FIND-A-GRAVE LENAWEE and HILLSDALE--My member number is 47964467

Search for cemetery records in Lenawee County, MI at by entering a surname and clicking search:

Restrict search to

Search for cemetery records in Hillsdale County, MI at by entering a surname and clicking search:

Restrict search to


Friday, August 15, 2014

1857 Zoomable Lenawee Plat Maps from Library of Congress

I think its great to browse these maps; here is the area where I grew up.  This and other maps are at


Friday, February 8, 2013

Dover Township by Naomi C. Dowling (1968)

Dover Township

By Naomi C. Dowling

Printed in  Robinson’s 1968 Hudson City Directory

Hudson, Michigan


                The township of Dover is bounded on the north by Rome and a small portion of Adrian townships, on the east by Madison and Seneca, west by Hudson Township.

                Like most of Lenawee County, the land is level and of fertile quality.  Dover township is also well-supplied with small streams, which are important branches of Raisin River:  Sand Creek, Stony Creek, Bear Creek.

                The first settler was Israel Pennington, May 27, 1830, followed by Samuel Warren four days later.  Mr. Pennington sold his tract of land soon and moved to Macon Township. 

                Mr. Warren, a native of New Jersey, purchased 400 acres of land in Section 24 and 25 where he lived until his death January, 1858.  His people were Quakers but he became a Methodist.  In later years his son, Darwin Warren, started a settlement known as Onieda.  There was a school house where school and church were held for several years until a church was built.  There was a cheese factory and a post office which was in the Warren house.  The daughter, Miss Delia Warren, was postmistress.

                Later they found the attendance at the church was too small to support a minister, so they joined the Clayton Methodist Church as a sister church, each having the same minister.  Church directors were:  Benton Sutton, Mrs. Kate Baker, S. Burr DeLine, D. H. Warren, E. S. Grattan, Arthur Bovee, Milo Bovee, H. W. Hoxie, A. E. Terwilliger, E. P. Gambee, E. R. Hawkins, Charles Middleton, and John DeLine. 

                The name of this settlement was changed to South Dover and now, in 1968, the cheese factory is torn down, the church moved away and the school house is the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Jones.

                Brackley Shaw, born in Plainfield, migrated to Michigan in 1835 by the Lake Erie route embarking at Port Lawrence (now Toledo).  He built one of the most beautiful residences in Dover township, owning 400 acres.  John M. Bird bought 150 acres in Section 18, building the first frame house in the township.  Daniel H. Deming settled in Section 26 on the south banks of the lake that still bears his name.  His nearest neighbor was Samuel Warren, three miles away.  Mr. Deming was the first stage coach driver in this area.  There was a church built known as the Demings Lake Church,  and now in 1968 they still have services there each Sunday.

                In 1834 Mr. Robb started the first saloon in Dover Township, near the center of the township between Adrian and Kidder’s mill (which is north of Hudson).  This tavern was a small log cabin and a whiskey barrel was used for a bar.

                Martin P. Stockwell bought 160 acres in Section 15, the farm bordering the Dover Townhouse on the east, for $1.25 per acre.  He arrived at Port Lawrence (Toledo) May 15, 1835, starting toward Adrian on foot.  When darkness overtook him, he stopped at an inn owned by Isaac French and paid one shilling or 12 ½ cents for his lodging.  He then bought six cents worth of crackers for his breakfast and continued on.  He started a settlement known as Dover Center, gave a field for a cemetery, built the townhouse, school house and cheese factory.  As he was a very strong Baptist, a church was also built.

                William Lauth came in 1836, took up land in Section 23 and lived on it until his death December 4, 1860.

                Fleming McMath took up land in Section 12, 1838, going back to Seneca County New York to bring his bride on horseback, to a partly completed log cabin in the woods.  He was a strong Presbyterian and did much towards building a small Presbyterian Church a mile west of Cadmus in 1843, the first minister was Rev. Henry Root.  The board of elders were Ashar Hathaway, Eli Benham, Ashar Hering, and Charles Schafer.  Later a larger church was built in Cadmus in 1902, and the little church was moved to Cadmus and used as a house.

                Robert Furman came to Dover Township in 1836 and took up land in the center of a section he had to cut through a mile of woods to make a road to get to his land.  The first corn he raised he had to take to Monroe to mill, which was the closest mill and at that time, took several days.

                Lemuel Van Auken took up land on the border line of Dover and Rome townships.  With six cents to his name, he borrowed $20 to buy 160 acres of land.

