Van Buren County Michigan
Boundaries, Topography, and Soil—Settlements and Settlers—Early
BOUNDARIES, TOPOGRAPHY, AND SOIL
The township contains eighteen full sections and seven
fractional sections along the lake-shore. It is the northwest corner township in the county, and is bounded
on the north by Allegan County, on the east by the
township of Geneva, on the south by the township of
Covert, and on the west by Lake Michigan. Along the
shore rise high clay bluffs, ranging from thirty to fifty feet
in height, many of them crowued with the original forests
of hemlock and pine. From this elevation the land rises
gradually in undulating slopes for about a mile, when a
plateau is reached having an altitude of about one hundred
and ten feet from the surface of the lake. This table-land
declines towards the lake on the north and recedes from it
on the south.
It is watered by the Black River and its south branch
in the north part of the township, and a small stream that
rises in section 27 flows northerly through sections 21 aud
22, and empties into the lake. The Black River flows
through a narrow valley near its mouth, and swampy,
marshy lands in almost it.s entire course, and its dark waters
are stained with the decay of the forests through which it
flows. The township in its original state was heavily covered with a heavy growth of pine, hemlock, walnut, oak,
maple, basswood, whitewood, and other woods.
The extract given below is from an address delivered
before the South Haven Pomological Society by J. K.
Bidwell, and it gives a faithful description of the soil of
"The country adjoining the village of South Haven is
favored by nature with the greatest conceivable variety of
soil and exposure, including light sand and heavy clay,
or rich sand, gravel, and clay loam, separate or mixed in
every conceivable proportion, or all combined in the most
desirable compound, including all necessary vegetable or
mineral properties required by the particular appetite of
certain plants for their peculiarly constructed organization,
or by those exacting a portion of all covering deep slopes,
undulating tracts, dry, level prairie, or moist bottom-lands,
which the winds and waters of past ages have separated, or
mingled in different proportions, so that no kind of soil or
situation could be desired without findiugit readily and at
a reasonable price. In fact, all departments of agriculture,
from the least even to the greatest, can be successfully carried on here, from flourishing vegetable-gardens, prosperous
wheat-fields, and verdant meadows, to permanent orchards.
True, there is necessarily some poor land, but the proportion of good is tenfold greater, and the very good even tenfold greater than the good."
The climate is very favorable to successful fruit-raising,
and the attention of the people of the township is largely
directed to that industry.
It is watered by the Black River and its south branch in the north part of the township, and a small stream that rises in section 27 flows northerly through sections 21 aud 22, and empties into the lake. The Black River flows through a narrow valley near its mouth, and swampy, marshy lands in almost it.s entire course, and its dark waters are stained with the decay of the forests through which it flows. The township in its original state was heavily covered with a heavy growth of pine, hemlock, walnut, oak, maple, basswood, whitewood, and other woods.
The extract given below is from an address delivered before the South Haven Pomological Society by J. K. Bidwell, and it gives a faithful description of the soil of South Haven:
"The country adjoining the village of South Haven is favored by nature with the greatest conceivable variety of soil and exposure, including light sand and heavy clay, or rich sand, gravel, and clay loam, separate or mixed in every conceivable proportion, or all combined in the most desirable compound, including all necessary vegetable or mineral properties required by the particular appetite of certain plants for their peculiarly constructed organization, or by those exacting a portion of all covering deep slopes, undulating tracts, dry, level prairie, or moist bottom-lands, which the winds and waters of past ages have separated, or mingled in different proportions, so that no kind of soil or situation could be desired without findiugit readily and at a reasonable price. In fact, all departments of agriculture, from the least even to the greatest, can be successfully carried on here, from flourishing vegetable-gardens, prosperous wheat-fields, and verdant meadows, to permanent orchards. True, there is necessarily some poor land, but the proportion of good is tenfold greater, and the very good even tenfold greater than the good."
The climate is very favorable to successful fruit-raising, and the attention of the people of the township is largely directed to that industry.
In 1838, Daniel Pierce came in from Schoolcraft with the first horse-team. He purchased of Mr. Monroe 160 acres of land in the northwest quarter of section 14, where he now lives, and built upon it a cabin, in which he lived at times, though he made Kulamazoo his home. He was a trapper and caught many wolves, receiving the State bounty of $13, securing in that year (1838) 13 scalps. He owned a nursery at Kalamazoo, and lived here but little, using his hut simply as a hunting cabin. Indians were plenty during the sugar season, coming up the lake in fleets of canoes carrying sail when the wind was favorable. Daniel Pierce, now living, has seen 17 bark canoes at the mouth of the river at one time. A small number of Indians remained along the lake-shore and in the valleys of the Paw Paw and St. Joseph Rivers.
A part of the sugar manufactured was sewed up with deer-sinews in birch-bark bags, called mokoks, and buried in the ground for the winter's supply. Small patches of corn were planted by them also, which was ready for the harvest on their return in the fall.
Daniel Pierce was the only man living in the territory now South Haven who voted in the spring of 1838. Twenty-two votes were cast.
In the fall of that year a three-masted schooner, the "La- porte," Captain Webster, was wrecked near to where now is the south pier. Clark Pierce carried the baggage of the sailors to Paw Paw, and they went on foot. In the spring she was burned by the owners for the iron fastenings. About 1841 an effort was made to establish a mail-route from South Haven to Schoolcraft, and a Mr. Harrison, living at Gourd-Neck Prairie, took the contract to deliver the mail once a week. He made the trial once, but could not find the postmaster, and returned with his mail to Schoolcraft. Daniel Pierce had been appointed postmaster, but refused to act.
