Assessor, Enoch S. Harvey; Street Commissioner,
James Livermore; Constable, William Ford.
1879 - President, N. W.
Drake; Trustees (two years), J. G. Todd, W. H. Davis, A. J. McLaughlin;
Clerk, William H. Reynolds; Treasurer, H. D. Harvey; Assessor, E. S. Harvey;
Street Commissioner, Edwin Ruthruff; Constable, W. G. Russell.
Sebring House - This hotel building
had its origin as early as 1852, when the portion now in use as a kitchen
was erected by M. P. Watson as a dwelling. Ten years later I. D. Kingston
purchased the building, and opened the earliest house of entertainment in
the village. Later it became the property of various parties, until its
purchase by Horace Sebring in 1869. It had previously been greatly increased
in capacity, and Mr. Sebring added other apartments after his purchase of
the building. He established its reputation as a well-kept house, and drew
by his uniform courtesy and attention a large patronage. In 1878 the
building was still further enlarged. The proprietor died the same year,
since which time it has been managed by his son, John E. Sebring.
Russell House - This hotel is among Bangor's recent acquisitions,
having been built in 1879 by C. G. Russell, who is also proprietor. It is
conveniently located, and is obtaining a good patronage from travelers.
The Bangor Blast Furnace
- This is an establishment for the smelting of iron ore and the manufacture
of pig iron. It is under the direction of a stock company, the officers of
which are A. B. Hough, President, Cleveland, Ohio; J. D. Bradley,
Vice-President, Chicago, Ill.; C. D. Rhodes, Treasurer, Chicago, Ill.; H. S.
Pickands, Secretary and General Superintendent. The furnace was built in
1872, and began operation in November of the same year the company having
been led to choose Bangor as a location from the abundant supply of wood
which the adjacent contry affords, as well as for its convenience as a
The furnace has run steadily until the present time,
with the exception of four weeks of each year, when it goes out of blast to
permit repairs, which usually require that length of time for completion.
The furnace, including the works, kilns, and wood-yards, occupies 10 acres
of ground, and gives employment in all its branches to more than 400 men.
The best single day's product of the furnace is 45 gross tons of pig iron,
and the average day's results 36 tons. The month of March, 1879, indicated a
yield of 1181 tons. There is daily consumed nearly 125 cords of wood, and
the timber from a square mile of forest is consumed annually. The immense
resources of the country in this particular are fully equal to the demand,
which is supplied either by wagon or rail. These figures afford an idea of
the magnitude of the business and the extensive employment given to the
population of Bangor and vicinity. The enterprise is under the general
direction of Maj. H. S. Pickands, and the furnace department is under the
immediate supervision of Maurice Ring.
The Bangor Chemical Works
- These works, which are probably the largest of the kind in the world,
are located in Bangor, adjacent to the blast furnace. They were built by Ira
B. Lyon, of Flint, Mich., from plans and specifications furnished by H. M.
Pierce, of Buffalo, N. Y., the products of the works being acetate of lime,
from which acetic acid is produced, and wood alcohol. Of acetate of lime,
35,000 pounds, or 2 car-loads, is produced per week, while the yield of
alcohol is 50 barrels per month. The pyroligneous acid, from which these
products are reduced, is obtained by condensing the gases thrown off in the
carbonization of wood in charcoal-kilns belonging to the Bangor blast
furnace. In these kilns about 70 cords of wood are daily reduced to
charcoal. Each cord will yield about 180 gallons of acid liquor, the entire
70 tons yielding about 60 tons of liquor, which must be daily handled in
To give some idea of the magnitude of the work,
a few figures are appended. There are six buildings of the following
dimensions: engine-house 22 by 30 feet; office, 14 by 22 feet; still-house,
16 by 30 feet; neutralizing-house, 24 by 56 feet; alcohol department, 30 by
50 feet; acetate department, 56 by 100 feet. The daily yield of liquid from
the kilns is about 13,000 gallons. The tanks and stills hold in the
aggregate about 50,000 gallons. There are 9 evaporating-pans with a capacity
of 1356 cubic feet, and 2 drying surfaces of 1600 feet.
has recently greatly enhanced his reputation as a scientist by the discovery
of a process of utilizing smoke for purpose of fuel.
