History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Chapter 26, Medina Township



CHAPTER XXVI. MEDINA TOWNSHIP. The organization of this township dates from March 11, 1837, on which date it was set off from the township of Seneca, with boundaries described as follows: "Township 8 south, of range I east." The sheriff was empowered to designate the meeting place for the first township meeting, and that official selected the house of John Dawes, which was considered a central location. The surface of the township is generally rolling, and the varieties known as hardwood predominate in the forests. The lower lands were covered with maple, black walnut, shell-bark hickory, and some varieties of oak, while the uplands and hills were mostly covered with white oak. There were bears, deer, wolves, and wild-cats in great numbers, which afforded great sport for the local hunters in pioneer days. Nathaniel W. Upton was the first settler in Medina in 1834, this gentleman came into the present boundaries of the township and entered land on sections 3 and 4. In company with Dexter Smith, who entered an adjoining tract of land, in Hudson Township, he built a cabin on his land, in May, 1834. It was a log cabin, or three sides of it were logs, the other being open-and before it they built their fire. The roof was of elm bark. The bedstead was a fixture of the house. When the cabin was erected, notches were cut in the logs at the proper height and poles laid in; the outer corners were supported by stakes or posts made of a section of young trees. Beech withes were woven across in place of cords, and on these, elm bark was laid. It was called a Michigan bedstead, and was probably the first spring bed on record. In this cabin Smith and Upton lived during the summer, but in the fall they built themselves a comfortable log house, in which they kept bachelors hall until the winter of 1836. On April 8, 1834, Cook Hotchkiss and John Knapp purchased the northeast quarter and the east half of the southeast quarter of section 2. Deacon Cook Hotchkiss was born in Cheshire, Conn., Sept. 14, 1797, and went to Delaware County, New York, with his parents, before he was twenty years old. He experienced religion in Homer, N. Y., when he was twenty, and subsequently united with the Baptist church, in Medina, N. Y., where he served in the office of deacon. He was a blacksmith by trade, and carried on a shop in the village of Medina for several years, until the spring of 1834, when he came to Michigan, as above stated, in company with John Knapp. They traveled the entire distance on foot, in the month of March, and together located 32o acres of land on section 2, in Medina Township, where the village of Medina now stands. After locating their land they immediately returned to New York, traveling on foot as far as Buffalo. About May i, they again started for Michigan with their famihes and all their effects, traveling by their own teams, and they arrived in Adrian, June 2. Mr. Hotchkiss remained in Adrian, working for Gabriel Todd, until Jan. 1, 1835, when he moved on his land in Medina, the purchase which he and Mr. Knapp made there having then been equally divided. Mr. Hotchkiss at once put up a blacksmith shop, making a frame of poles, which he covered with shakes, and it was the first shop in the township. Mr. Knapp built his house in the summer of 1834, and it was the first in the village of Medina. Charles A. Prisbey came in that fall, and built his house about the time that Mr. Hotchkiss erected his dwelling. The village was subsequently platted upon the land of Hotchkiss and Knapp, principally upon that belonging to Knapp, and it was named by those gentlemen. While residing in Adrian, Mr. Hotchkiss united with the Baptist church, and he was one of the organizers of the Baptist church at Medina village, in 1836, serving as a deacon until his death. He was the first justice of the peace in Medina. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, and was one of the most useful of men in a newly settled country. Upright in deal, able in counsel, and dignified in manner, he exerted more than a common influence in the community. He was a Christian in every sense of the word, and never wearied in well going. He never failed to visit all neighbors, and especially newcomers. He made it his business to find out the condition a family was in when it came, and if he learned it was in need of anything he could supply, he carried it to the family, not even asking them to come and get it. It should be known that, many of the lowly pioneers of Lenawee County had a certain degree of pride about them, and often suffered before they would make their needs known. Mr. Hotchkiss realized this fact, and bore his alms to them. He was well known by every settler of the Bean Creek valley, his house being a meeting house, alms house, and resting place for all, and no man was ever more