Un the road from the mouth of the river (now South Haven) there were but few inhabitants; one settlement of lawless depredators lived on the route, at a place called Owlsville, from the nightly visits of the inhabitants to the farms, hen-roosts, and pig-pens of the country round. In August, 1843, Edwin Forrest, the famous tragedian, purchased an interest iu part of what is now known as the Dyckman & Woodman Plat, and Isaac Willard, about the same time, bought where the Tubbs & Wells Mill afterwards stood, also in the land north of Phoenix Street, in the southeast fractional quarter of section 3.
The land that formerly belonged to Mr. Monroe had passed into the hands of William A. Booth, Dr. Abbott, and others, of New York City. In June of 1845, Lnuis A. Booth, brother of William A., and agent of the company, Clark Pierce, with his wife and two boys,—Almon and Irving,—came to the mouth of the Black River, and took possession of Mr. Monroe's cabin, on the bank. Mr. Booth and Pierce made a plan for a house, and went north about twenty miles to Uncle Jimmy Hall for their lumber, spending one night in the woods. The remainder of the lumber needed was drawn from Breedsville. In due time the house was finished, and July 18, 1845, Clark Pierce and his family moved into it. This was the first frame house west of Bangor. Mr. Pierce remained here till April, and was then succeeded in the house by a Mr. White, with his wife and child. Dr. Camp, of Bangor, whose wife was a sister of Mrs. White, joined them. A Mr. Branch and son also came on from the East in the interest of the company.
In the winter of 1845-46, Dr. Abbott, one of the partners, visited the place, and preparations were made to build a mill near the mouth of the river. Workmen were employed getting out timber, but for some reason the operations ceased, and the timber was shipped to St. Joseph. Afterwards a German family by the name of Shawfineh occupied the house, and his wife and child died there. From that time the house became the resort only of a few stragglers through the country.
In 1849, Clark Pierce with his family, and Mr. Wood and wife, C. B. Gross and wife, living in what is now Geneva, started on horseback and with an ox-sled drawn by horses to the house on the lake, and there celebrated the Fourth of July of that year.
In August, 1850, Mr. Joseph Sturgis, foreman of Marvin Hannahs, with a corps of assistants, consisting of Ai Blood, Joseph Dow, and Horace Thomas, came down the river from Jericho and commenced the erection of a steam mill on the site of what is now known as the Quaker Dock. Other houses were erected, which were soon occupied by Horace Thomas, S. B. Morehouse, and others, Mr. Sturgis living in the house previously built by Mr. Pierce.
Marvin Hannahs was a native of Litchfield, Conn., and a tanner. He moved to Utica, N. V.. in 1831, and in 1837 to Albion, Calhoun Co., Mich., where he was largely engaged in lumbering and other pursuits. He purchased land in Jericho, Geneva township, and erected the first frame house at that place, and built a tannery. Land was purchased at this place about 1850, and Capt. J. H. Hendryx, now of Decatur, and Joseph Sturgis were sent to South Haven, the former as business manager. Mr. Hannahs platted the village in 1852. His son, George Hannahs, became interested with his father, and came to South Haven in 1864 to reside and take charge of the property. He was elected the first president of Albion, and also of South Haven. He was in the mercantile and milling business for eight years, and opened a branch in Albion, which was carried on for a few years.
Hon. George Hannahs was elected to the State Senate November, 1870; delegate to the Cincinnati National Republican Convention. He is a trustee of the Eastern Asylum at Pontiac. His father, Marvin Hannahs, died Feb. 7, 1866, at Albion, where he settled in 1835.
After Mr. Sturgis had moved to South Haven and commenced operations, others soon came in. Mr. Hannahs had a house built, and Horace Thompson and his wife occupied it. In the same year Ai Blood built a large double house, which is still standing. He lived in Chicago, and did not come in until the September following. He wus a carpenter, and was engaged afterwards in building lighters for Dyckman, Hall & Co., to load vessels in the lake outside the mouth of tho river. Joseph Sturgis built a saw-mill, with one upright saw, on what is now Quaker Dock. Upon the commencement of Dyckman, Hall & Co.'a operations, Mr. Sturgis became one of the partners, his property becoming a part of the stock. Mr. Sturgis died in 1855. Stephen B. Morehouse, a native of New Jersey, came to South Haven in January, 1852, with wife and two daugh- ters, and moved first into the unoccupied house built by Ai Blood in the previous year. Frank Gray came a few days after with his wife and one child, and lived in a shanty, whero he remained three years.
Alpha Tubbs, with wife and daughter, and Nelson Tubbs, with wife aud three children, came in the spring of 1852, and built a house and mill on the north side of the river. This year the Fourth of July was observed. Notice had been sent out to all the settlers, and about 100 gathered in to the feast and to celebrate the birthday of the nation. The exercises were held in front of Joseph Sturgis' house. A fawn had been shot by the young men, and was roasted for the occasion. The tables were set out-of-doors, and the day passed off pleasantly.
A frame school-house about 18 by 24 feet was built near the lake in the summer of 1852, and was taught by Miss Ella Barnes, an adopted daughter of S. B. Morehouse. The pupils were seven,—Joseph Sturgis, Jr. (nicknamed the Judge), Julia and Harriet Morehouse, three children of Nelson Tubbs, and " Tip" Ormsby.
Joseph Sturgis was appointed postmaster about 1855. His deputy was S. B. Morehouse, who soon succeeded to the postmastership.
The first religious services were held at the house of Joseph Sturgis, in April, 1852, by a Baptist minister, and a few weeks later the Rev. Mr. Doughty, a Methodist minister, preached in the dining-room of S. B. Morehouse. Notices were sent out to the people, and these services were well attended.
December 25, 1852, a Christmas party was given at the house of Mr. Morehouse, at which every man, woman, and child in the settlement was invited.
