Book, containing other Hillsdale townships,
Available at the Mitchell History Center
Hillsdale, Hillsdale Co, Michigan

Pages 328-334 ONLY




page 328

The township of Woodbridge, lying in the interior of the county, a little southwest of the centre, was formed from Fayette in 1840. Its original territory embraced within it's boundaries the present townships of Woodbridge, Cambria, and the west half of Amboy. Cambria was set off in 1841, and part of Amboy in 1850.

It now contains a total area of thirty sections, and is bounded on the north by Cambria; east by Ransom; south, by Amboy; and west, by Camden township.

The general surface is elevated and rolling, quite regular in its character, except along the water-course and to the dignity of hills. The entire township was covered, originally, with a heavy growth of timber, chiefly beech, maple, linn, poplar, black and white ash, with considerable oak, hickory, and black walnut. A few acres of the primeval forests are still found scattered here and there over the township, giving evidence of its former wealth and magnificence in the grand deciduous trees once so common to this section. The soil is of a clay and gravelly loam, very fertile, producing corn, potatoes, fruits, and the various cereals in the greatest abundance and perfection. As a grazing and stock-raising township, it has few superiors in the county.

St. Joseph's River, its principal water-course, enters the township from the north, and flows southwest, through the central part. Silver Creek, flowing southeast, intersects the northeast part. These streams, and their numerous small tributaries, afford good water-power privileges, and excel-

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lent drainage, rendering possible the tillage of nearly the entire township. Cub Lake, lying partly in this town and partly in Cambria, is found near the centre of the north border.

The township has a total area of 19, 228 acres, of which 6000 acres are improved, and in 1874 contained a population of 1386 inhabitants, of whom a large majority are agriculturists.


The following are the names* of those who purchased land of the United States prior to April 27, 1838, and whose lands were situated within the present boundaries of Woodbridge.

These lands were all situated in township 8 south, range 3 west.
Section 1. - Wilder & Hastings, Barnett Wightman, Elisha Brown, A.S. & Stephen Clark, John R. Willis.

Section 2. - John B. Norris, Celesta Goodrich, Elisha McNeill, Joseph True.

Section 3. - H. P. Sartwell, Joseph R. Williams, John Morgan, Celesta Goodrich, Francis Nelson, Schuyler W. Cotton.

Section 4. - A. J. Comstock, A. S. & Stephen Clark, Dwight Woodbury, Russell Forsyth, John Morgan.

Section 5. - Henry Forman, Dwight Woodbury, Russell Forsyth.

Section 6. - David W. Whitford, Henry Forman, Wilder & Hastings.

Section 7. - Andrew Taylor, George W. Jermain, Amos Bigelow, Wilder & Hastings, Dwight Woodbury.

Section 8. - George W. Strong, Ezekiel Lamphere, Green, Hubbard, A. S. & Stephen Clark, Russell Forsyth.

Section 9. - P. H. Sartwell, Burton H. Lamphere, Green Hubbard & Lyster, William N. Green, Dwight Woodbury.

Section 10. - H. P. Sartwell, A. F. Oliver, Lothrop & Buck, Dwight Woodbury, Stiles Stanton, Edwin Randall.

Section 11. - Jesse Chapman, Abram Andrews, Dwight Woodbury, Stiles Stanton.

Section 12. - William Saxton, Wilder & Hastings, Stiles Stanton, August Ford.

Section 13. - Jacob Clark, William Sherman, William P. Green, Elleferrouno Elraseo Maxon, John Stuck, Irwin Camp, John McVickar.

Section 14. - Lothrop & Buck, Ralph Pratt, Dwight Woodbury, William Sherman, Stiles Stanton, John McVickar.

Section 15. - Sartwell & Oliver, Joseph R. Williams, Lothrop & Buck, A. S. & Stephen Clark, William P. Green.

(Section 16 omitted From Book)

Section 17. - Samuel McCourtney, B. Harrington, Wilder & Hastings, Dwight Woodbury, A. Forman.

Section 18. - Ira Barton, Wilder & Hastings, Dwight Woodbury.

Section 19. - Ebenezer C. Aiken, Wilder & Hastings, Dwight Woodbury, John W. Johnson, William P. Green.

Section 20. - E. C. Aiken, Green, Hubbard & Lester, A. S. & Stephen Clark.

Section 21. - Joseph R. Williams, William O. Wood, E. C. Aiken.

