HISTORY OF MACOMB COUNTY
In the compilation of the histories of the townships, care has been taken to exclude all descriptions which have been fully dealt with in the general history of the county. The fact that large numbers of the people who made subject for history are treated biographically, in connection with the history of the township to which they belong, rendered an extensive historical sketch unnecessary, because in the personal history incidents and names are given so intimately associated with the township, and withal so appropriate to the biography in which they occur, that to separate or remove the one would have a tendency to destroy the other. For this reason, a great portion of the history of each township will be found woven with the sketches of its principal inhabitants.
The township of Armadia, or Armada, was organized under a legislative enactment, approved April 22, 1833, lying off from the surveyed townships, Town 5 north, Ranges 13 and 14 east of the meridian, and ordering the first township meeting to be held at the house of Edmund Stewart the first Monday in April, 1834. The formal meeting of the people to consider the question of organization was held in the year 1832, at Armada Corners (Selleck's), and the organization was strenuously opposed, as uncalled for and unnecessary, but was carried later in the day. When the subject of a name came up, but little time remained. Several names were proposed which did not meet with approval, until Hosea Northrup jumped up and shouted the name Armada. The name was carried at once, and probably without a knowledge of its meaning or its fitness.
The First Town Meeting
The first town meeting was held April 7, 1834, in accordance with the statute. Henry B. Ten Eyck presided, with Roswell W. Green, Clerk; Darius Sessions and Minot T. Lane were Inspectors of Election. The officers chosen were: Alfred Goodell, Supervisor; Leonard Lee, Clerk; Erastus Day, Eden Armstrong and Iddo Warner, Assessors; Edmund Stewart and Norman Burk, Overseers of the Poor; John Proctor, Chauncey Bailey and Hosea Northrup, Commissioners of Highways; Asa Palmer, Constable; Martin Buzzell, Alfred Goodell, Minot T. Lane, School Commissioners; Aden Armstrong, E. Steward, M. Buzzell, Asa Holman, Charles Farrar, School Inspectors; Henry B. Ten Eyck, A. Goodell and Darius Sessions, Pound Masters; Joel Cartwright, Job Howell, Peter Woodbeitz, Joseph C. Donaldson, A. Goodell, Benoni Knap and Nathaniel Carter, Overseers of Highways. Justices were appointed by the Governor of the Territory.
Roll of Supervisors -
Alfred Goodell, 1833 to 1836; Minot T. Lane, 1836 to 1839; Solomon Lathrop, 1840 to 1844; Norman Perry, 1844 to 1852; Darius Sessions, 1852 to 1854; Norman Perry, 1854 to 1856; Warren Tibbetts, 1658 to 1859; Charles Andrews, 1859 to 1864; Erastus Day, 1864 to 1866; George E. Burke, 1866 to 1867; Hiram Barrows, 1867 to 1869; Gideon Draper, 1869 to 1870; Charles Andrews, 1870 to 1873; Gideon Draper, 1873 to 1874; Holly Goyer, 1874 to 1880; Charles Andrews, 1880 to 1881; Charles Andrew, 1881 to 1882.
Leonard Lee, 1834; Chauncey Bailey, 1835-36; James Flower, 1837; Ural Day, 1838-39; Ira Selleck, 1840-41; Charles W. Chamberlain, 1841; James McCracken, 1842; Charles W. Chamberlain 1843; James McCracken, 1844-45; Winfield Wisner, 1856; Charles A. Lathrop, 1857; Crawley P. Duke, 1858; Winfield Wisner, 1859; Nathan Adams, 1860; Michael R. Weir, 1861; Nathan Adams, 1862-64; Henry C. Aldrich, 1865-66; George McClusky, 1867; Perrin C. Goodell, 1868-70; Charles A. Snover, 1871; James E. Vincent, 1872; David H. Barrows, 1873-75; Robert B. Vibbert, 1876; George F. Adams, 1877-81.
