Van Buren's Pioneering Fathers
Nearly all of the township's first white visitors were French, who came merely to hunt and trap, for the fur trade. Those who later came to settle here made the trip up the Huron River, bringing only necessary items, such as ammunition, tools, blankets, and a few cooking utensils. They came overland on foot, or horse-back and by ox-cart and wagon. Until Michigan Avenue had ben surveyed , many followed the Detroit-Toledo wagon road, as far as Flat Rock and from there followed Indian trails up the river.
The oldest trails leading into the township were mere paths. It was necessary to ford all creeks, and small streams, as there were no bridges, other then stepping stones or perhaps a fallen tree. One of the earliest fords on the Huron River, is located almost on the exact location of today's cemetery bridge, which had been called, French Landing.
In 1818, when the American Government opened a land office in Detroit, and for many years there were great spurts of land purchased through the 1830's with buying and selling of lands before some actually came to settle here.
The Geddes brothers and a number of others took up land, for only speculation, and later relocated to nearby townships. Others moved in and after a short time moved away to be nearer market places of trade.
The township of Van Buren contains a total of 23, 131.10 acres of land, or approximately 26.690 square miles. All of this land was originally taken up by just 172 people. The first land purchase in 1820 was made by Cabel Marsh, and the last was made by Frederic Spawn, on October 30, 1838. Among those who recieved a land patent were six women: Sarah Sterling, Margaret Punches, Eliza Smith, Sally Kipp, Helen Ferguson and Mary McMath.
Cabel Marsh came to Van Buren township from Essex County, Massachusetts, and erected his shanty on the south-east fraction of section 21. This was on the river bank were the village of Belleville now stands. His patent was issued on May 26, 1820. Marsh retained possession o his quarter-section for over fifteen years and then sold out to John B. Graham. Graham had owned it for about 6 years, and sold out in 1841 to James Bell.
At first, Marsh had no neighbors and his only visitors were Native Americans, who had follwed the trails for hunters and trappers who had come up the river in canoes.
The second land patent was issued to Charles Ferguson who came here from Detroit in the Spring of 1823, and took up land in section 19. Ferguson settled upon the land he purchased, cleared it, and cultivated his land. He was probably the areas first "dirt farmer", and became prosperous as evident by the fact that in 1833, he purchased an additon 160 acres in section 29; and a farm in nearby Washtenaw County. His farm possed to his son, David, who died at Eloise in 1927. At the time of his death, David was Van Buren's oldest citizen. He was survived by a sister, Mariam (Crosby), of Eloise, and a nephew, John Crosby, of Belleville.
Henry H. Snow was the third purchaser to arrive, also coming by way of the Huron River. He also settled in section 19, on what was later known as the Isaac Bumpus farm. After erecting a home, he built a saw-mill on the Huron River, where the community of Rawsonville emerged. For a number of years, the area was known as Snow's Landing and large flat-bottom boats capable of carrying tons of freight, poled up and down the river, between "the Landing" and Lake Erie. Snow came from Maine and his land patent was dated September 13, 1823. In July 1825, he sold out to Dr. Abel Millington who lived in Ypsilanti.
In 1823, came Varanes Corkins, from Jefferson County, New York. His patent dated December 23, 1823. Corkins returned to New York, later for the rest of the winter, when he son, Veranus Jr was born February 10, 1824, and the family returned together to Van Buren Township. Veranus Jr later married, Miss Mary Walker, a native of New York state, and they lived the remainder of their lives in Van Buren Township. They are both buried in Tyler Street Cemetery. Varanes Sr, also had 3 other children: Lusiua, Mary Eliza and John Barney Corkins.
Robert Fleming also came in 1823, and evidently bought land as mere speculation. He was the first purchaser of land in Superior Township, Washtenaw County, where he owned 2 land patents. His holdings in Van Buren included all of the north half of section 22, and the northwest part of section 23. He later sold his portion of section 23, to John Budd.
Elias Vreelandt purchased land in 1823, and later sold in 1838 to William and Sarah Ann Hall. The Halls were kin to Mrs. S. Robbe who lived upon the adjoing farm to the west. Vreelandt never lived in Van Buren Township, however hd did settle in Brownstone township, and held a public office there.
