History of Lowell, Kent County, Michigan
Township and Village
The attachment to this volume of a brief history of Lowell was not at first contemplated. It is an afterthought. Hence, on account of the comparatively short time allowed for its preparation, it may be less elaborate and comprehensive than would be desirable. The writer and compiler has labored against serious discouragements, besides the haste imposed by the attending circumstances. Nevertheless he indulges the hope that in general correctness and otherwise it will prove valuable as well as interesting. The aim has been to gather and collate the substantial facts from the best accessible sources of personal knowledge, of tradition and of record. The writer sets up no claim to superiority; only to an honest endeavor to present fairly the facts, as near as they could be gained. The frailty of memory and differences in the recollections of different persons undoubtedly may have prevented entire exactness. It is here proper to acknowledge and return thanks for valuable aid in the work – to Town Clerk F. D. Eddy, Village Recorder John Q. Look, Village President Charles McCarty and Postmaster J. M. Mathewson, also to L. J. Post, N. P. Husted, William Proctor, Mrs. F. D. Stocking, and others, for courtesies shown and information freely imparted. And especially is most grateful acknowledgement made to the Hon. Milton H. Perry for generous and painstaking effort in an important part of the work. Though hastily written and doubtless imperfect, in the hope that it will not prove a useless contribution to history, this brief sketch is respectfully submitted.
Situation and Topography.
Lowell is one of the eastern tier of the townships of Kent County. In the description by United States survey it is Town 6 North, of Range 9 West. It is bounded on the north by Vergennes township, east by Boston (Ionia county), south by Bowne and west by Cascade. Grand River traverses the town from east to west near the south line of the north tier of sections. Flat River enters Grand River from the north about a mile and one-third below the east town line. A pretty spring creek, some there or four miles in length, comes into Grand River from the north side, about half a mile below the mouth of Flat River. On the south side are a few rivulets entering the river from sources among and beyond the bluffs toward the center of town. The bottoms of the river valley average near a mile in width, and were originally thickly covered with elm, ash, soft maple and other timber indigenous to low, marshy or moist lands in this region. The soil is productive, and under improvement has been transformed into fine farms, meadows and gardens. The southern two-thirds of the township has a rolling surface and an elevation of perhaps one hundred feet or more above the river level. Half a dozen lakes and several swamps contribute to the diversity of the surface. Of the lakes or ponds, Pratt Lake on Section 25 is the largest, having an area of some 300 acres. Its outlet is a small brook, toward the Thornapple River. McEwen Lake, on Section 32, is next in size, long and narrow and saddlebag shaped, and bordered by marshy or swampy ground, covering about one-eighth of the section, or a little more. In its primitive state the swampy grounds in the aggregate comprised a considerable share of the township area; but these have been mostly improved and converted into good farm property by judicious drainage and cultivation. Good springs are not very numerous on the elevated plateau of this southern portion; but good water for domestic use is procured by sinking wells to a depth of fifty feet or more. The timer in this part was originally oak, hard maple, beech, basswood, some black walnut along the east side, and in some tracts had a heavy growth. Generally, the soil in the township is excellent for farm uses and a large variety of crops. Among cultivated fruits the apple is the most thrifty. A brief description of the physical geography of this township, as given from his survey notes of 1842-43 by the late John Ball of Grand rapids, appears on pages 12 and 13 of the History of the City of Grand Rapids, in this volume.
THE INDIAN OCCUPANTS.
As to the Indian history prior to the coming in of the white men, little is known. By the mouth of the Flat River, or near it, was a little village collection, the headquarters of a few hundred Indians, whose chief was Cob-mo-sa (in English, "The Walker"). This chief should have been a good Mormon – he had several wives; some authorities say three and others say six. He was short and thick in stature, yet a shrewd chief, thought after white men came he became a drunkard and a vagrant. The head chief of the Flat River clans was "Long Nose," or Ke-wi-quash-cum, who incurred the enmity of his people by signing the treaty which ceded their lands, and he was killed by one of them. Among them came as a trader, some years previous to 1821, Madame Laframboise, a French woman, and some remains of the foundation of her trading house are said to be still preserved. Rix Robinson, when he came to the mouth of the Thornapple River in 1821, purchased her stock, including the servants or attendants about her. Daniel Marsac came to Lowell from traffic with the Indians in 1829, and in 1831 built himself a log hut on the south side of the Grand River, near where the railroad station now is. But within ten years after the white settlement began there were very few of the natives left to tell the legendary story of their race.
In 1835 and 1836 several white settlers began making homes within the present limits of Lowell township, most of them near by or at the present site of the village. Luther Lincoln, previously at Grand Rapids, was one of them; among the others were Lucas, Lewis and Rodney Robinson and Philander Tracy. The Robinsons remained as permanent settlers; Lincoln went up Flat River, and Tracy afterward removed to Grand Rapids. In 1837 half a dozen families came and settled along the north side of the Grand River, below Flat River. In that year a school was established, then the only one between Ionia and Grand Rapids, and in January 1839, Caleb Page married the first schoolteacher, Caroline Bear, in the log schoolhouse. Sylvester Hodges and Alva Jones were also among the settlers of 1836. The land taken by Luther Lincoln, and also some land occupied by Lewis Robinson and Philander Tracy, part of which is now in the village, were found to be in the "University Grant." The Indians also sought to hold some portion of it which they had been tilling, but the Government decided that they could not hold lands in their own names, so long as they remained in allegiance to their tribe. There, near the right bank of Flat River, Sylvester Hodges set the first apple trees. In 1837 were many new comers. Among them Charles Newton, Matthew Patrick, Samuel P. Rolf, Joseph B. Daniels, Thompson I. Daniels, George Brown, William Van Deusen, Ira A. Danes, Jacob Francisco and perhaps ten or dozen more within the township. Those who first settled north of Grand River, took up land before it was surveyed and regularly in the market. The settlement at that time extended along the north bank of the river on the old Grand River road from two or five miles west of Flat River. This road came from Ionia by way of Fallassburg, where that river was first bridged in 1840, striking Grand River about two miles below Flat River, thence passing down the river bottoms near the bluffs. Lands north of the river were put to the market in August, 1839.
Settlement on the south side of Grand River was begun in 1842 by George Post, on Section 23, and between that time and 1850, the families of Peter Hornbrook, Charles Gordon, Harrison Wickham, George Monk, W. H. Montague, and several others were improving farms in that part of the township. Abel Avery, then of Ionia, in 1850, bought of Daniel Marsac the original Luther Lincoln claim, which had been platted by Marsac in 1848 and named Dansville. Cyprian S. Hooker came into the town in 1846, began a house on the eighteenth day of December and moved into it on Christmas Day following. This was the first framed house in the township. Mr. Hooker subsequently had a pleasant place among the bluffs south of the river, where he resided until his death, which occurred in 1881. He was born at Thompson, Windham county, Conn., Oct. 7, 1796. Mrs. Hooker died Aug. 29, 1890. William Proctor and family settled on Section 27 in 1853, and there improved a very large farm. Leander J. Post came with his parents five years later, and has another finely improved farm a little northeast of Mr. Proctor.
