HISTORY OF TUSCOLA COUNTY

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TOWN OF GILFORD.

      The board of supervisors at a meeting held January 12, 1858, adopted a resolution organizing the town of Gilford.  The territory comprised township 13 and fractional township 14 north, of range 7 east.  The first township meeting was held at the school-house on section 36, in township 13 north, of range 7 east.  Inspectors of election were E. B. Hayes, Hamilton Hobart and E. Battille.

     The application was signed by the following freeholders of the territory described:  E. Battille, John D. Hayes, James C. Luce, S. M. French, M. B. French, John Morse, Benjamin Griswold, Joseph L. Cooley, E. B. Hayes, H. Holbart, John A. Hayes, E. French, Jane Gaunt, George Wilkinson, Joseph Spenceer and A. Spencer.

     At the first election eighteen votes were polled, and every elector in the town voted.  The following officers were elected:

Supervisor-Hamilton Hobart.
Clerk-E.B. Hayes
Treasurer-E. Battille
School Inspectors- John D. Hayes and Joseph L. Cooley.
Directors of Poor- Joseph L. Cooley and Hamilton Hobart
Highway Commissioners- Joseph L Cooley and Samuel M. French.
Justices of the Peace- Jospeh L. Cooley and E. Battelle
Constables- Joseph Spencer and John D. Hayes.

ENTRIES OF LAND

     The following is a list of entries of land made prior to the year 1860.

TOWNSHIP 13 NORTH, RANGE 7 EAST

SECTION 1

Ann Noble, March 6, 1856

SECTION 11 

  Silas Crosby, March 6, 1856

SECTION 12

Theodore Hunter, February 10, 1857
William McCreary, August 29, 1854
George H. Lyon, September 29, 1854

SECTION 13

Samuel W. Dexter, July 8, 1854
Reuben Hitchcock, July 19, 1854
Caleb Clark, January 12, 1857

SECTION 14

Theodore Hunter, February 10, 1857

SECTION 15

Jonathan B. Taylor, June 27, 1851

SECTION 19

James C. Luce, October 24, 1855

SECTION 20

James Grant, January 25, 1853
James C. Luce, October 24, 1855
Truman M. Weaver, October 24, 1855

SECTION 21

Ebenezer W. Perry, February 18, 1850
James Grant, January 25, 1853
Josiah Clark, October 2, 1852
William W. Champlain, November 23, 1850

SECTION 22

Ebenezer W. Perry, February 18, 1850
Theodore Hunter, February 3, 1857

SECTION 23

Caleb Clark, Janaury 12, 1857
George and Oscar Mapes, November 9, 1849
E. W. White and Harvey Harrington, February 3, 1857
Nathan Willits, January 26, 1856

SECTION 24

Gardner Lebring, March 5, 1851
Ephraim Beebe, April 17, 1851
Ebenezer W. Perry, February 19, 1850
Donald McIntyre, February 19, 1853
Samuel W. Dexter, March 30, 1854
Reuben Hitchcock, July 19, 1854
William Butler, March 5, 1855

SECTION 25

Elias J. Baldwin, June 11, 1851
George W. Bullock, February 18, 1850
James B. Foote, June 25, 1851
Amanda Spencer, March 23, 1851
Elijah Clark, November 9, 1849
Cyrus Perkins, January 24, 1850
Gordon D. Williams, January 13, 1850

SECTION 26

Ebenezer W. Perry, Febrary 18, 1850
Elijah Clark, November 9, 1849
Benjamin Griswold, November 9, 1849
John Snow, November 23k 1852
Gordon D. Williams, January 13, 1853
William P. McAllister, August 21, 1851
George W. Bullock, October 9, 1852

SECTION 27

Elizabeth I. Guttery, September 7, 1850
Ebenezer W. Perry, February 18, 1850
Donald McIntire, February 10, 1857
William Burton, August 23, 1854
Jonathan B. Taylor, June 27, 1851

