History of

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


The ROLFE Brothers
The first improvement in the township was made early in 1836, where Mason now stands, and an account of it will be found in the history of that city. The first to settle in that city as farmers located in the southern part, which has since been known as the "ROLFE settlement."

Ephraim, Nathan, Benjamin, Ira, Hazen, and Manasseh ROLFE, from Vermont and New York, all located in the township. ( Ira Rolfe was directly from Thetford, Orange Co., Vt. His brothers had lived in Genesee Co., N.Y. Ira is the only survivor of the six brothers, and is seventy-eight years of age.)
The Rolfes settled in the southwestern part of the township.Nathan, Benjamin and Ira came together in the summer of 1836, reaching Detroit June 30th. Ephraim, Hazen and Manasseh came afterwards, at intervals of a year or two. The last named was a physician, and removed subsequently to Eaton Rapids, where he died from the effects of a dissecting wound. When the ROLFEs first came to the township the only improvement therein was on the site of Mason, where a small clearing had been made and a log house built. Ira ROLFE built a house on the place he now occupies in Vevay upon his first arrival. but left his family at Saline, Washtenaw Co., and did not become a permanent settler until 1838, having engaged in the mean time in teaming back and forth from Saline. The six brothers settled in one neighborhood, and in the midst of a dense forest.

The following account of the settlement of Benjamin ROLFE in this township was written by his son, Alvin ROLFE, and is preserved in the records of the County Pioneer Society:

"In 1834 my father, Benjamin Rolfe, and family moved from Thetford, Orange Co., Vt., to Genesee Co., N.Y. They stayed there until June, 1836, then moved to Michigan. They started from Bethany Thursday, and got to Detroit Sunday morning, coming on the boat 'Thomas Jefferson.' It was in the time of the great June freshet, which many will remember. The country from Detroit to Ann Arbor was completely covered with water. It took us from Monday morning until Friday night to get to Saline, in Washtenaw Co., - distance forty miles, which can now be traveled in two hours. Came from Saline to Jackson, and stopped there until we looked up land, which was in this town. We went to the land-office in Kalamazoo and took up the land, paying $100 for eighty acres. We started from Jackson Monday morning, cut our road to Vevay, and had to ford Grand River. We built a shanty on the place I now live on. This was the first blow struck in this part of the town,* - July, 1836.....The first time I went to Mason there was a small piece chopped on the section-line, near where the DONNELLY house now stands, by E.B. DANFORTH. The next spring he sowed it to turnips, raising the largest I ever saw. Our nearest saw- and grist-mill was at Jackson. Some would like to know how we got along without lumber to build with. For floors we cut nice basswood logs and split them into planks, 'spotted' them on the under side, and laid them down as even as we could, then adzed them off, which made quite passable flooring. For a roof we peeled bark. For gable-ends we split shakes. The first lumber we got in Jackson, for a coffin for a sister of mine. She died April 7, 1837, and I think was the first person who died in the town. The first marriage was that of Jasper WOLCOTT and Harriet SERGEANT, now the wife of Edwin HUBBARD. The first birth, I think, was Nelson WOLCOTT, son of Jasper WOLCOTT. The first saw-mill built in the county was by E. B. DANFORTH. A man by the name of LACEY took the job in the summer of 1836. The first grist-mill was started by Mr. DANFORTH, who got a pair of mill-stones about twenty inches in diameter, set them in the corner of his saw-mill, and propelled them by the bull-wheel of the mill. Many a bag of corn have I carried on my back from my place to Mason, without any road, to get it ground. The first road we had from my place to Mason was cut in 1837."

Mr. ROLFE speaks of the "money" in circulation in 1836-37 as follows:

"Good money was not to be found. All the money we had was wildcat, not worth the paper it was printed on. There are some who remember those times. It was all the money we could get in 1836-37.

"When men complain of hard times and find fault with our government and the currency, which is the best we ever had, I want to tell them they do not know anything about hard times. If they had to pay ten bushels of wheat for one axe; twenty-five dollars for a barrel of flour; forty dollars for a barrel of pork; two dollars for oats; twenty-two cents per pound for fresh pork; fifty cents per pound for butter; and other things in proportion, and their money would not keep over-night, then they would have reason to complain."

