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History of the City of Hastings, MI.
FROM History of Allegan and Barry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

City of Hastings.

THE city of Hastings, the seat of justice of Barry County, is situated in the western part of survey township No. 3 north, in range No. 8 west. It is a thriving, bustHog place of about 2500 inhabitants, and the centre of trade for a wide region of country. The Thornapple River runs through the city from east to west, bearing a little to the north.

The government of Hastings is vested in a mayor and board of councilmen, eight in number, two being chosen from each ward. The business quarter contains several fine brick blocks, and upon the various thoroughfares one may see many commodious and handsome residences. The Union school building is the architectural feature of the city, and is justly an object of local pride. The prosperity of Hastings is based upon the substantial foundations of agriculture and manufactures ; and although it has for a time been nearly stationary, yet it is likely, with the renewed prosperity of the country, to go steadily forward in accordance with the progress of the farming region around.


On the 26th day of July, 1836, Eurotas P. Hastings, president of the Bank of Michigan, and auditor-general of the State, sold to Philo Dibble, Lansing Kingsbury, and Cornelius Kendall, for $3000, a tract of land in town 3 north, range 8 west, known as the "Barry County-seat purchase," and covering the northeast quarter and east half of the southeast quarter of section 18, and the northwest quarter and west half of the southwest quarter of section it. The county-seat had already been located at that point by commissioners, but there were no settlers anywhere in that part of the county.

Dibble, Kingsbury, and Kendall were residents of Marshall, and on the 25th of August following the purchase they, together with Andrew L. Hays and Samuel Camp, organized the Hastings Company for the purpose of laying out upon the land bought of Hastings a village which was to be called in his honor. To that end they sent out men and material for the erection of a saw-mill, which was put up on the creek just south of thc present Hastings flourmill. Slocum H. Bunker was engaged to come with his family for the purpose of boarding the men during the construction of the mill.

In quick time Mr. Bunker rolled up a log cabin on the lot now occupied by the Newton House, and besides a boarding-house for the mill-hands he kept also a house of entertainment for anybody chancing to pass that way. Although he did not then expect to remain at Hastings after the mill should be completed, yet he did in fact stay there several years, and may, therefore, be rightly considered the first settler in the city of Hastings.

Simultaneously with the movement to erect a saw-mill, the Hastings Company determined also to lay out a village, and they accordingly platted the tract now including the business portion of the city and called it Hastings. Additions to the original plat of Hastings were subsequently laid out by Messrs. Striker, Kenfield, Chamberlain, Grant, Dunning, and Bennett.

With Slocum H. Bunker came also his brother, Thomas, who gave valuable assistance in carrying on the primitive hotel, and who was chosen in 1839 the first clerk of Barry County. In June, 1837, Willard Hays, who had conic from Massachusetts to Detroit the previous year, made his way to Hastings on a tour of observation, and was persuaded by his brother, Dr. Hays, of Marshall (one of the Hastings Company), to remain in Hastings and look after the doctor's interests thereabout, and soon concluded to make a permanent settlement at that point. About then Abner C. Parmelee came to the new settlement from Marshall, when he and Hays put up a log cabin near Bunker's boarding-house, in which for a while they kept bachelor's hall together. The village then included Parmelee, Hays, Bunker's family, and a few men engaged on the mill. Mrs. Bunker was the only woman in the place, and for eight months after her coming she saw no representative of her sex save Indian squaws.

A decided advance in the progress of the new village was made in 1839, when Bays and Dibble built a gristmill. Slocum H. Bunker was engaged as the miller and managed the business a few years, when he returned to Battle Creek, where he subsequently resided until his death.

In August, 1840, Henry A. Goodyear came hither from Detroit on a prospecting-tour, finding the following inhabitants in the village: Slocum H. Bunker, with his family and brother Thomas, as living in a log cabin near the grist_mill; Abner C. Parmelee, register of deeds and acting county treasurer, was in a log house northwest of where the Newton House stands; Levi Chase was keeping tavern on the bank of the river, near the bridge and north & Parmelee's; Alexander MeArthur was carrying on the saw-mill, and keeping a place of entertainment in the log house previously kept by Bunker; Willard Hays, the sheriff, was in a framed house (the first one in Hastings), erected by Dr. David M. Dake, on the corner now occupied by the Union Block, where he also kept the post-office; Philander Turner, a carpenter, was living in a shanty near the grist-mill; and Hiram J. Kenfield, carpenter and Indian trader, lived in a board shanty on a lot about opposite the site of Mr. Goodyear's hardware-store.

Mr. Kenfield was an active man, who was then building the first bridge over the river at Hastings. He traded with the Indians, and kept his stock of goods in a trunk, lie was one of the early sheriffs of the eounty, and throughout his life was a man of much local prominence. Mr. Kenfield came to Michigan in 1831, and to Hastings in November, 1839. It was directly upon his coming that he took the contract for building the bridge over the river north of the present Newton House. He afterwards took the contract for building the court-house,t and was active in various ventures, but more especially in buying and selling land. He died in Hastings, June 29, 1877. His father, W. L. Kenfield, settled in Irving township in 1844. One of his sisters, who married I. A. Holbrook, one of Hastings' earliest lawyers, yet resides in the city.


