Compiled by John H. Wheeler
Published by B. F. Bowen
Pages 43 - 62
CITY AND VILLAGE ORGANIZATIONS
|Harrietta Village||Sherman||Public Schools|
|Village of Boon||Village of Clam Lake||Village of Manton|
|Village of Mesick||Village of Wexford|
Sherman, being the oldest village in the county, naturally comes first in historical order. In 1869 Sanford Gasser had that portion of the south half of the southeast quarter of section 36, in town 24, north of range 12 west, lying east of the Manistee river, platted and gave it the name of the village of Sherman. The place at that time contained but one house and one business place, a grocery kept by Lewis J. Clark. The village being at the corner of four townships, though situated in only one of them, there was one other house near the corner of the village, owned and occupied by Dr. John Perry, as he was familiarly called, though it was a mystery how he came to be called doctor, unless it was because he owned a set of "turn-keys" (the usual instrument for pulling teeth in those days) and occasionally pulled a tooth for an afflicted pioneer. At all events he was the first "doctor" in the county and also the first postmaster at Sherman. He also built the second saw-mill in the county on the stream now known as Cole's creek, one mile east of the village. This he operated for about a year, after which he sold it to H. B. Sturtevant.
When Sherman was made the county seat by the act organizing the county, quite a building boom was inaugurated. L. P. Champenour, the first county clerk, J. H. Wheeler, the first county treasurer, and T. A. Ferguson, the first resident prosecuting attorney, each erected houses in the summer of 1869. Maqueston Brothers also had a large store building erected, as elsewhere noted. There were several other buildings erected during that summer, and there began to be quite a village in fact as well as in name.
A change of postmasters took place in 1869, L. J. Clark succeeding Mr. Perry, since which time the following persons have had the office in the order named: E. W. Stewart, J. S. Walling, C. E. Cooper, H. B. Sturtevant, H. F. Campbell, J. H. Wheeler, I. N. Carpenter, E. W. Wheeler, Mabel Ramsey, L. P. Champenois and the present incumbent, R. D. Frederick, proprietor of the Sherman Pioneer. The office is now the third in point of business in the county, Cadillac and Manton being the first and second in the order named.
It soon developed that locations on lands adjoining the village plat were more desirable for residence purposes than those platted, and the larger portion of the village has been built upon unplatted lands. In 1882 a tract of land in the northeast corner of section 1 in Springville township was platted as Crippin's addition to Sherman and nearly all of these lots are now occupied. The village was situated on the Newaygo and Northport State Road and near the Manistee river, the distance to the river being less than half a mile in a western direction and a little more than three-fourths of a mile to the north. When the work of clearing the river for running logs had been completed and lumbering operations were extended up the river to the extensive pine forests a little east of the village, Sherman was on the direct line between Manistee and the lumber camps, and this fact, coupled with the fact that it was almost impossible to haul supplies all the way from Manistee, gave the merchants of Sherman a very large and lucrative trade. Occasionally some jobber would run behind and leave the storekeepers with bad debts on their hands, but these failures were very few and not of a serious nature.
Sherman had the honor of having the first newspaper published in the county, the Wexford County Pioneer, owned and edited by C. E. Cooper and A. W. Tucker. After running the paper together a few years Mr. Tucker sold out his interest to Mr. Cooper, who continued in control until 1877, when he sold it to C. S. Marr, who conducted it for a little more than a year. It then went into the hands of H. F. Campbell and J. H. Wheeler, where it remained until January, 1880, when Mr. Campbell sold his interest to Mr. Wheeler, who thus became the sole owner. Mr. Wheeler published the paper for twelve years, at the end of which time he sold it to R. D. Frederick, who still retains it. In politics it has always been Republican, though efforts were made at one time to make it a Greenback paper, and at another to purchase it and make it Democratic.
The first business venture where Sherman now stands was made by Lewis J. Clark, who built a small frame building and put in a small stock of goods suitable for a new country trade. This building was erected in the summer of 1868, and was the first frame structure of any kind built on the south side of the Manistee river in the county. The first hotel was started by Sylvester Clerk in a log building that was originally put up by the man who homesteaded the land on which the village was platted. When this land was first located as a homestead there was not even a highway south of the river. The state road had been chopped out, but not cleared for travel and the roads made by the few settlers on the south side of the river wound around through the woods wherever they could be made passible. It was not until after the organization of the county that the work of stumping and grading the state road was completed. It is not much wonder, therefore, that the first man to settle on this piece of land should have got homesick and abandoned it. Soon after the hotel was started a frame addition was put up and for at least two years it was the only hotel in the village. The original log part of this relic of pioneer days still stands, though long since enclosed with lumber to give it the appearance of a frame building. The first term of the circuit court for the county was held in this same building, as was also the first meeting of the board of supervisors.
The first lawyer to locate in Sherman, aside from T. A. Ferguson, who was appointed prosecuting attorney soon after the county was organized, was E. W. Stewart, who located in the village in 1870. The first resident preacher was Jonas Denton, who arrived in 1871. The first practicing physician was H. D. Griswold, who located in the village in 1872. Mr. Denton organized the First Congregational church in 1872 and his work was taken up by Rev. R. Redeoff in 1873, through whose efforts' a church edifice was erected in 1874 and dedicated October 11, of that year. Mr. Redeoff was pastor of the church until 1877, when he removed to Rockford, Michigan, remaining there several years. Returning to Sherman in 1880, he resumed his pastoral work and continued to serve the church for seventeen years, making twenty-one years service in all. During his absence the pulpit was filled by Rev. William P. Esler the first year and by Rev. J. W. Young the next two years. Mr. Young was ordained at Sherman July 2, 1878. The present pastor is Rev. A. Bentall, whose work commenced in October, 1899. Mr. Bentall was also ordained in the Sherman church in May, 1902.
The Methodist Episcopal church society was organized in 1870 and preaching services were held once in two weeks by Rev. Thomas Cayton. At the conference held that year Rev. A. L. Thurston was assigned this work, often traveling sixteen miles through rain and snow, heat and cold, from his homestead in Selma township, to fill his appointments. The next year Rev. John Hall was designated as "supply" for the Sherman charge, and in 1872 the society secured its first resident minister, Rev. W. R. Stinchcomb. Preaching services were held each alternate Sunday in conjunction with the Congregational society, first in the school house until the Congregational church was built, then in the church part of the time and a part of the time in the court house until the year 1881, when they built a house of worship. This was enlarged and somewhat remodeled in 1897, giving it a much greater seating capacity and greatly improving its appearance.
back to topics
When the village of Sherman was platted there was no road to the west leading to the Fletcher grist-mill, as such a road would require the bridging of the Manistee river, consequently those living on the south side of the river were obliged to come to Sherman and follow the state road nearly two miles north and then go west and south to the mill, making the trip nearly four miles longer than it would be if they could go directly west from Sherman. In 1872 the board of supervisors made an appropriation to aid the construction of a bridge over the river west of the village and the new route to the grist-mill was opened up, much to the gratification of the settlers living south and east of Sherman.
The constant increase of settlers in the county and the ever-increasing area of cultivated lands soon taxed the capacity of the little grist-mill on the Fletcher creek beyond its limit, and large quantities of grain had to be sent to Traverse City for milling. Several efforts were made by the people of Sherman to induce some one to put up a good gristing mill near that village, and finally a couple of gentlemen of Clam Like, named Shackleton and Bennett, were induced to undertake the work. A suitable building was to be erected by the citizens of Sherman and donated to these gentlemen on condition that they would put in the necessary machinery and operate it. The mill was built in the fall of 1876, J. H. Wheeler having the contract for the building and the dam being put in by W. E. Dean and Daniel Baldwin. The machinery was furnished and placed in position by Butterworth & Lowe, of Grand Rapids. The mill was forty by fifty feet in size and three stories high, with a capacity of two hundred and fifty or three hundred bushels of grain per day. Under charge of Mr. Bennett, who was a practical miller, having learned his trade in Scotland, the mill proved of inestimable value to the farmers, not only a large share of those in Wexford county, but a goodly number of those living in the southern tier of townships of Grand Traverse county and in the northeastern part of Manistee county.
Early in 1878 the mill burned down, which so discouraged the proprietors that they sold the property to I. H. Maqueston, who was just then closing out his mercantile business in the village preparatory to removing to the city of New York. This purchase changed his whole business career, as he commenced at once to build the mill, putting up a better and more commodious structure than the one burned down and equipping it with the most improved appliances for a custom and merchant mill. He re-stocked his large store and was active and liberal in everything that tended to the development of the village and the farming interests surrounding it. One of the monuments to his memory and generosity swings in the belfry of the Congregational church in Sherman, being a fine bell, costing two hundred and fifty dollars, donated by him to the church. An untimely death overtook him in March, 1886. It was on Sunday and an alarm of fire had called out the villagers, the fire being in a house near the center of the village. Mr. Maqueston energetically joined in the efforts to subdue the flames, which attempt in a short time proved successful. He then went to his hotel for dinner, after which he went to his store, as was his custom Sunday afternoons, for a nap. An hour or so later some one wishing to see him went to the store door and called to him, but without response. At length the door was forced open and he was found lying on one of the counters dead. The sad news spread through the village like wildfire and a throng of people hastened to the store to see for themselves if the report was true. The shock was great to the community, and the loss equally so. The remains were sent to New York for burial, and as a mark of respect and keen sorrow, nearly the whole village followed the hearse to Manton, sixteen miles distant, where his lifeless form was taken on its last journey eastward.
In 1887 an act was passed by the legislature granting a charter to the village, and the first village election was held on the 5th day of May, 1887. One of the principal objects in securing the charter was to enable the village to issue bonds for the purpose of securing the Toledo, Ann Arbor & Northern Michigan Railroad, which was then being pushed from Harrietta on to Frankfort. The bonds were issued and delivered to the railroad company, but owing to a decision of the supreme court of the state just prior to that time it found difficulties in negotiating them, and they were finally returned to the village authorities. The result was that the proposed "spur" was never built, although it has appeared on the county atlas for the past twelve years. The failure to get this railroad connection was another severe blow to Sherman, as it made possible the building up of another trading point, the village of Mesick, thus dividing the business which should have all gone to one town to have made it grow and prosper.