Section 22. - Lothrop & Buck, Wilder & Hastings, E. C. Aiken, George W. Jermain.

Section 23. - Wilder & Hastings, John McVickar, C. H. & William T. Carroll.

Section 24. William Greenleaf, I. C. Vorhees.

Section 25. - Green, Hubbard & Lester, Stiles Stanton, C. H. & William T. Carroll, John R. Willis.

Section 26. - Green, Hubbard & Lester, Stiles Stanton, John R. Willis.

Section 27. - C. Pratt, C. L. Grant, P. Bronson, William P. Grant, Wilder & Hastings, Green, Hubbard & Lester, Sally Ann Falkner.

Section 28. - Joseph R. Williams, C. Pratt, C. L. Grant, P. Bronson, William G. Grant, Thomas Burt, William P. Green.

Section 29. - Joseph R. Williams, A. S. & Stephen Clark.

Section 30. - William P. Green, Stiles Stanton, And Sally Ann Falkner.

Of those named in the foregoing list, William SAXTON, Jacob CLARK, Burton H. LAMPHERE, John B. NORRIS, and John W. JOHNSTON seem to have been the only ones who became actual settlers. The remainder were speculators, who had purchased these lands of the government for $1.25 per acre.

*At the time this list was compiled (1838) by Hon. I. P. CHRISTIANCY, the ownership of nearly the entire township was vested in the men whose names are here represented.


The first permanent settlement** within the present bounds of Woodbridge was made by William SAXTON, who came from Raisin, Lenawee Co., Mich., and settled on the northeast quarter of section 12, in the winter of 1834-35. Mr. SAXTON came from Canandaigua, Ontario Co., N. Y., originally, and had been a resident of Lenawee County since 1830. He purchased his land - 160 acres- of the government, in 1834, and during the fall of the same year came on and built a log cabin. He was accompanied by his wife and four sons, - then small children, - viz: Wallace, James, Stephen, and John. During the last nine miles of his journey, he was obliged to cut out his own road for the passage of his ox-team and sled. Mr. SAXTON served as a soldier during the Black Hawk war, and is now a resident of the State of Iowa.

The next settler in the township was Jacob CLARK, who came from Andover, Allegany Co., N.Y., and settled first in Monroe Co., Mich., where he remained two years. In December, 1836, he located upon the north part of section 13, the present site of the village of Frontier. Mr. Clark had also purchased of the government, visited his land the fall previously, and erected a small log cabin. His sons Robert W. and Sylvester, and daughters Rebecca, Sarah and Eliza, came with him. Mr. Clark drove in, and owned

** It is claimed by some old residents that a man named STORY was the first settler in Woodbridge. He came from the East, had abandoned his wife, and, in company with another woman, settled down in the wilderness, on the line between sections 7 and 8. He built a cabin, and cleared some four or five acres, cutting in on both sections. After a brief period his place of concealment was discovered by his wife, or her friends, when he again fled to parts unknown. As early as 1838 the ground cleared by STORY was covered with a luxuriant growth of red raspberry bushes.

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the first span of horses in the township. One of them, with its mate, had been driven by him from Allegany Co., N.Y., to Monroe Co., Mich., in 1834.

Daniel SAXTON, a brother of William, came from Canandaigua, N. Y., and settled here in 1837. He is a resident of the town at the present time, and assures us that at the time of his arrival the only families living in what is now Woodbridge were those of his brother William SAXTON and Jacob CLARK.

Samuel WHEELER came from Benton, Yates Co., N. Y., and settled in Woodbridge, then Fayette township, on section 10, in December, 1838. He had purchased five 80 acre lots, and paid for his land before coming. He was possessed of considerable means, and was the first to open a farm to cultivation to any considerable extent.

In September of the same year Richard BRYAN and his family came in from Cheshire, Berkshire Co., Mass., and settled upon section 5. He had served as a soldier during the war of 1812, and was accompanied here by his sons William, Richard, Jr., John, and Ezra, all of whom are residents of the township at the present time. When the elder BRYAN built his first log cabin, the lumber which he fount it necessary to use in the construction of gables, floors, doors, etc., was carried from Cambria Mills on his back. The elder son, William BRYAN, built the first framed house in 1841. It was a small structure, and stood on the west half of the northeast quarter of section 5. John BRYAN built the second framed dwelling, some four or five years later. This was a more pretentious edifice. Worthy neighbors, who still resided in the log dwellings, when called upon to express their opinion of neighbor John's enterprise and taste, replied that they "preferred log houses, they were warmer."

