WilliamG. Butler and His Land Grants
Asmore public records become available on the web, interesting facts are comingto light about the land purchases of William G. Butler, who, with his wife,Mary, and two children were the first settlers in Allegan County, and thefounders of Saugatuck.
Williamwas born September 28, 1799, in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Jonathan andElizabeth (Gay) Butler. He was married in 1 826 (or possibly 1827) to MaryWells, also originally of Hartford, but they were married at Dundaff, a smalltown near the southern boundary of Susquehanna County in northeastPennsylvania, where William was a merchant.
Movingwest, they may have stopped first at Elkhart, Indiana. It is quite likely thatthey traveled up the St. Joseph River to its mouth, and there boarded theschooner that brought them to the mouth of the Kalamazoo in May of 1830. Atleast one of their children arrived with them. They camped at the mouth whileWilliam built a raft, and poled or rowed it upriver to a flat area near wherethe river widened into a lake. He built a log house, and waited whilegovernment surveyors worked to get the land ready to put on the market. To getgroceries and dry goods he walked along the beach back to St. Joseph where anold account book shows visits on May 14, June 4, June 10 and November 18, 1834,and April 4, 1835. Purchases included coffee, tea, sugar, fabric, and doorlatches.
Whenthe surveyors were finished, in 1833, Butler went to White Pigeon Prairie wherethe General Land Office was located. Now called White Pigeon, the small townjust north of the Indiana border, in St. Joseph County, south of Three Riversand west of Sturgis, still exists, and the building that housed the Land Officein 1833 has recently been restored, and is open to visitors.
WILLIAMGAY BUTLER of Allegan County, Michigan Territory
Purchasedat White Pigeon Prairie
Aug.15, 1833 1.59 acres
May20, 1834 83.83 acres NESW sec. 9Saugatuck Twp Allegan Co.
Nov.6, 1834 -32. acres SWNE sec. 4 SaugatuckTwp. Allegan Co.
Nov. 6, 1834 -22. acres- S1/2NE sec. 20 Spring Lake Twp. Ottawa Co.
Dec.1, 1835- 1.78 acres -NE sec. 15 Saugatuck Twp. Allegan Co.
Dec. 1, 1835 -40 acres -SESEsec. 8 Saugatuck Twp, Allegan Co.
Dec. 1, 1835 - 23.24 acres- NW sec. 14 Saugatuck Twp. Allegan Co.
Dec. 1, 1835 -80 acres -W1/2SEsec. 3 Saugatuck Twp. Allegan Co.
(with Rensselaer Rose Crosby and Edwin S. Jonnott)
Sept.10, 1838 -80 acres -E1/2SE sec. 27 Saugatuck Twp. Allegan Co. (with WilliamPlummer)
Dec. 15, 1855 40 acres -NENEsec. 9 Laketown Twp. Allegan Co.
March10, 1856 -160 acres NESE sec. 9 Laketown Twp, Allegan Co.
SE N E sec. 9 -"
W1/2NEsec. 10 -"
March10, 1856 -40 acres SWNW sec. 15 Saugatuck Twp. Allegan Co.
Theland purchases of William G. Butler in Saugatuck and Laketown townships,Allegan County, are marked with diagonal lines in shaded areas. He purchasedthree separate lots, a total of 83.63 acres in the middle of section 9, whichincluded most of the center portion of the section, on both sides of theKalamazoo River. In addition to the land entered at the General Land Office,early atlases show that he purchased a great deal of other land in AlleganCounty, including pine lands upriver on Silver Lake and the small lake inLaketown Township later called Gilliguana Lake. The records are found at www.glorecords.blm.gov