By a recent action of the village it has again voted to issue its bonds for five thousand dollars with which to grade a street through the village. This has been done in the interests of the Manistee & Northeastern Railroad, which now proposes to build a line running within the corporate limits of the village. If this plan succeeds Sherman will continue to be the largest village in the northwestern part of the county, but will never be what it would have been had it secured connection with the Ann Arbor Railroad when that road first passed through the county.
After the county seat left Sherman the court house was purchased
by the school district and by a few changes was converted into a very convenient
school building. The school attendance had increased to such an extent that it became
necessary as early as 1887 to employ three teachers, and in 1896 it was formally
made a graded school. The village now has a population of about five hundred, has
three large general stores, three
hotels, two hardware stores, two drug stores, two blacksmith shops, two churches, one large flouring-mill, two grocery stores, besides a bank, a millinery store, saw and planning-mill, saloon and other necessary adjuncts to a modern village. It is situated on the table land, some eighty or a hundred feet above the Manistee river, and is surrounded by one of the very best agricultural districts in the country.
In 1897 the Ann Arbor Railroad built a spur (or rather the people of Sherman built it and presented it to the railroad company) which came within a mile of Sherman to the west, where a little burg has sprung up sometimes called West Sherman, and sometimes Claggetville, from Claggett, the name of the man in whose interests the spur was built, and who erected a large stave and heading mill, with dry kiln and storing sheds, the entire plant and yards covering several acres of ground. This plant has always been operated from Sherman, the proprietors and many of the laborers living in that village. The place has grown to be a great shipping point for potatoes, wheat, lumber and logs, and all freight for Sherman in car lots is unloaded at this point. The officials of the railroad are now contemplating the erection of a station on this spur, so that all freight and railroad business for Sherman may be done there instead of going to Mesick, nearly three miles distant.
The first secret society organized in Sherman was Powhattan Tribe No. 12, Improved Order of Red Men. This was a benevolent and social organization, afterwards taking up the life insurance idea so prevalent now with nearly all secret orders. This tribe was instituted through the efforts of C. S. Marr, a young attorney who had then just entered upon the practice of law and had located in Sherman in the spring of 1876. The organization was perfected in May of that year and flourished for a number of years, some of its members being prominently identified with the great council of the state and the United States. One of its members, J. H. Wheeler, served one term as great sachem of the great council of the state and was representative of the state in the great council of the United States at three of its annual sessions, one at Philadelphia, one at Atlantic City and one at Springfield, Illinois.
back to topics
This order took its name and much of its ritualistic work from the aborigines of the country, its officers being sachem, prophet, sagamore, chief of records, keeper of wampum, etc., its candidates for admission, pale faces, and its members, warriors. Its ceremonial work was unique and impressive, and was pronounced by those competent to judge as superior to that of many of the branch of such an order should not have succeeded in Sherman when the order at large has been constantly growing and counts its membership in the United States by the tens of thousands, but the average American is always looking for something new and novel and with the coming of the Grange, the Odd Fellows, the Masons and other secret orders the old love was cast off for the new in many instances, and this, with the death and removal of some of the prominent workers in the tribe, caused its ranks to grow so thin that at last it resolved to surrender its charter, which it did in 1888.
The Patrons of Husbandry was the next order to establish a branch in Sherman, which was done in February, 1877. This branch was known as Sherman Grange No. 632, and also had a large membership and regular attendance for a number of years, but at last, like its predecessor, the Red Men, it "folded its tents" and disappeared.
Next came the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, under the title
of Sherman Lodge No. 336, which was instituted in March, 1880. This lodge is still
in a flourishing condition, and now has its auxiliary Rebekahs.
The lodge owns its own hall and has a good membership.
T. A. Ferguson Post No. 226, Grand Army of the Republic, was the next to perfect an organization in Sherman, the date being March 4, 1884. The name has since been changed to "Abram Finch Post," in honor of an old soldier who located a homestead on section 12, in Springville township, and who died about the time the county was organized. As none but ex-soldiers of the war of the Rebellion can belong to this order its ranks are yearly growing thinner and it too will ere long be but a memory. It has been the inspiration of many observations of the beautiful Memorial day exercises of the order and for this alone its passing will sadden the hearts of the many who have witnessed these heart-felt tributes to fallen comrades in arms.
The work of instituting a lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was undertaken in 1884 and a dispensation secured as the preliminary step to organization, which in due course of time was effected. It has had a steady and continuous growth, notwithstanding the fact that the charter membership was that much tabooed number thirteen, and now has one hundred members in good standing. It owns the entire second story of the E. Gilbert store building, which is divided into lodge rooms, ante rooms, kitchen and dining room, all tastily fitted and well furnished. An auxiliary Eastern Star was organized several years ago and now has a membership of eighty-one.
As the years passed organizations multiplied and there is now Maqueston Tent No. 654, Knights of the Maccabees; Our Choice Hive, Ladies of the Maccabees; Sherman Lodge No. 212, Knights of Pythias; Sherman Camp No. 5514, Modern Woodmen of America. For a number of years the Good Templars kept up an organization, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union have for many years had an organization in the village and also a county organization.
An old saying that "blessed be nothing" can well be quoted by Sherman just now, as it has no lawyer. While the county seat remained there it always had one, generally two and sometimes three lawyers, and they all lived, therefore the people had to support them. Since the county seat was removed, the village has been without a lawyer most of the time, and there was very little litigation, for it took money and time to go to Cadillac to see a lawyer, and the time nearly always had such a cooling effect on the angry, would-be litigant, that his better manhood asserted itself, and thus many a law-suit was avoided and much useless expense prevented.
Of doctors there have nearly always been two for the past twenty years, and sometimes three or four; at the present time there are two: Dr. E. A. McManus and Dr. D. L. Rose. In other professional callings may be found S. Gasser, real estate dealer; R. D. Frederick, insurance agent; J. H. Glover, photographer, and A. S. Moreland & Son, bankers.
VILLAGE OF CLAM LAKE
back to topics
The second village to be started in the county was the village
of Clam Lake. As previously stated, it was situated at the eastern end of Little
Clam lake, from which it derived its name. The name of this lake has but recently
been changed to Lake Cadillac by act of the legislature. The village of Clam Lake
was platted in July, 1872, since which time there have been many additions and subdivisions
platted until now the city of Cadillac, a name adopted when the village became a
city, covers nearly ten times as much territory as did the original plat.
In fact if the lands attached to the city in 1895 to enable it to build and control a road way or boulevard around the lake were taken into consideration, the area of the present city would be more than twenty-five times as great as was the original plat.
In 1879 an addition was platted, called sub-division of outlots 5 and 6. Cobb and Mitchell platted their first addition in August, 1880, and their second and third additions in September, 1881. May and Mitchell's addition was platted in November, 1881, and in May Cummer and Haynes platted an addition. The next month three other plats were recorded, viz: A plat of the northwest quarter of section 3, township 21 north, range 9 west; a plat of the southwest quarter of section 3, township 21 north, range 9 west, and a plat of the northeast quarter of section 33, township 22 north, range 9 west.
J. Cummer & Sons platted their first addition in October, 1882,
and in November, 1883, an addition was platted by Cummer and Gerish. Cobb and Mitchell
platted a fourth addition in April, 1884, and a year from that time a plat of the
subdivision of block F in the original plat was recorded. This block F had been
left entire when the village was first platted and it was to be donated to the county,
provided the county seat was removed to
Cadillac. This was the same block so often mentioned in resolutions presented to the board of supervisors, as will be seen by consulting the proceedings of that body.
In 1886 another plat, subdividing block 105 of the Cummer and Haynes addition, was filed. In July, 1888, C. K. Russell filed the plat of the subdivision of outlot 14, and a couple of months later J. Cummer & Sons filed a plat of their second addition. In 1891 Johnson's addition was platted and in 1892 the plat of the southeast quarter of section 33, township 22 north, range 9 west, was filed. In June, 1893, the Improvement addition was platted and in August of the same year S. W. Kramer's addition was recorded. In November, 1893, another plat was recorded called Crawford's subdivision of block 7 of May and Mitchell's addition.
January 30, 1894, J. Cummer & Sons platted their third addition. In March, 1899, Pollard's subdivision of parts of blocks E and F of Cobb and Mitchell's second addition was platted and in the same month there was a plat filed called "Assessment Plat Number One," covering a large number of lots that had been sold by metes and bounds, not being in any of the numerous plats theretofore made. The plat of Diggins' first addition was filed in April, 1902, and in December of that year Chittenden and Wheeler platted an addition containing about one hundred and twenty lots, making twenty-six additions and subdivisions since the original plat was made, besides the addition secured through the legislature extending the city limits around the lake.
The first effort to clear away any portion of the forests which covered the ground where the city of Cadillac now stands was for the building of camps used in the construction of the extension of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad. Col. J. C. Hudnutt was the railroad company's civil engineer at that time and when he was ordered to swing around the eastern end of Little Clam lake, instead of passing between the two lakes, as was first intended, he concluded that it meant the building of a town at that point. With this idea in view, he decided to buy any or all land bordering on the eastern shore of the lake and for this purpose he started for the government land office, then located at Traverse City, in the fall of 1871, to ascertain what there was in that locality that could be purchased. The only road to Traverse City then was the State road, running through Sherman, and as the stage was the only conveyance it took two days to make the trip from the northern end of the railroad, which was then just this side of Big Rapids, to the land office.
