THE township of Cheshire, which comprises surveytownship No. 1 north, in range
14 west, is located on the south line of the county, which is also the base-line of the United States survey, being
bounded on the north by the township of Pine Plains, south by Van Buren County, east by the township of Trowbridge,
and west by Lee. Its surface is slightly undulating, with some small hills, but it is almost entirely composed
of arable ground. There was formerly considerable swampy land, but most of this has been transformed by the labor
of its owners into the most productive portion of the township.
Cheshire is adorned with many very beautiful lakes, which give variety to the landscape and greatly enhance the
attractions of the township. The most important of these is Swan Lake, located in the centre of the township, and
lying principally upon section 16. It is surrounded with fertile fields and excellent timbered land, and its shores
and waters, moreover, offer many alluremeuts to the sportsman. Advent Lake is situated on the east side of sections
11 and 12, while northwest of it are Silver and Mud Lakes. Eagle Lake, so called from its fancied resemblance to
that imperial bird, lies on the county-line, part of it extending into Van Buren County, but the larger portion
being in section 35, in Cheshire. Duck Lake, on section 36, is very properly named. Its surface, when the writer
visited it, was almost literally covered with wild ducks, and these birds have long made it a favorite haunt.
Little Lake lies on sections 20 and 29, and a second Mud Lake is found northwest of Eagle Lake. The township has
also several considerable streams flowing through it. Their waters nearly all find their way eventually to the
Kalamazoo River, Swan Lake being the general reservoir and Swan Creek the medium through which they are conveyed
to that stream, into which the creek empties, after passing through the northwest corner of Cheshire, in the township
of Pine Plains.
The soil may be described as a gravel and clay loam, with a fair proportion of sand in the northern and western
portions. Much drainage has been done, and the crops produced by the strong clayey soil bear ample evidence to
the value of this species of improvement. In 1873 the number of acres of wheat harvested was 1023, which yielded
10,921 bushels of that grain, while 807 acres, which were planted with corn, produced 33,496 bushels, this crop
being in some localities especially prolific. Various other grains are also grown with success.
The soil and climent are well adapted to the raising of fruit, which is likely in time to prove one of the most
profitable products of the township. All kinds of timber flourish in Cheshire. In the north part beech and maple
timber abounds, the trees attaining large size, while elsewhere the ground was originally shaded by an ample growth
of basswood, oak, walnut, butternut, elm, and ash. The pine is of good quality, and has always been in much demand.
In the low and swampy land the usual luxuriant growth of tamarack is discovered.
Until the year 1839 not a tree in Cheshire had fallen before the pioneerís axe.
In that year two residents of Monroe Co., N. Y., Simeon Pike and the Rev. Jonathan Hinckley, left their native
State for Michigan. The latter settled at Breedsville, in Van Buren County, while Mr. Pike entered 40 acres of
land on section 31, in Cheshire, and later acquired an additional 40 acres in Bloomingdale.
Horace Humphrey and Joseph Peck, in Columbia, were his nearest neighbors for two or three years, they having settled
the year before he did. His family, consisting of his wife and three children, remained with these neighbors until
a comfortable house had been erected on his land; after that he cleared a small tract and devoted it principally
to grain and other supplies for family use. His time was, however, chiefly given to the management of Alex. L.
grist-mill, where he was employed until it was consumed by fire. He then repaired to Paw Paw and engaged in the
milling business there; his family meanwhile remaining in Cheshire. After the burning of the mill he was obliged
to make a pilgrimage of twenty-three miles to convert his grain into flour. Mr. Pike spent his latter days upon
the farm, where he died in 1861, aged sixty-five years. His oldest son, Osteen G. Pike, now lives in the township,
on section 27.
The next settler was Samuel Goodell, who came from Monroe Co., N. Y, in 1840, and located upon 160 acres on section
32, having remained with Horace Humphrey while erecting a log house, to which he soon after removed. He immediately
began clearing his farm, on which he remained until his death. His brother Nathaniel Goodell purchased land near
him, but subsequently removed to Monterey, where he now resides. The township for several years had few accessions
to the small band of early pioneers. As late as 1844 the only tax payers whose names appear on the records are
Samuel Goodell and Simeon Pike. In the spring of 1847 came Samuel Lane, from Monroe Co., N. Y., who entered 80
acres on section 33, which he cleared, and on which he remained six years. He then removed to the township of Bloomingdale,
Van Buren Co. At about the same time came Washington and Matthew Merchant, who located in the northeastern portion
of the township and remained several years. They then moved away, and little is now remembered about them, as their
location was a very isolated one.
