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History of Hope Township, 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.

HOPE is a township of lakes and hills. Of the former there are thirty-six, and of the latter a legion. Although a majority of the so-called lakes are no more than goodsized ponds, at least four of them are handsome sheets of water, covering considerable territory. Wall Lake in the southwest is a picturesque object, and rests in the midst of an attractive bit of country. Its waters, extending over fully 700 acres, are deep and clear and well stocked with bass, pickerel, etc. Long Lake, Mud Lake. Gurnsey (or Granger) Lake, and Big Cedar Lake are worthy of notice, both in respect to size and the possession of great numbers of fish. Anglers from afar off favor these localities, and, while the fisherman finds in hope much sport to entertain him, the people of the township enjoy a plentiful supply of finny specimens, to be had almost for the asking, at their very doors. These lakes were boons to the early settlers in Hope, since fish were exceedingly plentiful and the larder was therefore easily and cheaply filled. In such a region fish stories are of course too numerous to mention, and the tales one hears of wonderful fish having been caught in some of the lakes would fill a good-sized volume. It is, however, true that pickerel and bass of thirty and even forty pounds in weight have been caught in Big Cedar Lake. Although such ponderous specimens have not latterly been taken, there are those who will testify that a pickerel of twenty or twenty-five pounds is not an uncommon catch.

It is argued, and with some show of reason, that the presence of so much water in the town materially moderates the temperature of the locality, and that for that reason peaches maybe as successfully and extensively cultivated as on the shores of Lake Michigan. Indeed, in some portions of the town there has been something of an awakening on the subject of peach-culture, but the general verdict appeals to be that, although the town is well adapted for growing peaches, the business is not likely to be pushed to any great extent until rapid transit by railway becomes a reality. Such a convenience was at one time promised, and came very near to realization in the proposed narrow-gauge read of the Kalamazoo, Lowell and Northern Michigan Railway Company. The company obtained in Hope, from private subscriptions, several thousands of dollars, and indeed graded the road through Hope, from southwest and northeast, but just then the project stopped for lack of further support, and in that somewhat chaotic condition remains to-day; likely, however, at no distant time to be revived and carried forward to successful completion.

Hope sadly needs railway-transportation facilities, for the country is so exceedingly hilly, and part of it so far from the nearest market-town, that the task of conveying his products to market is to the farmer a very tedious and tiresome one. It is, however, esteemed a good wheat-town, and produces not only a fine average yield to the acre, but so excellent a quality of winter wheat that at some purchasing points it is preferred to wheat from many other localities in Barry County. The early settlers found the town generally covered with heavy timber, with here and there oak-openings. There is considerable timber and swamp-land in the town to-day, but within the past five years a. groat deal of clearing has been offected, and that work is now going rapidly and briskly forward.

Hope consists of townships 2 north, range 9 west, and is bounded on the north by Rutland, south by Barry, east by Baltimore, and west by Orangeville. It has one village, called Cedar Creek, where there is a post-office and the only church-building in the township.


Hope was net particularly calculated to attract the Western pioneer while other more desirable towns lay open to the hand of the horny-palmed sons of toil, for it was a rough and miry land in many places. It remained, therefore, utterly untenanted, save by the red man, until the year 1840, when David Bowker led the way to its unbroken wilds and effected a settlement upon section 36. Although the only settler in Hope for about two years, he was, nevertheless, near to other settlers south of him, and in the matter of neighbors was not badly off. He and his family were the only occupants of Hope until the year 1842, when there came accessions in the families of John Southard and his son Amasa, the former making a beginning on section 31, along the town-line, and the latter just north of that point. The Southards remained until 1846, when John sold to Hiram Tillotson and Amasa to Alvin Graves, both removing to Van Buren County. The John Southard place was occupied in 1868 by Joseph Burge an emigrant to Barry in 1846 and now a resident of Orangerilic. Shortly after the appearance in Hope of the Southards came Jeckanias Mott to section 35. Similarly, all of Hope's early settlers, hesitating to venture into the interior, pitched their tents close to or upon the southern town line, where they could be within convenient distance of each other. After 1844 people began to move in more freeley, slowly at first, but presently in considerable numbcrs. although settlement was exceedingly backward in every part of the township.

