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Michigan

STARTING LIFE ANEW IN THE WOODS

The settlement on Gull Prairie was one year old; Col. Isaac Barnes and family settled there in May, 1830; Wm. Giddings and family, and others, followed in the same year. The settlement at Marshall was a "babe in the woods, " at this time, for it was on the 18th of April, 1831, that George Ketchum, N. P. Wisner, S. M. Allen, and some three or four others pitched their tents there. The settlement on Goguac Prairie was a foundling of the same year, for in 1831 Daniel and Jonathan Thomas and John Stewart, Jr., with their families, settled there; Josiah Goddard coming later. While the settlement of Battle Creek, the youngest and spunkiest of them all, first saw the light in October, 1831. At that time the first house was built, which Dr. Foster moved into; then came J. J. Gurnsey, Samuel Convis, and others. During the early part of the summer of 1831, Simeon Mills, then of Ann Arbor, with two men, and "a breaking team, " consisting of two yoke of oxen and a plow, came to Marshall, and broke up land for Sidney Ketchum. This was the first plowing done in the county of Calhoun. * They were compelled to go to Ann Arbor, a distance of 70 miles, to get their plow sharpened. This was done by one of the party who rode on horseback carrying the plowshare in a bag. At this time George Ketchum was erecting the first house in Marshall. In July of the same year, Simeon Mills, with his two brothers, Willard and Sylvester, and part of their families, made the journey in. a lumber wagon drawn by horses, through the unbroken wilderness from Ann Arbor to Gull Prairie. They forded the streams; but how they got over the boggy, treacherous, or watery marshes, it would be as difficult to tell as it was to do.

Early Michigan


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