The "neighborhood," at the time of which Mr. ROLFE writes, extended thirty or forty miles. He at one time went to the raising of a saw-mill, at the old village of Jefferson, on section 29, in Alaiedon township. It was up by dark and Mr. ROLFE returned home, arriving about two o'cock in the morning.

settled on the northwest quarter of section 4 (farm now owned by Mr. RUSSELL), in the summer of 1836. He cut out the first road leading to the place, and built a house, the doors and windows for which were brought from Ann Arbor. His daughter, Mary HAMMOND, wrote the following of his settlement in 1873:

"Our nearest neighbor north of us was Mr. SCOTT, distant twenty five miles. We did not see those neighbors very often, but heard of them often, as hardly a night passed but our house was filled with men looking after land. When I first saw Mason, there were, I think, twenty acres chopped, two log houses, and a saw-mill being built. Mr. LACY and Mr. BLAIN, with their families, were the only white people living here. Mr. DANFORTH came soon after and took charge of affairs as the agent of the village. During the winter the saw-mill was finished, and in the spring of 1837 the school-house was built. School commenced, I think, in June. Miss Lucy ROLFE taught for one dollar per week. There were eight pupils. The Indians often came to visit our school, and wondered what we were doing. The first night I stayed in Mason there were several hundred Indians encamped near where the court-house now stands. The first circuit preacher was a Mr. JACKSON, who preached one year. The first Presbyterian church was organized, in 1839, by the Rev. Mr. CHILDS, of Albion. The first settled pastor was the Rev. F.P. EMERSON, who stayed some three years.

"At Dexter was our nearest post-office and store, or grocery. I can remember, in the spring of 1837, that my father was appointed justice of the peace, and he had to go to Jackson to qualify. All the road that then existed was an Indian trail...Settlers came in fast, and Mason soon became a thriving village."

(William R. HORTON, brother to Mrs. Linderman, states that Mr. Linderman had come to Ann Arbor in May, 1836. During the summer he went to Kalamazoo and entered land for himself and Mr. Horton, and in the fall moved upon his own place in Vevay, arriving at evening on the 2nd day of October. On awakening the next morning they discovered about six inches of snow on the ground.)

James CHASE,
a native of Greene Co., N.Y., settled in Vevay township in 1845.

At the present time (August, 1880) there are living in Mason Mrs. Whitney SMITH and Mrs. G.D. PEASE, who are the daughters of Joab PAGE, an early settler in the township. The story of the settlement of the family is thus told by Mrs. SMITH:

"My father, Joab PAGE, came with his family into Michigan in the winter of 1831-32; arrived at Jacksonburgh about the 16th of February, 1832,- then only one framed house there. This was built by a Mr. AMES; he then, having just buried his wife, rented the house to my father for a few months. Father built the first saw-mill in Jackson County. It was situated a few rods east of the present southern depot. The second one he built upon his own land, eight miles east of Jackson, and two miles south of the old trail-road running from Detroit to Marshall. He built and kept the first hotel in Grass Lake. In 1836 the emigration into the interior of Michigan was so great that we counted in one day over sixty wagons; it was almost a continuous string of teams, each carrying a family and their entire possessions. They usually carried and cooked their own provisions.

"In the year 1840 we moved to Vevay, Ingham Co., near the ROLFE settlement. We were obliged to cut our road to our home, one and a half miles. No schools nor districts were organized at that time, but the neighbors concluded to have a school. My sister, Orcelia PAGE, (now Mrs. G.D. PEASE), taught the school in a log shanty scarce higher than our head. The floor was made of logs split in two, with the flat side up; it had one window of glass, and a large stick-and-mud chimney, which let in a good supply of light from the top.

"During the first year of our residence the Rev. Mr. JACKSON (Methodist) preached a few times in the neighborhood. Our people made an abundance of maple-sugar. They took ox-teams and started for market, though it was very uncertain where they would find a family that had pork, flour, or potatoes to change for maple-sugar. They did not return as we had expected; in about two weeks we learned from a neighbor, who had returned from market, that our people were at Leoni and my husband seriously ill. I set out to find a way to go to him; walked one and a half miles to get a horse and then in another direction one and one half miles to get a wagon, and someone to drive for me and bring the team back. To get to Leslie, four and one half miles, we traveled eight, and then could not shun all the mud holes, for our wagon-box dipped mud and water several times, and sometimes it was with difficulty that we stayed in the wagon and kept it right side up."

In 1844 (September), Mr. PAGE and family removed to Lansing. He afterwards returned to Mason, where both he and his wife subsequently died.

Amadon HOLDEN,
a native of Northfield, Franklin Co., Mass., settled in Vevay township, Ingham Co., Mich., in January, 1844. His wife, Olive HOLDEN, who was born in Thetford, Orange Co., Vt., came with her husband to Vevay, where she died in January, 1874.

