History of

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


Ephraim MEECH
The earliest settlers in the township of Leroy were Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim MEECH, who left Brutus, Cayuga Co., N.Y., in 1832 for Plymouth, Wayne Co., Mich., where they remained one year, and then purchased a farm in Green Oak, Livingston Co., in the oak-openings. Here they remained until 1836, when land was purchased on section 18, in Leroy township, upon which they removed in January, 1837. The snow at this time was eighteen inches deep, and for a distance of eight miles through the wilderness the travelers were obliged to cut and break their way. The cold was intense, and in crossing a creek the ice broke, and the stockings of Mrs. MEECH were completely frozen to her feet. The first greeting she received the morning after her arrival was from two Indians, who asked for whiskey. The only other inhabitants were wild beasts. Bears were frequent visitors, and made great havoc among the swine. One was shot, just after he had carried away a fine hog, which yielded five gallons of bear's oil. Wolves were constant disturbers of the peace, and would frequently surround the house and begin their dismal howlings as evening approached, which they steadily maintained until the morning dawned. Mrs. MEECH would spread a blanket of the boards which served as a floor for the loft of their dwelling, and lie down for the night, in constant fear lest the marauders should break through the window.

She welcomed with great joy the presence of the next settler, for she had not seen the face of a white woman for eight months. Mr. MEECH raised the first crop of corn grown in the township. He used frequently to carry grain to the mill for neighbors, which would generally require a week to go and return, the time having been much lengthened by the bad roads and swollen streams which had to be forded.

Many instances of wolf-trapping and bear-hunting might be mentioned in which Mr. MEECH took an active part, the bounty on the former offered by the State having materially aided the settlers in their early struggles. Mr. MEECH died on the land he entered, in 1876. His wife survives, and resides on the homestead, where she entertains her friends with many interesting tales of pioneer life.

The earliest birth in the township occurred at the house of Ephraim MEECH, that of Nancy TOBIAS, daughter of an early settler, and who afterwards became Mrs. GORTON, of Leroy.

The second settler in the township, arrived in the spring of 1838, and located upon 160 acres,  on section 20, which was wholly uncleared. He erected a shanty and began at once the work of underbrushing, the men of the family being their own housekeepers. An extensive tract was improved in the course of time, which is now occupied by the sons of Mr. ROSECRANCE.

Oren DANA,
The first township clerk of Leroy, came from Le Roy, Genesee Co., at nearly the same time, and occupied land previously entered upon section 9, embracing 160 acres. He cleared this tract, and remained upon it until his death, in 1879. His son, H.J. DANA, now occupies the estate.

Henry LEE
The next in point of arrival was Henry LEE, or "Squire Lee," as he was more generally termed, who had many years before emigrated from Saratoga Co.., N.Y., to Illinois, and from there came in 1838 to Leroy, where he purchased 160 acres on sections 20 and 21, of Peter WESTFALL, who entered it in 1836.

With him came his wife and seven children, but two of whom now reside in this township. The family remained in Wayne County while a log shanty was being built, to which they removed, cutting the woods before them as they advanced. Five weeks were consumed in making the journey from Illinois to Wayne County. James ROSECRANCE and Ephraim MEECH were already located, the former having been the nearest neighbor.

Mr. LEE was formerly a merchant, and having been unfortunate in trade came to Michigan to find a home, and, if possible, recover his lost fortune.

Many hardships were endured, and the outlook was at times discouraging, A journey of forty miles to Owosso was frequently made for milling purposes, and the oxen were shod at a cost of twenty-five miles of travel. Often on these journeys, Mr. LEE had no boots, and his feet were clothed in rags sewed on tightly. Mrs. LEE was the happy possessor of a bonnet - the only one in the township - which was loaned over the whole neighborhood, and did duty for many years. It was a most accommodating bonnet, and would array itself in sober apparel with black streamers and assume an aspect of deep dejection on funeral occasions, while the various hues of the rainbow were not a circumstance to its bright colors at wedding festivities.

The first marriage was performed at the house of Squire LEE (his daughter, Rebecca Jane, having been united to Cyrenus KINTER), to which all the neighbors were invited.

