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Michigan

STARTING LIFE ANEW IN THE WOODS

From Gunn's through the unbroken forest to Turtle's, on Toland's Prairie, the journey was made, and the party rested from a two-weeks pilgrimage through Michigan woods. Tuttle's noted cabin was made of whitewood logs, laid up with the flat side inward, but it was then new and neither "chinked" or "mudded up. " At this time there were six log cabins on the prairie—three on the north and three on the south side of the section line or territorial road. Only four were then occupied—but those four families constituted the greatest number of settlers and dwellings in a like extent, this side of Jacksonburg. Before the winter there seven houses on the prairie, all occupied. These, with four families at Comstock, viz.: Caleb Eldred, Leland Lane, Samuel Per-cival, and Henry Little, made eleven families in the township of Comstock, in the fall of 1831. Eldred started his saw-mill at Comstock late that fall. The wheat stacks of Prairie Ronde supplied this colony with grain, and Vick-ers' mill, called the "pepper-mill, " from its diminutive size, was the nearest place where they could get grinding done. It was late in the fall of this eventful year that a party of four emigrants, in a wagon drawn by oxen, made slow progress through some half foot of snow, to a log shanty on the western side of Goguac Prairie. On reaching it, the latch-string was soon pulled, and going in, the settler was asked if he could entertain the party for the night. A quick answer in the affirmative sent the traveler back to the wagon, and the four were soon warming themselves by the rousing fire in the settler's shanty. The recipients of this hospitality were Roswell Ransom of Galesburg, and Cyrus Lovell now of Ionia, with their young wives. And the settler who had proffered them his hospitality was Josiah Goddard, so long and well known in the pioneer life of Calhoun county.

Early Michigan


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