WHEN the earliest emigrants came into Cass County they first settled upon the
prairies and, when they were all occupied, selected the heavily timbered portions of the county, where an infinite
amount of labor was required to bring it into cultivation, in preference to the oak openings, or barrens, as they
were sometimes denominated, for they labored under the delusion that the soil was unproductive for it, and its
productions, differed from what they were accustomed in their Eastern homes.
Being impressed with this belief the first settlers of Pokagon expected Howard township, would never be settled
and that they would have it for a cattle range, for which purpose it was peculiarly adapted, owing to the existence
of a certain kind of wild grass known as "barren grass," which attained a most luxuriant growth all through
the woods and afforded abundant sustenance for troops of wild deer that ranged through the forests which were unobstructed
by small underbrush, such as now can be found in great abundance, for the annual fires kindled by the Indians for
this purpose, ran through the woods each autumn destroying all the small vegetation.
At this time it was a beautiful sight to look for a long distance under the leafy covering which was clean and
trim, with no fences, roads, or even track, save the deer paths and Indian trails, that meandered through them
to obstruct or break the view. At a later date in the stilly night, from some leafy covert, could occasionally
be heard the lone howl of the wolf or the growl of a bear as he went foraging through the cornfields or snuffing
around the betterments for a pig, while the wily fox paid his nightly devours to some hen roost.
This township, however, possessed too many attractions to remain long without receiving the attention of the adventuresome
pioneers, who were at this period flocking to this Western country by the thousands, in search of homes.
As near as can be ascertained the first settler in this township was William Kirk, a native of Virginia, who before
coming here stopped for several years in Stiliwater, Ind., and after disposing of his property there, removed to
where Niles now is, and for a time occupied the same house with Squire Thompson, but the two families not getting
along amicably in one small log house, Mr. Kirk built a log cabin at the foot of the hill on the top of which Mr.
Thompson resided. Not long after, while out hunting for his cattle, he found the spring on the farm how occupied
by Mr. John W. Timmons, in Section 18, and true to his Southern education, which was to locate near a spring, regardless
of roads or neighbors, he immedi ately decided to make it his home; and erected his log cabin to which his family
were removed far from those with whom they could have intercourse.
Mr. Kirk frequently told his son-in-law, Mr. H. Lamberton, now a resident of Section 18, that he lived but a short
time at Niles, and as Squire Thompson moved to Pokagon in 1826, Mr. Kirk must have removed here as early, if not
prior to this time, and therefore to him belongs the honor of first locating in this township, and performing the
initial labors in behalf of civilization.
When coming here Mr. Kirk possessed $600, six yoke of oxen, ten cows and twenty hogs, and was therefore what might
be called a wealthy pioneer, for but few possessed even enough money to enter their land, and as for stock were
entirely destitute of it. Notwithstanding his start in this new country, when the land was placed in market, he
did not possess money enough to enter his, for it had been dissipated in a large measure by extending the hospitalities
of his home to every hunter, land looker, and speculator who came his way, for in him was united pioneer and Southern
He was what might be denominated a genuine frontiersman, kind and open hearted, fond of fishing, hunting and the
wild woods; and little did he care for his isolated condition, or for the fact that he was obliged to go to Fart
Wayne, Ind., to mill, and put up with many other inconveniences. Thirty two or thirty three years ago some of his
stock was killed on the railroad, which then extended through this township, and becoming piqued at the manifest
unfairness of the company in paying him for them, coupled with the fact that neighbors were getting inconveniently
near, and the country too much developed to gratify his hunting proclivities, he disposed of his property and again
started westward, and did not stop until he reached the Pacific Ocean, and located in Oregon, where he died in
March, 1881, at the ripe age of eighty nine years. His wife still survives him.
In 1830, Joseph Harter moved his family from Preble County, Ohio, and settled on the farm now owned by S. C. Thompson,
and there remained until his death. None of his children now reside in the county. About 1833 or 1834, he built
a saw mill on a small stream on his farm, the first and only one in the township run by water power, there being
a few portable mills of little note now in the township.