Mr. S. B. Morehouse purchased 80 acres on the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 10, and in 1854 set out three acres in fruit (mostly apples), purchasing his trees in Kalamazoo. During the season of 1853 he was out of corn, and the roads were bad and provisions scarce. During this state of affairs he was awakened early one Sunday morning by a rap at his door, and on answering it he found a man there, who said he had a boat-load of corn (100 bushels) that he wanted to exchange for wood. The exchange was soon effected. The vessel was the "Petrel" with capacity for carrying 12 cords. Mr. Morehouse thus became the first to ship cord-wood from South Haven to Chicago. Soon after the advent of the "Petrel," the little schooner " Lapwing" came to this port, in command of Capt. Mitchell, who was for several years the only navigator from the port of South Haven.
July 1, 1854, the woods caught fire on Mr. Morehouse's farm, and in fighting it he overworked, and produced a sickness by which he was confined eight months, and from which he never entirely recovered.
Dr. Hathaway, of Breedsville, was the first physician who practiced in this region, and while here on a professional visit in 1854 was so much pleased with the country that he purchased two acres of Mr. Morehouse, and soon after erected a house and lived here, following his profession. The first wedding in the towuship was that of Lelaud Spencer aud Ella Barnes, at the house of Mr. Morehouse, who, being a justice of the peace, performed the ceremony. Mr. Morehouse was supervisor of the town in 1801, and filled at various times other positions. He died in 1862, leaving a widow and two daughters,—Mrs. Charles J. Monroe and Mrs. A. B. Chase, now of Bangor. Mrs. Morehouse is still living, and resides at Bangor. Alpha and Nelson Tubbs, from Climax Prairie, commenced operations in the spring of 1852, on the north side of the river, building a mill and boarding-house. This mill remained till 1861, and was destroyed by fire. The land is known as Tubbs' addition. About 1860 the mill was sold, and Nelson moved away. Alpha remained a few years longer, and in 1866 sold the remainder of his land and removed to Illinois. Clark and Samuel G. Sheffer came in the fall of this year, and settled north of the village, where they still live.
Evert B. Dyckman, of Schoolcraft, Mich., visited the townships of Columbia and Pine Plains before 1852, and located about 1000 acres in those townships, attracted by the excellence of their pine timber. In the fall of 1852 his son, A. S. Dyckman, was sent out to make a further examination of the lands, and to decide upon the most feasible way to market the lumber. He came on foot down the north side of the middle branch of South Black River. His only companion was a hunter known as " Lop Horn Loomis." Except a few Indians, no inhabitants were on the line between Humphreysburg and the mouth of the river. At the mouth of Barber Creek they passed one night with the Indians, and breakfasted next morning on venison. From there Mr. Dyckman traveled alone to the mouth of the river, arriving about midnight. Here he remained a few days, and returned to Schoolcraft, when arrangements were made by Evert and A. S. Dyckman, of Schoolcraft, and A. V. Pantland and C. H. Morrill, of Paw Paw, for the purchase of lands owned by James B. Murray, of New York City. The lands located were the west half of the northeast quarter of section 10, and all of the north half of section 2 lyiug south of the river, and the north half of the north half of section 1.
February 1,1853, A. S. Dyckman and Joseph S. Wagoner arrived at South Haven with two wagons loaded with supplies. Mr. Wagoner was u carpenter, and the first work was to haul lumber from Hannahs & Sturgis' mill, and to erect houses. They also built a company store and a building which became the Forest House. In March, 1853,
Mr. Morrill retired from the firm and Mr. Sturgis became a partner. A large lumber business was carried on, and the village numbered about 200 inhabitants, mostly employees of the different mills at the mouth of the river. An operation called snagging was commenced in the fall of 1853, and was continued till about the 1st of January; this consisted in clearing the middle branch of the river for a distance of about twenty miles, to the pine lands of Dyckman & Co., aud was a work of great labor.
The supplies for this little colony for the winter for 1853 were bought in Chicago, and shipped mostly in the scow "Drew." She was anchored about a mile from shore, and her cargo was unloaded with flat-boats, taking two days and nights. The goods were landed safely on the beach, and consisted of pork, beef, lard, butter, flour, grain, and hay. Tho cargo was owned mostly by Dyckman, Sturgis & Co., Tubbs, McClelland & Co., and Daniel Howard, who was engaged in getting out wood and bark at the intersection of the north and middle branches of the river.
In 1857 attention having been directed to this locality as being favorable for fruit culture, Mr. A. S. Dyckman, son of Evert, planted a peach-nursery, and in 1859 set out four acres of peaches from this nursery near his present residence. Mr. Dyckman has since that time been largely interested in fruit, and is the most extensive fruit-grower in this section, having 55 to 60 acres on the home-farm, mostly in peaches, 400 apples, 150 pears and small fruits, and on the north side of the river 16 acres in peaches; up the river, on the south side, about 15 acres in peaches and small fruits. He has at the present time 8000 peach-trees. He planted and shipped in 1877 20,000 baskets, and in 1879 11,000 baskets. Mr. Dyckman was president of the State Pomologies! Society in 1873, and has been among the foremost in the South Haven Pomological Society. Barney H. Dyckman and Randolph Densmore about 1857 built a tannery on the low land northwest from the bridge crossing the river, which was in operation several years. J. H. Davis made the bricks here for the arch in Hannahs' mill in 1853, and afterwards started a brickyard. The hotel was first kept by - Pennock, who had a wife and a family of three daughters and one son. The business of the hotel was largely supported by the milling interest of Dyckman, Hale & Co. Marshall Hale, of the firm, was a native of Vermont, and was interested as a partner with Judge Evert B. Dyckman in the purchase of land, at first for speculative purposes, afterwards to develop the country and realize from the lumber. He came here in 1833, after the completion of the store, his family coming the next year. The firm passed through many changes ns one after another came, but still Judge Dyckman and Mr. Hale have property here together. Judge Dyckman is living at Schoolcraft, and Mr. Hale about 1861 moved to the same place, and in 1872 to San Jose-, Col., where he is engaged in mercantile business. His son George has charge of the store at South Haven.