William H. HORTON,
whose sister was the wife of Peter LINDERMAN, came to Michigan from Orange Co., N.Y., and settled in Ingham County, May 30, 1837, on the northeast fractional quarter of section 5, in the township of Vevay, the land having been entered  for him in the summer of 1836 by Mr. LINDERMAN. Mr. HORTON at the time of his settlement was unmarried, but was afterwards married, and in September, 1841, his wife died. Soon after her death he went East and remained until the spring of 1843. In the fall of 1844 he was elected register of deeds for Ingham County, and served six years. In 1854 he removed to the west half of the northwest quarter of section 33, where he now resides, having lived in Mason from January, 1845, until 1854.

Nathan SEARL
In the spring of 1836, Nathan SEARL and two of his sons, Daniel and Elisha R., from Hampshire Co., Mass., came to Ingham County, and 160 acres of land were purchased in what is now ingham township, and 320 acres in what is now Vevay, that in the latter including the west half of section 10. Elisha R. SEARL remained until the fall in Ingham, and then came to Vevay and began improvements. The land in Ingham was entered at Detroit, and that in Vevay at Kalamazoo, the meridian-line having been the division between the portions of the State under the jurisdiction of the land-offices at the two places. Daniel SEARL remained in Ingham township six years, and in 1842 removed to Vevay and settled where he now lives. When the Messrs. SEARL first came to Vevay to locate land the only house in the township was that of Lewis LACY, at Mason. From the place in Ingham, upon which the remained during the summer of 1836, the nearest house was distant twelve miles, in the direction of Stockbridge and Jackson.

The first winter Daniel SEARL was in Michigan he worked on the dam at Mason, which was located where the State road crosses Sycamore Creek, northwest of the present site of the DONNELLY house. In the fall of 1836, Mrs. SEARL, Sr., and ten children, with Abner BARTLETT, a son-in-law, came to the county. The latter settled in Vevay, and the other members of the family in Ingham. Two of the daughters were married the next year (1837), and removed to the township of Dexter, Washtenaw Co. Nathan SEARL, the father of this large family, died in July, 1869 or 1870, aged eighty-two years; his wife's death had occurred about sixteen years before. Of the entire family but four are now living,- Daniel, on section 15, in Vevay; Merrick, on section 11, in Vevay; Mrs. Otto BIGNALL and Mrs. Henry HUNT, both in the township of Vevay. Mrs. BIGNALL, who was one of the daughters married in 1837, is now a widow. Merrick SEARL, who was but five years of age when the family settled, lived at first in the township of Ingham with his brother Daniel. About 1853 he purchased the farm upon which he now resides. It was then wild, unimproved land, but will rank at present among the finest and best-improved farms in the township.

Hiram PARKER, Esq.,
is a native of Washington Co., N.Y. When he was very young his father removed to Benington Co., Vt., subsequently changing his place of residence to Mount Morris, Livingston Co., N.Y., and later to Erie County. June 10, 1836, Hiram PARKER reached Ingham Co., Mich., looked for land, and purchased the place he now occupies on section 13. He built the body of a log house, returned to his old home in Vermont, was married, and came back and settled with his wife in November 1836. Mr. PARKER's house is located on a hill, but he says it was twenty years before he could see through the timber to a neighbor's house.

When Mr. PARKER went to Kalamazoo to locate his land he made his application, but found so many ahead of him that it would be some time before his business could be attended to. He therefore made a trip to Illinois, and examined the country south from Chicago for about forty-five miles, not being much pleased therewith. On the shore of Lake Michigan he picked up a bed-cord which some pioneer had doubtless lost. He was accompanied by his sister's husband, Jesse MONROE, a soldier of 1812 (now of Lansing), and a young man named Blois HURD. They had a one-horse wagon, in which they carried their provisions. The streams were all very high, and they experienced much difficulty in getting through. In swimming Grand River- at what was afterwards known as Berry's bridge, they lost a portion of their provisions. Their route was along an Indian trail. Jesse Monroe settled in Clinton County, and HURD's father, Hinman HURD, in the township of Vevay, Ingham Co.