The earliest religious services were also held here, Rev. Hiram T. FERO having been the officiating clergyman. Among other early preachers were Rev. Alfred B. KINNE and Elder BENTLEY.

The earliest physician who practiced in the township was Dr. WHITCOMB, of Wheatfield. Dr. McROBERT, of Mason, was also summoned in cases requiring additional skill.

The first death that occurred was that of a Mrs. CARMER, who settled on section 28, and died in her own log house in 1839. Mrs. MEECH kindly nursed her during her illness. A clergyman from Dexter preached the funeral sermon, only six settlers having been present.

Came from Superior, Washtenaw Co., in 1839, and settled on section 7, where he had eighty acres, which he cleared, first having erected a log house and domiciled his family. He was among the most active and energetic of the early pioneers, and died in 1860.

Peter JUDD
 entered land on section 18 in 1836, upon which Harry JUDD settled two years later. He built the accustomed shanty and began labor, but not having been satisfied with his progress, vacated the land the following year, when it was purchased by Daniel WILCOX. It embraced forty acres, and was inclosed. Mr. WILCOX improved and converted the land into a productive farm, subsequently selling to Thomas MEDBERRY. Mr. and Mrs. WILCOX both resided in the township until their deaths.

Levi and George ROUSE
came in 1839, and settled on section 18. They found the land awaiting the axe of the chopper, and after erecting temporary habitations, devoted themselves to the work of improvement. Both of these early settlers have since departed, but their wives still survive.

Edmund ALCHIN,
in point of settlement, antedates many of the pioneers. He recalls 1837 as the year of his advent, though his presence at that early date is not recollected by other early settlers. It is possible that Mr. ALCHIN may have been so remote from others as to not render them conscious of his presence. If he is correct he would certainly rank as the second settler. His location was upon section 33, where he cleared fifty acres for parties in New York, receiving for it $5 per acre and what he could raise, and having six years in which to perform the work. His father, later, purchased in White Oak, where his son returned. In 1847 he located upon section 23, on 120 acres which had been partially cleared, occupying a dilapidated log school-house until a log dwelling was erected.

Mr. ALCHIN now has a spacious residence upon his land, which is cleared and well improved. James ALCHIN came with his brother and settled upon the same section, but at a later date removed to Shiawassee County.

Richard PUTMAN
came from Herkimer Co., N.Y., in 1836, to Wayne Co., Mich., and in 1839 settled upon land in Leroy, where he had in 1836 entered a fractional forty acres on section 30. He moved upon this with ox-teams, and soon after began chopping and erected a log abode, to which his family repaired. A few settlers were already in the township, but deer, bear, and wolves were the more numerous inhabitants. The latter were especially annoying. On one occasion they congregated in great numbers around his cabin, and made the air dismal with their howls during the whole night. The next day they departed and were never seen or heard of more, their visit having apparently been one of farewell. Mr. PUTMAN resided on the place until his death in 1856. Three daughters and a son are now residents of Leroy, the latter having 280 acres on section 8.

Uriah SMITH,
formerly of New York, came from White Oak in 1839, and purchased 160 acres on section 23, but later sold fifty of it. He cleared the land and rendered it highly productive, remaining upon it until his death, in 1878. His son resides upon the same section.

formerly of New York State, settled upon section 18 in 1840, where he had eighty acres. He improved this land and erected a house of spacious proportions, in which he was the landlord of the first and most popular country tavern. At his house the township-meetings and the Fourth-of-July celebrations were held. The latter were eventful occasions in the little community. Daniel TOBIAS played the flute, Mr. COLEMAN beat the drum, and Squire LEE was president of the day. Horace WILSON, of Williamston, was usually the speaker. A bounteous repast followed, at which everyone present was abundantly fed.

Henry RIX
moved from Locke in 1842, though a former resident of New Hampshire, and located on section 8 upon eighty acres, twenty of which had been previously chopped. Many of the early settlers had already made clearings. Mr. RIX found much labor awaiting him, but succeeded in improving his farm and making it valuable land, upon which he still resides.

came from Washtenaw Co., Mich., in 1843, and purchased of Peter WESTFALL 320 acres of unimproved land on sections 9 and 10, upon which he erected a log house and cleared ten acres the first year. Mr. DIETZ effected a considerable improvement upon the farm, after which David PUTMAN became the owner.