Cyrus W. and James G. Lindsley with their families came to the township in 1850, where they built a saw-mil1 on
a small creek running through section 27, which is thc outlet of Eagle Lake. Subsequently, C. W. Lindsley built
on the same stream a shingle-mill, which he owned until his death, in 1873. James G. Lindsley purchased land on
section 22 and erected a saw-mill, the saw of which worked back and forth horizontally, cutting off the top of
the log first. Mr. Lindsley entered the army, where he died in 1863.
In the year 1848, Caleb Ward purchased 120 acres of land on section 31 from D. S. Heywood, who had bought it of
the government. Previous to the purchase, however, Mr. Heywood had made an arrangement with Melvin Hogmire to clear
off a part of it, receiving for his labor a portion of the land. Mr. Hogmire at the time of the sale had cleared
about 30 acres, and Mr. Ward purchased his interest also in the land, and entered upon the cleared tract at once.
His son, Emmet Ward, lives on the farm his father bought.
A settler named Buck, a man of advanced years, came from New York and located upon 240 acres on section 9, in 1849.
He was an eccentric character, and was well known throughout the county, where he occasionally performed the functions
of a preacher. He removed several years after to Illinois, and died there.
A. B. Eaton was an emigrant from Niagara Co., N. Y., in 1849, who purchased a farm of 120 acres on section 34.
There was already some clearing done, and a shanty had been erected. His nearest neighbor was Reuben Ward, in Van
Buren County, with whom Mr. Eatonís family found a cordial welcome on their arrival. For months Mrs. Eaton and
Mrs. Ward were the only white women seen in thisportion of the township. Before Mr. Eatonís arrival his farm had
been occupied by a settler named Tyler, who probably came as early as 1848, but died soon after.
Harvey Munger, better known in this and adjacent portions of the State as Elder Munger, one of the pioneers in
ministerial work in Allegan County, became a resident of Cheshire in 1850, having previously resided in Allegan.
He purchased 200 acres on section 34, and after a residence of ten years removed to Van Buren County. He called
together a little baud of worshipers of the Baptist faith, who convened in the school.house, the list of which
embraced the names of A. B. Eaton and wife, Miss Anna Palmer, Miss Mary Ann Piersons, Miss Rhoda Cooley, and Elder
and Mrs. Munger. The elder ministered to this little flock several years, after which they became a portion of
the Bloomingdale Church. A Sabbath-school was established in 1851, which, though held at the house of Harvey Howard,
in Bloomingdale, was chiefly sustained by the residents of Cheshire, Mr. A. B. Eaton having been superintendent.
Marcus Lane, whose early recollections cluster around the beautiful valley of the Mohawk, in the State of New York,
came to Cheshire in 1850, and purchased 128 acres on section 33. He stayed with his brother, Samuel Lane, while
erecting a house of his own, to which he subsequently brought a wile. To the raising of this house the neighbors
for a long distance around were summoned as usual. They responded readily, but a part of them withdrew on the announcement
that no whisky would be given them. Mr. Lane, however, preferred to maintain his temperance )nnciples at the risk
of unpopularity, and with the aid of he remaining few succeeded in erecting the frame. ĎMr. Lane, when he came
West., intended to go to Illinois, but has found Michigan a field of labor both congenial and profitable.
Dustin Murch, formerly a resident of Orleans Co., N. Y., located 80 acres on section 18 in 1849. He had already
erected a shanty when his family arrived, to which they removed. The following spring a band of Indians located
near him on sections 20 and 29, close to Little Lake, many of whom proved industrious farmers and met a fair degree
of success in their agricultural pursuits. They numbered 8 or 10 families, and were of the tribe that settled in
Wayland. Was-sa-to was the most prominent among them.
Elizer Hogmire arrived the same winter, and located one mile south of Mr. March, where he engaged in the manufacture
Richard Ferris left Van Buren County in 1854, and purchased 560 acres on sections 17 and 19, in Cheshire. Even
then there was but one house between his land and the village of Allegan. He accepted the hospitality of Dustin
March while erecting a shanty, and soon after built a saw-mill on Swan Creek, which was the second mill in Cheshire.
