Kent County, Michigan

The following are the writings of Irene (Speckin) Taylor, who was the daughter of Henry and Lillian (Montgomery) Speckin, both originally of Ionia County, MI.  Lillian was the daughter of George and Clara (McCord) Montgomery.

"I have mentioned before about a small town named McCords in Kent County. In the Michigan Place names there is a short story about this town, but nothing as to how it got the name. It is in Cascade Township and was once on an old stage line, between Ada and Hastings.

In 1888, the Detroit, Lansing, and Northern Railroad came through. It was given a post office in October, 1888 until, October 1947. In April of this year we drove to Kent County and found a township map and located the town of McCords. There are a few houses and an old mill. The depot and post office are gone. According to my old plat map, John McCordís farm was in this section. (1916 Index to the Kent County Plat Map M, McCord, Jno. H., Section 36, Township Cascade.) We found an old cemetery in Whitneyville and looked around. To my surprise I found the graves of Roy Munger and his wife, Cornelia. He was Merrittís son, Martha Rowleyís brother. Right across the road was a Methodist church. I went to the ministerís house and a woman there told me her father-in-law was 87 years old and he might know something about the family. She gave me his address and I went to see him.

He was very nice and said he had heard of John McCord over the years. John McCord had donated land from his farm to the R.R. for the train station and Johnís home used to sit where the depot used to be. John McCord then bought another farm and from his direction, we found the house. He said when the post office was established, this is how the town got its name. Later John McCord sold his farm and moved to Ionia. According to Martha, Nellie McCord was later made his guardian. John died at the County Farm in 1929. He is buried in Easton.

The man I talked to was James Bailard. I wrote to the post office archives in Washington for more information about McCords and I received several papers. Two are site maps, showing the exact location, one is a description of the site signed by the first postmaster, Charles Freyermuth, 1888, and one signed by the postmaster, Rolland Colby. A nice piece of family history and Iím glad I pursued it. There is also a McCords Highway and a McCords Creek.

In reading over the Civil War record for David McCord (Johnís brother) I came across an affidavit signed by John McCord, to my surprise the Notary was a William Lind, this is one of the men my mother has mentioned so many times, she always wondered who he was. In checking the Cascade Township map, I found him living right across the road from John McCord."

Writings of Cynthia Stanley

"My grandmother, Mildred Colwell Moore, told me that her grandfatherís brother was John McCord and he owned a farm, along with his wife, Jemima, in Cascade Township, Kent County, Michigan. At some point the railroad was coming through and he "donated" (unwillingly) the land needed for the track and station. The tract cut right through his farm. McCords as it is called now, is a sleepy, little, woodsy neighborhood in the country. There is a road called McCord that runs through it. The station no longer stands, but the house may still. Iíve never pursued locating it.

John and Jemima (Kline) McCord had no children. He took in one of his brotherís motherless daughters, Nettie McCord, for a number of years, "because she looked so much like her Uncle John" (according to Mildred). Nettie was the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Norris) McCord. Nettie McCord eventually married Clarence Renwick and raised a family in Saranac, Ionia County, Michigan.

John and Joseph were the sons of Gilbert and Emeline (Bridges) McCord.

John has been the most difficult to research of the brothers because so many records give conflicting ages and places of birth.

Johnís first marriage lists his age as 23 in 1869, born in Ohio (about 1846). His second marriage lists his age as 52 in 1902, born in West Virginia (about 1850-wife Fannie Duffey, no children). 1850 census lists him as age 5 years, born in Ohio. The 1860 census lists his age as 17 years, born in Ohio. His obituary in 1929, lists his age as 88, a native of Virginia.

Death record lists his age as 88 yrs. 2 mos., 10 days,in 1929, born in New York on 16 Nov 1840. Informantís name appears to be Charles Gates of Ionia (not a relative to my knowledge, possibly works at County Farm); wife-Jeramima McCord.
He died of L-H___________ cerebral hemorage; buried at Easton Cemetery; Undertaker: Allen E. Stett____?. He died at the Ionia County Home. I use the date 16 Nov 1846 as his most likely birthdate.

1870 Burr Oak Tp., St. Joseph County, MI, lists John McCord, 25 yrs., born-Ireland, wife-Jemima.

1870 Easton, Ionia County, MI, where his father and his siblings are, he is listed as 19 yrs., born-Pennsylvania, living with the Joseph Norris family. I believe that this was actually his brother, Joseph McCord, who would have been about that age, and who two years later, married Joseph Norrisís daughter, Mary.

1880 shows John McCord, age 34, born-Virginia, with his wife, Jemima in Pennfield, Calhoun County, Michigan.

1900 Cascade Tp., Kent County, Michigan, John McCord, born-Nov,1850; age 49; born-Ohio, Parents born-NY, married 20 years (but no wife living with him).


Contributed by Cynthia Stanley
Created: 23 November 2007