Harvey FISH, a native of New York, came in from Ohio, and settled upon the farm now owned by John BRYAN, late in the fall of 1838. Romanta and Luther PHINNEY, brothers, settled upon section 10, the HARRINGTON place, at about the same time.

In January, 1839, the settlement was increased in numbers by the arrival of the families of Burton H. LAMPHERE and Patrick McCARTNEY, who, though originally from Ontario Co., N. Y., came in from Plymouth, Wayne Co., Mich. Messrs. LAMPHERE and McCARTNEY, had visited the township the fall previously, purchased their land, and, together, had erected a log cabin for Mr. LAMPHERE on the northeast corner of section 9. McCARTNEY's lot was situated one mile west of his neighbor's (LAMPHERE's), being the northeast corner of section 8.

Mr. McCARTNEY, who is now a resident of the village of Cambria Mills, relates that when he settled in Woodbridge, with his wife and two small children, his possessions consisted of a small load of household goods (which he had hired a man from Plymouth to bring in for him), a cow, a yoke of steers, and a pig. In midwinter his family occupied the cabin before it was completed. The surrounding country for miles was heavily timbered with forests of beech, maple, linn, whitewood, white and black ash, with considerable oak and black walnut. He remembers that the timber growing upon sections 4 and 5 was especially handsome. Deer, wild turkeys, wolves, bears, and cats, and many other species of wild fowls and animals, abounded on every hand. As an instance of the abundance of deer, he mentions that some two or three years after his settlement here he was engaged by two well-known hunters, named Pulaski FRAKER and Leonard SWIGER, to take into Hillsdale deer, killed by them, and that at one load he hauled 20 deer from the residence of James H. FULLERTON to the small store kept by Henry and Fred FOWLER, in Hillsdale. Ephraim HOISINGTON also became a resident in 1839.

Cyrus PATTERSON came from St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., and located in Toledo, O., in 1837. He afterwards removed to Lenawee Co., Mich., where he remained until January, 1840, when, having purchased land in township 8, range 3, he settled upon the premises where he now resides. Mr. PATTERSON was elected supervisor in 1844, 1845, 1846, and again in 1851, and has honorably served his town in various other official capacities.

John W. JOHNSON, another well-known pioneer, became a resident during the same month and year. He came from Broome, Schoharie Co., N. Y., and settled in Oakland Co., Mich., in 1835. While a resident of the latter county he purchased his present homestead in Woodbridge, and the deed for his land bears the bold signature of Andrew Jackson. His sons, Orrin B. and John L. JOHNSON, came in with him. His nearest neighbor was Patrick McCARTNEY, who lived to the north of him, about four miles distant. James H. FULLERTON lived to the southeast, at about the same distance. The nearest grist-mill was at Jonesville, and it occupied three days' time to go there with an ox-team and return.

Mr. JOHNSON's log cabin was not built until after his arrival on the ground of his future home. It was occupied by his family before completion. But a good rousing fire was kept burning continuously in the wide, old-fashioned fireplace, and the generous heat imparted from it made ample amends for the unchinked crevices in the outer walls. During the remainder of the first winter, assisted by a man whom he had hired, he cut down the timber on ten acres, and in the spring planted one-half of it with corn and potatoes, from which he obtained a good crop. The following fall the whole ten acres were seeded with wheat, which he bought at Jonesville for 35 ½ cents per bushel. This crop also yeilded well. He relates that when the wheat had begun to ripen he was obliged to keep his children out around the field during the daytime, to drive and frighten away countless numbers of wild turkeys that he doubts not would have destroyed his crop unless this precaution had been taken. Deer also were so plentiful that, during the first winter, they came up and browsed on the tree-tops, while the wood-chopper was at work on the trunk of the same tree.

Lemuel BLOUNT, with his sons Albert and Amasa, came from the town of German, Genesee Co., N. Y., and settled on the premises where he now resides in March, 1840.

Asa L. and Joseph DIVINE, Jr., brothers, came from Springfield, Lucas Co, Ohio, in 1841, and settled on section 6. Two years later their father, Joseph, Sr., and brothers, William and James, became residents of the township. Representatives of these families are now very numerous in the northwest part of Woodbridge. The DIVINES came from Cayuga Co., N. Y., and during the war of 1812, Joseph, Sr., served as captain with the New York

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State troops on the Canadian frontier. Among other settlers who came in during the winter of 1840-41 were Orrin COBB, Urias HOYT, a Methodist preacher, Jacob SUMNER, and Chester STODDART, the first supervisor of the township.