He carried it on until it was burned, in 1860. Three years later it was replaced by another, situated eighty rods
west of the site of the first one. Mr. Ferris still resides upon his original purchase, and has established a good
record as a successful farmer and a public-spirited citizen.
William L. Torry arrived from Ohio in 1855, and located himself upon 40 acres on section 17. The pioneers of Cheshire
had principally settled in the southern portion of the township, the central and northern lands remaining comparatively
unoccupied. Mr. Torry found not only his own purchase uncleared, but the larger portion of the neighboring land
in the same condition. On section 4 a settler named Oliver had made some improvements, and on the southeast quarter
of the same section, William Gates, who had come from Ohio a short time previous, began the clearing of 40 acres,
upon which he erected a log house. Mr. Buck's house afforded him shelter until his own could be completed. Mr.
Gates resided for many years upon his land, and finally removed to Monterey, where he still resides. Mr. Torry
afterwards removed to section 5, where he purchased a small farm, which he still cultivates.
Richard Blanchard settled in 1855 upon 160 acres on section 8. He was a former resident of New York, but had emigrated
from Chicago to the forests of Cheshire. He was known as a public-spirited citizen, and became an active expounder
of the faith of the United Brethren.
Sylvanus Stewert, another Ohio pioneer of 1856, purchased of H. H. Booth 80 acres of land on section 20, for which
he paid $4 per acre. He still resides on the same farm, which he has made one of the most desirable in the township.
Warren Dowd, a former resident of Wyoming Co., N. Y., settled upon 80 acres on section 8 in 1856 He had previously
learned the trade of a shoemaker, and for a while worked for W. C. Jenner, of Allegan. In that occupation he was
accustomed to repair to the village on Monday morning and remain until Saturday night, and then return to Cheshire
with supplies for his family on his back. A wellimproved farm and a substantial residence are the rewards of his
industry and enterprise.
John F. Dowd, a brother of Warren, came the same year from Wyoming Co., N. Y., and remained two years with Richard
Ferris. He, meanwhile, purchased 40 acres on section 16, to which he subsequently added 40 more. On the arrival
of his wife, in 1857, he removed to his purchase, having previously erected a comfortable framed house.
Another emigrant from Wyoming County was John Brason, who located himself, in 1860, upon 145 acres on section 16,
one mile north of John F. Dowd, who was his nearest neighbor. After building a substantial framed house and planting
an orchard, he sold his place and moved across the road 'to another, on section 17, where he still resides. His
latter purchase was made from the Indians, whom he taught to cultivate their land and to raise wheat. This greatly
delighted them, and made them regard Mr. Brason in some degree as a benefactor. They would exclaim. "Eat 'em
wheat,-eat no more corn!"
David Gile, previously of Ohio, purchased a place on Section 9, adjacent to that of Warren Dowd. William A. Lisco,
another emigrant from the Buckeye State, secured a farm on section 3, embracing 40 acres. This he cleared and labored
upon until his enlistment in the war for the Union. On his return he purchased the Gates farm, and subsequently
removed to the northern portion-of the State.
Jeptha Waterman came from New York in 1856, and became the owner of 40 acres on section 39. He, too, entered the
army, and in 1865 sacrificed his life to the Union cause, having died while receiving medical care in a hospital.
Mrs. Waterman now resides upon section 18.
A considerable proportion of the population are of the colored race, who merit
notice in a history of Cheshire. As a class they stand well for both sobriety, and industry. Many of them have
farms upon which comfortable houses are built, and the land of which is improved and well maintained. They also
have two church organizations, to which a liberal support is accorded, and of which mention is made farther on.
They are by no means the least influential of the citizens of the township, and have won much credit for the ambition
they display in their farming pursuits and the good reputation they have established in all their social relations.
The first colored men to settle in the township were C. Tomison and K. Taylor, who located on the southwest quarter
of section 28. The land owned by the colored people was mostly bought of the Indians when they departed.
The first post-office in the township was kept by Jonathan Howard, on section
32. Afterwards William Heywood was appointed postmaster, and the office was kept at his residence for many years
on section 22, until its discontinuance in March, 1879. It was re-established in June of the same year. The office
is now located on section 23, Timothy Church being the postmaster. The mail arrives semiweekly.
The following are the original purchases of land in the township:
Section 1.-Bought from 1836 to 1868 by L. H. Moore, A. L. and A. Ely, N. L. Strong. Eliao Whiteomb, William Nouerly.