Oliver GEER
came early, and for some time assisted Henry LEE. In 1844 he located upon section 20, where he owned eighty acres, which was by him converted into a fruitful farm. He remained in the township, where his death occurred in 1860, and his son now occupies the estate.

a former resident of Madison Co., N.Y., settled upon section 19 in 1844, where he owned a large tract of land. This was all unimproved, with the exception of a small clearing, upon which he erected a house of limited dimensions, and resided until his death, which occurred in 1869.

Levi C. DEAN
came the same year (1844) and found a home upon eighty acres on section 25. He still owns the land, and resides in Webberville.

removed from Wayne Co., Mich., in 1846, and settled on section 22, where he remained three years and cleared a farm of thirty acres. He then removed to Van Buren Co., Mich., where he tarried a brief time, and finally returned again to the township, where he settled upon his present farm of eighty acres on section 25. Thirty acres were cleared, to which he speedily added thirty more. He is an industrious and successful farmer.

Robert COLE and Nathaniel PAMMENT
each came in 1852, the former having located upon forty acres on section 25, and the latter upon ninety-six acres on section 24. Mr. PAMMENT settled in White Oak ten years before, but having preferred the land in Leroy, changed his location. He is still a resident of the township, on the land he purchased, as is Mr. COLE.

arrived in 1853, and purchased on section 16. This was uncleared. After erecting a log house he devoted himself to chopping, having been assisted by a neighbor, for whom Mrs. KNAPP made a suit of clothes in return. He has since improved this land, and made it among the most productive farms in the township.

Alfred F. HORTON,
who for years has been actively identified with the public interests of the township, came from Lake Co., Ohio, in 1854, and settled upon section 16. While erecting a shanty of logs he remained with Daniel KNAPP. The 160 acres he purchased were untouched, with the exception of a small tract that had been slashed, and no roads were open in the immediate vicinity. He cleared and planted four acres in corn for fodder, and hired sixteen acres chopped. Indians were numerous, a band being encamped on the creek near by. In 1875, Mr. HORTON erected his present spacious residence, one of the finest in the township.

a former resident of Washtenaw County, in 1854 settled upon 100 acres on section 24. A log house and a small clearing were found on his arrival. He greatly improved the land, and in 1870 erected a comfortable dwelling, in which he now resides.

Among other early settlers who assisted in rendering the township lands valuable by their labor were Harley BEMENT, on section 24; Joshua BAKER, on section 22; H.M. WOOD, on section 23; Thomas MEDBERRY, on section 18; M. BENNETT, on section 29; Calvin WILSON, on section 24; James DeFOREST, on section 7; John MURRAY, on sections 6 and 7; Alva JONES and Nathan JONES, on section 23; Alonzo HOOKER, on section 15, and Luther BROWN, on section 24.


Silas ALGER at an early date purchased land on sections 5 and 6, where he located a saw-mill.* Circumstances influenced him to remove to section 10, where he again built a saw-mill, which he conducted for some years, and then removed to Salt Lake. On the death of Mr. ALGER, Mr. H.P. WEBBER, his son-in-law, became administrator of the property, and managed the mill, in addition to which he opened a store. A post-office was located at this point by the government, which was known as Webberville. On the completion of the railroad an effort was made to establish a village here, but a stronger influence decided its location at the point where the present village of Webberville now stands, on section 11, where it occupies a portion of the southeast and northeast quarters of the section.

The first plat of the village, which is known as "McPHERSON's Plat of the Village of Leroy," was surveyed by Andrew D. WADDELL, and recorded Dec.18, 1871. It is acknowledged by Wm. M. McPHERSON, Elizabeth M. McPHERSON, Wm. M. McPHERSON, Jr., Jennie M. McPHERSON, Alex. McPHERSON, and Julia C. McPHERSON.

An addition known as "FISHER's Addition to Leroy" is described as "located on section 11, being in the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of said section 11, township 3 north, range 2 east." It was surveyed by Louis D. PRESTON, Dec. 16, 1861.