The Colonel stopped over night in Sherman and in conversation with some of the business men of that village casually remarked that he was on his way to the United States land office "to buy a city." I. H. Maqueston, one of Sherman's first merchants, boarded at the hotel and, overhearing this remark of the Colonel's, adroitly drew out the facts that the "city" was yet in embryo, but that it was to be built on the eastern shore of the Little Clam lake, so while the Colonel was enjoying a much needed night's rest, Mr. Maqueston started for Traverse City, where he arrived in the middle of the night. How he found the residence of the register of the land office or how much he gave him to leave his warm bed and go to the land office at that unseemly hour of the night will probably always remain a mystery, as both have been dead for many years, but certain it is that when Col. Hudnutt reached the land office the next day he discovered the fact that government lots 1, 3 and 5 of section 4, in Clam Lake township, or rather what is now Clam Lake township, had been sold to L. J. Clark and I. H. Maqueston, of Sherman. This was the land upon which the original village of Clam Lake was platted. The village has now become the city of Cadillac, so that Mr. Hudnutt's facetious remark about buying a city, proved the truth of the old adage that "many a truth is spoken in jest." Messrs. Clark and Maqueston sold their "city" purchase to George A. Mitchell, who soon after platted it into the village of Clam Lake.
back to topics
Even before the arrival of the first regular train, which was on February 20, 1872, and months before the village was platted, there began to be evidences of a village. Rude log houses and hotels were constructed, the first hotel being the Clam Lake House, situated near where the Ann Arbor depot now stands. Another large log hotel, known as the Mason House, was commenced late in the fall of 1871 and was nightly filled with travelers before the cracks between the logs had been sufficiently "chinked" and "mossed" to keep out the snow. Beds and even cots for the nightly crowds were out of the question, and it was sometimes hard to secure room to lie on the floor and sleep.
It is said that with the crowds came the saloon and that the first establishment of the kind consisted of a barrel of whisky and the top of a pine stump sawed off square on which to set the glasses and bottles, but when it is remembered that there was then a prohibitory liquor law upon our statute books, it is quite doubtful that the law was so openly defied as this would indicate.
The writer drove over from Sherman to make the first arrests in the new burg for violation of the liquor law. This was early in 1872, when the Mason House was yet unfinished, and he had to sleep on its bare floor. In the morning he looked up the two places complained of, one of which stood on the ground now included in the city park and the other near the present site of the Michigan Iron Works. He found no evidences of liquor selling, yet the parties were convicted of the offense, the proof showing that the work of selling had been slyly instead of openly done, which leads him to believe that the "pine stump and barrel of whisky" story is considerably overdrawn.
The first saw-mill was built by a Mr. Yale in the fall of 1871, the site being nearly the same as that now occupied by what is designated as Cobbs and Mitchell's little mill.
A postoffice was established in January, 1872, with John S. McClain as postmaster. His successors have been as follows, in the order named: H. F. May, Byron Ballou, J. A. Whitmore, J. Nixon, James Crowley, Byron Ballou, L. J. Iaw and S. J. Wall, who is now serving his second term. The office passed into the presidential class in 1878 and become a second-class office in 1881. Free delivery service was inaugurated in 1901. The present force in the employ of the government in the office is Postmaster Wall, Assistant A. V. Harmer, who fills the position of money order and registry clerk, Mailing Clerk Judd Miller, a delivery and stamp clerk, an assorting and separating clerk and three carriers, besides one substitute carrier whose work depends upon the sickness or disability of the regular carriers. The salaries paid are as follows: Postmaster, $2,400, assistant postmaster, $1,000, mailing clerk, $900, delivery and separating clerks, $700 each, carriers, $850 each, making a total of $8,250, besides, the extra compensation to the substitute carrier. The total receipts of the office for the quarter ending March 31, 1903, was $3,890.56. Under directions from the postoffice department, all mails received and dispatched for seventy days ending May 12, 1903, were weighed, the total weight for that time being 67,947 pounds, which did not include the mail deposited for local delivery or that sent out on the daily and tri-weekly star routes which run out from the city in three different directions.
In giving the history of the early days of Clam Lake (now Cadillac) no more reliable source of information can be found than the files of the local newspaper, therefore we shall quote liberally from the first issue of the Clam Lake News, the first newspaper to be published in the village. The paper was founded in 1872 by C. L. Frazier. Later S. S. Fallass became interested financially in the paper and was an editorial contributor. It was afterwards sold to J. A. & O. Whittemore. In 1878 it was under the management of Rice & Chapin and in 1881 Mr. Terwilliger took Mr. Rice's place as one of the managers and in the latter part of that year it was entirely under the management of Mr. Chapin. In 1882 J. W. Giddings succeeded to the management of the paper. Mr. Giddings having been elected to the state senate, the ownership of the News went into the hands, of the News Publishing Company. C. T. Chapin, after severing his connection with the News, formed a partnership with Mr. Sill and started the Saturday Express, the first number appearing in December, 1886. In the following May this paper consolidated with the News and the paper was thenceforth known as the News and Express. The new paper remained in the hands of the News Publishing Company until December 1, 1897, when the present publisher, Hon. Perry F. Powers, became the owner. It was started as a six-column folio, later enlarged to a sixcolumn quarto and is now a seven-column quarto and has a daily edition in its second volume. It has always been a strong advocate of Republican principles and a supporter of Republican candidates, except on one occasion when it supported the nominee of the Demo-Greenback party for member of the house of representatives in the state legislature, but as this was solely on account of county-seat matters, the candidate being a resident of the village of Clam Lake, it had some excuse for the position it took in that campaign.
back to topics
It may be well in this connection to briefly note the other newspaper ventures that have been started in the village and city since the starting of the News in 1872. The first to make its appearance was the Daily Enterprise, launched in the summer of 1880. It had not much excuse for an existence at that time except the one object of creating sentiment favorable to the removal of the county seat to Cadillac, but it soon found that a newspaper of one idea was a difficult thing to interest the people with and consequently it was not very long lived.
The next paper to make its appearance was the Cadillac Weekly Times, which made its first bow to the people of Wexford county in June, 1882, under the management of A. Rindge. At first it was a seven column folio, but in a few months was enlarged to a seven-column quarto. The paper was soon afterwards merged into the Michigan State Democrat, a paper that had been started in Detroit by M. T. Woodruff, who transferred it to Cadillac. In December, 1891, it was purchased by its present owner, George S. Stanley. As its name indicates, it has always been Democratic in politics and has labored zealously for its party. Its owner has been nominated for various county and city offices and was once elected mayor of the city. He is thoroughly alive to the interests of his home city and is an earnest and active worker in everything that tends to its growth and prosperity.
The Wexford County Citizen made its appearance in August, 1884. It was edited and published by H. M. Enos and printed in the job office of C. T. Chapin. It only lived about nine months and was not much missed when it was discontinued.
The Arbitaren made its advent in March, 1890. It was a weekly paper published exclusively for Scandinavian readers by C. E. Thornmark and printed in the State Democrat office. After about four years of existence in Cadillac it was removed to Grand Rapids, but still supplied its Cadillac readers for some time after its removal.
The Cadillac Globe was launched in the newspaper field in September, 1898, by J. M. Terwilliger. Two years later Mr. Terwilliger took in a partner, R. W. Crawford, and the paper is still managed by them. In the spring of 1901 they started a daily edition, which they continued to publish for about a year, finally selling their interests in the daily to the publishers of the Daily News. The Globe has never taken a very active part in politics, being rather neutral in that line, though leaning to the Democratic side of the fence. It has a good circulation and a good advertising patronage and is no small factor in the upbuilding and onward progress of the city.
We will go back now to the first issue of the Clam Lake News,
which was on the first day of June, 1872.
The village was very new then, which may have had something to do with the naming of the paper the News, for there was not a superabundance of matter out of which to put up a good newsy paper; nevertheless its first issue was a notable one, being the initiatory step in a career that has brought success to its publisher and a worthy record for itself. In that first issue its editor gave an extended review and summary of the village, which we
quote at length:
"But little more than seven months since, the place where the
village of Clam Lake now stands was but a dense forest and the voice of a human
being was seldom heard. The site being on the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, upon
the banks of one of the most beautiful lakes in Michigan and a proper distance from
large places on either side, the spot was selected as a desirable place for a town.
George A. Mitchell, the original prime mover and proprietor of the village plat,
commenced operating here sometime in October last. Since that time he has been an
earnest and faithful worker in the interests of the place. The liberal spirit which
he has manifested in all his dealings has won for him many warm friends. The village
plat covers about eighty acres of ground. It borders on the west and commands a
beautiful view of Little Clam lake.
The railroad divides the town into two nearly equal parts and the depot is situated in the most central portion.
"The village now contains about one hundred and twenty-five families and a population of upwards of six hundred actual settlers. The lakes called the Little and Big Clam cover an area of about eight square miles; the distance intervening between the two is about sixty rods. The channel between the lakes is from two to five feet deep and from one to two rods wide. The work of clearing it of logs and old rubbish is now progressing and when opened it will be navigable for steamers of considerable size and will be very convenient for floating logs that may eventually come from the Big Lake and through this channel to the mills. These lakes abound largely with excellent varieties of fish and the country around with wild game, affording a grand field for hunting and fishing. The land bordering on these lakes and for several miles around is covered with a heavy growth of pine that will be tributary to them and here worked into lumber.
back to topics
"The capacity of the mills now in operation and the two large ones soon to start will be about four million feet per month. At this rate it is estimated that it will take fifteen years to consume the pine. Taking this into consideration, the pleasant locality for a town, and the excellent farming lands in the vicinity that will be tributary to the place and support it when the pine is gone, you may judge for yourself what the future of Clam Lake will be. We make mention of the following more important places of business:
"SAW MILLS - The mills that are now in successful operation
are those of J. R. Hale and Slinger & Company; the first named. the Pioneer mill,
has been running some five or six months. It is now being finished up in good shape,
some new and much-needed machinery has been added and is now capable of cutting
about twenty-five thousand feet per day.
The latter, Slinger & Company's new and improved portable mill, is doing a good business, with a capacity of about twenty-five thousand feet per day. The above named mills are both under the management of Mr. Lydle, who has been doing everything in his power to supply the great demand for lumber.
