Bedford Township





This township was organized out of the township of Erie, which was the first settled in the county, and where many respectable and well-to-do farmers came at an early day to permanently locate. These first settlements, however, were in the eastern portion, along the shores of Lake Erie. Among the first that settled in Bedford either before or after the reorganization ws Levi Lewis, at whose house, in May, 1836, the first election for township officers was held. John Glass waschosen moderator and Henry Mason clerk. William Dunbar was elected supervisor and Theodore Osgood town clerk. Three justices of th e peace were elected: Nathan G. Watkins, Henry Mason and Sampson Vrooman; commissioners of highways, Stephen Bradford, William Filkins and Ebenezer Thornton; School commissioners, Levi Lewis, Jackson Hoag and John Cumbert. As was the case with Erie township, the first settlers in Bedford were principally Canadian-French, who emigrated from Quebec and Montreal, of whom Benjamin Soullier was among the first, and these people proved to be desirable and hospitable families and good farmers. Absalom Owen is supposed t have been the pioneer American settler, who built a home on section 4, just within the present limit of the township in 1820. About two years later a family named Sibley occupied the same house and carried on trade with the Indians, selling whisky and other "staples." Their traffic in firewater, more or less profitable while it lasted, eventually brought trouble. One night a small band of Indians called and demanded some whisky. Sibley was either out of the article or refused them any, whereupon they, attacked him viciously, stabbing him with their knives. Mrs. Sibley was confined to her bed by a serious illness, but arose and walked four miles through the woods to a neighbor's for assistance. In the meantine Sibley crawled away in the darkness and his under the military bridge across Half-Way Creek, where he was found the following morning by those who had come to the family's assistance. Though badly wounded, he recovered, and find the life in the wilderness too strenuous, the family soon left. In 1831 Silas Smith came into the township and settled, taking out patents at the Detroit land office and located upon the farm lately occupied by Owens and Sibley, and built a substantial log house. This farm has remained in the Smith family since that time.

Those of the early settlers who represented the township on the board of supervisors are Farley McLouth, David Hungerford, henry Mason, Thomas F. Aldrich and many others of the staunch farmers of the township.

The physical geography of Bedford does not greatly difer from the other townships lying adjacent; the lands are well drained and under cultivation; there have been discovered during geological research bog ore along certain ditches and irregular lumps in the soil hving a dull, earthy luster. It is an impure form of iron oxide which has been located in several townships in this part of the county; whenmixed with considerable clay it is known as yellow ochre, and has been used as a paint, though we do not learn that it has ever been utilized for this purpose to any extent even on farm buildings or fences.




Taken from:
"History of Monroe County Michigan", by John McCelland Bulkley.
Published by The Lewis Publishing Companyi, Chicago / New York, 1913.
Page 485 -486.











Sondra Higbee