When H. A. Goodyear came to Hastings, in August, 1840, a store-building was then being erected by Hiram J. Kenfield on a lot south of McArthur's, which Goodyear purchased, and at once hastened eastward for a stock of goods. He returned in November following, and opened the first store in the village. He moved his place of business shortly afterwards to a building on what is now known as the bank-corner, and since November, 1840, has been steadily engaged in trade in Hastings.

In the spring of 1841, Alvin W. Bailey came from Marshall and opened a store on the corner east of Goodyear's. He was, accordingly, Hastings' second trader, although he did not at that period remain in trade very long. He is now, however, and has been for many years, one of the merchants of the city. The trade carried on by Messrs. Goodyear and Bailey was naturally not very extensive, for at that time there were but few white settlers from whom to draw patronage. They had, however, a good many Indian customers; indeed, the greater part of their trade was with these sons of the forest.

The third merchant was Dr. William Upjohn, who in the spring of 1842 started a store near Levi Chase's tavern, and engaged Marsh Giddings, a young lawyer from Gull Prairie, in Kalamazoo County, to look after the business. The enterprise was discontinued in the fall. It was afterwards successively continued by a Mr. Teed and a Maj. Tombs, neither of whom, however, stopped in the place more than a few months.

Among the next traders were Vespasian Young, who had a store about 1844, near where the bank building stands; W. S. Goodyear, who joined his brother Henry in 1843; Ezra Convers, who came in 1844, and a Mr. Hatch the same year; W. C. Hoyt & Brother, in 1847, in a building adjoining Barlow's hotel, now known as the Hastings House; R. J. Grant, Ferris & Edgcomb, Barlow & Robinson, A. W. & Norman Bailey, etc., etc. R. J. Grant, the present mayor of Hastings, came West with his father in 1836, and located in Eaton County. In 1849 he settled in Hastings as a merchant, and since that time has uninterruptedly pursued a mercantile career in the town. At the time of his coming he found in trade here William C. and H. T. Hoyt and H. A. & W. S. Goodyear. In 1851 the Hoyts sold out to Nathan Barlow. Norman Bailey, who entered trade in Hastings with his brother in 1853, is now living in the city in retirement.

Among the early corners in Hastings, not elsewhere mentioned, may be noted O. N. Boitwood, the miller, who came in 1850, J. P. Roberts, who, in 1851, opened the first drug-store in Hastings, L. W. Hitchcock in 1846, D. G. Robinson in 1851 (when he embarked in trade with Nathan Barlow), George Preston in 1851, William T. NcNair in 1852, W. A. Sartwell in 1853, D. R. Cook in 1854, Thos. Altoft and Samuel Powers in 1855, and G. G. and O. D. Spalding, who have been in trade in Hastings about twenty years.

W. S. Goodyear, now one of Hastings' leading merchants, came to the village in 1843, when the only store in the place was kept by his brother, H. A. Goodyear. That place of trade, now the building west of the bank, stood then where the bank building now stands. W. S. Goodyear engaged in trade with his brother in 1843, directly upon his coming, and since that time has been conspicuously connected with the progress of' Hastings. Although there was but one store in the village in 1843, Hastings was then beginning to thrive, and gave promise of developing into a prosperous town, -a promise which was fulfilled within a brief space of time.

It was in the spring of 1843 that Nathan Barlow, Jr., also came to Hastings to occupy the office of county clerk, to which he had been chosen. His father, Nathan Barlow, Sr., had located in 1837 upon section 7, in Yankee Springs, and resided there until his death, in 1855. Nathan Barlow, Jr., who had been in St. Louis, joined his father in Yankee Springs in the fall of 1840, and in 1843 moved to Hastings. Upon the expiration of his service as county clerk he was chosen county treasurer, and in 1851, after serving one term in the Legislature, he engaged in mercantile business in Hastings, and continued to be a merchant until 1879, when he retired from active business.

Vespasian Young, whose widow resides in the village, came with his wife to the village in October, 1841, erected a store-building west of where the bank now is, became a merchant, and remained one until his death, in 1848. During Mr. Young's time, W. W. Ralph and one Rowley kept a stock of goods next door to his place, but did not remain a very long while.


Among the early settlers of Hastings now living there, those who have been there longest are Mrs. Willard Hays, Mrs. Philander Turner, Henry A. Goodyear, A. W. Bailey, Dr. William Upjohn, Mrs. Vespasian Young, - all having become residents before the close of the year 1841.

