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History Lives Here Text

1840 Newark Township Census

Onthe 1830 census there is no one described as living within the boundaries ofwhat would later be Allegan County. Although William G. Butter, his wife andtwo children had probably already arrived, it is likely that no census takerbraved the wilderness to count them.


Onthe 1840 census, Newark Township (facsimile inside) took up only a single pageand included present-day Laketown, Ganges, Casco, Clyde and Lee Townships.There were 20 households and 121 individuals. Only heads of households werenamed. The number of males was listed by categories e.g. "under 5,""5 & under 10," etc., followed by a similar table for females.All the people in a single household were listed including boarders and servants.The table on the right lists the number of persons in each family employed in"Mining, Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures and trades, Navigation of theocean, Navigation of canals, lakes and rivers, and Learned professionalengineers."


LeviLoomis A carpenter and joiner, he came to Michigan from New York in 1835 and built asawmill on Swan Creek for the Boston Company. In 1837 he and his wife, Sally,floated their household goods down the river to Singapore where he was hired asa millwright. The Loomis family moved to Ganges Township to take up farming in1840. His sister, Emily, was the third wife of William G. Butler.


StephenMorrison Vermont-born, he came to Saugatuck in 1835 and boughtthe tannery started by Johonnet and Crosby. Shortly after the census he wasmarried to Mary Elizabeth Peckham, the township's first school teacher. The twomen and one woman living in his household in 1830 were probably workers.Morrison lived until 1905 and was one of Saugatuck's most influential citizens.


JamesMcLaughlin Originally from Maine, he built the first flouring mill in Alleganin 1837 and then moved to Saugatuck where he was a ship's carpenter. Somesources credit him with several boats between 1838 and 1849 when he left toaccept a federal position as farmer to the Indians at Northport and, later,built the first mill in Elk Rapids. His first wife was the sister of Mrs.George Smith, the missionary.


WilliamG. Butler The first settler in Allegan County, arriving in 1830. In 1840 he isshown as a farmer with his second wife and her two children, and two olderchildren from his first wife who had died in 1835. By 1850 he had moved toManlius Township. Butler died in 1857, only one of his children, there were atleast five and might have been more, survived him.


BenjaminPlummer Benjamin and Elvira Plummer came to Newark Township from Maine, viaPennsylvania and Ohio, in 1834 and built a sawmill at the outlet from GoshornLake. Their son, Andrew, was the first white child born in the township to growto maturity. In 1850 the family moved to Ganges Township and built a sawmilland store at Plummerville.


AndrewThorner or Thomas Little is known about Andrew Thorner (or Thomas). He islisted as a farmer on the census with a wife and four children under the age offive.


EdwardWilder Probably one of the five sons of Oshea Wilder of Eckford who handledarrangements for the investors in Singapore. One of Oshea's sons was cashier ofthe Singapore bank.


AlmonMoulton His correct given name is Almarin and he was an engineer in the Singaporemill, one of two "Learned professional engineers" on the census. Hemust have taken in boarders because there are seven other workers in hishousehold. He was justice of the peace in 1839, and witnessed the burning ofthe excess Singapore Bank currency in 1842.


HarveyLeonard He was married and had a young daughter under 5. After the census in1840, Leonard got caught up in a belt he was repairing in the old mill. Thebelt drew him upward into the machinery and he was crushed. Old timers say"the horrid marks" remained even after the mill was closed andvacant.


Mrs.Wood The lone female head of household is shown as a woman between the age of20 and 30, with one daughter under 5 and another between 5 and 10. Heroccupation is listed as "manufactures and trades."


DanielPike Little is known of Daniel Pike who is described on the census as between30 and 40, with a wife, four sons and two daughters. His occupation is given as"commerce."


S. D.Nichols Born in New Hampshire, Stephen D. Nichols moved westward to Chicago andthen Michigan City, Indiana, where he was married in 1833. He moved on to St.Joseph before arriving, in 1834, at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River where hebuilt a store, warehouse, docks and became keeper of the lighthouse. In 1855 he moved toa farm in the township. For a period he was also a Saugatuck storekeeper. The 1840census gives his occupation as "agriculture."

MosesNichols A brother of the lighthouse keeper, above, he is described as a"vendor of ardent spirits." He owned land near the mouth of the riverand ran a rough saloon frequented by rivermen and sawmill workers. He marriedin 1 848 and the 1 850 census lists him as a "grocer."


JohnH. Billings In 1837 the family arrived at Allegan from New York and in 1839settled on a farm in Ganges Township. In 1 841 Mrs. Billings and three of theirsix children were drowned on the river when their boat capsized. He marriedagain in 1$42 and the family moved to Manlius Township,


JamesG. Haile James and Martha Haile came to the lakeshore, south Douglas, in theearly 1830's and built a small sawmill and, later, a large Greek Revival homewhich still stands. For many years the home was the social center of the area.


JamesW. Wadsworth A native of Connecticut, he came to Michigan in 1836 via FultonCounty, New York, and bought a farm in Ganges Township where he was thetownship's first assessor. The census of 1840 shows eight children, four sonsand four daughters.


HarrisonHutchins The first settler in what would be Ganges Township. In 1840 hishousehold consisted of himself, his father, a sister and her three children,and his widowed brother-in-law. The old Hutchins homestead is now owned byCrane's Pie Pantry.


MarmadukeWood New Jersey-born Wood came to Clyde Township when it was organized. In 1840he is shown in Newark Township with nine in his household. By 1850 he had movedto Manlius Township and, in 1851, was constable and director of the poor forPine Plains {later Valley} Township..


GeorgeSmith George Nelson Smith, a native of Vermont, carne to Allegan County in 1833with his wife and young son as a missionary, although he was not officiallyordained until April 7, 1837, in the Congregational Church. In 1840 he wascounted among the citizens of Newark Township although he probably lived inManlius Township where he served as clerk 1841-43. In 1849 following continuingharassment by the new Dutch settlers, Smith, his family and his Indian missionmoved to Northport on Grand Traverse Bay.


James HarrisEnglish-born, he arrived in Singapore about 1838 to serve as mill machinist andblacksmith. He also was instrumental in the erection of the Bailey Mill inClyde Township in 1840, opening a tavern nearby. On the 1840 census hisoccupation is not described. About 1866 he returned to the Saugatuck area.