Another early resident was Harvey Hubbard who came to Michigan in 1818, and to Van Buren in 1823. He had come to Detroit on the "Walk-in-the-Water", a steamship on Lake Erie. At least four of Hubbard's daughters remained in the area: Mrs. C. Plague, Mrs. Showers, Mrs. Comer and Mrs. Gill.
In 1824, George M. Johnson, the first settler in Wayne, erected a log cabin and opened it to the public as a tavern and road house. It was later occupied by Stellwagen's store. This was located on old Chicago Road, and accomodated many early travelers leaving west from Detroit. Prior to this, many settlers follow an old wagon trail between Detroit and Toledo, as far as Flat Rock; and from there came up the river in canoes or flat bottom boat. This course was taken by early settlers; John Allen of Virginia; Elisah Rumsey, of New York; and Asa L. Smith. Two land patents were recorded in that year belonging to Nathan Wilcox and Perez St. John. The St John property in section 21, later belonged to George Quirk and the Quirk Farms Company.
In 1825, an influx of settlers came among them were; Henry Burlingame, John S. Brown, Joseph Moss, John Hayden, Samuel Stevens, Stephen G. Simmons, Peter Voorheis, Abraham Clawson, Matthew Woods, and Abner Johnson.
Abner Johnson purchased land in section 24, which he afterwards sold to a man named, Weisman, who lived on the land a number of years.
Rev. John Hayden, ho settled on the southeast factional quarter of section 24, was the first minister in this district. He also held several township offices prior to his removal to Taylor during the 1830's.
Abraham Clawson came here from Seneca County, New York, and acquired 105 acres of land in section 23. The following year he returned and took up 200 acres adjoing the first, but did not move here with his family until 1830. In 1831, he removed to Washtenaw County, and left his property to his daughter, Magdalean (Easton). Her husband, Z.L. Easton, served as one of the townships assessors from 1831 to 1833. Clawson, is buried beside his two sons, and his wife, Eleanor, in Spencer Cemetery, on Michigan Avenue.
Peter Voorheis came from Seneca County, New York, as well, and settled upon the first farm to the west of Clawson's on section 22. Two succeeding generations of family lived here before it was sold to Willis Dorchester about 1894.
If Stephen G. Simmons had settled upon his land, he may not have met the tragic death that came to him only five years later. He operated a bar and tavern in Wayne, he had purchased from George M. Johnson in 1826, and according to records he was evidently his own best customer. During his drinking binges, he became ugly and quarrelsome, and because of his strength, he was feared and avoided. It was while under the influence of liquor that he carried a jog of whiskey to the home of his sick wife, and forced her to drink with him. She drank what she could, but when she could finally drnk no more, he became enraged and killed her with his fist, as she layed in her bed. He was arrested and taken to Detroit, where, after a fair trail, he was sentenced to be hung September 24, 1830. His conviction was brought on by his two daughters who had witnessed the event.
In 1826, patents were granted to Samuel McMath, Mary McMath, Archy McMath, and Flemming McMath. Also to Abner Johnson, Clement Loveder, Thomas Rowland, Jacob VanDerheyden, Abraham Caniff and James Williams.
According to his land patent, Clement Loveder came to Michigan from Massachusetts and acquired the southwest quarter of section 18, later known as the Anderson farm. He purchased another patent on April 3, 1833 in section 8. He is buried in Highland Cemetery, in Ypsilanti. At the time of his death, in 1878, he was 91 years old. His wife, Ruth(Beagley) Loveder rests beside him.
Colonel Samuel McMath came here from Seneca County, New York and settled in the Willow Run district. Having met with some financial setbacks in the east, he came with the incentive of clearing his land, and raising his 9 children. His patents were issued May 19, 1826, for the entire section 18. In the summer of 1826, he erected a large log house, expecting his family to join him as soon as it was completed. His dreams were never met, as the house was barely completed when he fell ill with a fever and died. McMath was an officer of the Revoluntionary War. His death occurred September 6, 1826, and he was buried in an unmarked grave, near Woodruff's Grove in Washtenaw County. His wife, Mary McMath, set out with her nine children in a heroic effort to raise her children in their new home. The oldest son, Archy McMath took his father's place upon the farm, and later served as township assessor in 1828 and highway commissioner in 1829, and township supervisor in 1830.
