Saginaw County Michigan

James Township

James Township was organized under authority given by the county board in a resolution passed Oct. 22, 1874. The application to organize the township was made by 14 freeholders of that portion of Swan Creek now comprised in James. The order of organization is as follows:

That all that part of the township of Swan Creek as now heretofore last organized, bounded as follows, to-wit: Commencing on the north line of township eleven (11) north, of range three (3) east, in said township of Swan Creek, at the northwest corner of section two (2), in said township eleven (11) north, of range three (3) east, to the northeast corner of said last-named section one (1); thence north on the section line between section thirty-six (36) in township twelve (12) north, of range four (4) east, to the northwest corner of said last-named section thirty-one (31); thence east on the north line of said section thirty-one (31) last named to the center of the Tittabawassee river; thence down and along the center of said Tittabawassee river to its junction with the Shiawassee river; thence up and along the center of said Shiawassee river to a point where the east line of township eleven (11) north, of range three (3) east, crossed the said Shiawassee river; thence south on and along the said east line to the southeast corner of township eleven (11) north, of range three (3) east, to the southwest corner of section thirty-five (35), township eleven (11) north, of range three (3) east; thence north, following the west section line of sections thirty-five (35), twenty-six (26), twenty-three (23), fourteen (14), eleven (11) and two (2), in township eleven (11) north, of range three (3) east, to the place of beginning, be, and the same is, hereby set off from the township of Swan Creek, and organized into a separate township by the name of "James," and the first township meeting in the said township of James shall be held at the school house of school district number one (1) in said township, formerly school district number one (1) of the township of Swan Creek; and

Resolved, That the first township meeting of the said township of James shall be held on the first Monday in April next, and that Edwin S. Dunbar, Jacob Zieroff and Joseph Egerer be, and they are, hereby appointed inspectors of said township meeting,


The first township meeting was held April 5, 1875, at the schoolhouse on section 6, with Edwin S. Dunbar, Moderator, Joseph Egerer and Jacob Zieroff, Inspectors of Election. Edwin S. Dunbar was elected Supervisor; Jacob Zieroff, Clerk; Joseph Zieroff, Treasurer; Joseph Kauffman, Commissioner of Highways; Felix Heinrich, W. P. Putman, Justices; Edward Fayerweather, School Superintendent; George Hanks, School Inspector; Charles Hanks, Drain Commissioner; Geo. E. Wood, James Brady and Allen E. Britts, Constables.

The following is a list of the principal town officers since 1875:


Edwin S. Dunbar 1875 Edwin S. Dunbar 1878-79
Joseph Egerer 1876-77 Ed. Fayerweather 1880-81


Jacob Zieroff 1875-77 Ed. Fayerweather 1879
George Hanks 1878 Jacob Zieroff 1880-81


Joseph Zieroff 1875-77 Joseph Kaufman 1879-80
John Stengel 1878 Charles Blower 1881


Felix Heinrich 1875 William Wilson 1877
W. P. Putnam 1875 Thomas Blower 1878
Alfred Reeves 1876 Thomas Arnold 1879
Wolfgang Eterer 1877 Andrew Papst 1880
Andrew Papst 1877 George Hanks 1881

Felix Heinrich was accidentally killed May 31, 1876. Returning from Saginaw City during a storm a large tree fell, crushing him to death.

The first settler was Hugh McCullough. He died in 1852. Thomas Blower is the oldest living settler. The township built the toll bridge over the Tittabawassee in 1870, at a cost of $4,200. There is only one school in the township, taught by Miss Cora Lacy.

The first school was taught by Miss Adams. Miss Sarah Ludlow taught in 1861. The school district census shows 103 children. There is a fractional district also of 18 children. There are 18 sections in the township, with a population of 572.


James Murphy, farmer, sec. 31, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1837; subject was reared on a farm, and was subsequently an extensive cattle dealer, traveling over the greater portion of the "Emerald Isle;" was clerk in father's grain store for several years; left Ireland, April 9, 1863, first landing at Quebec, arriving at Detroit, Mich., on May 31 following; was engaged in brick-making near Ann Arbor, Mich., for two years; then came to Saginaw county, parents engaged in same business for 11 years: in 1874, purchased 168 acres of land, where he now resides; is Democratic in politics; was married in February, 1859, to Mary Davany; of their 12 children, 11 are living—Bridget, Ann, Thomas, James, John, Michael, Henry, Neil, Joseph, Sarah and Maggie; subject and family are worthy members of the Roman Catholic Church.

John Stengel, a prominent German of this tp., was born in Bavaria, Oct. 5, 1839; accompanied his parents to America in 1850, locating in Kochville tp.; was reared among Indian acquaintances, and can converse fluently in that language; was forced to go to Seifert's grist-mill, the distance being about 30 miles, and by water, too; is a Republican, and owns 100 acres of land on sec. 5; was married Jan. 1, 1864, to Rosina Steinbar, who has borne him 6 children—Charles, Willie, George, August, Carrie and Rosa.



Source: History of Saginaw County Michigan, By Michael A. Leeson, Damon Clarke, Published 1881 Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Chicago pages 849-850.
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