This land was originally entered in 1836 by Ebenezer JESSUP, Jr., and Henry W. DELEVAN for purposes of speculation, and by them sold to subsequent owners. Wm. M. McPHERSON, having platted the village then known as Leroy, erected the first store, which was later burned and rebuilt of brick, and is now under the management of F.E. LANSING. Lots were disposed of and a hotel built by John WILSON, after which a building used both as dwelling and store were erected by George MARKELL. J.R. DART built an extensive saw-mill, which was followed the same year by the erection of the flouring-mill and three stores. The railroad having been completed in 1871, the depot was soon after located at the hamlet, with Mr. MUNSON as station agent, and a strong impulse was thus given to the village. It has since continued to progress. New and commodious buildings have been erected, and an increasing business has promoted its vigorous and healthy growth. There are now three stores kept by Frank E. LANSING, Lowe Bros., and J.O. HITCHINS; one hardware store, owned by John HARRIS; two harness-shops, belonging to Chauncey DOLPH and ---COOPER; a drug-store, kept by Dr. G.W. LANGFORD, who is also postmaster; two grocery-stores, Frank FELLOWS and W.M. YOUNGLOVE respectively being proprietors; two shoe-shops, owned by Thomas DONNELLY and Samuel CRAIG; two markets, two blacksmith-shops, and a flourishing hotel, of which John KELLY is landlord.

The health of Webberville is guarded by two physicians, Drs. R.B. SMITH and G.W. LANGFORD. Chauncey P. NEWKIRK is the sole representative of the legal fraternity.

The school building of the district was formerly located three-quarters of a mile west, but a new and commodious structure was erected in the village in 1876, which is occupied as a graded school. Marcus P. SWEET and Miss LANE are the instructors.


* The mill, at what is now known as "Podunk," was erected about 1851, for the purpose of cutting timber for the plank-road then building between Howell and Lansing.

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Uriah SMITH section 23 110 acres
Nathan JONES section 23 50 acres
Alva JONES section 23 40 acres
Harley BEMENT section 24 80 acres
Luther BROWN section 24 80 acres
H.M. WOOD section 23 200 acres
Alonzo HOOKER section 15 80 acres
Joshua BAKER section 22 80 acres
Edmund ALCHIN sections 32, 33 240 acres
Daniel C. WILCOX section 5 107 acres
Oren DANA sections 8, 9 170 acres
Peter DIETZ sections 8, 9, 17 320 acres
Alva SMITH sections 3, 17 320 acres
Daniel TOBIAS section 7 78 acres
B.K. GEER section 20 80 acres
L.S. ROUSE section 18 27 acres
George ROUSE section 18 27 acres
Thomas MEDBERRY section 18 119 acres
John MURRAY sections 6, 7 100 acres
Ephraim MEECH section 18 151 acres
James DeFOREST section 7 50 acres
Henry MEECH sections 17, 18 160 acres
Isaac COLEMAN sections 17, 28 240 acres
Henry LEE sections 20, 21 160 acres
Richard PUTNAM section 30 46 acres
James ROSECRANCE section 20 160 acres
Thomas HORTON section 29 80 acres
M. BENNETT section 29 80 acres
Jacob COUNTRYMAN (not given)
John O'BRIEN (not given)
Calvin WILSON section 24 80 acres
Hiram RIX section 8 80 acres


The first meeting for the purpose of electing officers after township No. 3 north, of range 2 east, had become an independent township, known as Leroy, was held on the 16th day of June, 1840, at the house of Isaac COLEMAN. The ballots having being cast and counted, the following officers were declared elected: Supervisor, Levi ROWLEY; Township Clerk, Oren DANA; Treasurer, Isaac COLEMAN; Justices of the Peace, Oren DANA, Daniel TOBIAS, Ephraim MEECH; Assessors, Daniel C. WILCOX, Daniel TOBIAS; Highway Commissioners, Daniel C. WILCOX, Isaac COLEMAN, W. DAVIS; School Inspectors, Ephraim MEECH, Henry LEE, Levi ROWLEY; Directors of the Poor, Oren DANA, Henry LEE; Collector, D.C. WILCOX; Constables, Daniel C. WILCOX, Levi ROWLEY.