SECTION 28

Elisha Granger, October 8, 1856
Theodore Hunter, February 3, 1857
Elizabeth North, February 15, 1856

SECTION 29

Yates Douglas, October 15, 1852

SECTION 31

Samuel Hendry, September 20, 1856
Daniel Cooley, September 23, 1856
Aaron Watrous, August 5, 1858
Daniel Cooley, October 28, 1858

SECTION 32

Theodore Hunter, February 10, 1857
Peter D. Vescelius, January 25, 1856

SECTION 33

Jacob Hepfer, September 3, 1855
Joseph S. Cooley, September 12, 1855
Reuben A. Miller, September 10, 1855
Martin V. Kellogg, February 7, 1856
Elbert N Vescelius, February 7, 1856

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SECTION 34

Theodore Hunter, February 10, 1857
William Burton, August 21, 1854
Isaac R. Wood, April 27, 1855
Jacob Bain, May 22, 1855

SECTION 35

Chauncey B. Gould, Janaury 24, 1850
Marcus M. Atwood, October 12, 1855
Marcus M. Atwood, December 10, 1855
Henry P. Atwood, January 17,1856
Henry P. Atwood, February 13, 1856
William Burton, August 21, 1854
Charles Wilkins, January 25, 1856

SECTION 36

George M. Dewey, March 6, 1850
John Hays, November 9, 1859
Hamilton Hobart, November 29, 1859
Chauncey B. Gould, January 24, 1850
Samuel W. Dexter, March 30, 1854
Samuel W. Dexter, April 13, 1854
Sylvanus Beardsley, February 13, 1850

 

EARLY HISTORY

     By referring to the list of land entries, it will be seen that land was located in the present town of Gilford, as early as the year 1949, by Elijah Clark, George and Oscar Mapes and Benjamin Griswold.  The wilderness, however, was allowed to remain undisturbed by the encroachments of civilization for about two and one-half years longer.  Mr. Clark and wife were stopping at Levi Rogers' house, in Juniata, in the spring of 1852.  He was ambitions that his wife should be the first white woman in the town that was to become their home, and hearing that Samuel French and family were on their way to the township, that is now Gilford, he resolved to push ahead and secure the coveted honor for his wife.  Josheph Selden was at that time located in his new home, only a short distance from Mr. Rogers, and had two teams.  Mr. Clark engaged Charles R. Selden to take their ox team and move his family and worldly effects to the site of their future home.  There were no roads, and it was at the general breaking up time in the spring.  Part of the way there was now, but a greater part of the distance mud was deep and water deeper.  The modern teamster would have mired his team and abandoned the undertaking, but the pioneer journeys were not made along highways, and neither trackless forests nor bridgeless streams were appalling or unfrequent.  Late in the afternoon, one Friday, they arrived at their destination.  A house was partially built, but had no roof, and putting a few boards up against one side of it, they fixed shelter for the night.  The next day Mr. French and family arrived.  The day following being Sunday, it was spent in a visit of the old-fashioned sort, such as two families in the wilderness, the only inhabitants of a township, would be likely to have.  Mr. French bought his land of Daniel Haines, of Arbela.

During the summer that followed these tow families were monarchs of all they surveyed, and a good deal more, for they were the sole inhabitants of the township and the range of their vision was circumscribed.
Mr. Clark's family appears to have been emphatically pioneer, not only as regards first settlement, but in its contribution to first events.  In May, less than two months after their arrival, Mrs. Clark presented her husband with a son, and Winsor Clark headed the list of births in Gilford.  The first marriage in Gilford was that of James Spencer and Marcia, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clark.
     In the fall of 1852 Jesse Mapes, his sons Oscar and George, and his son-in-law, Quintus Foster, settled in the township.  Soon after the number of inhabitants was increased by the arrival of Joseph, Emanuel and James Spencer.  They came in January 1853.  In February, John A. Hayes came with his family and moved into the house with Mr. Clark's family as had also the Spencers.  About this time Hamilton Hobart, an enterprising farmer and a worthy Christian, arrived with his family, and was an active member of society until his death in 1867.