Peter Barnhart accompanied Joseph Harter to this township, he then being a young man twenty two years of age. He
worked for Mr. Harter about three years and then commenced work on his own land, entered by Mr. Harter for him
in Section 8, and which he still retains, and the eighty acres has been increased to 153. Mr. Barnhart was drafted
when the celebrated Sauk war so frightened the people, and started with his neighbors for the seat of war, which
it is needless to say they never reached, as wiii more fully be made to appear in the general chapters of this
work to which the reader is referred for any item of interest pertaining to this township not treated of here.
Plenty of hard work and coarse fare was the lot of Mr. Barnhart in common with other pioneers in an early day,
and the monotony of his existence was varied by dances at which he frequently officiated in the role of fiddler,
receiving compensation then very acceptable. His first wife, Catharine (Sink), by whom he had children, one still
living, having deceased he married Lovina Brooks, who still survives.
Among the early settlers was William Garwood, a Virginian, who settled on Section 6, and remained there until his
demise; and cotemporaneous with him was I. W. Duckett, who entered land in Section 5, in 1829, and then removed
to Section 2, but subsequently disposed of his property and removed to California.
John and Jacob Kinsey, with their families, accompanied with their widowed sister, Mrs. Sally Stoner and children,
came to Howard in 1830, and settled on the farm now owned by Mr. J. Wood, in Section 18, and here made the first
brick in the township. John K. remained here until his death, while his brother and sister removed to Valparaiso,
Ind., where they remained until their deaths.
Isaiah Carberry, who was born in Mason County, Ky., in 1800, removed with his parents, when six years of age, to
Brown County, Ohio, and although while a resident of this State, engaged in manufacturing tobacco and whisky, never
indulged in the free use of either. In 1831, he removed his family, consisting of his wife, Susannah (Pickett),
and two children to Michigan with an ox team, and stopped for two years near Beeson's Mill, in Berrien County,
where he built a log cabin, but in 1833 moved on the farm now owned by Thomas Moran, which he purchased of Government
and largely cleared up. After several changes he, in 1840, moved on his present farm of eighty acres, which was
purchased for $400, when in a wild state. He is the father of five children by his first wife, two of whom still
survive and are residents of California. It is largely due to assistance of his second wife, Mrs. C. Kinsey; that
his present farm has been cleared up and improved. She is one of the pioneer women to whom the succeeding generations
are largely indebted, for her part, by no means a light one, has been well done in connection with the arduous
labors of pioneering. Their days of hard labor were relieved by dances, at which Mr. Carberry used frequently to
preside as fiddler. The settlers, one and all, met on a common level at these times and entered heartily into the
festivities of the occasion. These dances were most frequently held in the evening after logging, husking or quilting
bees, and the settlers were not particular as regards their costumes, homespun for the ladies and coarse boots
for the men being plenty good enough to be considered among the elite.
William Young and his wife. Elizabeth (Christie), came to Howard Township in 1831 or 1832, and located on Section
24. He was born in Vermont in 1796. Mr. Young was foully murdered December 16, 1879. His lifeless and charred remains
were found lying in the old fashioned open fire place of the humble house in which he had, for twenty five or thirty
years, with little exception, lived a solitary life. The affair caused quite an excitement. It was supposed he
had been murdered for a small sum of money, something between $100 and $200, which he was known to have had in
his possession. This supposition was found to be correct, and William S. Hobart, on trial, was found guilty, and
is now serving out a life sentence in the Michigan Penitentiary, in punishment for the crime. Mrs. Young died in
1868, Two descendants of these pioneers now reside in the county. Lorena C. (Messenger) in La Grange Township and
Ann (Curtis) in Howard. Robert C., Orrin S. and Nancy E. (Coates) are deceased.
John B. Timmons came from Butler County, Ohio, with Squire Edwards, who settled in Pokagon, and for whom he worked,
and after a time, purchased land in Pokagon, and, after clearing up about twenty acres, he disposed of it, and
in 1850 moved on the farm now owned by Mrs. Berden, in Section 2, which was originally settled by three brothers
Samuel, Robert and William Faries, who came from Middletown, Ohio, in 1834. Samuel and Robert ran a blacksmith
and gunshop on this farm, and were skilled artisans. They also manufactured plows,' and formed quite an important
adjunct to the new settlement, for it obviated the necessity of their going to. Bertrand for this class of work,
which, with the poor roads and slow methods of locomotion, usually by ox team, was quite a tax on the early settlers.