Previous to 1838, John B. NORRIS, a resident of Canandaigua, N. Y., had purchased of the government the south half of section 2 and north half of section 11. In the fall of 1840, accompanied by his son, Joel B., he visited his purchase, and erected a log cabin on section 2. This house was occupied in May, 1841, by Jared B. NORRIS and his wife. A few years later the father and sons, viz., John B., Jared B., Joel B., James B., Jason B., and Jackson B. NORRIS, all became residents of the township.

Calvin YOUNG and sons, Francis D., Milton, Ebenezer, Job, and Jeremiah, from Monroe Co, N. Y., settled upon section 19 in 1842.

Other settlers of the years 1842 and 1843 were Dennis D. WRIGHT, Curtis and Obadiah SEELEY, John ASHLEY, Chauncey ASHLEY, Isaac P. HOAG, Robinson S. LOCKWOOD, a prominent township officer, and who built the first sawmill on section 10, about 1845, Lewis SPRAGUE, who has creditably served his townsmen in many official capacities, Jeremiah I. SABIN, Horace STARKWEATHER, and Silas P. THOMAS.

Cornelius FULLER and sons, Orson, Sidney, and David, from Sodus, Wayne Co., N. Y., settled on the farm now owned by David HATCH, in 1844.

The residents of 1850, other than those already named, were as follows: William GOODWIN, Rufus WYLLYS, William BELL, Daniel CAMPBELL, Adolphus RANDALL, Danford FISH, Thomas FINCH, Samuel PURCHES, William BURGESS, Merritt J. CHAPPEL, Theodore P. CARBINE, William PURCHES, Truman SAMPSON, Edmond VAN VLACK, Seth TUBBS, Chas. S. BILLINGS, Nelson KELLOGG, Fernando C. HORTON, Warren STEVENS, William VICKERS, Orlando H. AVERY, Levi WESTON, Albert WESTON, Lewis BECK, Levi HILL, Alanson VAN VLACK, Benona SAMSON, William H. CLARK, Jonathan B. ABBOTT, Mr. BROWN, Daniel P. WHITNEY, Orrin VANAKIN, William LUKE, S. W. FARR, Aaron STEELE, John A. BEARD, George LEE, Mathew FAIRFIELD, Simeon STEEL, William OSBORN, Josiah JENKINS, Edwin HUNGERFORD, Stephen and Elias HUNGERFORD, Henry ALVERSON, Walter BAKER, Chauncey MAYFIELD, Thomas BRAMAN, Martin H. ROE, Cornelius ACKER, John SANDRSON and Peter PERRY.

James A. KEECH was married to Miss Sarah CLARK in the fall of 1838. This was the first marriage. Squire PACKER, of Litchfield, officiated. The first birth was that of Erastus PHINNEY, son of Romanta, who was born in 1838. The first death was that of Eliza, daughter of Jacob CLARK, who died of scarlet fever, in the spring of the same year (1838).


By an act of the Legislature of the State of Michigan, approved Jan. 28, 1840, Woodbridge was formed from Fayette. Its original limist, and the place designated for holding the first township-meeting, were by that act defined as follows:

"All that portion of the county of Hillsdale, designated by the United States survey as townships numbered 7, 8 and fractional township 9 south, of range 3 west, be set off into a separate township, and organized by the name of Woodbridge, and the first township-meeting therein shall be held at the house formerly occupied by John McDERMAID, in said township.

"This act shall not in any wise affect the collection of taxes assessed in the county of Hillsdale for the year 1839, or in any township thereof; but the same shall be collected as if this act had not passed.

"This act shall take effect, and be in force, on and after the first Monday of April next.

"Approved Jan. 28, 1840."

The township derived its name from Gov. William WOODBRIDGE, for many years Territorial Secretary, and during the years 1820-21 acting Governor of the Territory of Michigan.

Cambria was set off as a separate township March 15, 1841 and the west half of Amboy, being the fractional township of No. 9 south, range 3 west, March 28, 1850.

1840, 1841, and 1842.

The township clerk for the years 1840 and 1841 neglected his duty so far as recording the names of the township officers elected and holding office during these years. He even fails to inform us of his own name.