Asa Palmer, 1834; George T. Powell, 1835; J.S. Becraft, 1836; Abner Barrington, 1837-38; Minot T. Lane, 1839; Sanford H. Corbin, 1840; Joseph C. Donaldson, 1841; Elijah Burke, 1842-44; Samuel Wizner, 1845-50; Perrin C. Goodell, 1851-52; John Johnson, 1853; David T. Pratt, 1854-57; Thomas M. Gould, 1858; Benjamin F. Kellam, 1859; Daniel D. Dunham, 1859; Dounce D. Dunham, 1860; Crowley P. Dake, 1861; H.H. Spencer, 1862; Burton W. Seeley, 1863; Beach G. Whitney, 1864; Burton W. Seeley, 1865-67; Thomas Proctor, 1868-69; Michael R. Weir, 1870-71; George F. Adams, 1872-73; John E. Barringer, 1874-75; David H. Barrows, 1876-77; Elisha D. Lathrop, 1878-79; David H. Barrows, 1880-81.
Justices of the Peace -
Minot T. Lane, 1836; Joseph C. Donaldson, 1836; Alvah Sibley, 1836; Elijah Burk, 1836; M.T. Lane, 1837; Darius Sessions, 1838; Sanford H. Corbin, 1838; Erastus Day, 1839; Darius Sessions, 1840; Solomon Lathrop, 1840-41; Warren Tibbits, 1842; Daniel W. Day, 1843; Darius Sessions, 1844; John P. Hall, 1845; Warren Tibbits, 1846; Urial Day, 1847; Amassa W. Sutton, 1848; Charles Farrar, 1848; John P. Hale, 1849; Joseph P. Foster, 1849; Warren Tibbits, 1850; Gideon Draper, 1850; Seth Aldrich, 1851; A.W. Sutton, 1852; Erastus Day, 1853; Holly Goyer, 1853; Timothy Adams, 1855; Warren Tibbits, 1855; Henry O. Smith, 1855; Erastus Day, 1857; Warren Tibbits, 1858; Horace H. Spencer, 1856 [sic]; Gideon Draper, 1859; H.H. Spencer, 1860; Erastus Day, 1861; Michael R. Weirs, 1862; Charles A. Lathrop, 1862; Gideon Draper, 1863; H.H. Spencer, 1864; William H. Clark, 1864; Eleazer W. True, 1865; David McCrossan, 1866; Gideon Draper, 1867; H.H. Spencer, 1868; Nathan Adams, 1869; Eli G. Perkins, 1870; Nathan Adams, 1870; Henry W. Bradley, 1871; Gideon Draper, 1871; Louis Granger, 1872; Erastus Day, 1872; Louis Granger, 1872; Merril P. Farrar, 1873; Horace H. Spencer, 1874; Gideon Draper, 1875; Abram S. Hall, 1876; Merrill P. Farrar, 1877; Horace H. Spencer, 1878; Gideon Draper, 1879; John E. Barringer, 1879; Albert F. Stowe, 1880; E. Wells True, 1880; Merril P. Farrar, 1881.
In this town the whole Republican ticket was elected in 1882, as follows: Supervisor, Charles Andrews, Republican, 196; A. H. Peabody, Democrat, 98; Sabin O. Stump, Greenback, 23; Andrews plurality, 98. Clerk - B.C. Preston, Republican, 181; Thomas A. Flower, Democrat, 118; Preston's majority, 63. Treasurer - Hiram J. Barrows, Republican, 187; G.F. Hebblewhite, Democrat, 113; Barrows' majority, 74. Justice of the Peace - George F. Adams, Republican, 156; H. H. Spencer, Democrat, 148; Adams' majority, 8.
Pioneers of Armada -
Among the first settlers of the township were John Proctor, Erastus Day, Nathan Rowley, Neil Gray, Norman Perry, Eri Butterfield, Elisha D. Andrews, Elijah Burke, Norman Burke, Chauncey Bailey, Leonard Lee, Darius Sessions, Israel G. Belknap, and Daniel Draper, and a man named Aldrich.
A trip from the Eastern State to Armada, so late as 1831 was one attended with many difficulties. The usual vicissitudes of canal travel from Rochester to Buffalo, and thence per steamer to Detroit, had to be experienced. The journey from Detroit via Royal Oak to Armada, so well known by many an old settler, was traversed; Mother Handson's house was visited, and the nucleus of Romeo surveyed. S.H. Corbin and other settlers came in 1831. After a short time passed at Romeo, the land hunters pushed forward by the locations of Leslie, Day, Edget, Farrar, Iddo Warner, Job Howell and stayed that night with a man named Belknap, whose log shanty stood on the corner of section 29.