Robert left the county and ultimately located in Milwaukee, Wis. Samuel returned to Ohio where he deceased, and
William went to the land of gold, California, where he also deceased.
John B. Timmons, before referred to, died in July, 1876, while his wife, Phebe (Faries) resides with her son, John
W., on the old William Kirk farm, which is now supplied with good farm buildings. Another son, George W., resides
in Niles. Mrs. Elizabeth (Parker), wife of John W., is a daughter of the pioneers, Albert and Lucinda Parker who,
while Mrs. Parker lived, resided on the farm owned by her grandfather, Cyrus Mowry, who died in 1861, his former
home being in the State of New York. "Grandma" Mowry, as she was affectionately called, used to relate
to her children some of the inconveniences to which they were first subject, such as pounding their corn on a stump,
and baking their cornbread on a board before the fire.
In 1834, James Coulter, accompanied by his father, came into this county from Clinton County, Ohio, bringing about
one hundred and fifty head of milch cows, which were disposed of to the settlers on advantageous terms, and they
then purchased 640 acres of land of Government in this township. After a stay of six months, they returned home.
He soon came back again and ccmmenced the work of clearing his farm, and, in 1836, went to Ohio, and returiied
with his bride, Ann (Wilson), in a lumber wagon drawn by an ox team, the journey occupying seventeen days. They
moved into a humble log house in the woods, and remained on this farm until his death, which occurred in 1874,
and where his widow still resides. She recalls very vividly the time when, in order to assist along in the household
economy, she, in common with other pioneer mothers, manufactured cloth for family use, and did other work from
which the modern farmer's wife is now exempt. They were blessed with eight children, four of whom survive, as follows:
Margaret (Mrs. E. White), and William H., both residents of this township, also Sarah A., who lives with her mother,
and John F., who lives in Fairmont, Neb.
William H. Doane, a near neighbor of Mr. Coulter's, removed from Greene County, N. Y., to Albany, and into Michigan
in 1835, with his brother, and stopped at Niles, but could obtain no information regarding desirable lands from
the people of this place, who looked 'upon them as land speculators, who at this time were not given a worm reception
by actual settlers, for they held land out of the market, thus retarding the improvement of the country. But meeting
a Capt. Stocking, he gave them minutes of some land, and they entered 360 acres in this township, on a portion
of which Mr. Doane now resides. With 1,000 feet of lumber, he constructed a place of abode, and with the exception
of sixteen months, commencing in 1836, at which he worked at his trade, that of carpenter and joiner, in St. Joseph,
he has been a resident of this township since coming here. In 1837, he went to New York and married Elizabeth Roberts,
a native of Wales, who died in 1843, leaving two children George and John, Jr. and, in 1844, he was united in wedlock
to Miss L. A. Chase, and they are the parents of four children Emory C., Edward M., Herbert H. and Lilly M. As
indication of the scarcity of money, Mr. Doane dressed and sold a fine roasting pig in Niles for 25 cents, and
this was about the time that any one residing within a circumference of from ten to fifteen miles were denominated
neighbors. He brought a stove into the township in 1837, and it was for years known as "Doane's Nigger,"
and attracted much attention. As will be seen elsewhere, Mr. Doane has taken a prominent part in township affairs.
Probably no one is more conversant with or has been more prominently identified with the history of Howard Township
since 1835, than Ezekiel C. Smith, who with his wife, Laura (Parmelee), came from Hamburg, Erie Co., N. Y., to
Michigan at this time. He was preceded by his father, Amasa, and brother Zenas. His mother, Candace, died here
in 1836, and was interred in the Barren Lake Cemetery, which land was donated for this purpose by Mr. Smith. Amasa,
after a stay of three years, removed to Ohio, and from there to Iowa, where he died at the advanced age of ninety
one years. Zenus removed to Kent county, which place he left and emigrated to Tennessee, because the railroad run
through his farm, which was an intrusion he could not brook.
Mr. Smith had hardly become a resident of the township before he was honored with the office of Justice of the
Peace, which office he held for thirty six years, and during, this time has started about four hundred couple on
the matrimonial voyage of life, a record in the marrying line few Justices can compete with.