Those to secure patents in 1827 were, William F. Sheldon, Jacob E. Larzalere, Robert Geddes, John Geddes, Simeon Adams Dunn, Chalres Annes, Jesse Annes, and Asa N. Ballard. All of these settled later in Washtenaw County, except Simeon Adams Dunn, who took root here and served as township constable in 1828 and as highway commissioner in 1832.
Another early land patent of Samuel Robbe which are still preserved in a bound volume on file in the Peterborough, New Hampshire Public Library, that Robbe came here from Peterborough, n 1830 and located a home site on the south side of the Huron River at "French Landing." Here he cleared his land and built a log cabin.
Samuel Robbe, Sr had fought in the Revolution, at Sartoga in 1776, and when the Black Hawk war broke out, his son, Samuel Jr immediately joined a party of young men and started west to volunteer. Robbe married in Monroe Michigan, in 1835 to Hanna Hall. He was born in Peterborought, New Hampshire August 11, 1806, and ied March 2, 1893 at the age of 87 years. Although some of Samuel Robbe's children taught school, in their younger days, all were farmers and farmers' wives. Alexander became the fist agent of Belleville, Nellie married John C. Ansley, of Geneva, New York, Mary married George McCormick, of Scotch settlement, near Dearborn, and both Benjamin and Cicero lived and died on the old homestead.
In 1831, township land patents issued were to Henry Frain, Clark Horner, Ira Merrill, Thomas Robinson, John Allen, William Crawford, Daniel Douglass, Harvey Douglass, Abraham Soop, Scott Vining, George Earing, John R. Farnsworth, Roswell Pratt, Charles Russell, Jeremiah Nottingham, Chauncey L. Crouse, Benjamin Bearley, Samuel Baldwin and David Dalrymple.
Henry L. Frain came to Michigan from Seneca County, New York, and first settled in Washtenaw County. Other family members settled and Frain's Lake was named in their honor. Henry L. took up land on what is now Tyler Street. Here he cleared the land and erected his home; raising a family of 9 children. He was an active leader in religious activities. Frain was born November 26, 1804, and married Mary Ann Punches was born in New York APril 16, 1806. Their children were as follows: George, Henry, Mary, Sallie, Michael, Priscilla, Louisa, Samantha, and Maria.
Abraham Soop was the only original purchaser of land in the township to take up a whole section of land. He acquired all of section 17. Upon this land, in 1832, assisted by David Dalrymple, he laid out the first cemetery in the township. He married Maria Spaun of Seneca County, NY, and she died April 22, 1872. Soop died from injuires he recieved in a runaway accidnet and is buried in the cemetery he created on June 25, 1841. Their property passed to their son, David who was a thrifty and successful farmer. He raised a family of 10 children: Franklin, Ann, Ella, WIlliam, Herman, Maria, Alice, Malcomb, Ella and one other who died in infancy.
Clark Horner purchased his 80 acres from the Goverment and the following May, moved here with his bride, from Orleans County, New York. They had two children, William K. born in 1833, and Harriet born in 1836. For over 40 years, Horner served as steward to the M.E. Church of Canton.
Horner was born in Dryden, New York December 5, 1808 and eid November 18, 1886. His wife, Hannah L. was born in Barry New York Febrary 24, 1813. Their daughter, Harriet, married Reuben Corey, and had one child, Anson R.. William K. married Eshter and had five children: Della, Esther, Hattie, Mary, and Clara.
George Earing was both farmer and stone mason. His son Samuel was post-master of Belleville at one time, and for many years operated a genral store. George was given on grandson, George II, who married Georgia Ellis, of New Boston, Michigan.
William Crawford was born in New York December 16, 1806. He came to Van Buren in 1831 and took up 160 acres of land on the north side of the Huron River. He married the following year to Katherine McKenzie, of New York, and brought her here to spend the rest of their lives. Crawford died February 20, 1888. He had five children, Donald, Catherine, John, Mary Ann, and Ellen.