sincerely mourned by an entire community than was he at the time of his death, Aug. 28, 1839, after an illness of only one week. John Knapp was born in Mamaroneck, Westchester County, New York, Aug. 22, 1785. He was reared a farmer, and first commenced his independent career in Onondaga county, but finally went to Ridgeway, in Orleans county, and purchased a farm. He resided there until May, 1834, when he came to Michigan, as before stated. He cleared tip his farm in Medina Township, and lived there until 1841, when he sold out to the Medina Milling Company and removed to Fairfield, purchasing 20o acres on sections 19 and 20, where the village of Weston now stands. He resided there until 1870, when he became feeble in health, and went to Adrian to reside with his son, John I., and there he died, Jan. 17, 1874. On June 3, 1834, William W. Walworth purchased the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section I, and on June 6, John R. Foster purchased the northeast quarter of section 6. Messrs. Knapp, Walworth, and Foster, each built houses and settled their famihes in the month of June, but Mr. Fosterís family preceded the others a few days, and Mrs. Foster was therefore the first white woman resident of Medina township. Mr. Foster's house was erected near the northeast corner of his farm, and was built after the model of the early log houses. The floor was of split and hewed basswood, the roof of bark, two small windows, and a stick and mud chimney. John Knapp built a somewhat better house-in fact, it smacked a little of aristocracy. It was 2ox26 feet, one and a half stories high; the floors were of split and hewed basswood, and the roof was covered with shakes. Shakes were rived out of oak timber; they were about thirty inches long, all the way of a thickness, and as wide as could be made out of the quarter of an oak log. The shakes, therefore, varied in width according as they were split out of a large or small tree, or was the first or last river out of the bolt. The shakes were laid on poles flattened to the rafters and held in place by other poles, the poles, underneath and top, being fastened together with hickory or blue beech withes. But, notwithstanding these aristocratic notions, Mr. Knapp was compelled to have a stick and mud chimney, because there were neither brick nor stone to be had. The house stood near where Allen's, tavern, in Medina village, afterward stood. The land bought by William W. Walworth was that on which the Canandaigua mills afterward stood. He built a house a little northwest of where the old saw mill was afterward built. Charles A. Prisbey purchased the northeast fractional quarter of the northwest quarter of section 2. Samuel Fincher bought the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 2, Oct. 5. Both these men built houses on their lands in the summer and fall of 1834. William Cavender settled on his land in March, 1835, and his brother-in-law, Samuel Gregg, built a house on the land Cavender purchased, and commenced keeping tavern. That original tavern stood on the site where afterward stood the Canandaigua hotel. Of this enterprise, Mr. Gregg subsequently said: "Mr. Cavender moved on his premises, and in March, 1835, I went there and built me a log house, 20x3O feet, took my lumber from Adrian, and moved my family April 16. Soon afterward I made an addition of twelve feet to one side, for a cook room and dining room, and came to Adrian to purchase groceries-whiskey and brandy and told them I was going to keep tavern. They thought that was a novel idea, and laughed at me, and had their own fun about it. I told them all I wanted of them was to send on the land-lookers; and in June and July I had more customers than I could attend to, frequently from twelve to twenty at a time, and one night thirty-five land lookers." In less than six months most of the land in the township was purchased, and a large portion by actual settlers. In the month of September, 1835, the first sermon was preached by the Rev. William Wolcott, then of Adrian and afterward a resident of Hudson. The sermon was preached in Gregg's bar-room, on the invitation of Mr. Gregg. In October, 1835, Dr. Increase S. Hamilton settled in Canandaigua. The same fall the first school house was built, on the farm of William Cavender. Dr. Hamilton taught the first school in the winter of 1835-6. In the fall of 1835, William Cavender bought the land owned by William W. Walworth the site of the Canandaigua mills and commenced building a saw mill. It sawed the first lumber, April 12, 1836. In the month of November, 1835, the Rev. William E. Warner settled on section 4. He had formerly resided in the state of New York, and was there a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a local preacher. His large and still increasing family rendered it impossible for him to enter the itinerary permanently, but for several years he had