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Excerpt from the Book "History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan: Its Prominent Men and Pioneers"

D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia, 1880.


By Austin N. Hungerford

Situation, Surface, and Water-Courses - Early Settiements - Township 0rganization and List of Principal Officers - Agricultural Statistics - Religious Societies and Worship in Bertrand - Dayton Village - Schools in Bertrand.

THE township of Bertrand is bounded on the north by the townships of Niles and Buchanan; on the east by that portion of Niles that was originally Bertrand, from which it is separated by the St. Joseph River; on the south by the State of Indiana, and on the west by Galien. A large portion of the town consists of prairie lands, slightly rolling, which are particularly well adapted for the production of Indian corn and oats, although wheat is raised in great abundance. The soil on these prairie lands is a black, vegetable mould intermixed with clay and sand. A portion of the town is burr-oak openings. The soil of these openings contains more lime than that of the prairies.

The eastern portion of the town rises into hills, which slope to the river, and a line of low hills extends along the northern border. Its water-courses are the St. Joseph River on the east, McCoy's Creek, the head-waters of which rise in the western part of the township, and one of the branches of Galien River, also in the western part. There are two or three small lakes in the township.


The greater portion of Bertrand township belonged to the Indians until the treaty held at Chicago in 1833. The northwest portion, comprising sections 6 and 7 and parts of sections 4, 5, 8, 18, and 19, are in territory ceded to the United States in 1828 at Carey Mission.

The first to locate a farm on the territory now Bertrand was Benjamin M. Redding. He was a native of Mecklenburg Co., Va., where he was born in 1792. He emigrated to Ohio with his parents in 1811, was married in 1814, and lived in Preble Co., Ohio. In 1830 he removed to Hamilton, Ind., a few miles south of the Michigan line. At this time he went to the lands then just opening for sale in Michigan, and selected a farm on the present site of Dayton, it being the northeast quarter of section 7. In 1831, while his family were living at Hamilton, he built a log cabin and saw-mill on the creek, drawing the lumber used for his house and mill from Lacey's mill at Niles. In 1832 the family moved up to their home in Bertrand. As other settlers gathered in, the place became known as Redding's Mill, and when, in after-years, a post-office was established, it assumed that name, and kept it until 1848. When the Michigan Central road passed through the place the name was changed to Dayton, as several families living there were from Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Redding lived at the farm until 1837, when he removed to Niles. After living there a few years he returned to the mill, but shortly after moved to a farm which he owned on Terre Coupee Prairie. In 1858 he removed to the city of Niles, where he died in December, 1877, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. Mr. Redding had a family of twelve children, but one of whom survived him - James H. Redding, of Dayton. The first Methodist society west of the St. Joseph River was organized at his house in 1833. He was chosen leader, and worship was held in his house for two years, until the building of a school-house, in which the society afterwards held its meetings.

The next family to come in to the section of country was that of William B. Fuson, who located on the northeast from Mr. Redding, on the southwest quarter and part of the southeast quarter of section 5; they also emigrated from Ohio about the same time. Peter Dearduff in 1837 lived for a short time on the southeast quarter of section 6, and moved to Indiana. Eli Shockley and family also lived near there for a short time.

David Vanderhoof emigrated from Painted Post, Steuben Co., N. Y., to Edwardsburg, in Cass County, with his wife and seven children, in 1833. In the fall of that year his wife and one daughter died, and in the spring of 1834, in company with Charles Wells, from Ohio (also living at Edwardsburg with his wife and seven children), moved into Bertrand township. Mr. Vanderhoof located a claim on the southwest quarter of section 7, where his widow still resides with her youngest son.