WILLIAM PROCTOR was born in the parish of Ingleton, county of York, England, November 20, 1808. He received a far education in the common branches at private schools. In his native country he was a farmer and was fairly successful in his occupation. In 1853 he came with his family to Michigan. Here he bought a farm of 320 acres on Section 27 in Lowell township. It was then in the wildwood state, some of it heavily timbered, with no good roads and with everything pertaining to improvement yet to be worked out by patient labor. That place is still his farm and home, in a good state of cultivation; well stocked, and supplied with most kinds of fruit. He has thereupon a substantial brick house, and all needed farm buildings and appliances for use and comfort. Himself and family have been industrious and economical, and he has the enjoyment of being in easy circumstances as regards property in the evening of life; and is in the midst of a pleasant community well supplied with schools and church privileges, and other advantages of this progressive period of modern civilization. Mr. Proctor married, May 7, 1831, Catherine Graham, in the Parish of Bentham, county of York, England. She died at their home in Lowell, November 4, 1887, and a neat monument erected by him marks her resting-place in the neighboring cemetery. They had five children, three sons and two daughters, of whom three are yet living at and near by the old homestead, namely: William, Jr., Sarah (now Mrs. William Graham), and Henry. Mr. and Mrs. Proctor belonged to the Episcopalian Church – there is at present no church edifice of that denomination near him. Politically he is a staunch Republican and a firm believer in tariff protection. In thought, speech and action he is independent, has had no official ambitions, and enjoys as an upright citizen the esteem of his community.
LEANDER J. POST was born September 6, 1846, at Westbrook, Connecticut. His parents were of English descent; his father a native of Connecticut and his mother of Rhode Island. His education privileges were those of the common schools and Lowell High School. The family came to Lowell in October 1858, and settled upon the farm where the subject of his sketch still resides. His life occupation is that of a farmer, and he owns 230 acres of land on sections 14 and 23 in that township, in a good state of improvement, with substantial homestead buildings. It is known as Spring Hill Farm. He is an enthusiastic agriculturist and fruit raiser; has for many years given especial attention to the raising of potatoes and much success, his crop of that esculent amounting to some thousands of bushels annually. He has a wide acquaintance with prominent agriculturists in the States; is well informed upon all that pertains to their profession and one who aims to keep abreast with the age in scientific farm culture. Mr. Post married, at Lowell, September 9, 1868, Ella Calista Carter, who was born at Savannah, N.Y., August 20, 1850, and came to Lowell in 1855. They have four children – Zeno H., born July 4, 1869; Wilber E., born March 20, 1877; Audie E., born October 8, 1878, and Otice C., born November 10, 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Post are adherents of the Baptist Church in religious faith, and Mr. Post has many years been Sunday School Superintendent. Politically, Mr. Post, as between the main parties, is a staunch Republican, and on the liquor prohibition question inclines in sentiment to prohibition. He is a stirring, energetic, public-spirited citizen, whose nature it is to be busily employed. He was one of the census enumerators of 1890, and is a member of the Board of Review of his township.
[See list of Supervisors in the History of Grand Rapids, page 388 – this book.]
Clerks – Timothy White, 1848; H. B. Upham, 1849-50; G. K. White, 1851-52; A. H. King, 1853; J. S. Hooker, 1854; G. K. White, 1855; E. J. Booth, 1856; Thomas Daniels, 1857-60; J. E. Chapin, 1861-62; T. J. Slayton, 1865-66; John Huggins, 1867-70; Otto C. McDonnell, 1871; James H. Weeks, 1872; John Wingler, 1873; James H. Weeks, 1875-77; Olney B. Fuller, 1878-79; Edgar E. Wisner, 1880; Dayton M. Church, 1881; Fred B. Hine, 1882; Robert G. Bostwick, 1883-85; Franklin D. Eddy, 1886-90.
Treasurers – Henry Church, 1848; Ira A. Danes, 1849-51; John Brannan, 1852; Benjamin Morse, 1853; Charles Gordon, 1854; N. W. Tyler, 1855; Cyrus Hunt, 1856; N. A. Jones, 1857; Myron Severy, 1858-59; Joseph Wilson, 1860-62; Clark M. Devendorf, 1865-66; Milton M. Perry, 1867-68; Webster Morris, 1869-70; Wm. R. Perry, 1871-72; Charles T. Wooding, 1873-74; M. C. Walker, 1875-77; Henry Mitchell, 1878; M. C. Walker, 1879; Fred B. Hine, 1880; Henry Mitchell, 1881; Augustus W. Weekes, 1882; Henry Mitchell, 1883; John D. Yeiter, 1884; Andrew J. Howk, 1885; G. W. Schneider, 1886; Dexter G. Look, 1887-88; Willard S. Winegar, 1889-90.
Justices of the Peace – Cyprian S. Hooker, Daniel McEwen, S. P. Rolf, Ira A. Danes, 1848; George R. Upham, 1849; C. S. Hooker, 1850; Daniel McEwen, W. H. Montague, 1851; Philander Parmeter, 1852; Ira S. Danes, C. S. Green, 1853; C. S. Hooker, 1854; Charles Gordon, 1854-55; Philander Palmeter, 1856; Jacob Snell, 1857; Robert Hunter, 1858; Charles Gordon, 1859; Clark L. Bonnell, 1860; J. B. Balcom, 1861; Robert Hunter, 1862; J. B. Balcom, 1865; Clark L. Bennett, 1866; C. G. Merriman, Charles Gordon, 1867; Milton M. Perry, P. Hornbrook, 1868; Matthew Hunter, T. J. Slayton, 1869; Robert Hunter, Jr., Simeon Hunt, 1870; Charles Gordon, 1871; Robert Hunter, Jr., 1872; Matthew Hunter, 1872-73; Peter Hornbrook, 1873; Robert Hunter, Jr., Milton M. Perry, Charles H. Leslie, James Brannan, 1874; David H. Denise, 1875; James H. Weeks, D. H. Denise, 1876; Milton M. Perry, James Brannan, 1877; Robert W. Graham, Charles Stoughton, 1878; Robert Hunter, Jr., 1879; James H. Weeks, 1880; Milton M. Perry, 1881; Joseph Graham, S. Brower, 1882; Robert Hunter, Jr., Harmon Nash, 1883; Joseph Graham, 1884; Milton M. Perry, 1885; Harmon Nash, 1886; Robert Hunter, Jr., 1887; James Brannan, Joseph Kinyon, 1888; Milton M. Perry, 1889; James Brannan (failed to qualify), 1890.
Constables – Henry W. Booth, Heman E. Hogan, Melvin C. Walker, Wm. G. Huner, 1875; H. W. Booth, M. C. Walker, H. E. Hogan, Henry L. Gould, 1876; D. W. Calkins, H. E. Hogan, Frank White, Charles Blass, 1877; C. Blass, O. M. Coats, E. E. Church, C. D. Hodges, 1878; A. B. Blake, C. O. Hill, M. C. Wlaker, O. M. Coats, 1879; O. M. Coats, C. O. Hill, J. Merriman, M. C. Walker, 1880; Wm. Edie, C. O. Hill, J. C. T. Mueller, O. M. Coats, 1881; C. O. Hill, A. C. Morgan, O. M. Coats, C. Blass, 1882; A. C. Morgan, O. M. Coats, Edson O'Harrow, C. Blass, 1883; A. C. Morgan, C. Blass, W. H. Graham, G. W. Davis, 1884; C. Blass, G. W. Davis, C. O. Hill, A. C. Morgan, 1885; C. Blass, S. F. Edmonds, A. C. Morgan, G. W. Davis, 1886; J. C. T. Meuller, A. B. Ransford, A. C. Morgan, E. O'Harrow, 1887; Daniel LeClear, H. W. Booth, W. D. Chatterdon, Henry Lampman, 1888; D. LeClear, H. W. Booth, W. D. Chatterdon, C. O. Hill, 1889; C. O. Hill, H. W. Booth, C. L. Blakeslee, Fred. W. Winegar, 1890.