In 1847 the settlement in Hope was increased by the arrival 0f the Campbells, a New York family, consisting of the father (James), mother, and twelve children. Campbell had bought 120 acres on section 25. and on that place he lived until his death, in 1857. There were already in the town, when Campbell came, the families of David Bowker on section 36, Jeckanias Mutt on section 35, Alvin Graves on section 26, Harry B. Day on 25, and Hiram Tillotson on 31. Directly after the Campbells came J. Q. A. Johnson, Isaac Le Grange, Thomas V. Robinson, John Larrabee, George W. Baird, Simeon Kingsbury, Leman Chamberlain, John Russell, Tunis Russell, Alson Russell, Silas Bowker, Peter Russell, G. H. Parks, and Solon Dowd.

Jackanias Mott, above mentioned, died in 1847, and was buried in the Barry cemetery. His death is believed to have been the first in Hope. Isaac Graves, who died in 1848, was the first one buried in the cemetery on section 36, where David Bowker had donated an acre for a burialground. Thomas Baird, a son of George W. Baird, was the first white child born in town, and Charlotte, a daughter of Alvin Graves, the first female child, but the date of the birth of neither one can now be given.


About the time William Campbell came to the township a good many Indians in that portion of the country were taken with a religious fever, and were carefully converted by Bradley and Sister, Indian missionaries, who were located on Gull Prairie, but who moved here and there as occasion pointed the way, to save the souls of the savages. Certain of the Indians who had sat under the persuasive teachings of Bradley and Slater until they had become thoroughly good and pious set out to carry on the good work among themselves unaided. In furtherance of that plan they inaugurated prayer-meeting exercises whenever in camp, and especially upon their camping-ground, near Cedar Creek, their devotional enthusiasm was quite extraordinary. To these prayer-meetings they frequently invited the whites, and always counted upon seeing William Campbell and wife, near whose house their camps were laid, and with whom they maintained pleasant friendly relations.


Hard times came upon the pioneers of Hope frequently enough, and particularly hard were the times encountered during the winter. It was often said, in jest, that was, that if a man wintered so that he could in the spring pull a leek out of the ground without falling over backwards, he had wintered exceedingly well. It was also a common understanding that for a certain period in early spring, just after the breaking up of winter, the entire population of the township bad no time to do anything except to pull cattle out of the mire and swamps. Money was scarce, and, as there wasn't much in the way of opportunity to earn it at home, many settlers would go miles to work for somebody that had cash, or they would be glad to work even for some one who could pay them in pork, which was gladly carried home over an eight or ten mile pedestrian journey. C. P Larrabee, the pioneer storekeeper of the township, says he has many a time walked to Battle Creek for a supply of groceries for his store, and walked home again with his stock upon his back. Lem Thomas a maker of corn-baskets, used to foot it to Yorkville, fourteen miles, with a load of corn-baskets clinging to him, and foot it back again with a 60-pound bag of flour as his return-load. The mail-carriers between Cedar Creek and Yorkville not only carried the mail afoot, but were daily charged with commissions from Hope people to bring up packages and all sorts of things; and veracious men even tell the incredible story that on one occasion a mail-carrier went so far as to lug over a keg of nails for a modest member of the settlement.


William Peake and John Brainard, his father-in-law, came to Hope in February, 1854, and girdled a few trees on 160 acres in sections 14 and 15, which Brainard had taken up on a soldier's land-warrant, issued to him by virtue of his services in the war of 1812, in which he was engaged for a space of eighteen months. They came back again in June and made a clearing, and in November of the same year brought their families to the place. The only settler they found in their neighborhood upon their coming, in 1854, was Emory Wilkins, who had pre-empted a piece of hand just east of them. Their nearest neighbor on the northeast was Thomas Barber, in Baltimore. South, the nearest was J. N. Chandler, two miles away. The nearest road on the south was the one at Chandler's, and on the east the one to Hastings, which they couldn't reach under a mile's journey. The nearer roads were only Indian trails. The redskins roamed in considerable numbers through those parts, and near the corners of sections 1 and 2 they had their camp in the winter season.