An Indian village named Swoptuck was on the farm adjoining Mr. Vanderhoof's, on land now owned by Peter Womer. Mr. Vanderhoof built the first frame house on the reservation, and the lumber was drawn from Lacey's mill, at Niles, and from Christina {Christiana} Creek. He was compelled to furnish accommodations for the emigrants who came through this region, and for a long time his house was a general resort. He put in a stock of goods and kept a store for two or three years. It was at his farm that the government teams gathered when the Indians were sent to the West. He purchased considerable land, and bought and sold to a greater extent than any in that early day. He lived on the farm until his death, in 1875. About 1836 he married Livonia, daughter of Charles Wells, for his second wife. His children are, some of them, settled near him. Thomas is living on a farm in the west part of the township, near Dayton. Henry lived in Buchanan for a time, started to California, and died on the route. Abiel lived in Buchanan, and died at the house of his sister, Mrs. J. W. Post, who is the only daughter living, and who now resides at Buchanan. She married John Grove, in November, 1844. He was a native of Maine, who came to Buchanan from New Albany, Ind., early in 1844, and was the first attorney in that village. He represented the district in the Legislature in 1844-45, and died in June, 1852.

Charles Wells and family, consisting of his wife and seven children, came with Mr. Vanderhoof, who built on his farm a house and blacksmith-shop for him. He remained here several years and located land on section 13, where John Rough now lives. Joseph and Francis are living near the old farm; Lewis lives in Iowa; Livonia married David Vanderhoof, and is living on the Vanderhoof farm; Eliza married Eber Root; Isaac lives in Cass Co., Mich.

In the spring of 1835, Samuel Street located on the reservation, northeast from David Vanderhoof about one and a half miles. He built a double log house, lived here many years, and died about 1861. He was the first and only member of Assembly who represented this township. David Gitchell now owns the farm on which he lives. {sic}

Alanson Hamilton emigrated from New York to the West, and finally came to Bertrand township in March, 1835. He located on the northwest quarter of section 17, where James Badger now lives. In 1841 he purchased the northeast quarter of section 6, where he lived till his death, in November, 1874. Three of his children only are living: Aseneth, now Mrs. George Clark, lives in Mecosta Co., Mich.; Nathaniel lives in the village of Buchanan; and Alfred, tbe youngest, lives on the homestead where his father lived and died. Mr. Hamilton was the first justice of the peace in the township, and held the position fourteen years.

John De Armond emigrated from Butler Co., Ohio, to the west side of Terre Coupee Prairie, in the township of Bertrand, in the fall of 1834, and located land on the southeast quarter of section 18. He kept a stock of goods, and had quite an extensive trade with the Indians until they went West. He was for a time in partnership with J. D. Ross, in Hamilton, Ind. In 1858 he moved to Dayton. He afterwards married Ruth, the widow of Elisha Egbert, and lived on the southwest quarter of section 4, where he died. Alexander, a son, is a physician living in Dayton. Another son, John, lives in Buchanan. Charles Smith and J.D. Ross, of the village of Buchanan, each married a daughter of Mr. De Armond. Harvey Buckles, who lives about three miles south of Bertrand, married another daughter.

Frederick Howe, a native of Massachusetts, moved with his parents in 1812 to Cortland Co., N. Y., and in 1834 started from there with a horse and buggy on a tour through the West. He came through Niles, fording the river at that place, and continued on until he reached this township. He was satisfied with the country here, and having determined to make this his home, he returned to New York, and in the spring of 1835 emigrated with his family, consisting of his wife and eleven children. After his arrival he purchased 160 acres of Samuel Cannon, on the northeast quarter of section 11, which Cannon had purchased the year before. The house was the usual log cabin of those times, and was a poor dwelling, the fireplace and chimney being built of split logs plastered with clay, and the floor of puncheons. He moved to this place in November, 1835. He soon after purchased more land, and at his death the homestead farm consisted of 240 acres. In his later years he moved into the village of Buchanan, near the depot, where he died Feb. 18, 1864. His wife died Feb. 17, 1869. Nine of their children are now living, viz.: Desire, who married Alfred Johnson, an early settler of Niles; Lucinda, who married Justus Bailey, of Buchanan; Francis W., who lives north of the homestead, and within about a mile and a half of Buchanan; Mary, who married James Smith, of Berrien Springs; H.J., who also lives at Berrien Springs; George A., who is a dentist and lives at Niles; Adeline, who married H.G. Sampson, and who lives in Buchanan; Charles F., who lives on the homestead; and Mary S., who married James Reynolds, of Hamilton, Ind.

Elijah Egbert came to Bertrand in 1835, and located lands in the southwest quarter of section 4, where his heirs still live.

