History of
ONONDAGA

From History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan
by Samuel W. Durant
Published 1880 by D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia

EARLY SETTLEMENT

Oliver BOOTH
The first entry of land in what is now Onondaga township was made by Oliver BOOTH, from Gaines, Orleans Co., N.Y., May 26, 1834, and included the whole of section 29. Mr. BOOTH settled upon it with his family in the following month of June, and was therefore the first settler in the township. He died about a year later, and his was also the first death in town. The first marriage was that of his daughter, Harriet, to Jeduthan FRY, in February, 1838, and their daughter, Hannah FRY, was the first white female child born in town, her birth occurring Dec. 25, 1939.

Jonathan FRY
was originally from Massachusetts, but for a time was a resident of Bucks Co., Pa. When nineteen years of age he came to Ingham County and located in the township of Onondaga, - this being the 28th day of October, 1834. The township has since been his home, although he was for some time in California. He lived for a short time, after his arrival in the township, on the BOOTH place, northwest of what is now Onondaga village, and afterwards made his home west of the village until 1876, when he moved to his present location on section 21. He came to the township originally with mr. BOOTH, who had returned to new york to settle up his business affairs.

Mr. FRY's brother, Dr. Hiram FRYE,* came to Onondaga in 1838, reaching the house of the former on the 1st day of June. In May, 1839, he settled upon the place he now occupies, on section 21, where he has since resided. A few years after coming to the township he began the practice of medicine, which he continued until about 1877.

Peter CRANSON,
from Cayuga Co., N.Y., was the second person who purchased land in the township, his entry on section 20 being dated June 26, 1834. He had been visiting at Jackson the previous year. He was young and unmarried, and was accompanied from New York by six others, who settled in various parts of Michigan, none of them, however, locating in Onondaga. Mr. CRANSON settled on his land the same year (1834). he had come to the township in May and secured help to look land, and purchased, as stated, in June. He first arrived in town only seven days later than Mr. BOOTH. he is now living in the township, half a mile east of his first location.

Henry ALLEN,
who lived south of the CRANSON place, settled also in 1834, and was a brother-in-law to Jeduthan FRY. His youngest son, William, who was born in June, 1834, very soon after the family settled, was the first white child born in the township.

Benjamin ROSSMAN,
from Cayuga Co., N.Y., came to Michigan in 1834 and located at Jackson. In April, 1836, he removed to Onondaga and settled on the farm now owned by his widow and heirs. Four children accompanied their parents to the township, in which three of the sons - Carl, Wallace, and Nelson - are now living.

George FRENCH
settled in the same neighborhood in 1837, and his sons, George, John, James, William, and Alfred, are now living in the township.

Lowing SHERMAN,
formerly of the State of New York, and for a time a resident of Lenawee Co., Mich., moved into Onondaga in 1838, and his son, John SHERMAN, is now living in the village of Onondaga.

In the neighborhood of 1850 a saw-mill - the first in the vicinity - was built by POTTER & LOCKWOOD on a small stream east of the village of Onondaga. It afterwards became the property of Nathan CHAMPE, now deceased. The mill was finally abandoned, and only the ruins are left. A steam saw-mill was afterwards built in the village by George FRENCH, and others have also been erected, but none are now in use, and the labor of bringing logs to the locality is too great to make the work a source of profit.

Lawrence RYAN,
from Dansville, Livingston Co., N.Y., settled in Onondaga township in the fall of 1839 with his wife and eleven children, of whom the youngest, Milton, was but two years old. The family located on section 4. Mr. RYAN died at Mason in 1877, and his son, Milton RYAN Esq., is now living at that place, to which he was removed in December, 1874. Two sons, Horatio and William, are yet living in the township of Onondaga, - the latter at Kinneyville.

* This is the orthography of the name as used by the doctor.

VILLAGE OF ONONDAGA

The original plat of the village of Onondaga was laid out by John SHERMAN and others, on a part of the northeast fractional quarter of section 29, July 13, 1870. Several buildings had previously been erected, but the place dates its permanent growth from this time. Grove BALDWIN laid out an addition on the northeast part of the southeast quarter of section 29, July 10, 1874, and other additions have been made which are not recorded.

A post-office was first established at the place about 1844, with Perez HOWLAND as postmaster, and the position was held by him a number of years. His successor was probably Horace COLBY, and those since have been John SHERMAN and the present incumbent, T.N. STRINGHAM.

The first store of any consequence in the place was established in 1867 by John SHERMAN, who then opened a general stock of goods.

The first part of the present "Onondaga Hotel" was built about 1847-48, by Perez HOWLAND, for a grocery, and the post-office was also kept in it. Cyrus BALDWIN subsequently purchased and converted it into a hotel. In March, 1856, Henry S. WILLIS came to the place from the State of New York, and in January, 1857, he purchased the hotel, built a large addition to it, and kept it four years. He is now in the grain and produce business at the village, and the present proprietor of the hotel is E. FLANNIGAN.