Section 2.-Bought from 1838 to 1859 by William Larzelard, Oramel Griffin, Willis Butcher, J. C. Cleveland, John
Reed, Lucia R. Hawes (assignee), Orlo R. Lane.
Section 3.-Bought from 1836 to 1856 by William Duncan, Oliver Babcock, George L. Otis, L. R. Hawes (assignee).
Section 4.-Bought from 1837 to 1854 by David Ladd, Thompson and Gates, E. W. Oliver, Isaac Stulla, George D. Potter.
Section 5.-Bought from 1835 to 1855 by Charles E. Stuart, Daniel Mann, Moses Drake, Thomas Ward, T. B. Potter,
D. D. Davis.
Section 6.-Bought from 1835 to 1855 by Charles E. Stuart, David Ladd, George Pains.
Section 7.-Bought in 1836 and 1837 by William Duncan, John H. Ostrom, Palmer and Walker, David Ladd.
Section 8.-Bought in 1836 by Ostrom, Palmer, and Walker.
Section 9.-Bought in 1836 and 1837 by A. G. Burke, L. S. Brown, Charles Green.
Section l0-Bought from 1837 to 1859 by Charles Green, L. J. Cobb, Thompson and Gates, A. G. Conant, N. P. Buck,
Section 11.-Bought from 1536 to 1854 by L. H. Moore, Dexter and Richmond, Hill and Cobb, M. Clark, Jr., John Herrington,
Amasa Jones, Eli and George Hart.
Section 12.-Bought from 1836 to 1860 by Hill and Cobb, W. Merchant, J. W. Sohermerhorn, Nancy J. Case.
Section 13.-Bought from 1837 to 1870 by Ralph Emerson, M. Merchant, D. D. Davis, Jesse Herrington, A. W. Morey,
J. W. Van Fussen, J. D. Graham, George Sherwood.
Section 14.-Bought from 1836 to 1858 by William Duncan, Robert Walter, Daniel Bowler, Victor Austin, Askel Morey,
Seth Flitcraft, W. A. Albert.
Section 15.-Bought from 1836 to 1864 by Ostrom, Palmer, and Walker, H. H. Booth, E. G. Hackley, E. H. Parks, H.
Chesley, George Brennan.
Section 16.-Bought from 1855 to 1861 by A. C. Grey, O. J. Buck, J. H. Chesley, J. F. Dowd, J. W. Coburn, D. D.
Davis, William Ridwood, William Barrett.
Section 17.-Bought from 1836 to 1854 by Ostrom, Palmer, and Walker, Indians, Harriet W. Gates.
Section 18.-Bought from 1835 to 1866 by Ostrom, Palmer, and Walker, O. W. Rice, Pheoby Ann Rice, Isons McDaniel,
J. B. Moore, R. S. Russell, J. W. Brown.
Section 19.-Bought in 1835 and 1836 by Ostrom, Palmer, and Walker,
0. R. Babcock.
Section 20.-Bought from 1836 to 1855 by Ostrom, Palmer, and Walker,
J. R. Kellogg, Indians.
Section 21.-Bought from 1835 to 1869 by Ostrom, Palmer, and Walker, Indians, W. L. O'Brien, Jr., A. V. Bodine,
Justin Smith, H. P. Haight, L. W. Hewitt, E. S. Canning, Thomas Spotts.
Section 22.-Bought from 1836 to 1858 by Ostrom, Walker, and Palmer,
J. G. Lindsley, W. S. Heywood (assignee), Russell Hamilton, Z. C.
Howard, Alex. Denna, Samuel Humiston, J. W. Tenhoff, Joel
Section 23.-Bought from 1853 to 1858 by W. S. Heywood, Eons Chapin, G. G. Swat, H. H. Booth, Victor Austin, Gustavus
Heywood, Robert Winter, O. J. Buck, Daniel Springer, Calmon Springer, Robert Winter.
Section 24.-Bought from 1834 to 1859 by H. H. Booth, T. M. Russell, Seth Fletcraft, I. G. Austin, Isaac Laws, William
Crosby, J. G. Austin.
Section 25.-Bought from 1837 to 1854 by S. R. Griffin, George Pierce, H. P. Blake, J. A. Bigbey.
Section 26.-Bought from 1837 to 1864 by Reed and Wells, William Chapman, Daniel Collins, Martin Cooley, Charles
Dunn, Isaac Laws, W. W. Finch, J. J. Kinniston.