Sebastian Overacker came from McCoy's Creek, near the Martindale settlement, the year before, and located the northeast quarter of section 4, where David Best now lives, in the year 1835.

Asa Willard in the same year located on section 9, where his son Joseph now lives.

Abiel E. Brooks emigrated to this region early in 1835, and located a claim on the northeast quarter of section 7. He sold to Kaufman & Chittenden, who sold to Jacob Rough in 1849. Mr. Brooks now lives in Madison, Wis.

Abram Ogden settled in 1836 on a claim which he bought of one Jordan, between the claims of David Vanderhoof and Samuel Street. He kept a tavern which afterwards, under his management gained a widespread notoriety.

Benjamin Franklin, of Allegany Co., N.Y., settled in 1835 on the southwest quarter of section 2, where he still lives.

Solomon Miller located land on section 17, taking the south half. His father-in-law, John Hardman, purchased it of him, and it afterwards passed into the possession of William B. Rough.

Philip, son of John Hardman, settled in the same year south of Miller on section 20, and afterwards sold to Isaac Tripp. The land is now in possession of Mrs. Amos C. House.

John Bointon also settled at the same time on part of section 24, and afterwards sold to Mr. Hoag. James Kennedy, in 1835, located the southeast quarter of section 1. It is still known as the Kennedy place, and is owned by William R. Rough.

Abel Robinson, in the summer of 1835, came from Henry Co., Ind., with his son-in-law, Grant Main. Robinson located the southwest quarter of section 18, where George G. Rough now lives. Main located the southeast quarter of the same section and sold to Watson Roe, who afterwards removed to Buchanan. It is now one of the David Gitchell farms. William Batson married a daughter of Mr. Robinson.

George Harlan emigrated from the South, and lived near Yanderhoof and Street, and between them. In 1849 he moved to California.

William Batson came from Indiana in the fall of 1834, on a tour of inspection to the reservation, and stopped with Samuel Street, who was then living there. He returned to Henry Co., Ind., and in April, 1836, with his wife and three children, came to the township of Bertrand and purchased the 160 acres of George Harlan - it being the southwest quarter of section 8 - which he held under the pre-emption act. In the fall of 1838 he proved his claim at Kalamazoo and received his deed, paying ten shillings per acre. He lived there until the fall of 1877, when he removed to the village of Buchanan, where he still resides. He has four sons and two daughters living, viz.: A.B. Batson, on the homestead; John A., a lawyer, living at Reynolds, Ind.; Lafayette, a physician, at Wakelee, Cass Co., Mich.; William B., living at Niles; Mrs. Lydia Yorker, in Iowa; Mrs. Miranda Rapp, in Bertrand.

About 1838, Isaac Ferote located west of where James H. Phillips now resides, but soon removed to Indiana. Matthew Redding, a brother of Benjamin, located in 1835, on the southwest quarter of section 17, where W. Foster now lives. Nathaniel Hamilton, a brother of Alanson, located on the north half of section 16, where Keller and Shatterlee now own. Joseph Ivans, in 1835, settled on the east half of section 22, and soon moved to Indiana. Philo Sanford, Peter Wimmer, and George Harlan located claims in the same year, - Sanford on the northeast quarter of section 6, and Wimmer and Harlan located together the west half of section 5. Sanford taught the first school on the reservation.

Samuel Cannon located the northeast quarter of section 11 in 1834, but sold his claim in November of the next year. John Lashbaugh purchased a claim of John Compton in 1835 on the southeast quarter of section 9. His son Henry lives on the farm. Widow Decker, with her sons James, John, and Henry, located on the same section about the same time. Henry lived and died on the farm; James went to California and died; John was a blacksmith, and moved to Cass County, where he died. Archibald Dunbar came into the township about 1837 from Indiana, and located on the northeast quarter of section 21, where he afterwards owned about 600 acres. He moved into Buchanan, where he built the Dunbar Hotel, and died there a few years ago. Frederick White located on section 20 in the township in 1835. He is now in the drug business in Buchanan village. John Krum located on section 17 in 1836.

Within two or three years after 1835 the land on the reservation was all taken up. Many took claims, built cabins on them, made improvements, and sold them to others coming in. Those who were so unfortunate as to be on the seminary lands were driven away from their improvements by the high price put upon the land by the commissioners.

