Kochville Township is situated in the northern portion of
the county east of Tittabawassee, west of Zilwaukee, and due north of
Saginaw township. Its population, as given in the census returns of 1880, is
1,768. There are five school districts and two fractional, each provided
with a substantial schoolbuilding. The church buildings are four in number,
comprising three Lutheran and one German Methodist. The lands of the
township are as fertile as any in the Valley, the people industrious and
enterprising. The appearance of the county bespeaks great progress and
rehearses, as it were, the story of German perseverance. Under authority
given by the Board of Supervisors, Oct. 12, 1855, the following described
territory was constituted a township under the name of Kochville, viz.:
Township 13 north, of range 4 east; sections 6, 7, 18, 19, and the north
half of section 30 in township 13 north, of range 5 east; and sections 25,
26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36 in township 14 north, of range
4 east. The application to organize was signed by 75 electors. In granting
the prayer of these citizens, the board ordered that the first annual
meeting for the election of township officers should be held at the house of
Adam Goetz of Kochville, on the first Monday in April, 1856, and that the
following named persons: G. Stengel, J. P. Weggel, and J. S. Hehelt, being
three electors, be designated and appointed to preside at such election, and
to perform all the duties required by the statute.
The first Kochville township election was held April 7,
1856, at the house of Andreas Goetz, with the following results: Luke
Wellington, Supervisor; John C. Schmidt, Township Clerk; Andreas Goetz,
Treasurer; J. G. Helmrenh, Caspar Linik, School Inspectors., Wm. Butts,
Henreich Hipser and Paul Stephan, Highway Commissioners; Luke Wellington,
Louis Loeffler, Geo. Hengee and Leonard Fleabite, Justices of the Peace;
Geo. Hengee and Andreas Goetz, Overseers of the Poor; G. M. Geigler, Geo.
Sturm, Andreas Schmidt and Mark Kranzlien, Constables.
Peter Weggel and Heinreich Hebert, were named inspectors of election; but
owing to their absence, Luke Wellington and Caspar Lint filled their
positions with Geo. Stengel, an inspector named in the first order. Louis
Loeffler was appointed Clerk and John C. Schmidt, Asst. Clerk. The number of
voters present was 59. The principal officers of the township since its
organization are named in the following list:
John Meger, Commissioner of Highways; J. T.. Mueller,
Town Superintendent; Erastus Purchase, Inspector; Christian Neumeyer,
Drainage Commissioner; Thos. Hartlepp, Fred. Waldbauer, John Scherzer and
Andreas Schwaab, Constables, with the names of 10 path masters, complete the
roll of township officers.
This church is situated on sec. 15, and was organized in 1852 by Rev.
Sievers. The members then were: A. D. Eischyer, Adam Schnell, Michael
Schmidt, George Leitz, George Rieger, Paul Stephens, Michael Daezchlin, John
G. Hearnan. The first building was erected in 1852, and was a log house
30x40 feet in which meetings were held until 1870. At this time the society
built the present church, a frame building 38x70 feet, at a cost of $5,000.
There are 104 members at present, under the pastorate of Rev. J. F. Miller.
The following named persons made the first entries of the township lands:
In the following interesting sketches of the settlers of
Kochville, the varied events connected with the township's growth are
J. W. Allison, farmer, sec. 33, was born in Scotland, Dec. 25,
1823. His parents were Robert and Jeanette (Wilson) Allison; J. W. learned
the tailor's trade in his native country, and in 1848 immigrated to America,
where he worked several years as a ship-carpenter. He came to this county in
1850, and since 1860 has devoted his entire time to agricultural pursuits.
He owns 50 acres of fertile land. He has been twice married; his first wife
was Jane Barr, a native of Scotland, who died in 1868. His present wife was
Caroline F. Wickham, a native of New York, of English parentage. They have 2
children, Clara Jeanette and Margaret Christiana. Mr. Allison is a member of
the Presbyterian Church of Saginaw City, and his wife is a member of the
Church of England.