There was no school in the village previous to 1840, for the reason that the only children there of a school-going age were two belonging to Slocum H. Bunker. In the winter of 1840-41 the population was reinforced by the families of Tillotson Munger and George Beardsley, and that same winter Ellen McArthur taught the first school in the village in a room in her father's tavern, her scholars being four in number. In the spring of 1841 a public school-house was completed, the first teacher in which was Luthera S. Spaulding, of Prairieville. She still lives in that township, being now known as Mrs. Henry Knappen. That school-house was also used for holding court until the court-house was finished.

Mr. Munger, already mentioned, was Hastings' pioneer blacksmith, and set up his shop on the river-bank, near Chase's tavern. Mr. Beards]ey, who came the same year, was a carpenter. With them, in the winter of 1840-41, came also Elisha Alden, a shoemaker, and his two sons, Perry and Elijah, both carpenters. One J. Canton, a shoemaker, took up his residence in Hastings in 1842, and opened a shop on State Street, near H. A. Goodyear's store. Dr. David Dake, Hastings' first physician, had come and gone, and in 1841 was succeeded by Dr. William Upjohn, who is still in practice.

The first birth in Hastings is believed to have been that of a child of Slocum H. Bunker. Its death occurred soon afterwards, in Marshall. The second white child horn in the village was Angela, a daughter of Willard Hays. Her birth occurred Aug. 28, 1840, and she still resides in Hastings, as Mrs. William H. Hitchcock. The first couple married in Hastings came from Yankee Springs for the purpose, and were united by A. C. Parmelee.

The first resident of the place to be married was Willard Hays, who wedded Ann, daughter of Daniel McClellan, who, with his brother James, had located in the southern part of the present township of Hastings in 1837. The ceremony was performed at the house of the bride's father, on section 34, Nov. 24, 1839, by "Squire" A. C. Parmelee.

South of the present Union school the village proprietors laid out a cemetery, in which, in the summer of 1840, there were the graves of a Mr. De Groat, Lorenzo Cooley, and Mrs. Maria Rush, wife of Harmon Rush, a mill-hand in the village. De Groat, who was the first person buried there, had been living in Rutland, as had also Mr. Cooley, the second one buried in the place. Mrs. Rush's death was the first in the village. This cemetery, now a cemetery no more, was the village burying-ground for many years. The bodies interred there were transferred to the present cemetery upon the laying Out of the latter, and since then the old ground has remained undisturbed.

Harmon Rush, above alluded to, was a mill-hand, blacksmith, and gunsmith, and came to the place in 1838. There were, from time to time, numerous persons engaged upon the building of the grist-mill and saw-mill, but they tarried only long enough to complete their specific labors, and could scarcely be considered as residents.

Mention should have been made of J. W. Buckle, the pioneer tailor of Hastings. Mr. Buckle came to the place in the spring of 1842, opened a tailor-shop shortly after, and pursued his trade until his death, which occurred in March, 1880.


The spotted fever, which raged in Detroit in 1847 and carried off many of the men enlisted for service in the Mexican war (among them being Levi Chase, Charles Chase, George Tabor, and others of Hastings), appeared in Hastings in 1848, and inflicted serious ravages in the little village. Of this fever there died, between January and April, Mrs. John Gaines, George Fuller, Mrs. Tinkler, George Marshall, and Vespasian Young, the latter being the last to fall a victim.

In the earliest years of its existence Hastings was a village in the woods, and was divided, at about the point now occupied by H. A. Goodyear's hardware-store, by a deep ravine running from south to north. As the population multiplied the topographical features of the town improved, and this village ditch was filled up, but there was a time when merchant Goodyear, standing at his store door, couldn't see Sheriff Hays' house, only a few hundred feet away, on account of the trees. At that time the street, now the busiest thoroughfare in the city of Hastings, was doubtless the play-ground of squirrels, while its leafy recesses resounded with the music of the birds of the forest.


Although Slocum H. Bunker built the first house devoted to "entertainment," it was properly a boarding-house for mill-hands,-yet he accommodated travelers who could find no other lodging-place. Levi Chase was the proprietor of the first Hastings tavern, a rude log building, which stood near the river's -bank, north of the present Newton House. Chase gave up the tavern, in 1842, to Reman I. Knappen, who was its last landlord. The latter retired about 1847, and died in Hastings in 1854. Chase enlisted for service in the Mexican war, but died in Detroit, of spotted fever.

Mr. McArthur, who took Bunker's house and made a tavern of it, kept it about a year. Hiram J. Kenfield, the next landlord, added a framed front to the log structure, and after Kenfield, George Fuller, the third landlord, built the present Newton House, - considerably improved since his time, - and moved Kenfield's addition to the rear, where it still does duty as a portion of the hotel. In 1845, Nathan Barlow built a framed house on the lot now occupied by the Hastings House, and kept it from 1846 as a stagenouse on the route between Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, which he was instrumental in establishing. In 1849, Mr. Barlow transferred the tavern to Henry Edgcomb, and after him J. B. Foote was the landlord, beginning about 1850. The hotel now known as the Newton House was taken in 1848 by Waterman Parker, previously a hotel-keeper in Jackson, Mich. He was a landlord in Hastings two years, and died in 1873.