Samuel P. Wilson, a native of Seneca Co., N. Y.,came to South Haven in 1854, and taught school on the north side of the river and in the township and village for several years. Afterwards engaged in shipping wood and lumber, and in shipping on the lake. Ho is supervisor of ihe township, and has held the position for several years. Rodney Hinckley in 1855 built a log cabin on the southwest corner of fractional section 10, where T. Hoppin now lives. His wife was a carpet-weaver. He died about seven years later. His son Isaac lives in the village. William H. Schropple came in 1855, and is still living here. Charles and George Gibson came in 1857, and settled on section 22, where they still own. James L. Reid came about the same time.
Daniel G. Wright, a native of Onondaga Co., N. Y., on Nov. 10, 1855, became a partner in the firm of Dyckman, Hale & Co. In the spring of 1856 he went to Chicago to take charge of the lumber business of the firm in that city. He remained about five years, when he returned, and is still living in South Haven. L. H. Bailey, a native of Windsor, Vt., emigrated in 1842 to Arlington, where he lived eleven years, and in 1853 bought of a Mr. Howard, of Vermont, 120 acres, where he now lives, on the west half of southwest quarter of section 11, South Haven. In 1855-50 he set out an npple-orchard. and he now has 1300 apple-and 1000 peach-trees. Mr. Bailey was agent for the Vermont Land Company, and examined and located land through Van Buren, Eaton, and Ingham Counties for them, aud was through here before Mr. Sturgis settled in 1850.
Daniel Pierce came in first in 1836 or 1837, and bought 160 acres on section 14. In 1850 he went to California, and remained there some years, and then moved to Wisconsin, but returned to his farm in South Haven in 1859, buying 40 acres adjoining, where he still lives.
In the fall of 1857, Peter Davis, who came in 1852, settled on the point where tho Ludwig pier now is. At that time there was but a small clearing, but afterwards 30 acres were cleared, and part of the land set out to peaches. Uiziah Conger, of Oswego Co., N. Y., came to South Haven Dec. 28, 1855, and in 1856 became a member of Dyckman, Hale & Co. At that time the hotel and store were built, and the saw-mill had been built tho year before on the east half of the southwest quarter of section 3. Mr. Conger was with the firm through its changes from Dyckman, Hale k Co., Hale, Wright & Co., Hale, Conger & Co., to its dissolution, and is now in business in the village.
Aaron Eames settled on section 16 beforo 1860, and soon set out a peach-orchard. George Breed also settled in the same section. The first school taught in the south and southeast part of town was kept by Martha Grover, in a cabin at Maple Grove Corners, on the Monroe land, about 1863. She had fourteen pupils.
John Williams, a native of New York, came in 1844 to Washtenaw Co., Mich., and in 1861 removed to South Haven, locating on the cast half of the east half of section 14, whore he is still living. He is the inventor of a fruit evaporator that is regarded as a great improvement on others.
Henry Hurlbut located about the same time in the east part of the town. Jefferson Archer settled earlier on section 14.
William M. Hurlbut came into the territory then South Haven in 1840, and was one of tho early officers, but did not remove to the present South Haven until 1863. He has represented the district in the Legislature for four years.
An enterprise connected with the early history of the village is worthy of mention, although it failed. A Quaker by the name of Hullcck, from New York City, came to the village in the year 1857 or 1858 and bought land at what is known as the Quaker Dock. He took down the mill, drove piles, and built the dock, and got out largo quantities of timber, preparatory to building a large store and warehouse, He had purchased a vessel in New York, and loaded it with goods. This vessel came round tho lakes, but a heavy storm rising as she approached this harbor, she was driven past the mouth of the river, and was shipwrecked above St. Joseph, and the goods and machinery on board were so damaged as to be almost worthless. This disaster put an end to a project that would doubtless have inured to the prosperity of South Haven. Immediately after the disaster Mr. Halleck returned to New York.
Upon the division of the township of Lafayette into seven townships, in the winter of 1836-37, South Haven was one of the number, and was laid out to contain the present territory of Bangor, Columbia, Geneva, and Deerfield. Tho act organizing South Haven reads us follows: "That all that portion of the county of Van Burcn designated on the United States survey as township one south, in ranges fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen west, and township two south, in ranges sixteen and seventeen west, be and the same is hereby set off and organized into a separate township by the name of South Haven, and the first township-meeting therein shall be held at the house of J. H. Monroe in said township."
The early records of the township arc lost, and it is not known who the first officers were, but with the exception of J. R. Monroe the residents were in what is now Bangor, Columbia, and Geneva:—Charles U. Cross in Bangor; Silas Breed, Jonathan N. Howard, A. Bobot, Samuel Watson, and J. N. Hinckley, at Breedsville; Clark Pierce in Geneva. The offices were held, school districts laid out, and early improvement made in that portion of the township.
The first records on file in the township clerk's office commence Sept. 30, 1844, when the township board met at the school-house at Breedsville, J. N. Hinckley, Horace Humphrey, Daniel Taylor, and Mason Wood being present.
The accounts of the township were audited and amounted to $95.22. It was resolved "that tho election be holden on the first Monday of November at tho dwelling-house of Daniel Taylor, and on the day following at the school-house in Breedsville." Pursuant to notice the township board met at the Mansion House of Daniel Taylor for the purpose of holding a general election. The polls were opened by J. N. Hinckley, Horace Humphrey, Harvey Manley, Mason Wood, Daniel Taylor, and J. N. Howard. Lyman Loomis was chosen clerk. At the close of election ou that day ad- journment was made to meet at the school-house on the following day. This record is of date Nov. 8, 1844, and signed J. N. Howard, Town Clerk.
