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Michigan

STARTING LIFE ANEW IN THE WOODS

Sometimes they carried their load over, piece at a time, and the wagon also in the same way, if the horses or they themselves could not draw it over. This journey was through the oak openings; they did not find one half mile of timbered land on the whole route. They forded the Battle Creek near its junction with the Kalamazoo, and, ascending the sloping knoll on the west side, encamped there for the night. They were upon the spot where the real founder of Battle Creek, its best friend and benefactor, Judge Sands McCamly, afterwards built his residence. It was Sunday night. They spent the Sabbath here. The pioneers not only brought the rifle, ax and plow with them, but their Bibles also. These did not forget the Sabbath, although they were in the wilderness. They read from the sacred volume, sang hymns, and prayed there in the grove—"God's •We have since learned that James Simonds (now of Charleston, Kalamazoo county) plowed the fall before (1830) for Isaac Thomas, on Goguac Prairie. first temple. " Sunday night a heavy thunder storm came upon them, and the party, fourteen in all, got under their cloth tents or wagons, and braved it out. The storm cleared away and an evening of quiet beauty settled down upon the lovely valley that lay stretched out before them, "A vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet. " All about them was in the quiet state of nature. The sound of the settler's ax had never been heard in this region. This was in July, 1831. The party, next day, taking the old road to Gull Prairie, arrived there next before nightfall. They were surprised with the wondrous beauty of this prairie the first they had ever seen. It was then in all its floral pride and bloom. Simeon exclaimed, as he viewed it: "This is a beautiful region —God willing, I settle here!" It has been his home ever since.

Early Michigan


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