                These are only a few of the many families that came to then the Michigan Territory, to take up land and build their houses (a log cabin).  These pioneers endured many hardships and if it hadn’t been for wild game such as deer, bear, rabbit, etc., their families would have gone hungry.  It was hard to raise hogs as the bears would eat them, as the coons and other animals ate the crops, although they watched the fields almost night and day.

                Cadmus, a little village in the interior of Dover township, was first named Hamburg.  When Frank Potts planned to build a two-story building, he changed the name to Cadmus.  At one time it was a busy little village, having a cheese factory, creamery, Grange Hall, two stores, school house, post office, church and depot, as the Lake Shore and Michigan Railroad built a railroad through the village in 1844.

                Clayton lies partly in Dover Township, that Main street divides the township east side Dover, west side Hudson.  Clayton was once a thriving town of 1,000 inhabitants, three factories and several flourishing business places.  It was linked with Cadmus for many years as the Presbyterian Churches were sister churches, both having the same minister, Rev. Paul Shepherd.

                Now Clayton has but few business places.  The New York Central Railroad, which bought out the Lake Shore and Michigan many years ago, made the first run through Clayton in July 4, 1844, going from Toledo to Elkhart.  Now the railroad tracks have all been taken up west of Clayton, but trains continue to run from Toledo to Clayton, Clayton being the last stop west in the fall of 1968.

                As we look at Dover Township, we don’t find any cities or large towns, just two villages, so there are no factories or industries.  It is noted for its agriculture and dairy farms with beautiful modern buildings and prosperous farmers.

                Now in 1968 as we look across the vast acerage, it is hard to realize 133 years ago it was a wilderness and dense forest filled with wild animals.



Monday, December 24, 2012

Hudson in the 1840's by Mrs. Curtis H. Boies (1896)


(1857 Map of west side of Hudson Village from the Adrian Public Library)


      I have often been requested to write a history of my early life in Hudson, but the various scenes and occurrences which have transpired during the past 65 years have made me feel rather inadequate for the task.


    Since reading the history as given by Messrs. Ames and Wood, the correctness of their statements as given on that period, which I can vouch for, has invited me to take a retrospect of the now “City of Hudson” at a few years prior to their history.


    If my memories   of these days is correct, I wish I was an artist that I could sketch upon paper as it then was.  Not a dwelling or hut but I could clearly define.  In thinking of those who were then residents, heads of families, I mean, I do not think of one survivor but myself.  Many of their descendents are living there, but I allude particularly to the old people.


    In making my statements I confine myself entirely to the West side of the village of Lanesville, dating back to June 1840.  There was then no Hudson City or even Hudson on Bean Creek.  It was simply Lanesville.  My first recollections of approaching the place which was to be my future home for over half a century, was the descent of the hill from the East side, which then was so steep and the road so narrow as to render it necessary to block the wheels of the wagon and use caution lest we be precipitated down the bank. 


    A rude structure of a bridge spanned Bean Creek.  We alighted at a little house kept by D. P. Hannah as a sort of stopping place for travelers, which stood upon the northwest corner of Main and Market Streets, where Lawrence’s grocery now is.  It consisted of one main room which constituted a sitting room, the lodging room and dining room, with portable stairs to the upper loft—not of the elevator style of the present day, but an ordinary moveable ladder.  On the west side of the room was another one used as a bar-room.  Back of the sitting room was a kitchen and outside the dutch oven, as was common in those days.


    This was the only building on the north side of the street till we came to the original store that C. H. Boies owned and occupied, which from the deeds I think was about where Boies Bank now stands.  This was a one-story frame building about 20 feet wide and 60 long, the front occupied as a store and the rear as a dwelling.


    Next west of us and standing a little back from the highway was a large two-story building with large columns reaching to the roof.  This was a fine building for the days and painted, but like every other house in the village, only partly finished inside.  This was owned and occupied by Augustus Finney and family.


    The next house west of this was one built and occupied by Beriah H. Lane and father, both widowers, at this time—both married later, the father to Harvey Anderson’s mother, the son to ther daughter and sister to Mrs. Silas Eaton.  Mr. Lane’s house was the only one on the north side of the street till you passed Cole’s swamp.


    At the head of Market Street, near the west end of the railroad bridge, stood a log house owned by Reuben Davis, formerly by Mr. Lane. 


    South of this, on the bank of the Creek, was the sawmill, then owned and run by Mr. Finney.  From the brow of the hill to Main Street was a large pile of logs.  South of this and west of the bridge was a small frame house where Silas Orcutt lived.