School Inspectors – Sessions P. Curtiss, 1875-76; Wm. M. Chapman, 1877; Fred. H. Hosford, 1878; W. M. Chapman, 1879; L. H. Merriman, 1880; Sylvester P. Hicks, 1881; S. P. Curtiss, 1885; W. M. Chapman, 1886; Ernest L. Curtiss, 1887; J. D. Ellinwood, 1888; Albert S. Houghton, 1889; Matie E. Headworth, appointed in 1889, elected in 1890.
Highway Commissioners – Charles H. Leslie, 1875; David H. Denise, 1876-77; Elias D. Parker, 1878-79; C. O. Hill, 1880-82; George H. Cahoon, 1883; F. O. Taft, 1884-85; C. O. Hill, 1886-89; Wm. H. Murphy, 1890.
Drain Commissioners – Charles B. Carter, 1875-755; Jeremiah Lusk, 1878-79; Joseph Kinyon, 1880-81; John Yeiter, 1882; Joseph Graham, 1884-87; Adam F. Behler, 1888; Henry Lampman, 1889; E. L. Curtiss, 1890.
Members of Board of Review – Robert Hunter, Jr., (one year), Leander J. Post (two years), 1890.
The state census reports of 1874 and 1884 show the following items in respect to the farming and gardening in the township of Lowell, including the village. Comparisons are left to the reader:
Census of 1874 – Population, 2,876; area of taxable land, 21,401 acres; number of farms, 262; number of acres in farms, 19,300. Farms products in 1873: Bushels of wheat, 31,515; bushels of corn, 23,905; bushels of other grain, 18,237; bushels of potatoes, 9,776; tons of hay, 1,759; pounds of wool, 9,154; pounds of pork marketed, 37,626; pounds of butter made, 48,065. Pounds of maple sugar (1874), 5,550. Value of garden vegetables and fruit (1873), $3,050. Number of horses one year old and over, 337; oxen, 72; milch cows, 450; other neat cattle, 432; swine, 526; sheep, 2,156.
Census of 1884 – Total population, 3,272; number of persons of school age (5 to 20), 1,026; foreign born, 473. Number of farms, 239; land in farms, 18,200 acres. Farm products in 1883: Bushels of wheat, 34,776; bushels of corn, 16,130; bushels of other grain, 17,499; bushels of potatoes, 12,727; tons of hay, 2,686; apples, bushels, 6,459; value of orchard products, $11,338; value of forest products sold, $9,949; number of horses, 686; cows, 522; other cattle, 481; sheep, 3,178; swine, 1,100; butter, pounds, 65,755; wool, pounds, 14,331.
The fruit business of Lowell and vicinity, although in its infancy, has made a wonderful growth. Noah P. Husted and James D. Husted commenced planting nursery stock in 1862, on section 20 of Lowell, by putting out 40,000 apple trees and 40,000 peach trees, and increased their planting each year for several years, which undertaking stimulated the growing of fruit. The soil in and around Lowell is unsurpassed for tree culture and fruit growing. There were shipped from this point during the year 1889, 40,000 barrels of apples, at an average price of $1.50 per barrel, and $15,000 worth of peaches. Within a radius of ten miles there are eighteen fruit evaporators which shipped about $55,000 worth of evaporated fruit. There were shipped nearly $1,500 worth of sun-dried fruit. Of pears, plums, cherries, berries, grapes, and quinces, the estimated shipments will not fall short of $10,000. Lowell, between ten and thirty years ago, stood for a number of years third in the amount of shipments of agricultural products on the whole line of the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railway.
MORGAN LYON, a prosperous farmer of Vergennes, Kent County, Michigan, was born at Norwich, Chenango County, N.Y., October 16, 1810. His father, Thomas Lyon, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and also in the War of 1812. When he was young, the family were poor, struggling with farm life and pioneer privations in a newly and thinly settled region. His early education was only such as could be gained in country district schools of that period. In 1836, looking forward for a chance, he emigrated to Howell, Livingston County, Michigan, where he settled upon a farm of 160 acres. A year or two later he sold that and moved out again, into the almost unbroken wilderness of Vergennes, where he entered, in June, 1838, upon 160 acres of land on Section 20 of that township, where he made his home and still resides. He engaged with vigor and strong courage in its improvement, and with such success that it is now one of the finest and most valuable farms in that vicinity. Moreover he has been able to add to his real estate possessions; to the home farm till it contains 270 acres, and east and west until he owns in all 510 acres. His homestead residence is a large, square, two-story wood house nicely finished and furnished; and his barns and other accompanying buildings are capacious and in keeping with the needs of such an estate. He raises some fruit, but his staple products are grain, potatoes, and the whole range of farm crops. The soil is good, and intelligent cultivation renders it handsomely productive. On two of his smaller farms, also, he has good buildings and other furnishings. He has been a thriving farmer, and successful beyond the average of agriculturists. Besides his country property, he owns in Lowell village one-half the fine brick block of eight store fronts, called the Lyon Block, and one store in Union Block across the way, on Main Street. Hence, in the evening of life, at four-score years, he is comfortably and pleasantly situated. Mr. Lyon married in January 1835, Mary Purple, at Norwich, his native town, who with him shared the labors and privations incident to building up a home in a new country. She died in August, 1849. They had three children, of whom the eldest Matilda Lyon, is deceased. The other two were James and Emily, the former now a resident of Grand Rapids. Mr. Lyon again married, in 1850, at Norwich, Louisa Purple, sister of his first wife, still his companion in life. They have one daughter, Mary, now is the wife of Omar O. Adams, living near the family homestead in Vergennes. About 1865, Mr. Lyon moved to the village of Lowell, and lived there some three years, but meantime retained his farm, to which he returned. He does not belong to any church organization. In politics he has acted with the Democratic Party, expect for the time when the Greenback party had a distinct organization. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity. In his town he has held the offices of Justice of the Peace and Supervisor.
DANIEL C. MCVEAN, was born in Monroe County, N.Y., August 19, 1819. His father, David McVean, was a native of Scotland, belonging to a clan somewhat illustrious in Scotch history; came to this country in early life and settled in the county where the subject of this sketch was born. In 1846 Daniel C. McVean settled in the township of Bowne, Kent County, Mich., and is remembered as among its able and useful citizens. He followed surveying several years, in addition to the work of carrying on and improving his farm, and held a number of town offices. In 1854, he was chosen Supervisor and to that position was re-elected, in 1855 and 1856. In 1856 he was elected Treasurer of Kent County, and this office he held at the time of his death, which occurred in Grand Rapids, October 28, 1857. Mr. McVean married, March 16, 1840, Lucy Skidmore, of Alexandria, Genesee County, N.Y., who yet survives and resides on the old homestead, a mile square of land at the corner of sections three, four, nine and ten, in Bowne, half a mile south of the Lowell town line. Of seven children, the eldest was twelve when his father died, the youngest was born after his death. The names of the children are: David E. McVean, Daniel H. McVean and Donald S. McVean – three sons, and Maggie L. McVean, C. F. McVean (now Mrs. Thompson), Mary D. McVean and L. A. McVean – four daughters. Two of the sons reside in Grand Rapids; the youngest, D. S., is with his mother at the old homestead. Mrs. McVean, now seventy-three years of age, as a farm manager has been very successful. The place is productive and well stocked, and the family have a comfortable, pleasant and well furnished rural home. Mr. McVean in his life was highly esteemed as an honorable, upright citizen and conscientious public officer.