The following is the entire record of the proceedings of the first township-meeting, copied verbatim:

"At a meeting of the electors of the town of Woodbridge, held at the house of Lorenzo RICE, Monday, the 6th day of April, 1840, Hiram V. WEAVER was chosen Moderator; Samuel WHEELER, Samuel ORR, Moses WILLITS, Baron B. WILLITS, Inspectors; and Ira MEAD, Clerk.

"Voted three dollars bounty on wolves.
"Voted three dollars bounty on Bears.
"Voted that hogs be free commoners.
"Voted that all boars found running at large shall be altered at the risk of the owner.
"Voted that our next township-meeting be held at this place."
The recorded proceedings of the township-meeting for the year 1841 are as follows:

"At the annual township-meeting for the town of Woodbridge, held at the house of Burton H. LAMPHERE, 1841. Voted that a bounty be raised on bears of five dollars, to be paid the killer. Also five dollars to the wolf. Voted that fifty dollars be raised for the payment of the above bounty. Voted that one hundred and fifty dollars be raised for the expenses of the township. Voted ten dollars for town books and book-case. Voted that all swine run at large, except boars over three months old, which if found at large, to be altered at the risk of the owner. adjorned to meet for next annual meeting at the residence of Chester STODDARD.
"Chester STODDARD,
"Harvey FISH
"Jacob SUMNER,
"Jacob CLARK, Inspectors. "

At the annual township election, held in the spring of 1842, the following-named officers were elected:
Supervisor, Chester STODDARD; Township Clerk, Burton H. LAMPHERE; Treasurer, Jacob SUMNER; Assessors, Urias HOYT, Luther PHINNEY; Inspectors of Schools, Jacob SUMNER, Jared B. NORRIS, Urias HOYT; Overseers of the Poor, Dennis D. WRIGHT, Lemuel BLOUNT; Commissioners of Highways, Jared B. NORRIS, John W. JOHNSON, John

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KING; Justice of the Peace, Chester STODDARD; Constables, Dennis D. WRIGHT, Romanta PHINNEY; Overseers of Highways, District No. 1, William SAXTON; No. 2, Cyrus PATTERSON; No. 3, Samuel WHEELER; No. 4, Chester STODDARD; No. 5, Patrick McCARTNEY; No. 6, Joseph DIVINE; No. 7, William D. STOUT.

Following are the names of the principal township officers from 1842 to 1878, inclusive:

1842-43 Chester Stoddard
1844-46 Cyrus Patterson
1847-48 John King
1849 Lewis Sprague
1850 William Bryan
1851 Cyrus Patterson
1852 Richard Bryan, Jr.
1853-54 Lewis Sprague
1855 Joel B. Norris
1856-58 Sylvester W. Farr
1859-60 Lewis Sprague
1861-63 William Divine
1864 Warren Atwood
1865 William Divine
1866-67 Jason B. Norris
1868-69 Warren Atwood
1870-76 Peter Hewitt
1877 Jason B. Norris
1878 Amos H. Bartholomew

Township Clerks
1842 Burton H. Lamphere
1843 Samuel Wheeler
1844-47 Robison S. Lockwood
1848 Gideon G. King
1849 Robison S. Lockwood
1850-51 Richard Bryan, Jr.
1852-53 Jonathan B. Abbott
1854-57 Alanson Van Vlack
1858-60 William Divine
1861-64 Horace Carbine
1865-71 William A. Calkins
1872-74 John D. Freed
1875-77 Warren Atwood
1878 John E. Hueston

1842 Jacob Sumner
1843 Chester Stoddard
1844 William Bryan
1845 Chester Stoddard
1846-48 Jared B. Norris
1849 Harvey Fish
1850 Daniel D. Divine
1851 Lewis Sprague
1852 Robison S. Lockwood
1853-57 Walter Baker
1858 Lewis Sprague
1859-61 Jason B. Norris
1862 Peter Hewitt
1863 Warren Atwood
1864 Joseph Ellis
1865 Jason B. Norris
1866 Alonso Hewitt
1867 John W. Johnson
1868-69 William N. Lewis
1870-71 Henry M. Ewing
1872 Thomas C. Robison
1873-76 Hiram M. Powers
1877 Samuel Ingalsbee
1878 Orrin Carpenter