Scott Vining lived to the age of 57 years. He died in December 1844, and is buried in the Soop Cemetery. Thomas Robinson and Chauncey L. Crouse and became influentail citizents. Benjamin Brearley, served as highway commisioner during 1836, 1840 and 1841. Harvey Douglass served as school enspector in 1836, and his brother, Daniel was overseer of the poor. Daniel is buried in the Tyler Street Cemetery, bearing no inscription. Beside him rests his wife, Hannah who died Sptember 15, 1836.
In 1832 land patents were issued to Marvin S. Barber, John Clark; Abraham Clark, Mose DUrell, Ebenezer C. Eaton, Jesse N. Horner, Seth Puffer, Henry Robson, Perez St John, James Madison Sanford, Jason Tyler, Marvin Wilcox, Nathan Wilcox and Ira Merrill.
Jason Tyler purchased half a dozen pieces of land in the township, but settled on section 14. He had a son, Jason Jr, who later baecame Justice of the Peace.
Ebenezer C. Eaton was the first supervisor of Van Buren and in 1850 was a delegate to the second state constitutional convention.
Henry Robson and his wife Janette came from England in 1818 and first settled in Delaware New York. They were married in the east and came to Van Buren in 1835, settling upon the farm, which was later owned by their sons, James and Eurotas. Henry was born in 1804 and died in 1880 and his wife was born in 1803 and died in 1877.
1832 also added four other land patents: Edward Strong, John B. Horner, Truman H. Heath and Daniel Savage
Marvin Wilcox land was the east alf of the southwest quarter of section 25, he purchased in June 1832. Wilcox opened a general store her in 1849, which now falls within the city limits of New Boston.
The following year in 1833, the land grants were issued to: Silas Carpenter, John Huffman, Solomon Frain, William Frain, Ephriam A. Shaw, Russel Hidges, Michael Frain, Anson Horner, Clement Loveder, Nelson Barnum, Margaret Punches, Philip Reynolds, Richard Bugbee, Elias Vreelandt, Louis Stoflett, Alfred Collins, Woodman W. Maxson, Nathnaeil D. Atherton, John Camburn, Arba Ash, Oliver Morton, William Jenkins , Alex Buchanan, Simeon A. Dunn, George Jewett, Asahell Baxter, Charles Ferguson, James McIntosh, John Buchanan, David Ferguson, Joseph Standry, John Baxter, Richard Willets, Andrew Layton, Amos Willets, Andrew J. Squire, Samuel Whittaker, Thomas McIntosh, Wilkinson Dean, Luther Throop, Dexter Carlton, Henry A. Hubbard, Warren Smith, William Atkinson, John Lickiss, Jehiel Burt, Ambrose Alexander, Able Craine, and Thomas Robison.
Arba Ash came to Michigan in 1829 and recieved his land patent August 20, 1833. During the second year of Van Buren's existence as a township, and Ash served as assessor. He was also a member of the first Michigan Legistlature. He later moved to Monroe County, where a township was named AshCharles H. Jr, born May 7, 1859; William born April 13, 1881; Inas born January 13, 1882; and Sarah and Clarence, twins, born December 18, 1885.
George and Elizabeth Jewett came to Michigan in 1833. Their children, John, William, Maartha, Mary, and Cynthia all resided in the community throught their adult lives. Cynthia married David Carr who erected a building which is now used as a bakery at Main & Fifth Streets.
Margaret Punches came to Michigan with her parents from Vora, Ontario County, New York, at the age of 23. She located and purchased 80 acres of her own, and later married Edward Strong who had come here from Massachusetts in 1832. Margaret's sister, married James Warren.
Henry Post settled on Tyler Street, and had family members also marry into the Frain and Hubbard familys.
In 1834 land patents were issued to Archibald McKinstry, Hugh Townsend, Hugh McKinstry, Albert Himenover, James Adams, Hiram Shaw, Simeon Brown, Lorance Millspaugh, Ebenezer C. Elston, Isaac Chapman, Able Austin, Truman Elston, William Frain, Abraham Elston, Oliver Glesson, John Diedrich Drier, Stewart Moon, Henry Bowers, Sally Kipp, Asahel Baxter, William Chase, Joseph Babcock, and John Terebeny.