Section 27.-Bought from 1850 to 1858 by C. W. Lindsley (assignee), J. G. Lindsley, W. S. Heywood (assignee), James
Davis, H. Cooley, I. Tyrrell, T. E. Sperry, Ezra Whaley, J. B. Kinninton, J. D. Bowman.
Section 28.-Bought from 1852 to 1858 by James Davis, T. E. Sperry, Calvin Davis, Kingsbury Taylor, W. H. Burden,
Adam Turner, B. F. Woodworth, Hiram Baker, A. V. Bodine, Chas. Thomson.
Section 29.-Bought from 1836 to 1864 by J. R. Kellogg, J. H. Cook, A. Turner, J. Burkhead, Alfred White, F. Melvin,
L. R. Lowell, S. B. Goodell, N. Daniels.
Section 30.-Bought from 1838 to 1866 by L. H. Moore, A. S. Wicks, O. R. Babcock, R. C. Rice, L. E. Gosdell, Thomas
Southward, Byron Teal, S. B. Goodell, H. J. Hamilton.
Section 31.-Bought from 1836 to 1854 by T. H. Hulbert, D. S. Heywood, Simon Pike, Samuel Goodell, J. A. McMillen,
Pheobe Pike, Rufus Townsend, Samuel Hendrickson.
Section 32.-Bought from 1837 to 1858 by Samuel Goodell, R. Swift, Ora Cooley, J. M. Steward, F. M. Pearson, Caleb
Ward, R. Humeston, H. C. Briggs, M. C. Turner, E. Quick, Eli Bell.
Section 33.-Bought from 1837 to 1858 by Thomas Boulton, William French, Samuel Lane, Ezra Whaley, Elizabeth Whaley,
Horace Tanner, Daniel Gray, Henry Case, John North, J. McDaniel.
Section 34.-Bought from 1835 to 1852 by Elisha Doan, H. M. Hinckley, Anna Hisrodt, L. J. Lacy, Samuel Strong, C.
W. Lindsley, A. B. Eaton, Daniel Gray, Seaman Cooley.
Section 35.-Bought from 1835 to 1854 by Huston and Moore, S. D. Foster, Henry Mower, Henry Case, Daniel Collins,
William Chapman, Trumen White, H. P. Blake, George Perkins.
Section 36.-Bought from 1836 to 1854 by Ostrom, Palmer, and Walker, Inman White, George Perkins.
The writer is informed that the earliest road in Cheshire was a short one which
ran from the base-line on the south bounds of section 34, through Mr. A. B. Eaton's land, and between Mud and Eagle
Lakes. It is doubtful, however, if this was an officially surveyed road, and certainly no record of it has been
preserved. The first recorded road in the township was surveyed by James G. Lindsley, in July, 1852, under the
direction of Samuel Strong and Marcus Lane, highway commissioners. The survey is designated "Road Survey No.
1," the line running as follows:
"Beginning at the Southeast corner of Section Thirty-Three, on the base-line, running north along the east
line of said section and the east line of Section Number Twenty-Eight to the northeast corner, being two miles
in length according to the United States Survey thereof, in Township Number One North, of Range Fourteen west."
"Road Survey No. 2," is thus designated in the record, although bearing date May 3, 1852, two months
before No. 1. The record is as follows:
"A survey of a road commencing at the ¼ corner on the north side of Section Nine, township one, North
of Range Fourteen West, running west one half mile on the Section line between Nine and Four, thence South on Section
line between Nine and Eight, one mile thence west on Section line between sections Eight and Seventeen one mile.
The said road is two and one half miles in length according to the United States Survey.
The line of "Road No. 3," is thus described:
"Beginning at the Corners of Sections Three and Four of Township One, north, of Range Fourteen, west, on the
base line; thence north one degree thirty minutes west to the quarter line of Section Thirty-Four in Township One,
north, Range above described; thence north forty-five degrees East to the Section line of Sections ThirtyFour and
Thirty-five; thence north on said line to a stake eleven rods south of the corners of Sections Twenty-six and Twenty-Seven
and Thirty-Four and Thirty-Five; thence north eighty-six degrees east thirty.eight rods; thence north forty-four
degrees east to the Section line between Sections Thirty-Five and Twenty-Six; thence east on said line to the Corners
of Sections Thirty-Five and Six, and Twenty-Five and Six. The above survey accords with the true magnet of 1852,
which varies between four and five degrees cast of north of the United States Survey. Surveyed November 11th, 1852,
by James G. Lindsley."