traveled circuits under the direction of, the presiding elders thereof. In 1835, feeling the importance of finding a home for his large family, he traded what property he had for Michigan land, never having seen the land or been in the territory. He came by wagon to Adrian, and there inquiring for the Bean Creek country, was directed to go out on the Territorial road. After several days travel, he found himself on the Chicago road, north of Devil's Lake. He then turned southward through the forests, and made his way as well as he could toward where he supposed his land to be. After a tedious journey he arrived at the abode of Noah Gregg, on section 32 in Hudson Township, two miles from his land, on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 8, 1835. There he found .brethren of his own church, for the Brown famihes had arrived only the Monday previous. A few weeks later he moved into a cabin on his own land. Mr. Warner was one of the most eloquent men this county was ever blessed with. Always ready, he obeyed every call for ministerial services, whether to break the bread of life on a Sunday, or to speak words of consolation to mourning friends on a week day. He had no regular work, but went everywhere, among all classes of people-fearless always, reposing with confidence on the promise, "Lo, I am with you always." His name was a household word among the settlers, from the Chicago road to the Maumee river, and from the Raisin eastward to the utmost bounds of the west, as apphed to the Bean Creek valley. As with out regular work, so he was without salary. However hard the labor endured in answering the demands for ministerial labor, he always accepted the proffered remuneration, whether it was a silver dollar or a peck of potatoes, with a pleasant smile and a hearty "God bless you." He lived in Medina Township for several years, and then removed, about 1852, to the township of Ransom, Hillsdale County, where he resided until his death, which occurred about 1871. After the Rev. Mr. Wolcott's sermon in Gregg's bar-room in September, 1835, Mr. Wolcott continued to preach there once in four weeks during the fall, and a Congregational society was organized, but it soon became extinct. The religious element of the Upton and Gregg settlements was largely of the Baptist order, and on Jan. 29, 1836, a church was organized under the name and style of "The Baptist Church of Canandaigua." Cook Hotchkiss was deacon and superintendent of the Sunday school. Religious services were held in the school house at Canandaigua. The mill, commenced building in 1835, was finished in the spring of 1836, by Laban Merrick, and the first lumber was sawed on April 12. William W. Walworth built a small mill on Lime creek, section 21. It was a patent arrangement and ground coarse grain only. Tyler Mitchell was the carpenter and millwright, and the mill commenced grinding in June, 1836. Mr. Walworth died in August, the second death in the township, the first having been Loren, a son of John Knapp, April 7. In the fall of 1836, George W. Moore became an inhabitant of the township, having purchased his land in the spring of 1834. Mr. Moore was born in Peterboro, N. H., April 3, 1849 He remained at home until a youth of eighteen years, and was then apprenticed to his brother William to learn the machinist's trade, which he followed until 1836. In the spring of 1834, he migrated to Michigan and purchased 21o acres of government land on section 3 in Medina Township. After securing his title he returned to the Old Granite State, and followed his trade there until in September, 1836. Being now reinforced with a small capital, he came back to the West and began the improvement of his purchase. With the exception of five acres, which he had hired a man to chop, there were no improvements whatever upon his land. The task before him seemed a Herculean one, but he was strong in youth and hope, and set about it with all the resolution which he had inherited from his forefathers. He labored alone industriously until in August, 1837, and then returned to New Hampshire and was married. Immediately after the wedding the young people departed for their new home in the West, and took possession of the log house which had been erected by Mr. Moore. In 1837 Mr. Moore assisted in the organization of Medina Township, and was one of the first assessors, holding the office for some time. As the township became settled tip and began to assume modern manners and institutions, he was foremost in its various enterprises, among the first of which -vas the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, of Lenawee, in which he served as director for a period of fourteen years. He repeatedly represented his township in state and county political conventions, and was the chairman of three different county conventions, besides holding other important and honorable offices. In 1850 he sailed from