Among those who came into the neighborhood soon after Peake and Brainard located were Lyman and Hiram Hickox, Thomas Mosher, and Thomas Lindeman, the latter of whom built a saw-mill on section 10. Hastings was near, but it was very small, and Kalamazoo was the market-town most sought, although it was about thirty miles distant.. Money was in demand before returns could be had from the first crop, and to get a little cash for the supply of life's necessaries Peake went as far as Gull Prairie to work through harvest. J. N. Chandler, already mentioned, was from Ohio, and settled in Hope, on section 23, in 1852. At his coming he found on section 25 his brother, Enos P. Chandler, and Hawley Stillson on the place earlier occupied by H. B. Day and John Hults. Solon Dowd, Thomas W. Newton, and Harvey S. Johnson were on section 23, west of him Leman Chamberlain and Silas Bowker, and on section, 27, J. Q. A. Johnson (who sold out to L. C. Gesler in 1855) and Lemuel Thomas.

Myron Simpson settled about that time on section 27, and in 1854 Harvey Bruce located on section 23. In 1852 "Uncle" Thomas V. Robinson's house, about a mile north of Chandler, that of Harvey S. Johnson, opposite Robinson's, and the Stillson house, on the Bush place, in Hastings town, were the only dwellings on the road from Chandler's to Hastings village. The road to Hastings was at best a wild thoroughfare, and those who traveled over it merely kept about the same course, but picked out their route as it best suited them. Do the best he could, Mr. Chandler could not go to mill at Hastings and return in less than about eighteen hours. Usually the start was made about one o'clock in the morning, and the return was not accomplished until after nightfall.

Settlements in the northern portion of Hope were delayed until some years after the southern and other sections began to receive residents. Probably the first to locate in the territory mentioned was Donald McCallum, who ventured as a settler into Orangeville as early as 1838, and who in 1851 moved into Hope, upon section 7. In 1854, Seymour Tillotson made a start on section 3, but in 1855 sold his place to Moses Schults, who, in that year, came in with his brother Joseph. Tillotson's brother-in-law, J. E. Hall, accompanied him to Hope and bought a place on section 3, now occupied by his brother, J. A. Hall, whose advent in the town occurred in 1855, after an eight years' residence in Prairieville. The northern portion of the town was sparsely populated even until a short time ago, and for years after 1850 much of it was a wilderness. Now, however, it is a locality much esteemed by farmers, although there is yet considerable work to be done there in the way of clearing off the timber.

Turning next to the southern portion of the township, reference may be made to one George Peak, a colored man, and a survivor of the war of 1812, who, in 1S48, settled upon section 2S, as did his sons James. Nathaniel, and Thomas, each of whom had a place of his own. When William H. Carpenter, now living on section 29, came to his present home, in 1855, he found the residents thereabout to be Jeruel Phillips and the Peaks, on section 28; Simeon Kingsbury, on section 20; John Townsend, and Lewis and Miner Barnes, on section 29; Gideon Walter, his son-in-law, Horace Eldredge, and Alvin Graves, on section 32; James Stewart and Robert Wood, on section 30; and Rooney Dale, Daniel Axtell, George Tuttle, O. M. Titus (who had come about 1848), Seth Lewis, and - Benedict, on section 31. Simeon Kingsbury settled on section 24 in 1851, and in 1853 moved to section 20, where the same year he built a saw-mill. In 1859, John Replogle made his home on section 18, and occupied land on which one Harper had made a small clearing in 1854. In that year Timothy Collins made a location on section 18,-and the following year there came new accessions in George Curtis to section 18, and Abram Hayward to section 17. One of the earliest settlers in that neighborhood was a man named Granger, who lived on the banks of what is called on the county atlas Gurnsey Lake, but which was really named Granger Lake, and is so designated on the map in this work.


