History of
WHITE OAK TOWNSHIP

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

EARLY SETTLEMENT

Daniel DUTCHER
claims and has the honor accorded to him of being the earliest pioneer who found a home within the boundaries of White Oak township. He was originally a resident of Montgomery Co., N.Y., from whence he removed to the western portion of the State in 1825, and to White Oak in 1835. On section 35 he chose a tract of 335  acres, upon which he built a log habitation, and for some months lived alone with his family in the wilderness. In June of the following year a band of pioneers, thirty-six in number, arrived and enjoyed Mr. DUTCHER's hospitality while selecting their lands or erecting houses upon them. They found the limited quarters of his shanty inadequate for their wants, and were obliged to improve sleeping accommodations in their wagons or under such shelter as the forest afforded. There were at this time no roads, the Indian trail being the only guide. A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. DUTCHER in December, 1835, whom they christened Abigail. She was the first white child born in the township. Mr. DUTCHER still survives, and resides upon the northwest quarter of section 35.

Henry and John CLEMENTS
were the next settlers, having arrived in 1836. The former, in May of that year, entered land on sections 28 and 29, upon which he built the accustomed log house and did some clearing. He later removed to Meadville, and became the popular landlord of the place, remaining until his death.

John CLEMENTS owned a farm on section 21, and afterwards removed to Laingsburg, where he died. His sons still occupy the farm. The father of the CLEMENTS brothers died in the township during the year 1836, or possibly a year later. This was the earliest death in the township.

James HYNES
located land in October, 1835, on section 35 and 36, and the following year settled upon it. His farm embraced 160 acres, which he cleared, improved, and made productive. He still resides upon the place, and is one of the township's successful farmers.

Enoch SMITH
removed from Cortland Co., N.Y., in 1836, and settled on eighty acres upon section 24, on which he built a log dwelling and began the clearing of the land. Deer and wolves were abundant, and the Indian roamed the forest undisturbed. His intercourse with the whites was confined to visits for purposes of barter, and his supplies of fresh game made him a welcome visitor. Mr. SMITH still occupies the land he originally settled upon.

David and William A. DRYER
entered in July, 1836, eighty acres on section 21. They were former residents of the Empire State, and on their arrival began the erection of a log house, soon after effecting a considerable improvement. They both later removed from the township, and Joseph DRYER is now the occupant of the farm.

Lucius WILSON
came in 1837 and located upon land on section 30. He cleared and improved a large portion of his purchase, but later removed to California. He returned again to the township, where he died.

James RATHBUN,
another of the pioneers of 1837, chose a farm on section 31, which was entirely uncleared on his arrival. He converted it, however, into productive land, upon which he for some years resided, but ultimately left the township.

Edward R. DAGGETT
the same year became a resident on section 32,which he had entered in November of the previous year. This was destitute of improvement until Mr. DAGGETT's industry cultivated and made it a profitable investment. His death occurred upon he farm, which is now occupied by his widow and son.

Alfred HOWARD
entered land on section 4 in July, 1836, and settled upon it. His residence was, however, brief. A few years later he sold and found a home elsewhere.

Abram VanBUREN
was a former resident of Onondaga Co., N.Y., from whence he removed in 1837 to a farm of 100 acres on section 34, bought of John WELSH. Indians were encamped in the neighborhood, and the scene of his arrival presented a primitive and uninviting aspect. He sold a portion of this land, and in 1847 removed to his present residence, embracing eighty acres on section 35. His son is the present efficient township clerk of White Oak.

The township at this time had no resident physician, and the presence of Dr. MORGAN, of Unadilla, was solicited in cases of severe illness. Later Dr. CRAFT ministered to the needs of the settlers. Elder SAYERS conducted the earliest religious services, and George W. BRECKENRIDGE made his advent soon after in the capacity of local preacher.

John DUBOIS,
formerly of New York, settled in 1837 upon sixty acres on section 35, his wife at the same time being owner of an additional sixty adjacent. The land was entirely uncleared, and the house of Conrad DUBOIS, in Stockbridge, afforded shelter while clearing a space on which to erect a log cabin. Mr. DUBOIS remained upon this farm and continued its improvement until his death, in 1880.

Hiel PHELPS
emigrated from Ontario Co., N.Y., to Dexter, in 1834, and in 1838 settled upon 120 acres on section 29 in White Oak, which he purchased of William TURNER. This was uncleared, with the exception of three acres, which was chopped and had built upon it a simple log structure. Mr. PHELPS moved with oxen and horses from Dexter, following the Indian trail, which was at times a very obscure guide. He began labor with a will, and the first year had cleared and partially sown ten acres. Henry CLEMENTS was the nearest settler. Mr. and Mrs. PHELPS are still, in their advanced years, residents of their original purchase.