The first township election of which record is found, was held at the dwelling-house of Daniel Taylor, April 7, 1845, at which the following officers were elected: Perrin M. Northrup, Supervisor; William M. Hurlbut, Township Clerk; Mason Wood, Justice of the Peace four years; Charles U. Cross, Justice of the Peace two years; Mansel M. Briggs, Justice of the Peace one year; Harvey Potter, John Smith, Hiel Swan, Commissioners of Highways; Charles U. Cross, Township Treasurer; Mason Wood and Charles U. Cross, Overseers of the Poor; Charles U. Cross and Mansel M. Briggs, School Inspectors; Charles A. Taylor and Sherman Northrup, Constables; Mason Wood, Sealer of Weights and Measures.
A settlement was made April 30, 1845, between South Haven and Columbia, the latter having been set off as a separate township, and included the present town of Geneva. The Board of Supervisors of Van Buren County set off Bangor at their annual meeting in October, 1853, and the township of Deerfield (now Covert) in 1856.
The supervisors, clerks, treasurers, justices of the peace, and school inspectors of South Haven, from 1846 to 1879, inclusive, have been as follows:
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
SUPERINTENDENTS OF SCHOOLS.
1875, Joseph Anderson; 1876, Charles J. Monroe; 1877-78, Charles H. Pleasants; 1879, Charles J. Monroe.
The volunteer bounty fund in 1865 was raised by tax, and amounted to $3080.27. In 1866 the amount raised was $1701.25; 1867, balance of amount, $18.27 ; making a total of $4799.79. Incidentals increase this amount to $5387.17.
VILLAGE OF SOUTH HAVEN.
The village of South Haven was incorporated by act passed in January, 1869, and an organization was effected, but it was found so imperfect that the village was reinorporated in 1871, under the corporate name of the Village of South Haven," with a president, treasurer, three trustees, and an assessor. The territory embraced all of section 10, fractional sections 9 and 3, and a strip of land 80 rods wide on the west part of section 2, and the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 11.
The first election under the reincorporation was held May 10, 1869. The following is a list of presidents, clerks, treasurers, and trustees from that time to the present:
1869, Daniel Howard, Albert Thompson, Levi R. Brown, George L. Seaver, William P. Bryan,and Barney H. Dyckman; 1870, Elijah Rathbone, Calvin Fletcher. Orris C. Lathrop; 1871, Darius E. Comstock, Daniel G. Wright, Timothy Bishop; 1872, B. F. Heckert, Uriah Conger, A. S. Dyckman; 1873. Milan W. Sweet, William M. Patton, William P. Bryan; 1871, David R. Jones, William F. Smith, B. F. Hockert; 1875, James E. Gunsolly, Marshall J. Dickinson, Charles Delamen; 1876, Daniel G. Wright, George N. Hale, Humphrey Cain; 1877, Charles Delamere, George B. Pomeroy, John Mackey; 1878, Daniel 0. Wright, Humphrey Cain, William H. Thompson; 1879, John Mackey, George B. Pomeroy, George N. Hale.
Village Plats — A village plat was laid out by J. R. Monroe in 1834, but the place declined, and the plat remained a waste of wild land.
The first plat of the present village was made by Marvin Hannahs, and bears date Feb. 18, 1852. It embraced the northwest quarter of section 10, lying south of the river, and that portion of the southwest quarter of section 3 lying south and west of the river.
The subsequent additions to the village plat have been as follows: Tubbs' addition on section 3, along the lake-shore; Dyckman, Hale & Co.'s addition, 80 acres, northwest quarter of northeast quarter of section 10; Hale, Conger & Co.'s addition, 190 acres, comprising all that portion of section 3 lying east and south of river in section 3; Hale's survey of about 40 acres on the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 2; Dyckman & Woodman's addition, comprising all of the southwest quarter of section 3 west of the river; and Elkenburgh's addition, south of the original plat, comprising tho west half of the southwest quarter of section 10.
The location awl advantages of South Haven are well given in an address of J. E. Bidwell, delivered in February, 1873, from which the following is quoted: "Commercially, South Haven is favorably located at the mouth of Black River,—whose dark waters are stained with the dissolution of mineral deposits and the decay of original forests and their annual foliage, replaced with thriftier trees in great variety,—from which many vessels are now annually laden with rich cargoes of choice lumber, wood, and timber, consisting principally of beech, whitewood, walnut, cherry, oak, maple, pine, and basswood, and conveyed across the lake to Chicago and other lake cities, to finish and warm their beautiful cottages and splendid mansions, their palatial stores and other commercial buildings, their numerous lines of railway and vessels,—all assisting the growth and prosperity of our great Northwest. South Haven is also the terminus of the Kalamazoo and South Haven Railroad, connecting a few miles out at Grand Junction, with the Michigan Lake Shore Railroad, and at Kalamazoo, forty miles distant, with the Michigan Central and other important lines of railway, pointing in every direction. South Haven is also connected by steamer and vessel with Chicago, sixty-eight miles distant, southwest, and Milwaukee, ninety miles across the lake, northwest, connecting with steamers for Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo eastward."
The village now contains a population of about 1600, with five churches - Congregational, Baptist, Methodist, Reformed, and Catholic;, two hotels, post-office, American Express Company, telegraph-office, deputy collector of customs, light-house, railroad depot at the terminus of the South Haven Division of the Michigan Central, office of the South Haven Sentinel, opera-house, bank. Lake Shore Nursery, three- warehouses, seven general stores, two hardware-stores, three drug-stores, two tailors' stores, four boot 1and shoe-stores, one clothiug-storc, two jewelers' stores, four milliners' stores, two photograph-galleries, one fruit-package-factory, one fruit-evaporator, two steam saw-mills, one grist-mill, one tannery, one iron-foundry, one wooden-bowl factory, one brick-yard, one planing-mill. one flour- and feed-store, three furniture-stores, two markets, one cooper-shop, one harness-shop, four blacksmith- and wagon-shops, two insurance-offices, two dentists, three physicians, three lawyers, one master-builder.