The new mills of Shockleton & Green and Harris Brothers are expected to be ready to start by the middle of this month and when completed will be a credit to the town and to the builders. The first named is thirty by ninety-six feet, two stories high, and a boiler house fourteen by thirty-six feet. There are two boilers, eighteen feet long and forty-four inches in diameter. The cylinder is fourteen inches in diameter and twenty-four inch stroke. It will contain one large circular with top saw and gang edger. It is expected to be capable of cutting forty thousand feet per day. Messrs. Shockleton & Green are energetic business men and every part of their mill is built in a substantial and business-like manner.
"Harris Bros.' mill, which is also expected to be ready for operation by the middle of this month, will, when completed, compare in every respect with any mill in northern Michigan. The main building is thirty-six by one hundred and fifteen feet, two stories high, and attached to this is a boiler house twenty-eight by fifty feet, which is to contain three large boilers twenty feet long and four feet in diameter. The cylinder is twenty inches in diameter and forty-eight inch stroke. The capacity of the engine will be one hundred and fifty horse power to sixty pounds of steam. This mill will have one large circular, a gang of forty saws and one edger with three saws. It will contain all the latest and most improved laborsaving machinery and neither time nor money will be spared to make it a first-class mill. Capt. Silas Pelton, of Grand Rapids, has had full charge of the mill from the beginning and his work proves him to be a man of much mechanical skill and ingenuity.
"MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENTS - Among the most important of which we would make special note is that of Messrs. Holbrook & May, who keep a well-selected stock of everything in the line of dry goods, groceries and provisions. They are energetic business men and are having a lively trade, which they well deserve. The next of importance is the general hardware store of W. H. Hicks & Company. They keep a first-class stock and propose to sell at Grand Rapids prices. Mr. Hicks is a young man of energy and ability and is deserving of patronage. Messrs. Cornwell & Labor have a large store in Messrs. Mosser & White's building, well stocked with flour, feed, groceries and provisions. They are having a good trade. L. Ballou, on Mason street, also dealer in flour, feed and groceries and provisions, is doing a lively business. He is a young man of good business tact and is bound to succeed. Mr. Bunyen, on Lake street, keeps a good line of groceries and provisions. He was among the first settlers in the place and is deserving of patronage. Messrs. Sanders & Morrow are large dealers in dry goods and groceries. Messrs. Russell & White have opened a meat market on Lake street and their stock is new and fresh from Grand Rapids every day. Dr. Leeson has his drug store in successful operation. Mr. Studley has opened a first class restaurant on Mason street. Messrs. Reed & Ferris have a large blacksmith shop and are doing a prosperous business. D. F. Duval has a boot and shoe shop on Mason street.
"We have at present four hotels, all of which are doing a prosperous business. The Mason House, so well known to the public, is being thoroughly overhauled. The rooms are all being newly ceiled, papered and finished in the most comfortable manner. The walls, which are now known to be made of logs, are to be sided on the outside so that it will appear to be a log building no more. Mr. Mason is a pleasant and obliging landlord and is ready to do anything for the comfort and entertainment of all who are so fortunate as to stop with him. He has placed on the lake for the entertainment of his guests a fine pleasure boat that is truly delightful to ride in. The tables are spread with the very best the market affords and everything presents a tidy and tasty appearance. The American Hotel, on Mitchell street, nearly opposite the depot on the east, quite recently opened, presents a fine appearance and is acknowledged by every one as having first-class accommodations. The building is thirty by sixty feet and two stories high. Messrs. Teller & Parks, proprietors of the Clam Lake House, are still occupying their old quarters on Lake street. Their new building on Mitchell street is now enclosed and will soon be ready for occupancy. When finished it will be the largest and decidedly the handsomest building in town.
back to topics
"Messrs. Sanders & Walker have purchased the new building of Bremyer Brothers and are putting in a stock of groceries and provisions. Abbott & Turner have opened their new store on Mason street, having a good line of groceries and confectioneries. Larcom & Motts have their new building on Lake street inclosed and when it is finished it is to be occupied by them for a fruit and vegetable store. Lamb & Cole have erected a new building on Mitchell street. They intend putting in groceries and provisions. Dr. Dillenback has the frame up for his new drug store on Mitchell street. Mr. Bunyea, on Mitchell street, is enclosing his large building to be used for groceries. Mr. Born has recently purchased the building occupied by Mr. Tracy for a dwelling and is fitting it up for a dry goods, boot and shoe store. Mr. Kirkbride is putting on the finishing touch to his new furniture rooms on Harris street, in which you may expect to see a full line of furniture. C. B. Earl is making ready to lay the foundation of a large store on Mason street immediately east of the railroad, in which he proposes to keep for sale sash, doors, blinds, glass, paints, oils, etc. Mr. Vaughn has purchased of R. P. Thurber the large store and boarding house block which is to be painted outside and the rooms now occupied for a boarding house are to have a general overhauling and to be fitted up in the most improved manner. The number of new buildings that are being erected each week would have to be reckoned by the dozen.
"A lot has been selected and given by Mr. Mitchell for the erection of a school building. It covers one whole block, lying on an elevation commandinga most beautiful view of the town. The contract has been let for the building of a temporary house to be used for a season, when a building is to be erected that will be an ornament to the village. The Presbyterian and Methodist societies have selected lots, which have been given by Mr. Mitchell for church purposes. A movement is already on foot to build suitable edifices for public worship."
This is indeed a pretty good showing for a village less than
a year old. - No wonder that the editor goes into raptures over the beauty and grandeur
of the scene. No one who has not gazed upon a beautiful, mirror-like lake, surrounded
by an unbroken forest of tall pines and picturesque cedars and hemlocks, can form
anything like a correct idea of the picture afforded the early settlers in the village
of Clam Lake. It seems almost sacrilege that such beauty of scenery should have
had to yield before the insatiable maw of the woodman's ax and the saw-mill's glittering
teeth, but the marts of commerce have no sentiment or romance, and nature's loveliness
must be yielded up to the demands of business, and the glory of her forests and
the grandeur of its solitudes must be laid waste that man may reap fortunes out
of what it has taken her centuries to produce. If the denuded lands had been
turned into waving wheat fields there would have seemed to be some recompense for
the ruthless slaughter of the forests, but to see the vast areas of lands covered
with nothing but stumps and a stubby growth of bushes, makes one wish that the task
of cutting away the great forests of pine had been much less rapidly done, so that
the present and future generations could have had a glimpse of their royal beauty
But how useless it is to moralize.
In looking over the foregoing extract from the News we find that a few, a very few, of the names therein mentioned are still familiarly known in Cadillac-the city to which the village of Clam Lake has grown. Dr. Leeson is still doing business in the city, and, though not the owner of a drug store, is engaged in the manufacture of "Tiger Oil," a medicine of well recognized merits which has found a way into nearly every state in the Union. The Doctor can boast of being a charter member of two organizations which will doubtless remain as long as the city continues to exist. One is the Methodist Episcopal church and the other the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is hale and hearty and may be seen almost any summer day going to or returning from his farm, situated two miles out of the city. Mr. Cornwell, mentioned in the items quoted relative to Cornwell & Labar, is still in the same business as then, the firm name now being J. Cornwell & Sons. Mr. Labar severed his connection with the firm some eight or ten years ago, moved to the southern part of the state and has since gone to his long rest. Mr. Harris, of the firm of Harris Brothers, long years ago retired from the mill business and now lives in a modest home on the street bearing his name. His bowed form and whitened locks are frequently seen on the streets, and though not engaged in business, he will recount the struggles and triumphs of an early business life in the village of Clam Lake with a great deal of zest to any one who wishes to question him about the early days in the history of the village. Mr. Born is still an active business man of the city, his chief occupation being that of moving buildings from place to place or raising them and putting under new foundations. Of the many others named in this article, some are dead, many entirely forgotten, some doingbusiness in other states and other sections of this state, and one - Dr. Dillenbeck - is an inmate of the Northern Michigan Insane Asylum, where he has been for some twelve or fifteen years.
At the conclusion of its first volume the News published a review
of the year. In this review mention is made of the burning of the first brick made
in the village and also of the erection of the Haynes planing mill.
This was built by the father of the present owners. It has been greatly enlarged and capacity increased until it is now one of the best equipped mills of the kind north of Grand Rapids. One item mentions the fact that "on the extreme south of the village is the mill owned by J. W. Cobbs, a fine mill for its size, and doing a very handsome business. Its capacity is about thirty-five thousand feet per day."
back to topics
Some years later Mr. Cobbs associated himself with Mr. Mitchell, the firm being known as Cobbs & Mitchell. Their mill property was enlarged and later a second mill was erected, the two having been in constant operation from that time until the present, with timber enough in sight to last twelve or fifteen years. Their timber now comes mostly from Charlevoix county, where they have large tracts of the finest hardwood and hemlock lands in the state, with a sprinkling of pine intermixed. Their output is now nearly all hemlock and hardwood, the latter being sold in the finished product of maple flooring, to manufacture which they have here one of the largest maple-flooring plants in the world.
The Methodists and Presbyterians each erected church buildings in 1873, an item in the News of June 7, 1873, reading as follows: "A little less than four weeks ago the first work was done on the Methodist Episcopal church, yet last Sunday's services were held there and will continue to be in the future." In September a new bell was put in the tower of the church. It weighed five hundred pounds and cost one hundred and twenty-five dollars. In 1888 the society commenced the erection of its present brick edifice, and in December, 1889, the dedicatory services were held. The new structure cost about eight thousand dollars. The society now has a membership of about three hundred, has a large Sunday school, an Epworth League, a Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society and is in excellent condition financially. Its present pastor, Rev. E. A. Armstrong, is serving his fourth year. Touching the earlier history of this society, it is related that the first service held in the village of Clam Lake was in the evening of December 10, 1871, and the society was organized in 1872 by Rev. A. L. Thurston, the total membership at that time being seven; one of the charter members, Dr. J. Leeson, still has his name on the church books and is an active worker for the cause he has so long labored for.