     In the fall of 1853 Mr. Griswold moved with his family into the house with Mr. Clark, Mr. Hayes and the Spencers having previously moved into dwellings of their own.  James B. Thompson and Henry Van Patten came during this year. 
     In 1854 H. P. Atwood, now of Caro, became a resident of Gilford.  His health had became so feeble that he was unable to continue the study of law and he went to Gilford to try farming.  He had been a resident of Ingham County and had made up his mind to try farming.  Mr. Hobart, who had already settled in Gilford, was a brother-in-law and had several pieces of very choice land.  Mr. Atwood made a trip up there and being favorably impressed with what he saw, purchased 160 acres, and went back after his family.  From Vassar they made the trip with an ox team.  It was in June and mud was deep and flies terrible.  When within five miles of Mr. Hobart's the oxen laid down from sheer exhaustion, the blood steaming from their nostrils, so vicious were the attacks of the flies.  Leaving their team and wagon load of household articles in the woods Mr. Atwood took their babe in his arms, and, followed by his wife, they continued their journey of foot.  When about a mile from Mr. Hobart's they were met by him, he having heard that they were on the way.  Mr. Atwood began farming, but being a lawyer, although not yet admitted to the bar, most of his time was occupied in legal business and assisting in town affairs.  In the fall of that year he was elected to the legislature, and the next winter was spent in Lansing.  The summer of 1855 he stayed upon his farm and the next fall sold out to Mr. E. Battille and moved to Vassar.
     Mr. Battille moved into the township in the winter of 1856 and remained in that part of the township until 1860 when he moved to the north part of the town.
     The first Sunday-school was organized in the spring of 1856, and Mr. Battille was its first superintendent, in which capacity he continued until he moved from that part of the town.  A Sunday-school had been taught previous to that time by Mrs. Hobart.
     The first death in the town was that of Jesse Mapes.  There was not a minister within reach to preach a funeral sermon.  A hymn was sung, a prayer offered by Hamilton Hobart, and the dead was buried.  The widow of Mr. Mapes died soon afterward.
      Mrs. Sophronia Hall, daughter of the late John A. Hayes, was the first female child born in Gilford.  The date of her birth is December 1853.
     The early preachers in Gilford were Elders Klumph, Andrews and Warren.

SCHOOL MATTERS

     The first school district in Gilford was organized in 1854, and the school-house was built in the fall of that year.  The first school was taught in the winter of 1854-55 by Miss Mary E. Leach with nine pupils.
     In the spring of 1860, Messrs.  Battille, Randall, Whittemore and one or two others, having settled in the north part of the town, Mrs. Randall was engaged as teacher, and with eight scholars, she passed the ensuing summer, in the back room of her own dwelling, in "teaching the young idea how to

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shoot."  This was the humble beginning of School District no. 2.  They have now a substantial frame school-house and a flourishing school.
     So schools followed closely upon the advent of the settlers and the schools of Gilford, at the present time, are a credit to the town.
     From the annual school report of the town of Gilford for the year ending September 4, 1882, the following facts are obtained.  directors for the ensuing year, Andrew Kirk, L. H. Whitmore, A. P. Barden, A. H. Guisbert, Sampson Ward, John M. Ellison, and James D. Lane.  There are four whole and three fractional districts with five frame and two log school-houses.  Number of children of school age,, 344; attending school during the year 374.

GOOD TEMPLARS.