John Arman, farmer on sec. 17, was born in New
York, June 14, 1831. When six years of age he accompanied his parents to
Saginaw Co., Mich., where he received the best education afforded by the
district schools of that day. His parents were John and Nancy (Davis) Arman,
both natives of Vermont; father of German, mother of English, descent. In
1864 Mr. Arman enlisted in Co. C, 29th Reg. Mich. Vol. Inf., under Capt.
Saunders, and was honorably discharged Sept. 16, 1865. He owns a good farm,
all the product of his own labor. He was married in 1851 to Margaret
McGregor, a native of this county, and of Scotch ancestry. She was born
Sept. 13, 1835. They have 2 sons, Frederick Riley and Edward Alexander. Mrs.
Arman is an Adventist, and her husband is a Republican.
E. H Bow, farmer, sec. 25, was born in Maine in
1827, and is a son of E. B. and Elizabeth (Haskell) Bow. He came to Michigan
in 1838, and in this county received his education. He was engaged in the
lumber business for 15 years, but since then has followed farming, and now
owns 600 acres of land. He is serving his second term as Director of
Schools, and is a Democrat. He was married in 1866 to Sarah Wellington. They
have 3 children.
Philip Bow, farmer, sec. 36, was born in Maine,
Jan. 16, 1833. His parents were Edmond and Elizabeth Bow, natives of Maine,
and of English descent. They came to this county at an early day, and kept a
hotel at Saginaw City. Philip received his educational training in this
county, and in 1839 settled on the Cass river, in what is now Bridgeport tp.
He is Democratic in politics; was School Director three years, and owns 40
acres of good land. He was married Feb. 1, 1868, to Adelaide Davis. Of the
11 children born to them, 10 are living—Stephen D., Rosana, Wilbert,
Charles, Orrin S., Marion, Ella, Clara E., Lillian and Sarah W. Benjamin
died at the age of four months.
Cyrus Chase, farmer, sec. 36, was born in Upper
Canada in 1820, and is a son of Benjamin and Sarah (Parker) Chase; father a
native of Vermont; of English descent; mother native of Connecticut, of
German ancestry; Cyrus was educated in the common and select schools of
Canada, and first commenced in the lumber business. In 1850 he started for
California, but stopped in Saginaw county, where he has since resided. He
first worked at clearing land where Zilwaukee is now located, and finally
settled in Kochville tp., where he owns 362 acres of land, half of which is
under cultivation. He is Republican in politics, and has served as School
Commissioner and Justice of the Peace. He was married in 1854 to Mary
Atheson, a native of Canada, and of Irish parentage. They have 5 children, 4
daughters and 1 son—Henry L.; Jane, wife of Theodore F. Casmer,
Superintendent of Schools at Zillivak; Mary, Emma, Ella.
Lewis Duprats, farmer, sec. 25, was among the very first
settlers in Kochville tp. He was born at Detroit, Mich., in 1807, and is a
son of L. and Julia (Pomville) Duprats, natives of Detroit, and of French
descent. Lewis received an average education, and in 1837 settled in
Kochville tp. He owns 152 acres of land, and was once Tp. Treasurer and
Justice of the Peace of Zilwaukee tp. He was married in 1828 to Phillis
Marsac, who bore him 4 children, 2 of whom are living—Lewis and Jacque; and
owns farms in this tp., Mrs. Duprats died and he married Islanda Houselander.
They have 2 daughters, both married. Mr. D. is a Republican.
Andrew Goetz, farmer, sec. 1, was born in
Germany in 1813. His parents were Michael and Barbara (Warthschreck) Goetz.
