The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter V
Montrose Township

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton



The original name of Montrose was Pewanigawink; a portion of the Pewanigawink reservation of the Saginaw Chippewas extended into this township. The new name was given by an act of the state Legislature in 1848. The township was organized in 1846 and the first meeting was held at the house of George Wilcox, April 5, 1846.


The following officers were chosen:


John Farquharson

Town Clerk 

John R. Farquharson


John McKenzie

Justices of the Peace 

George Wilcox, Charles Hartshorn, Benjamin H. Morse and Asahel Townsend


Seymour W. Ensign, Sr., and Archibald Morse
Highway Commissioners John Farquharson, Benjamin H. Morse, & Seymour W. Ensign, Jr.

School Inspector 

George Wilcox

Directors of Poor 

John McKenzie and Benjamin H. Morse


William Wilcox and Seymour W. Ensign, Sr.

Overseers of Highways 

Charles Hartshorn and John McKenzie.


Seymour W. Ensign, who was chosen at this meeting assessor and constable, was the first settler of the township. He came originally from Stafford, Genesee county, New York, in 1832, and first settled at Grand Blanc. Later he removed to Saginaw county. In the spring of 1843 he brought his family to section 22. The same season came George Wilcox and Richard Travis.

The most prominent man in the township during his lifetime was John Farquharson, who came from Scotland to America in 1830. After a residence in Albany, new York and Saginaw county, Michigan; he came to the township in 1845. He was the first supervisor. To him is accredited the change of the name of the town from Pewanigawink to the Scottish name of Montrose. His reason probably was to attract his friends in Scotland and others of that nativity tot he settlement. Among other early Scotch settlers was John McKenzie, from Aberdeen, who came in 1847. In later years a considerable number of Scotch families of sterling worth made Montrose their home.

Owing to the lumbering interest and its interior situation, the early growth of Montrose was slow. The first mill was put in operation in 1849, on Woodruff's creek, and was built by a colored name, James Sisco. A few months later Russell Wells erected a saw-mill on Brent's Run. The first tavern was not opened until 1866 or 1867, by William H. Ried, and in the latter year Thomas W. Pettee established the first store. The number of voters at this township in 1859 was less than fifty.


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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