In the years 1837-38 the chills and fever prevailed to such an alarming extent that many became discouraged packed up their goods, and, leaving the work of years behind them, went to their former homes. Those who remained passed through great suffering, and many died from want of care, there not being well ones enough to nurse the sick.

David Rough, a native of Juniata Co., Pa., emigrated to Michigan when thirty-two years old, and arrived in the township of Bertrand, May 27, 1849. He located on sections 12 and 13, purchasing of Jacob Egbert and Abram Ogden. He soon began the purchase of land, and at his death, in 1876, had owned 1153 acres. He had five children: Wm. R., Solomon, Geo. H., Sarah, now Mrs. Peter Womer, and Eliza, now Mrs. Amos C. House.

Wm. R. first settled on the John Hardman farm, on section 17, in 1854. In 1853 he married Mary A., a daughter of Jacob Rough. In 1858 he purchased, on section 1, the Kennedy place, where he still lives. He continued farming, buying and raising stock, and in 1879, with his brothers, became engaged in the manufacture of wagons at the village of Buchanan. He has now 547 acres of land in Bertrand.

Solomon Rough settled on the south part of section 13, and married the daughter of David Bressler, an early settIer on section 16. He owns 953 acres in Bertrand, and is engaged in business with his brothers at Buchanan.

Geo. H., the youngest, lives on the northwest quarter of section 8, and owns 273 acres.

Sarah married Peter Womer, who purchased land in section 1, on the Niles branch of the Chicago road; the place was known as the Hoag place.

Eliza married Amos C. House, and lives on section 20, a little south of the Chicago road, on the Tripp farm. They now own between 300 and 400 acres of land.

Jacob Rough, a brother of David Rough, emigrated about the same time, and located 160 acres on the northeast quarter of section 7, where he still lives. His son George lives on the homestead and is treasurer of the county. He married a daughter of A. Broccus, of Buchanan. Mary A. married Wm. R. Rough. Susan married Isaac Long, and lives on section 7, the northwest quarter. Elizabeth married John Miller, who lives on the southwest quarter of section 5. Catharine married Henry Vite, on the southwest quarter of section 11.


Bertrand township was erected and organized under an act of the Legislature of Michigan, approved March 23, 1836, which provides that "All that portion of the county of Berrien designated by the United States Survey as fractional townships 8, south of ranges 17, 18, and 19 west, be and the same is hereby set off and organized as a separate township, by the name of Bertrand, and the first township-meeting shall be held at the dwelling-house of Michael Segdell."

The limits so named in the act were reduced by the operation of an act passed March 20, 1837, setting off survey township 8 south, of range 19 west, to Weesaw township;* and they were further reduced, March 9, 1850, by the annexation to the township of Niles of all that portion of Bertrand lying east of the centre of the St. Joseph River.
*The same territory was erected into the township of Galien, Feb. 19, 1844.

The first election of the township was held in April, 1836, at Union Hall, in the village of Bertrand. Frederick Howe was elected Supervisor; James H. Montgomery, Township Clerk; Joshua Howell, John De Armond, Alanson Hamilton, Justices of the Peace; Michael Seligson and Jacob A. Dutton, Overseers of the Poor. At this meeting a tax of $25 was voted for the support of the poor.

The following is as complete a list as can be obtained of persons who have filled the offices of supervisor, clerk, treasurer, and justice of the peace in Bertrand since the year of its organization as a township, viz.:

  • 1837 - Frederick A. Howe, Supervisor; James A. Montgomery, Clerk; Henry Hapgood, Treasurer; Joshua Howell, Alexander Blake, John Demond, Justices.
  • 1838 - Frederick A. Howe, Supervisor; Joshua Howell, Clerk; Henry Hapgood, Treasurer; Burham Gilbert, Justice.
  • 1839 - Frederick A. Howe, Supervisor; David M. Howell, Clerk; John O. Underhill, Treasurer; Alanson Hamilton, Justice.
  • 1840 - John Barbour, Supervisor; David M. Howell, Clerk; Burham Gilbert, Treasurer; Alexander Blake, Justice.
  • 1841 - Jobn De Armond, Supervisor; Hugh Vanderhip, Clerk; Burham Gilbert, Treasurer; Joseph G. Ames, Justice.
  • 1842 - Joseph G. Ames, Supervisor; David Whitlock, Clerk; Samuel Street, Treasurer; C.H. Nickelson, Justice.
  • 1843 - Lewis Bryant, Supervisor; Hiram Ward, Clerk; Alexander Blake, Treasurer; Samuel Street, Justice.
  • 1844 - Samuel Street, Supervisor; S.H. Bradbury, Clerk; Benjamin Redding, Treasurer; Alexander Blake, Justice.
  • 1845 - Abram Ogden, Supervisor; Simeon H. Bradbury, Clerk; Alexander Blake, Treasurer; Alanson Hamilton, Justice.
  • 1846 - Frederick A. Howe, Supervisor; L.A. Palmer, Clerk; N.W. Summers, Treasurer; Alvah Higbee, Justice.

    The records from 1846 to 1873 are not found, and the list (being necessarily omitted for that period) is continued, commencing at the latter year:

  • 1873 - Freeman Franklin, Supervisor; William D. Badger, Town Clerk; Solomon Rough, Treasurer; Michael Swobe, Enos Holmes, Justices of the Peace; Charles F. Howe, School Inspector.
  • 1874 - Charles F. Howe, Supervisor; Peter Womer, Town Clerk; Levi L. Redden, Treasurer; William R. Rough, Justice of the Peace; Cyrus E. Gillette, School Inspector.
  • 1875 - William D. Badger, Supervisor; Peter Womer, Town Clerk; Samuel Messenger, Treasurer; Sylvester K. Wilson, Justice of the Peace; Joel H. Gillette, School Inspector.
  • 1876 - W.D. Badger, Supervisor; P. Womer, Town Clerk; William Foster, Treasurer.
  • 1877 - P. Womer, Supervisor; Enos Holmes, Town Clerk; William Foster, Treasurer; Joel H. Gillette, Superintendent of Schools; Chester Badger, School Inspector; John G. Dye, Justice of the Peace.
  • 1878 - John H. Young, Supervisor; J.H. Gillette, Town Clerk; John Redden, Treasurer; William R. Rough, Justice of the Peace; Joel H. Gillette, Superintendent of Schools; Chester Badger, School Inspector.
  • 1879 - Charles F. Howe, Supervisor; William D. Badger, Town Clerk; John Redden, Treasurer; John Gogle, Justice of the Peace; Enos Holmes, Superintendent of Schools; George Hess, School Inspector.

    The town of Bertrand is taking rank among the best in the State for the production of wheat. By the statistics of the State for 1877, 90,000 bushels of wheat were raised, this being 2300 bushels more than was raised in any township in the State. The statistics of the year 1878 show an increase to 125,000 bushels. Below are given the agricultural statistics of the township for that year, viz.: Acres improved lands, 16,573; of unimproved lands, 3473; of wheat raised in 1878, 6677; of corn, 2868; of oats, 622; of clover-seed, 63; of potatoes, 100; of hay, 1451; bushels of wheat, 125,711; of corn, 107,185; of oats, 20,239; of clover-seed, 54; of potatoes, 6605; tons of hay, 2063; pounds of wool, 12,478; sheep sheared, 2605; number of milch cows on hand, 529; cattle, other than milch cows, 549; sheep, 2731; horses, 665; hogs, 1927; acres in orchard, 459; bushels of apples sold, 10,192; of peaches, 24; pounds of grapes, 1000; gallons of wine made from grapes, 2700.

    Of wheat, Mr. Isaac Long raised 2100 bushels from 85 acres, and George H. Rough 3200 bushels from 140 acres. There were several of the farmers who raised over 1000 bushels each. The largest number of bushels of corn raised was by David Gitchell, Sr., - 3200.