Andrew received his education in Germany, and in 1848 came to America. The
same year he came to Kochville tp., with $300 in money, $120 of which he had
borrowed. He bought 23 acres of land on sec. 1, built a shanty 16x16 feet in
size, and in company with five others, purchased an ox-team. At the end of
five years he owned 52 acres of improved land, with a good house thereon,
and was out of debt. He now owns 213 acres, has given some to each of his
children, and $9,000 worth to one son. He was the first white settler in
this part of the county, and was instrumental in the erection of the
Lutheran Church (in 1848), in which he has since filled the office of
Trustee. He was married in this county June 25, 1848, to Margaret Mowery, a
member of the Lutheran Church. Of the 10 children sent them, only 2 are
living—Anna, wife of John G. Helmreich, and John Leonard, a prominent farmer
of this tp. Mrs. Goetz died Nov. 27, 1880.
Abner Hubbard, farmer on sec. 33, was born in
Greene Co., N. Y., June 29, 1813. He is a son of Samuel and Margaret
(Arnold) Hubbard, natives of Connecticut, of English ancestry. Abner learned
the ship-carpenter and calker's trade. He assisted in building the first
boat ever built on the banks of the Saginaw river. He first came to this
county in 1842, and two years later made a permanent settlement in Saginaw
City till 1850, when he settled on his land in this tp. He was married in
Oakland Co., Mich., Sept. 22, 1835, to Amanda Hayes, a native of Grafton
Co., N. H. Of their 7 children, only 1 is living, Mary Jane, wife of David
Nichols. One son, Samuel Eugene, enlisted in Co. G, 23d Reg. Mich. Vol.
Inf., as 4th Corporal, and was discharged as Orderly Sergeant. Mr. Hubbard
and wife have been faithful members of the M. E. Church for many years.
Oscar Jewett, farmer, sec. 27, was born at Saginaw City, Mich.,
Nov. 3, 1837. He is a son of Eleazer and Azubah L. (Miller) Jewett, honored
and respected pioneers of this county, the former a native of New Hampshire,
of Welsh descent, and the latter of Vermont, of English ancestry. Eleazer
Jewett died suddenly in 1875; his widow still survives, and is the oldest
living settler in Saginaw county. Mr. Jewett received his literary education
in the Saginaw City high school, and spent the first 10 years of his
business career in the lumber trade. In 1858 he went to California, and
remained in the West for seven years. While in California, he was attacked
with the Panama fever, which deprived him from working for 11 long, weary
months. In 1863, while in the mining region, he received the news of the
death of his brother Wallace, at the battle of Gettysburg, Pa., and
immediately offered himself to the Governor of Nevada, to serve in any
military capacity. He was assigned First Lieut. of Co. C, 1st Nev. Cav., and
after a year's service, was promoted as Aide-de-camp on Gen. Connor's staff.
He was finally commissioned Captain of Co. "F," serving as such till the
close of the war. The regiment was engaged in fighting Indians, and Mr.
Jewett participated in that memorable battle of Tongue river, on Aug. 29,
1865. After the war, he located at Salt Lake City, where, in connection with
Capt. Brown, he was engaged in corralling stock. When Dr. Robinson was
brutally murdered by the Mormon, Mr. Jewett and partner, with their wives,
were forced to flee for their lives. The journey from Salt Lake City to St.
Louis, Mo., cost Mr. J., for himself and wife, exactly $1,020. Since
returning to Michigan, he has engaged in farming on the old homestead,
comprising 120 acres of land, part of which is under a high state of
cultivation. He was married in 1866 to Fanny Tomlinson, who proved a
faithful and loving wife to him until 1868, when she "passed passed over to
the other side." He was again married, July 16, 1874, to Alice Wells, a
native of New York, of English ancestry. Mr. Jewett was Marshall of Saginaw
City from 1874 to 1878. His remark, "A dead Mormon is the best Mormon," is
worthy of record. NOTE: This is not the view of this web site and is
included only for historical purposes.