BANKING. First National Bank. —A private bank was started in January, 1868, by Bourdman & Penniman, which firm was succeeded by S. B. Boardman, in May, 1868, and by S. B. Boardman & Co., Jan. 1, 1869. On the 1st of May, 1870, the Bank of South Haven was organized by S. B. Boardman and Charles J. Monroe, and July 1, 1871, it was chartered as the First National Bank of South Haven, with a capital of $50,000. Silas B. Boardman, President; George Hannahs, Vice-President; Charles J. Monroe, Cashier.
Monroe's Bank at Bangor is under the same management as the First National Bank of South Haven. C. J. Monroe, President; S. B. Boardman, Vice-President; A.B. Chase, Cashier.
SOCIETIES AND ORDERS.
Literary Club.—This society was formed in the winter of 1857-58, with S. B. Morehouse as President, A. S. Dyckman, Secretary, and numbering about 15 members. The society met once a week at tho houses of the different members. Miscellaneous reading, discussions, reading of original papers, and music were the exercises. Meetings continued till about 1866, when they declined. About 1869 an unsuccessful effort was made to revive the society.
A festival was held at Masonic Hall, Feb. 22, 1876, at which meeting it was decided to again revive the club. Meetings from that time have been held weekly. About 1870 a library association was organized and incorporated. Effort is now being made to unite the club and association as one society under incorporation. Under the auspices of the club lecturers from abroad arc obtained. The organization of the society in the early history of the village did much to elevate tho tastes of its inhabitants, and a similar effect has resulted from its revival.
Star of the Lake Lodge, No. 158, F. and A. M.—This lodge was chartered Jan. 19, 1865, with the following officers: Liberty H. Bailey, W. M.; Calvin Fletcher, S. W.; Araba N. Moulton, J. W. The officers for 1879 are L. A. Leighton, W. M.; Jerry Crowley, S. W.; Sidney Holmes, J. W. The present membership is 120.
South Haven Chapter, F. and A. M., No. 58.—This chapter was instituted Jan. 7, 1868, with L. H. Bailey as High Priest; George L. Seaver, King; Calvin Fletcher, Scribe. The present officers arc Marshall J. Dixon, High Priest; S. P. Wilson, King; John Sandlaun, Scribe. The present membership is 58.
Council, No. 45, R. A. M.—A dispensation was granted Dec. 4,1875, with L H. Bailey ns Thrice Illustrious Mas- ter; Henry K. Dewey, Deputy Master; and Comp. Marshall J. Dixon, Principal Conductor of Work. The present officers are Marshall J. Dixon, Thrice Illustrious Master; H. E. Dewey, Deputy Master; George L. Scavcr, Scribe.
Neptune Lodge, No. 297, I. 0. 0. F.—The lodge was instituted July 18, 1877, with the following as charter members: William E. Stewart, John M. West, Robert A. Douglas, David E. Histed, Charles S. Sharon, Charles H. Wigglesworth, Albert Cross, and B. A. Cross. The present membership is 45, and the present officers are Albert Cross, N. G.; George Hannahs, Jr., V. G.; Frank A. Keazie, Recording Sec.; N. K. Jillson, Permuncnt Sec.; A. D. Healy, Treas.
Pomona Grange, No. 219, P. of H.—A dispensation was granted to this grange Jan. 2G, 1874, and charter granted July 6, 1874.
Post-Offices and Postmasters.—The first post-office was established in South Haven about 1852. Joseph Sturges was the first appointed postmaster. He was succeeded by S. B. Morehouse, B. H. Dyckman, Daniel G. Wright, B. H. Dyckman, and Wm. E. Stewart, the present incumbent.
"School District No. 1, Town 1 South, Range 15 West [now Columbia], to contain the following Sections, viz., Sections No. 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30,31, 32, 33. This District has become a legally organized School District under Section 11 of an act relating to Common or Primary Schools.
"School District No. 2, Town 2 South, Range 16 West
[now Bangor], contains the following Scctious: Nos. 1, 2,
3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15.
Harvey Manley, J. N. Howard, Wm. N. Hurlbut,
March 24, 1845, School District No. 2 was reformed to contain the following sections: Nos. 1, 12, and 13, in town 2 south, range 16 west (Bangor), and sections Nos. 6, 7, and 18, town 2 south, range 15 west (Arlington), and to be kuown as District No. 2 of South Haven and Arlington.
Between the time of the meeting of the inspectors, March 24, 1845, and the meeting of May 3d, given below, the township of Columbia had been organized. " The Board of School Inspectors met, pursuant to notice, at the dwelling-house of O. S. Brown, and proceeded to examine Eliza Hoppin in regard to her qualifications for teaching a primary school, and gave her a certificate."
September 13th of the same year fractional school district No. 1 was formed of South Haven and Arlington, and contained section 25, the west half of section 36, and southeast half of section 24, in town 2 south, range 16 west (Bangor).
At the same time was formed district No. 1 of South Haven, containing sect Sous No. 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of town 2 south, range 16 west (Bangor). At a meeting held May 2, 1846, William N. Hurlbut was appointed librarian.
A fractional school district was formed of South Haven and Hartford, and March 17, 1851, there was apportioned to school district No. 1, $6.54; to fractional district No. 1 of South Haven and Hartford, $2.43; to fractional district No. 1 of South Haven and Arlington, 75 cents; and to district No. 2, $2.43. At this meeting district No. 3 was formed in township 1 south, range 17 west (now South Haven), and contained sections Nos. 1, 2,3,10,11,12,13, 14, and 15, and a district, to be known as district No. 4, was set off from district No. 3, and comprised sections Nos. 2, 3, 10, 11, 14, and 15.