The first village platting was done for Daniel Marsac in 1848, who named the place Dansville; but as an incorporation it was not fully organized until 1861. In 1854 it was platted with the same name by Abel Avery as the record shows. February 4, 1857, by legislative act the name was changed to Lowell. An act to legalize an incorporation previously made by the Supervisors was passed in 1859. It was incorporated anew in March, 1861, and under this authority the first charter election was held. The charter has been several times amended. The amendments may be found in Session Laws of 1856, page 276; 1869, volume 3, page 1,676; and in Local Acts, 1875, page 573; 1885, page 443, and 1887, page 701. Several additions to the original plat had been made prior to the final incorporation of the village. In 1850 Abel Avery purchased the Marsac plat, and he added some territory, making upward of 100 acres on the east side of Flat River. In 1854, Wickham & Richards platted 93 acres on the west side. In July 1868, Fox's addition of 52 acres, north of Wickham & Richards', was surveyed. Peter Lee's addition, north of Avery's, 48 acres, was platted in March, 1870. In the same year were platted Snell's addition, 50 acres, and the Ellsworth plat of 60 acres, of which 20 acres was within the village limits and the rest in the town of Vergennes. In 1863 a plat was made on the south side of the river, on the line of the river, which was called Segwun. In April 1869, under the authority of a legislative act, a re-survey of the village was made, by direction of the Village Board.
Presidents – Cyprian S. Hooker, 1861-64; Arvine Beck, 1865-68; Morris R. Blodgett, 1869-71; John C. Scott, 1872; Chester G. Stone, 1873-77; Arvine Beck, 1878-79; Milton C. Barber, 1880-81; Sidney C. Bradfield, 1882-85; Chester G. Stone, 1886-88; Francis King, 1889; Charles McCarty, 1890.
Recorders – C. A. Blake, 1861-63; M. N. Hine, 1864; Francis King, 1865-68; John Huggins, 1869-72; James H. Weeks, 1873-80; Eugene A. Sunderlin, 1881-88; John Q. Look, 1889-90.
Trustees – W. W. Hatch, J. B. Shear and Arvine Peck, 1861; A. H. King, 1862; C. R. Hine, 1863; E. R. Craw, 1864; Robert Hunter, 1865; S. Brower, 1866; E. W. Avery, 1867; Simeon Hunt, 1868; John C. Scott and Lucien B. Lull, 1869; Simeon Hunt, 1870; Lucien B. Lull, 1871; S. Hunt, 1872; E. R. Craw, 1873; Milton M. Perry; 1874; William Pullen, 1875; Edwin R. Craw, 1876; Robert W. Graham, 1877; Jarvis C. Train, 1878; Francis D. Adams, 1879; Robert W. Graham, 1880; Jarvis C. Train, 1881; Francis King, 1882; Robert W. Graham, 1883; Fred D. Hine, 1884; Francis King, 1885; John Q. Look and A. W. Weekes, 1886; John Q. Look, 1887; A. J. Howk, 1888; O. C. McDannell, A. W. Weeks, 1889, Charles Althen, 1890.
Treasurers – Simeon Hunt, 1861-63; U. B. Williams, 1864; Clark M. Devendorf, 1865-67; Wm. Pullen, 1878; Charles T. Wooding, 1879-81; John Wingler, 1882; Martin N. Hine, 1883-89; Andrew B. Johnson, 1890.
Assessors – Cyrus Hunt, 1861-64; Almon M. Elsworth, 1865-69; Robert Hunter, Jr., 1870; Edmund Lee, 1871; Simeon Hunt, 1872; Robert Hunter, Jr., 1873-77; Almon M. Elsworth, 1878; Milton M. Perry, 1879-81; Jarvis C. Train, 1882; Charles R. Hine, 1883; Chandler Johnson, 1884-87; Sylvester Brower, 1888; Chandler Johnson, 1889; Sylvester Brower, 1890.
Marshals – J. Chapman, 1861; W. J. Medler, 1862; Robert Marshall, 1863-64; John Wilson, 1865; Robert Marshall, 1863-64; John Wilson, 1865; Robert Marshall, 1866-67; E. R. Huxley, 1868; George W. Lane, 1869; Robert Marshall, 1870; Cyrenus C. Sayles, 1871; James B. Sprague, 1872; Robert Marshall, 1873; Charles Blass, 1874; Robert Marshall, 1875; Henry W. Booth, 1876; John Calkins, 1877-78; Robert Marshall, 1879-81; Milton C. Barber, 1882-83; Henry Mitchell, 1884; Albert D. Ransford, 1885; Samuel F. Edmonds, 1886-90.
Postmasters at Lowell have been: Philander Tracy, Rodney Robinson, (appointed in 1848), George White, Cyprian S. Hooker, I. N. White, C. M. Devendorf, Daniel Driscoll, A. M. Elmsworth, J. W. Hine, M. M. Perry, and J. M. Mathewson, the latter being the present incumbent.
CHARLES MCCARTY was born in Canada in 1846. When he was three years of age his parents settled in the township of Keene, Ionia County, Michigan. His boyhood was passed with them until the age of fourteen years, when the aspiring young lad left the home of his childhood to carve out his fortune and shape his future course by his own pluck and energy. At seventeen years of age he enlisted in the army, and continued in the military service until the close of the war. He was with Gen. Sherman in the famous march "from Atlanta to the sea." Later he was engaged in the employment of his brother in the village of Lowell, as a grocery clerk, at the meager salary of $8 per month. Proving faithful and efficient, his wages were advanced accordingly, and by habits of economy and frugality at the end of twelve years his savings were enough to purchase a half interest in his brother's business. Six weeks later his brother died, and he purchased the remaining interest for $2,400; his standing and credit being such that he was able to hire the money on his own paper. His business prospered, and from the profits he was enabled to discharge his obligations promptly. At the age of twenty-three he married Alice Sayles, daughter of Chapin C. Sayles, a pioneer of Keene, who is yet living at the ripe age of 78 years, and in good health, on the farm which he reclaimed from the wilderness – the farther of fifteen children and grandparent of forty-three children. Six children have blessed the home of Charles McCarty, four boys and two girls – Willie McCarty, Bertha A. McCarty, Bessie M. McCarty, Leon J. McCarty, Dean McCarty and Paul S. McCarty; the eldest now sixteen and the youngest four years of age. In 1879, Mr. McCarty joined the Blue Lodge; was made a Sir Knight Templar in 1887, and an Odd Fellow in 1888. He is at this writing a Director and Treasurer of the Lowell Agricultural Fair Association, and also President of the Village of Lowell. At the age of forty-four years, he is held in high esteem as an energetic, enterprising, public-spirited man and citizen, and is sole proprietor of one of the largest wholesale and retail grocery, fruit and farm-produce stores in the village. Of affable and pleasing address, and genial disposition, aiming to live and let live, he enjoys the good will of all with whom he comes in contact. From small beginnings his extensive business has grown, through untiring industry and strict integrity, and though hardly yet in his prime he is recognized as among the solid men and leading merchants. A charming wife and an interesting family render his a happy home. His religion is of the practical, every-day sort; rendering him always ready to lend a helping hand to the unfortunate, and to look upon the brightest side of life. Success has crowned his efforts in his business enterprises, as merchant, farmer, stock grower and now Vice President of The King Milling Company. Physically, he is strong, with great powers of endurance. Apparently he has other years of endurance and usefulness before him, and his example is one to be emulated by the youth of the country.