As Supervisor of his township in 1839, he introduced and was instrumental in the passage of a resolution for the
payment of $20 bounty on every wolf killed, which, with the State bounty of $20, would, in his opinion, make the
business of wolf hunting so profitable as to exterminate these pests, and his theory proved correct.
In 1850, he represented his district in the State Legislature, and has taken an active part in all the public interests
of his township, and has the universal respect of all, for his upright manner and many estimable qualities.
January 11, 1882, he celebrated his golden wedding, and it is a quite remarkable fact that during this long period
no death has occurred in his family, or, as he pungently puts it, he has had meetings, dances, debating societies,
weddings, and in fact, almost everything in his house but a funeral. His family consists of five children, as follows:
Ellen F.; George P., in Benton County, Mo.; Albert B., in Iowa; and Julia L., now Mrs. J. Doane, in Porter Township;
Jerome A., in McMinnville, Tenn.
John M. Reese was born in Shurban, New York State, May 15, 1796. He married Angeline Mills in 1820, who still survives
and at the age of eighty years spun yarn on a "big wheel" for a pair of stockings. In the spring of 1834,.
they moved to Northern Indiana, and three years later to Section 19, Milton, with a family of ten children. They
endured the hardships incident to a pioneer life. As a pensioner of the war of 1812, he drew it until his death
in July, 1876, his widow now receiving it. The name of their children are Anna Maria, Jacob, Martha, Judson, Wade,
Elisha M., Sarah A., Emaline and Caroline, twins, Mary C., Esther, Rebeekah H., John M. and Lewis Cass.
Judson Wade Reese, who was born in New York State in 1825, moved on his farm west of Barren Lake in 1849. He and
his wife, Catharine M., widow of Richard T. Heath and daughter of Samuel Willard, have been blessed with two children,
Ann Adell and Judd.
Maj. Henry Heath was born in Connecticut, December 1, 1780, from which place he moved on the Holland purchase a
few miles from Buffalo, N. Y., and in 1833 to Howard Township, and settled on Section 29, with a family consisting
of a wife and nine children, as follows: Henry O., who was a teacher and Methodist preacher; George, a blacksmith;
Richard T., who was at one time a merchant in Cassopolis, and who performed a perilous journey through the wilderness
to many of the "wildcat" banks of the State to get the so called money redeemed; Charles; Lucien, now
a resident of California; Giles; Albert, an attorney who held the office of Colonel during the war of the rebellion,
and who, with his brother Lucien, are the only children living; two died in infancy. Richard T., above mentioned,
married Catharine M. Willard in 1840, and moved on the farm now owned by Judson W. Reese. Their two children, Mary
E. and George E., are both deceased.
Samuel Willard was born January 26, 1793, in Lancaster, Mass. In 1791 he moved to New York State, and after several
changes and finally, in 1814, to Erie County, which was his home until 1837, and while here as a member of a militia
company participated in the battle of Oswego, in the war of 1812.
He married Ann Abbott in February, 1822, and in 1837 moved *ith his family to Howard Township, having purchased
eighty acres in Section 30. He improved this farm and remained on it until his death May 13, 1877, having been
a resident of this township forty years. His widow, Ann, who was born in Philadelphia, Penn., in 1803, now resides
on the same farm on "Yankee street," on which she moved in 1837.
The year 1835 witnessed quite an influx of population to Howard, for the erroneous theories regarding the barrenness
of the soil had been by this time exploded, and, having full faith in its future, George Fosdick laid out a village
of sixty four lots, which he named Howardsville, on the farm now owned by Henry Pryen. He carried on the blacksmith
trade in his embryo village, and, in addition, made a specialty of jail locks, with which he furnished nearly all
the jails in Southwestern Michigan and Northern Indiana.
His village never materalized and, disappointed in his aspirations, Mr. Fqsdick disposed of his property and moved
to Indiana, where he deceased.
Once the prices procured for produce was far from remunerative, and Josiah Kinnison recalls the time when he sold
his first crop of corn after coming into the township in 1838, at 15 cents per bushel, and drew it to Berrien Center,
while oats brought 10 and 12 cents. He in common with others drew wheat to the mouth of the St. Joseph River, thirty
miles distant, and received but 60 cents per bushel, and it took three days to make the trip.