The travelers next packed the necessities for a two days' journey and proceeded enroute to section 25, driving their oxen in the yoke. The only houses on the trail at that time were Edmund Stewart's and Andrew Wards. Previous explorers had cleared a road as far east as Belle River, and so the present travelers had comparatively few obstacles to encounter. They camped on the site of Holly Goyer's house, where they were entertained by whip-poor-will calls and the hum of the ubiquitous mosquito. Goodell, who formed one of the party, in inclined to think there were no less than one hundred whip-poor-wills and ten millions of mosquitoes round their camp-fire that night. The next day, the party was joined by Goodell Sr., who brought his family to Romeo from Detroit the day previous. Within a few days, the family went out to their future home, and entered the proverbial log house of the pioneer June 17, 1831, just one month after they left the old homestead in York State.
Here they found themselves in the position of Robinson Cursoe. Leonard Lee was the nearest neighbor, two miles distant, and his home unknown; the Wards were three miles westward, and Peter Ladrich was living on the John Corbin farm. There were no settlers between them and the Tittabawassee River on the northwest, Lake Huron on the northeast and St. Clair River on the east. Mrs. Goodell did not see the face of a white woman for almost three months, until Mr. Nathaniel Carter and her sister came, in the latter part of September, and passed a portion of a day with her. The Indians were frequent visitors during the summer, and at one time they were in camp close by for nearly two weeks. Those savages came from their village west of Romeo. They brought with them about five bushels of whortleberries in bark mocacks, which they traded for flour and meal. At this time the forest was full of strawberries and blackberries, so in this respect the pioneers were fully supplied. During the summer, an acre of land was cleared round the house, and on July 1, 1832, a tract laid down under oats. During the fall, six acres were cleared, and timber prepared for a story and a half house, 18x24 feet. This house was boarded and shingled, the lumber being procured at the Tremble Mill, three miles from Romeo. Steward, Sessions and Mather came to assist the Goodells in raising this house.
[Handwritten note at the tope of page 682: Oscar D. Pomeroy's (my father's) grandfather. The farm was on North Road at the bend of the road about ¼ mile north of 33 Mile Road. Ira Jarvis later owned and in 1964 owned by August Gruemoold. E.P. ]
Leonard Lee was appointed Postmaster about that time. Richard's was mail carrier between Romeo and St. Clair, over the Hoxie trail.
S. H. Corbin left the Goodell settlement for Rochester, to follow his trade of house builder. In 1832, he revisited the place, and aided Mr. Goodell, Sr., in getting out timber for his barn.
In the summer of 1832, Ira Butterfield and Hinckman Butterfield located just north of the Goodells. In the winter of 1832-33, Erwin Rose came in. Elijah Burke came in April 1833, and purchased the S.H. Corbin house frame, previously prepared, now forming a portion of William H. Clarke's barn. Ingraham came in September, 1838. About the same time, S.H. Corbin revisited the settlement, and, in partnership[ with one of the first settlers, raised the mill there and inaugurated the industry in 1834. The wheat crop of 1833 was remarkably good, so that the new mill was a most useful addition to the industries of the entire district. During that year, the Black Hawk war, and the extraordinary precautions taken by Asahal Bailey, troubled the settlers more or less.
The district settled very fast from 1833 to 1836. Perrin Goodell cut a corner on log houses every month in those years and sometimes assisted in raising four houses per month.
The nearest schoolhouse to the Goodell settlement was on the southeast corner of Norman Perry's farm until 1834, when a school building was erected and Miss Betsy Day appointed first teacher.
From 1831 to 1840, the roads through the timber lands were almost impassable in the spring and fall. The Fort Gratiot Turnpike was built by the State and was laid out from Detroit into the town of Lenox in 1831, and finished as far as Port Huron in 1833.
Elijah Burke and a few neighbors laid out the Ridge road in September, 1834, cutting a wagon road from the Parker Adams farm to the lands of Phillip Cudworth. This road soon became famous and formed part of the immigrant road from Port Huron to Romeo, so that now the Burke location was known to great numbers of immigrants as Burke's Corners, now Armada Village.