LOWELL CHURCH SOCIETIES.
The First Congregational Church was organization February 13, 1856, by the Revs. James Ballard, Hammond and Hemmingway, with Mrs. Harriet Shepard, Mr. and Mrs. Bigelow, Deacon Babcock, Mrs. Mary J. Babcock, Mrs. Dr. Brower, Mrs. Thankful Clark and Mrs. Stoughton, as original members who retained the Rev. Mr. Hemmingway as their first pastor. Among the most prominent and influential pastors that have administered to and labored for the church may be named the Revs. D. L. Eaton, Wm. F. Rose, E. R. Stiles, L. S. Griggs, L. F. Waldo, S. E. Busser, J. M. Van Wagner, J. T. Husted, and J. F. Edmonts, the present pastor. The Rev. Danforth L. Eaton, whose home was in Lowell, took a deep and fatherly interest in the maintenance and prosperity of the church. He was most instrumental in soliciting and raising funds for the erection of the church building and maintaining services therein during the society's infancy. The society was then administered to by James Ballard and James Gallup, of Grand Rapids, when unable to employ and pay a minister. The church building was erected in 1858, at a cost of $2,500. It has undergone material repairs, and is now a handsome structure, containing a beautiful auditorium furnished with a pipe organ. The membership is 115. The Sunday School has an average attendance of about 125, and is under the guidance of Ara D. Fisher, Superintendent. During the summer of 1889 the Rev. J. S. Edmonds organized a Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized on 1855, with the Rev. Isaac N. Bennett as Pastor. Among the organizing members may be named Charles Broad, John Martin, George Post, John Hartt, William Pearsoll, John Gillett, and their wives. The society held services in the building known as the old red school house until 1862, when they purchased the lot and building of School District N o. 1 of Lowell. They continued worship in the same building until 1869, when, under the management of the energetic and persevering Rev. J. M. Fuller, they built their present large and beautiful brick structure, at a cost of $7,500. The Rev. A. T. Luther is now Pastor and the church is a prosperous condition. The society has a membership of 150. The Sunday School has an average attendance of 150, and is Superintended by Joseph B. Yeiter.
The First Baptist Church and Society was organized August 14, 1858. The corporate members were Robert Hunter, Jr., Joseph Wilson, John Taylor, Cyrus Clark, Daniel Severy, Robert D. Winegar, John Blain, Steven Goodman, Cornelius Carter and Jacob Chapman, with their wives. The first Board of Trustees was composed of Jacob Chapman, Joseph Wilson, Cornelius Carter, John Taylor, Cyrus Clark and John Blain. The society erected a small but tidy frame church building in 1859, at a cost of $1,000, which they still occupy, but in a much improved condition. The Rev. J. S. Thomas has lately been called as Pastor, and enters upon his work with a membership of 143. The Sunday School, under the Superintendence of Frank N. White, has an attendance of 92 scholars and teachers.
The Catholics of Lowell and vicinity organized a church society in April, 1879. They forthwith appointed building committee to solicit and collect funds for the erection of a church building, composed of Fr. James Savage, and Messrs. John Giles, George Wilhelm, John M. Flanagan and Allen Brown. They were men of energy and perseverance, and the edifice was build and ready for dedication December 8, 1879. It cost $3,000, and has a seating capacity of 300. The society membership is 200. Services are held on the third Sunday of each month. The Priests that have held services in this church are Reverends James Savage, T. D. Flannery, James Crumley, C. J. Roche, J. G. Sanson, Joseph Benning, Bernard Goosens, John Schmitt, and Naz. N. Poulin, the present officiating clergyman.
The Seventh Day Advent Society purchased the frame school building near the Lowell station of the D., G. H. & M. Railway Co., and converted it into a church, and held services there for a time. Their membership being small, and being unable to employ a regular stated preacher, they hold services only occasionally as circumstances may require or permit.
SCHOOLS – EARLY.
The first school between Ionia and Grand Rapids was organized here in 1837, and a log school house was raised by the Robinsons at or near the corner of River and Elm streets, on the west bank of Flat River, and the first teacher employed was Miss Caroline Beard, an experienced teacher from Ithaca, N.Y., who commenced teaching in the spring of 1838. She was re-engaged to teach the winter term of 1838-9, and was assisted by her niece, Helen Chapin. The two ladies lived together in this rude school house, which contained a huge fireplace in the school room and a low chamber used by them for a sleeping and storage room. Miss Beard lived and taught in this way until her marriage to Caleb D. Page, in 1839, as mentioned elswhere. Miss Maria Winslow, daugheter of Dr. Winslow, succeeded Miss Beard, and contineued teaching in the countyr for twenty years or more.
After Miss Winslow's term of school, the log school house was converted into a cooper shop by Horace Shepard and used winters for a carpenter shop. From 1846 to 1849 there was no regular district school, and what few children there were in Lowell went to school at Fox Corners, about one and a half miles north. There was occasionally a private or select school – one taught in a room of the present dwelling of Susan A. Bush, and another taught by Clarinda Robinson, now the wife of F. D. Stocking, in a building a few rods east of King, Quick & King's present saw mill site.
In 1849 Cyprian S. Hooker built the second school house in the district, which was at the corner of Bridge and Division streets; a frame building known as the "old red school house," which was occupied for school purposes until 1862, when the main part of the present Central School building was erected by B. G. Wilson and M. N. Hine, contractors. The present school buildings are composed of the Central building with large additions thereto, consisting of seven rooms; the West Ward, a two-story brick building with two large rooms and two large halls; and the South Ward, a one-story brick building of one room. The present corps of teachers are: Prof. C. S. Larzelere, Principal; Miss Rosa I. Lockwood, Preceptress; Misses Mate Headworth, Daisy Smith, Edwinnie Shaw, Mabel Ranney, Myrtie Trumbull, in the Central building; Mrs. Mina Jones, Principal, and Miss Kate S. Perry and Lillian Morrice, in West Ward, and Miss Ruby Blanding in South Ward.
The present School Board is composed of Robert W. Graham, Otto C. McDannell, M. D., C. Orrin Hill, Edgar R. Collar, and S. D. Marsh; which Board elected for their executive officers, C. Orrin Hill, Moderator; Robert W. Graham, Director, and E. R. Collar, Treasurer. The school census of 1889 is 721, with a non-resident attendance of 47. School District No. 1 has a library of 2,236 volumes.
There are eight school districts in the township besides three fractional districts. The school census, aside from District No. 1, numbers 274. The township library, belonging to the districts (expect No. 1), has 801 volumes, kept by E. D. Eddy, Town Clerk, is opening for drawing each Saturday, and is well patronized.
The census of Lowell township, approximately estimated, for census of 1890, will number about 3,200. The village corporation will take in about 1,830, and including the village of Segwun at the depot will number about 2,000.