As before indicated Mr. Kinnison and his wife Lydia (Cook), came into the township in 1838, and located on the
farm on which he now resides, paying $5 per acre for it to speculators. Mrs. Kinnison is deceased, as is also his
second wife, Sabrey (Thomas). He has two children now living. Mr. K. kept the first infirmary in the county, at
Edwardsburg, and never had more than six indigent persons under his care at one time.
In 1837, W. Olmstead could have been seen starting from Ohio for Michigan, with his wife, Matilda, one child and
all his worldly possessions stowed away in a one horse wagon. He spent that winter in Howard, and then removed
to Egypt, Ill.; but thirty months later moved on to his farm in Section 1, in no better financial condition than
when he first left it. But the forty acres has been increased to 312. He is now living with his second wife, Electa
(Dodds), his first One having deceased. Of twelve children born to them ten are living. Henry Houser, who deceased
in 1878, emigrated from Preble County, Ohio, in 1835, and settled upon and improved the farm now owned by Martin
Dunning in Pokogon, and was prominently identified with the township,as will be seen by the civil list.
Mrs Mary (Brown) Houser, deceased in 1864, and was the mother of six children, viz.; S. M., farmer in this township;
Michael, a resident of Berrien County; Eli, of St. Joseph County; William, a merchant in Dowagiac; Mary, in Northern
Michigan, and Martha Jane, also a resident of Dowagiac.
When eleven years of age, Jerome Wood moved from Batavia, N. Y., to Beardsley's Prairie with his father, Lyman
D. Wood. They next became residents of Van Buren Vounty, and then of St. Joseph Cozuity. During his boyhood days
in this then new country, Mr. Wood became very much elated over a pair of buckskin pantaloons, which were the best
his parents could procure for him at that time. He also recalls the time when potatoes and salt constituted their
sole diet, while johnnycake was considered plenty good enough for all occasions. Some twenty nine years ago, Mr.
Jerome Wood and his wife, Iantha Corey, moved from Kalamazoo County to Silver Creek Township, and subsequently
to their present home, Section 6, in Howard. Rachal Corey, mother of Mrs. Wood, who has resided in Silver Creek
Township for the past twenty five years, is probably the oldest person in the county, her age being ninety years.
Attracted by the many inducements of Michigan in 1835, Henry Lamberton, then a young man, started for this then
Territory from Canada, to which place he had removed from Genesee County, N. Y., with his parents and made it his
home at Detroit, Grand Rapids and Wiles successively, and finally, about twenty two years since, purchased his
present farm in Section 19, when in a state of nature, and has improved it. His first wife, Lovina, was a daughter
of William Kirk, the veteran pioneer, by whom he had six children and ten by his present wife, Lucinda (Kemp),
and now has nine boys living.
John Blanchard came from New York State when a young man, and lived for a few years at Niles, and then, in about
1840, purchased his, present farm in Section 31, of William Collins, and, having erected a log house, he and his
wife Ann (Dailey) moved on and improved the land, and he has done his part in developing the country. They are
the parents of ten children, eight of whom are living.
The residence of David White, in Section 16, on which he moved some seventeen years since, is pleasantly located,
near Barren Lake. He has been a resident of that township since, 1864. In 1845, William Van Ness and his wife Arietta
(Lee), came from Erie County, N. Y., and lived with one of their neighbors until their log cabin could be erected
in the oak openings, and they in common with other settlers succumbed to the ravages of the agile. Mr. Van Ness
deceased in 1845, and the family were kept together until arriving at manhood's estate by his widow who resides
on the old homestead. Of their children, R. L. is the present Treasurer of Cass County; Mary, now Mrs. Carlisle,
in Milton, and William and Carrie at home.
When four years of age, in 1835, J. Hanson came from Johnstown, N. Y., with his parents, and settled in Jefferson,
and endured the usual privations of pioneer life. About fifteen years since, he and his wife, Harriet (Lee), moved
on their present farm in Section 36, which is adorned with farm buildings, which are a credit to the township.
They are the parents of three chilciren, Hettie, Lydia and Edward.