The First Presbyterian church was organized in 1872 through the efforts of Rev. John Redpath. This society also built a church in 1873. A recent fire damaged the building to such an extent that services therein have been discontinued and at a recent meeting of the society it was decided to build a new house of worship this year at a cost of about twenty thousand dollars. The growth of the society recently had shown that a larger church building was needed and this work will now be hastened in consequence of the fire. The present pastor, Rev. A. W. Johnstone, Ph. D., is now serving his tenth year in the pulpit, which is ample evidence of the esteem in which he is held by his parishioners. The church has the usual auxiliary societies and a well attended Sunday school.
It was not until the year 1882 that the Congregationalists made an effort to organize a society in the village. The work was accomplished through Rev. C. H. Beals, and in January, 1883, a society consisting of thirty members was organized. The first board of trustees was composed of Jacob Cummer, N. L. Gerish, J. G. Mosser, E. F. Sawyer and F. H. Messmore. In the summer of that year a church edifice was erected and dedicated December 14, 1883. A parsonage was also built that year, the combined cost of the buildings being eight thousand five hundred dollars. An annex was built in 1884 for kindergarten purposes and since that time, through the liberality of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Cummer, a free kindergarten has been maintained. The church now has a membership of one hundred and sixty-nine, has a large Sunday school, a Junior Endeavor society, a Ladies Aid and Home and Foreign Missionary society. The present pastor, Rev. F. M. Hollister, succeeded Rev. N. S. Bradley, who had served the society from the summer of 1895 until his resignation in 1901 to accept a call from Saginaw.
The Free Methodists organized a society in the summer of 1875, through the work of Rev. L. D. Russell, and a church building was erected the same year largely through his efforts. There are now about fifty members and they have a well-attended Sunday school.
A Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in 1874 and a church building started in 1876, but was not dedicated until 1882. It has a very large membership, one of the largest Sunday schools in the city, a Ladies society, the Willing Workers, composed of girls under fifteen years of age, the Sorosis society, the Men's Aid society and the Little Boys' society. Besides these they have a semi-monthly gathering of all the young people of the church, at which religious and literary programs of interest are rendered. The present pastor, Rev. Carl A. Tolin, has served the congregation since the summer of 1899, succeeding the Rev. N. Gibson, who had labored seven years for the society.
A Baptist society was organized in 1876, but several
years passed before a church building was erected.
In 1883 the Swedish members of the society, about one-half of the total membership, withdrew for the purpose of organizing a Swedish Baptist church. This somewhat crippled the parent church for a time, but it soon recovered the lost ground and is now in a thriving condition.
The Swedish Baptist church was organized on the 23d of June,
1883, with a membership of twenty-nine.
In 1888 a church was built under the pastorate of Rev. Erickson. The membership now numbers nearly one hundred and fifty, with a largely attended Sunday school.
back to topics
The St. Ann's Catholic church was organized in 1881 and through the efforts of the first resident priest, Rev. Milligan, the church building, which for some time had been in process of construction, was completed in 1883. The present priest, Rev. L. M. Prud'homme, last year interested his parishioners in the matter of building a new brick church and the work was at once begun, and with systematic effort will be accomplished the present summer, when they will have one of the finest houses of worship in the city.
The Swedish Mission church is an institution of the fatherland, having been started in Sweden some twenty-five years ago. In almost every Swedish community of any considerable size in this country may be found a Swedish Evangelical Mission church. A church was organized in this city in 1880 and in 1882 a church building was erected. The church has a membership of about one hundred and fifty, a Sunday school with over one hundred members and is in a flourishing condition. The doors of the church are open nearly every evening in the year, where any one, be he resident or transient, may find welcome and friends.
In August, 1884, a German Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel church was organized. The society as yet has no church building, but services are regularly held at the parsonage. The present pastor, Paul C. Noffze, has ministered to the church since 1899.
The Seventh Day Adventists had a few members here for years, and during the summer of 1899 an extra effort was made to increase their membership. So well did they succeed that in the fall of that year they decided to purchase a building for church purposes and they now own the building formerly known as the Salvation Army barracks.
There are those who have religious beliefs differing from any of these denominations here mentioned, living in the city, but none of sufficient numbers to be able to form societies. Perhaps the most numerous in this respect are those who believe in the Christian Science idea. Services are regularly held by these adherents on the second floor of the State Bank building. The Latter Day Saints also have regular weekly services.
back to topics
The first school in the village of Clam Lake was in the spring of 1872 in a building owned by Mosser & White. A fractional district had been organized from parts of Clam Lake and Haring townships, and in June of that same year a small building had been erected on the square donated by Mr. Mitchell for school purposes. The school census taken in September of that year gave the number of children of school age-between five and twenty years- at one hundred and five. The fall and winter terms following were taught by C. L. Frazier, with Miss Nettie Brink as assistant. An addition to the school building was built in 1873 and the spring term opened with George Addison as principal and Miss Born as assistant. Rev. W. L. Tilden, the Methodist Episcopal pastor, taught the winter term of 1873-4. In 1874 the school was under the management of W. A. Fallass, who came from Lowell, Michigan.
With the constant increase of population the need of more school room became an absolute necessity and in the summer of 1876 a new building was erected. This building was twenty-eight by sixty-two feet in size and two stories high, each floor being divided into two rooms. The cost of the building above the foundation was three thousand six hundred dollars, exclusive of the seats and desks, which were of the "Triumph" patent, being the first introduction of the patent seats and desks in the county. The first term in the new building was under the professorship of H. S. Groesbeck, who had for his assistants Miss Hattie Caswell and Miss Carrie Sipley. Mr. Groesbeck continued in charge for two years, his successor being Prof. F. C. Pifer, who remained but one year, being succeeded by Prof. H. M. Enos.
In the meantime it had been found necessary to make additions to the school building, the original rooms now becoming so overcrowded that it was impossible to seat the increasing number of scholars seeking admission. The erection of a larger school building was seen to be an absolute necessity in the near future and the matter was abruptly forced upon the school board by the destruction of the school building by fire in the winter of 1880. During the summer of 1881 a new and much larger building was erected, which was thought to have sufficient capacity to meet the growing needs of the city for many years to come, but in a few years it was found necessary to provide ward buildings, which have been added from time to time until each ward has a school house of its own. Fire again destroyed the central school building in 1890, when the present commodious brick structure was erected, which is as fine a school building as can be found anywhere north of Grand Rapids.
Professor Enos was succeeded by A. A. Hall in 1885 and a year later Prof. A. S. Hall was engaged and continued in charge of the school for three years. In the fall of 1889 Prof. E. P. Church was engaged and his services were so satisfactory that he was kept for four years. Prof. George R. Catton succeeded Mr. Church and held the position for three years. Prof. J. H. Kaye succeeded Mr. Catton in 1896 and has continued in charge of the schools until the present time.
The whole number of children of school age in the city is nineteen hundred and thirty-one and the number attending school for a period of three months during the last school year was eighteen hundred and sixty. The number of teachers employed the present year is thirty-four, not counting a music teacher or Professor Kaye. There was spread upon the tax rolls of the city last year for school purposes the sum of $19,693.00 and the sum of $5,269.50 was received from the state primary school fund. The first and fourth ward school buildings will soon be replaced with new and larger ones, as the buildings are now overcrowded.
At the commencement exercises in 1903 the graduates numbered
twenty-nine, which, with one exception, was the largest class ever graduated,
the exception being the class of 1902, which numbered thirty.
The names of the graduates are as follows: Georgia E. Jackson, Olivia May Johnson, Kate Hellen Ballou, Bessie L. Troutman, Clyde A. Saunders, Frank Morris Hecox, Susan A. Florer, Winnie Alice Kaiser, Chas. V. Cromwell, Edna Sayles Law, Amaryllis M. Cotey, Corinne W. Foster, Essie May Bland, Grace Ellen Spencer, Helen Amanda Kelley, Douglas Campbell, Arthur V. Gibson, Audrey F. Dillenbeck, Gene Lulu Romig, Henry P. Grund, Bessie Hodges, Elida K. McGillis, M. Veronica Murray, Rosalie L. Kelleher, Maud M. Carpenter, Genia Belle Torrey, Archibald Thomson, Oscar Abel Peterson and William F. Campbell.
The first one in the list graduated from the classical and also from the Latin courses; the next six from the Latin; the next six from the scientific; the next four from the English preparatory and the last twelve from the English.
The first doctor and druggist in the village was Dr. John Leeson. He made a trip to the new town in November, 1871, but the outlook was so discouraging that he passed but one night in the place, sleeping on the floor at that, in the kitchen of the Clam Lake House. He returned in March, 1872, bought a lot and put up a building, in which he started the first drug store. Before he had his building ready for occupancy he occupied a room in which J. S. McClain kept a small stock of groceries and also the postoffice. This building stood on Mason street.
From the best information we can secure it appears that Holbrook & May started the first store on the site of the new village. This was in March, 1871, and was in a little log building near the shore of the lake. They afterwards put up a two-story store building on the corner of Mason and Mitchell streets, in which they did a thriving business for a number of years.
In the first issue of the Clam Lake News we see no mention of lawyers, but during the year two law firms were established, Fallass & Sawyer and Rice & Rice. It appears that the first attorney was S. S. Fallass, who came in the fall of 1872. The next one was D. A. Rice, who came for the purpose of securing the nomination for prosecuting attorney, but found that the convention had been held a few days before his arrival and Mr. Fallass had secured the nomination.
back to topics
The members of the bar now living in the city are: J. R. Bishop, E. E. Haskins, Fred S. Lamb, D. E. McIntyre, C. F. Burton, E. F. Sawyer, George S. Stanley, S. J. Wall, Fred Wetmore and Circuit Judge C. C. Chittenden. From the city members of the bar four attorneys have been raised to the circuit court bench of the twenty-eighth judicial circuit, viz: Hon. S. S. Fallass, Hon. J. M. Rice, Hon. F. H. Aldrich and the present judge, Hon. C. C. Chittenden. For more than twenty years in succession the circuit judge of the district to which Wexford county belongs has been a resident of Cadillac.
