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EARLY SETTLEMENT OF SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN

BY A. B. COPLEY.
June 7, 1882.

In the spring of 1825 Baldwin Jenkins looked the country over, and chose location near Pokagon, Cass county, put in a patch of corn near Niles, and after exploring some farther, went back for his family, arriving at his future home in Cass county, one mile north of Sumnerville, November 22, 1825, taking possession of a vacant wigwam for the first winter, having been preceded two days by Uzziel Putnam, Sr., who was the first settler of Cass county, whose farm is in sight of and adjacent to Pokagon village, on the Michigan Central railroad, and whose son, Hon. Uzziel Putnam, Jr., was the first white child born in Cass county. "At this time, " says Rogers' history of Cass county, "there were but nine white families in western Michigan (except the mission), seven in Berrien, and two in Cass; Fort Wayne being the nearest settlement. " After this, settlers increased slowly, still coming from the Fort Wayne route. In the fall of 1828, Dolphus Morris left Ohio and came to Joseph Gardner's, in Pokagon township, Cass county, and in the spring of 1829, March 27, settled in Van Buren county, on the northern part of Little Prairie Ronde; this being the first settlement of Van Buren county. So Thompson in 1823, in Berrien county, Putnam in 1825, in Cass county, and Morris in 1829, in Van Buren county, are the pioneer settlers of the counties named.

MICHIGAN


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