    Next west, near the vicinity where the Fair Store now is (N. E. corner of Main and Market Streets) lived a man and his wife, DeForest by name.  On the corner south (Market and Fayette Streets) Martin H. Webb lived, then later Mrs. Hepzibah Loomis and Ancil Coates lived.  I think he was a mason by trade, but he did not remain there long.


    A little south and on the west side, Simeon Van Akin lived.  That was the southern limit of habitation.  On the corner where Oren Howe’s store now is (S. W. corner Main and Market Streets) Franklin Smith kept a small store, purchasing his supplies of Boies, Ashley and Co., while they were in Business in Adrian. 


    Two or three years later the Larned Brothers went into the mercantile business, occupying the same building.  No other building obstructed the view till we came to the corner of Main and Church Sts.  There was a rough board blacksmith shop, owned and occupied by John Conery.  The front was used for horse-shoeing and other blacksmithing, while his family, consisting of himself and several children, lived in the back part.


    James Sample’s house, where Dan Brown’s store building now stands (west side of S. Church Street, just south of Main)  was the only dwelling south until we reached Sylvester Kenyon’s.  It was swamp from the hill where J. K. Boies’ house stands to the ashery (corner S. Church and Seward Sts.)


    David Pratt’s house stood where Dr. Nix’s does now on Main Street.  Just a few rods west of this was a frame dwelling occupied by Mr. Loomis who had three sons and one daughter.  I think John, the youngest son, became a cripple and may be living yet.


    The last house west on Main Street was Harvey Cobb’s house.  Beyond to Cole’s Hill was one miry swamp.


    About 1841 or ’42 John Conery sold out to Frederick Duryea, who had a small frame building moved from Keene in sections,  that he used for a dwelling, setting it a little east of his shop.


    A little north and back of C. H. Boies store (on E. side No. Church Street) was a house in which a man and his wife lived by the name of Bidwell.  Further north, on west side Church Street, where Ed. Randall now lives, a rough board house stood, where William Sherwood and wife lived.  I think he was a son of Father Van Fleet’s wife and lived somewhere in the vicinity of Wheatland. 


    At this time there was neither schoolhouse nor place of worship and no preaching except as some traveling minister on his circuit chanced to reach here Saturday night and hold services Sunday.  The first time I attended meeting there, it was announced that a minister would preach that day, but where was to be in Mr. Cobb’s barn.  Through  the bars and across the barnyard, the barn. 


    C. H. Boies and M. M. Boies took seats in the manger, while I sat upon a board placed upon blocks on the barn door—“middle aisle.”  The preacher had a fanning mill for his desk.  Soon after service commenced, some little barefoot urchins who had sought refuge in the haymow, disturbed the fowls on their nests and such a cackling that it excited mirth, and I rather forgot the sacredness of the day in the novelty of the surroundings.


    My next experience at church-going was to hear Rev. Mr. Sabin, who was to preach in the log house owned by Reuben Davis at the head of Market Street.  There were benches for seats as I think at some time previous a short term of school had been taught there.


    Next to me sat Mrs. Griswold and daughter.  Mrs. G. was large and somewhat weighty, for service had barely commenced before there seemed to be a crackling and trembling of the floor, when suddenly the timber gave way and I, seeing the catastrophe and being somewhat more sprightly than I now am, gave a bound and leaped the chasm, while Mrs. G. and daughter went to the cellar bottom.  I didn’t wait to hear the doxology sung.  I find this very scene recorded in the “History of Bean Creek Valley,” but the author wasn’t there and I was.


    In the winter of 1840 meetings were held on the log house on Cole’s hill, and Theron Childs and wife, living out of town, used to come with ox team and sled and favor us with a ride on Sunday.  The fall and winter of which I write there were scarcely well ones enough to care for the sick.  Everyone was shaking with the ague.  While we were suffering with it and unable to go out, our infant daughter died and was buried by kind neighbors somewhere near where Hulburd’s mill once stood in the woods—I never knew where.  There was no place than located for a cemetery.


    The only physician then was Dr. S. M. Wirts, who lived where Mr. N. O. Cady has since lived on Tiffin St., East side, just north of railroad, and nearly south of him.  Near the railroad as it now is, was a small brown house where John Davenport lived.  He was the mail carrier, coming through once a week with the mail on horseback.  Beriah H. Lane was postmaster.  The postage on the letters was 25¢--few and far between in those days.