It would be impossible to give in detail the vast lumbering
operations that have built up and still largely sustain the thriving city by the
lakes. For nearly thirty-two years, summer and winter, and many times day and
night, has the work gone on. Some idea may be formed of the vast proportions of
this business from a present description of the mills and factories. For years
the Cummer interests ran two mills, cutting from two hundred thousand to two
hundred and fifty thousand feet of lumber per day. Two years ago one of these
doing business, for the reason that the pine timber had become exhausted. The other mill runs on hardwood and hemlock, cutting about sixty thousand feet of the former or one hundred and thirty thousand feet of the latter per day. To this firm belongs the distinction of having first replaced their circular saws with band saws. This at first was looked upon as a foolish experiment, it being the universal opinion of mill men that the band saw could not stand the rapid "feed" necessary to turn out such a large quantity of lumber per day, but the trial proved a success, and revolutionized the mill business throughout the country. Not only could lumber be manufactured as rapidly and as evenly with the band saw as with the circular or gang saws, but the saving of timber in consequence of the difference in the thickness of the saws is nearly enough to pay the expense of manufacturing the lumber, and it was not long before all the larger mills in the country were using band saws. This firm manufacture a large portion of their beech and maple lumber into flooring, having a large planing-mill in connection with their plant. They also have five pairs of retorts for making charcoal out of the refuse from cutting their hardwood lumber and also from the wood they cut out of such timber as is not suitable for lumber.
They have a chemical plant in connection with the charcoal business, which turns out wood alcohol, acetate of lime and coal tar. The output of these per day is as follows: Six hundred gallons of wood alcohol and ten thousand pounds of acetate of lime. The coal tar is used for fuel, consequently no account is kept of that. They make about three thousand bushels of charcoal per day.
Cobbs & Mitchell have two saw-mills with a capacity of one hundred eight thousand feet of hardwood or one hundred eighty thousand feet of hemlock per day. Both mills were run entirely on pine until that timber was all cut out and now only hardwood and hemlock, with occasionally a little pine mixed in, is cut. After the pine in this county had all been cut, they purchased one hundred and fifty million feet in Grand Traverse county and later sixty million feet in Kalkaska county, which was brought here for manufacture. Since turning their attention to hardwood they have added a maple-flooring mill and dry kilns to their establishment in this city, where they make from fifty thousand to sixty thousand feet of beech and maple flooring per day.
The firm of Murphy & Diggins have a saw-mill with a capacity of about thirty-five thousand feet of lumber per day, nearly all of which is hemlock and maple. Wilcox Brothers have a saw-mill capable of cutting some twenty-five thousand feet per day. They also manufacture a patent basket and use quite a large quantity of timber each year for that purpose. Last year the firm of Williams Brothers built a large last-block factory, with a saw-mill attachment. The last-block business consumes about two hundred thousand feet of maple timber per year, while their saw-mill will cut forty thousand feet of lumber per day. They do not expect to do continuous business with the lumber mill, but use it to cut such timber as will not make last-blocks. Mitchell Brothers have a handle factory which requires about two million feet of beech and maple timber per annum. They only operate a part of the year, but when running turn out about forty thousand handles per day. The Oviat Veneer Works require two million feet of timber per annum to supply their plant. They use beech, birch, maple, basswood, ash, oak, cherry and elm timber. The Cadillac Tie & Shingle Company have a plant with saw-mill attachment, capable of turning out twenty thousand feet of lumber and forty thousand shingles per day.
A little computation will show what a large amount of timber it requires each day to keep the mills and factories of Cadillac in operation, and the army of men given employment in the mills and camps by the lumber interests centered in this city.
Haynes Brothers have a large custom planing mill and in connection keep all kinds of lumber, mouldings, door and window frames, also shingles, lath, doors and windows. The Cummer Manufacturing Company do a large business in making ladders, potato crates and numerous small articles for household- and office use.
The Michigan Iron works is an institution that the city may well be proud of. It does everything in the shape of iron and steel working, from the building of a locomotive down. It has a foundry where castings weighing several tons can be made. William Haynes has a boiler shop in the same block as the iron works and turns out boilers and smoke stacks for all kinds and sizes of plants, as well as locomotive boilers.
Another manufacturing business of which the city may well be proud is the City Flouring Mills. The property is owned by J. Cornwell & Sons, successors to Labor & Cornwell. The business is the outgrowth of the small beginning made in 1872, mention of which, under the name of Cornwell & Labor, is heretofore given in the extract from the first copy of the Clam Lake News. It has grown to such proportions that the firm keep a man on the road constantly, selling its products at wholesale to the dealers along the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad and Ann Arbor Railroad. They buy wheat along the whole northern lines of these railroads, have an elevator of their own at Shepard for wheat, and besides these sources of supply they receive many car loads of wheat and all of their corn from Chicago and other western points. This firm also does a wholesale and retail grocery business, having two stores in the city.
The first system of water works was inaugurated by H. N. Green in 1878. The mains laid at that time were of wood bound with iron, the largest having only six inch bore for water. In 1893 a franchise was granted to W. W. Cummer to furnish a water supply for thirty years. The old wooden mains were replaced with iron pipes, the principal ones having a water capacity of twelve inches diameter. A stand pipe was built upon one of the highest elevations in the city and this is kept filled with water at all times, to guard against any mishap to the pumps or engines. There are now over ten miles of water mains in the city and the average daily consumption of water is about a million and a quarter gallons.
back to topics
About the time that Mr. Cummer secured the water franchise he started in the electric lighting business, using the same building that contained the pumping outfit for his dynamos. This branch of the business grew rapidly and it was not long before every business place and many of the residences had been supplied with electric lights. A little later street lights were put in place which gave the newly fledged city quite a dignified appearance.
A year ago a gas company was organized and gas mains were laid in the principal streets and a large number of people have substituted gas for electricity, while some use both. Gas is furnished for heating as well as lighting purposes, and the hardware stores now have a good trade in gas stoves and ranges.
Cadillac, like all other cities, is blessed with an abundance of secret societies. The two which have the longest existance are Clam Lake Lodge No. 231, Free and Accepted Masons, and Viola Lodge No. 259, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which were both organized in the spring of 1875. The list that follows is a long one, but we will give the names so that the reader can see what a town can do in the matter of secret orders when it sets itself about it. There is Cadillac Chapter No. 103, Royal Arch Masons; Cadillac Chapter No. 177, Order of the Eastern Star; Cadillac Encampment No. 93, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Twin Lake Lodge No. 198, Rebekahs; Cadillac Lodge No. 181, Ancient Order of United Workmen; Cadillac Branch No. 131, Catholic Knights and Ladies of America; The Ancient Catholic Foresters Association; Court Lodge No. 300. Independent Order of Foresters; Companion Court Dewey No. 181, Independent Order of Foresters; Ruby Council, F. A. A.; Washington Post No. 444, Grand Army of the Republic; Cadillac Council, Royal and Select Masters; Twin Lake Camp No. 1596, Modern Woodmen of America; Cadillac Lodge No. 46, Knights of Pythias; Eureka Division No. 67, Loyal Guards; Cadillac Tent No. 232, Knights of the Modern Maccabees;. Cadillac Hive No. 698, Ladies of the Modern Maccabees; Estella D. Hive No. 368, Ladies of the Modern Maccabees; Cadillac Lodge No. 172, O. M. P.; Cadillac Royal Circle; Gotha Lodge No. 5, Swedish United Sons of America; Wexford Lodge No. 674, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and possibly others whose names we have been unable to learn, besides unions of carpenters, clerks, barbers, cigar makers, masons, etc.
Two years after the village of Clam Lake was platted the
question of having the village incorporated was submitted to the electors living
in the territory to be included in the village, on the 15th of April, 1874, and
was carried almost unanimously, there being but one negative vote to seventy-two
in favor of the proposition.
This action was taken under the provision of the general village incorporation law, and in accordance with that law the circuit judge, upon being notified of the result of the election, made an order declaring the village of Clam Lake duly incorporated. The first village election was held on the 11th day of May, 1874. The first village president was J. Shackleton and the first clerk, David A. Rice. The first board of trustees were L. O. Farris, F. W. Hector, Daniel McCoy, George Holbrook, A. N. McCarthy and J. W. Cobbs.
It was only a couple of months after this election that the supreme court declared the general village incorporation law to be unconstitutional, and the new village officers were thrown out of a job. The following winter, however, an act was passed by the legislature reincorporating the village. The same president as before was elected, and some of the same trustees, but E. F. Sawyer was elected clerk.
In the winter of 1877 efforts were made to get a city charter under the name of "City of Cadillac" and an act was introduced in the state legislature for that purpose. So skillfully was this work done that Wexford county had a city within its boundaries before half a dozen of the citizens, outside of those living in the village of Clam Lake, knew it. The first city election was held on the first Monday of April, 1877, at which the following officers were elected: Mayor, George A. Mitchell; marshal, Horton Crandell; clerk, Lorenzo Ballou; treasurer, D. F. Comstock; collector, Horton Crandell; street commissioner, Charles Cole; school inspectors, Levi O. Harris, three years, Jacob Cummer, two years, Charles M. Ayer, one year; justices of the peace, H. N. Green, four years, E. F. Sawyer, three years, J. B. Rosevelt, two years, Robert Christensen, one year; alderman at large, M. J. Bond, two years, D. W. Peck, one year.
The following is a list of those who have held the office of mayor since Mr. Mitchell's second term in 1878, viz: Jacob Cummer, one year; D. McCoy, four years; B. Ballou, one year; E. L. Metheany, two years; F. H. Huntley, one year; James Haynes, one year; J. H. Hixon, one year; James McAdam, one year; W. W. Cummer, one year; L. J. Law, one year; Fred A. Diggins, six years; S. J. Wall, two years; George S. Stanly, one year, and C. C. Donham, who is now serving his second year.