When Mr. PARKER went to Vermont to get married, he went by the way of Dexter and returned the same way. He thinks that, had he known a tenth part of what his experience was to be in the wilderness, he never would have asked anybody to come with him. He met Hinman HURD at Troy, N.Y. Mr. HURD had been out with the rest to look for land, but stayed at Jackson and allowed his son, Blois HURD, to make the selection in his place. From Jackson he returned East, in company with Deacon MERRITT, and was moving West with his family when met by Mr. PARKER at Troy. The latter bargained with him to come to his house in Vevay and put a roof upon it, but he (HURD) found a vacant house in Ingham township belonging to H.H. SMITH, which he moved into and occupied while building a house for himself on section 25, in Vevay. He was in Vevay about two weeks as a settler before Mr. PARKER returned, and was the first actual settler in the eastern part of the township. Mr. PARKER was the second, and Charles GRAY and family third. The nearest house was then that of a man living at the northern boundary of what is now the township of Henrietta, Jackson Co., about fifteen miles away.

formerly of Ingham township,  and now a wealthy and prominent citizen of Jackson, had raised some corn on a farm he had taken south of Jackson. It was probably in 1836, and early in the next year he engaged Hiram PARKER to go with him after some, paying him in the commodity he had the most of, -corn. Mr. PARKER thinks then he was the richest men of the two, for he had a pair of boots and SMITH wore rags on his feet. Mr. SMITH was the first treasurer of Ingham County, and after his election removed to Mason, subsequently going to Lansing, and finally to Jackson. He has been a prominent man since his first settlement in Ingham County.

In June, 1837, Mr. PARKER started for Dexter after flour. On the way he met a couple of men that informed him there was none for sale, as the had tried to purchase some and failed. It had all been purchased by a speculator at Ann Arbor. Mr. PARKER learned that there was some at Scio, and to that place he at once repaired.  He found that the supply there had also been bought for speculative purposes, but he finally purchased two barrels of it of the miller, who was not particularly friendly to the speculator.  The money paid for it was that of the bank of which the speculator was president, and was of the nature known as "wildcat." The miller had specified that the flour must be paid for in "good Eastern money;" but while Mr. PARKER was looking his roll of bills over to see if he had the necessary amount (twenty-five dollars) of the article required, the miller espied the "wildcat," and thought was good enough for the man, as it was his own money. It was paid and Mr. PARKER left with the flour. He had not reached home before he learned that the bank had failed and the money was of no account, and, as he had borrowed part of it, he considered he had procured his two barrels of flour at a very fair bargain. Very soon after making the purchase he learned that the price of flour had been raised to seventeen dollars per barrel.

After the county election in 1838 (the first after organization), it was provided that the board of county canvassers should meet to canvass the votes at the county-seat, or at the nearest house thereto. The county-seat, which had been laid out in the northeast portion of the township, on sections 1 and 12, was a fine-looking place- on paper; but no improvements had been made nor county buildings erected, and the board met at the home of Hiram PARKER, as the nearest to the county-seat. Charles THAYER & Co., the proprietors of the land on which the seat of justice for Ingham County had been located, built a log house at the locality, but it was never occupied for dwelling purposes, and the hopes of the projectors of the "county-site" were destined to be dashed to the earth. Their proposed city was soon forgotten, and the thrifty village of Mason sprang up farther west, which became the county-seat in 1840.

Charles GRAY,
from the town of Columbia, Herkimer Co.,N.Y., started for Michigan, May 28, 1834, and settled with his family in Lenawee County. In November, 1836, they removed from lenawee to Ingham County, and settled in this township. Mrs. GRAY, who was formerly Mrs. HAWLEY, had two children by her first husband,- Henry A. and Calvin HAWLEY; and Henry, with her other children,- Eliza, Manly, and Emeline GRAY,- accompanied Mr. and Mrs. GRAY to Michigan and to Ingham County. Calvin came about a year later, and afterwards settled in Van Buren County, Mich., where he died. Upon coming to Vevay the family located east of the present residence of Henry A. HAWLEY, on the farm now occupied by Mrs. John E. SPENCER. Mrs. GRAY died Sept. 3, 1839, and Mr. GRAY in August, 1845.

Mrs. SPENCER was formerly Mrs. Manly GRAY, she having been married to him in February, 1846. They remained on the old farm with his father. Manly GRAY died Nov. 1, 1865, and his sister Emeline, afterwards Mrs. Loren RICE, of Leslie, died in 1863. The other sister, Eliza, married Daniel POTTER, and is now living in Bunker Hill township. Mrs. Manly GRAY was afterwards married to John E. SPENCER. She is a daughter of Silas HOLT, who settled in the township of Bunker Hill in October, 1843, and is one of a family of nine children.Mr. HOLT was the first to enter land in that township, but did not settle until the time stated.

