From History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan
By Samuel W. Durant
Published 1880 by D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia
Reuben R. BULLEN
*It is possible that Elijah WILCOX had settled
on section 20 before Mr. BULLEN arrived, as he purchased
his land April, 1836. None of his family are now left
in the township)
John and Ezekiel NILES were also among the early arrivals, John first stopping on the BUTLER place mentioned above. The families of the Messrs. NILES are all gone from the township.Squire MOON arrived considerably later, settling in the neighborhood about 1850. John WRIGHT, from near Syracuse, Onondaga Co., N.Y., settled in Aurelius in 1841, and is still a resident of the township. Michael MATTESON, still living in town, was an early settler, as was John COOK, whose sons - Matthew and Thomas - are now numbered among its citizens.
The Indians were accustomed to come in considerable numbers to Aurelius to pick huckleberries in a marsh in the northeast part of the town. The berries were sold in Mason or traded for flour, with which they made "pudding" and considered themselves living in the greatest of style. They also had numerous places for making maple sugar, and it is related that in the manufacture of the latter article they were not excessively neat, although occasionally very good sugar was brought in by them. It is even said that they would cook their meat in the sap, and then skim it and boil it down and sell it as though nothing were wrong! The Indian sugar made in portions of the State at much more recent date is probably a fair sample of that manufactured in "auld lang syne," and its quality is certainly not of the first-class.
George B. WEBB,
(The Village of Columbia)
Robert G. HAYWARD,
From the records of the
John M. FRENCH,
Joseph L. HUNTINGTON,
After the location of the capital at Lansing, Mr. HUNTINGTON was appointed one of three commissioners to appraise and fix the minimum prices of the lots on section 16, where the city of Lansing had been platted. After removing to Mason, Mr. HUNTINGTON was identified with its business interests for twenty-five years, and was a prominent citizen of the county for thirty-six years. His wife died at Mason in 1862, and he afterwards (1863) married Miss Caroline ROYCE, who died in 1870. Several of his children are at present residing in Mason. George M. HUNTINGTON is the present judge of the Circuit Cort; Charles G. HUNTINGTON is engaged in mercantile business; and Collins D. HUNTINGTON has been for years engaged in various manufacturing enterprises.
*Mr. Huntington's son, Collins D. Huntington, now of Mason, slept in the jail for three weeks, in December, 1848, and kept a fire to dry the walls, in order that the family might sooner move in.
The first settler at this place was Enoch HOWE, now of Lansing, who lived on the corners which have long bore his name. The locality of HOWE's Corners" is better known to many than "Aurelius Centre," notwithstanding the same place bears both names. Mr. HOWE was the first postmaster at the place, the post-office being known as Aurelius. William ABRAMS also held the position for some time. The present incumbent is B.W. STARK, who came to the place in 1860.
In 1856 a dwelling was built at the Centre by Robert HAYWARD, and was afterwards converted into a store; it is now occupied by B.W. STARK. A second building was erected for the purpose of a store in 1870 by R. and F. HAYWARD, and is now owned by the latter. Robert HAYWARD erected the greater portion of buildings at the place. In 1857-58, the large frame hotel now owned by Nelson ISHAM was built by William ABRAMS.
The Centre now contains two stores, three blacksmith-shops, a wagon-shop, a hotel, a millinery-shop, and two physicians, Drs. G.W. SWARTWOUT and Thomas W. STITTS, the latter formerly of Chicago, having come here from Detroit, in 1878.
Aurelius Lodge, No. 274, I.O.O.F., was instituted Feb. 8, 1876. Dr. G.W. SWARTWOUT was the first Noble Grand. The lodge-rooms are situated over F. HAYWARD's store. The present membership of the lodge (September, 1880) is about forty, and the officers are: William GILMORE, Noble Grand; Z. DOLBEE, Vice-Grand; Cohan KING, Rec. Sec; Henry RAHN, Per. Sec.; Theodore STRATTON, Treas.
1844 TAXPAYER LIST
Baptist Church, Aurelius Centre.
"Aurelius, May 1, 1847.
"At a regular notified meeting of baptized persons, for the purpose of forming a church, proceeded to business.
"1st. Voted, That Elder GROUT serve as moderator.
"5th. Voted , That J. BARNES serve the Conference as
Meetings were first held in the school-house. Elders D. HENDEE and ___ FREEMAN preached at different times. A reorganization was effected Jan. 12, 1849, by Elder D. HENDEE, with twelve members, and on the 30th of the same month, at a council convened at the BARNES school-house for the purpose, the church was regularly recognized. Elder HENDEE continued as pastor until early in 1850. Elder B. HILL was secured in April, 1850, and remained until April, 1853. The Baptist Churches of Aurelius and Onondaga united May 20, 1854, under the name of the "Aurelius and Onondaga Church," with a membership, as consolidated, of thirty-two. Rev. S.P. TOWN was then pastor. He was followed by Elder E.K. GROUT, who was in charge from 1855 to early 1859, and in April of the latter year Elder George BRIDGE was secured as pastor, his services continuing until February, 1861. Elder H.B. SHEPHERD became pastor in 1862, and resigned April 18, 1863. In the fall of the same year Elder Samuel P. TOWN was engaged, and was dismissed by letter May 14, 1864. Elder J.B. ALLYN was pastor from Sept. 15, 1867, until January, 1869, and Elder John GUNDERMAN from August, 1869, to August, 1870. Succeeding the latter was Elder A. McLEARN, from October, 1870, to April 14, 1872. Elder H.B. FULLER came in the latter part of 1872, and remained until May, 1874. Elder M.J. DUNBAR had charge from Aug. 29, 1874, to Aug. 4, 1877, when he resigned, but remained until November of that year. He is now pastor of the Baptist Church at Kinneyville (Winfield), in Onondaga township, and preaches also to the Congregationalists at Onondaga. The present pastor of the church at Aurelius is Elder J.R. MONROE, who came in December, 1879. The membership of the church, Sept. 14, 1880, was 204, and the Sunday-school has an attendance of about 100, with William FANSON as superintendent. About 1870 the name of the church was changed to the "First Baptist Church of Aurelius." The frame house of worship owned by the society was built in 1866-67, and dedicated Oct. 3, 1867, by Elder PORTMAN.
In the BULLEN and WEBB neighborhood, in the north part of town, the first meetings were held by Rev. Mr. FINCH, who lived at the DUBOIS settlement in Alaiedon. He was accustomed to come in every morning from his home on foot, preach once or twice and return the same day, saying he must "get home and attend to the chores." He preached in the log house of William WEBB, Sr., soon after 1841, and was a Methodist. The Baptists have also held meetings in the neighborhood for many years, and as early as 1850-55, Elders HENDEE and FULLER, from Mason, preached in the locality. During the present season (1880) a neat frame Union church has been erected on the southeast corner of section 4, by the Methodists and Baptists, at a cost of about $1800, and the two denominations alternate in holding meetings, the pastors coming from Mason.
Meeting-houses have also been erected on the west side of town, one on section 19 and another on section 31, and meetings are now held in them principally by the Methodists. The church on section 31 is maintained by people of various religious beliefs, and meetings have been held in the neighborhood for a considerable number of years by pastors of different denominations. Both buildings are frame, and the societies or classes are small.
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