The stage-route through Hastings from Battle Creek to Grand Rapids was opened July 1, 1846, and proved a line of busy travel. H. A. Goodyear, H. I. Knappen, and other residents of Hastings were conspicuous in urging its establishment, Knappen being one of the earliest stageowners and drivers on the route.


Dr. David M. Dake made a location in Hastings in 1838, and built the first framed house the town boasted. It occupied the corner upon which the Union Bloc-k now stands, and subsequently served as the residence of Willard Hays. Dr. Dake came for the purpose of practicing medicine, but for some reason lie moved away after remaining about six months. Hastings was after that without a physician until July, 1841, when Dr. William Upjohn came hither from Kalamazoo County. He had removed from Monroe Co., N. Y., to Kalamazoo County in 1835, intending to give his energies to farming for a time, although, having studied medicine, he designed to become eventually a physician. Upon his arrival in Kalamazoo County he found much sickness prevalent, and was induced by the circumstances to begin his medical practice forthwith. When he fixed upon Hastings as his new home, he opened an office in Levi Chase's tavern, on the river's bank, where business flowed in upon him in ample volume. He was then the only physician in the county, and his numerous calls from far and near kept him riding through the country night and day. Since his advent, in 1841, Dr. Upjohn has been in continuous active practice in Hastings, except from early in 1862 until Dec. 11, 1865, when he was in the military service, first as surgeon of the Seventh Michigan Cavalry, and later as brigade surgeon.

Dr. John Roberts, now living in Hastings, began practice in 1840. He came to the village in 1845, and from then until 1877, when he retired, he was one of the leading physicians of the town. Dr. A. P. Drake, now in practice in Hastings, has been a physician in the village since 1851 without interruption, except from 1855 to 1858, when he was in Nebraska, and in 1864 when he served as assistant surgeon of the "new" Third Michigan Infantry. Dr. F. C. Cornell came in 1850, and in 1855 removed to Idaho.

The first homopathic physician to locate in Hastings was Dr. C. S. Burton, who came to Michigan in 1848, but., finding no supporters of homceopathy in the State, returned to the East. In 1850 he came West the second time and located at Battle Creek, whence he removed in 1851 to Hastings. Homceopathic physicians were not very plentiful at that time in these parts, and Dr. Burton rode at first over a wide stretch of country, reaching to Grand Rapids on the northwest, and Bellevue, Eaton Co., on the east.

Dr. J. M. Russell, who retired from active practice in 1873, came in 1855, about which time came also Dr. Bonestell, who remained only about two years. About 1862 the new-corners were Drs. Frost, Johnson, and Burt. Dr. Burt remained until his death, in 1866. Drs. Frost and Johnson departed after a brief stay.

Dr. Charles Russell, who entered upon practice in Hastings in 1866, remained until 1879, when he removed to Allegan, his present home. In 1862, Dr. H. J. Haney entered the field, but left it in 1875.

The second homeopathic physician to locate in Hastings was Dr. J. B. Brown, who came in 1869 and remained until his death, in 1871. His father, B. F. Brown, came in 1870 and left in 1879. I. W. Brown opened an office in 1875 and closed his practice in 1878.

Dr. E. H. Lathrop joined Dr. C. S. Burton in practice in 1872, moved to Grand Rapids in 1874, returned in 1875, and is now here. Dr. William E. Upjohn, now in practice, began his medical career in Hastings in 1875. In 1876, I. De Vere became a partner with B. F. Brown, after whose departure, in 1879, Dr. De Vere continued the practice, and still retains it, in connection with Dr. Grant. Dr. Amasa Blaso, who came in 1875, Dr. Woodmansee, whose residence dates from 1872, Miss Dr. Delight Wolfe, who began her practice here in 1878, Dr. J. C. Lampman, who came in April, 1879, and Dr. W. H. Snyder, who located in February, 1880, are still among the city practitioners. Dr. Joseph Adolphus, who should have had earlier mention, was one of the pioneer physicians of the county, and prac ticed in Hastings more or less from 1862 until 1875, when he moved to St. Louis. Dr. J. H. Cox, of whom mention has not been made, practiced for a time previous to 1875, when he went West.


In the spring of 1842, Dr. William Upjohn, then practicing medicine in Hastings, opened a store just north of where the Newton House stands, and engaged a young man named Marsh Giddings, fiom Gull Prairie, to look after the business, the latter also following his profession as a lawyer when occasion offered, in connection with the storekeeping. In the fail of 1842 the store was discontinued. Mr. Giddings continued his law practice but a short time longer, when he returned to Gull Prairie. Late in life he was appointed Governor of New Mexico, and died in that office in 1857.

