Kingston Firsts

Taken from The History of Tuscola County, Biographical Sketches and Illustrations, H. R. Page Co., Chicago, 1883. Transcribed by Bonnie Petee.

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First Churches

Henry E. Hatherby moved into the town in 1859, and in 1860 George Nelson and W. B. King. In the spring of 1860 came Elder Burgess; commenced preaching at once, and organized a class of the Methodist Church. He continued preaching until the fall of 1861, when he moved away. These were the first religious services in the town, and the commencement of the Methodist Episcopal Church here. From the fall of 1861 to this spring of 1863 there was no preaching in the town. Then Elder E. J. Doyle, a Free-will Baptist minister, commenced preaching here, and continued to preach in the vicinity for ten years.

January 2, 1865, Rev. George Lee, preacher in charge of North Branch Circuit, appointed the following trustees, viz: Thomas Constable, Samuel Youngs, Alvin Watson, Oscar Watson, and Henry Seaman, to be described, known and incorporated as "The Kingston Board of Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church."

The first white child born in the town was George Shaw, the son of Jacob Shaw. His birth was on the 21st of February, 1860.

The first death in the town was the young daughter of Joseph L. Hatherby. Her death was in September, 1860.

October 6, 1862, Oscar Watson and Sarah Youngs were married by the bride's father, Samuel Youngs, J. P., this being the first wedding in the town.

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First School

The first school district was organized May 14, 1864, and the first school was taught by Miss Crawford in the summer of 1865.

The first school-house was built in 1865, and the first school taught in it was by C. Depew, in 1866.

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The early settlers in this region had to go to Wahjamega, Vassar, or Lapeer, to get their milling done, or else do their grinding by hand. Many of the first settlers had to pack in their provisions on a blazed trail from Wahjamega, Vassar, or some other point outside. Jacob Shaw was the great packer of the region. He packed fourteen bushels of potatoes from Dayton to his place, a distance of about ten miles. He would start with one bag on his shoulder and another under his arm, and carry them until he was tired; then drop one and carry the other some distance, returning for the first and bringing it up to the other; then carry the two for a while, and so on until he reached home. At one time he supplied a camp of seventeen men, on Sucker Creek, with provisions from Wahjamega, a distance of ten miles, making the trip every day, and carrying fifty pounds of flour and fifty pounds of pork at a load. The only roads through then were trails through the woods, impassable for a team much of the time.

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First Mail Route

The first mail route through this section of country was established in 1857, from Vassar to Port Sanilac, about seventy miles, and back once in two weeks. George Sorter, of Wells, was the first carrier; but in 1858 A. K. King took the route, and he and his two sons carried the mails for several years. It was a hard and lonesome route most of the way through the woods. In many places for a long way it was simply a blazed trail, without any settlers near; some of the way through swamps, where they would have to wade in water up to their arm-pits, holding the mail bag above the head; and in some seasons breaking the ice before them. Mr. King carried the mail, and provisions for his family, from Vassar, twenty six miles. Most of the supplies for his family were brought in, in this way, on his back. Mr. King died September 4, 1878, at the age of sixty-eight years. He left a family of seven children, all settled in comfortable homes. His wife preceded him in death nearly two years.

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March 1998

Updated December 11, 1998

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