On account of the small population, no school was taught in Cheshire previous
to 1852. The first one was located in tile south part of the township, near the base-line." A very simple
structure of boards served as a shelter for the children for a period of two years, when a more spacious and comfortable
building was erected, which is still in use. The young lady who first instructed the youthful minds of this portion
of the township was Miss Ann Palmer, a sister of Mrs. A. B. Eaton.
The second school was opened in the Lindsley neighborhood, on section 22. This building, as primitive as its predecessor,
was later replaced by a convenient and tasteful structure surrounded with a fine playground, which is protected
from the sun by a luxuriant growth of shade trees.
All of the school buildings of Cheshire are comfortable and a few of them are decidedly elegant, confirming the
reputation which the township has established for tile excellence of its educational appointments. One of the former
superintendents introduced the normal school system, and awakened sufficient interest to encourage the opening
of evening classes, which for a while were well sustained and did much to inspire a love of study among those who
The township is divided into seven entire districts and one fractional one, which are managed by the following
board of directors: S. S. Stout, B. W. Morse, H. H. Howard, Richard Ferris, N. S. Groves, Hiram Flanagan, and J.
U. Schermerhorn. The number of children receiving instruction is 449. They are taught by 3 male and 18 female teachers,
who receive an aggregate salary of $1232.25. The total value of the school property is $6300, and the total resources
for educational purposes $2713.04 per year.
ORGANIZATION, OFFICERS, ETC.
Township No. 1, in range 14, was surveyed by Calvin Britain in 1831, the survey
having been completed on the 1st of May, in that year. It was a part of the civil township of Allegan until 1842,
when it was made apart of Trowbridge. The act of the State Legislature organizing it as a separate civil township
was approved April 2, 1851, and reads as follows:
An art to organize the township of Cheshire, in the county of Allegan:
"Section One. The people of the State of Michigan enact, That township number One north, of Range Fourteen
west, now forming a part of the township of Trowbridge, in the County of Allegan, be, and the same is hereby set
off from said township by the name of Cheshire, and that the first township meeting therein shall be held at the
house of Samuel Lane, in said township.
"Section Two. This act shalt take effect and be in force from and after the first Monday in April, eighteen
hundred and fifty-two."
The following list embraces the tax-payers of Cheshire for the year 1852:
The following is the record of the first town meeting in Cheshire:
Henry W. Duran.
Hishack (an Indian).
Wasata (an Indian).
Batis Wasato (an Indian).
Asel B. Eaton.
James G. Lindsley.
Cyrus W. Lindsley.
"At the first election held in the township of Cheshire, in the county of Allegan for the purpose of organization
in pursuance of legislative enactment detaching the above-named township from Trowbridge, in Ailegan Conuty, State
of Michigan, Harvey Munger was chosen moderator, and S. Strong clerk. James G. Lindsley and A. B. Eaton were chosen
inspectors. The oath of office was then administered according to statute in such cases, when the polls were declared
open. The following officers were elected: James U. Lindsicy, Supervisor; Harvey Munger, Township Clerk; Marcus
Lane, Treasurer; Marcus Lane, C. W. Linsdley, S. Strong, Dustin Murch, Justices of the Peace; Marcus Lane, Dustin
Murch S. Strong, Highway Commissioners; C. Lindsley, S. Strong, School Inspectors; Caleb Ward, A. B. Eaton, Directors
of Poor; Ezra Whaley, A. B. Eaton, Constables."
The subsequent officers of the township have been as follows:
1853-55, James G. Lindsley: 1856; Harvey Munger; 1857, James G. Lindsley; 1858,
P. H. Oliver; 1859, Samuel Strong; 1860-64, C. W. Lindsley; 1865-67, John Branson; 1868-70, William L. O'Brien;
1871-77, Stephen S. Stout; 1878, William Albright; 1879, Stephen S. Stout.
1853-54, Gustavus Heywood; 1855, Richard Ferris; 1856, William L. Torry: 1857-58,
Warren Dowd 1859, C. W. Lindsley; 1860, James G. Lindsley; 1861-62, George Drury; 1863-64, Orrin J. Buck: 1865-67,
William L. O'Brien; 1868-70, Hiram Flanagan; 1871-79, William L. O'Brien.