During the years 1834, 1835, and 1836, the $5,000,000 loan created excitement, and settlers looked for railroads in every direction. One line - the Northern Michigan Railroad - was run through and the quarter line of the south tier of sections in Armada Township. It was the era of paper enterprises, yet settles continued to come in great numbers, and as a rule, had to pass through "The Narrows." The immigrants had a certain amount of money - just enough to purchase a forty or eighty acre tract of land, build a log shanty and begin housekeeping. Then they found their means were exhausted, and that they had to work for others. Many of them performed the duties of day laborers until sufficient cash was saved to enable them to proceed with the clearing and cultivation of their land. During this time, their wardrobes were very limited, and the bottom of their flour and pork barrels easily found. However, there were only five cases where people actually suffered, the interchange of kindnesses preventing anything like a famine. Whenever a deer was killed, portions of the meat were distributed throughout the district.
After Hinckman Butterfield had been here some three years, he miscalculated his resources and found, to his surprise, that his provisions could not last beyond June 1. He was equal to the occasion. Without means to buy flour, he still possessed two good cows, and, with the milk which they produced, and boiled basswood leaves, this settler contrived to eke out an existence for thirteen days. Subsequently, he borrowed $10 from a neighbor, which sum he invested in five bushels of corn.
On another occasion, two brothers drove to N.B. Freeman's store, intent upon purchasing a barrel of flour. They had no money, so they said nothing on financial affairs until the flour was placed in their wagon, when one drove off with it, leaving the other to explain to Mr. Freeman that they had no money just then, but, so soon as they would obtain some, the barrel of flour should be paid for. Freeman had no alternative but to wait.
In 1832 or 1833, there was a small grocery store established at the Branch. The owner was generally employed clearing land in the vicinity. To render himself equal to the work of watching two things at the same time, he hung a dinner-horn on the door, with a notice below, stating, "If no one is here, blow the horn."
The winter of 1842-43 was known as the hard winter. The weather continued severe from "Cold Friday" in November, until the firs Monday of April, 1843, when the snow was two and one-half feet deep on the level.
The first child born in the eastern part of the town was Solomon Butterfield.
The first death in the eastern part of the town was that of Mrs. David Page. She was buried with her head to the north, on a spot where the old cemetery of years ago was located.
The number of acres of improved land in the township in 1850 was 7600; of unimproved lands, 9,711; total cash value of same $222,880. Agricultural products: Whet, 8,615 bushels; corn, 20,070 bushels; oats, 25,186 bushels; all other kinds of grain, 2,900 bushels; potatoes, 5,696 bushels; wool, 11,632 pounds. Dairy products: Butter, 23,916 pounds; cheese, 7,410 pounds. Value of orchard produce, $729. Livestock: Horses, 230; milch cows, 486; working oxen, 215; other neat cattle, 657; sheep, 5191; swine, 1,112; total value of live stock, $34,820.
The above is quite a creditable showing, but appears somewhat meager when compared with the statistical report as returned by the Supervisor in the spring of 1874. We quote: "Number of acres of improved land in occupied farms, 11,922; wood and other unimproved land, 9,340 acres; cash value of farms, $935,895. Agricultural products: Whet, 20,751 bushels; corn, 32,126 bushels; oats, 43,800 bushels; all other kinds of grain, 13,891 bushels; potatoes, 10,932 bushels; wool, 34,577 pounds; pork marketed, 73,211 pounds. Dairy products: Butter, 45,070 pounds; cheese, 9,420 pounds; cheese, 9,420 pounds. Live stock: Horses, 605; milch cows, 625; working oxen, 17; mules 3; number of neat cattle other than oxen and cows), 830; sheep, 16,592; swine, 875; value of live stock of all kinds, $130,653."
These figures show an average increase of 250 per cent for the past quarter of a century. The population of the township in 1880 was 1,734, including Armada Village, 800. In 1850, there were only 1,146 inhabitants; in 1874, 1,562.
From History of Macomb County, p 683-6887
Armada is a thriving incorporated village of 800 inhabitants, settled in 1830, and pleasantly situated in Armada Township, Macomb County, about midway between Romeo and Ridgeway. It is on the Michigan Air-Line Railway, and is the center of a prosperous farming region. It has no water-power, and its manufacturing enterprises are limited, embracing a stave and handle factory, sash and blind factory, cheese factory and a flouring-mill. Armada has four churches - Methodist, Congregational, Baptist and Adventist. The Telegraph is published by C.J. Seely. A good hall in connection with the National Hotel has recently been built. Grain, flour, apples, cheese, staves and handles constitute the principal shipments.
