From History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan
by Samuel W. Durant
Published 1880 by D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia
Mr. ROGERS devoted himself at once to chopping and the work of underbrushing, and soon after had a considerable tract cleared and sown with wheat. His house was the resort of emigrants and land-lookers for successive months, and was frequently filled beyond its capacity. His death occurred March 22, 1875, at the age of seventy-seven years. Mrs. ROGERS survives, and is a resident of the village of Stockbridge.
In June of the same year Thomas G. SILL located on section 36, where he entered land. A son, born to him at the close of the year, was the first white child born in the township. The population was not further increased until 1835, when Herman LOWE and his family came from Sullivan Co., N.Y., and entered 640 acres of land on sections 2 and 3, which had been previously selected by his son, Richard B. LOWE. Mr. LOWE and his three sons, Richard R., Jesse, and Peter, all located on section 3, upon which they erected a comfortable log house for the senior member of the family. The others, in turn, built comfortable abodes. Jesse, however, began the erection of a more spacious dwelling, and while engaged in its completion, in 1837, was drowned in Lowe Lake. Mr. LOWE, with the assistance of his son Peter, cleared the first year thirty acres which was sown with wheat. The crop was carried to Dexter and Pinckney for sale or milling purposes.
Unadilla, in Livingston County, at this period boasted the only saw-mill in the immediate neighborhood. Indians were then numerous and inclined to sociability with the whites. They were civil and peaceable, except when fired by liquor, when they became boisterous and often troublesome.
Mr. Herman LOWE
Conrad M. DUBOIS
Olney F. RICE
Ira B. WOOD
Earl B. WEBSTER,
Mr. MATTHEWSON pursued the whole journey from his former home with horses and wagon, following a portion of the way the Indian trail. James SEEK had already located on section 21 and erected a shanty. With him a comfortable shelter was obtained while making improvements on his own land. Deer and wolves were at this time the principal denizens of the forest, the former affording an ample supply of fresh meat to the settlers. Mr. MATTHEWSON died many years since. The farm is occupied by Fernando BOWDISH, while Charles MATTHEWSON, a son, resides upon eighty acres on section 16.
Anson K. STANDISH
Mr. REASON, who was an Englishman by birth and a native of cambridgeshire, remained a resident of the township until his death, in 1872. His son, John REASON, has a highly-cultivated farm near the village of Stockbridge, while Frederick, another son, resides on section 22. Religious services were at this early date held in the cabins of the settlers, Elder SAYRES having been the leader of these meetings and the first preacher in the township.
VILLAGE OF STOCKBRIDGE
This plat, which in the official record in the register's office at Mason is described as the "west half of the northwest quarter of section 26, together with twenty rods of the east side of the northeast quarter of section 27," is acknowledged by Silas BEEBE Jr., and Marcia, his wife, and Ira WOOD and Jane, his wife, before Mason BRANCH, justice of the peace.
Elijah SMITH built a log house, and remained about two years, after which Mr. BEEBE succeeded to the occupancy. The latter gentleman brought with him in a trunk from Detroit a stock of goods, which he displayed in the limited apartment used as a sleeping-room, while the family enjoyed their peaceful slumbers in the loft above, fitted for the purpose. Elijah SMITH had, on disposing of this residence to BEEBE, built another log shanty, which was the second building in the embryo village.
John NEWKIRK followed soon after, and constructed a shed, in which he placed a bellows and anvil, and plied his trade as a blacksmith. A pioneer named FORD began the erection of a saw-mill on Portage Creek, within the village limits, which he conducted for a brief time. It was afterwards removed to a point twenty rods lower down the stream, and managed by one JOHNSON. Stephen GEDNEY later became proprietor, and after a succession of transfers it became the property of Silas BEEBE. The structure has yielded to time's ravages, and is in a ruinous condition.
Eleazer BEEBE erected a tavern on the site of the present village hotel, which was kept by Orton WILLIAMS. It was afterwards consumed by fire, and the building now standing was erected in its place. Dr. MORGAN at this period became a resident of the village, and L.E. RICE & Co. opened a store, which eventually became the property of H.N. FORBES, and was subsequently burned. In 1838 a small log building was erected near the present cemetery, in which the earliest school in the village was opened. In this log school-house the earliest religious services were conducted by Elder SAYRES. A more spacious brick structure took its place, in which the various religious bodies convened until the erection of a church edifice, in 1855. Charles C. MILLARD early became a partner of Silas BEEBE in his mercantile enterprise, and afterwards opened a store, which was managed by Mason BRANCH.
The hamlet slowly increased in importance and population by the advent of residents from the township and the opening of stores in response to the demands of the adjacent country. It now has two general stores, kept by Messrs. H.N. FORBES & Son and Edy BAKER; one drug-store, owned by Dr. H.E. BROWN, who is also the village postmaster; two blacksmith-shops, in which Messrs. BEVIER & GRAHAM and Lewis RANDOLPH preside at the forge; two harness-shops, kept by Lucius BOWDISH and James SPAULDING; a milliner-shop, from which emanate the fashions of Stockbridge.
The physicians of the village are Dr. L.C. WILLIAMS and Dr. H.E. BROWN.
Methodist Episcopal Church, North Stockbridge,
A Protestant Methodist society holds services alternately, with the other religious bodies, in the Presbyterian church of Stockbridge. Rev. ____ CLARK, of Dansville, is pastor.
First Presbyterian Church,
1844 RESIDENT TAXPAYERS
The township of Stockbridge was organized as an independent township March 26, 1836, and, as decreed by an act of State Legislature, the first meeting of qualified electors was held at the house of D.T. COMFORT, April 3, 1837. At this meeting, Orin GREGORY was appointed moderator, and Peter LOWE, clerk. The ballots for township having been cast, the following officers were declared duly elected: Supervisor, Orrin GREGORY; Township Clerk, Peter LOWE; Justices of the Peace, Ira WOOD, David ROGERS, Royal STEVENS, Heman LOW; Collector, Eben B. WEBSTER; Assessors, Heman LOW, Ira WOOD, A.D. FELTON; Highway Commissioners, David ROGERS, A.D. FELTON, Orin GREGORY; Commissioners of Common Schools, Alden SMITH, Elijah SMITH, Herman STOCKING; School Inspectors, Olney F. RICE, Ira WOOD, Peter LOWE; Constables, E.B. WEBSTER, Minor TOWNSEND; Overseers of Poor, Olney F. RICE, E. WHEATON.
The following list embraces the names of supervisors, township clerks, treasurers, and justices of the peace for the succeeding years to the present date:
ORDERS and SOCIETIES
STOCKBRIDGE LODGE, No. 130,
Its present officers are:
The lodge is in prosperous condition. The spacious hall in which its convocations are held is owned by the organization, and it has a substantial balance in its treasury.
UNION AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY
This society may be described as the outgrowth of a popular need. Several
townships in the southern portion of the county, together with others
in the counties immediately adjacent, finding the sites chosen
for the holding of the annual agricultural fair remote from their various
residences, formed an association for the purpose of purchasing land and
erecting buildings at a more convenient point. The society early embraced
Bunker Hill, Iosco, White Oak, Lyndon, Unadilla, and Waterloo. Ingham and
Henrietta were subsequently added to the list. The grounds, located in
Stockbridge, were very soon after their purchase improved, commodious edifices
constructed, and the first annual meeting held in 1877, which very soon
demonstrated the success of the project.
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