The Sherman House was built by John SHERMAN, about 1856, and has since been owned, though not always kept, by him.

KINNEYVILLE

Is a small village on Grand River, two miles below Onondaga, so called for its original proprietor, Stephen VanKINNEY, who came here form Nova Scotia, purchased a large quantity of land, and on the 9th of June, 1849, laid out a village on section 17, giving it the name of Nova Scotia, by which it is recorded. As "Kinneyville," however, it is  best known, and by that name it is called by those acquainted with the place.

Mr. VanKINNEY built a grist-mill and a saw-mill before laying out his village, and the former is yet standing. Joseph S. PEIRSON was the millwright. The grist-mill stands on the west side of the river, near the end of the dam, and the old saw-mill was on the opposite side. Mr. VanKINNEY finally removed to Jackson, where he died about 1875-76.

Some time after the mill was built, Joseph S. PEIRSON erected a large building, which was used as a dwelling and hotel, and is yet standing, but now deserted, and Mr. PEIRSON is deceased.

Henry LOSEY opened a small grocery and liquor-store at the place quite early, but the first general store was not established until about 1853, when GRIFFITH & SPRAGUE offered for sale a stock of dry goods and general merchandise.

The grist-mill is now owned by Samuel STETLER, and a saw-mill, axe-handle- and shingle factory, immediately below, is the property of George TAYLOR. A side-track was built on the railroad, a mile from the village, and considerable quantities of flour are shipped by Mr. STETLER.

A cheese-factory was built about 1870 by a stock company, Hosea KENYON (now deceased), the cheese-maker, being also a stockholder. The stock after a time became the property of one or two members of the company, and finally passed into the hands of one man. Rinaldo FULLER, formerly a druggist at Onondaga village, owned the factory for some time, and at length he sold it to Lee S. COBB, the present proprietor.

The village contained in September, 1880, two stores, two churches, a new school-house (built in 1879), a cheese-factory, two blacksmith-shops, a wagon shop, a shoe-shop, a grist mill, a cooper-shop, and a handle- and shingle-factory. It was doubtless intended by Mr. VanKINNEY, when he laid the place out, that it should become at no distant day a place of much importance, and its location, as far as natural advantages are concerned, is good; but when the Grand River Railway was built "Kinneyville" was left at one side, and Onondaga received a forward push, of which it took advantage.

The post-office at Kinneyville is called "Winfield," and was established about 1860-61, with William EARLL as postmaster. He built the store in which the office is now kept. James E. HOWLAND was appointed postmaster, April 25, 1864, and possibly a man named PARKER was his successor. Jonathan D. LANE was appointed Sept. 20, 1870, and was succeeded by Rufus SWART, whose appointment was dated Feb. 10, 1873. The latter died in office, and his son, Albert E. SWART, the present incumbent, was appointed to the position Feb. 27, 1880.

RELIGIOUS

A Baptist Church
was organized early in the north part of town, and for many years held its meetings at Aurelius Centre, in connection with a church of the same denomination at that place, the same pastors preaching for both. Meetings have also been continued for several years at Kinneyville by the Baptists, and in 1879 a frame church was built at that place.
Rev. W.W. SMITH, formerly of Aurelius, is the pastor, and holds services also in the Congregational church at Onondaga. A good Sunday-school is maintained, and the church has a respectable membership.

Methodist Episcopal Church
was built at Kinneyville about 1869. This church also has a good membership, and is presided over by Rev. S. NELSON, who preaches also to a small class at Onondaga, at which place the Methodists have, as yet, erected no church building. The church at Kinneyville has a flourishing Sunday-school.

Congregational Church, Onondaga,
-A Methodist class was formed at this village quite early and sustained for a time, but was finally dissolved, and no regular Christian organization existed in the place afterwards until, on the 13 of May, 1866, a Sunday-school was organized through the exertions of Miss S. COCHRANE and others. This had at one time an attendance of over seventy. Rev. J.R. STEVENSON, of Eaton Rapids, preached occasionally at Onondaga, and on the 15th of October, 1866, the "First Congregational Church of Onondaga" was formed, with fourteen members. Mr. STEVENSON was its pastor from Nov. 1, 1866, to Nov. 1, 1867, and Rev. ___ SHAW, from Feb.1 to May 1, 1868. This organization became extinct, but on the 14th of October, 1877, another was perfected by Rev. W.B. WILLIAMS, of Charlotte, who had aided also in forming the previous one. The present frame church was dedicated on the 16th of the same month. Rev. J.R. STEVENSON became the pastor in February, 1878, and remained two years. The present supply is Rev. W.W. SMITH, of Winfield. The membership in September, 1880, was fourteen, and the Sunday-school has an average attendance of fifty-five to sixty, with Albert SANFORD as superintendent.