Prom the first assessment-roll made for Hope township in 1850 is taken the subjoined list of resident tax-payers, together with amount and location of each one's land:




Silas Bowker,

section 22


Geo. W. Baird,

section 36


David Bowker,

section 38


Alva Mott,

section 35


Isaac La Grange, Jr.,

section 38


Wm. Campbell,

section 25


Isaac La Grange,

sections 26, 35. 22, 36


John Q. A. Johnson,

section 27


Harry B. Day,

section 25


John C. Russell,

section 25


Tunis R. Russell,

section 24


Simeon Kingsbury,

section 24


Freeman F. Kingsbury,

section 24


Joseph Kingsbury,

section 25


Ansel II. Kingsbury,

section 25


Lemon Chamberlain,

section 25


Solon Dowd,

section 23


Cbas. A. Graves,

section 14


Thos. Robinson,

section 14


Thos. Peak,

section 14


Geo. Peak,

section 26


The aggregate value of the taxable real and personal property in Hope for 1850, as equalized by the board of supervisors, was $12,280.


The history of Hope is marked by an unusually long list of tragic episodes, in which there appears a list of one murder, two suicides, and six fatal accidents. First, in prominence may be noted the killing of Dean S. Tyler, in June, 1878, by John B. Pitts. The testimony taken upon Pitts' trial showed that trouble originated between the two men by reason of Mrs. Pitts leaving her husband and living openly with Tyler. Such conduct scandalized the community, and the members thereof promptly resented it by appearing before Tyler's house one night and decorating Tyler and the woman with coats of tar and feathers. Despite this exhibition of popular disapproval, they continued to live together in the town as usual until one Sunday morning shortly after the demonstration. On that day Tyler, Mrs. Pitts, and Mrs. Pitts' sister set out for a ride to Nashville, and proceeded peacefully upon their journey as far as a place known as the Dead Sea (just north of Cedar Creek), where Pitts, the injured husband, appeared suddenly in the roadway, gun in hand, and without warning shot Tyler instantly dead. Pitts was tried and convicted of murder in the second degree, under which he was sent to the penitentiary for fifteen years, and there he still remains.

In the spring of 1877, Henry Jenkins hung himself in a fit of despondency, and John Townsend sought a way out of the world by like means. In March, 1877, Abisha Crossman was riding from Middleville to his home in Hope when, by an awkard mischance, a gun which he was carrying accidentally exploded, and killed him on the spot. While at work in the woods in 1872, George Hazel was killed by the accidental discharge of a gun, and in the same year George Collester was drowned while bathing in Long Lake. In 1873, Wellington Bowker was drowned in a lake in the northern part of the town, and in 1868, George Jenkins, son of Henry Jenkins who hung himself in 1877, was kicked to death by a Ilorse. About 1852 a family named Bird lived on section 13, and one day the parents, going out after marsh-hay, left behind them an infant son, whom for security they locked in the house. During their absence the house took fire, and, burning to the ground, roasted the child alive. His remains, subsequently found near where the front doorway had been, told the pitiful story of his feeble but futile efforts to escape from the devouring flames.


The road funds returned from Hope between 1842 and 1849, inclusive, were in 1842, $48.62; 1843, $50.57 1844, $52.42; 1845, $66.11 ; 1846, $65.74; 1847, $4S.36; 1848, $57.96; 1849, $62.41.

A road to Hastings was of course one of the earliest considerations, and that road, constructed about 1852, was the first important highway acquired. Over that route settlers had previously traveled by way of an Indian trail.

It is said that the first team over the route from Cedar Creek to Hastings was an ox-team which was driven over with a number of grists from the neighborhood for the Hastings mill. There was no regular road, but there was a trail to show the course, and Silas Bowker, David Bowker, H. B. Day, Columbus Campbell, Lovinus Campbell, Alvin Graves, and William Campbell accompanied the team for the purpose of cutting out a road.


The first school-house built in Hope was the Mott schoolhouse, on section 36, included originally in "district No. 3, of the towns of Hope and Barry." The building occupied a corner in the town-cemetery, and in 1848 the first school was taught in it by Julia Woodward. Her pupils numbered about 20, and included seven of William Campbell's children, four of Silas Bowkers, six of Bunnell's and two of MeNulty's. Among the immediate successors of Julia Woodward as teachers were Julia and Jane Graves, Charles Nichols, and Catharine Campbell. At the first town-meeting in Hope it was resolved "That school district No. 3, in the towns of Hope and Barry, make their annual report to Hope, and draw of Hope the present year, and of Barry the next, and district No. 6 make report to Berry, and draw their books from that town the present year."