Justices of the Peace
1842 Chester Stoddard
1843 John King - Richard Bryan
1844 Jared B. Norris
1845 Cyrus Patterson - Lewis Sprague
1846 John King - Milton Young
1847 Lewis Sprague - Urias Hoyt
1848 Eleazer Millard
1849 Orrin Vanaken - John P. Covey
1850 Samuel Wheeler - Levi Weston
1851 William Bryan
1852 Harvey Fish - Walter Baker - Milton Young
1853 Walter Baker - Rufus Willis
1854 Walter Baker - Robison S. Lockwood
1855 Joseph Divine, Jr.
1856 Milton Young
1857 Allen S. Perry
1858 Robison S. Lockwood
1859 Luther Rogers - John P. Pettibone
1860 Milton Young
1861 John P. Pettibone
1862 Francis D. Young
1863 Joseph Divine
1864 William Divine - Henry W. Comfort
1865 John P. Pettibone
1866 Francis D. Young - Luther G. Rogers - James G. Rounds
1867 Warren Atwood
1868 Samuel Divine - Merritt J. Chappel
1869 Nathan C. Gavitt - Lewis Harington
1870 Francis D. Young - Elijah G. Givvon
1871 Luther G. Rogers - Merritt J. Chappel
1872 Warren Atwood
1873 Nathan C. Gavitt - James Noble
1874 Francis D. Young
1875 Joseph Divine - Jonathan Sherman
1876 Jonathan Sherman
1877 Frank Van Duzen
1878 George Blount - Francis D. Young

Commissioners of Highways
1842 Jared B. Norris - John W. Johnson - John King
1843 Joseph Divine - Burton H. Lamphere - Cyrus Patterson
1844 John W. Johnson - Gideon G. King - Richard Bryan
1845 Gideon G. King - Joseph Divine - Richard Bryan, Jr.
1846 Gideon G. King - Lewis Sprague - Isaac P. Hoag
1847 Gideon G. King - Lewis Sprague - William I. Bennett
1848 Charles Clark
1849 Isaac P. Hoag - Orrin Johnson
1850 Jason B. Norris - Alanson Van Vlack - Walter Baker
1851 Walter Baker - Levi Hills
1852 Josiah Jenkins
1853 Alanson Van Vlack - Harvey J. Cox
1854 Joel B. Norris - Harvey J. Cox
1855 Alden B. Nash
1856 Jason B. Norris - Harvey J. Cox - David L. Russell
1857 Harvey J. Cox
1858 Merritt J. Chappell - Robert Martin
1859 Harvey J. Cox - Peter Hewitt
1860 William Fitzgerald - Joseph Ellis
1861 Peter Hewitt - Albert E. Weston
1862 Albert E. Weston
1863 William Fitzgerald
1864 David N. Hatch
1865 John Ingalsbee
1866 Peter Hewitt
1867 Joseph Stoddard
1868 Peter Hewitt
1869 Hugh Loughrey
1870 Benjamin Rochelle
1871 Andrew A. Ewing
1872 Franklin Fuller
1873 Albert Vincent
1874-75 Andrew A. Ewing
1876 Franklin Fuller
1877 Washington Whitney
1878 Hiram M. Powers

Urias HOYT and Luther PHINNEY were elected in 1842; Harvey FISH and Lemuel BLOUNT in 1843; and Cyrus PATTERSON and Alanson VAN VLECK in 1852. In all the remaining years the supervisor has served as assessor.


"To the Town Board of the township of Woodbridge, in the county of Hillsdale, and State of Michigan: We, the undersigned legal voters of the township of Woodbridge, in the aforesaid county and State, do hereby request your honorable body to issue an order, and call a special township meeting in the aforesaid township, according to provisions of the law in such case made and provided, for the purpose of taking a vote to raise by tax on the taxable property of the township (and to issue bonds of the township for the same) the sum of one thousand three hundred dollars, or a sum of money sufficient to pay to each person who may volunteer into the service of the United States (under the call of the President of the United States, dated Oct. 17, 1863, for three hundred thousand volunteers) the sum of one hundred dollars, and to transact such other business as may come before the meeting. Dated at Woodbridge this 12th day of December, 1863." Signed by D. C. CHERRINGTON, James DIVINE, C.L. NORTHRUP, T. P. CARBINE, L. BENSON, O. CARPENTER, D. DIVINE, W. D. HARRINGTON, Joseph DIVINE, A. BAKER, A. E. WESTON, and Peter HEWITT.