June 11, 1853, the school inspectors of the township of South Haven and Ganges (Allegan County) met pursuant to notice and divided district No. 4 as follows: So much of the territory as is enclosed by the base line, South Black River and Lake Michigan, be united with fractional section 35, and the whole of Section 36, Town 1 North, Range 17 West; also Section 31 and south half of Section 30, Town 1 North, Range 16 West, to form a Union School District, to be known mid distinguished as Fractional District No.
One of the townships of South Haven and Ganges."
It is shown that no district was laid out in what is now the township of South Haven until March 17, 1851, when one was laid out, which included the nine north sections of the townships, and was known as district No. 3. This district was divided several times before 1854.
Bangor and Deerfield had been set off into separate townships from 1853 to 1854, and the inspectors' record for 1854 shows that the board met at the office of tho town clerk April 15, 1854. Present: A. S. Dyckman, Samuel F. Foster, and S. B. Morehouse. Prior to this time no names of residents in the present township appear among the officers.
May 2, 1857, a new school district was formed, knowu as No. 3, and embraced of territory not before laid out sections 23 and 24, and a strip 160 rods wide on the north part of sections 25 and 26, also section 1 and that part of 2 lying south of Black River, and the whole of sections 11, 12, 13, and 14. This district was enlarged May 26th of the some year, and embraced in addition, a strip 160 rods wide on the north part of seciions 27 and 28 to the lake, and northerly along the lake to the mouth of Black River, and on the south side of the river to the intersection of sections 2 and 3.
Many changes were made in the districts, but no new territory added until Jan. 30, 1864, when that portion of sections 27 and 28 not before embraced was included in a district, and on May 5, 1865, new territory was added to the district so ns to comprise that portion of sections 25 and 26 not previously embraced, also the north half of sections 35 and 36. The township was redistricted Feb. 20, 1874.
A statement of the condition of the schools of the tow lip in 1879 is shown by the subjoincd-report for 1879:
SCHOOL REPORT FOR 1879.
The school directors for 1879 were Calvin Fletcher, H. M. Avery, Charles Gibson, J. J. Moulthrop, J. F. Hopkins, L. K. Jillson.
Following is a list of persons examined by, and who re- ceived certificates from, the school inspectors down to the year 1867:
Preaching was held at the school-house and at the hall of the Forest House (now Pacific) during the winter. June 14, 1857, the Rev. Nathaniel Grover was ordained as pastor of the church, and remained in charge until his death, May 10, 1863. He was succeeded by the Rev. William Pattinson, who commenced his labors in November of the same year, and closed them in August, 1865. He was succeeded by the Rev. David Wirt. Under his charge a chapel was built, and dedicated Dec. 19, 1867, the Rev. K. Andrews, of Allegan, preaching the dedication sermon. The Rev. Joseph Anderson accepted a call Sept. 13, 1869, and remained till Nov. 19, 1871, when he resigned. He afterwards preached about six months in 1872. The present pastor, the Rev. E. A. Paddock, was called to the pastorate Sept. 3, 1876. A church building was erected on Phoenix Street, at a cost of $6000. A town clock was placed in the tower, at a cost of $1000. The dedication services were held Nov. 18, 1878. The sermon was preached by tho Rev. H. N. Burton, of Kalamazoo. The church has a present membership of 160. A Sunday school with about 200 pupils is in connection, of which the pastor is superintendent.
First Baptist Church.—Aug. 22, 1846, pursuant to notice, the following-named persons met for the purpose of organizing a Baptist Church: E. D. Farnham, A. C. Merritt, G. H. Clark, Mrs. Harriet James, J. N. Farnham, C. H. Wigglesworth, Mrs. A. J. Wigglesworth, Thomas W. Mcrritt, Mrs. Hannah D. Merritt, and S. A. 8immons. E. D. Farnham presided. It was resolved to hold Sunday services, and the hall of Pomoroy & Worthington was secured for that purpose. A. C. Merritt, n resident of the locality and an ordained minister, preached alternately with Dr. William Hewson. Five trustees were chosen Aug. 28, 1867, and at this meeting it was " resolved that this church be known as the First Baptist Church of South Haven." E. D. Farnham was chosen deacon.
After the erection of the Congregational chapel, services were held for some time on Sunday afternoons, but finally discontinued on account of the ill health of Dr. Hewson. Mr. George Hannahs presented the society with a deed of two lots where the church now stands. The board of trustees were appointed a building committee April 7, 1869. The church was visited by tho Rev. C. Johnson, of Lansing, then superintendent of State Reform School, who offered them $200 towards building a church edifice. Subscriptions were then taken up, and the church built on the present site, at a cost of $2102.96.
Nov. 7, 1870, it was resolved to call a council to recognise the church, and letters missive were sent to the churches of Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo, Paw Paw, Keeler, Watervliet, Plainville, and Cheshire, and to the Rev. C. Johnson and the Rev. Mr. Mather, Missionary Agent. At this meeting 32 persons presented letters from other churches to become constituent members. Dr. Hewson, A. C. Merritt, and C. H. Wigglesworth were appointed to represent them in the council.
The council met on Saturday, Nov. 19, 1870, when the church was regularly constituted, and the next day (November 20th) the church edifice was dedicated. The morning sermon was preached by tho Rev. Mr. Mather, and the evening sermon by the Rev. C. Johnson. The church has at present about 70 members, and a Sunday-school of GO pupils, of which Charles H. Pleasants is superintendent.
A Universalist Society was organized in South Haven about 1863, when the Rev. W. N. Burton was living there, but it declined upon his leaving, in 1868. He is now living in Boston.
A Church of the United Brethren was also organized, aud a church edifice was built that was sold to the Catholics in 1877, and the society decliued.