The report from S. C. Russell, director in school district No. 1, in 1853, set forth that in that year the teacher was Philancy Houster, that she had received $16.25 for thirteen weeks' teaching, that 30 scholars attended the school during the year, and that a school-house was built in the spring of 1853, at a cost of $75. The report for 1858 was as follows:




Teachers' Wages.

No. 1.




No. 2

No report.


No. 3.

No report.


No. 4.

No report.


No. 5.




No. 6.




No. 7.




No. 8.




District No. 3 was organized May 5, 1853. District No. 6 was formed in 1856, and there Rachael Mosher taught the first school, and for two successive terms afterwards. The early school records are not available for elaborate information, and what has been given in the foregoing is about all of possible interest that cah be gathered. The annual school report for 1870 shows the following statistics:

Number of districts (whole 10; fractional 1) 11
Number of districts scholars of school age 415
Average attendance 360
Value of property $2925.00
Teachers' eveges 1114.50

The school directors for 1879 were Charles Bailey, M. MeCollum, H. L. Armour, P. Miller, D. A. Bowker, J. N. Collester, George Haven, S. Sprague, I. N. Consen, and William L. Hall.


Township 2 north, range 9 west, was a portion of Barry township until 1850, when, by an act of the Legislature, it was given a separate organization and named Hope. The story goes that Salmon C. Hall, then a representative in the Legislature, named the town in remembrance of a peculiar capacity of William M. Campbell for "hoping that things would improve by and by," and the frequency with which he expressed his sentiments in that direction. At the first town-meeting there was evidently some dissatisfac-. tion with the name of Hope, for there appears in the record the entry, "A vote of the township was taken to alter the township name to Cedar Creek.:' Although the record does not assert such to have been the case, yet it is evident that the Legislature declined to sanction this, since the name of the town has never been anything but Hope.

The first town-meeting was held April 1, 1850, and on that occasion the votes east aggregated 14. The officers then elected were as follows: Supervisor, Silas Bowker; Clerk, H. B. Day; Treasurer, Geo. W. Baird; School Inspectors, Silas Bowker and Tunis Russell; Overseers of the Poor, Geo. W. Baird and H. B. Day; Highway Commissioners, J. E. Russell, Chas. A. Graves, end J. Q. A. Johnson; Justices of the Peace, J. C. Russell, C. A. Graves, J. Q. A. Johnson, and Joseph Kingsbury; Constables, J. Q. A. Johnson and T. R. Russell. David Bowker was chairman of the meeting, H. B. Day clerk, and Thomas V. Robinson and J. Q. A. Johnson inspectors.

At the same meeting $80 were voted for township expenses and " past indebtedness."

From 1851 to 1880 the elections annually to the offices of supervisor, clerk, treasurer, and justice of the peace have been as follows:

1851-52, S. Bowker: 1853, J. Stewart; 1854, S. Bowker; 1855, P. Howard; 1856, S. Tillotson;; 1857-58, J. E. Hall; 1859-60. S. Bowker; 1861, J. E. Hall; 1862, P. Howard; 1863, J. E. Hall; 1864-66. J. McCallum; 1867, I. A. Osgood; 1868-69, C. B. Dickinson: 1870, J. McCallum; 1871, C. N. Youngs; 1872, J. MeCallum; 1873, C. N. Youngs; 1874-76, A. M. Armour; 1877, M. Walldorff; 1875, C. N. Youngs; 1879-80, C. F. Cock.

1851, N. P. Bunnell; 1852, D. H. Leonard; 1853, S. Bowker; 1854-55, C. V. Robinson; 1856, E. P. Chandler; 1857, H. Hickox; 1858, Samuel Tyler; 1859, H. Hickox; 1560, J. E. Hall; 1861-62, C. B. Dickinson; 1863, S. Dickinson; 1864, G. H. Abrams; 1865-71, D. S. Tyler; 1871-73, A. M. Armour; 1874-76, D. S. Tyler; 1877, J. C. Coleman; 1878, H. Mosher; 1879-80, J. N. Collester.