James Shaw, although not moving into the county until 1840, has done considerable pioneer work in the way of clearing
and improving land, and the fine row of trees that embellish the farm of Mr. Root were set out by him. His biography
appears in another place.
John Bedford, the present Township Clerk, has had held this office since 1873. He is a native of Boston, England,
and settled in Pokagon in 1852, and, one year subsequent, in Howard Township.
In 1852, Amos C. Foot came from Mishawaka, Ind., and settled on the farm in Section 31, on which his son Andrew
T. resides, which, at this period, was far removed from its original appearance by the hand of the pioneer. A.
S. Foot has filled the office of Justice in this township. Among the early settlers in Berrien County was William
Nye, who, some forty seven years since, emigrated from Ohio. He performed his full portion in removing the primal
forests and fitting the land for the habitation of civilized man. He deceased in 1877, on the farm to which he
moved some ten years since, and where now resides his son-in-law, J. P. Powers.
Mr. Powers is a native of Austria, from which country he removed some twenty six years since. His house is situated
part in this and part in Berrien County, and by a removal from one side of the room to another, they can change
the county of their residence.
The German race is further represented by Ernest I. Reum, who, some twenty five years since, settled on the farm
where he now resides. He is a fair representative of this frugal hard working people, quite a number of whom are
now settling in this section of the county.
One of the most prominent characteristics of 'the old time was the universal hospitality and helpfulness that abounded
everywhere. The latch string ran through the door, and the belated traveler was sure of entertainment at the first
house. Everybody was ready to help in case of accident or sickness. The pioneers, many of whom have now passed
away, will always live in the memories of their successors. Theirs was a peaceful warfare against dame nature.
Their banner was always a flag of truce, their trophies the fallen tree and burning log heap, their reward, the
prosperity and happiness enjoyed by their descendants to day. In this work the wife and mother has done her full
share,; enduring privations without complaints; with a kindly greeting for the tired husband and boy, and good
words for the faint hearted beginner or weary traveler, surely lo her should be awarded the meed of praise.
The following comprise a complete list of the original land entries of the township:
<<Table of land owners goes here>>
Howard Township was organized by an act of the Territorial Legislature, approved
March 7, 1834, and text of the enacting clause reads as follows: "All that part of the county of Cass comprised
in surveyed Township 7 south, in Range 16 west, be a township, hy the name of Howard, and the first township meeting
shall be held at the dwelling house of John Fosdick, in said township."
The early records of the township have been destroyed, but the folling comprises a
for the election held August 21 and 22, 1837: Ira Perkins, John W. Abbott, Jonathan Wells, O. D. S. Gallup, Zenos
Smith. Henry Heath, J. V. R. Perkins, Ezekiel C. Smith, Amasa Smith, Ephraim Huntley, Joseph, C. Teats, Ebner Emrnons,
Arthur C. Blue, Charles Stephenson, Zina Rhodes, Nathaniel Dumboltom, Eli Rice, Jr., Daniel Partridge, Gurdon B.
Fitch, Sylvenon Dumboltom, Calvin Kinney, Nathan McCoy, Henry L. Gould, Jonathan E. Wells.
This township was originally settled by Eastern people, all of whom were termed "Yankees," irrespective
of what locality they were from, and " Hoosiers," and there existed, for a long time, quite a strife
between the two factions as regards political preference, and it was "Yankee" or "Hoosier"
instead of Whigs or Democrats, in their early elections, and at first, the Hoosiers obtained the victory, but their
con quests continued but a short time, for they were soon outnumbered, and consequently outvoted by their opponents.
This spirit of sectional differences existed in the ordinary affairs of life, and the young people did not' commingle
in their pleasures. The first one to break the lines of conservatism was William Weed, who married Squire Thompson's
daughter, and the old gentleman entertained serious doubts about the expediency of the union, and when Ezekiel
C. Smith repaired to his house to perform the, marriage ceremony, he inquired, in a very solicitous tone: "Do
you know anything about this 'ere man that is going to marry my gal?" and he felt quite reconciled when assured
that he was an exemplary young man, and would make a good husband. From this time on a better feeling pervaded,
and soon a feeling of amity extended over the entire population.