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In response to this request the Town Board, composed of Messrs. William DIVINE, Supervisor; Horace CARBINE, Township Clerk; and John P. PETTIBONE, one of the Justices of the Peace, ordered a special township-meeting, to be held at the town-house, in said township on Wednesday, the 30th day of December, 1863. Of the 121 electors present at this special township-meeting, 101 voted in favor of paying a bounty.

Feb. 13, 1864, the Town Board issued an order, naming Feb. 24, 1864, as the time when another special township meeting should be held, to take action whether a bounty of $100 should be paid to each volunteer enlisting in the United States service, and accredited to the town of Woodbridge. At this meeting the whole number of votes thrown was 108, of which there were in favor of a bounty, 58; against bounty, 49; defective, 1.

At the annual township meeting held April 4, 1864, it was voted, -
"That the town of Woodbridge pay a bounty of $100 to each person who has volunteered into the military service of the United States since the commencement of the present war, who has not received $100, or has not deserted from the service, and all of those who may volunteer into the military service of the United States during the year A.D. 1864. All that have received any portion of $100 shall receive enough, with that which they have received, to make $100.

"That the township raise by tax on the taxable property of said township $1000 annually, and the interest thereon, to redeem the bonds of said township, issued to procure volunteer soldiers to fill the several quotas of said township."

The foregoing proceedings of the annual town meeting were by a vote rescinded at a special township meeting held at the town-house, April 25, 1864, and in their stead, it was voted "that the fund was to be available to those only who were already in service and credited to the township, and to those who should enlist between the 25th day of April, 1864, and April 1, 1865."

It was voted, in 1848, "to raise $100 to build a town-house as near the centre as may be." The vote was rescinded the following year.

In 1855 it was voted "to raise $250 to build a town-house, the site to be the northeast corner of section 16. Voted $10 to pay for the site, and that John A. BEARD, A. FULLER, and Cyrus PATTERSON be building committee."

The following agricultural statistics are compiled from the census report of 1874:

Acres of taxable land………………….19,220
Acres of improved land……………….. 5,692
Acres of wheat growing, June, 1874…... 1,608
[below for 1873]
Acres of wheat harvested,…….. ………..1,493
Acres of corn harvested, ………………..1,175
Bushels of wheat harvested,…….……..18,622
Bushels of corn harvested, ……………53,222
Bushels all other grain harvested, …….13,369
Bushels potatoes raised,…….…………..4,794
Tons of hay, harvested,…………………...840
Pounds of wool sheared,…….………….7,188
Pounds of pork marketed,……..……...120,470
Pounds of butter made…………………42,520
Pounds of fruit dried for market………..6,695
Pounds of maple sugar made…………...5,445
Bbls. of cider made……………………….222
Acres in fruit……………………………...402
Value of fruits and vegetables…..……$39,315
Number of horses in 1874…………...……378
Number of mules in 1874…………………...9
Number of working oxen in 1874………….10
Number of milch cows in 1874……………456
Number of other cattle in 1874……………547
Number of swine in 1874………………….733
Number of sheep in 1874…………………1,484
Number of sheep sheared in 1873………1, 625


Frontier, situated in the eastern part of the township, is a post-office station on the route from Hillsdale City to Amboy. It is 11 miles south of the former place, and contains 2 stores, steam saw-mill, stave-factory, several small mechanic shops, and about 150 inhabitants.

The first settler upon the site was Jacob CLARK. Warren ATWOOD, Esq., general merchant and postmaster, opened a store here about 1863. Dr. W. A. CALKINS, a well-known physician of the township, began to practice at about the same time.


In 1840, when Woodbridge included the present towns of Woodbridge, Cambria, and part of Amboy, the board of school inspectors met and organized (by describing certain boundary-lines) 11 school districts. But little was done, however, to further the advancement of education until 1843, when the first school-house, a log one, was erected one-half mile west of the southeast corner of section 5. May 4, 1844, the board of school inspectors met, and organized by electing Isaac P. HOAG chairman. They then proceeded to examine Jane M. BARCLAY, "who offered herself as a school-teacher. Finding that she possessed the necessary qualifications to teach a primary school, a certificate was granted her."

From a report made Nov. 1, 1844, we find that the total amount of money to be apportioned for school purposes was $19.98, which was divided as follows: To District No. 1, 18 scholars, $8.39; to District No. 2, 24 scholars, $11.59. Totals, $19.98

Lucinda D. LOCKWOOD and Emily FISH were granted certificates as teachers April 12, 1845.