1851-52, Solon Dowd; 1853. G. W. Baird; 1854, D. McCallum; 1855, C. Campbell; 1856, J. E. Hall; 1857, H. Jenkins; 1858, P. Howard; 1859-61, William Crosby; 1862-63, C. V. Robinson; 1864, C. B. Dickinson; 1865-66, C. V. Robinson; 1867-68, M. Seeber; 1869-71, D. A. Bowker; 1872-73, A. Replogle; 1874-75, D. A. Bowker; 1876, M. Walldorff; 1877, I. A. Osgood; 1878-79, J. Kabler; 1880, I. A. Osgood.

1851, W. Carpenter; 1852, J. Larrabee; 1853, J. Stewart; 1854, J. Q. A. Johnson; 1855, Solon Dowd; 1856, D. Axtell; 1857, no record; 1858, E. P. Chandler; 1859, Solon Dowd; 1860, J. B. Cooper; 1861, J. J. Jackson; 1862, William Gibson; 1863, J. L. Chapin; 1864, J. B. Cooper; 1865, I. S. Bigelow; 1866, W. Gibson; 1867, J. L. Chapin; 1868, K. Martin; 1869, J. N. Callester; 1870, G. H. Vandiburg; 1871, W. Doonan; 1872, William Gibson; 1873, G. M. Hudson; 1874, C. B. Dickinson; 1875, Charles Cock; 1876, W. Gibson; 1877, E. B. Campbell; 1878, H. Replogle; 1879, J. A. Hall; 1880, L. Campbell.

THE VOTERS OF 1853 AND 1859.

The poll-list for 1853 shows the following voters; Simeon Kingsbury, Solon Dowd, James Stewart, Peter M. Russell, John C. Russell, Joshua Leonard, Peter Shronts, F. F. Kingsbury, William Campbell, John Q. A. Johnson, George W. Baird, Isaac La Grange, Ira Virgil, Lovinus Campbell, Samuel Tyler, Thomas H. Lindeman, Tunis R. Russell, Judd Stilson, Lemuel S. Thomas, Thomas V. Robinson, Lemon Chamberlain, Alva Mott, Ansel Kingsbury, Emerson Sampson, Enos P. Chandler, Charles V. Robinson, Thomas Newton, Abel Draper, Charles A. Graves, Martin Babcock, and Franklin Harper.

Under the first registration of voters (1859) the following comprised the poll list: Nathan Adams, Daniel Axteil, Eli Bugbee, Silas Bowker, Lewis H. Barnes, Miner Barnes, Aaron Bunnell, Noah Bowker, David A. Bowker, Harvey Bruce, J. E. Bolyen, George W. Baird. John Brainard, Ira S. Bigelow, Tunis Bennett, John Bennett, E. P. Chandler, W. H. Carpenter, Hiram Card, Jonas B. Cooper, William Crosby, George Curtis, Loviaus Campbell, Jos. N. Chandler, John L. Chapin, Robert T. Campbell, Charles Carpenter, Robert Dinwiddie, Solon Dowd, C. B. Dickinson, Franklin L. Dodge, A. T. Foote, Abram Gordinier, J. E. Hall, J. A. Hall, Peter Howard, David Hinds, Spencer Hard, Isaac Hurd, John Hinds, Hiram Hickox, William H. Havens, Henry Hinckley, James Hurlburt, John Hine, Gideon Johnson, Hervey S. Johnson, Henry Jenkins, E. P. Kingsbury, Freeman F. Kingsbury, Levi P. Kingsbury, Wellington Kidder, Reuben Keach, Ansel Kingsbury, Simeon Kingsbury, Pardy Ladd, S. H. Larrabee, Merrit Larrabee, John Larrabee, Cyrus P. Larrabee, Aaron Leonard, Seth Lewis, T. W. Lindeman, Joshua Leonard, Alva Mott, John N. Munson, Philip Mellen, Charles Mellen, John MeCallum, Donald McCalIum, Thomas Moslier, Michael D. Mosher, William J. Martin, T. W. Newton, John Osborn, Jeruel Phillips, Milo J. Phillips, William Peake, Joseph Peters, O. L. Ray, Jas. Ryan, E. K. Robinson, J. R. Robinson, Thomas V. Robinson, Charles N. Robinson, Myron Simpson, Peter Shronts, Jacob Smith, Moses Shults, William Smith, Joseph Shults, J. W. Smith, A. C. Skiliman, S. S. Tobey, O. M. Titus, Seymour H. Tillottson, Orrin Tracy, Samuel Tobey, Seneca Tobey, W. G. W. Tobey, John Townsend, P. H. Turner, L. S. Thomas, D. S. Tyler, S. S. Van Loon, Ira Virgil, George W. Valentine, J. A. West, Milon Walldorff, Marlin Walldorff, Edwin Willison, Aaron Walldorff, W. A. Woodworth.


