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Historyand Directory of Kent County, Michigan, Containing a History of Each Townshipand the City of Grand Rapids, Compiled and Published by Dillenbackand Leavitt, County History, Directory and Map Publishers, Grand Rapids:Daily Eagle Steam Printing House, 1870.
This is the northwest corner of Kent county, lying north of Sparta,and west of Solon; and being bounded on the north by Grant township, Newaygocounty, and on the west by Casnovia, Muskegon county.
Tyrone was first settled in 1849, by Mrs. Louisa Scott and family, whowent in to board workmen on the State Road then being made on the westline of this township, by John Brooks, of Newaygo, who had the contractfrom the State. The family were deprived of the father, by insanity, ashort time after going into the woods; but, owing to the great perseveranceof Mrs. Scott, they remained, and have succeeded in building up a goodhome, and making a fine farm on section thirty-one, in the southwest partof the township. In 1850, Lot Ferguson, from Hillsdale county, went aboutone mile farther and settled on the southwest part of section nineteen,where the Casnovia House now stands. Alfred Bonner settled on section thirty,but remained only a short time.
In 1852, Jacob Smith, from Cleveland, Ohio, and Harlow Jackson, fromBranch county, Mich., settled one mile east from the state road, and amile north from the township line, on the present state road from CedarSprings to Muskegon. There was not a white settler east of them nearerthan Greenville.
In 1853 John Thompson came into the same neighborhood, from Tioga county,New York, and about the same time, Joseph Kies came from Hillsdale county,Mich., and settled near Mr. Fulkerson.
In 1855, Uriah Chubb, who had been living for a few years in Chestertownship, Ottawa county, settled on the west part of section thirty, andLeander Smith, from Ostego county, New York, went into the Jackson neighborhood.
About this time Asa Clark and family, from Steuben county, New York,penetrated the forest northeast of Sparta Center, or Nashville, as it wasthen called, and built their cabin on section thirty-six, in the southeastpart of the township. Here they had no neighbors, except those who camefor a few months at a time to cut pine logs along the river; and duringthe war they were the only regular settlers in the east part of the township.
James Blackall, from Sparta, also went on section thirty-two in 1855.From that time to the commencement of the war there were many additions,and since the war its population has increased very fast.
This township was for some time attached to Sparta.
In 1855 it was organized as a separate township, under the name of Tyrone,the first annual meeting being held at the only school house, which stoodon the west line, near the residence of Mrs. Scott. The township meetingsare still held in the same school district, the house now being used abouta mile north of where the old one stood.
FIRST TOWNSHIP OFFICERS
Supervisor -- Uriah Chubb. Clerk -- Albert Clute. Treasurer -- HarlowJackson. Justices -- Patrick Thompson, Albert Clute, and Uriah Chubb.
PRESENT TOWNSHIP OFFICERS
Supervisor -- James M. Armstrong. Clerk -- Harlow Jackson. Treasurer --B. Treadway. Justices -- J. M. Armstrong, U. Chubb, L. V. Hoag, andDavid Clark.
About three-fourths of this township is timbered with pine, which extendsalong the Rouge River in the east, and across the north part in connectionwith the great Muskegon belt. The southwest portion is timbered with beechand maple, interspersed with some pine throughout nearly the whole extent-- there being but two sections (thirty and thirty-one) which had none.The pine timbered portions here, as elsewhere, are principally sandy, whilethe beech and maple timbered part is mostly clay soil, or rather a clayloam, which makes excellent farming land. This township is high and rolling,and is a good fruit region.
There are no very large improvements yet; those of Messrs. Smith, Jacksonand Hemsley, one mile from the south line, and about the same distancefrom the west line, are probably the largest. Mr. Daniel Hanson, and others,a mile north, are making a good start, and judging from the present appearances,will soon have splendid farms. The same may be said of H. C. Wylie, andothers, east of those first mentioned. On the west line the land is dividedinto smaller parcels, with one or two exceptions. Mr. Edward Hayward hasa nice, large farm lying partly in this township and partly in Casnovia.
STREAMS AND LAKES
Rouge River is the principal stream of Tyrone. It rises in Rice Lake,in the township of Grant, Newaygo county, about three miles of the townshipline, enters Tyrone about one and one-miles west from the northeast corner,flows a little east of south, and then flows out near the southeast cornerinto Sparta. It is fed by several small streams, among which Duke Creek,which flows through Solon and comes in from the northeast on section thirty-six,is the largest. Ball Creek rises in several small streams in the west partof the township, flows southeast, and passes out into Sparta near the middleof the township line.