The total amount of school moneys on hand for the year ending Nov. 1, 1846, was $50, which was apportioned as follows: To District No. 1, 23 scholars, $19.49; to District No. 2, 22 scholars, $18.64; to District No. 7, 14 scholars, $11.86.


The Methodists were the first to form a religious society, which they did as early as 1842. They usually met at the house of Silas P. THOMAS, and were visited by Elders SCOTT, JONES, JACKSON, and other circuit preachers, who held meetings once in two weeks. Among those who were connected with this organization were Chester STODDARD and wife, Jacob SUMNER and wife, Urias HOYT and wife, and Mrs. Harvey FISH. The society was long since disbanded, and no organization of this denomination exists in the township at the present writing.


This society was organized at the JOHNSON school-house, by Rev. John N. MARTIN, Jan. 29, 1853. The original members were 13 in number, as follows: Joseph DIVINE, William DIVINE, Dorothy DIVINE, Jerusha DIVINE, Esther DIVINE, Parmelia DIVINE, George DIVINE, Almeda DIVINE, Sarah DIVINE, A. S. DIVINE, Betsey STEVENS, Hannah AVERY, and Elmira WILLIAMS. A house of worship was erected in 1861, costing $1500, and will seat about 250 persons. Among the pastors of this church who have succeeded Mr. MARTIN may be mentioned Revs. Myron WHEELER, D. HOLMES, B. BALDWIN, W. O. DINNIS, J. W. RHOADES, Asa A. MILLARD, Unknown MILLER, W. H. CLAY, and Aaron B. LILLEY, the present pastor. Present membership, 18.


This society was organized at the school-house in District No. 3, by Elder L. S. PARMELEE, March 17, 1860.

The constituent members were Franklin SOUTHWORTH, O. H. AVERY, D. D. DIVINE, E. VAN VLACK, L. CHASE, Henry FROST, William GILLIS, Warren STEVENS, Elmira WILLIAMS, Lydia WESTON, Esther DIVINE, Mary SOUTHWORTH, Hannah AVERY, Permilla DIVINE, Sarah VAN VLACK, Mary CHASE, Caroline FROST, Jane GILLES, Sarah DIVINE, Julia HALL, Lucretia VICKERS, Elizabeth WESTON, Lydia FISH, Eveline WILLIAMS, Mary A. WILLIAMS, Nancy MURRAY, Emeline MARSH, Harriet DRAKE, Robert TAYLOR, A. E. GRIFFITH, Jane Y. GRIFFITY, Emrancy COX, William WESTON, Philomela GILLES, Horatio CONE, Alice CONE, and Perces ROGERS. A church edifice was commenced in 1867, and completed two years later. It cost $1500, and has sittings for 250 persons.

Elder PARMELEE remained with the society as its pastor for several years. Since his departure they have no settled pastor. Present membership, 10.


A class of this denomination was formed at the school-house in District No. 1 about 1850. Among the first members were Chauncey ASHLEY, Betsey ASHLEY, Palmer CAREY, David FULLER, Olive FULLER, Daniel BAILEY, Ruth BAILEY, Franklin FULLER, Lovina FULLER, Ransom SCOVILL, Adelaide SCOVILL, William SAXTON, Frank NEVINS, and Jane RATHBONE.

A church edifice was commenced about 1866, and completed some six or seven years later. IT has sitting for 200 people. Present membership, 35. Rev. Mr. STOCKWELL, pastor.


In 1844 the town board was constituted a board of health, and $25 was voted to purchase a burying-ground and to fence the same. The supervisor was authorized to select a plot of ground suitable for the purpose. The plot selected is situated near the southeast corner of section 10. Other grounds have since been laid out for burial purposes on sections 5 and 20. These grounds are all under the control of the town board, and all necessary expenditures for repairs, fencing, etc., are paid by the township.

Our thanks are due to Cyrus PATTERSON, John W. JOHNSON, John BRYAN, Lemuel BLOUNT, Patrick McCARTNEY, George DIVINE, Robert W. CLARK, Daniel SAXTON, David FULLER, Franklin SOUTHWORTH, John E. HUESTON, township clerk, and many others, who have rendered us valuable assistance by the information imparted concerning the history of Woodbridge township.


From 150 Years in the Hills and Dales:

Jefferson Township

Ransom Township

Woodbridge Township







This page created on October 20, 2003