Prior to 1865 exchange brokerage, to a limited extent, was the only banking business done in Lowell. In May of that year the Lowell National Bank was organized, with a capital stock of $50,000. First Board of Directors: Arba Richards, E. J. Booth, J. E. Chapin, J. W. Mann, W. W. Hatch, M. H. Norton, A. S. Stannard, A. F. Lee, J. C. Burroughts. In 1871 the capital stock was raised to $100,000; but reduced to the original amount in 1879. This bank had a fairly prosperous business for some twenty years – during the life of its original charter; but after 1885 became embarrassed and closed its doors September 11, 1888. The following had been its Presidents: W. W. Hatch, 1865; H. A. Rice, 1871; W. W> Hatch, 1872; C. T. Wooding, 1879; after him M. N. Hine, who was President at the time it closed, September 11, 1888, with E. A. Sanderlin as cashier. John S. Lawrence was appointed receiver September 19, 1888, and took possession September 25, 1888. Dividends were paid to creditors under the receivership: Dec. 1, 1888, 40 per cent; April 20, 1889, 50 per cent; Feb. 11, 1890, 10 percent and the interest. Francis King was then chosen agent by the stockholders and, April 24, 1890, the remaining assets of the corporation were transferred to him by the Controller of the Currency and the Receiver,; thus terminated the trust.
Charles J. Church & Son, who established a bank at Greenville many years ago, opened a banking office at Lowell in September, 1888. John Q. Look is Cashier in this establishment.
A. J. Bowne, R. E. Combs and Daniel Striker opened a private bank immediately after the failure of the Lowell National Bank, and went into business Oct. 1, 1888. M. C. Griswold is Cashier.
Both of these banks are on Main Street, and, being convenient for many people in the village and adjacent country, have a run of custom which is no doubt profitable.
The first hotel was built of logs by Daniel Marsac at or near the present site of Music Hall Block sometime in the forties, and was called the Lowell House. Not long afterward the Lowell House property was purchased by Uncle Tim White; who built a frame addition in rear of the log building. At the time Uncle Tim was running the hotel, the question of bridging Grand River and the location of the bridge came up, and an old resident relates that it was decided in the following novel way:
The residents of the township and a portion of the inhabitants of the territory now occupied by the village, favored the location at the mouth of Flat River, but Uncle Tim and his followers having friends in Boston, Ionia county favored a site farther up stream; and when the Highway Commissioners met to decide the location of the bridge, Uncle Tim's argument – a barrel of free whisky – carried the day, and the bridge was built at the place now occupied by the upper bridge. As the township of Lowell, or five-sixth of it, lies west of this village, it soon became evident and necessary that another bridge should be built, and this was done at the present site of the lower bridge. Had the first bridge been placed in a more central location at or near the mouth of the Flat River, the expense of keeping up and maintaining a second bridge would have been saved to the township.
Arza H. King came to Lowell in 1850, and soon after purchased the Lowell House property, and in 1853 tore away the log part and erected a large two-story building in its place, and kept the hotel for seven years. From 1860 to 1863 it changed hands two or three times, and finally was purchased by W. R. Mason, who was proprietor and landlord at the time it burned in May 1864.
The American Hotel was built a few years after the Lowell House by Samuel Cook and Hiram Robinson; run as a hotel but a short time, and was converted into a dwelling and boarding house. It was at the corner of Bridge and Monroe streets.
The Franklin House was built by Cyprian S. Hooker in 1855. He occupied and conducted it one year, leased it to Milton Bliss for one year, and after Bliss' lease had expired again took charge of and occupied it about a year, when he sold it Elias D. Parker, who managed the house until he sold it to Azra H. King, about 1861. Mr. King was owner and proprietor of the Franklin House during the war, and accumulated considerable means. During the war and to the time it burned, the Franklin House was the chief hotel of the place. After Mr. King sold the property it passed through the hands of Theodore Nelson, Thompson I. Daniels, Daniel and William H. Misner, when it became heavily mortgaged to Anthony Yerkes of Vergennes, who became owner by virtue of foreclosure, but soon sold it to Freeman S. Jones, who leased the hotel to L. W. Davis. October, 1882, the hotel burned and the old site is now occupied by a two-story brick block, in which are seven stores and one bank, known as the Jones & Lyon Block.
Train's Hotel is a large and commodious three-story brick building, built to meet the growing requirements of the town in 1882, and was dedicated on Christmas day of that year. The building was erected by the enterprising townsman, Jarvis C. Train, whose name it bears. Chester D. Hodges was first lessee of the hotel, and occupied it two years. Mr. Train entered the hotel in the spring of 1885, and continued therein until May 1, 1889, when he leased it to the present popular landlord, Joseph McKee. The hotel is on the southwest corner of Main and Broadway streets, west of Flat River, and is the leading hotel of the town.
The Farmers' House, on the west bank of Flat River, is a two-story frame building and is well patronized by the farmers. It is owned by Ann Lane, and is at present leased by Martin Rattigan.
The National Hotel at Lowell Station, on the D., G. H. & M. Railway, is a two-story brick structure built by Peter Halpen, now dead. Charles Lawyer leases it of the administrator and is doing well.
There are two newspapers printed in Lowell. The Journal (Republican) was founded in 1864 by Webster Morris. It has been the only newspaper printed here in 1889. The Journal has been owned and edited by Webster Morris, Morris & Hine (Webster Morris and James W. Hine), James W. Hine, James D. Ellinwood, and Charles Quick, the prseent proprietor. The Democrat was started in the summer of 1880 by C. H. Elliott, and is Democratic with free trade proclivities.
The village has the best system of water works, and the purest of flowing spring water that can be found in this region of country. The Lowell Water Company was organized in 1887, by Grand Rapids capitalists, with Edwin F. Sweet, President, and John E. Moore, Secretary and Treasurer. A. R. Hendrix, Plumber, was appointed resident Superintendent. The plant has five miles of mains and fifty-five double fire hydrants. It is operated with steam boiler and engine of forty-five horse power; Smith & Vail high pressure pump, with 750,000 gallons per day capacity, and seventy pounds pressure from reservoir situate on Booth's Hill.
The village early, about 1870, adopted the naphtha lamp lighting system for the principal streets, and has been well lighted for a long time. The present Council, not wishing to be outdone by surrounding villages and cities, entered into a contract with The Lowell Electric Light and Power Company, for electric lighting, in the latter part of the summer of 1890. September 20, 1890, the company commenced lighting the village. The company furnish light by the Thomson-Houston system, operated by a boiler and engine of sixty-hours power, with two dynamos; one for thirty arc and the other for three hundred incandescent lights. The larger part of the stock of the company is held by foreign capitalists, with Charles J. Church & Son as resident managers.