After Mr. Giddings' departure, although lawyers came from other places from time to time to attend court, there was no resident attorney until the fall of 1843, when I. A. Holbrook came from Hillsdale and entered at once upon a legal practice in which he continued until his death, in 1875. Mr. Holbrook was a man of mark in the community, and held among his numerous public trusts the offices of county clerk and prosecuting attorney. About the same time H. S. Jennings appeared upon the legal field, but tarried only a few years, when he. pushed on westward.

In the spring of 1844 a Mr. Rowley came hither from Battle Creek, but retired after a two years' praetice.

Until 1850 there was no fresh accession to the force of resident lawyers, and Mr. Holbrook. had the local business to himseff. In that year Norton S. Palmer came fresh from his studies in the office of Johnson & Higbee, at Jackson, and began practice in Hastings, where he remained until his death, in 1855.

James H. Sweezy, now in practice in Hastings and the oldest resident lawyer there, came to that village in June, 1851, from Manchester, Mich,, where he had studied law in the office of Bradley Granger. Mr. Sweezy has served, during his residence in Hastings, as regent of the university eight years, as member of the Legislature two terms, and as prosecuting attorney four terms.

Charles White practiced in Hasting from 1858 to his death, in 1860, and in 1857, Charles G. Holbrook (brother of I. A. Holbrook), now in practice in the city, entered the lists. Mr. Holbrook was the prosecuting attorney from 1865 to 1869, and again from 1871 to 1873. Frank Allen, who came in 1861, died in 1868, and in the latter year Harvey Wright removed his office from Middleville to Hastings. He died upon the eve of his removal to Grand Rapids, in 1876. J. R. Van Velsor began his legal career in Hastings in 1869, and terminated it with his death, in 1874. Thomas Taylor, a school-teacher, studied with Mr. Van Yelsor, practiced here a year, and then removed to Tuscola County, where he now lives. H. W. Rolf, who also studied in Van Velsor's office, still lives in Hastings. E. A. Holbrook, who came in 1874, practiced with Harvey Wright from 1874 to the death of the latter, in 1876, and then removed to Rochester, N. Y.

The oldest resident lawyer, next to Mr. Sweezy, is William Burgher, who opened his office in the village in 1852. He has been in practice here from that time to the present, and for eighteen years has been a justice of the peace. George W. Mills, who made his appearance in Hastings in 1860, remained until 1870, and then removed to Missouri, where he now resides. Charles H. Bauer has been practicing here since 1869, and from 1875 to 1879, served at prosecuting attorney. Lucius Russell came in 1871, and A. D. Cadwallader in 1876, both being still in practice here. William H. Hayford, who has been a justice of the peace in Hastings nineteen years, made the village his home in 1850, but did not engage in legal practice until 1864, his time previous to that having been occupied in trading and milling. Daniel Striker, at one time Secretary of State of Michigan, was admitted to the bar in 1874.

P. W. Niskern, for six years a newspaper publisher at Middleville, came to Hastings in July, 1877, bought an interest in The Republican Banner, and, since the fall of 1877 has been practicing law in the city. Loyal E. Knappen, now prosecuting attorney, studied law with James A. Sweezy. and was admitted in 1876. Charles M. Knappen and William H. Powers were admitted in 1877, and J. R. Eastman has been in practice in Hastings since 1876. J. L. Fish, who was admitted in 1876, disappeared quite suddenly in 1879, and his name was subsequently stricken from the roll. Hiram Greenfield lived in Hastings from 1850-58, and during that period practiced law to some extent. Frederick Young, a son of Vespasian Young, one of the Hastings pioneers, was admitted to the bar in 1873, and practiced in the city from that time until his death, in 1875.


Hastings was incorporated as a village by legislative act approved Feb. 13, 1855, and included the west half of section 17, the east half of section IS, the south half of the southwest quarter of' section 8, and the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 7. May 7, 1855, the first election was held at the court-house, A. H. Ellis and Albert Kingsbury being chosen judges, and Norman Bailey clerk of the election. The whole number of votes cast for president was 134, of which Alvin W. Bailey received 88, Henry A. Goodyear, 45, and Luther Sage, I. A full list of the village officials chosen on that occasion is as follows: President, Alvin W. Bailey; Recorder, John M. Nevins; Treasurer, O. N. Boltwood; Trustees, John Roberts, Wm. H. Hayford, Solomon Burch, Ashmun A. Knappen, John W. Buckle; Assessors, Ira S. Allen, Samuel T. McNair.

At a special meeting of the Common Council, held May 22, 1855, Albert H. Ellis was appointed marshal, and Seth B. Ferster and Nathan Barlow street commissioners.

Appended will be found the names of those chosen annually from 1856 to 1871 to serve as presidents, recorders, treasurers, and trustees

1856.-President, John W. Stebbins; Recorder, James P. Roberts; Treasurer, Augustus W. Atkins; Trustees, John M. Nevins, Robert J. Grant, Thomas F. Harvey, John W. Buckle, William Upjohn.