Among the principal business men of the village are: Hiram Barrows, Postmaster, general store-keeper and cheese manufacturer; Elbert M. Cook, C.A. Lathrop, Theodore H. Hinchman, J.W. Jackman, E.D. Lathrop, G.C. Phillips, William E. Preston, Robert F. Robertson, S.B. Shaw, R.B. Stevens, A.H. Telfer and Ephraim A. Jennings, merchants; Edward Bailey, operator of a grist-mill and foundry, three miles east of the village; Lewis Granger, proprietor of Evaporated Fruit Factory; Horace, William and Albert Perkins, owners of the stave and handle factory; Henry Thomson, flour and grist mill operator. The professions are represented by J. E. Barringer, S.T. Beardsley, Charles H. Lincoln, physicians; William H. Clark, Jr., lawyer; Gurdon H. Millard, dentist; Charles J. Seely, editor; Rev. Messrs. D.H. Lamson, of the Adventist; Silas Finn, of the Baptist; Rev. H.N. Bissell, of the Congregational; J.L. Walker, of the Methodist, are the ministers of the Gospel.
The village of Armada was organized under autho9rity given by the Board of Supervisors, October 15, 1869. The original plat of the village comprised the northeast quarter of Section 23; the east half of the south east quarter of Section 23; the Northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 23; the northwest quarter of Section 24; the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 24; the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 24, in Town 5 north, of Range 13 east, or the township of Armada. The act of incorporation ordered the first election to be held at the national Hall, on the second Tuesday in January, or January 14, 1868, under the superintendence of William H. Clark, Jr., William E. Preston and Francis M. Grout. The record of this election is set forth as follows:
President - Hiron Hathaway, 45 votes.
Trustees - Elisha Davis, 19 votes; William E. Preston, 47; James Flower, 51; Ebenezer Brooks, 32; J.E. Barringer, 31; Cyrus S. Farrar, 31; Silas Finn, 31; Charles A. Lathrop, 20; Allen L. Frost, 16.
Assessor - Hiram Barrows, 30 votes; Eben Brooks, 19
Marshal and Treasurer - George McCluskey, 50 votes.
Clerk - William H. Clark, Jr., 32 votes; Ezra F. Sibley, 15; William H. Clark, 4.
Fire Warden - Alfred Watson, 31 votes; Samuel Barton 19.
Street Commissioner - Elisha Davis, 31 votes; F.M. Grout, 17; Spencer Phelps, 1.
Pound Master - Hiron F. Corbin, 38 votes; Corbin received the entire vote under various names.
At a meeting of the board, held February 1, 1868, a series of twenty-seven rules were adopted.
President - Hiron Hathaway, 1868; F.M. Grout, 1869; Hiron Hathaway, 1870; Charles Lathrop, 1871; H.F. Corbin, 1872; John E. Barringer, 1873; William E. Preston, 1874; John E. Barringer, 1875; James Flowers, 1876; John E. Barringer, 1877; Hiram Barrows, 1878; David H. Rarrows, 1879; L.H. Lincoln, 1880; H.H. Spencer, 1881.
Recorder - William H. Clark, Jr., 1868; E.B. Bentley, 1869; Charles A. Snover, 1870; Charles A Snover, 1871; George F. Adams, 1871; D.H. Barrows, 1873; D.H. Barrows, 1874; D.H. Barrows, 1875; D.H. Barrows, 1876; Albert F. Stone, 1877; Albert F. Stone 1878; Ephraim A. Jennings, 1879.
Treasurer - George McCluskey, 1868; Joseph P. Seeley, 1869; Theo D. Burke, 1870; Elisha D. Lathrop, 1871; W.E. Preston, 1872; W.E. Preston 1873; E.D. Lathrop, 1874; E.D. Lathrop, 1875; Robert B. Vibbert, 1876; William E. Preston, 1877; Elbert M. Cook, 1878; Elbert M. Cook, 1879.
The officers for 1882-83 are: Horace H. Spencer, Village President; and George C. Phillips, Edwin A. Frost, Samuel T. Beardslee, Elisha D. Lathrop, A.B. Palmerlee and Dan C. Day, Trustees.