Henry A. HAWLEY is still residing in the township, and has been one of its most prominent citizens and successful farmers. His home was always open to all, and a generous welcome was accorded them. Mr. HAWLEY's land was entered July 23, 1836, on sections 14 and 23. The old homestead is now the property of his son, Adelbert A. HAWLEY.

(A link to a 3 1/2 page narrative by Henry A. Hawley
will be linked to this spot at a later date)

in company with his brother, Cornelius NORTHRUP, came to Michigan from Medina Co., Ohio, in the spring of 1830, and settled in Gull Prairie, Kalamazoo County (township of Richland), where they were among the first settlers. Enos NORTHRUP was then a boy, and lived with his brother; their parents were deceased. Cornelius never came to Ingham County to settle. Enos removed from Gull Prairie to Middlebury, Elkhart Co., Ind., where he remained two or three years, and in March, 1839, came to Vevay with his wife and settled on section 23, where he now lives. For a year or two, while working on his place, he lived with Henry A. HAWLEY.

Mr. NORTHRUP's brother Thomas settled in the township about 1841, having lived about a year at Kalamazoo village, and also for a time at Middlebury, Ind. Upon settling in Vevay he located on the farm next to his brother. Both of these farms were in the woods when the NORTHRUP brothers arrived, and were covered principally with a heavy growth of oak.

In the summer of 1831, while living in Gull Prairie, Enos NORTHRUP loaded twenty-two bushels of wheat in his wagon, and started with that and an ox-team to mill, at Constantine, St. Joseph Co., about fifty miles away. There were no roads and no bridges, and it was necessary to ford all the streams. By the second night after leaving home he had arrived within two or three miles of his destination, and stopped at a shanty into which a family was just moving. He turned his oxen loose, - one wearing a bell - and slept on the ground.In the morning the oxen were missing. Two or three days were spent looking for them, an Indian aiding him part of the time. He went to Nottawa-sepee Prairie and then started back, inquiring everywhere for the lost oxen, and finally reached home, but found no cattle there, and could learn nothing about them. He had the same experience three times before finally finding them, spending nine days in the search and traveling 300 miles, besides spending five dollars in money, but at last discovered them within ten miles of his home, and in time reached home with his grist, the family having used flour in his absence which was made by grinding wheat in a coffee-mill.

The saw-mill mentioned by Mr. HAWLEY was operated by him about fourteen years. The dam was washed away several times. The frame of the old mill is yet standing, but has been several times repaired and added to. The mill had a capacity for cutting about 200,000 feet per annum, with its one saw. The lumber used in many of the barns of the neighborhood and on the road to Dexter was sawed at this mill. one of these barns is that on the farm of Enos NORTHRUP. On one occasion, having broken the saw in the mill, it was necessary to get a new one. Mr. HAWLEY did not happen to have sufficient money at the time, but procured the necessary amount of a man who owed him, walked to Jackson, purchased the saw and brought it home on his back, and the mill was running again within forty-eight hours after the old saw was broken.

from Steuben Co., N.Y., came with his parents to salem, Washtenaw Co., Mich., about 1831, the family being one of the first to locate in that township. Mrs. HUBBARD, Sr., died, and her husband went West, but returned to Michigan and died in Ingham County. About 1839, Mr. HUBBARD came to Vevay with his brother Ira, and helped the latter build his shanty. Edwin purchased land from second hands, on section 35, and settled upon it about the 1st of June, 1841. No improvements had then been made on the place. Mr. HUBBARD was at the time a single man and lived alone a short period on his place, boarding also, while working on his place, with Mr. GALLUP, who lived north of him. In July, 1843, he was married, and soon after settled on the place he now occupies, where he has since resided, with the exception of two years (1850 to 1852) spent in California.

Mrs. HUBBARD, whose maiden name was SARGENT, had come to the State in 1834 with her brother-in-law, Henry FIFIELD, from Essex Co., Mass., and located at Jackson. In October, 1836, Mr. FIFIELD and his family and Miss SARGENT came to Ingham County and settled in the township of Vevay, south of Mason. Mr. FIFIELD was therefore one of the first settlers in the township.Their goods had been ferried across Grand River in a small "dug-out," at Freeman's, in Jackson County, and they were two days making the journey to their location in Vevay. After building his house, Mr. FIFIELD had to wait until the river froze over until he dared to cross it and go back after lumber to finish with. From October to December, 1836, the family lived in the house without floor or chimney, having no opportunity sooner to procure lumber with which to build them.