     A lodge of Good Templars was organzied at Gilford, April 18, 1883, with the following officers: W. C. T., Mathias Burk, W. V. T., Libbie Bears, W. T., James Youmans, W. M., Ira W. Slade, W. A. M., Ida Park, W. A. S., Mrs. Paul, W. C., D. P. Pomeroy, W. S., John Paul, W. F. S., W. H. Beal, W. I. G., Maggie Burk, W. O. G., Henry Dowd, R. H, S., Mrs. Burk, L. H. S., Nellie Oliver.  The officers installed August 1, 1883, were as follows:  John Paul, W. C., Libbie Beals, W. V., Henry Jessup, W. S., John Warren, W. T., C. W. Dawley, W. M., D. P. Pomeroy, W. C.

STATISTICAL

     Census of 1860:  Population, 114; families, 21; dwellings, 21; number of occupied farms, 22; number of acres of improved land , 345; number of horses, 5; number of cows, 30; bushels of wheat raised, 155; bushels of rye, 87; bushels of corn, 420; bushels of butter made, 1,300; pounds of cheese made 300; tons of hay, 27.

     Census of 1864:  Population, 186; males, 102 females, 84; number of acres of taxable land, 12,777; number of acres improved, 599; bushels of corn preceding year, 637; bushels of wheat preceding year, 340; bushels of potatoes preceding year, 1,171; tons of hay preceding year, 159; pounds of wool sheared, 219; pounds of butter made preceding year, 4,606; pounds of cheese made preceding year, 650; number of oxen, 52; number of cows, 75.

     Census of 1870; Population, 353; dwellings, 68; families, 68; farms, 42; number of voters, 67; number of acres of improved land, 954; number of horses, 56; number of cows, 78; pounds of wool sheared, 1,158; pounds of butter made, 9,585; pounds of cheese, 261; bushels of wheat raised, 1,148; bushels of corn, 1,442; bushels of potatoes, 2,040; tons of hay cut, 329.

     Census of 1874.  Population, 512; number of horses, 79; number of oxen, 81; number of cows, 169; bushels of wheat, 1,737; bushels of corn, 5,473; bushels of apples, 178; bushels of potatoes, 5,207; tons of hay, 475.

     Number of acres of land assessed in 1882, 22,538; total equalized valuation of real and personal property, $222,413.  Number of farms in 1881, 117; acres of improved land, 3,596.  Bushels of wheat in 1880, 18,301; of corn,, 38,952; tons of hay, 874.

 

TOWN OFFICERS SINCE 1877.

YEAR SUPERVISOR CLERK TREASURER COMMISSIONER
HIGHWAYS
         
1883 Franklin M. French Joshua B. Going John E. Cragg Thomas Murphy
1882 Franklin M. French Marcus Hobart Alfred Miller Thomas Murphy
1881 Adam Haines F. M. French Alfred Miller Dan. M. Cartwright
1880 Adam Haines F. M. French John E. Cragg W. P. Moor
1879 Adam Haines F. M. French John E. Cragg Dan. M. Cartwright
1878 Adam Haines F. M. French Geo. Wilkinson Dan. M. Cartwright

 

 

BIOGRAPHICAL

     HAMILTON HOBART was born in Cortland County, N.Y., Jan. 25, 1811 and in his younger years served an apprenticeship in the machinist's trade, which he followed the greater part of his life.  He was married Nov. 18, 1840, to Miss Perley C. Atwood, of Groton, Tompkins County, N. Y., who was born April 13, 1816, by whom he had six children, three of whom are now living , Lucy, born August, 1843; H. Everets, born May 21, 1852, married Sept. 16 1876, to Miss Mary E. Ganet; and Marcus M. Hobart, burn July 8, 1856.

    MARCUS M. HOBART is a young man of good abilities and character.  he left his native place in the spring of 1844, and went to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he remained eight years.  In February, 1853, he and family came to Gilford, and settled on section 36 on a piece of land he had taken up some years before.  He built a shanty, and commenced to rough it in the bush, but as he had brought supplies with him, did not suffer for provisions, as some of the early settlers did.  Nevertheless he passed through many of the unpleasant features of pioneer life.  He was the first supervisor of Gilford, and has also been township clerk.