Able Austin and his wife, Sally, came to Michigan from Palmyra, New York in 1834. Their son, Amasa Austin, maried Mary Corkins, and had five children. Some descendants of Able and Sally removed to Romulus, Michigan.
lived in Van Buren until his death in 1884. His wife, Mary passed away one year later. Their property passed to their son, Robert, who occupied it with his wife, Mary Sitlington, and their 9 children.
Hugh and Betsey McKinstry spent their lives in Van Buren, wheere Hugh died in 1854 and the farm, went to his wife, and their son, William. William worked the farm and his mother stayed there until her death in 1885.
Clarissa Savage came from Chenango County, New York, with her husband,Miner, and had five sons: Obed. Saxon, Neil, Ale, and Daneil. Both, Miner and Clarissa are buried in Otisville Cemetery.
Hiram Ashe, built a shipyard and boat to launch navigation between Snow's Landing and Detroit. Although this venture never became a cussess, it did spark an enthusiasm in the area.
In 1835 land patents were issued to Henry Post, Nels Sundberg, Allen Budd, Woodman Maxson, Neriah Bishop, John B. Graham, David McFarlane, Asel St. John, Eliza Smith, John Baxter, Martin Eckert, Job Wing, John Burgess, William E. Peters, Alexander McFarrin, Horace Heath, John Crawford, James Dawson, Seth Puffer, Beul Hutchins, Charles Clark, William Gibbs, Thomas Cooper, Sarah Sterling, Ashel Chappel, Darius Hinkley, Arden Ballard, Stewart Moon, Hiram Millspaugh, Jesse Tyler, Silas Farr, Warriner Corkins, Helen Ferguson, John Heaney, Luther Throop, James McIntosh, Joseph Stone, William Atkinson and Harlow L. Stewart.
Warriner Corkins and his wife, Roxana came to this area in a very brave and dangerous way. Warriner built his own boat near Niagara Falls, and traveled Lake Erie in 1822 loaded with the families few possessions and headed out on the choppy waters. Corkins was one of the townships assessors in 1827, but it wasn't until 1835, he took up 40 additional acres and homestead on Tyler Street. His daughter, Betsey, who was born February 5, 1827, later married Almeron Delaney and had seven children. They were all members of the Tyler Street Church. Warriner died in 1873, and his wife, Roxana died in 1878. Betsey lived only until May 11, 1888.
In 1836 an election was held to appointment of four Justices, to search four years each. The office was held by: Job Smith, Eli Bradshaw, W.W. Maxson, and Ebenezer C. Eaton.
Horace and Clarisa Rawson-Miller came with their family in 1835. Their 3 sons, Halen, Jonathan and Abner all moved from Wayne County, New York and with their families remained Van Buren Township citizens for the rest of their days. Halen was the father of Frank, Henry Rufus, Halen, Florence(Stringer) and Ella(Taylor). Jonathan was the father of Dora, Lefa(Coy), Nora, Elmer, Bertha, Herbert and William. Abner was the father of Frank, Fred, Jessie, and Emma.
Luther Throop another pioneer who settled in Van Buren in 1835. His son, Eurotas added land to their homestead until it reached a total of 335 acres. Eurotas's children were: Luther E., Ella and Eurotas Jr.
Joseph Warner settled her in 1835, along with George Elwell, of Maine, and Lester R. Brown, of New York. Brown later became County Superintendent of Schools.
Robert P. Clark, was born in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and came to Michigan in 1835. He was a millwright and erected mills under his supervision, filled the southeastern section of the state. He married in 1848 to Violet S. Clark. He also served as highway commisoner for 18 years and supervisor for 2 years. He was Wayne County Superintendent of the Poor for 3 years and a member of the Michigan State Legistlature. In partnership with D.L. Quirk, he ran the old red mill, and conducted a general store in Belleville. He was the father of 6 children. (four of whom are: John, George, Lydia and Cora)
In 1836 the follow land patents were issued to: Hepburn McClure, Josiah W. Gibbs, Hugh Falconer, Nelson Barnum, Arden Ballard, Samuel Robbe, Charles D. Barnum, Henry C. Post, Edward St. John, Thadeus Martin, John VanGelder, Amariah Rawson, Spencer Driggs, Robert Howell, Charles Moore and Gilman McAllister.