A curiosity may be found on this stream, on the farm of H. C. Wylieon section thirty-three, which is worthy a description.
It is no more nor less than an old Beaver Dam. This dam was about sixtyrods long and rose to a height of three, four and even five feet in someplaces. It was built in zig-zag form, the sections being uniformly abouttwo rods in length. It must have been built a long time ago, forlarge trees are found growing on the embankment. Where the pond was, thetimber has been killed by the flowing, leaving nothing but a marsh. Thispond had apparently covered from ten to fifteen acres, and perhaps more.The remains of trees, cut down by those curious and wonderful animals,have been found there, showing plainly the prints of their teeth in thewood. The stream has broken through in three places. The river, and thesecreeks, have been used for floating pine logs.
South Crockery Creek, in the southwest part of the township, rises inSparta, flows northwest through two small lakes, on section thirty-two,thence across thirty-one, and out into Muskegon county, on the west.
There is a lake of about twenty acres on the line of sections seventeenand eighteen, the outlet of which flows southeast across the township intoRouge River. Another, nearly as large, near the center of section twenty-two,also has a small stream flowing from it to Rouge River.
There is considerable wet, swampy land, in the northeast part of thetownship, and a few small swamps in various other parts; but none of anygreat extent.
(not incorporated) is nearly as much of a village as some which havebeen platted and incorporated many years. It was first settled by Lot Fulkerson(before mentioned) in 1850. Mr. Fulkerson was the first to open his doorsfor the accommodation of travelers, and soon put out his sign, and kepta regular country tavern. In a short time his little one-story log cabinbecame too small for that purpose, which was afterwards kept by Mr. Mizner,and later by Mr. Heath, who erected a large hall adjoining. These buildingsare now owned and kept by Mr. John Tuxbury, formerly of Alpine.
In 1853, a post office was established, with Daniel Bennett, who livedjust over the line, as postmaster. The first store goods were sold by H.Hamilton, in May 1862.
There are now four stores, a blacksmith shop, etc.; also, a steam sawmill, which was erected in 1864, now owned by Patterson Brothers. Theyare doing a good, fair business, and have pine enough within reach to runthe mill twenty years.
Asher and Robert Post have a portable steam saw mill three miles northof here; also one on the west line of the township.
District No. 1, (fractional with Casnovia) was organized in 1853 withnine scholars in attendance at school. A small log house was erected andused until 1861, when the present frame building was erected at a costof $500. The former stood on section 31, and the latter stands on the westside of section ?, near the residence of Mr. Chubb.
District No. 2, (fractional with Sparta), erected a frame house worthabout $400, in 1863. This house stands on the northwest corner of section36, and is commonly known as the Clark school house.
District No. 3, (fractional with Casnovia), erected a small frame housein ?, on the southwest corner of section 6, known as the Murray schoolhouse.
District No. 4, was organized in 1861, and a nice frame house was built,worth $500, the following year. It stands on the southeast corner of sectiontwenty-nine, and is known as the Leander Smith school house.
District No. 5, was organized in 1868, and a good frame house erectedat a cost of $500, known as the Ross' school house. It stands on the northeastcorner of section nineteen.
District No. 6 was organized in January 1870. It has four scholars insummer and about twenty in winter -- being in the midst of a pine country,which brings people in winter and drives them out in summer. This districthas no school house yet, school being held in the house of Mr. L. R. Burch.It has been chiefly sustained by Mr. B. thus far, at a cost of $50 perterm.
District No. 7, was organized in 1870. A house is to be erected on sectiontwenty-two or twenty-seven at a cost of about $500.
Tyrone has no churches, and only one hotel, besides the one mentioned,situated at the Corners, in the village of Casnovia.
This other hotel is generally known as the Block Tavern, being madeof hewn logs, and stands on the Cedar Springs and Muskegon State Road.It is now kept by Allen Cumings. Mr. L. V. Hoag, and others, are quitesanguine of getting a Post-office established here soon, and building upa village. This is nearly twenty miles from Grand Rapids, and Casnoviais about twenty-two miles from the same. The Cedar Springs and Muskegonstate road crosses this township on the section line, one mile from theSparta line. The surveyed route of the C. S. & M. R. R. runs nearlyparallel to the state road, and very near it. The surveyed line of theG. R. and Newaygo R. R. also crosses this township, and strikes CasnoviaCorners.