Mills - The saw-mill, as has been previously stated, was built by
Charles U. and Calvin Cross in 1846, the latter gentleman having disposed of
it to M. P. Watson, from whom it was purchased by John H. Nyman in 1846. The
next year he demolished the old mill and erected a new one in its place,
with a capacity of 12,000 feet per day. In connection with it is a planing-mill
and a sash- door-, and blind-factory. MOulding and scroll work are
manufactured to order, and lumber and lath are embraced int eh stock for
sale. The mills are managed by R. C. Nyman, a son of the proprietor.
The flouring-mill was built by Mr. Nyman in 1857, and was in active
operation in 1870, when it was destroyed by fire. The present structure at
once replaced it, which has four run of stones and a capacity for 125
barrels of flour per day. It is a substantial three-story building, and
fitted with all the machinery for making flour by the latest and most
approved methods. The products of the mill formerly found a distant-market,
but more recently have been devoted to supplying the home demand.
The Woolen-Mills - The woolen-mills were built by Mr. Nyman in
1860, and manufactured flannels, cloths, and yarn. They are substantially
built, conveniently located, and have a capacity for a considerable
business. They have not lately, however, been run to their fullest capacity.
The mills are operated by John Crow, a son-in-law of the proprietor. All
these mills are un by water-power supplied by the Black River, and rank
among the most advantageous in the State for location and capacity.
Wagon-Manufactory - The wagon and sleigh-manufactory of Stephen
McMillan is one of the most important enterprises in the village of Bangor.
He has twice been compelled to rebuild, owing to the demands upon his skill.
In 1875 he erected the spacious brick building at present occupied, in which
are manufactured wagons, carriages, sleighs, and a general custom work is
also done. Seven men are constantly employed, and the shop has a capacity
equal to the production of 100 wagons per year, exclusive of the manufacture
and repair of sleighs. Four furnaces are constructed in the shop, each
provided with Root's patent blower, which greatly facilitates the labor.
Connected with the establishment is an extensive blacksmithing department.
This bank was first established by E. M.
Hipp, of St. Joseph Mich., in 1872, as a bank of deposit and exchange. It
was managed by its founder until 1874, when it was purchased by Messrs. J.
E. Sebring & Co., and by them owned and conducted for three years, during
which time the bank did a prosperous business. In 1877 it again
changed proprietors, N. S. Taylor becoming the purchaser, who employed J. E.
Sebring as cashier and general manager. The bank building later became the
property of Messrs Charles & Chapman, who rent it with the fixtures to the
present banking company. It is now known as Monroe's Bank, and is still a
bank of deposit, exchange, and collection, and under the same management as
the First National Bank of South Haven. The officers are C. J. Monroe,
President, South Haven, Mich.; S. R. Boardman, Vice-President, Chicago,
Ill.; A. B. Chase, Cashier, Bangor, Mich.
Coffinbury Lodge, No. 204, F. and A. M.
- This lodge, which is one of the most flourishing in the county, obtained
its charter Jan. 10, 1867, and began work with the following officers: Emory
O. Briggs, W. M.; Dennis Chidester, S. W.; Charles U. Cross, J. W. It
has since that time enjoyed a steady growth and a great degree of
prosperity. Its meetings are held in a well-appointed hall in the Nyman
block, which was designed, when the building was erected, for the use of the
lodge, and has by them been neatly furnished. The present officers are
A. J. Nyman, W. M.; John B. Hopkins, S. W.; Thaddeus T. McNitt, J. W.;
George H. Remington, Sec.; Edwin Ruthruff, Treas.
No. 165, I.O.O.F. - This lodge was instituted June 26. 1871, and worked
under a dispensation until Jan. 8, 1872, when a charter was granted by the
Grand Lodge of the State. The charter members were James H. Besore, Joseph
M. Coffelt, William H. Reynolds, James Slinger, Samuel Hoppin, W. H. Davis,
Joseph H. Nyman.
The charter officers were J. H. Besore, N. G.; J. M.
Coffelt, V. G.; William H. Reynolds, R. S.; James Slinger, P. S.; James E.
Ferguson, Treas. The lodge meets Monday night of each week in a
neatly-appointed lodge-room in the Reynolds block. The present officers are
James Slinger, N. G.; A. B. Taft, V. G.; L. S. Russell, R. S.; William H.
Reynolds, P. S. ; M. Hammond, Treas. The lodge embraces 60 active members.
Bangor Chapter, Order the the Eastern Star. - This chapter was organized
April 12, 1876, under a dispensation, its first officers having been the
following: Mrs. Alice M. Cross, W. P.; John M. Burch, Vice P.; Mrs. A. M.
Taft, Treas.; Mrs. J. A. Harvey, Sec.; Mrs. P. J. Cross, 1st Patron; Mrs. E.