ORIGINAL LAND ENTRIES
(Link to Page)

1844 RESIDENT TAXPAYERS

Orris CRANSON Joseph TUTTLE William H. FRAY Peter EARLL
B. KNIGHT John THORPE J.C. PRESTON Abram HENRY
Hiram CRANSON Eli HOPKINS Jeduthan FRY John R. GARLICK
John TYLER Marquis JOHNSON Garrett Van RIPER Horace GARLICK
John COCKBURN Barney JOHNSON Simeon DUNN William J. CLARK
Charles FESTOR Elisha SMITH John SHERMAN A. FREEMAN
Hiram FRYE Hazen ROLFE Lowing SHERMAN Franklin ELMORE
Samuel FRYE Noah E. HOOD Henry ALLEN Samuel D. BREED
David LANE Henry SLAGHT George FRENCH John F. HENDEE
M.A. BALDWIN H.W. IMUS J. MARVIN J.H. BOSTWICK
Almer D. HUNT Michael LOSEY David POTTER and
Lucinda LOCKWOOD, administratix
Monroe PEAK
Elon G. ANNIS John SHERD Warren BUCKSON John H. PEAK
George LONGYEAR Henry KIPER Orange BARLOW William LEWIS
O. SHARP J.W. TOLES John DARLING Joseph GALE
Ephraim P. HAYNES William B. HILL Orange PHELPS Stephen LOSEY
James BLAIN Thomas P. BALDWIN Charles PETTY Benjamin ROSSMAN,
Hiram ABBEY Frederick ABBEY Joseph ABBEY Palmer ROSSMAN
Chauncey GREEN Thomas HARWOOD M.K. and J. SIBLEY Levi P. EARLL
Ephraim P. HAYNES T.K. BALDWIN George V.N. HETFIELD Abby HAYNES
Richard FERRIS Grove BALDWIN Augustus HOUGHTON Rue PERRINE
Drummond STORTS Joseph PEARSON Lawrence RYAN Jr. Lawrence RYAN
William LOSEY Oliver LOSEY Henry LOSEY James SLITER
Alpheus HOUPT

TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS

By an act of Legislature approved March 6, 1836, town 1 north, in range 2 west, then a part of Aurelius, was set off and organized into a seperate township by the name of Onondaga, and the first township-meeting was directed to be held at the house of Barney JOHNSTON. The following account of said meeting is from the township records:

"At a meeting of electors of the township of Onondaga, in the county of Jackson (Ingham), and State of Michigan, held at the house of Barney JOHNSTON, on the first Monday of April, 1838, the following persons were elected officers of said township, -viz.;

"Amos E. STEELE, Supervisor, by a majority of seventeen votes; Josephus TUTTLE, Township Clerk, by a majority of sixteen votes;  for Assessors, Peter CRANSON received thirteen votes; Gabriel V.N. HETFIELD and Josephus TUTTLE received each fourteen votes; for Road Commissioners, Gabriel V.N. HETFIELD received fourteen votes, and Jeduthan FRYE received seven votes, John DARLING nine, and Josephus TUTTLE four; for School Inspectors, Amos E. STEELE received ten votes; Josephus TUTTLE and Gabriel V.N. HETFIELD received ten votes each; Silas BOOTH received for Collector fourteen votes; and for Constables, Silas BOOTH received thirteen votes, and Gilbert ROSSMAN, Adna HUNT, and frederick ABBEY received each thirteen votes, and Chauncey DAY received eight votes; and for Justices of the Peace, Josephus TUTTLE received fourteen votes, Amos E. STEELE received fourteen votes, and Gabriel V.N. HETFIELD received the like number of fourteen votes, and for Directors of the Poor (record seems to be imperfect here); Merritt JOHNTON was elected Path Master in road district number five; Amos E. STEELE was elected Path Master in road district number six; Henry ALLEN was elected Path Master; and in road district number seven Gabriel V.N. HETFIELD was elected Path Master.

"And on motion, it was voted that the Path Masters serve as Fence Viewers; and on motion, it was voted that any resident of the town taking and killing a wolf in said township be entitled to eight dollars as a bounty therefor.

"Orris CRANSON was elected Township Treasurer.

"It was also voted that the next annual township-meeting of this township to be held at the house of Peter CRANSON, in said town.

"A true copy.