The city has a neat little park, covering about a block, located between the Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad tracks, which commands a fine view of the lake. Last year a tract of land near the western end of Lake Cadillac was purchased for park purposes. This will, when properly fixed up, be a fine place for picnics and pleasure drives, and from it a good view of the entire city will be afforded.
A driving park association was organized last year and immediately secured forty acres of land adjoining the city plat, and had quite a large proportion of it stumped before winter set in. This spring the work was renewed and the stumping is nearly all done and the grading well under way. A contract has been let for the erection of a grand stand and other buildings, and it is expected that the grounds and track will be in readiness for speed contests before the summer is over.
As early as 1876 a bank was started by D. F. Comstock and
since that time the city has had very good bank facilities, with the exception
of a brief period following the failure of Rice & Mesmore, which occurred in
1883. In December, 1883, a new bank was started, known as the D. A. Blodgett &
Company Bank, with D. F. Diggins as manager. Mr. Diggins retired in 1892, and
Henry Knowlton was selected as his successor. In 1895
Mr. Blodgett decided to withdraw from business in Cadillac, and it was then that the Cadillac State Bank was organized. The officers were F. J. Cobbs, president; S. W. Kramer, vice-president, and Henry Knowlton, cashier.
The same officers have been re-elected from year to year until the present time. In 1900 the stockholders decided to erect a new bank building, more in keeping with the times and affording better facilities for the transaction of its constantly 'increasing business. The work of putting up the new brick building was begun early in the summer and in December it was ready for occupancy. The outside walls are faced with yellow brick, giving the building a very attractive appearance. The inside finishings and furnishings are of elegant design and modern in every particular, and the stockholders are justly proud of their new banking house. Mr. Knowlton has several times had the pleasure of showing its meritorious appointments to parties from other towns who were contemplating building, and in every case the visitors were much pleased with the convenient arrangements for business adopted in its construction. The new building occupies the same site as the old, on the corner of South Mitchell and West Cass streets. Some idea of the extent of its business may be had from its last financial statement, issued February 6, 1903, which was as follows:
Loans and Discounts, - - - - - - - - - 483,759.12
Bonds, Mortgages and Securities, - - 106,328.31
Premium paid on Bonds, - - - - - - - - 775.00
Overdrafts, - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - 406.70
Banking House, - - - - - - - - - - - - - 21,239.31
Furniture and Fixtures, - - - - - - - - - - - - 1,770.46
U. S. Bonds, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - $20,000.00
Due from Banks, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 104,171.86
U. S. and Nat. Bank Currency, - - - - - 11,244.00
Gold Coin, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -14,100.00
Silver Coin, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4,255.35
Nickels and Cents - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 859.24
Checks and Cash Items, - - - - - - - - - - - - 3,916.07
TOTAL - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - $ 772,825.42
Capital Stock paid in, - - - - - - - - - - - $50,000.00
Surplus Fund, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 25,000.00
Undivided Profits, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 24,507.03
Commercial Deposits, - - - - - - - - - - - $211,960.78
Certificates of Deposit, - - - - - - - - - - - 325,480.14
Savings Deposits, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -135,877.47
TOTAL - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - $772,825.42
In July, 1902, the People's Savings Bank was organized, with Charles E. Russell, president; C.H. Drury, vice-president, and George Chapman, cashier. The capital stock was fifty thousand dollars, all paid in. Its statement issued May 15, 1903, shows deposits of $123,192.70; loans, $137,384.18, and total resources, $177,381.18. This shows a wonderful growth of business for the ten months the bank has been running.
The population of the city is now about seven thousand,
having been 4,461 in 1890 and 5,997 in 1900.
The last three years have witnessed a more rapid growth than any like period in the history of the town.
At the last city election it was voted to bond the city for thirty-five thousand dollars for public improvement, it being well understood that this money was to be used in securing more factories.
A Board of Trade was organized early in the spring of 1903, the main object of which was to have charge of the matter of properly expending the money raised for public improvements. Heretofore this work had been looked after by the Commercial Club, but at a largely attended meeting of the business men of the city it was thought best to organize a Board of Trade, and the preliminary steps were then taken to accomplish this object. The work has since been completed and the organization duly incorporated under the state law.
With the impetus which will be given to the growth of the city by the expenditure of the money raised on the bonds voted, the city will more than likely reach the ten thousand mark at the next United States census. Residences by the score were built during the year I902 and a large number will be erected during the present year.
VILLAGE OF MANTON
back to topics
We find it stated from what seems to be reliable authority
that the village of Manton was started in 1872, but the first plat to be
recorded was the Railroad Plat of 1874. Previous to this there seems to have
been another plat, which was called Cedar Creek, but it was not recorded until
after the Railroad Plat had been recorded. In September, 1881, Seaman &
Maqueston platted an addition and in October, 1883, another addition was
platted, known as the Dodds addition. Two more additions were platted in 1884,
one by Mr. Wiles and one by Mr. Huff.
1885 witnessed the platting of two more additions, one by H. B. Sturtevant and one by Frank Weaver. Billings' addition was added in 1886, Sturtevant & Harger's addition in 1897 and the Manton Development Association plat was made in 1902. It will thus be seen that the village has had a very uniform and substantial growth since its first organization. It is surrounded by a splendid farming country, which affords a sure and steady business for its merchants. Besides the farming industry it has always had a healthy and remunerative manufacturing business.
Ezra Harger and George Manton were the first persons to see the advantage of having a village at this point, having reached that point on a prospecting trip in the summer of 1872. Mr. Harger purchased twenty acres of land and put up the first building in the place, which he filled with merchandise in the fall. William Meares also became interested in the place during the same fall and both he and Mr. Manton put up store buildings before the winter set in. Mr. Manton was a shoemaker by trade, and his stock of goods was mostly in that line, and he also had a shop in the rear end of the store for making and repairing footwear. The next year a saw-mill was erected and a hotel.
The first religious service held in the new village was held in the railroad depot by the station agent, H. Brandenburg, in the winter of 1872-3. Mr. Brandenburg was a Methodist, and during the summer of 1873 organized a class of eighteen members. He was appointed local preacher in August of that year.
The first school building in the village was erected in 1873. A term of school had previously been taught in a private dwelling house by Mrs. O. J. Golden.
The village made a rapid growth for the next two or three
years, one very important reason being that as soon as regular trains had
commenced running over the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad and a passable road
could be made through to Sherman, the mail route was changed, and instead of
running from Cadillac to Sherman and on to Traverse City, the route was from
Manton to Traverse City, via Sherman, until the railroad reached Traverse City,
and then it was simply from Sherman to Manton. Not only was this daily mail
route a great help to Manton, but that village was the only shipping point for
the whole country for six miles on either side of a line directly west of Manton
clear through the county and for eight or ten miles into Manistee county.
These conditions helped the merchants and the hotels of Manton to a wonderful degree and continued until the building of the Toledo, Ann Arbor & Northern Michigan Railroad through the county in 1889. And thus it happened that we see the village spoken of in 1877 as having three good hotels and five general stores. A second saw-mill had been built previous to that time, also a planing mill. So rapidly had the village grown that the legislature of 1877 passed an act incorporating the village, but it was not until February 11, 1878, that the first village election was held.
The same year Manton Lodge No. 347, Free and Accepted
Masons, was organized with twelve charter members. A Woman's Christian
Temperance Union was organized the same year. In May, 1881, Rising Star Lodge
No. 99, Ancient Order of United Workmen, was organized, but after a few years of
activity went to pieces. O. P. Morton Post, Grand Army of the Republic, was
mustered in April 26, 1882, and has had a good membership ever since that time,
though for the past few years its ranks have been perceptibly thinned by death.
An Odd Fellows lodge was organized as early as March, 1882, but with only six charter members. The village now has a tent of Knights of the Modern Maccabees, a hive of Ladies of the Modern Maccabees, a lodge of Modern Woodmen of America: and a Knights of Pythias lodge.
A pretty good idea may be had of the village from the number
of teachers employed in its public schools and the number of pupils in
attendance. There are eight teachers employed and the pupils number two hundred
and ninety. The village has a fine school building and its schools rank second
in the county in size and number of teachers employed. The present officers of
the village are Charles H. Bostick, president; Arthur Bulkley,
clerk; George M. Brooks, treasurer; N.A. Reynolds, assessor; Andrew J. Bennett, street commissioner, and Richard Newland, marshal. In 1895 the village inaugurated a water-works system, and in 1900 it instituted an electric light plant. Both of these, we believe, are owned and operated by the village.
In the line of manufacturing industries we find the stave and heading factory of Andrew McAfee, employing from thirty to forty men; the last-block factory of the Williams Brothers Company, turning out four thousand five hundred to five thousand last blocks per day and employing about forty men. M. Northrup has a saw and planning mill and lumber yard. He employs from ten to thirty men, and turns out about twenty-five thousand feet of lumber per day while running his mill, which is only a part of the year, on account of the difficulty in getting logs in the summer time. The Manton flour-mill, owned by Phelps & Baker, has a capacity of ninety barrels of flour and twenty tons of feed per day. They employ five to seven men. The Manton Produce Company have a grain elevator and produce warehouse and also a mill for grinding feed. They have storage room for ten thousand bushels of grain and produce, and employ from five to ten men. The Rotary Seed Planter Manufacturing Company is of recent origin, and is composed of Orson D. Park and H. G. Hutzler. They are the patentees and are just commencing to manufacture the machines for the market. They are very sanguine that they have an article that will find a ready sale when once put on the market, and its merits thoroughly tested.
The Manton Tribune was established in October, 1879, but for some time the press work was done in Cadillac. The first editor and publisher was Marshal McLure, but in a short time it passed into the hands of A. J. Teed, of Cadillac. Mr. Teed kept it but a short time, selling out to C. E. Cooper, formerly owner of the Wexford County Pioneer, and a practical newspaper man, who soon made the paper worthy of a liberal support, which the people of Manton have ever since given it. In September, 1883, it was purchased by H. F. Campbell. Mr. Campbell was postmaster at that time and upon the expiration of his term of office sold the paper back to Mr. Cooper, who was also Mr. Campbell's successor as postmaster. Mr. Cooper continued in control of the paper until August, 1893, when he sold it to H. G. Hutzler, its present owner. It was started as a five-column folio, but has been enlarged two or three times, being now a six-column quarto. It has always been Republican in politics except the last few years it was in Mr. Cooper's hands, when it was Demo- Greenback. Its present owner is deputy state oil inspector for the district to which Wexford county belongs.