came about the same time as Mr. FIFIELD, and settled on section 20. In January, 1837, he was married to Miss SARGENT, theirs being the first marriage which occurred in the township. The justice of the peace who married them was Joseph BAILEY, of Jackson, afterwards State treasurer and a resident of Lansing, and he came on horseback from Jackson to perform the ceremony, having to remain over-night. Mr.WOLCOTT died in November, 1837, and was the first male person whose death occurred in the township, a Miss ROLFE having died the previous spring. When Mr. WOLCOTT died, his wife lay sick in the house, and could not be permitted to see him; but a son, Nelson WOLCOTT, born at that time, was given her to take the place of the husband she lost, and this was the first birth of a white male child in town. The first white child born in the township was Hiram PARKER's daughter, Mary, born the same year. Her death occurred about 1850. In July, 1853, Mrs. WOLCOTT was married to Edwin HUBBARD.

brother to Edwin, and also from Steuben Co., N.Y., came to Michigan about 1831, and in January, 1839, removed with his wife and one child, a young daughter, to Vevay and settled on the farm he now occupies. Edwin HUBBARD came with them and helped build the shanty, but, as stated, did not settle in the town until 1841. Another daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Ira HUBBARD in January, 1841. When their shanty was built it was necessary to scrape away the snow to lay the lower logs. Ira HUBBARD also went to California, and was gone nine months, returning with his brother Edwin to Michigan in 1852. Edwin had made the journey westward overland and Ira by water.

Alfred GALLUP,
from Leroy, Genesee Co., N.Y., settled in Vevay, with his wife and two children, in September, 1840. Rufus FREEMAN, a young man, accompanied them and purchased forty acres of land in the same locality, but after a short time he sold it to Mr. GALLUP and moved away. The latter had purchased his land from second hands before leaving New York; no improvements had been made upon it. Mr. GALLUP's wife died about 1846, and he was afterwards married again. He is now deceased, and his widow occupies the old place. His death occurred in the fall of 1879. His sister, now Mrs. KENDALL, came in 1845 and kept house a year for her brother. In 1846 she was married to A.Y. OLDS and settled on the place where she now lives. Mr. OLDS located in the township about 1838, and married Miss GALLUP after the death of his first wife. He went to California with Ira HUBBARD in 1851, and was gone two years. He died in Vevay in October, 1861, and his widow afterwards married Reuben KENDALL, who died in 1874. Mrs. KENDALL occupies the place she settled upon with Mr. OLDS. It had been considerably improved before their marriage. The log house, with a frame addition, was used until 1870.

Benjamin F. SMITH,
formerly from the State of New York, and for some time a resident of South Lyons, Oakland Co., Mich., (possibly Salem, Washtenaw Co.), purchased land in Vevay in the spring of 1837, and settled upon it as soon as possible and commenced improvements. His wife had died before he came here, and some time afterwards he was married to a lady who had lived near his former home. Mr. SMITH located on section 26 in Vevay, north of A.Y. OLDS. He lived but a few years after his marriage, and died in 1851. His widow became the wife of Jacob DUBOIS in 1852, and lived for a number of years in Bunker Hill township.Mr. DUBOIS had previously resided in Alaiedon, where he was an early settler, and where his first wife died.

from Springwater, Steuben Co., N.Y., came to Vevay in the spring of 1841, and made the first improvements on land ha had purchased from second hands. His wife and five children accompanied him; one child was born after the family settled. Their home was on section 26, where one son, Marquis A. BLOOD, now lives. His parents are both deceased, and he is the only one of the family left in the township.

a native of Wayne Co., N.Y., and for a time a resident of Lancaster Co., Pa., emigrated to Michigan with his wife and children in 1839, and located in Jackson County. In 1840 he came to Ingham County and purchased land, and in the spring of 1841 settled in what is now Ingham township, near the west line. In the spring of 1854 he removed to Vevay and located on the place now owned by his son, Andrew DIAMOND, where he and his wife both died, he in 1866 and she about 1869. Andrew DIAMOND was born in Jackson Co., Mich., about 1840, during the residence of the family there.

