Isabella County Republican Vol 5 No 32
History of Shepherd
The first fourth of July celebration publicly observed at Salt River was at the home of James
Campbell in 1861. Norman C. Payne was president of the day and P. H. Estee read the
Declaration of Independence. Nelson Moshier delivered an address. A 120 foot pole was
raised from which floated a beautiful flag made by Mrs. Wm. R. Robbins, Mrs. James
Campbell, Mrs James Wilsey, Mrs. P. H. Estee, Mrs. D. D. Burnham and Mrs. H. O. Bigelow.
The ladies hoisted the flag with their own hands and prepared a bountiful dinner which was
spread in the woods.
The people in those days thought nothing of walking five or ten miles to church or to spend
the day on visiting a newcomer. Everyone was anxious for the welfare of others. When one of
his neighbors was ready to raise a log cabin all the settlers for miles around came to lend a
From 1824 to 1856 the nearest post office was Maple Rapids, a distance of forty miles. In
1856 a post office was established at St. Louis, which served until a post office was at Salt River, August 8,
1857. William Robbins was appointed first postmaster in this county. The office was located where Joe
Moore's house stood which was destroyed by fire a few years ago. Robert Shepherd was the first mail carrier
in this county.
The first flour and saw mill in Coe Township was built by John Reynolds on the banks of Salt River.
This was the first frame structure built in this county and was erected in 1856. At that time they
floated logs down the river. There were no bridges crossing the Salt River. They crossed the river
by canoes and boats.
The first orchard in the county was planted by Mrs. Adams, mother of O. H. Adams and W. E. Adams.
She brought the apple seeds in a match box to her homestead and planted them in an orchard. One
of the trees is still standing where she planted the seed. The first frame house in the county is the cottage on
the Shepherd farm. The first church in Salt River was a Baptist Church, located where Mrs.
Hokemeyer's home now stands and is now the building owned by the Catholic Society.
On March 25, 1855, at the home of C. Hamilton, the first sermon ever delivered at Salt River was
preached by Rev. Charles Taylor.
The first school in the county was taught by Mrs. John Walton in her log home in 1859. She had
ten pupils, Lewis, Laura, Janie and Gilbert Middaugh, Phebe Harnes, M. Roberts, Okey and Adie
Bigelow and Delia Reynolds. The first organized school in 1860 was located south of Salt River
where the old road curved around the river. It was a log building and this school was taught by
Miss Carrie Kilburn. Then the school was moved beside Mr. A. Carrol's place.
The first hotel in Salt River was at the place now owned by Mr. Allen.
W. C. Miller and Isabella Campbell were the first children born in Salt River and Ann Shepherd,
mother of I. N. Shepherd was the first death.
1999 - 2009
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Volunteers hold copyright to the material they have donated for this site. Not to be copied and used in any format to any other site or in any other media.
THIS SITE IS PART OF THE MIGENWEB PROJECT
MIGenWeb Official Notices and Disclaimer
This server space page is provided by Michigan Family History Network genealogical server.