1857.-President, David G. Robinson; Recorder, Norman W. Falk; Treasurer, A. W. Atkins; Trustees, James Dunning, A. H. Ellis, A. B. Wightman, Marcus Durham, Wm. Sheldon, John B. Foot.

1858.-President, W. S. Goodyear; Recorder, C. G. Holbrook; Treasurer, -- --; Trustees, A. B. Wightman, Wm. Sheldon, Wm. Barlow, H. J. Kenfield, Wm. Upjohn, Zophias Sidmore.

1859.-President, I. A. Holbrook; Recorder, A. W. Atkins; Treasurer, E. B. Throop; Trustees, Zophias Sidmore, A. A. Knappen, Wm. Jones, H. J. Kenfield, Wm. Upjohn, John Roberts.

1860.-President, W. S. Goodyear; Recorder, J. W. Bentley; Treasurer, Wm. Jones; Trustees, C. Head, R. J. Grant, J. M. Russell.

1861.-President, J. W. Stcbbins; Recorder, Julius Russell; Treasurer, H. N. Sheldon; Trustees, W. S. Goodyear, A. W. Bailey, John Roberts.

1862.-President, Willard Hays; Recorder, Wm. Jones; Treasurer, J. W. Buckle; Trustees, Win. Sheldon, Nathan Barlow Bacon Allen.

1863.-President, Daniel Cook; Recorder, Willard Hays; Treasurer, John W. Bockle; Trustees, Ephraim Parsons, F. D. Ackley, and A. H. Ellis.

1864.-President, J. W. Stsbhins; Recorder, Willard Hays ; Treasurer, John W. Buckle; Trustees, A. B. Wightman, Wm. S. Goodyear, Joel I. Nobles.

1865.-President, H. A. Goodyear; Recorder, Frederick D. Ackley; Treasurer, John W. Buckle; Trustees, Mason Allen, E. T. Brown, H. J. Kenfleld.

1866.-President, A. P. Drake; Recorder, J. W. Bentley; Treasurer, Burton Main; Trustees, John Roberts, John A. Fuller, A. Richardson.

1867.-President, J. M. Russell; Recorder, Geo. Rice; Treasurer, Burton Main; Trustees, E. T. Brown, H. A. Goodyear, S. C. Prindle.

1868.-Presidcnt, A. P. Drake; Recorder, F. Main; Trustees, Robert J. Grant, Thomas Altoft, David R. Cook; Treasurer, I. A. Dibble.

1869.-President, F. N. Galloway; Recorder, Stephen E. Crandall Treasurer, Frederick Main; Trustees, D. E. Striker, D. E. Birdsell, W. w. Kelley.

1870.-President, A. J. Bowne; Recorder, S. E. Crandall: Treasurer, Wm. H. Powers; Trustees, D. R. Cook, I. W. Vrooman, H. J. Kenfield.


Under an act of the Legislature approved March 11, 1871, Hastings was incorporated as a city. It was apportioned into four wards, and the first election held April 3, 1871. The full list of the officials then elected is as follows: Mayor, H. A. Goodyear; Recorder, Charles B. Wood; Treasurer, John Bessmer; Supervisor, David G. Robinson; Justice of the Peace (full term), James Clarke; School Inspector, John R. Van Velsor; School Inspector (one year), William H. Jewel!; Aldermen, William I. F. Hams, Daniel Birdsell, George W. Williams, William Barlow, H. J. Kenfleld, W. T. Eastman, D. C. Wooley, Willard Hays. Messrs. Hams, Williams, Kenfield, and Eastman were chosen for two years, and the others for one year. At subsequent elections four aldermen have been chosen for two years, so that the board of aldermen has always included eight members. At the annual elections since 1871 there have been chosen mayors, recorders, treasurers, and aldermen, as follows:

1872.-Mayor, D. R. Cook; Recorder, W. D. Hays; Treasurer, H. C. Lewis; Aldermen, J. R. Van Velsor, George W. Williams, C. B. Wood, William I. F: Hams.

1873.-Mayor, Nathan Barlow; Recorder, W. D. Hays; Treasurer, William H. Stebbins; Aldermen, Robert Dawson, R. Mudge, J. H. Bessmer, J. VT. Bentley.

1874.-Mayer, W. S. Goodyear; Recorder, George E. Goodyear; Treasurer, H. C. Lewis; Aldermen, C. E. Barlow, Charles Dolph, J. A. Fuller, W. F. Hicks.

1875.-Mayor, W. S. Goodyear; Recorder, John Bessmer; Treasurer, C. E. Barlow; Aldermen, Ralph Gordon, E. J. Evans, J. L. Reed, P. A. Sheldon.

1876.-Mayor, J. W. Bentley; Recorder, L. D. Quackenbush; Treasurer, C. E. Barlow; Aldermen, H. C. Lewis, D. MeNaughton, Marcus Russell, George Tomlinson.