Almon M. CHAPIN,
a native of Massachusetts, and for some time a resident of Livingston Co., N.Y., (had lived also in Onondaga County), left the latter State with his family in December, 1842, and came with teams through Northern Ohio to Michigan, the trip occupying eighteen days. The household goods had been sent by water to Detroit. The family arrived in Vevay on or about the 1st of January, 1843, and moved into a log house which was built by William AUSTIN and was then vacant. The snow lay very deep on the ground, and, soon after they occupied the house and built a fire therein, the melting snow broke down the roof. It was repaired, and the family lived in the house until the following October, when they moved into a frame house, which is now the rear portion of the dwelling occupied by Mr. CHAPIN's widow and family. The fine grove in front of the house at present consists of natural trees, which were left purposely when the place as first occupied. A burning log-heap in front of the house destroyed a portion of them (the trees being than but saplings), but enough were preserved to make a beautiful grove, which is now the pride of the locality. Mr. CHAPIN was a model citizen, and one of the most prominent in the township. His death occurred on the 5th of September, 1878, in his home at Chapin's Station, or "Eden."

Jonathan B. CHAPIN, M.D.,
now of Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., settled in Vevay previous to the arrival of his cousin, A.M. CHAPIN, and was an early school-teacher in the ROLFE settlement. He had studied medicine in the State of New York. He cleared up a large farm, and lived in the township until about 1855, when he removed to Olivet, Eaton Co., and afterwards to Battle Creek. Dr. CHAPIN was very prominent in the township, and was an esteemed citizen, as, indeed, was each member of the CHAPIN family.


Eden Post-Office
was established in the neighborhood of 1844, with William HOPKINS as first postmaster, the location being west of what is now the station of the same name. Almon M. CHAPIN was postmaster for some years after the office was removed to the station, and the present incumbent is S.S. DEWEY.

Eden Station
which is located on sections 28 and 33, near the CHAPIN homestead, was formerly known as CHAPIN's. The name EDEN is appropriate, however, as the vicinity is one of great beauty, and here are found some of the finest farms in the township. The place at present contains a store, a post-office, two blacksmith-shops, and a shoe-shop. Considerable business is also done in the lines of grain-buying and shipping, two small elevators having been built for its accommodation.

(Link to Page)


The following appear on the assessment-rolls for 1844, as the resident taxpayers in that year in the township of Vevay:

Jason B. PACKARD Charles GRAY Nathan ROLFE
Henry QUARRY Stephen HARE Orrin MINER
Charles BRIGGS Charles CONNARD Joseph MINER
Ariel Y. OLDS Chauncey PAGE Emmons WHITE
Lewis F. OLDS Levi CHAPIN Nathan ROLFE, administrator

(Link to Page)


By an act of the Legislature approved March 6, 1838, that portion of the county of Ingham designated on the United States survey as township No. 2 north, of range No. 1 west, formerly a part of Aurelius, was set off and organized into a separate township by the name of Vevay, and it was directed that the first township-meeting be held at the public-house in Mason. (This was probably the house of James BLAIN, as there was no regular "tavern" in the place until 1839, when George W. SHAFER completed and opened the "Mason Exchange." BLAIN's house was of necessity a "public-house," and he kept land-lookers and travelers because there was no one else to do so.) The township records contain the following account of the first township-meeting:

"At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Vevay, County of Ingham, State of Michigan, held on the 2d day of April, 1838, for the purpose of organizing  the aforesaid township, and choosing township officers,

"Resolved, That Minos McROBERT be Moderator, Anson JACKSON, Clerk, Hiram CONVERSE, Hiram PARKER, B.F. SMITH, Inspectors of Election.

"Resolved, that there be two Constables, two Fence Viewers, two Pound Masters, and three Assessors.

"The following officers were elected by ballot:

"Peter LINDERMAN, Supervisor.
"Anson JACKSON, Township Clerk.
"Ira ROLFE, Minos McROBERT, A. BARTLETT, Assessors.
"Peter LINDERMAN, Hiram CONVERSE, Hiram PARKER, Benjamin ROLFE, Justices of the Peace.
"Henry A. HAWLEY, Collector.
"Hiram AUSTIN, Benjamin F. SMITH, Anson JACKSON, Commissioners of Highways.
"John DAGGETT, Henry A. HAWLEY, Constables.
"Benjamin ROLFE, George SEARL, Directors of the Poor.
"Nathan ROLFE, Minos McROBERT, W.H. HORTON, School Inspectors.
"Hinman HURD, E.R. SEARL, Fence Viewers.
"E.R. SEARL, H.A. HAWLEY, E.B. DANFORTH, H. AUSTIN, L. DAGGETT, B.F. SMITH, Overseers of Highways.
"Resolved, That there be a bounty on wolves of two dollars, if killed by a citizen of the township.
"Resolved, That a lawful fence be four and a half feet high.

"Resolved, That swine shall not be free commoners."