    Bawbeese and his tribe of Indians had their camping grounds a few miles out, called Squawfield.  I had never seen Indians until I lived in Adrian.  In the winter of ’39 they came to Adrian to trade with Mr. Boies.  The firm was Boies, Ashley and Co.  My curiosity induced me to go into the store the back way and get behind the counter, that I might have a good view of them.  The old chief saw me and he brought me his squaw to look at me.  Then he pointed at me and Mr. Boies and said:  “alike, alike,” meaning I belonged to him.  For a joke Mr. A. stepped up and claimed me as his.  This irritated the chief, and he raised his hand and said:  “She not your squaw; you have no squaw.”


    After we moved to Lanesville they came to trade at our store and were much pleased as they recognized us and were very friendly, often coming to the house to see me.  I well recollect when Col. Brady’s troops came from Ohio and surrounded their camp to remove them to some western reservation.  That night they were having a pow-pow and the day before some of the Indians came for whiskey, bringing a fresh calfskin to carry it in.  They had not gone far with it when it slipped its fastenings and they had to return and borrow a jug and have a new supply. 


    I once had a history of the tribe which was very interesting and I have often regretted that I lost it.  I think it was published some 50 years ago or so by a man in Hillsdale.  If I am not mistaken it was by a man named Alvord or some name similar.  It gives an account of Negisbqua, a daughter of Bawbeese.  She married Feggertin, the doctor of the tribe.  Her father made her a bridal present of a pony.  Feggertin took it and went off on a spree and pawned it.  Before his return, she heard of it and was so enraged that when he came back she killed him.  This made Bawbeese very sad, for he loved his daughter and, according to the laws of the tribe, she must be killed by her next of kin.  Her brother was chosen as her executioner.


    Bawbeese’s wife died and was buried at Jonesville as they were driven west.  He returned there years afterward and visited her grave and passed through our village on his way to Monroe.


    In reading the “History of Bean Creek Valley” I find very much of interest to me, as it takes me back to those early days and, although it is written not so much from personal knowledge of the author as from memoranda and statements by others, yet to those who lived in those days it is to be prized.


    In reading of Mr. Finney’s meeting in convention at Monroe in ’27, with reference to the projected railroad from Adrian to Hillsdale, his energy in impressing upon the minds of those interested in the fine country, excellent farming land, and great water power which should be an inducement to accept this route instead of north through Keene, as then talked of, Mr. F. was a man we knew well, and when particularly interested, his enthusiasm knew no bounds, and he had the faulty of emphasizing his meaning until it was convincing.  Why was it that he expatiated so strongly upon the desirability of the route as it now is?  Did he feel an inspiration to put forth his power of eloquence and energies for a coming generation, for he could not have expected to live to see the City of Hudson as it now is in 1896.


    In viewing its nice churches, beautiful residences and fine lawns, it’s large business blocks and manufacturing establishments, with its seven bored wells, with water mains supplying the whole city, and its electric lights, where 56 years ago it was only the tallow candle or the lard lamp, I can but say to me it seem prophetic.  Although he has long since passed from earthly scenes ‘tis well to pay a tribute of respect to his memory.


* * * * * * * *


Excerpt from The Hudson Republican

Wed., Feb. 5, 1896

Thanks to the Hudson Museum


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Harriet Cole Bowen:  The First Lenawee Family Researcher

          The name Harriet Cole Bowen is synonymous with genealogy research in Lenawee.  Beginning in 1933, under the auspices of the DAR,   Harriet published a five-volume set of Gravestone Records of Lenawee County,  Michigan.  Born Harriet Calista Cole on September 19, 1868 in Palmyra, Michigan, she was namesake of her late aunt, Harriet Calista Cole Taft, who had passed away earlier in the year.[1]  She was the firstborn of Minor Thomas and Mary Jane (Taylor) Cole who lived at their farm “Forest Home,” near the Village of Palmyra.[2]


                Harriet had six siblings, and married at age 25 to Herbert R. Clark, a lawyer of Adrian and local attorney for the LS&MS Railroad. [3]  In the 1880 U. S. Census, we see that a 12-year-old Herbert Clark was living with his family in Palmyra.[4]    So it is probable that Harriet and Herbert were well acquainted with each other during their growing-up years.  During the marriage, they lived at various locations in Adrian, including at Ward 3 College Avenue in 1900[5], and at Ward 6 City of Adrian in 1910.[6]    However, by 1920, we see both Harriet[7] and Herbert[8] listed in the census as divorced!  We will probably  never know the specifics, but we do see that there were no children living with the couple during any census reporting period.   