1877.-Mayor, J. W. Bentley; Recorder, William H. Stebbins; Treasurer, Charles Weloert; Aldermen, A. A. Young, G. G. Spaulding, George Abbey, George M. Dewey.

1878.-Mayor, R. J. Grant; Recorder, W. H. Stebbins Treasurer, George S. Tomlinson; Aldermen, Ira Hatch, Daniel McNaughton, W. W. Kelley, J. Lee Reed (vacancy), George Prestos.

1879.-Mayor, R. J. Grant; Recorder, J. M. Bassmer; Treasurer, George S. Temlinson; Aldermen, A. A. Young, William S. Shriner, William H. Stebbins, Charles E. Barlow.

With the exception of Alderman Young (Republican), the city officials for 1879, as above named, are all representatives of the Greenback party.


Hastings City is liberally supplied with schools, and contains one of the finest school buildings in the State. It is a massive brick structure surmounted by a handsome belltower, and, occupying a commanding eminence, is an attractive object as well as the most conspicuous architectural feature of the city. The building was finished in 1872, and cost, with grounds and furniture, $45,000. It contains seven school-rooms, and has three departments,-high school, grammar, and primary, -in which and the two ward schools the aggregate average attendance for the school year of 1878-79 was 369, out of an actual enrollment of 661. Two ward-schools, situated respectively in the First and Second Wards, are also parts of the Hastings school-system.

From the superintendent's report for the school year of 1878-79, it is learned that the estimated population of the district was 2612; the cash value of school property, $45,000; cost of superintendence and instruction, $3062.50; number of children between five and twenty years, 686.

The Hastings. board of education was incorporated under a legislative act approved April 2, 1873. At the first meeting, July 7, 1873, Nathan Barlow was chosen president, John R. Van Velsor secretary, and John M. Nevins treasurer. Mr. Barlow, who has held the office continuously since 1873, is still tile president of the board. James Clarke is secretary, and R. J. Grant treasurer. The other members of the board in March, 1880, were E. H. Latisrop, William S. Goodyear, John Weissert, Robert Dawson, Earl Brown, E. J. Evans, O. S. Hadley, D. R. McElwain, Clement Smith.

The teachers in the public schools in 1880 were J. N. Mitchell, Superintendent and Principal of High School; Ada Andrus, Assistant in High School; Miss Mary B. Campbell, Grammar Room; Sarah L. Barlow, Intermediate; Estella Wheeler, Fourth Primary; Belie Throop, Third Primary; Lida Beadle, Second Primary; Narian Butler, First Primary; Edith Vallean, First Ward; Lilian Estes, Second Ward.


In the year 1873 the citizens called a meeting for the purpose of organizing a fire company. As a result, a handengine and hose-carriage were bought, and two companies formed at once. Pioneer Engine Company, No. 1, enrolled 50 volunteer members, who chose W. I. F. Hams foreman, while Frank Decker was elected foreman of the hose company. In 1875 a department was organized by the election of David H. Cook as chief engineer, who was succeeded in 1876 by W. F. Hicks. Not long after that the department was disorganized, but within a mouth or so, in the spring of 1877, it was revived as a pay department. W. F. Hicks was elected chief, James L. Wilkins first assistant, and W. S. Kelley second assistant. William L. Wilkins was foreman of the engine company, and John Russ of the hose company.

The department consists now of Pioneer Hand-Engine, No. I, with 31 men, J. H. Anderson foreman, and Pioneer Hose Company, No. 1, with 18 men, H. F. Ford foreman. James L. Wilkins is chief engineer of the department.


Hastings was sorely scorched in the winter of 1867 by a disastrous fire, which originated from a defective flue in the old Pioneer office and made short work of the frame buildings on that block. Although the loss seemed a serious one, it proved a benefit in the end, since the burnt district was almost directly occupied by brick structures, which materially improved and adorned that portion of the village.


The fine brick structure known as the Union Block was built by Barlow, Goodyear & Grant in 1867, and was the pioneer of its kind in the town. The Empire Block was erected in 1869, and about then, too, the brick stores occupying the district burned in 1867 were added to the list of valuable improvements.


The chief manufacturing industry of Hastings is the one conducted by the above company, devoted mainly to the production of croquet implements, and also to the manufacture of base-ball bats, Indian clubs, archery and lawntennis goods, fishing-rods, etc. The company was incorporated in November, 1879, on a capital of $20,000, with A. G. Spalding, as President; J. W. Spalding, Vice-President; J. W. Wilkins, Superintendent; and W. T. Brown, Secretary and Treasurer; these four gentlemen comprising also the list of stockholders.

The business of making croquet implements and baseball bats was begun at Hastings by James L. and Walter L. Wilkins, in 1876, when they bought the buildings and property originally occupied in 1874 by Dwight & Burral for the manufacture of cultivators. In the summer of' 1878, James L. Wilkins purchased the entire interest, and in November, 1879, assisted in organizing the present corporation.