1853, Samuel Strong; 1854, Enos Chapin; 1855-56, Victor Austen; 1857, William
M. Tanner; 1858, William L. Terry; 1859-72, George G. Sweet; 1871-77, John Mocklencate; 1878, William G. Rowe;
1879, John Mocklencate.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
1853, Jonas Buck, Caleb C. Ward; 1854, Cyrus W. Lindsley, Eliab Wright; 1855,
Russell Humiston; 1856, Solomon Cobb; 1857, Blodgett Torry, P. H. Oliver; 1858, Samuel Strong; 1859, Warren Dowd,
Marcus Lane; 1860, Johh Reed, William M. Tanner; 1861, Jacob A. Haite, Warren Dowd; 1862, W. H. Rockwell, Samuel
Strong: 1863, Samuel Marble, R. B. Roe; 1864, Warren Dowd, Samuel Strong; 1865, Richard Blanchard, E. B. Roe; 1866,
Samuel Strong, Enos Chapin; 1867, E. B. Roe, Enos Chapin; 1868, Orren W. Avery; 1869, Jacob Mound; 1870, Richard
Blanchard, Enes Chapin; 1871, Warren Dowd, Stark Lampman; 1872, Nelson C. Moore; 1873, R. C. Harmon, Richard Blanchard:
1874, L. H. Albright, W. W. Spencer; 1875, B. F. Chapin, Warren Dowd; 1876, W. W. Spencer; 1877, Timothy Church;
1878, Hiram Flanagan, R. C. Harmon; 1879, Hiram Flanagan.
1853, Dustin Murch; 1854, Caleb Ward: 1855, Ezra Whaley; 1856, Dustin Murch; 1857,
William Gates; 1858, Ezra Whaley; 1859, Nelson O. Moon; 1860, E. B. Roe; 1861, John Brason; 1862, Daniel Gray;
1863, Moses Sprague; 1864, John Brason; 1865, William L. O'Brien; 1866, Victor Austin; 1867, Richard Blanchard:
1868, S. C. Angevine, William L. O'Brien; 1869, Samuel B. Drury; 1870, S. C. Angevine; 1871, Aaron Richardson;
1872, Daniel Collins; 1873, Joseph St. German, William S. Heywood; 1874, W. S. Heywood; 1875, Joseph St. German;
1876-77, William S. Heywood; 1878, W. G. Roe; 1879, N. S. Graves.
1853, Cyrus W. Lindsley; 1S54, A. B. Eaton; 1S55, C. W. Lindsley; 1856, R. H.
Oliver; 1857, Richard Ferris; 1858, George G. Sweet; 1859, Nelson O. Moon; 1860-61, Richard Ferris; 1862, Richard
Ferris, George G. Sweet; 1863, George G. Sweet; 1864, Richard Ferris; 1865, George G. Sweet; 1866, O. J. Buck;
1867, Richard Ferris; 1868, O. J. Buck; 1869, Andy L. Prouty; 1870, O. J. Buck; 1871, A. L. Prouty; 1872, R. C.
Harmon, Hiram Flanagan; 1873, O. J. Buck; 1874-75, A. L. Prouty; 1876-77, O. J. Buck; 1878, Robert C. O'Brien;
1879, R. C. Harmon.
DIRECTORS OF THE POOR.
1853, Jonas Buck. Caleb Ward; 1854-56, Daniel Collins, A. B. Eaton; 1857, William
S. Heywood, Alexander Dana; 1858, Warren Dowd, Hiram Chechy.
1873-74, Warren Dowd; 1875-76, R. C. O'Brien; 1877-78, George A. Chapin.
SUPERINTENDENTS OF SCHOOLS.
1875-76, R. C. Harmon; 1877-79, Hiram Flanagan.