Frederic Charles Louis Koch was the son of Charles Ernestus
Augustus Koch, who was foreman and manager of the Governmental mine at
Gittelde, in the Lower Hartz mountains of Brunswick, in Germany, and his
wife, Jane Elizabeth, nee Hellring. He was born in the mining village,
Rothe-Huette, Feb. 15, 1799; received a good education at home, also at the
mining school of Clausthal, and at the University of Gœttingen, Hanover;
taught school for a time at the Latin College of Hanover, and returned to
practical work, but spent his leisure hours endeavoring to recall a lost
invention, of enameling iron pots and vessels, finally with success; he gave
his invention to the world, not patenting it. In 1825 he married Miss
Augusta, the daughter of John Henry Bippart, in whose glass factory he had
been working; he then quit his mining office at Rothe-Huette, and took a
position as comptroller and administrator of the smelting houses of one of
his father-in-law's glass factories at Gruenenplan. Mr. Bippart died in
1842, and all the glass works of Gruenenplan fell into Mr. Koch's
possession, and thus the latter had increased facilities for his genial
experiments, and also to push the manufacture of looking-glasses,
nine-tenths of which were sold in the United States at good prices. The
Government soon honored him with the title of "Counselor of Mines," and
bought a farm for him. Mr. Koch thenceforward prospered materially. He also
enjoyed domestic duties, having, before leaving the old country, a family of
wife, 3 sons and 4 daughters; he had also two family teachers and a
gardener. Mr. Koch had a very fine garden and ornamental grounds, with parks
and cages of wild animals. On the highest point on these paradisiacal
grounds he erected a beautiful church. He continued to take a prominent part
in literature and science, being a member of learned societies, and he owned
a large cabinet of minerals and shells, considered the best private
collection in Germany at that time.
Two of Mr. Koch's children met with serious accidents,
injuring the reason of one, and ultimately destroying the life of the other;
and the Revolution of 1848 came on, but Mr. Koch came through unscathed.
Then he emigrated to America with his daughter Caroline, who was betrothed
to Rev. F. Sievers, a Lutheran minister in the Saginaw Valley; he went to
the Lake Superior region to examine the resources and conditions of mineral
interest there, with a view of bringing over his old employes and friends
from Germany; and although he found the resources surprisingly abundant, the
art of mining was so crude, and American institutions so republican, that he
decided not to bring on the immigrants immediately; he then visited the lead
mines of Wisconsin and Illinois; still his decision was that it would not do
to bring miners over from the old country to work in America under European
control. Mr. Koch died March 12, 1862, greatly respected by all the
community. The tp. of Kochville was named after him. Mrs. Koch died April 5,
1875. She was a very estimable lady, full of Christian faith and good works.
Johan A. Leinberger, farmer, sec. 1, was born in
Germany, July 19, 1830, and is a son of Frederick and Catherine (Schenter)
Leinberger. John received a common school education in his native land, and
in 1847 emigrated to the United States. In 1848 he located land on sec. 1,
Kochville tp., where he now possesses 180 acres. He is Republican in
politics, and served as Tp. Treasurer 14 years, Clerk 7 years, School
Director 14 years, and Assessor. He is an enterprising citizen, and was
prominently identified in the movement attaching half of Kochville tp. to
Bay county. He was married in 1849 to Mary Katherine Drulein. Eight children
have been given them, all living. Mrs. Leinberger died March 3, 1880. She
was a member of the Lutheran Church, as is also her husband. (Note:
Leinberger was also spelled Lemberger in this history.)
Rev. J F. Miller, Pastor of the German Reformed Church at
Kochville, was born in Washtenaw Co., Mich., May 11, 1844, a son of Charles
and Rosena (Stueter) Miller, natives of Germany, who emigrated to this
country in 1830, settling in that county. The subject of this sketch
received his education partly at Fort Wayne, Ind., and at St. Louis, Mo. He
entered the ministry in 1862, at Terre Haute, Ind., and since 1868 has
occupied his present position. He was married in Lenawee Co., Mich., in
1864, to Anna M., daughter of George and Dorothy Miller, who was born in
Bavaria, Germany, in 1844. They have 9 children, 8 of whom, are living:
Charles A., August H., Caroline, Carl, George, Adolph, Edward and Emil F.