The business is the most extensive of its kind in America, and gives regular employment to about 100 persons. In 1879 upwards of 1000 cords of wood were used in making baseball bats, while, during the same period, 33,000 sets of croquet were sold. The factories and grounds cover three acres, and are owned by the company.


About 1865, Dickey & Prentice began the manufacture of sash, doors, and blinds, hard-wood lumber, agricultural tools, etc., but in a short time sold out to Dickey & Bentley, who were succeeded in 1869 by J. W. & C. G. Bentley. In 1878 they gave way to Bentley Brothers & Wilkins, the firm now carrying on the business, which has so expanded that from 30 to 40 men are now employed in it. Connected with the factory is a saw-mill, which, in 1879, cut 2,000,000 feet of hard-wood lumber.


This mill, now carried on by Hale & Bartley, occupies the structure built by Barlow & Goodyear in 1868, to replace that built by Boitwood & Keeler in 1856, upon the site of the one begun by Hayes & Dibble, of Marshall. in 1839, finished in the winter of 1840, and destroyed by fire in 1856. It was the pioneer grist-mill of Barry County, and was the scene on July 4, 1840, of the first Fourth of July celebration in Hastings. The mill building was finished, but the machinery was not in, and within its spacious mill-room the patriotic citizens from miles around gathered for a jolly Fourth of July dance. Those now living who remember it observe that the dance was a merry one, and they remember, too, that the supper that followed at Levi Chase's tavern was a feast at which the edibles were toothsome and the general happiness contagious.

Hayes & Dibble's miller was Slocum H. Bunker, who lived in a log cabin near the mill, and who was further distinguished as the first permanent white settler in Hastings.

The present mill has 5 run of stone, with a capacity of about 150 barrels of flour daily. From 12,000 to 15,000 barrels of flour are annually shipped. In 1879 it manufactured considerable flour for export in sacks to Glasgow, Scotland, and New Castle, England.


The Hastings Mill was built by A. W. Bailey about 1863, and now belongs to W. S. Goodyear & Parsons, who rent the property to Hitchcock & Eaton. This mill was remodeled in 1866 by Goodyear, Barlow & Hadley, they having succeeded A. W. Bailey in possession.


In the spring of 1857 William H. Skinner, of Battle Creek opened a private bank in Hastings, and in the fall of that year H. A. Goodyear purchased the business, and carried it on until 1868, when he sold to Bowne & Galloway, a firm then just started in the banking interest as the continuation of a batik opened in 1867 by F. N. Galloway.

Bowne & Galloway continued their private banking business until Jan. 1, 1871, when it became absorbed by the organization of the Hastings National Bank, with a capital of $50,000. The directors first chosen were A. J. Bowne, President; F. N. Galloway, Cashier; R. B. Wightman, D. R. Cook, D. B. Pratt, J. A. Sweezy, and L. D. Gardner. A statement issued by the bank, Feb. 21, 1880, included the following exhibit: Circulation. $45,000; deposits, $110,000; loans, $186,000 ; surplus, $50,000. The fine building now occupied and owned by the institution was erected by Bowne & Galloway in 1869. The present directors are A. J. Bowne, President; Daniel Striker, VicePresident; George E. Goodyear, Cashier; D. B. Pratt and L. D. Gardner.


Previous to the spring of 1839 the few people living in Hastings and near there depended upon getting their mail at Gull Prairie, forty miles distant, but the dependence was of that uncertain character which followed upon the infrequency and irregularity of communication. In March, 1839, application was made for the creation of a post-office at Hastings. and April 29, 1839, the application was answered favorably by the issuance to Willard Hays of a postmaster's commission. Although letter-postage in those days was 25 cents, the business at the Hastings office was so limited that during the first tl1ree months of his term Postmaster Hays' receipts were less than $1.

The first mail-route that touched Hastings passed by way of Coldwater, and over that route the mail was at first carried by Daniel McClelland on horseback once a week. Later, when the stage-route was opened between Battle Creek and Grand Rapids in 1846, Hastings, being a station on the route, received a daily mail.

Mr. Hays continued to be the postmaster from 1839 until 1847, when he resigned, and succeeding him W. S. Jennings took possession. In 1849, H. A. Goodyear became the incumbent, and following him H. I. Knappen. Mr. Knappen's successors were Nathan Barlow, R. J. Grant., J. W. Stebbins, Dr. John Roberts (in 1867), and John M. Nevins, the present postmaster, who was appointed in 1875, and reappointed March 3, 1879.

For the three months ending Dec. 31, 1879, the businese of the 1-lastings post-office was,
Stamps sold......$742.11
Postal-cards sold......S3.OO
Stamped envelopes sold......$149.39

Number of money-orders issued......594
Value of same......$6051.86
Money-orders paid......$2844.56

The office sends and receives two daily mails, two friweekly mails, and one semi-weekly mail.

Continued in
Religious History & Secret Orders.

By: David Schwartz.

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