1853, William M. Tanner, William S. Heywood, E. M. Eaton, J. G. Higgins 1854,
Ezra Whaley, William M. Tanner, George Pierce, George U. Schermerhorn; 1855, Cotton Leach, William M. Tanner, Ezra
Whaley, M. A. French; 1856, Addison Gates. Justice Fox, Ezra Whaley, C. M. Leach; 1857, John Isenhart, W. A. Lisco,
I. N. Willis, Jesse Harrington: 1858, William A. Lisco, James Strong, Franklin Pearsons, John Isenhart; 1859, H.
W. Durand, Abel Steam, Elijah Howes, Ezra Whaley; 1860, Isaac Noble, A. W. Morey, Charles Tyler, Russell Humiston;
1861, C. M. Tyler, George Hamilton, C. M. Leach, H. C. Munger; 1862, C. M. Tyler, Gilbert Ilaight, Joseph Watts,
G. U. Schermerhorn; 1863, C. M. Leach, Abel Stearns, Addison Gates, C. M. Tyler; 1864, C. M. Leach, Alva Pierce;
1865, C. M. Leach; 1866, B. F. Woodward, C. M. Tyler, Warren Dowd, Richard Ferris; 1867, B. F. Woodward, Isaac
Noble, Alexander Dana, Joseph Chamberlain; 1868, Isaac Noble, B. F. Woodworth, Alexander Dana, L. Shaw; 1869, G.
D. Haight, Isaac Noble, C. M. Tyler, J. H. Cline; 1870, Isaac Noble, G. W. Roe, James Lockwood, G. D. Haight; 1871,
Alexander Dana, James H. Cline, E. Howard; 1872, William A. Lisco, Edmund Root, Orin Church, W. W. Spencer; 1873,
A. U. Wait, Edward Richardson, Alvin Rockwell, Darius Marble; 1874, Richard Fenn, Abel Steam, George Pierce, E.
H. Richardson; 1875, George Pierce, Benjamin Stearns, E. C. Lindsley; 1876, William Thompson, Charles D. Nash;
1877, E. J. Baird, John Ridgiey, Frank Albright, A. T. Sharp; 1878, John McMahon, Victor Austin, Eugene F. Murch,
Leonard Webster; 1879, A. T. Sharp, Eugene March, L. M. Webster, J. F. Ridgway.
FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
The white people of Cheshire generally attend church in other townships or worship
at the school houses in this one, but the colored people have two organizations of their own.
Regular Methodist services were first held among them some years ago at the house of William Thompson, by Rev.
Johnson Burden, a colored preacher, though occasional meetings, conducted by Elder Burke, had previously been held
at the same place. Elder Rhodes also frequently addressed the colored citizens of the township at the residence
of Mr. Thompson.
An effort was made by Elder Burden, after the society had become thoroughly organized, to build a house of worship,
and the present structure was accordingly erected. It is not yet completed, the members of the church preferring
to finish it as their means shall permit rather than to contract a debt. They have now a surplus in the treasurer's
hands, and with an occasional donation seem likely soon to accomplish their desire, a completed and dedicated church
edifice. The trustees who superintended the erection of the building were William Thompson, Jesse F. Ridgley, and
Ezekiel Howard. The pastors in rotation have been Elders Johnson Burden, John Jordan, L. D. Crosby, John Myers,
and Lewis Ratliff, the present incumbent. The membership embraces 50 names, and shows good prospects of a considerable
increase. A flourishing Sabbath school is also held during the summer months. The present board of trustees is
composed of William Thompson, Jesse F. Ridgley, M. C. McCully, Matthew Russell, James T. Russell.
THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD.
Another organization among the colored population of the township was known as
the Church of God. The writer is informed that, owing to a difference of opinion on the part of the Cheshire congregation
from the denomination, that body seceded and took the name of the Church of the Living God. The pastor is Samuel
Smith, who is accredited with great fluency of speech, and also with a versatility of mind which enables him to
promulgate such doctrine as may be most pleasing to his hearers, rejoicing in very great freedom from creed or
form. Several brethren of the congregation are also fluent in exhortation. The services are held in a log structure
on section 21.
CHESHIRE BANNER GRANGE, PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY.
This lodge was organized Sept. 29, 1874, and received its charter during the year
1879. Its earliestofficers were J. M. Howard, Master; G. W. Lewis, Overseer; W. J. Eaton, Steward; Dr. S. S. Stout,
Lecturer; H. A. Lindsley, Assistant Steward; Daniel Collins, Chaplain ; B. T. Chapin, Gatekeeper. Its officers
fbr the present year are M. E. Bng]ey, Master; John Branson, Overseer; William H. Albright, Steward; O. G. Lindsley,
Lecturer; Joseph Enos, Assistant Steward; William Raymond, Chaplain; O. G. Pike, Gatekeeper. The grange now numbers
140 members, and is in an exceedingly flourishing condition. A. spacious hail has just been completed, in which
its meetings are held.