New York to California, spending a month on the Isthmus of Panama, and landed in San Francisco April 14, having been three weeks on the journey. He had intended to follow farming on the Pacific Slope, but being unable to carry out his original plans engaged in a saw mill several months at $100 per month. He remained in the Golden State about two years, then returned to Michigan and settled down upon his farm in Medina Township, engaging in agriculture and adding to his real estate until he became the owner of about 30o acres. The little log house which Mr. Moore put up for the reception of his bride, in 1836, in time gave way to a commodious, modern dwelling, and the first rude stable disappeared, its site being occupied by a large and commodious barn with the addition of various other buildings indispensable to the progressive modern farmer. Mr. Moore introduced the first mower and reaper into the western portion of Lenawee county, and while giving due attention to the modern methods of agriculture, ever bore in mind the importance of education to the rising generation. He was foremost in the establishment of religious and educational institutions, being one of the founders of Oak Grove Academy, and one of the most prominent and active members of the Congregational church. The Rev. David Smith preached in the township. He was a Presbyterian clergyman, sent out as a missionary, and was supported by the Presbytery of Western New York. He lived in a small house on the farm of Simon D. Wilson, in Seneca, and preached in private houses. He removed to Illinois in the spring of 1837. In June, 1836, the Rev. Edward Hodge became the pastor of the. Baptist church, organized at Canandaigua; in January of that year. He received a salary of $200, and he lived in the township of Dover. The spring of 1836 was a very severe one for the inhabitants of Medina Township. The most of them had moved in, in 1835, and as yet had not raised a crop, and provisions were very scarce and dear. Even had there been provisions that could have been bought, many of the settlers could not have purchased, as they had used tip their means in purchasing land and moving in. One man who had planted some potatoes in the spring of 1836 was obliged to dig them up and eat them. It was all they could get to eat. Flour, when obtainable, was sixteen dollars a barrel; pork, thirty to thirty-two; oats, $1.25 a bushel; and salt, ten dollars a barrel. Some families were obliged to live for weeks without bread, and depended upon the rifle for their daily subsistence. Said the Rev. William E. Warner to Mr. Moore, one day in the fall of 1836: "We are having snug times at our house; for our breakfast this morning we had nothing but pumpkin sauce to eat, and Mrs. Warner thinks these are rather hard times." The hard times, however, did not have the effect to suspend the execution of the Divine command, as given in Genesis 1:28, for on July 14, 1835, a son was born to Charles A. Prisbey. The boy grew to manhood and died at Murfreesboro, Tenn., June 27, 1863, while a member of the Twenty-fourth Wisconsin infantry. On Nov. 14, 1835, Orrin Green was born, and on Feb. 18, 1836, a child was born in the family of Lewis Shepardson. On the same day a child was born in the family of a Mr. Bayless, in the south part of the township. On Aug. 24, 1836, Henry C. Foster was born. He, also, died in the service of his country, at Athens, Ala., Sept. 24, 1864, a member of the Eighteenth Michigan infantry. In the summer of 1836, Ansel Coats and Phoebe York were married, Daniel H. Deming officiating, and on September 18, John D. Sutton and Abigail Knapp were married. John D. Sutton, who thus had the distinction of being one of the first men to be made a benedict in Medina Township, was born in Brutus, Cayuga County, New York, April 13, 1803. He came to Michigan in the winter of 1835-6, and took up 16o acres of land on section ii, in Medina, where he resided until his death, which occurred July 25, 1877. He cleared up and improved 140 acres, built good buildings, and reared a large family. He was a thorough farmer, an honorable and enterprising man, and a highly respected citizen. In the early days of the settlement he never shirked a duty or responsibility, and was progressive and ready for any service. His was the first wedding to be solemnized in the township, as Ansel Coats and Phoebe York, whose nuptials preceded those of Mr. and Mrs. Sutton, went to the residence of Daniel H. Deming, in Dover Township, to be married. There was not a minister in that portion of the county at that tine, and Mr. and Mrs. Sutton were married by Deacon Cook Hotchkiss, the first justice of the peace. The young township must have early begun to feel the curse of intemperance, for on July 4, 1836, Dr. Hamilton delivered a temperance lecture at Canandaigua. The Rev. Lorenzo Davis having been sent to the newly organized Bean Creek mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, preached in John R. Foster's house. Mr. Foster had already built his second house, and the pioneer building was used as a church and school-house. Mr. Davis continued to preach in that house once a month during that conference year. Mrs. Dr. Hamilton taught the school in the Canandaigua school-house in the summer of 1836, and that fall a frame school-house was built in the village. Then Canandaigua aspired to be the metropolis of Medina Township. The same fall a log school-house was built on the farm of Benjamin Rogers, southeast quarter of section 23. Medina had three schools in the winter of 1836-37, the third being taught by Miss Colgrove, in John R. Foster's house, near the northeast corner of section 3. In December 3, 1836, the Baptist church of Canandaigua voted to hold its meetings in the village of Medina. The meetings were held at the dwelling house of Deacon Cook Hotchkiss during the winter of 1836-7 and the summer of 1837. Medina village, as it then began to be called, had no physician, and, ignoring the Divine command, it coveted its neighbor's doctor. Dr. Hamilton had built a new frame house in the village of Canandaigua, and to induce him to move to their village, the people of Medina purchased the house, and the doctor moved in December, 1836. As the villages are less than two miles apart, it practically could make but little difference whether he lived at one or the other of the places, but for the oldest village to lose her only doctor to enrich her rival, was rather humiliating. But Canandaigua's cup of humiliation was not yet full. The only frame dwelling house in the township was within her borders, and this the Medina people determined should not be-they Would remove it. Twenty of the most stalwart men went down there, with fifteen yoke of oxen collected from among the farmers of Medina and Hudson, to accomplish the removal. Shoes were placed under the building, the oxen hitched to it, and "Whoa," "Haw," "Get nip, Bright," and away the house went toward Medina. To avoid the bridge, a road was cut through the woods, north of the creek. The route they were compelled to take to avoid the bends of the creek made the road fully two miles long, and the house was two days in transit; but at last Medina had one frame house, Canandaigna none. In the winter of 1836-7 the Medina Mill Company built a saw mill in the village of Medina. It commenced sawing lumber, April 4, 1837. On March 11, 1837, the legislature set township 8 south, i east, off from Seneca and gave it the name of Medina, and on .March 20, of the same year, a supplemental act was passed, detaching fractional township 9 south, i east, from Seneca and attaching it to Medina. At the time of its organization, the first Monday in April, 1837, the following named persons were voters in the township of Medina, and it is supposed that they participated in the first township meeting: Nathaniel W. Upton, John R. Foster, John Knapp, Cook Hotchkiss, Charles Prisbey, Samuel Fincher, Ebenezer Daniels, John C. Hotchkiss, Artemas Allen, Dr. Increase S. Hamilton, Rev. William E. Warner, Abel Platts, Patrick McKenny, Tyler Mitchell, Patrick Dillon, William Cavender, Samuel Gregg, Suffrenus Dewey, Orrin Pixley, Charles M. Baldwin, Lawrence Reubottom, Hiram Lucas, Asa_Farley, Lewis Shepardson, Amasa Converse, Noah I . Green, John Dawes, Levi B. Wilder, Benjamin Holmes, James McQuillis, Benjamin Rogers, Abner Rogers, Chester Savage, Justus Coy, Orville Woodworth, Cassius P. Warner, John Powers, Ethan Barns, Seneca Barns, Rollin R. Hill, Orlando Whitney, John S. Sweeney, John D. Sutton, Henry S. Smith, Samuel Kies, Horace Garlick, E. H. Johnson, Levi Goss, and Hiram Wakefield, all heads of famihes; and Eli Upton, George W. Moore, Andrew McFarlane, James Burns, Patrick Trumer, Levi Daniels, James Rogers, Charles Stone, Newton Dawes, Alonzo S. Fume, Benjamin Converse, Nahum Stone, John Seeley, J. M. Baggerly, and Zebedee Baggerly, unmarried men. Suffrenus Dewey was born in Schoharie County, New York, May 14, 1797. While young he was bound out to a man living in Augusta, Oneida county, with whom he lived two years, and at the end of that time he was again bound out to a man by the name of Rice, with whom he lived until 1818, when he left home and went to Leroy, N. Y., where he worked at the carpenter's trade until 1832, at which time he went to Brockport, N. Y. In the fall of 1834, he moved with his family to Lenawee County and bought land, which he settled upon and cleared. He followed farming until 1846, when, leaving his family comfortably provided for; he went to Wisconsin and worked at his trade, returning to Lenawee county in 186o. Among the many buildings Mr. Dewey erected while working at his trade, may be mentioned the Globe Mills, at Tecumseh. As an honored and respected citizen he enjoyed the confidence of the community. Charles