In this connection it might be mentioned that in all probability the marriage of Isaac Beehimer to Miss Phillips,
daughter of Thomas Phillips, in the fall of 1832, was the first one consummated in the township, Squire Edwards
performing the ceremony that fastened the connubial knot. The settlers were early reminded of their future state
by the death of Mrs. Marra, who died in 1832 or 1833, and this was the first death that occurred in the township
of which the historian can learn.
The boundaries of Howard were surveyed by William Brookfield, D. S., in 1827, and subdivisions completed by him
July 11, 1828, as per contract with Edward Tiffin, Surveyor General of the United States.
There are no streams of any consequence in the township, but it possesses a remarkable lake which was formerly
known as Lake Alone, from its isolated situation, no other lake being very near it. Its waters are remarkably pure
and soft, and as no surface streams empty into it, it must be supplied with underground springs. It has no outlet
except an artificial one, for it is the base of the water supply of Niles, five miles distant, to which place water
is conducted by means of underground pipes. On the east bank of Barren Lake as it is now called, is a hotel to
which pleasure parties repair in the summer time.
It is quite certain that this township has been the site of very severe battles fought by its aboriginal or prehistoric
inhabitants, for Mr. E. C. Smith, with the assistance of his father and brother, made excavations in a mound on
the farm of R. Earl in 1885, and there found the skeletons of hundreds of warriors, who were buried in a circle,
with their heads all lying toward a common center. Great clefts or cuts in the skulls of a large number was conclusive
evidence of their having met a sudden death from blows inflicted with a tomahawk, hatchet or similar sharp pointed
Some of the skeletons were charred by fire, and it is possible that some of them met a horrible death .at the stakes
after the manner of Indian warfare. But whether friend and foe met here and interred their dead after a hard fought
battle, will never be known, for a blank page represents the unwritten history of these early times and events.
In 1833, William Young erected, the first frame barn in the township, on Section 14, where it still stands. George
Fosdick probably constructed the first farm house in the township, in Section 21, in 1885, which is still standing,
while the first brick one was built by John Pettingill in Section 31, in 1842. About the latter date farmers began
to erect better buildings, and discard the rude log structures, which had well served their time, and over the
entire township can be found fine farm buildings and cultivated fields, while the Indian trails and deer paths
have given way to suitably constructed wagon roads, and the old settlers and their descendants are enjoying the
results of many years of patient toil.
STATISTICS AND PRODUCTIONS.
Although destitute of a village, or even a post office, Howard has a population
of 974, and this population is engaged in farming on 152 farms of 17,152 acres, 11,168 of which are improved. In
1879, there was raised upon 3,313 acres, 62,070 bushels of wheat, which is an average of 18.74 bushels per acre;
from 2,171 acres planted to corn, 73,802 bushels were husked, while from 659 acres sown to oats, 15,838 bushels
were thrashed. In 1880, there were owned in the township 519 head of horses, 815 head of cattle, 1,037 hogs, while
in 1879, 1,888 sheep produced 8,843 pounds of wool. Apples and small fruits are raised in abundance, and this showing
contrasts strongly with the township when William Kirk first decided to make it his home.
The first school in the northwestern portion of the township was taught by Joseph
Harter, in a discarded log house in the winter of 1833, and among the early school teachers was Fanny Bailey.
The township now comprises seven whole and one fractional districts, with 265 children between the ages of five
and twenty years. District No. 1 has a brick schoolhouse, valued at $1,000, with a seating capacity of 56; No.