The Lowell Furniture Company own and occupy the plant commenced by Seth Cogswell, on what now is called Kopf Creek, on Section 11 of Lowell, just before it enters Grand River from the south. In 1856 Mr. Cogswell built a saw mill and ran it until he sold it to John Kopf, who erected a furniture factory in 1867 in addition to said saw mill, at a cost of $12,000, including machinery. Mr. Kopf was an experienced workman in furniture, conducted a retail furniture store in the village, with undertaking attached. With his business so divided, he entered into a copartnership in 1879 in his retail and undertaking business, with Orton Hill and H. Milton Trask. In 1881, the firm of Kopf, Hill & Trask was instrumental in organizing The Lowell Furniture Co., with a capital stock of $25,000, turning in John Kopf's furniture plant as stock. The present Company have added buildings and machinery until the water became insufficient, and were compelled to add steam, and now use the combined power. They are working about 30 hands, and have a capacity for 75. The average annual sales are about $30,000 to $35,000. They are now principally engaged in manufacturing cases for the Princess Dressing Case Co., of Grand Rapids. The present executive officers are: N. B. Blain, President; S. P. Hicks, Vice-President; M. N. Hine, Secretary, and Charles A. Church, Treasurer.
The Lowell Creamery Co. was organized in 1883, and buildings erected the same year. They are about 30 rods west of the depot. The company sold the plant to Hilton Bros. & Co., of Boston, Mass., in 1888. T. D. Tarleton, their manager, purchased the creamery in 1889, ran it one year and let it go back. During the winter of 1889-90, John O. Chapin, formerly a stock-holder in the first organization, purchased the creamery, and is operating it on the oil-test system, manufacturing from 900 to 1,100 pounds of butter daily, and pays as high as $120 per day for cream. Hilton Bros. & Co., commission merchants, take all the butter he can manufacture.
Robt. J. Flanagan and Albertus H. Peckham, copartners, are the proprietors of the Lowell Cutter Factory. This occupies the site of Avery & Johnson's old planing mill that burned in 1867. The following year the mill was rebuilt by Avery & Johnson. The planing mill changed hands several times, until the Lowell Cutter Company was formed, purchased it and converted it to a wood-work cutter factory. The capacity of the factory at its best was 200 cutter bodies per day. In an unlucky moment this factory formed an alliance with a Chicago firm, the Cragin Cutter Factory, which took the bodies and running gears made here, and ironed, painted and finished them for market. Business was booming, and the combined company sold cutters to parties in Colorado whose paper went to protest; and the Lowell factory went to the wall, for the west end of the concern was owing the east end, with no means to pay. Flanagan & Peckham purchased the Lowell plant in February, 1889, and give employment to thirty men during the summer. They are adding machinery for manufacturing the iron braces and pieces necessary to fully iron the cutters manufactured by them. They are also making arrangements and placing machinery for the building of buggy boxes during the winter for spring trade.
The marble works were founded by Jacob C. Hare in 1873. His business steadily increasing, he formed a partnership with Charles E. Kisor, under the firm name of Hare & Kisor, in 1889, who are now doing a business of $6,000 annually.
The Lowell Cigar Factory of G. J. Johnson was founded in May, 1890, gives employment to five men, and is doing a business of about $10,000 annually.
The Lowell Bakery has been conducted by Emmet E. Chase and his mother for fourteen years. He is now sole proprietor, and does a bakery business of some $3,000 annually, besides his sales of meals and confectionery.
Kopf Brothers (sons of Goodrich Kopf), have leased their father's plant, and are engaged in the manufacture of bedroom sets, tables and cases principally. They give steady employment to twelve men, are doing a large business in both manufacturing furniture and selling by wholesale and retail. The factory of Goodrich Kopf was built in 1881, at a cost of $3,000, and was first opened as a bedstead, bureau and table factory. Business soon so increased that it was necessary to make additions in buildings and machinery, which was promptly done. The factory is run with steam power, and is in a very flourishing condition.
The "Forest Mill," now owned by Wisner Bros., has grown to its present size and power from the first grist mill built in Lowell, located on the east bank of Flat River, south side of Bridge street. The first building was built by Cyprian S. Hooker in 1847. It was run by water power furnished from a dam across Flat River nearly on the quarter line of Section 2, and conducted to the mill by a race now covered by the east site of the present mill pond. M r. Hooker sold the mill to Talford & Chapin in 1854. In 1856 Wm. W. Hatch purchased a one-third interest. During the year 1857 Talford sold his interest to his partner, Chapin, leaving Chapin & Hatch sole proprietors. Mr. Chapin sold to James O. Fitch one half of his undivided two-thirds in 1858, and the remaining half to Edwin R. Craw in 1859. Toward the close of 1859, Mr. Fitch sold his interest to Hatch & Craw, who continued partners until 1880, when E. R. Craw sold his interest to Wm. W. Hatch. January 10, 1880, Mr. Hatch sold the mill and half the water power to Edgar E. Wisner, who conducted the business alone until July, 1882, when his brother Charles W., took a half interest and carried on the business under the name of Wisner Bros. The elder brother, Edgar, died Jan. 24, 1887, after nearly a year's illness, and the business is continued by C. W. Wisner under the firm name of Wisner Bros. They have remodeled the mill and put in rollers. It has a capacity of 200 barrels daily, employing an average of ten men, and manufacturing a grade of flour that commands as good as price in eastern markets as any other brands or grades. Wisner Bros. did a business of a little over $21,000 during the month of August, 1890.
The Lowell Mill (flouring) was built on the west bank of Flat River, by Hatch & Craw, in 1867. It is a well and strong built building, three-story frame with basement. On or about Jan. 9, 1880, E. R. Craw sold his interest to his partner, W. W. Hatch, who in turn sold to Stiff & Stiff, June 19, 1881. Stiff & Stiff became involved and the mill fell into the possession of the Lowell National Bank. The property has for several years been leased to different parties at a loss both owner and tenant. In the month of August, 1890, the property was sold at public auction, and was purchased by Frank T. King and Charles McCarty, who have organized a stock company under the name of the King Milling Company, with a capital of $25,000. This company is thoroughly repairing the building, putting in rollers at a cost of $10,000.
The Steam Flouring Mill and Elevator situated on the southeast corner of Main and Hudson streets occupies the site first utilized by Wilson, Gardner & Co. in 1868 by the erection of a steam planing mill and door, sash and blind factory. The enterprise did not pay, and the company made an assignment for the benefit of their creditors. The machinery was sold and removed to Carson City, and the land purchased by A. R. Hoag of Vergennes. James S. Dougall leased the land of Mr. Hoag and enlarged and improved the building and put in machinery for a grain elevator and two run of stone for grinding flour and feed. The mill paid well for a time, but Dougall failed. Mrs. Jane McLean, widow of Alex. McLean, an endorser, in attempting to save something from the wreck, purchased the land of Mr. Hoag, and the mill at auction sale, and has now leased the same to John W. Broadbent, an experienced miller, who is doing a good paying business.
Robert Marshall came to Lowell in an early day, purchased the cooper shop in the east bank of Flat River, Oct. 15, 1858, and has owned and controlled it ever since. This shop has remained the old standard one of this place; others have risen, flourished for a time, and went out. Marshall's cooper shop has for a long time filled all orders of our large and flourishing flour mills. About five years ago, when the flouring mills shipped flour in cloth sacks to a large extent, Mr. Marshall did not propose to be idle, but purchased the engine, boiler and tools of a handle factory, put them in the north end of his shop, and turns ax handles, whiffletrees, neck yokes, and other handles to the amount of $2,000 annually. The copper shop turned out in 1880, 28,000 flour barrels, 18,000 apple barrels, and 200 pork barrels, besides other smaller tubs and casks.
King, Quick & King (Francis King, Reuben Quick and Frank T. King), operate a steam saw mill, shingle mill and lumber yard. The saw mill was built in 1871, and the shingle mill in 1879. They have done a handsome business in lumber and shingle manufacture and trade.