M. Baldwin was born in Windsor, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Feb. 28, I8o6, and there he was reared on a farm. He remained there until 1833, when he came to Michigan and took up government land, it being the west half of the northeast quarter, section I8, Fairfield, the deed being dated. May 27, 1833. He made some improvements and lived there until 1835, when he traded his land for property in Genesee County, but never moved there. He at once purchased a farm on sections 24 and 25, in Medina, and there he lived until he was fatally injured by a horse and died, April 3, 1852. Orville Woodworth was born in Columbia county, New York, Feb. 1, 1807, and became the proprietor of a good farm near the town of Sennett, about five miles from the city of Auburn. He sold his interests in the Empire State, and coming to Lenawee County took up a tract of land in Medina Township. This he moved upon in 1835, and from that time devoted his attention to its cultivation and improvement. He was a public-spirited citizen, and did much to encourage the settlement of Medina Township with a worthy and intelligent class of people. He was ever the ready helper of those trying to help themselves, and contributed of his time and means to the various worthy enterprises upon which the prosperity of the young and struggling community depended. His third house, which he put up in the winter of 1847-8, was used as a hotel, and was familiarly known as "Buckhorn Tavern." This was before the days of railroads in that section of country and before the village of Morenci had much of an existence. Mr. Woodworth was an expert with the rifle in those early days, and hunting and fishing were his favorite pastimes. Over 5oo deer fell by his unerring rifle after he became a resident of this county. He lived to be quite aged, and died at his homestead, Oct. 3, 1870. Hiram Wakefield's birthplace was at Thompson, Windham County, Connecticut, where he first saw the light, Dec. 6, 1807. He was reared on a farm, enjoying the usual educational advantages, and remained until 1835, when he came to Medina Township with his wife and one child, and settled on Bean creek, where they remained until 1864, engaged in farming. At that date they sold this farm and removed to Morenci, where he and his wife resided the rest of their lives. Mr. Wakefield was a member of the school board, and he and Mrs. Wakefield were worthy and consistent members of the Methodist church, with which they were identified from 1837, and Mr. Wakefield was a class-leader for twenty-four years. Throughout his life he lived peaceably with his fellowmen, and was a man without enemies. He was a kind and indulgent parent, a liberal-minded man and an obliging neighbor, and he gained a place in the esteem and affection of the community as the result of an exemplary life. Benjamin Converse was born in Belchertown, Mass., Oct. 29, 1813. He was bred on a farm to the calling which his forefathers had pursued for many years on Massachusetts soil. When he was about six years of age his parents removed to Northampton, and in that beautiful New England town' Mr. Converse grew to manhood, remaining on the home farm and assisting his father until the fall of 1834, when he came to Michigan to take up sonic government land. Medina Township, which was fertile and favorably situated for culture, and had it entered in his brother's name, for in those days money was scarce, and the pioneers had to resort to various expedients to save expense. As soon as the land had been entered, he and his brother Amasa returned to Massachusetts, and Benjamin remained in his native state for one and one-half years. In 1836 he returned to Michigan and began the improvement of the tract of land which he had taken up on his previous visit, but after spending two years in clearing his land, he returned to his old home. In 1840 he again came to Michigan, and permanently located on his land in Medina Township, upon which he continued to live the remainder of his life, with the exception of two years, when he rented it and lived in Massachusetts. He added eighty acres to his original purchase and by vigorous and thrifty management brought his land into a well cultivated condition, erecting good buildings and making many other substantial improvements. Besides accomplishing all this, he engaged in the manufacture of brooms for several years, which pursuit added greatly to his income. Mr. Converse was a man of cautious discrimination and far-seeing intelligence. In his political behef he was a thorough Republican, his high character and standing in his community having made him an acceptable office-holder, and he was honored by his fellowmen by election to the offices of treasurer, collector, and highway commissioner, in which last-named office he served for one term, and he also held the various offices of the school board. In accordance with the