The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter V
Village of Fentonville

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton


The village of Fentonville was platted in 1837 and included the portion which extends from Robert street, on the north to South street, on the south, and from East street to West street. these remained the limits until 1859. Previous to the first platting, the place was called Dibbleville, from one of its early settlers, Clark Dibble.

Fenton and LeRoy built the first tavern in the village, named later the Riggs House, from Judge Jeremiah Riggs, who occupied it from 1843. They also purchased and greatly improved the saw-mill which the Dibbles had built previous to 1837, and built a grist-mill. Robert LeRoy became, in 1838, the first postmaster of the village and held the office for thirteen years. Mail was first brought here on horseback over the Grand River road.

The first law office in the village was opened by William M. Fenton, and several who afterwards became able practitioners received the rudiments of their legal education in his office. Another pioneer lawyer of Fenton was Alexander P. Davis, a native of Aurelius, Cayuga county, New York, who later became state senator. The first physician to practice here was Dr. Samuel W. Pattison, who came in 1836. The second was Dr. Thomas Steere, who came about 1838, from Norwich, Chenango county, New York. With him for a short time was Dr. John C. Gallup. Very prominent among the early pioneers who came later to the township was Dr. Isaac Wixon, who, previous to his residence in the township, practiced in Argentine and was a state senator in 1841.

Fentonville had an early rival for village honors in what has become the village of Linden. The first settlers here were Richard and Perry Lamb, who settled in 1835, on section 20. For a long time the house of Perry Lamb furnished accommodations for travelers and Mrs. Lamb was known far and wide as an excellent housewife, a courteous entertainer and a most exemplary pioneer lady. Mrs. Lamb's father, Zenas Fairbank, came to the neighborhood in 1836, and began the practice of medicine. Other early settlers in the vicinity of Linden were Asahel Tickmor, Charles and Joseph Byram, Seth C. Sadler, Consider Warner, Eben Harris, Jonathan Shepherd and Benjah Sanborn.

The village was first platted in February, 1840. Consider Warner and Eben Harris were among the original proprietors. Mr. Warner built a saw-mill here in 1837, and in 1838 began the erection of a grist-mill. In 1839 Warner and Harris opened a store, and, in 1840, a drug store. Between 1836 and 1840 a log bridge was built across the Shiawassee at Linden, and soon after it was carried away by the raising of the dam a frame bridge was thorn across the first of many others to follow.

The first school in Linden was taught in 1839, by a daughter of Abel D. Hunt, in a shanty which stood in front of the grist-mill. Walter Brown taught at the same place the following winter; he had taught earlier a school about three-fourths of the mile east. The first building erected purposely for a schoolhouse within what was now the corporate limits of the village, was a log structure put up in 1840 on the street running south from the Union Block. Louisa Hillman and John Morris were among its early teachers; it was used only about two years, when a frame building was completed.

The first religious society in the village was organized previous to 1838 by the Free-will Baptists; its first minister was Rev. Jones, from Holly, Oakland county, who is said to have preached his first sermon here the previous year from a pile of saw-logs in the mill-yard. Rev. Hiram Madison was also early, having preached a funeral sermon in August, 1836. The second religious organization was formed by the Methodists, who organized a class about 1838-39. An early minister was Rev. Daniel Miller.

In 1840 a village was laid out at Mount Pleasant, by John Cook, who with his brother, Solomon, had settled there. On the eastern shore of Long lake, below the "narrows," Philip H. McOmber, settled in 1834 and long kept a tavern known as the Long Lake House. The vicinity of this pleasant lake was destined to become a favorite summering place and picnicking ground for the surrounding region.


The first meeting in the township was election of officers was held April 2, 1838, at the Fentonville Hotel, with results as follows: 

Supervisor Walter Dibble; town clerk, Lauren P. Riggs
Justices of the Peace Asahel Ticknor, Thomas Irish, John Cook and Elisha Larned
School Inspectors Asahel Ticknor, Charles J. Birdsall and R. J. Gage
Assessors P. H. McOmber, Herman Lamb and Jacob Knapp,
Commissioners of Highways James Thorp, Seth C. Sadler and H. Garfield
Collector,  Elisha W. Postal
Directors of the Poor James Thorp and E. A. Byram
Constables John Nichols and Morris Thorp
Pathmasters William Nichols, Seth C. Sadler, Elisha Bailey, Perry Lamb, Charles Tupper, William Remington, Philip H. McOmber, John Cook and Hiram Lamb


History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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