                By 1923, and possibly earlier, Harriet was out walking and recording tombstones at the county graveyards.[9]  The Gravestones series was published between 1933 and 1942.  The subjective passages are, of course, confined to the introductions of each section; but her personality shines through.  We have wondered what she would say if she could see the cemeteries now.  Of the Canandaigua Cemetery, she wrote:  “In observing this ground, one would know the early settlers were from nature-loving English stock by the many clipped trees there.  The topiary work is very pronounced as the three avenues and many lots are bordered with these trees, making the ground seemingly filled with these trees.  The only exception is a magnificent specimen of a cut-leaved birch.”  We are not sure about the birch, but this cemetery is certainly filled with these same evergreen shrubs at the present day—and are they ever large now and without any topiary work! 

                 We love the introduction to Medina Village Cemetery:  “. . .Bean Creek flows by the foot of these grounds and when the setting sun slants across the rising meadows beyond to their tree-capped skyline, the  wonderful verdure of 1942 makes a picture to satisfy a nature-loving soul.  It is easy to appreciate the inspiration of the Poet Gray in the composition of his great Elegy.  Here in Medina was located Oak Grove Academy, one of the first schools of higher learning in Lenawee County.  The building still stands gaunt and hory in its large grounds  surrounded by ancient oaks.  Now  used as a Grange Hall.” 

                During a recent visit to Myers Highway near Palmyra, we observed the following at the location—or should I say former location—of the Minor T. Cole farm.  There was a most unusual long, low barn constructed of pale bricks, which looked as if it was once perhaps the nicest barn in the county.  It could have been used for a dairying operation as recently as the last quarter of the 20th century, as there are two low Harvestore silos behind this barn.  There is a light-colored small brick house near the road, and between this small house and the large barn to the back is a huge pile of rubble which may be the remains of the former Forest Home residence of the Bowen family.   I could not bring myself to take a photo from that angle, so we drove to the west, down Humphrey Highway.  What I believe is the back of the former Bowen home and barnyard is to the right in this photo:


And when I turned around  to face west, the early afternoon sunlight produced such beautiful colors that I had to take one of this wonderful verdure near the River Raisin in 2012:

                Sometime between 1930 and 1940 Harriet Cole was married again--to Henry Bowen of Adrian.  I know she was living at his house, as this address was listed in one of her volumes, the exact number was not recorded.  The magnificent shingle-style Bowen house:    


                Harriet published her last Gravestone Records volume 5 in 1942, and all researchers  are forever indebted to her for the work she did to preserve our history of Lenawee County.  She died after a three-week illness in Adrian on October 24, 1944, at age 75.  This is her obituary from the Adrian Daily Telegram of October 25, 1944:




 We can only hope that a photo of Harriet will surface someday.  Her burial is with her parents at Palmyra Village--see 

[1] Find A Grave, Inc.  Find A  Digital image  Harriet Calista Cole Taft,  Memorial # 35502918, Records of the Weston Village Cemetery, Seneca, Lenawee County, Michigan  (Accessed 16 October 2012). 
[2]Evarts and Stewart, Combination Atlas Map of Lenawee County Michigan, (Chicago, Illinois, 1974), 102, reprinted in Combined Atlases of Lenawee County, Michigan 1874, 1893, 1916, sponsored by the Lenawee County Historical Society, Inc., Adrian, Michigan (Evansville, Illinois, 1978). 
[3] Bonner, Richard Illenden, Editor, Memoirs of Lenawee County, Michigan, From the Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present, Including a Genealogical and Biographical Record of Representative Families in Lenawee County, Volume 2 (Madison, Wisconsin, Western Historical Assocation, 1909), 86-88.   Full text at Internet Archives (Accessed 16 October 2012). 
[4]"United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch (
: accessed 16 Oct 2012), Herbert Clark in household of R J. Clark, Palmyra, Lenawee, Michigan, United States; citing sheet 354B, family 2, NARA microfilm publication T9-0591.
[5] "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Oct 2012), Herbert M Clark, ED 36 Adrian city Ward 3, Lenawee, Michigan, United States; citing sheet 12A, family 262, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240725.
[6] "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Oct 2012), Herbert R Clark, Adrian Ward 6, Lenawee, Michigan; citing sheet 5B, family 148, NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374673.
[7] "United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Oct 2012), Harriet C Clark, , Lenawee, Michigan; citing enumeration district (ED) , sheet 7B, family 189, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1820780.
[8] "United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 Oct 2012), Herbert Clark in household of Robert Shadbolt, , Lenawee, Michigan; citing enumeration district (ED) , sheet 10B, family 249, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1820780.
[9] Harriet Cole Bowen, Gravestone Records of Lenawee County, Michigan, Volume 4, (Adrian, Michigan circa 1941), 52.