sheriff's proclamation, the first township meeting was held on Monday, April 3, 1837, and officers were elected-as follows: Rollin R. Hill, supervisor; John Dawes, township clerk; George W. Moore, Noah K. Green, and James A. Rogers, assessors; Orlando Whitney, John S. Sweeney, and John Powers, commissioners of highways; Asa Farley and John D. Sutton, school commissioners; Benjamin Rogers and John Knapp, overseers of the poor; Asa Farley, James A. Rogers, Henry S. Smith, and Samuel Kies, justices of the peace; Charles Stone, Cassins P. Warner, Horace Garlick, and E. H. Johnson, constables; Charles Stone, collector. The justices-elect drew for term, with the following result: Henry S. Smith, four years; Samuel Kies, three years; James A. Rogers, two years; Asa Farley, one year. The voters thought it necessary to offer a five-dollar wolf bounty. But there had been a muddle in this election. Hitherto, there had been both school commissioners and school inspectors, but the legislature abolished the office of school commissioner at the session in 1837. The people evidently thought it was the inspectors that were abolished, for they elected school commissioners, but no inspectors. A special township meeting was called to rectify the error, and it was held on June 20, at the house of John Dawes. Dr. Increase S. Hamilton, Rollin R. Hill, and Noah K. Green were elected school inspectors. Late in the same year, Samuel Kies removed from the township, and Samuel Gregg was elected justice to fill the vacancy. The rivalry still continued between the villages of Canandaigua and Medina, and James J. Hogaboam relates the following little incident in his "History of the Bean Creek Valley." It tended to even matters up a little: In the fall of 1836, an itinerant fruit tree vender brought some apple trees to Canandaigua to sell to the farmers of Medina and Seneca. He had fifty more than he could dispose of, and these he buried in William Cavender's field. In the winter, a Medina man coming by the field discovered the tree tops covered with snow, and asked Burns Cavender what it meant. Burns said Gregg had thrown a drunken Indian out of his barroom, that he had died from exposure, and that his body was buried lightly and covered with brush. The Medina man went home, revolving in his mind the tragic death of the Indian. He called a secret council, and it was decided that the matter must be investigated and Gregg punished. In the dead of the night, six of Medina's most valiant sons sallied forth, armed with axes and spades, for a march on Canandaigua. They came to the spot and attempted to remove the brush, but the butt ends had sunk in the mud and frozen down. The axes were called in requisition, and the brush was cut away even with the ground. Then the digging commenced, and in the course of an hour's hard work the bodies and roots of the trees were exhumed. They went home sadder and wiser men, desiring above all things to keep their agency in the matter a secret. But "murder will out," they had to pay for the trees, and, what was of more consequence to them, they were jeered at by the Canandaigua folks. On March 7, 1837, a church was organized in the south part of the township, and was called the First Congregational Church of Medina. It had eleven members, and the Rev. Paul Shepherd was its first pastor. Canandaigua was platted, Oct. 26, 1835, by Ira White, but Medina village was not platted until a year and a half later. The plat was made and acknowledged by Asahel Finch, Jr., Cook Hotchkiss, Artemus Allen, and Lauren Hotchkiss, March 30, 1837. The original merchant of the township of Medina was a Mr. Saulsbury, who located at Canandaigua, in 1835. He was succeeded by a Mr. Green, in 1836, also at Canandaigua; and Allen Daniels & Company, at Medina, was the third in the mercantile succession. From 1840 to 1844, the villages of Medina and Canandaigua were at the height of their power, grandeur, and glory. The two villages did the most extensive milling business in the Bean creek valley, if not in the entire county. The Medina mill alone, in 1840, floured 40,000 bushels of wheat, besides custom work, and the store of Allen Daniels & Company was the most complete in Lenawee county, outside of the village of Adrian. But as centers of industry these villages have long since ceased to attract attention, the building of railroads on every side having built up other places and given an advantage that was hard to overcome in the struggle for superiority. And Medina may be said to be an exclusively agricultural district, although the village of Munson, on the Wabash railroad, is a shipping and trading point of importance and convenience to a large farming community.



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History of Lenawee County
published by The Western Historical Society in 1909.

Chapter 25
Chapter 27

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