"David Lane Inspectors
"Merritt Johnston
"Peter Cranson
"Amos E. Steele Clerks
"Josephus Tuttle

The following is a list of the principal officers of the township, beginning with 1839:

TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS

1839 Josephus TUTTLE 1856-59 Joseph S. PIERSON 1870 Nelson EVERETT
1840 Martin R. SIBLEY 1860 John FRENCH 1871 Moseley A. BALDWIN
1841-48 Joseph GALE 1861-62 Garrett VanRIPER 1872 Nelson EVERETT
1849-50 Moseley A. BALDWIN 1863-64 Joseph S. PIERSON 1873 A. S. NOBLE
1851 Joseph GALE 1865-67 John SHERMAN 1874 Milton RYAN
1852 Warren B. BUCKLAND 1868 Garrett VanRIPER 1875-77 Henry CRAIN
1853-55 Joseph GALE 1869 John BROWN 1878-79 Mark CONKLIN

TOWNSHIP CLERKS

1839 John PHELPS 1840 Warren B. BUCKLAND 1841-42 Josiah C. PRESTON
1843 Horace GARLICK 1844 W.B. BUCKLAND 1845-52 Perez HOWLAND
1853 Clinton D. GRIFFITH* 1854-55 Joseph S. PIERSON 1856 George PHELPS
1857 Hilon OSBORN 1858 James E. HOWLAND 1859 William O. CALLAHAN
1860 G. HUTCHINGS 1861 William WILKINSON 1862 William EARLL
1863 James E. HOWLAND 1864 George H. WAGGONER* 1865 Benjamin E. SAWTELL
1866 William H. PLUMMER 1867 William L. COCHRAN 1868 William HUTCHINGS
1869-70 William RYAN 1871 Garrett VanRIPER 1872 Frank HOES
1873 P.P. CRAIN 1874 Albert SANFORD 1875 Frank HOES
1876 James P. TOWNSEND 1877 Frank HOES 1878 Fred D. WOODWORTH
1879 Albert SANFORD

*1853: resigned, and Merrick NICHOLS appointed.
*1865: Removed from township, and B.E. SAWTELL appointed.

TREASURERS

1839 Peter CRANSON 1856 W.S. WILKESON 1865 Gabriel TREFRY
1840 Moseley A. BALDWIN 1857 Elisha SMITH 1866-67 Garrett VanRIPER
1841 Henry FRAY* 1858 Peter I. ELTING 1868-70 Abner S. NOBLE
1842-43 Lyman ELDERKIN 1859 James BAKER 1871-72 Philip P. CRAIN
1844 M.A. BALDWIN 1860 Theodore WISNER 1873-75 George H. WAGGONER
1845-46 David W. PERRINE 1861 William HUTCHINGS 1876 James STRINGHAM
1847-54 Leonard GILMAN 1862-63 John W. JORDAN 1877-78 Luther L. STONE
1855 Henry GIBBS 1864 Garrett VanRIPPER 1879 George H. WAGGONER

*1841: Wm. H. FREY elected at special meeting, May 1, 1841.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

1839 Amos E. STEELE 1860 Perez HOWLAND
Horace HAYNES
Warren B. BUCKLAND
1840 Josephus TUTTLE 1861 Horace M. BUCK
Benjamin ROSSMAN
Marshall CAMPBELL
1841 Warren B. BUCKLAND 1862 W.B. BUCKLAND
D.C. GRIFFITH
E.C. HAYNES
1842 G.V.N. HETFIELD
Hazen ROLFE
1863 William RYAN
1843 Cyrus HAMPTON
G.V.N. HETFIELD
Hazen ROLFE
1864 John SHERMAN
1844 Josephus TUTTLE
Peter EARL
1865 De Witt C. GRIFFITH
1845 Warren B. BUCKLAND 1866 Gideon HUTCHINGS
W.B. BUCKLAND
1846 Franklin ELMER 1867 Aid GARFIELD
James BAKER
1847 Gabriel V.N. HETFIELD 1868 John BROWN
Rufus SWART
H.S. WILLIS
1848 Perez HOWLAND 1869 Rufus SWART
E.A. PARKER
1849 Nathan J. STARK 1870 James POTTER
1850 Warren B. BUCKLAND 1871 Henry S. WILLIS
1851 Richard FERRIS
Joseph SIBLEY
1872 Brutus HILL
1852 John MATTESON 1873 Edwin MILLER
Thaddeus SLAGHT
1853 Nathan J. STARK 1874 B.F. MORRIS
1854 Merrick H. NICHOLS 1875 H.S. WILLIS
Wm. LONGYEAR
Wm. RYAN
Horace BUCK
1855 Ruel PERRINE 1876 Levi F. SLAGHT
1856 M. CAMPBELL 1877 Thomas M. CRANSON
1857 Isaac TYLER 1878 Wm D. LONGYEAR
1858 Ephraim POTTER
Hilon OSBORN
1879 Richard S. COLBY
1859 Ruel PERRINE
Isaac TYLER
W.H. TOWN

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