Episcopal Church.—A call, signed by E. Rathbone, Calvin Fletcher, Marshall D. Talcott, Joseph Tanning, and Charles Rathbone, was extended to those interested in the formation of an Episcopal society, April 5, 1870, for a meeting to be held April 18th, at which time an organization was perfected. C. Fletcher, E. Rathbone, Joseph Lanning, George Hale, C. Dclamere were chosen vestrymen. The Rev. J. B. Dooley became their rector. Services are held in Grange Hall. The church is now supplied occasionally by the Rev. G. P. Shetky, rector of St. Mark's Church of Paw Paw.
Reformed Church of America.—This society was organized with 12 members, April 18,1872, and was first under the pastoral charge of the Rev.- Kickentwelt, succeeded bv the Revs. H. K. Boer and D. G. Danjremond, who is the present pastor. The church edifice was erected in 1872. The society now has a membership of 42, and a Sunday-school in connection, of which C. Van Brussel is superintendent, has 25 pupils.
Catholic Church.—This church was organized in January, 1877, with five families, under the care of Father Tyson, of St. Joseph, under whoso charge it still remains. Services are held once in three months. The edifice of the United Brethren was purchased soon after the organization.
Methodist Church.—The earliest knowledge of any preaching by members of this denomination was in May, 1852, when the Rev. Mr. Doughty preached in the house of S. B. Morehouse. About 1855 the Rev. Mr. Colwell came on the circuit. A class was then formed, in which Jared P. Breed, Sarah, his wife, and Jesse L. Lane were among the early members. From that time until 1865 but little information is obtained, except that the circuit preachers, Pcndlan, Van Wyck, and Berry, were here occasionally. The pastors from that time have been the Revs. William M. Paddock, E. L. Kellogg, J. W. H. Carlisle, E. H. McChesney, H. H. Parker, W. A. Hunsberger, and N. D. Carroll, tho present pastor. The present membership is 160. Connected with the church is a Sunday-school of 80 pupils; J. J. Atherly superintendent.
Worship was first held in tho school-house. In 1867 a church building was erected, which was destroyed by fire in 1871, when the present edifice was erected.
FRUIT INTERESTS OF SOUTH HAVEN.
Mr. Morehouse, after getting his land in proper condition, purchased trees in Kalamazoo, and planted an orchard of three acres, mostly apples. Randolph Densmore, about the same time, set out a small orchard adjoining that of Mr. Morehouse. These orchards were within the present village plat. James L. Reid, about 1857, planted an orchard on the lake-shore, on section 16. This was afterwards enlarged by Thomas Hoppin. About the same time A. S. Dyckman planted an orchard of four acres of peach-trees, and in 1858 the first vineyards wore planted. Mr. Dyckman set out one acre, and Orris Church one and a half acres, and in 1864 Aaron Eames set out the Delaware grape largely, having planted orchards much earlier. Slowly, but surely, these pioneers in fruit culture felt their way, realizing every year by the wider experience gained, and the results which followed their efforts, that the lands of South Haven were well adapted to successful and continuous fruit-raising.
A pomological society was organized in January, 1871, and it has been instrumcntol in promoting a general interest in fruit culture of all kinds. The members of this society have been prominent in the State society, it having furnished two presidents,—A. S. Dyckman and T. T. Lyon, its present president, the latter of whom is widely known throughout this and other Status as a contributor in all departments of horticulture and pomology.
A meeting of the State Pomological Society was held at Pomological Hall, at South Haven, June 19, 20, and 21, 1877, and to this society is tho State indebted, to a certain extent, for the law authorizing a commissioner to destroy peach-trees affected with the "yellows," and the seizure of all fruit affected by it. Upon the first appearance of the dreaded disease at St. Joseph this society appointed a committee, who acted with the concurrence of the fruit-growers of the vicinity, and destroyed all I rocs found affected. In the winter of 1874-75 tho society presented a petition for a law having the above provision applicable to Van Buren, Allegan, and Ottawa Counties, which law was passed. The facilities of South Haven for marketing are now unsurpassed, the port being but eight hours from Chicago by steamer, and connected with the main line of the Michigan Central by a branch from Kalamazoo. The exports of fruit for 1879 are given in another place.
South Haven Pomological Society.—In December, 1870, a number of fruit-growers met at South Haven to consult on the propriety of organizing a society that would draw more closely together those who were interested in tho cultivation of fruit, and by an interchange of thought eulargo their general knowledge of the best means and methods for the successful prosecution of the business. This meeting resulted in an organization formed in January, 1871, when the following officers were elected: President, Norman Phillips; Vice-President. C. H. Wigglesworth; Secretary, C. T. Bryant; Treasurer, C. J. Monroe. Succeeding officers of tho society have been as follows: 1874, President, Norman Phillips; Secretary, C. T. Bryant; Treasurer, C. J. Monroe. 1875, President, T. T. Lyon; Secretary, H. E. Bidwell; Treasurer, C. J. Monroe. 1876, President, T. T. Lyon; Secretary, H. E. Bidwell; Treasurer, C. H. Wigglesworth. 1877, President, H. E. Bidwell; Secretary, A. S. Galley. 1878, President, William H. Hurlbut; Secretary, J. G. Ramsdell; Treasurer, H. Chatfield. 1879, President, C. H. Wigglesworth ; Secretary, J. G. Ramsdell.
The society has steadily increased in numbers and interest. Meetings are held weekly, and discussions are held
ou the differerent questions that arc constantly arising.
The society adopted a trade-mark, under which members
ship their fruit, thus holding the members responsible for
the credit of the society. Exhibits of fruit from th3
society were sent to the Vienna Exposition, for which was
received a bronze medal; also at the Centennial Exhibition
in 1876 and at Chicago, where they took more prizes than
any other society.
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., 1880.