In 1834 the first settlers took up residence in what is now Woodbridge Township. The only families remaining in the community who are direct descendants of the first settlers are members of the MASON, CRAMTON and FIELD families.
Woodbridge was set off from Fayette Township in 1840. Its original territory embraced within its boundaries the present townships of Woodbridge, Cambria and the west half of Amboy. The following year, Cambria was set off as a township. Amboy was set off in 1850.
The boundaries of Woodbridge enclose thirty sections.
Many ask how Frontier received its name. Perhaps the men who formed the skirmish lines for the Ohio-Michigan war felt this was a true frontier of wilderness. One of the officers, marching into towering trees, came upon a fairly clear area of ground and thought he was on the line cleared by surveyors. He placed three signs at intervals to say frontier. When the commanding officer did not see one of his companies of men, he sent a runner to look for them. He found them five miles north of where they were suppose to be. They were dispatched forthwith to the line. The signs and the name "Frontier" stuck.
Happenings Affecting Our Community
Three tornados have struck the settlement, twenty years apart. In 1928 some farm damage was done west of the town. The roofs were taken from at least two barns and many trees were taken down.
In 1948 a tornado struck again west of town, with some damage in town. The Ed WESTFALL barns were badly damaged. Etta CRAMTON’s garage in town was flattened. The two-story mercantile building, that stood where the barber shop is now, was toppled against the YOUNGS building to the east of it. The chimney was taken off the BAUGHMAN house. Many windows all over town were broken out. The barn on the United Brethren parsonage lot was leveled.
The third tornado, in 1968, was the one that wrought major destruction. It swept across some of Amboy, Woodbridge and Cambria Townships, doing $500,000 in damages.
The tornado was formed over Lake Diane. Two members of the DUNN household and Curly MATTOCKS witnessed the forming of the funnel. Ed YEARLING’s housetrailer and the adjoining house on Harmon Road were badly damaged. It skipped across the mile and hit the homes of Donald PARNEY. Orlie HAUER and Harold DUNBAR. In the next mile it took Dan SMALLEY’s barn. Sheet metal from this building was strewn on the ground and in the trees across the next mile. It then headed for Frontier. The funnel at this time was quite wide with a swath of nearly a block. It caused $50, 000 damage to the properties in Frontier. One small travel trailer and one mobile home were lifted in the air, spun around the splintered in little pieces like matchsticks. Articles from both trailers were found miles away. It deposited a great deal of the debris from the town in the LANGHANN woods. The sign from the front of SHEPARD’s trailer park was found in a tree. The tornado struck the LANGHANN barn roof, buildings and trees. Dale WATKIN’s house and buildings were hit. Across the next mile it struck the Merle WATKINS and Armond McOSCAR homes, doing much damage. In the next mile its strength was spent in a wood-lot.
Many strange things occurred in this tornado. Squares of Roberta PARNEY’s lace curtains were found in HAUER’s living room. A five-gallon can of Prestone was picked up in the HECKMAN garage and set in the Harlow COLE upstairs without spilling. Small twigs were driven into the parsonage siding. A board from DURBIN’s garage was driven through the end of CRALL’s housetrailer. A set of rings and money were carried from the CRAMTON trailer and found in the field a half mile away. Three letters were placed in a mailbox on Grass lake road by the mailman; one remained in the box, one was found east of Hillsdale and the third was never found.
Carl DEISLER was the only local person injured by the tornado and he had a storm? Which necessitated several stitches.
The County Civil Defense sealed the town off for a night and day until things could be put under cover. A very uneasy night was spent by most of the residents. The people quickly went about their jobs of cleaning up and repair. It was winter before people could begin to feel alive again. Many people and organizations did many things to help. The community around helped to furnish food for those hit until utilities were reconstructed. The Fire Department Auxiliary and the Salvation Army set up a canteen in a very short time after it all happened. The Civil Defense tagged the buildings and tested drinking water. The Red Cross came in and helped with lunches and clothing. Those needing assistance were given all the help possible.
According to the tax rolls a lot of ditching was done in 1923 and again in 1939.
Silver Creek has been a major drain within (Woodbridge Township) confines. In 1898 this drain had a bill for work done on it amounting to $1,663.98. In 1940 a survey was made on this drain to its outlet, the St. Joe River. Much of the land it drains is level land, therefore a very deep ditch would be needed to have an elevation by the time it reached Woodbridge Township. It would have cost $10 per acre in 1940 to have it drained. Each person draining into it would have to pay drainage tax. This large amount of taxes raised quite a controversy. An injunction was placed upon this ditch and nothing could be done to the ditch until the Injuction was lifted. It was dug in 1958.