The deceased is Emma. Rev. Miller is at present Superintendent of Schools of
Erastus Purchase, farmer, sec. 19, was born in
Ontario Co., N. Y., in 1838, and is a son of E. and Lura (Griffin) Purchase,
father a native of Ontario county, mother native of Wayne Co., N. Y. Erastus
received the greater part of his education in Michigan, and in 1856 located
in Saginaw county. He was engaged in the lumber business in 1863—'5, but
since then has followed agricultural pursuits. By his own exertions and
perseverance he has accumulated a good farm of 170 acres, one of the best
farms in Kochville tp. He was married in 1864 to Emma M. Soper. They have 4
children, 3 daughters and 1 son. Their names are Mary A., Emma A., Jennie L.
and Alonzo M. Mr. Purchase believes in the principles of the Republican
John Riegel, proprietor of the Michigan Hotel,
Frankenlust, was born in Germany in 1838, and is a son of Michael and Maggie
(Stahl) Riegel. He received his education in the "faderland," and
subsequently entered the Bavarian army, where he remained seven years,
during this period participating in three battles. He came to this county in
1867, and operated a saw-mill for seven seasons. He is a mason by trade, but
is now proprietor of the Michigan Hotel. He is a Republican in politics,
owns 12 acres of land, and has officiated as Justice of the Peace. Mr.
Riegel was married July 16, 1871, to Theresa Fisher. Both are members of the
Lutheran Church. She was born in Bavaria, Germany, Oct. 15, 1845.
Rev. (George Christian Ernestus) Ferdinand Sievers
is the son of Henry (Sigismund Frederic) Sievers, and Eleanor Lisette
Florentine, nee von Borries, and was born at Lunenburg, Germany, May 18,
1816. His mother died in 1822 and his father a year later, and the outlook
for the poor orphan boy was very sad; but his uncle, Rev. Ph. Sievers, took
good care of him. He was educated at the University of Goettingen, 1835—'38,
where he studied theology some time, then taught private school three and
one-half years, studied theology again at the Universities of Berlin and
Halle,, and taught private school again three and one-half years; was
ordained a minister in 1847, when he emigrated to this country to take
charge of Lutheran congregations here, and bought several hundred acres of
land from the Government at what is now South Bay City, with missionary
means from the old country. The next year a number of settlers came in from
Germany and commenced to endure the privations of pioneer life. May 5, 1850,
Mr. S. married Caroline Koch, in New York city, while she was en route from
her home in Germany to her new home in the wilds of Michigan. She was the
daughter of Rev. Fr. Koch and Augusta, nee Bippart. Of the 11 children born
to Mr. and Mrs. S., 8 are living.
The settlement of Frankenlust, established by Rev. Sievers, has grown to
great proportions, and there is another flourishing settlement three miles
southwest, also founded by Mr. S. in 1851. This highly revered old gentleman
has now enjoyed a long life of usefulness, and set an example of ministerial
industry and faithfuIness that will be difficult for his successors to
Fred Wellington, farmer, sec. 25, is a life resident of this
county. He was born in March, 1844. He is a son of Dr. Luke and Nancy M.
(Freeman) Wellington, father a native of New Hampshire, and mother of New
York. Dr. Luke Wellington came to this State in 1836, locating at Flint, and
in 1850 settling in Saginaw county, where he now owns 500 acres of land.
Fred was educated in the public schools of Bay and Saginaw cities, and at
Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College, of Detroit. He was a bookkeeper for
8 years, and is Republican in politics; has been School Inspector,
Superintendent and Assessor. He was married in 1869 to Rosetta M. Lewis, who
was born in Utica, N. Y., Feb. 11, 1849. Her parents were of English and
Welsh descent. They formerly lived at Detroit, but now reside in Saginaw
county. Two children have been given to bless this union—Mary L. and James
A.; and 2 deceased, Fred L. and Martha R.