    Methodist Episcopal Church. - The first Methodist society in the Territory of Michigan, west of St. Joseph River was organized at the log cabin of Benjamin M. Redding. A class was formed consisting of Benjamin M. Redding and wife Permelia and daughter Paulina, Eli Shockly and wife, William Fuson and wife, and a widow who lived with Mr. and Mrs. Fuson. Mr. Redding was appointed class-leader. Services were held at his house for about two years, until a school-house was built in the neighborhood in 1835. In 1833 and 1834 camp-meetings were held between Redding's Mills and the prairie. The Rev. James Armstrong was in charge of the first. About 1843 a frame building was erected for a church and called "Bethel," about a mile south and east from Dayton. James Redding, Sr., James Edson, Benjamin M. Redding, Emory Smead, and Matthew Redding were elected trustees.

    In 1867 the society determined to remove to Dayton, and the present church was dedicated on the 31st day of August, 1867. The dedicatory sermon was preached by the Rev. D.D. Holmes, who was assisted in the services by the Rev. T.T. George, the pastor, and the Rev. Horace Hall, presiding elder. The first minister who attended at the Redding Mill class was the Rev. Boyd Phelps. A class had been formed at Terre Coupee Prairie, in 1830, by the Rev. L. B. Gurley.

    Mr. Phelps was succeeded by George S. Beswick and Richard S. Robinson. A.C. Shaw, C.K. Erkanbrach, Richard C. Meek, Thomas P. McCool, David Burns, Henry Worthington, William Sprague, George King, Horace Hall, B.F. Doughty, William Morley, and ____ Knight were local preachers.

    This church was under the charge of the Buchanan Church until about 1872, since which time it has been supplied by Revs. Elliott, J.N. Tomer, Carlisle, Gray, Shenstone, Bell, Bennett, Jakeway, and Skinner, the present pastor. New Troy, Painter School-House, and Galien are under this charge.

    Evangelical Church. - In the fall of 1851 an Evangelical Church was formed, of which David and Anna Rough, Peter Rhodes, _____ Steiner and wife and two children were the constituent members. It was organized by Bishop John Sybert when on a tour through this section. These persons were members of the church in the East. In 1859 the society built a church at the intersection of sections 12 and 13 and 7 and 18.

    In 1854 a branch of the society was organized about three miles from the first one and on the Chicago road, near the Bressler school-house. They now have about 30 members. The first pastor was the Rev. Mr. Wolfe. Among those who have served the church since that time were the Revs. Asher, Keiper, Steffe, Eckhart, Fox, Uphouse, Rue, Fisher, Reigh, Evans, Pawlin, Boyer, Regartz, Kimerlin, and C. B. Myer, who is the present pastor.

    St. Anthony's Church (Catholic). - This church, located at Dayton village, has about fifteen families in its congregation, and is under charge of the Rev. Father Cappon, of the Roman Catholic Church at Niles.


    The village of Dayton is situated on the Michigan Central Railroad, on sections 6 and 7, in the western part of the township. It was first settled by Benjamin Redding, and was known as Redding's Mills until the building of the railroad, when it was changed to the name it now bears. It contains two churches (Methodist and Catholic), two stores, hotel, post-office, school-house, steam saw-mill, grist-mill, wagon-shop, two physicians, about 40 dwellings, and nearly 300 inhabitants. Eighty children are enrolled in the school district between the ages of five and twenty years.

    The post-office was first kept by Benjamin Redding. After the change of name the postmasters have been J.M. Phillips, Emory Smead, Z.P. Redding, S.B. Stout, and A.H. Rothermel, who is the present postmaster.

    The village has also an Odd-Fellows' lodge, No. 214, organized Sept. 17, 1873. It now contains 35 members.


    The first school of which any reliable information can be obtained was taught by Philo Sanford on the Reservation in the winter of 1835, in a small log house that stood on the farm known as the John Borden farm. In the summer of 1836, Lucinda Howe (now Mrs. Bailey) taught in a log house on her father's farm four months in the summer and three months in the winter. She had 20s. per week for the first term. Dissatisfaction was expressed in the matter of wages, and she taught the winter term for $2.50 per scholar, but few who sent their children that winter term paid her. Mary Howe taught in the summer of 1837 in a log house on the Peter Womer farm, and a Mr. Ellis taught in the winter.

    Ethan A. Roe taught in the east part of the township, in what is known as the Clelland district. Orena Thornton taught in a log school-house on the David Rough farm. From 1840 schools were taught in different parts of the township. Houses were built on the corners generally, and schools were supported by a term-rate.

