The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter V
Mount Morris Township

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton

 

MOUNT MORRIS TOWNSHIP.

Mount Morris, while being one of the earliest townships to receive settlers, was one of the latest to be separately organized, its land having formed a part of flushing and Genesee until 1855. From 1833 to 1836 its territory was a part of Grand Blanc township. It was under the jurisdiction of Flint township until 1836 to 1838, when it was divided between Flushing and Genesee.

The first ripples of the oncoming tide of immigration reached the lands of Mount Morris in May, 1833. In that month "Uncle Ben" Pearson, of Avon, Livingston county, New York, purchased lands on sections 25 and 36. Shortly afterwards there arrived at Todd's tavern on Flint river, which was Mr. Pearson's headquarters, four men--Lewis Buckingham, John Pratt, Isaac N. Robinson and Richard Marvin, from Mount Morris, Livingston county, new York--who were also in search of lands. Happy in the prospect of securing neighbors, Mr. Pearson guided them to the neighborhood of his claims, about four miles north of flint on the Saginaw road, where all except Marvin entered lands and later settled. This was the beginning of the "Cold Water settlement." The first dwelling erected in this settlement on lands in Mount Morris was that of Mr. Pearson, upon the northeast corner of section 36.

In this settlement was kept the first school in the township. It was taught in the house of Lewis Buckingham by miss Sarah Curtis as early as the winter of 1835-36. There were some eight or ten pupils. In 1836 or 1837 the children of the settlement went to a log schoolhouse built on section 31 in Genesee township, in which the first teacher was Miss Harriet Hoyes. Soon afterwards another log school house as built on Moses Camp's farm, on section 19 in Genesee township, in which it is claimed Newton Robinson taught the first school. The first school house in Mount Morris township was not built until about 1848.

At this settlement also was formed the earliest religious association of the township, in 1834. Among the prominent Mount Morris members were John Pratt and Charles N. Beecher. The society was Presbyterian, but anyone was counted a member who helped to pay the preacher. A church was built here as early as 1836, where services were held for twenty years. The first pastor was Elder Cobb.

 

During 1834, 1835, and 1836 the "Cold Water settlement" was considerably increased by new arrivals, among whom were:

Lyman G. Buckingham

Alanson and Luther Dickinson

Ashael Beach

Daniel Curtis

Ezekiel R. Ewing

Charles N. Beecher

Edwin Cornwell

Frederick Walker

Henry Parker

 

Previous to 1840 there had arrived in the east half of the township:

Rodman W. Albro

Manley Miles

Lyman G. Buckingham

Alanson Dickinson

William Pierson

John Rusco, near Devil's Lake

Jesse Clark

Porter Flemings

John Pratt

Daniel Curtis and his father-in-law Bacon

Luther Trickey, who had been here two or three years

Juba Barrows

Elder Cobb, of the Presbyterian church

Daniel Andrews, Pratt's brother-in-law

Humphrey Hunt

Charles N. Beecher, who owned a large tract of land

Edwin Cornwell

Linus Atkins

--- Twogood

William Woolfitt

Frederick Walker

Henry Barber,

George Schofield, with a large family of sons

William Bodine

Richard Johnson

 

In the west half of the township were:

James Armstrong

Abial C. Bliss

Sylvester Beebe

William Chase

Jacob Dehn

Ezekiel R. Ewing

Nathaniel Hopson

William H., Hughes

Dominick Kelly

Vincent Runyon

Russell Welch

and Alvin Wright

who were all there prior to 1840

 

The settlement made in October, 1836, by Frederick Walker on section 12, was the first made on the site of the later village of Mount Morris. Mr. Walker was an Englishman, who had lived for some time in Dutchess county, New York. When the postoffice was established he became the first postmaster, the office being kept at his house. In the beginning there was little to indicate this as the place for a village, but its destiny was decided when in 1857 it was designated a station on the Flint & Pere Marquette railroad.

The township takes its name from Mount Morris,, Livingston county, New York. When it was erected into a separate township in 1855 the meeting for the election of officers was held in an old abandoned log house which stood on the west half of the northwest corner of section 14.

 

The whole number of votes polled at this election was seventy-four, and the following officers were chosen:

Supervisor 

Ezekiel R. Ewing

Township Clerk 

Bradford P. Foster

Treasurer 

Samuel R. Farnham

Justices of the Peace 

Frederick Walker, H. S. Root and Daniel Pettengill

Highway Commissioners 

Alanson Payson, Rodman W. Albro and H. S. Root

School Inspectors 

G. L. Ewing and J. L. Deland

Overseers of the Poor 

Alanson Payson and William s. Pierson

Constable 

E. L. Johnson

 

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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