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KENT COUNTY

It is bounded on the north by Oceana, east by Ionia, south by Barry and Allegan, and west by Ottawa. It was organized in 1836, and has an area of 763 square miles. Seat of justice, Grand Rapids

Water Courses:--The Grand, Flat, Rouge, and Thorn Apple rivers; Buck, and Gypsum or Plaster creeks.

Organized Townships:--Ada, Byron, Kent, Plainfield, Vergennes, Walker.

Villages:--Grand Rapids, Grandville.

The surface of the eastern half of the county is rolling, and upon the Grand River, hilly. The soil is mostly of a deep vegetable loam, covering a substratum of clay. The greater portion of the county, and especially that part east of the Thorn Apple river, is of the class of soil called "oak openings." The north-western, western, and south-western parts, or perhaps one third of the count, is timbered land. Indian corn, wheat, oats, and potatoes, are produced in excellent crops, and frequently on lands which eighteen months since were in possession of the Indian. Black walnut, beech, sugar maple, and white wood, is the principal timber, which often attains magnificent growth. North of the Grand river, especially on the Rouge, are found large forests of heavy, pine timber, of great value. The hydraulic power is very considerable, and abounds on all streams. There is immense power at Grand Rapids, and at several points upon the Rouge, Flat, and Thorn Apple rivers, and their branches. Gypsum, or plaster of Paris, of an excellent quality, and in abundance, is found in Gypsum creek. Lime stone, and building materials of different kinds, both of wood and stone, are in plentiful supplies. Brine springs have been found near the mouth of Gypsum creek, and in some other places on the Grand River. This county has many facilities for intercommunication, and will, after the canal at the Rapids and the railroad connecting the Grand River with the St. Clair, are completed, enjoy superior advantages. The great portion of the public lands south of Grand River have been located. Lands of the richest quality, lying north of the Grand River, supposed to be two-fifths of the county, remain unsold, although portions have of it have been settled by "squatters." This county belongs to the Grand River Land District. The first settlement of the county was made at Grand Rapids, about four years since, but the greater portion — nine-tenths of the population, have settled within the two or three past years.

Kent, in conjunction with Ottawa and Ionia, elects one representative, and belongs to the sixth senatorial district, which sends two senators to the legislature. Population: 2,022.


Document Source: Blois, John T., Gazetteer of the State of Michigan in Three Parts, Detroit, Michigan: Sydney L. Rood & Co., 1838. Reprinted 1975, Arno Press. Pages 226-227.
Location of Original: Stanford University Libraries.
Transcriber: JKG
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net//histories/gazetteer1838.html
 
Created: 15 March 1999[an error occurred while processing this directive]