     F. M. FRENCH was born in the township of Ray, Macomb County, July 6, 1845, and while young went with his parents to the Sate of New York, where he remained until twelve years old.  In the fall of 1858 he came to Tuscola County, and in 1864 enlisted in Company B, Twenty-ninth Volunteer Infantry, and served to the close of the war.  He then purchased land in Gilford, on section 24, which he has cleared and otherwise improved, until he now has a fine farm.  Mr. French has held the office of township clerk seven years, and supervisor one year.  He has married in 1871 to Miss Mervada hand, of Clinton County, N.Y., formerly of Yates County, N.Y., where she was born July 26, 1849; they have two children.

     EBENEZER BATTILLE was born in Pittsfiield, Mass., March 23, 1816, and when but a child moved with his parents to Schaghticoke, N.Y., where he remained till the spring of 1844.  he then removed to Washtenaw County, Mich., and settled in the town of Sylvan, remaining there till February, 1856, when he came to Tuscola County and settled in Gilford, on section 36. Four years thereafter he sold out, and purchased a farm on section 13,  Mr. Battille did not escape the hardships of pioneer life, but nobly surmounted them all, and has made out of the wilderness a comfortable home.  He was married in March, 1842, to Miss Olive Fairman, of Schaghticoke, formerly of Spingfield, Mass., where she was born Jan. 1, 1818.  Mr. Battille has served his township in the offices of supervisor, assessor, treasurer, highway commissioner, and justice of the peace still retaining the latter named.

      ALFRED MILLER was born in Fulton County, Ohio, May 11, 1845, and lived at home until he was sixteen years of age.  In 1861 he went to California to join his two brothers, who had preceded him eight years before, and were engaged in mining.  He remained there four years, and saved $3,000 as his share of the earnings.  He then came to Tuscola county, and bought a farm in Gilford, on section 36.  Feb. 21, 1868, he married Miss Wealthy Hayes, of Gilford, formerly of Brighton.  Livingston County, where she was born in 1849.  Mr. Miller has held the office of township treasurer two years, and justice of the peace twelve years.

     LEMUEL A. PARKS was born in Wayne County, Mich., in 1844 and resided there till he was seven years of age.  he then came to the township Juniata, Tuscola County, and in 1855 went to Vassar, where he remained about one year; thence to Fairgrove, where he lived until eighteen years of age.  He was afterward in Bay City three years, and in Genesee County five years, and in 1870 bought a farm in Fairgrove on section 31, which he sold in 1878, and purchased his present place in Gilford, on section 26.  he was married in 1866 to Miss Annette Phillips, of Genesee County, who

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died in 1878 leaving four children.  Was again married in 1877 to Miss Rhoda Steel, of Fair Grove, by whom he has one child.

     J. J. OLIVER was born in Oakland County, Mich., in 1842.  In 1862 he enlisted in Company A, Second Michigan Cavalry, and served to the close of the war.  After his discharge he went to Saginaw, and was in the fire department there about one year, when he engaged in mercantile business for about the same period of time in Ohio.  He then returned ot Saginaw, where he was on the police force six years, and in the spring of 1879 came to Glford, and opened a general store.  In 1881 he bought a saw-mill which he is now operating.  He was married in 1863 to Miss Jestine Merril, of Memphis, Macomb county, and has four children.

     JOHN PAUL was born in the township of Blenheim, Ont., November 14, 1835, and when two years of age came with his parents to Michigan and located in Cass County.  He returned to Canada in 1846, and in 1852 again came to Michigan and settled in Calhoun County, where he followed the shoemaker's trade, having served an apprenticeship in Canada.  He worked in Calhoun County and other parts of the State until 1877, when he came to Gilford and purchased property, where he has since been engaged in business.  A postoffice was established in Gilford in 1878, and in 1880 he was appointed postmaster and the same year was elected a justice of the peace.  In 1856 was married to Miss Jane Ferrin, of Ypsilanti, and has two children.

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