It was also in 1836 that the actual contruction work upon the Michigan Central railroad began, and cleared it's way on February 3, 1838. The railroad crossed sections 3, 4, 5, and 6.
On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted as the 26th state in the Union. Eli Bradshaw was one of 16 delegates from Wayne County to represent the area.
Peter and Harriette Riggs came to Michigan from New York in 1836 and purchased 80 acres in the Otisville district. Their first home, like so many others, was a rough log cabin house. Later, as they purchased more land, they erected a larger frame house. This same home was later owned by Dunham Riggs and his family.
Caleb J. Barlow came to Michigan in 1836, and married Margeret Spaun, and later became a prosperous citizen of Rawsonville. Samuel Robbe purchased another piece of land in section 10, and his brother, Alexander came from Peterborough, New Hampshire, and also purchased land on the south half of the northwest quarter of section 34. Alexander later left Michigan, and went back east.
In 1837 Van Buren, had a populaton of 799 people.
The of the land patents were issured, as follows: in 1837 - Zacheriah C. Adams, 1838 Frederic Spawn; 1839 Charles Clark; 1842Thomas W. Hewitt ; 1844 Frederic Spawn; 1845 Frederic Spawn, Thomas Leonard and E. Fairchild; 1848 Lewis Spawn. These sales were all made upon section 16, with proceeds from the sale of the land going for educational purposes.
More Area History
Along the township line between Romulus and Van Buren, there once existed a small settlement known as Mount Pleasant. A school was opened by that name that existed until the 1930s. A small village also existed by that name, on the bacnks of the Huron River. It was comprised of a saw-mill, hotel, and store, and several homes. One of the areas oldest mills stood over a century ago in what is now Belleville Township, called the Old Red Mill. It was built in 1837 and stood at the foot of a hill on the south side of Main Street. The building was erected on land owned by John B. Graham who later sold it to Bell who built the mill. The mill property passed through many hands oand in 1899 was deeded by Cyler Coy to James and Martha Coomer. The Commers built a new dam at the west bridge in the fall of 1900, creating a pond of 25 acres supplying 400 horse power. In 1903 the property passed to the Bank of Belleville and later to Detroit Edison Company. James Coomer built a new mill , which later burned in 1911, but was later cleaned out and became a mill for grinding feed. The Old Red Mill was torn down by Henry Pelant, and other mills have come and gone since, but none were as studily built as the one which served the community so long. Just below the old dam, was a favorite spot in the river for early baptisms, and the old mill was used as a picnic area for many church outtings.
An article in the Belleville Enterprise was titled:
The Old Red Mill
History of the Building of the Old Red Grist Mill
and of a Pioneer who assisted in grinding the First Grist
ever ground in the Township of Van Buren.
(the pioneer being Irvin Wood)
Irvin Wood was born December 13, 1814 in North Ireland. He was baptisted by an Episcopal Minister, and his family moved to Scotland until 1831, when they headed west. They borded the ship Carlisle in England, and headed for America. After 8 weeks on the water, they landed at Quebec, Canada. From there they borded a steamboaat to Montrial, and from there to Thousand Islands. Then they took the ship for Saint Vincent, where his father bought a farm near Millins Bay. They lived here until 1836, and his father sold the farm and moved to Michigan. He purchased a piece of land of Woodman W. Maxson( 1789 - 1851) near the bank of the Huron River, one-half mile North of French Landing, where his parents later died in 1858 and 1861.
In 1837, Mr. Bell, the founder of Belleville, built the south part of the Old Red Grist Mill employing, Robert P. Clark, Irvin Wood, John I. Bush, Mr. Rice, John VIning, TImohty Clark and Mr. Boument.
Irvin Wood later retired to Napolean, Jackson County, Michigan.