The Lowell Woolen Mills were built in 1867 by C. A. Clark, who sold his entire interest the following year to Morris R. Blodgett, who did a large business until 1871, when the plant fell into the hands of W. W. Hatch. Mr. Hatch, being engaged in the flouring business, did not push the woolen industry, and sold it to Clark Brothers, sons of the builder, in 1875. The Clark Brothers were being experienced woolen mill men, gave this industry new life and energy, and have put on the market as good woolen cloths as any Michigan mills. The mill is operated by water power, and propels machinery sufficient to fill a two story building with basement 30 by 120 feet. Some time ago Henry F. Clark purchased the interest of his brother, Charles E., and is sole proprietor.
The village contains many live and energetic merchants, who almost universally adopt the drawing and winning feature of purchasing all and everything offered for sale by the farming community, whether in small or large lots or quantities, paying cash therefor, and allowing the farmer to trade where he desires. Among some of the leading merchants in the different cases of trade may be named:
Dry Goods – E. R. Collar, J. L. Hudson, C. G. Stone & Son, N. B. Blain and Wm. Pullen.
Groceries – C. Bergin, John Giles & Co., A. Fisher & Co., Andy Johnson, L. McCoy an Chas. McCarty.
Drugs – Yeiter & Look, W. S. Winegar, Clark & Winegar and Hunter & Hunter.
Boots & Shoes – E. Y. Hogle, A. J. Howk & Son, and Robertson & Son.
Commission Merchants – Hilton Brothers & Co.
Furniture and Undertaking – A. L. Coons and Kopf Bros.
Clothiers – Chas. Althen, J. L. Hudson, Marks Ruben and William Pullen.
Jewelers – A. D. Oliver and Harry Sherman.
Musical Merchandise – R. D. Stocking
Bazars – Jas. McPherson and S. A. Bush.
Hardware – W. R. Blaisdell & Co., and J. C. Scott.
Meat Markets – J. Edwin Lee and John McNaughton.
Confectionery and Cigars – W. B. Rickert and L. McCoy (Little Mc.)
Agricultural Implements – Patrick Kelley, H. Nash and Brown & Sehler.
Buggies and Carriages – Enos & Bradfield, H. Nash and Patrick Kelley.
Blacksmiths – H. J. Bosworth & Son, Eli F. Denny, G. W. Rouse, E. B. Hunter.
Harness Shops – George B. Fuller, Irvin Young, Henry Schreiner and O. A. Robinson.
Whip Factory – Frank Robinson & Co.
Carpenters and Joiners – B. G. Wilson, H. B. Aldrich, Thomas B. Birdsall and many others.
Physicians – J. L. W. Young, Otto C. McDannell, M. C. Greene, A. M. Elsworth and W. F. Brooks.
Attorneys at Law – J. M. Mathewson, F. C. Alger, Albert Jackson and M. M. Perry.
Insurance Agents – S. P. Hicks, F. D. Eddy, H. N. Stone, A. Jackson, F. D. Stocking and Alger & Church.
Real Estate – S. P. Hicks and M. M. Perry.
Veterinary Surgeon – Ed McQueen.
Milton M. Perry was the oldest of three sons of William R. and Mary (Weeks) Perry. He was born October 23, 1836, at Sparta, Livingston County, N.Y. In the autumn of 1852 h with his father's family came to Michigan, and settled in Moscow, Hillsdale County, where they engaged in farming. In the summer of 1854, while in his eighteenth year, he taught his first school in Quincy, Mich. He taught school winters, and attended school summers at Ypsilanti Union Seminary under President Joseph Estabrook and at Hillsdale College, until 1861, when he commenced teaching in graded schools. He was employed in the Lowell Union School for the years 1863, 1864 and 1865. August 25, 1864, he married Leonora Sinclair, fifth daughter of Daniel and Jane (Proudfit) Sinclair, of Jonesville, Mich. Of four children, Grace I., Kate S., Martha S. and M. Agnes Perry, all are living except Grace, who died at the age of six years. He attended lectures at the Law Department of the Michigan University at Ann Arbor during the winter of 1865-66, formed a law partnership with the Hon. T. J. Slayton July 20, 1866, which lasted two years. He has continued in the law, real estate and insurance business since. In November, 1868, he was appointed Assistant U. S. Assessor of Internal Revenue, to succeed his uncle, C. R. Perry, M. D. (deceased), and held the office until the law creating the office was repealed. Was nominated and confirmed Postmaster at Lowell, Mich., January 9, 1883, and held the office four years. He has been a member of the School Board fifteen years, and of the Common Council of the Village six years. He was Township Treasurer two terms, and has held the office of Justice of the Peace almost continuously since the dissolution of the firm of Slayton & Perry. He has always been an ardent but consistent Republican, and was a member of Kent County Republican Committee for four years, and under the Civil Service rules resigned when appointed Postmaster.
John Kopf was a native of Germany, born in 1828. He came to Lowell in 1855, and was energetic and successful in establishing the manufacture of furniture, and home and export trade in that branch of business.
Dr. Arba Richards came to the town of Vergennes in 1839; afterward moved to Lowell, where he died in 1870. He was a man of mark in his profession, and highly esteemed as a citizen.
Fidius D. Stocking, born at Pontiac, Mich., Dec. 25, 1824, removed to grand rapids with his father's family about 1847, and came to Lowell a few days later. As a violin player in his younger days, he was known in all the country round, and no party failed to be lively and interesting under the inspiration of his music. He is yet a resident. He married, in 1857, Clarinda Robinson, daughter of Rodney Robinson, one of a pioneer family.
Chester G. Stone is a native of St. Lawrence County, N.Y., born in 1830. In 1837 his father came to Grand Rapids, where he was among the early foundrymen. Chester was educated in the schools of Grand Rapids, and afterward in trade there until 1857, when he removed to Lowell, which has since been his home. He is a merchant on Bridge street.
Jarvis C. Train, a Vermonter by birth, came to Lowell with his parents when a lad of six years, about 1840, and since 1867 has been a steady resident, and has accumulated a handsome property. In early boyhood he was a playmate with the Indian children of the wilderness in and about where Lowell Village now stands.
Cyprian S. Hooker is kindly and reverently remembered among those who contributed to the early and later growth of the town.
John C. Scott, born in Ostego, N.Y., in 1828, came to Michigan in 1843, and settled in Grand Rapids, where he lived until 1866, when he moved to Lowell, and since that time has been engaged in the hardware trade. In 1869 he was one of the Trustees and in 1872 was President of the Village.
John M. Mathewson is among the old residents of Lowell. He was born in 1823, at Little Falls, N.Y., and emigrated to Michigan. He is the present Postmaster at Lowell.
Leonard H. Hunt was born at Manchester, Washtenaw County, Mich., August 13, 1840, and came to Lowell, June 2, 1855. He was reared on a farm. In September 1862, he entered the Union service as Second Lieutenant in the Twenty-sixth Michigan Infantry, and served until discharged for disability in March,1 864. He was wounded in battle at Todd's Tavern, Va., May 8, 1864, and was promoted to Captain, Sept. 26, 1864. After the war, in 1866, he went into the drug trade at Lowell, which business he has followed ever since. He has filled several public offices, was chosen a Representatives to the State Legislature in 1886, and is counted as a worthy citizen and successful merchant.