James REEVES,
a native of Orange Co., N.Y., located in Washtenaw County in 1836, and in October, 1842, settled on section 27, in White Oak. Inn 1849 he removed to Stockbridge, where his death occurred at a recent date. Mr. REEVES was actively identified with the interests of both townships, and did much to advance their growth. He filled several important and influential offices during his residence in White Oak.

Richard OAKLEY,
another new Yorker, settled in 1839 upon section 33, where he converted the forest into a highly improved farm. He remained upon this estate until his death, in 1878, and his sons are the present owners.

John McKERNAN
was a pioneer of 1839, and settled upon section 14, where he entered land in June, 1836. He found an ample field for his energies in the unimproved territory of which he was possessor. This, however, soon yielded to the industry of its owner, who continued to improve and increase the value of his purchase until his death.

J.B. and Robert WILSON
came from St. Lawrence Co., N.Y., and located on section 32, their father, John B. WILSON, having entered eighty acres on the above section in 1836. The latter was killed by the falling of a tree in 1841, and the sons have since removed to section 27.

Christopher PATRICK
settled in 1845, upon section 29, where he improved the land he secured and rendered it highly productive.

Abram HAYNER
came from Troy, N.Y., and chose land on section 34, embracing 190 acres, which at the time was uncleared. He hewed timber, and with it erected a dwelling, into which he removed when but partially completed. He devoted himself to hard labor, and when, some years later, the primitive structure became uninhabitable, erected a substantial frame residence in which he now dwells. Mr. HAYNER is keenly alive to the interests of the township, and has filled many important township offices.

G.L. CARTER
removed from Genesee Co., N.Y., in 1850, and purchased land on sections 28 and 29, having built a residence on the latter section. Forty acres had been already chopped, and a log house and barn were standing upon it. In 1856 he erected a more substantial abode, and has continued to increase the dimensions of his farm until it now embraces 314 acres, all highly improved.

Among other pioneers who assisted in breaking the forests of White Oak were David HOWELL, who owned land on section 28; Hezekiah RIGGS and Asahel MONSON, who settled upon section 29; R. RAMSDELL and Thomas ANDERSON, on section 15; Truman McARTHUR, on section 20; David NEWSOM, on section 33; H.W. ACKLEY, on section 15; William D. STEVENSON and Alfred RAMSDELL, on section 9; A.N. RIGGS and C.F. CHADWICK, on section 4; Thomas F. PATRICK, on section 30; William BALLENTINE and James GRAHAM, on section 31; Philip SALISBURY and James ALCHIN, on section 10; Samuel and Henry WOLCOTT, on section 18; Asel STOW and Benjamin BULLOCK, on section 35; George GILLIAM, on section 24; Ebenezer SHERMAN, on section 34; William S. HALL, on section 36; Stephen HAVENS, on section 1; and Jonathan THOMAS.

MILLVILLE

The land on which this village is located was first owned by James REEVES, in whose name it was entered Feb. 27, 1836. It was subsequently sold to nelson F. OSBORN, who disposed again of a small portion to Elias CLARK, by whom a saw-mill was erected. He parted with a half-interest, and later sold the whole to Lemuel WOODHOUSE, who is the present owner.

Elias S. CLARK, in 1873, erected a grist-mill on the northwest corner of the southeast quarter of section 27, which is propelled by steam and now in full operation. There are, in addition, two stores, owned by Elias S. CLARK and John E. BURGESS, respectively, and a cooper-shop, by Isaac LETTS. The township post-office is on section 34, Wm. J. H. ACKERSON being the postmaster.

ORIGINAL LAND ENTRIES
(Link to Page)

1844 TAXPAYER LIST

John CLEMENTS John H. CLEMENTS Henry CLEMENTS
David HOWELL Alexander McARTHUR James REEVES
William VanBUREN David NEWSOM Abram VanBUREN
--- OAKLEY --- MOSCHO I.N. PHELPS &
Hiel PHELPS
William A. DRYER Truman McARTHUR Alfred RAMSDELL
William D. STEVENSON Radcliff HOWELL R. RAMSDELL
Thomas ANDERSON M. HEYWOOD H.W. ACKLEY
Nathaniel PARMEN Philip SALISBURY Edmund ALCHIN
James ALCHIN Enos SMITH William ABBOTT
Jacob COUNTRYMAN Matthew COWATUS Lewis CODY
Anna HORR William BROWN Alfred HOWARD
A.N. RIGGS C.F. CHADWICK Henry WOLCOTT
Samuel WOLCOTT L. MAIN Samuel TORBERT
E.V. CARR DeWitt MORRISON Jonathan THOMAS
Thomas F. PATRICK James RATHBUN William BALLENTINE
James GRAHAM Agnes GRAHAM George G. SLY
Ashael MONSON Hezekiah RIGGS Lucius WILSON
Thomas STEVENS Jacob HEVDON Andrew STEVENS
John GILLAM William POST Asel STOW
James HYNES William S. HALL Benjamin GILLAM
Eber HALL Jacob ACKER John DUBOIS
Benjamin BULLOCK Matthew DUBOIS John McKERNAN
Stephen HAVENS George GILLAM Warren WILSON
Albert WILSON Francis McMAHON Robert SMITH
Enoch SMITH Michel MICHVANNA Ebenezer SHERMAN
Daniel DUTCHER - -

TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS

SUPERVISORS

1840-41 William S. HALL 1842 W. A. DRYER 1843-44 John CLEMENTS
1845-46 Griffin PADDOCK 1847 Lucius WILSON 1848 John A. TURNER
1849 G.W. ANDREWS 1850 Lucius WILSON 1851 Philip McKERNEN
1852 William C. POST 1853 John CLEMENTS 1854-57 Abram HAYNER
1858 George J. SLY 1859-60 Abram HAYNER 1861-64 D.F. OSBORN
1865-67 Willard SMITH 1868 William C. POST 1869-70 Abram HAYNER
1871-72 D.F. OSBORN 1873 W.P. WILCOX 1874 Willard SMITH
1875 William H. SMITH 1876-77 E.W. WOODWARD 1878 George H. WILLETS
1879-80 E.W. WOODWARD

TOWNSHIP CLERKS

1840 William A. DRYER 1841-44 William BALLENTINE 1845-46 James REEVES
1847-48 William POST 1849 David HOWELL 1850-52 Abram HAYNER
1853-55 Henry CLEMENTS 1856 William WILSON 1857-58 William C. POST
1859 W.R. WILSON 1860-61 David COOPER 1862 Abram HAYNER
1863 Stephen M. HAYNER 1864-66 William C. POST 1867-68 J.P. WILSON
1869-71 John B. WILSON 1872 Andre M. HALL 1873 John B. WILSON
1874-77 Charles STEPHENS 1878 Samuel E. ROGERS 1879 Oren L. LATHROP
1880 Lyman A. VanBUREN

TREASURERS

1840-44 Henry CLEMENTS 1845-46 Lucius WILSON 1847 Hiel PHELPS
1848 John GILLAM 1849 no record 1850 John GILLAM
1851 Nelson OSBORN 1852-53 Hiel PHELPS 1854 J.C. GRANGER
1855-56 Lucius WILSON 1857-60 Enoch SMITH 1861 Samuel B. WILLIAMS
1862 William H. SMITH 1863 Robert C. SMITH 1864-65 Isaac R. WILLIAMS
1866 Hiel PHELPS 1867 Robert WILSON 1868-69 Enoch SMITH
1870-71 Parshall HOWELL 1872 Warren P. WILCOX 1873-74 Thomas McKERNAN
1875-76 Alexander H. CLEMENTS 1877-78 John HYNES 1879-80 Oscar JOHNSON

JUSTICES of the PEACE

1840 Cyrus POST
Alfred HOWARD
Daniel DUTCHER
1841 S.V.R. CHURCH
D.P. DRYER
1842 R. RAMSDELL
Cyrus POST
Lucius WILSON
1843 George J. SLY 1844 John CLEMENTS
Thomas STEVENS
1845 George J. SLY
1846 Lewis CODY 1847 Griffin PADDOCK 1848 Thomas STEVENS
1849 George J. SLY
William BROWN
1850 John McKERNAN
Enoch SMITH
1851 C.H. CHADWICK
Enoch SMITH
1852 Thomas B. GODLEY 1853 George J. SLY 1854 D.F. OSBORN
Miles LOWELL
G.W. ANDREWS
1855 Isaac DAVIS 1856 Franklin DART
Isaac STOW
1857 George J. SLY
W.P. WILSON
Nelson S. OSBORN
1858 no record 1859 N.S. OSBORN 1860 Warren P. WILCOX
1861 William C. POST 1862 E.W. WOODWARD 1863 Elias S. CLARK
1864 Daniel L. CODY 1865 H.J. STONER
Levi ALCOTT
1866 E. WOODWARD
George M. HALL
George W. ANDREWS
1867 Abram HAYNER
Ira MILLER
1868 Frank LATHROP
Joseph FIELDING
1870 E.W.  WOODWARD
1871 Andre M. HALL 1872 Ira MILLER 1873 M.B. TOWNSEND
S.N. SCOVILLE
1874 Abram HAYNER 1875 Robert WILSON 1876 John R. POTTER
1877 M.B. TOWNSEND 1878 Enoch L. SMITH 1879 Charles H. CARPENTER
1880 John R. POTTER

Return to Ingham County
MIGenWeb