Hope's first temple of worship was the Mott school-house, on section 36, where in 1852 Rev. Mr. Johnson organized a Baptist Church, of which the earliest members were David A. Poiley and wife, Jesse Hampton and wife, Noah Bowker and wife, Amos Brewster, William Campbell and wife, Richard Stillson and wife, Silas Bowker and wife, Michael Chatterton and wife, Mr. and Mrs. John Bunnell, Mr. and Mrs. Solon Dowd, and Mr. and Mrs. William Moore. Previous to the formation of this society the settlers in that portion of Hope had gone over into Barry to church, but when they had a religions organization at home they endeavored with much spirit to encourage the enterprise. Rev. Mr. Johnson, of Yorkville, who effected the organization, and who frequently preached for the people afterwards, used to say to his Yorkville congregation that they might well learn lessons of Christian energy from the Baptists in Hope, who were so earnest in their attendance upon divine worship that in many instances they would come from a distance of six miles, with ox-teams, to attend Sunday-evening services.

Elder Silas Bowker preached a good deal for the church, and with Mr. Johnson performed all the ministerial service during the existence of the church in Hope. Worship was held in the Mott school-house until the structure grew too dilapidated for use, when the place of meetings was transferred to Barry township. About the time of the organization of the Baptist Church a Methodist Episcopal class was formed at tile Dowd school-house, but its existence was brief.


There are in Hope three United Brethren classes, known respectively as the Cedar Creek, Hope Centre, and North Hope classes. They are on the Cedar Creek Circuit, which is in the charge of Rev. G. H. Shelley. A United Brethren class organized at the Dow school-house in 1859 flourished so well that about 1869 it was decided to make three classes of it. Some of the members accordingly organized a class at Hope Centre, others a class at Cedar Creek, and others still remained as a class at Dowd's Corners. Among the first members of the class at Dowd's were Peter Schronts and wife, L. C. Gesler and wife, A. T. Foot, and Maria Gesler, Peter Schronts being chosen class-leader. Rev. Mr. Jacobs, who organized the class, preached after that once in two weeks for quite a space of time. This class after a brief time was consolidated with that at Cedar Creek.

The Hope Centre class, worshiping in the Schronts schoolhouse, has a membership of 15. The class-leader is Jacob Kahler, and the class-steward Moses Seeber.

The Cedar Creek class worshiped in a school-house until 1876, when the present house of worship was built. Luther Brown is the class-leader, H. L. Armour the classsteward, and H. L. Armour, Eugene Campbell, L. C. Gesler, G. H. Shelley, and Henry Newman, the trustees. The church membership is 75, and that of the Sunday-school 40. Luther Brown is the Sunday-school superintendent, George H. Abrams the secretary, and James McDonald, treasurer.

The North Hope United Brethren class was organized in 1876, by Rev. Mr. Kilpatrick, with Cyrus Brouse and wife, Lloyd Patterson and wife, and Barbara Tuttle as members. The membership is now 9. William Tuttle is class-leader, and George M. Hudson class-steward. C. H. Stone is superintendent of the Sunday-school, which has an average attendance of from 30 to 40 scholars. The class meets in the school-house on section 10, where also a few Second Adventists have meetings oace a week.


Besides the religious organizations herein named, the town contains a society known as the Church of God, worshiping at the school-house on section 34, a German society at the Schronts school-house, a Wesleyan Methodist class at the Morey school-house, and a Methodist Episcopal class at the school-house on section 12.