J. Ruthruff, 2d Patron; Mrs. M. Remington, 3d Patron; Mrs. S. M. Nyman, 4th
Patron; Mrs. E. A. Hopkins, 5th Patron; Mrs. J. M. Burch, Conductor; Mrs. A
Chidester, Guard; A. B. Taft, Sentinel; J. S. Brown, Chaplain. The present
officers are Mrs. S. M. Nyman, W. M.; A. J. Numan, W. P.; Mrs. A. C. Cross,
A. M.' Mrs. J. M. Burch, Sec.; Mrs. J. S. Cross, Treas.' Mrs. Phoebe Cross,
Condrectress; Mrs. G. H. Remington, Associate Conductress; Mrs. N. W. Drake,
Chaplain; Mrs. M. McGrath, Adah; Mrs. Edwin Ruthruff, Ruth; Mrs. J. B.
Jopkins, Esther; Mrs. George F. Foster, Martha; Mrs. J. Jefferson, Electra;
Mrs. C. H. Dowland, Warder; C. H. Dowland, Sentinel.
Methodist Episcopal Church - In
the fall of 1865, Rev. William Paddock held a series of meetings in what was
known as the old red school-house, located southwest of the village. As the
result of these meetings a class was organized embracing 45 members and
probationers, who soon after took the preliminary steps towards the building
of a church. Very strong inducements having been offered to build on the
north side of the river, then the business centre of the little village,
ground was broken and the edifice begun, under the direction of the building
committee, consisting of Messrs. J. H. Nyman, N. S. Taylor, and John Miller.
Rev. E. L. Kellogg, the next preacher in charge, continued the work of
building, and at the Annual Conference of 1868 succeeded in effecting a
division of the South Haven circuit, by which Bangor and Geneva were
embraced in the Bangor circuit. Rev. Irvin Skinner, a young preacher, next
presided over the Bangor charge, receiving a salary of $575. The Stewards at
this time were P. Hoag, J. Crakes, N. S. Taylor, A B. Taft, H. Willis, T.
Emerson, and E. L. Tucker; District Steward, A. B. Taft; Trustees, N. S.
Taylor, A. B. Taft, E. L. Tucker, William Reynolds, J. H. Nyman, and D. K.
Charles. In 1869, Rev. D. C. Woodard was appointed preacher in charge, with
a salary of $800, his field of labor being at Bangor and the Wood
school-house. Under his ministry the church was completed and dedicated,
but was unfortunately not free from debt. Rev. William McKnight was placed
in charge in 1870 at a salary of $700. Illness compelled him to retire from
labor before his term had expired, and Rev. ---- Bacon filled the vacancy.
In December, 1870, the society not being able to liquidate the indebtedness
of the church building, it was sold under mortgage. The ladies of the
congregation, however, with their accustomed zeal, soon raised a sufficient
sum with which to purchase a lot for the erection of a new building. In
1871, Breedsville was annexed to the circuit, and Rev., G. W. Patterson
became the pastor, with a salary of $600, and later $700. In 1872 the board
of trustees was reorganized, and the church then became known as the Simpson
Methodist Episcopal Church of Bangor. N. S. Taylor, A. B. Taft, D. K.
Charles, and C. F. Ford were appointed a building committee, to superintend
the erection of the new edifice. It was completed in 1873, at a cost of
$12,000, N. S. Taylor being the efficient chairman of the building
committee. Rev. J. R. Odin was the pastor in 1873, with a salary of $600,
and was succeeded in 1874 by Rev. T. Clark, who received a salary of $676.
Rev. William Harper became preacher in charge in 1875, at a salary of $895,
with assistants at the various fields of labor under his charge. Rev. C. W.
Pearson came in 1876, receiving $600 as salary, but in consequence of
failing health left the charge in care of Rev. William Jakeway in 1877. In
1877-78, Rev. E. H. Sparling filled the pulpit, at a salary of $700 and
$600, respectively, Bangor having been set apart as a separate circuit. Rev.
J. T. Iddings became in 1879, with a salary of $700.
officers are: Stewards, N. Drake, A. J. Lewis, A. B. Taft, S. McMellen, E.
A. Withey, and J. L. Cross; Recording Steward, A. B. Taft; District Steward,
J. L. Cross; Class Leader, O. S. Brown; Trustees, D. K. Charles, C. C.
Phillips, N. Drake, O. S. Brown, and A. J. Lewis.