Early in 1873 a postoffice was established at Manton with O. P. Carver as the first postmaster. His successors have been H. M. Billings, H. Brandenburg, M. P. Gilbert, H. F. Campbell, C. E. Cooper, Frank Weaver, C. E. Cooper and V. F. Huntley, the present incumbent, who is now serving his second term. The office passed into the presidential class in February, 1899. The salary of the postmaster is fourteen hundred dollars per year, with six hundred and twenty-six dollars for his assistant and three hundred dollars for one clerk.
There is a rural delivery route starting from the office and covering twenty-three miles in its rounds. The carrier is H. C. Forworthy. This is the only rural delivery route in the county.
There has been considerable agitation over the subject of building a beet-sugar factory at Manton, but nothing definite has yet been done. Several experiments in the matter of raising sugar beets have been tried with very satisfactory results, and a beet sugar factory for the village is more than a probability.
back to topics
The village of Harrietta was platted in April, 1889, by the Ashleys, who were building the Toledo & Ann Arbor Railroad. Gaston and Campbell platted an addition in April, 1890, and a year later the Ogden addition was platted. The first "boom" the town had was upon the arrival of Gaston and Campbell, who built a saw-mill and manufacturing establishment for the purpose of making novelties from the hardwood with which the village was surrounded. They bought expensive machinery and quite large tracts of land and started out with every prospect of success but the hard times overtook them and failure followed. Had they waited four years longer their enterprise would doubtless have proved a success and the village of Harrietta would no doubt have been double its present size.
Harrietta, like all villages of any pretensions, had to have a newspaper, and one was started in 1891. Its life was of but short duration, however, and in less than two years the village was without an "organ." Another attempt in this line was made in 1893, but, like the first effort, this also proved a failure. Sometime in 1894, Sam O. Cooley started a newspaper in the village, but he soon left the place for a more sympathetic community. Soon after this John C. Stone started the Harrietta News, which he continued to publish until 1897, when he suddenly disappeared and of course the paper was discontinued.
For something like a year the Harrietta Messenger has now been running under the management of Tom R. Campbell. There is every indication that this last newspaper effort will be more successful than its predecessors, and that the citizens of Harrietta and the surrounding towns will have a home paper that they can feel a pride in. The local newspaper is something that a thriving village can ill afford to be without, and, though the calling is not a very lucrative one in small villages, there are always those ready and willing to undertake the task of running a country paper, and, when properly managed, nothing does more for the prosperity of a village than the village newspaper.
Soon after the coming of the railroad a set of charcoal
kilns were built and a chemical plant for the manufacture of wood alcohol
erected, and for several years these were kept in active operation, day and
These were finally removed to Yuma, six miles further north, and this, too, was a severe blow to the village. A shingle mill was built and kept in operation for several years until the timber for that product had become exhausted, when it moved away.
With all of these discouragements, the village has still held its own and now it is promised a brighter future.
There is a fine trout stream, the Slagle creek, running through the edge of the village, and two years ago the state fish commissioners decided that it was just the place for a fish hatchery. The necessary land was accordingly purchased and last year the work of clearing out the stream, building the necessary dams and chutes, and erecting buildings was begun. The work is now well under way, the state having expended some five thousand dollars last year, with a probable expenditure of three or four thousand dollars the present year. It is proposed to make this one of the best fish hatcheries in the state, which will call for a yearly outlay of several thousand dollars, all of which tends to brighten the future prospects of the village.
Soon after the starting of the village the Springdale postoffice, which for years had been kept at a private house about a mile north of the site of the village, to accommodate the farming community in that vicinity, was moved to the new village and its name changed to that of the village, Harrietta.
The village was incorporated in 1891, under the name of Gaston. This so vexed the railroad officials that they threatened to take up the station unless the name was changed back to Harrietta. Accordingly in 1893 an act was passed by the legislature changing the name to Harrietta. At the first election after the passage of the act incorporating the village, the following officers were elected, viz: President, John A. Barry; clerk, Thomas H. Jackson; treasurer, J. Stewart Hood; assessor, Joseph Z. Stanley. The present village officers are Will C. Barry, president; Charles S. Ogden, clerk; H. J. VanAuken, treasurer; John A. Barry, assessor.
Among the industries of the village are the following: The Harrietta Stove Company, established in 1891 by Ben F. Craig as manager, who has since become sole owner of the plant. He pays out a large sum each year for stock and in wages, thus contributing in no small degree to the prosperity of the village. The Fellers Brothers have a saw-mill and also a stave-mill. They are now putting a planer and matcher in the mill, something the village has long felt the need of. This concern commenced operations in 1897 and have run almost constantly since that time. Their pay-roll each month contributes a large amount to the business volume of the village.
The Harrietta Brick Company was organized in 1893 by Frank D. Gaston and S.P. Millard. Mr. Gaston soon after retired and Robert Wilson, of Cadillac, became a member of the company. After a few years Mr. Millard sold out to William Heath, so that the firm now is Wilson & Heath.
The village has a lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 186, a Rebekah Lodge, No. 253, a tent of the Knights of the Modern Maccabees, and a hive of the Ladies of the Modern Maccabees. The population of the village is nearly six hundred.
back to topics
The village of Boon was platted in April, 1889, and in August, 1893, a plat of Bennett's addition was filed. The village was never incorporated. It has two sawmills and a bowl factory, and the usual places of business found in all small villages.
back to topics
In February, 1890, the village of Mesick was platted. This village now has one saw-mill and a handle factory. For several years the Williams Brothers operated a branch of their last-block business at this point, but last year the equipment of their plant in Mesick was moved to their new scene of operations in Cadillac. The village now has a weekly newspaper, the Sun, which is in the fourth year of its existence. One or two former efforts in the newspaper business had failed, but the Sun seems to be still shining as invigoratingly as ever. This place, since its birth, has been the railroad station at which has been done all the railroad business for the village of Sherman, situated two and a. half miles northeasterly from the station, except bulk freight, which has been loaded and unloaded at the Cloggett spur, a mile and a half north of the station. A little over a year ago the inhabitants of the village petitioned the board of supervisors to be incorporated, and the board granted the petition. The first village election was held on the 5th day of March, 1902, at which the following officers were elected, viz: President, R. M. Harry; clerk, F. E. Rice; treasurer, W. W. Galloway; assessor, B. C. Halstead. The same officers were re-elected at last spring's election, except that J. Donnelly was elected treasurer in place of W. W. Galloway.
The village has a nice, large school building, in which two teachers are employed for nine months of the year. The Seventh-Day Advent society have a good church building in which regular services are held. There is also a tent of the Knights of the Modern Maccabees, a hive of the Ladies of the Modern Maccabees and a camp of the Modern Woodmen of America, all in a flourishing condition.
back to topics
In June, 1893, the village of Yuma was platted. This village is about half way between Harrietta and Mesick. The village was the outgrowth of the removal of the Jenney coal kilns and chemical plant from Harrietta to this point. The proprietors of these plants had made a purchase of a large tract of land, heavily timbered with hardwood near the railroad at this point, and decided that is would be cheaper to move the plant to the timber than the timber to the plant. For a few years succeeding the starting of the village a saw-mill was in operation, but that ceased to do business some seven or eight years ago, since which time the plants above mentioned have constituted the only manufacturing business in the place. The lumber camps in the vicinity and the farming interests have afforded a fairly good trade to the stores of the place, and, being surrounded by a good farming country, it will always be a market and shipping point for farm products, even after the charcoal and chemical business, which brought it into existence, ceases to exist.
The village of Wexford never had a village plat. From time to time building lots were sold by metes and bounds, and in this way it has slowly but surely grown in business importance until it has become an indispensable trading point for the surrounding community. It has never had any manufacturing industry except a small saw-mill located about half a mile south of the center of the village. A part of the village is in Grand Traverse county, the main street east and wrest through the village being the county line. In 1878 the Methodist Episcopal society built a church building in which regular services have been held most of the time since.
Foust was the first merchant in the place, having commenced the grocery business, in a small way, back in the seventies. He kept adding to his stock little by little until finally he carried quite a full stock of general merchandise with his groceries. He held the postoffice for about twelve years. He was quite a musician and organized a martial band and for many years "Foust's Band" could be seen at all the gatherings where outdoor music was needed. He died about fifteen years ago and his son "Collie" succeeded to the business. The place has several secret societies, as follows: Fortney Tent No. 565, Knights of the Modern Maccabees; Murrea Hive No. 263, Ladies of the Modern Maccabees; Wexford Camp No. 8647, Modern Woodmen of America, and A. P. Earl Post, Grand Army of the Republic.
There is a small cluster of buildings seven miles south of Cadillac and it was given the name of Hobart many years ago, and is still called the village of Hobart. For a good many years there was a custom gristmill in the village, but last year it ceased to do business and was moved out of the county. There is at present no manufacturing industry there and the only places of business are the postoffice and a country store.
The County Seat – Efforts to Secure its Removal from Sherman – Schemes to Prevent Removal –
New Judicial Circuit – Greenback Party
Kautawaubet or Wexford County
New Railroad – New Villages
– New Impetus to Farming and Lumbering
Arrival of New Settlers Continues
City and Village Organizations
Our Honored Dead Pioneers
Old Pioneers Who Have Removed from Our Midst
Woman Suffrage – State Census –
County Elections – Bear Trapping
All rights reserved.
This site may be freely linked to but not duplicated
in any fashion without my consent.
The information on these pages is meant for personal genealogical
research only and is not for commercial use of any type.