It was also resolved to hold the next election at the school-house in the village of Mason. The following is a list of the principal officers of the township from 1839 to 1879, inclusive:


1839-40: Charles GRAY

1857: George W. SHAFER
1841: Wright HORTON 1858-59: James FULLER
1842-43: Peter LINDERMAN 1860: William H. HORTON
1844: Hiram PARKER 1861-62: Rosalvo F. GRIFFIN
1845: Peter LINDERMAN 1863: Peter LOWE
1846: George W. SHAFER 1864: John COATSWORTH
1847-48: Peter LINDERMAN 1865-67: Perry HENDERSON
1849: George W. SHAFER 1868-70: William W. ROOT
1850: Henry A. HAWLEY 1871- Rosalvo F. GRIFFIN
1851: Anson JACKSON 1872-73: William W. ROOT
1852: Almon A. CHAPIN 1874: Alexander BUSH
1853: Amos E. STEELE 1875: Allen ROWE
1854: Joseph L. HUNTINGTON 1876: James FULLER
1855: George W. SHAFER 1877-78: William H. HORTON
1856: William R. HORTON 1879: Lyman MINAR
1880: Lucius H. IVES


1839-40:Zaccheus BARNES 1861-62: Henry LINDERMAN
1841-42: George W. SHAFER 1863: William H. SMITH
1843: William HAMMOND 1864: John H. SAYERS
1844-45: George W. SHAFER 1865: William SWEET
1846: John H. CHILD 1866-67: Andrew D. TUBBS
1847-48: John W. LONGYEAR 1868: Alexander GUNN
1849: Samuel W. HAMMOND 1869: George W. SACKRIDER
1850: George W. SHAFER 1870: Henry M. WILLIAMS
1851: Amos E. STEELE 1871: Daniel J. GRIFFIN
1852-53: George W. SHAFER 1872: Elias CULVER
1854-55: William SWEET 1873-74: Henry H. COOK
1856: Joseph C. OBEARE 1875-76: Orville F. MILLER
1857-58: Luther B. HUNTOON 1877-78: Frank WHITE
1859: Charles H. REA 1879: Julius W.CHAPIN
1860: David W. HALSTEAD 1880: Julius W. CHAPIN


1839: Peter LINDERMAN 1858: Peter L. ROSE
1840: Freeman WILSON 1859: Ariel . OLDS
1841-42: Hiram CONVERSE 1860: George D. PEASE
1843: Joseph HOPKINS 1861-63: John M. DRESSER
1844-45: James TURNER 1864-65: David W. HALSTEAD
1846: Isaac C. PAGE 1866: Isaac W. HORTON
1847: Asa HILL 1867: Frederick P. MOODY
1848: Joseph HOPKINS 1868-69: William W. VanVRANKEN
1849-50: Arnold WALKER 1870: Alonzo S. NICHOLS
1851: Almon M. CHAPIN 1871-73: Alexander BUSH
1852-53: George BELCHER 1874-76: John M. DRESSER, Sr.
1854: George D. PEASE 1877: S.S. DEWEY
1855: Ira O. DARLING 1878: Simeon N. ROLFE
1856: James D. HULSE 1879: Robert R. YOUNG
1857: Barney HOLMES 1880: Robert R. YOUNG


Nathan ROLFE
George A. HALL
Benjamin F. SMITH
Watson ROLFE
1843: Isaac HAMMOND 1864: John W. SEELEY
Benjamin F. SMITH
Charles C. ROLFE
Peter LOWE
1846: Huram BRISTOL 1867: Mason D. CHATTERTON
1847: Peter LOWE 1868: Huram BRISTOL
1848: Isaac W. HORTON 1869: Amos E. STEELE
1849: Hiram PARKER 1870: Henry JONES
1850: John W. PHELPS 1871: William H. FRANCIS
1851: Huram BRISTOL 1872: Samuel W. HAMMOND
1852: Isaac W. HORTON 1873: Amos E. STEELE
Edward SWIFT
1855: Huram BRISTOL 1876: F.L. WILSON
1856: Hiram HODGES 1877: Edward SWIFT
James H. IRISH
1859: Arnold WALKER 1880: James H. IRISH

1880 Misc. Township Officials

Superintendent of Schools: W. Asa ROWE
School Inspector: B.B. NOYES
Commissioner of Highways: Leonard S. BATES
Drain Commissioner: Loren SWEET


There is no information given in this book regarding Religious organizations in Vevay township.

Return to Ingham County