The Hope and Rutland Union Sunday-School Institute was organized in August, 1879, for the purpose of advancing tile Sunday-school interests of both towns. The five schools attached to the institute at the outset have now increased to seven. The promoter of the enterprise, and president of the institute, is S. T. Wright, the secretary L. P. Patterson, and the treasurer William Cline.


This grange, now owning a hall on section 22 and having a membership of 17, was organized with 25 members, and officers as follows: C. N. Youngs, M.; Seneca Larrabee, O.; Daniel Newton, L.; David A. Bowker, Chaplain; P. S. Tyler, Sec.; W. Blackman, Treas. The Masters since the organization, in the order of service, have been C. N. Youngs (three years), John Coleman, George M. Hudson, and C. N. Youngs. The present officers are C. N. Youngs, M.; D. A. Bowker, O.; Mrs. J. A. Hall, L.; George M. Hudson, Chaplain; Conrad Kahier, Sec.; Nicholas Kahler, Tress.; S. T. Wright, Steward; Asa Knowles, G. K. Mrs. C. N. Youngs, Ceres; Mrs. P. A. Bowker, Pomona.


was organized in May, 1S74, in the northwest corner of the town, with 30 members. Paul Blake was M.; William Ellsworth, 0.; V. Reploge, Sec. ; Philander Otis, Treas.; and Ira A. Osgood, Steward. The present master is William H. Otis, and the Overseer, George Reploge.


The place known as Cedar Creek, although a village of no extraordinary pretensions, commands considerable trade, and is, moreover, the only milling-point for miles around. The place boasts three stores, a blacksmith- and wagonshop, a turning-lathe, a church, and a grist-mill, with the promise of an additional grist-mill before the close of 1880.

The first store in that vicinity, and the pioneer store in the township, was opened in 1855 by C. P. Larrabee, in a house put up by a Mr. Abbott for a dwelling. Larrabee sold out to Wing Willison, but resumed business afterwards, and is still in the trade at Cedar Creek. He came to Hope in 1853 and opened the pioneer blacksmith-shop in the town. The early merchants had to buy their supplies of goods at Battle Creek and haul them home at a heavy expense, for it was very difficult work to get a load even from Battle Creek to Cedar Creek over the rough country that intervened, and it is likely enough that storekeepers' prices at Cedar Creek were expressed in good round figures in those days. The first saw-mill in the township was built by Isaac La Grange in 1849 on Cedar Creek, and in 1863 Simeon McCaffrey and Philander Clark built at Cedar Creek the grist-mill now carried on there. Dr. H. F. Peekham has now in process of construction at the village a steam grist.mill, which will much improve the business condition of the village, since the water-power at that point is failing, and in the summer season is apt to fail completely. Although one Dr. J. W. Barnes came to Rope in 1853, and for two years continued a fairly successful medical practice in the township, he is hardly considered as having belonged to the medical profession, since he was a graduate of no college. Be that as it may, he was called Dr. Barnes, and had a good many patients during his stay. He was a preacher, too, but he was strongly inclined to a loose belief in moral responsibility, and left behind something of an unsavory reputation. Dr. H. F. Peekham was a corner in 1868, and from that time to the present has been in continuous practice in Hope and neighboring towns. Previous to his time one Dr. Crandall was at Cedar Creek a few months, and in 1877 Dr. Henry Webster located, but remained less than a year. Dr. William Smith, now a practitioner at Cedar Creek, studied with Dr. Peckham from 1877 to 1879, when he entered upon practice on his own account.


In the year 1850 Cedar Creek post-office was established in Hope, and Isaac La Grange appointed postmaster. Cedar Creek was chosen as a name because Cedar Creek flowed through the neighborhood, and this creek received its name from the presence, at its source, of a cedar swamp. Solon Dowd succeeded La Grange in 1854, and he in turn gave place, in 1856, to C. P. Larrabee. Following thereafter in the order named were Abram Gordonier, John Robinson, David Bailey, Benjamin Stanton, D. S. Murphy, C. P. Larrabee, A. M. Armour, and Charles Wilson, the latter being now the incumbent. The first mail-carrier in the township was William Campbell, who carried the bag afoot, once a week, from Yorkville to Cedar Creek.

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