History of Cass County, Michigan

The undersigned, who entered a year ago upon the task of preparing an exhaustive and correct history of Cass County, place the result of their labors before their patrons, with a feeling of confidence that it will be fully endorsed by them, as it already has been by the Pioneer Society through its committees appointed for the purpose of revising it. The publishers believe that they have not only fulfilled, but exceeded the expectations of those who have taken a friendly interest in their work, and that the volume which has been produced by them will receive the favorable criticism of all candid people qualified to judge of the character of its contents. No pains nor expense have been spared to make the history all that it should be. Our writers have labored with well-directed diligence to rescue from oblivion all of the essential facts which should enter into a work upon the past of this region of country, and to group them in the most appropriate manner possible. In this labor, always a difficult one, they have received the willing and hearty co-operation of those people who have been the depositories of the desired information. While we rest assured that we and they have been the faithful stewards of the riches of historic lore bestowed by a thousand of the pioneers of the county, and that the facts they have furnished are returned to them in a form which will be acceptable, we are not so presumptuous as to think that the history of Cass County will be absolutely free from trivial errors. That a book which contains at least ten thousand dates, and thrice ten thousand names can be accurate in every line, no thinking person can expect. But we do believe such has been the care bestowed on the preparation of the present work, that its trivial errors are reduced to the minimum that the sins of omission and commission are not numerous. The publishers wish to return their most sincere thanks on their own behalf, and that of those in their employ, to the pioneers of the county who have, often at much self-denial, assisted them in securing the data for this work. To mention the names of all of those whose courtesy and cordiality have been appreciated would be impossible, for their number is hundreds; but we cannot refrain from mentioning the names of a few of this class, whose positions have enabled them to be of especial service. And first we may perhaps place the name of the venerable Capt. Joseph Harper. The Hon. George B. Turner has also been a valued "guide, philosopher and friend," and the store of his information has been largely drawn from.

 

Table of Contents.

CHAPTER I. - INTRODUCTORY AND DESCRIPTIVE... 1
CHAPTER II. - FRENCH EXPLORATION AND OCCUPATION... 13
CHAPTER III. - CONTEST FOR POSSESSION... 22
CHAPTER IV. - OUTLINE OF CIVIL HISTORY... 25
CHAPTER V. - LAND TITLE AND SURVEY... 29
CHAPTER VI. - THE POTTAWATOMIE INDIANS... 33
CHAPTER VII. - THE POTTAWATOMIE INDIANS (CONTINUED)... 44
CHAPTER VIII. - THE CAREY MISSION... 52
CHAPTER IX. - ADVENT OF THE WHITE MAN AS A SETTLER... 58
CHAPTER X. - PIONEER LIFE... 61
CHAPTER XI. - ERECTION AND ORGANIZATION OF CASS COUNTY... 66
CHAPTER XII. - INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS... 75
CHAPTER XIII. RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL... 80
CHAPTER XIV. - THE BAR OF CASS COUNTY... 86
CHAPTER XV. - THE MEDICAL PROFESSION... 96
CHAPTER XVI. - THE PRESS... 106
CHAPTER XVII. - THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD AND THE KENTUCKY RAID... 109
CHAPTER XVIII. - CASS COUTNY IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION... 115
CHAPTER XIX. - CASS COUTNY IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION (CONTINUED)... 130
CHAPTER XX. - THE PIONEER SOCIETY... 140
CHAPTER XXI. - AGRICULTURAL AND MISCELLANEOUS SOCIETIES... 148
CHAPTER XXII. - STATISTICS... 152
CHAPTER XXIII. - CASSOPOLIS... 154
CHAPTER XXIV. - THE CITY OF DOWAGIAC... 181
CHAPTER XXV. - POKAGON... 204
CHAPTER XXVI. - LA GRANGE... 224
CHAPTER XXVII. - PENN... 243
CHAPTER XVIII. - ONTWA... 262
CHAPTER XXIX. - VOLINIA... 283
CHAPTER XXX. - PORTER... 300
CHAPTER XXXI. - WAYNE... 318
CHAPTER XXXII. - HOWARD... 333
CHAPTER XXXIII. - MILTON... 343
CHAPTER XXXIV. - SILVER CREEK... 354
CHAPTER XXXV. - JEFFERSON... 366
CHAPTER XXVI. - CALVIN... 376
CHAPTER XXXVII. - MARCELLUS... 391
CHAPTER XXXVIII. - MASON... 406
CHAPTER XXXIX. - NEWBURG... 418

 

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The pages of this volume are intended to present a complete and exhaustive history of Cass County, and they contain incidentally many fragments of the history of Michigan and of the West. An effort is made, in many instances, not only to chronicle facts, but to explain their relations as causes and effects in the great chain of events through which a wilderness has been reclaimed and added to the mighty realm of civilization. In the first few chapters of the book, a chronological order of arrangement is maintained, but in subsequent ones which treat of subjects in the narrower field, which is our especial province, the topical form is resorted to for reasons which will be obvious to every reader.