    The school records, as well as the town records, are lost beyond recovery, and it is not known when the township was divided into school districts.

    The following school statistics of Bertrand township are from the official report for the year 1879:
    Number of school districts12
    {Number of} school-houses (brick, 4; wooden, 8)12
    Value of school property (brick, $5500; wooden, $6500)$12,000
    Number of pupils that can be seated in school-houses610
    Number of pupils in township of school age466
    {Number of} male teachers who taught in the several districts6
    Number of female teachers who taught in the several districts15
    Total number of months taught in the several districts82
    Amount paid female teachers$1080
    {Amount paid}male {teachers}800
    Money received from two-mill tax938.76
    Primary interest fund232.32

    The school inspectors in 1879 were Enos Holmes, Geo. W. Haas, and Wm. D. Badger.



    This well-known citizen of the township of Bertrand was born near Easton, Northampton Co., Pa., on the 10th day of September, in the year 1821, being the sixth child of Abraham Messenger and his wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Kemerer. His parents removed to Tompkins Co., N.Y., when the subject of our sketch was about a year old, where his father followed the occupation of a farmer. He died, however, when his son Samuel was but seven years old, and the latter was indebted for his subsequent training to his mother.

    As he grew up to youth and manhood, he alternated the studies of the district school with the labor of the farm, remaining on the old homestead until all the rest of the children had left it. In 1844, when Mr. Messenger was twenty-three years old, he and his mother emigrated together to Michigan, where he purchased one hundred and fifteen acres of land, nearly, though not quite entirely, unimproved, situated on Portage Prairie, in the township of Bertrand, about three miles and a half southwest of the city of Niles.

    There Mr. Messenger has resided during the thirty-six years which have passed away since the date of his first settlement, resisting all the temptations which have lured so many into fruitless change or hazardous speculation, improving his farm from year to year, increasing its size from one hundred and fifteen to one hundred and ninety acres, erecting substantial buildings, and making for himself and his family a comfortable home.

    Mr. Messenger was married, in the year 1850, to Miss Ann Mary Woods, daughter of Richard Woods, of Westchester Co., N.Y. She died on the 14th of July, 1874.

    Mr. and Mrs. Messenger were the parents of four children, - Genevieve, Hettie, Abraham S., and Schuyler. The second and third of these are dead; the oldest and the youngest reside with their father.

    A Whig in early life, Mr. Messenger joined the Republican party at its formation, and, though not an active politician, has ever since steadily adhered to its principles and supported its candidates. In religious faith he is a Presbyterian, having joined the church of that denomination at Niles in 1877.

    These are the simple facts of Mr. Messenger's life. We make no attempt to elaborate the record, or to portray him other than what he is, - a plain, substantial, straightforward, common-sense Michigan farmer.


    Mr. Rough was born in Perry Co., Pa., Dec. 6, 1838, and remained there until 1849, when he removed to Bertrand, Berrien Co., Mich., with his parents. In the spring of 1863 he was married, and soon after began housekeeping on the farm he now owns, which was formerly known as the "Miller Farm." In 1875, Mr. Rough purchased the "John Borden" farm, upon which he has recently completed an elegant brick residence, at a cost of ten thousand dollars, the building being the finest private farm-dwelling in Berrien County, in which he now resides.

    Mr. Rough was left a widower on the 18th of November, 1874, and three children mourned a mother's death.

    In 1877 he made a trip to California, and visited the principal cities, both in the northern and southern portions of the State; deviating from the general route, visiting Denver and the mining parts of Colorado, Salt Lake City, and also the principal cities along the main route. In the summer of 1878, accompanied by his children, he made an extended tour through the East, visiting Western Canada, Niagara Falls, the river St. Lawrence, Montreal, Quebec, the White Mountains, Vermont, and Massachusetts. In 1877 in company with his brothers, he established a hardware-store at Buchanan, which is now in a flourishing condition. In partnership with Solomon Rough and William Pears, he owns the "Little Mill" (grist), and the gristmill at the village of Buchanan. In 1879 he entered in copartnership with W. R. Rough and Solomon Rough, under the firm of Rough Bros'. Wagon-Works, to manufacture wagons, buggies, etc., at Buchanan.

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