2, a frame building valued at $900, seating capacity 60; No. 3, a frame building valued at $875, seating capacity
48; No. 4, a brick building valued at $100, seating capacity 40; No. 7, a frame building valued at $800, seating
capacity 30; No. 8 (fractional) frame valued at $800, seating capacity 36; No. 10, frame valued at $600, seating
capacity 50; No. 11, brick, value $700, seating capacity 44. During the past school year, $558 was paid male, and
$1,012 female teachers. The township has a library of 500 volumes.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
The only church in the township is the Methodist Episcopal, which was organized
by Rev. W. H. Sampson with six members, viz.: James and Ann Coulter, Dennis and Cynthia A. Parmalee, Eliza Smith
and Elizabeth Young. In 1858, they built a house of worship costing $1,300, called Coulter's Chapel, from the fact
that the church lot was given by James Coulter, who also assisted liberally in its construction. It now has a membership
The following comprises a list of the principal civil officers of the township:
1834, Samuel Mars; 1835, George Fosdick; 1836-37, Henry Heath; 1838, Thomas Glenn;
1839-43, Ezekiel C. Smith; 1844, James Shaw; 1845, Oscar Jones; 1846, James Shaw; 1847-48, J. N. Chipman; 1.49,
Oscar Jones; 1850, Elam Harter; 1851, Oscar Jones; 1852-53, Ezekiel C. Smith; 1854, Elam Harter; 1855-56, Ezekiel
C. Smith; 1857-58, Benjamin Cooper, Jr.; 1859, William Curtis; 1860, Ezekiel C. Smith; 1861-70, William H. Doane;
1871-74, H. S. Hadsell; 1875-76, Benjamin O. Vary; 1877, William H. Doane; 1878-79, Walton W. Harder; 1880-81,
Asher J. Shaw.
1836, Joseph H. Abbott; 1837, S. Dumbolton; 1839-42, James Coulter; 1843, William
H. Doane; 1844-55, H. D. Gallup; 1856-58, Perry P. Perkins; 1859-60, James G. Willard; 1861-62, Alexander Cooper;
1863-64, T. C. Raridan; 1865-66, Samuel Ullery; 1867-68, John Dwan; 1868-70, B. Blanchard;. 1871-72, Walter W.
Harder; 1873, D. P. Garberich (Garberich deceased in November, 1873, and W. H. Doane appointed); 1874, Walter H.
Harder; 1875-76, Elbridge T. Reed; 1877, Nelson K. Allen (resigned, and G. G. Huntley appointed); 1878, G. G. Huntley;.
1879-80, E. Monhan; 1881, J. W. Timmons.
1834-36, Peter Fraser; 1837, Z. Smith; 1838, J. W. Abbott; 1839, Z. Smith.; 1840-41,
A. S. Cook; 1842, David M. Howell; 1843-47, Richard T. Heath; 1848,. Robert N. Peebles; 1849, John M. Peebles;
1850, Thomas H. Huston; 1851-54, John L. Schell; 1855-59, Thomas H. Huston; 1860-65, James A. Collins; 1866-68,
Perry P. Perkins; 1869, Jacob Keller; 1870-73, J. G. Van Evera; 1878-81, John Bedford, Jr.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
1836, Henry Heath, Oliver S. Gallup, Ephraim Huntley, E. C. Smith; 1837, B. C.
Smith, Charles Campbell; 1838, W. H. Doane; 1839, Thomas T. Lewis, Z. Smith; 1840, E. C. Smith, S. Toney; 1841,
David M. Howell, Isaiah Carberry; 1842, W. H. Doane; 1843, John L. Schell, Isaiah Carberry; 1844, Oliver D. S.
Gallup, E. C. Smith; 1845, J. L. ScheIl; 1846, O. D. S. Gallup; 1847, James S. Needham; 1848, Oscar Jones; 1849,
E. C. Smith; 1850, Isaiah Carberry; 1851, Elam Hunter; 1852, Oscar Jones; 1853, E. C. Smith; 1854, Isaiah Carberry;
1855, M. Yan. Ness; 1856, E. C. Smith; 1858, Isaiah Carberry, W. H. Doane; 1859, Isaiah Carberry; 1860, E. C. Smith,
John A. Snodgrass; 1861, W. H. Doane; 1862, H. S. Hadsell; 1863, Samuel Ullery; 1864, E. C. Smith; 1865, W. H.
Doane; 1866, Henry N. Cameron; 1867, Hiram H. Hinchman; 1868, E. C. Smith; 1869, W. H. Doane, Samuel Ullery; 1870,
John Dwan; 1871, Andrew T. Fort; 1872, Jerome A. Smith; 1873, W. H. Doane; 1874, John Dwan, Asher J. Shaw; 1875,
W. H. Doane, H. N. Cameron, Almon Gott; 1876, Jerome A. Smith; 1877, B. O. Vary; 1878, Henry N. Cameron; 1879,
Alexander Cooper, Henry N. Cameron, Almon Gott; 1880, Alexander Cooper; 1881, B. O. Vary.