The following is a list of township officers to the year 1880:

1841 Ephraim MEECH Oren DANA R.S. CARROLL Uriah SMITH
1844 Ephraim MEECH Daniel TOBIAS Isaac COLEMAN Henry LEE
1845 Ephraim MEECH Daniel TOBIAS Isaac COLEMAN Uriah SMITH
1846 Thomas MEDBERRY Newton N. MUSCOTT Ephraim MEECH Daniel TOBIAS
1847 Peter DIETZ Perry HENDERSON Henry DIETZ Oren DANA
1848 Ephraim MEECH Daniel TOBIAS Newton N. MUSCOTT Isaac COLEMAN
1849 Newton N. MUSCOTT Perry HENDERSON Charles MEECH Uriah SMITH
1850 Perry HENDERSON Henry LEE Henry DIETZ Peter DIETZ
1852 Perry HENDERSON Henry DIETZ Thomas MEDBERRY William BROWN
1853 N.N. MUSCOTT Henry DIETZ Uriah SMITH Ephraim MEECH
1854 E. MEECH Henry DIETZ William HOPKINS Daniel FREEMAN
1855 George W. McCOLLOM Henry DIETZ William VORCE William P. HAZARD
1856 George W. McCOLLOM Henry DIETZ William VORCE P.P. ALGER
1861 N.N. MUSCOTT Henry LEE Madison BENNETT William BROWN
1862 William D. HORTON Henry DIETZ Madison BENNETT P.P. ALGER
1863 Cornelius DIETZ Henry DIETZ J.K. KIRKLAND James HUSTON
1864 Cornelius DIETZ Henry DIETZ J.K. KIRKLAND Oren DANA
1865 Alfred B. KINNE Henry DIETZ James J. DANA Uriah SMITH
1867 J.K. KIRKLAND Albert F. HORTON Alexander 
1868 J.K. KIRKLAND Albert F. HORTON Alexander 
1869 Sidney A. MURRAY A.F. HORTON Alexander 
Hiram RIX
1870 A.F. HORTON Hiram RIX, Jr. David PUTMAN George M. SMITH
1871 A.F. HORTON Hiram RIX, Jr. David PUTMAN Ralph P. HALL
1874 A.F. HORTON Charles E. PADDOCK Abram DECKER Chester CABOTT
1877 A.F. HORTON Lafayette GORDON Charles W. CHAPMAN George H. GALUSHA
1878 A.F. HORTON Lafayette GORDON William H. MARSH Perry OSTRANDER
1879 Sidney A. MURRAY Franklin S. HORTON Rufus J. NEAL Ira MERRILL
1880 John S. HUSTON Franklin S. HORTON Rufus J. NEAL George M. SMITH

1880 Misc. Township Officers:
Highway Commissioner: Joseph E. WILCOX
Superintendent of Schools: Marcus B. SWEET
School Inspector: Henry M. SILSBY
Drain Commissioner: Morris M. SMITH
Constables: Rufus J. HAMMOND, Isaac ADAMS,

J. R. DART's Steam Saw-Mill
and Stave- and Barrell- Manufactory

This enterprise was established in 1872 by its present owner, who erected the mills for the purpose of utilizing the hardwood of the vicinity. It is provided with an engine of seventy horse-power, which gives the mill a capacity of 20,000 feet per day, or 6,000,000 feet per year, which is principally shipped to Detroit. In addition, 30,000 barrels per year are manufactured, for which a ready market is found in Chicago.*
* The Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad is now laying a side track to this place, which will facilitate its extensive shipping business.  


The Detroit Furnace Company erected during the present year extensive charcoal-pits, for the manufacture of that commodity, adjacent to the village. Fifty cords of wood per day are transformed into forty-five bushels of charcoal. This is shipped to Detroit and consumed in the company's extensive furnaces.

Egbert KEELER is the proprietor of a flouring-mill, which is managed by William BURCH. It is conveniently located and devoted principally to custom work.