There is connected
with the church a flourishing Sunday-school of 100 scholars, the
superintendent being C. C. Phillips and the librarian F. W. Bidwell.
Church of Christ. - Through the influence of several members of
this church, who were residents of the village of Bangor and deemed it
essential to carry out the principles which they had imbibed elsewhere,
Elder William M<. Roe, then pastor of the Church of Christ at Paw Paw, held
a series of union services, with the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal
Church of this place, in February, 1876. The interest awakened in those
services induced them to call to their aid Elder J. H. Reese, pastor of the
church at Millburg, Berrien Co., who responded to their call on the 185th of
March following, and organized them, according to New Testament usage, on
the 22d of the same month, in Nyman's church building, on the north side of
the village, with 13 members. J. L. Cutting and C. L. Brown were appointed
overseers, and H. H. Williamson and J. A. Sherrod deacons. The record now
shows 127 names, but death and emigration have lessened that number at 88.
J. H. Reese and Ira B. Winch were added to the overseers on accepting the
resignation of J. L. Cutting. A Milliken, A. Whiteman, and J. B. Roys
were added to the list of deacons on dismissing H. H. Williamson. Owing to
an increase in membership and a desire to hold services every Lord's day, it
became absolutely necessary to change the place of meeting, which was
accomplished in October, 1878, by removing to Ransom's Hall, on the south
side. The Sunday-school, under the wise management of Mr. C. L. Brown
as superintendent, has been quite successful from the beginning. Its
financial condition is good, and its average attendance is about 60 scholars
Elder J. H. Reese has had the pastoral care since the
organization of the church. The society is free from debt, and under an act
of incorporation has secured a lot and pledges to the amount of $700 for the
erection of a place of worship.
Church of God - This society
was organized in the year 1867, by Elders R. H. Bolton and William Reading.
Since that time the following ministers have had charge of the church: J. H.
Besore, J. C. Drake, A. JU. Hull, B. D. Bright, J. Selkirk, R. Robbinson, J.
E. Moffit, J. B. White, and W. Seifried, and 65 members have been received
into church fellowship. The congregation worships in an edifice on the north
side of the river.
A fine church edifice has recently been erected
on section 8 by the United Brethren Society, but the writer has been unable
to obtain a history of the organization.
The first school district was organized July
25, 1838, and comprised the northeast quarter of the township, embracing
nine square miles, and numbering but three families and four children.
The first school building erected within the limits of the present
village was built by Calvin cross in 1845, and located southwest of the
centre of the village. It was for years known as the "red school-house," and
the school was presided over by Miss Mehitable Northrop, who may be regarded
as the pioneer teacher of the village. Other teachers followed, most of whom
enjoyed the hospitalities of the district patrons and "boarded 'round." It
being deemed advisable to change the site of the school building and afford
more spacious quarters, on account of the increasing list of scholars, the
building at present occupied was erected. There was, however, no change in
the method of conducting the school until the coming of A. C. Martin, as
principal, in 1872. With his presence was manifested as increasing interest
in education on the part of the citizens, which resulted, the second year of
his engagement, in the organization of graded school The building, which had
not been wholly occupied, was finished, and with two competent assistants
Mr. Martin inaugurated a course of study similar to that of other graded
schools in the State. In 1879 the increase of pupils was so manifest as to
require additional assistance, and the principal was allowed in all four
assistants. The school, with its large number of pupils and its able corps
of teachers, felt greatly the need of a spacious and comfortable building.
The immediate demand for more space was met by removing the staircase and
hall of the present building, all available space being thus utilized; a
recitation-room of limited dimensions was provided for the high school. It
is thought that a new school building will ultimately replace the one in
present use. The instruction in all the departments of the Bangor Graded
School has been so thorough that its pupils find themselves fully prepared
for admission to the most advanced institutions of learning in the State.
The corps of teachers at present engaged are A. C. Martin, Principal;
Mrs. A. C. Martin, Assistant; F. W. Bidwell, Grammar School' Miss Emma
Cross, Intermediate Department; Miss Hattie Alvord, Primary Department.
The members of the school board are C. C. Phillips, Director; George
Remington, Moderator; W. B. Tripp, Treasurer; W. W. Davis, J. E. Ferguson,
William Kinney, Trustees.
History of Berrien and Van Buren counties, Michigan. With ... biographical
sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Ellis, Franklin, 1828-1885.,
Johnson, Crisfield., D. W. Ensign & Co. Philadelphia: D. W. Ensign & Co.,