George W. Moore and his wife, arrived in Detroit on November 9, 1837, from Penn Yan, New York; after a 28 day wagon trip. This was the same night Stephen T. Mason was elected first Governor of Michigan. Moore first settled in Oakland County and later secured a position as keeper of the County Poor House, at Eloise. After serving there for 2 years, he purchased the John F. Smith farm in Van Buren, where he living and farmed and served as a Justice of the Peace for over 20 years. Mr Moore lived to be 97 years old, and was the father of 6 children: Francis M., James, Jasper, George W., Eliza and Minnie.
John and Mercy Tyler-Parker came to Van Buren in 1839 from Parma, New York, crossing Lake Erie on the old steamer Chesapeake. They purchased the Wilder Tyler farm on Tyler Street, deeded to both John Parker and his son, David J. Parker, then only 17 years old. At the age of 31, David enterd the ministry and served in that capacity for the rest of his long life.
John C Carpenter located upon his farm in 1840. He came to Michigan from New York in 1838, bringing with him his wife. They had lived in Monroe County before coming to Van Buren. They later had 7 children: Chauncy, William, Deforest, Mary, Electa, Almira and Minetta.
In 1845 , Henry B. Secord and his wife, Alvira settled upon land they had purchased along the Michigan RailRoad, in the northeast quarter of section 4. The only business here, was a saw mill operated by Secord and the general farming of the district.
On March 3, 1846, purchased 83.38 acres in section 14 of Wilder and Mary Monroe. The property being the east half of the southeast fractional quarter. Spear later purchased an additional 40 acres adjoining to the north. His son, Hiram was also owner of 4 acres. The remainder of the land was sold in the 1920s to Thomas Jamison of Wayne.
It was in 1847, that wires were strung from Detroit to Ypsilanti for electric telegraph. This was a link in the systme planned to extend from Buffalo, New York to Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The first message to be sent in this tate was over this line from Detroit to Ypsilanti in 1847.
Charles Smock Sr came to Van Buren in 1848 and settled on a farm on Chase Road, just north of French Landing. His son, George married a daughter of Archy McKinstry and moved on the adjoining farm of his father's. George Smock's farm was destroyed in a fire on January 26, 1930, and at that time was owned by Peter Vincent and family.
Peter and Jane Post-Terhune came to Michigan from New Jersey in 1848. They purchased 86 acres in section 14 of Anthony and Mary Barlage were they lived and farmed a successful life. Their deed was dated February 24, 1849. They had on son, John and one adopted daughter, Emma (Wiles-Leonard).
George Durham came here and settled on 40 acres in 1850, he was the father of 10 children, and a member of the M.E. Church of Denton.
Daniel Jewell came to Michigan in 1844, and to Van Buren in 1851. His son, Isaac succeeded the farm and was one of the areas only threshing machine operators. A grandson, Clarence later served as highway commissioner. Isaac also served in the Civil War in the 7th Michigan Calvary.
George Thirkettle settled here in 1852. Daniel L. Quirk in 1853. Andrew and Agnes Renton in 1853 and John and Jane Barton in 1855.
Henry Davis came to MIchgain in 1854, penniless from Tipperary, Ireland with his wife. During the war of the Rebellion, Davis who had enlisted as a private, was raised to a Captain for conspicuous bravery upon the filed of battle. After returning to his farm he served as township supervisor for 5 years and treasurer for 2 years. He had five children: Ellen, Jennie, William, Milo and George.
Myrtle Lodge Number 89 F. & A.M. was organized March 8, 1856. Three years later, the society erected a substantial brick building at the corner of Main and High Streets. The building was dedicated on December 27, 1859, and tickets were issued at 1 dollar a piece for a banquet. In 1898 an additional hall was built and the original building became two stories.
On August 24, 1877, Robert P. Clark, Alexander Robbe and T.M. Cody were elected trustees of the Masonic Building Association, and purchased lots 139 and 140 of Matilda Frain, widow of Henry Frain, for $400.00.
In 1860 to total population of Van Buren township reached 1757 inhabitants.
1870 Van Buren Township Census
View Van Buren Land Owners
View Van Buren Township Office Holders
View McKinstry Family Tree
View Robson Family Biography
Return to Wayne County MALHN Main Page.