The earliest services in connection with the Baptist denomination in the township were held at the house of Henry LEE, and were conducted by Elder H.T. FERO, the pioneer preacher of the neighborhood. He at a later date organized a church, to which he personally ministered for some years, after which he was succeeded by Elder COLBY, who became the stated preacher, services having been held at the houses of Mr. LEE and Edmund ALCHIN, and in a log school-house on section 23. Rev. Alfred KINNE and his son, Alfred B. KINNE, were later clergymen who preached at regular periods.

A season of decline was then experienced, and for years services were abandoned or held at long intervals. A revival occurred with the ministry of Elder HILL, and under the ministry of Rev. J.W. HENRY a church edifice was erected at a cost of $1250; the building committee were Messrs. LLOYD, ALCHIN, BEASAN, PAMMENT, and William TAYLOR, the latter of whom was awarded the contract for construction. The church was begun in 1879 and dedicated July 17, 1880, with impressive ceremonies. It is located at Webberville. The present trustees are James MONROE, Nathaniel PAMMENT, and Edmund ALCHIN. Rev. J.W. HENRY is the pastor. A Union Sabbath-school, under the auspices of the Baptist and Methodist Episcopal denominations, is held each Sabbath, with Daniel KINGSBURY as superintendent.

A class of the Methodist Episcopal Church holds its meetings in the school-house at Webberville. They are increasing in strength and numbers at a rate sufficient to warrant the erection of a church edifice at an early day. The minister sent to Webberville by the Conference of 1880 is Rev. L.H. HOUGHTON.

A society under the auspices of the Congregational Church, known as the "Congregational Church of Leroy," was organized April 14, 1880, with the following members: Mrs. David PUTMAN, Mrs. Theodore DIETZ, Mrs. Oren CORY, Mrs. ___ WOLCOTT, Mrs. Chester BARBER, Mrs. ___ MOORE, Miss ___ BARBER, Mr. Oren CORY, Mr. Norman BEMENT.

The church was organized under the ministry of Rev. Casimir B. LUDWIG, of Williamston, who is the present pastor. Services are held in the LEE school building, and a flourishing Sabbath-school has been organized with about sixty scholars and a well-selected library of 200 volumes. The society is sufficiently prosperous to warrant the erection of an edifice in 1881.


Belle Oak Lodge, No. 178, I.O.O.F.
The lodge of Odd-Fellows now established at Webberville was instituted at Belle Oak, Jan. 6, 1872, and was removed to its present location in response to a universal desire of its members, the majority of whom resided in Leroy. Its charter members were B.W. BROWN, A.N. COLBURN, Hiram R. CARNES, George FISHER, Jr., George F. CASTELINE, Thomas A. LOWRIE, William CASTLINE. Its first officers were George FISHER, Jr., N.G.; Benjamin W. BROWN, V.G.; Thomas A. LOWRIE, Sec.; H.R. CARNES, Treas. Its present officers are Ira MERRILL, N.G.; William F. MEAD, V.G.; G.H. GALUSHA, Sec.; W.R. DUNLAP, Treas.; Charles E. JONES, Per. Sec. A spacious and well-appointed hall is the place of its regular meetings.

Edson Lodge No. 1461, Knights of Honor
This lodge received its charter Oct. 9, 1879, its first officers having been J.L. LLOYD, Dictator; William TAYLOR, Vice-Dictator; L.B. SMITH, Treas.; G.H. GALUSHA, Fin. Sec.; R.J. HAMMOND, Rec. Sec. Its present officers are C.W. CHAPMAN, Dictator; R.B. SMITH, Vice-Dictator; L.B. SMITH, Treas.; D.D. KINGSBURY, Rec. Sec.; Albert ANGEL, Fin. Sec.

Cedar Lodge, No. 25, Daughters of Rebekah
is an organization of considerable numbers and strength. Its charter was granted Feb. 22, 1879.

Leroy Lodge, No. 84, Independent Order of Good Templars
received its charter Nov. 20, 1878, and was at one time flourishing, but has since declined.

A flourishing grange exists in Leroy, with a constantly increasing membership. A commodious hall has been erected, in which their meetings are regularly held.

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