The home at 174 West Montgomery Road, belonging to Ed and Betty WESTFALL, has a wonderful heritage. Perry HOPKINS, when he came to this part of Michigan, took up two farms from speculators, who had taken it up from the government. This farm and the other one, where Bobbie Russell lives for the selling price of $1.25 an acre. Perry HOPKINS built the brick house at a cost of $3000.00 including a slate roof and furnishing. It had two cellars. In 1884 he built a barn 44 by 68 with 20 foot posts and 33,000 shingles covering it. A basement 8 foot high under the center was built with 30 cord of stone. The cost of the barn was $ 1,500. Perry HOPKINS sold the north farm to Levi and Cora WESTFALL. Later they built two large barns. They were the parents of two sons and a daughter. William J. was one of the sons. Levi was an elder, known as a minister in other churches in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. This gave him the legal privilege of performing marriages, as a minister, in another church. He was very privileged to marry two of his granddaughters, Morine and Maleta. The first place west of this place had a log cabin on it. The log cabin was used to bunk the workers at the Freed Saw Mill across the road. Levi bought this ground and built a brick house on the land. Bill (W. .J.) and Nora were married in 1913 and moved into the brick house on the newly acquired farm. Bill began buying cattle and shipping them from his father's barn.
In 1919 it was necessary to have some aid and care for the older parents. W. .J. and Nora moved into their home to care for them for 12.
In 1920, two large barns on the farm burned. The community felt the need for the cattle facility. They called a community bee. The community turned out on January 29, 1920 and cut native timber for the new barn. They bought buzz saws, crosscuts, axes, hammers and the women went with well-filled dinner baskets. Even some of the stores closed and joined the workers. After the lumber was sawed and seasoned, they gathered again and put up a new 40 by 60 barn.
In 1931, Bill and Nora bought the W. .J. WESTFALL property at 130 East Montgomery Road. He built a large shipping barn there.
When Bill and Nora moved to the west home, Ed was married and he and Betty moved into the home place. Ed worked with his father in the stock business. Since his parents death, Ed has moved all the stock buying operation to his home and has installed a big pair of weigh scales there. It is now Ed WESTFALL Stockyard instead of W. .J. WESTFALL stockyard.
Woodbridge Township Round Barn
A very few round barns exist. One is located at 911 South Hillsdale Road. A book, soon to be published, will recognize this barn by including a picture of it.
The first owners known were the Andrew McDERMID family. In the fall of 1901, a friend who was studying architecture, began telling McDERMID about his idea of utilizing space by constructing a round barn. They drew up the plans and Charles TRIPPETT from Hillsdale, contractor, was hired to build the barn. Some of his crew were local men, including Sherman DENNIS, Monte SMITH, Glenn EBAUGH, who built the cupula, and Evan STAHLER. The barn was a post and beam-framed building. From its beginning to the present day, the barn has been a curiosity to many people. It took one year to build.
McDERMID lived a short time on the farm, then rented the farm to Ira KINNEY. He was the Frontier postmaster. The round barn held relief horses for the long mail trip from Hillsdale to Frontier, especially in the cold winter.
The building has a silo built through the center of the building, extending through the roof and having a cupola on top of it. The silo has doors at intervals on the way up and down for the removal of silage. There was a spout used at the doors to dispense the silage into the mangers below. On the back side of the barn was an enclosed hay track, 90 feet in the air and across the roof to the cupola. In order to fill the silo or the hay mows, the hay was lifted to the roof, released by a tripping mechanism to fall into the place needed. It was necessary to have extra help to put hay or ensilage into this barn. On the second story, against the silo, stood the granary. On the main floor, the animals were kept. Stanchions were placed around the barn with four box stalls on one side where the cows were stabled. Horses and sheep at different times were kept there. The roof is a work of art and took a long time to install. Each shingle had to be cut separately and fitted. Electricity was added about 1940.
In 1923 the Jake STAFFORD family moved there. After Jake passed away Mrs. STAFFORD did the chores. She went to the barn one evening and a bad electrical storm came up. A lightning bolt hit the hay track, traveled down the track, followed the stanchions around to the box stall and , there, killed several sheep. In its path, the bolt struck Mrs. STAFFORD. She was wearing rubber galoshes that had been patched. The lightning force blew the patches off her boots and it was felt this had saved her life. She was stunned for three days. The STAFFORDS lived there until 1940.
The owner, Mrs. McDERMID passed away and the farm was willed to Moody Bible Institute. It was rented, by them, to Ralph TORREY and later, was sold to Harry and Mayme SHARP. Harry added an outside stairway to the house and made upstairs apartments.
In 1952 Helen and Harold FRUTH purchased the place. They own it at the present time. The barn is in need of repair. As the FRUTHS have little need for it, they see little need to repair it. It will be a memory soon.
The Spangler Barn
The SPANGLER barn, located on Short Street, was once a very buzzing mercantile business. It was a flour mill built by Percy and Orrin HOPKINS around 1900. The building originally stood on land now occupied by the laundromat. HIGLEY and CULBERTSON moved it. First operated in it was a roller mill owned by Blake HOPKINS's father, Elfred, and Lou EASTERDAY. It was sold to John WILLIS and a Mr. SEAGRAVES. The name of the flour manufactured there was under the trade name "White Lilly". Glenn BLOUNT, on Blount Road, has a bag with this name on it.
The mill is now a barn and winter quarters for cattle and pigs.