Trustees - 1868, William E. Preston, James Flower, Ebenezer Brooks, John E. Barringer, C.S. Farrar, Silas Finn; 1869, Jabez Hebbelwhite, Cullen B. Clark, S.T. Beardsley, Perrin C. Goodell, Allen S. Frost, Henry Mullen; 1870, James Flower, Aug A. Smith, C.A. Lathrop, A.L. Frost, Charles Macaulay, Winfield S. Hathaway; 1871, William Youngs, James Mahaffy, J. Hebbelwhite, Charles Macaulay, W.S. Hathaway, Allen Frost; 1872, Lewis Granger, W.J. Brown, B.W. Ormsby, James E. Vincent, James Mills, D. H. Barrows; 1873, Ebenezer Brooks, Seth Smith, J.M. Mills, Elisha D. Lathrop, George McCluskey, B.W. Ormsby; 1874, Ezra F. Sibley, Charles E. Marble, Cullen B. Clark, Fred M. Garlick, George McCluskey, Seth Smith; 1875, Cyrus S. Farrar, Jonas Sutton, Bela W. Ormsby (for one year), Nathan Hurd, James Flowers, William F. Preston (for two years); 1876, Charles W. Willett, Charles A. Lathrop, C.W. Millett, Nathan Hurd, Cyrus S. Farrar, Jonas Sutton; 1877, William H. Clark, Jr., Cullen B. Clark, J. Hebblewhite, Elbert M. Cook, Rufus Small, R.F. Robertson; 1878, John England, Elisha D. Lathrop, William H. Clark, Jr., Rufus Small, J. Hebbelwhite, W. H. Youngs; 1879, George F. Adams, William E. Preston, J. Neeper, George Barnes, N.H. Pillsbury, William Lewis.
The first post office of the village was established in 1843, by the appointment of Solomon Lathrop, Postmaster, and the office in the house of Rev. Samuel A. Benton, the Congregational Pastor of that place. Previous to this time, the nearest office was at the "Branch", five miles away, from which mail was brought by any person whom business called in that direction, or else a boy astride a horse was sent for it. The postage on a letter from beyond the boundaries of the State was 25 cents, and often was not prepaid. Letters were valuable in those days, from the fact that they cost so much, and also that they did not come very often. The revenue of the office was so exceedingly small that it was taken rather because some one must have it than because of any honor or emolument it might bring. From Solomon Lathrop it passed to the hands of John P. Hall, who lived near the middle of the village and who removed it from the house of Mr. Benton to his own house. This continued for some years (about 1848), when Charles A. Lathrop became Postmaster, and established the office at his store. This was the first of its having a position in a public building. Dr. Snell succeeded Mr. Lathrop, and the office was kept on the northwest corner of the village square. From his hands it passed to William H. Clark, Jr., who kept it in the same place. He was succeeded by Burton W. Seeley, who kept it on the south side of Ridge street. Mr. Hiram Barrows, the present incumbent, then succeeded to the office, and it removed to the "Corner Brick" and made a money order office, on which basis it has since been continued.
THE ARMADA AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY
The Armada Agricultural Society6 is the outgrowth of the Armada Farmers' and Mechanics' Club, of the same place, which was organized at the call of a few men, who thought to improve their occupation by free discussion of topics connected with their business. The organization was effected in 1870, with Hiron J. Hathaway, President; J.E. Barringer, Secretary; and Nathan Adams, Treasurer. Meetings were held monthly for discussion, and a plowing match was held each year. The last tow years of its existence as a club, a fair was held at the village of Armada, at which no entrance fee was charged and no cash premiums were paid - simply a ribbon to designate a preference. The officers the second year were the same as the first. The third year, John Paton, Sr., was chosen President, and, upon the death of Mr. Adams, C.A. Lathrop succeeded him as Treasurer.
In February, 1873, a meeting was held responsive to a call of citizens for the purpose of forming an agricultural society upon a broader basis, and capable of becoming an incorporated body. Al being favorably inclined, the object was effected, and the Armada Agricultural Society began its existence with Hon. Charles Andrews, President; John E. Barringer, Secretary; Charles A. Lathrop, Treasurer; and a Board of Directors as follows:
The firs fair of this society was held at the society's grounds during the first week in October, 1873. The number of entries was 800, and the amount paid in prizes about $300. The society paid all premiums and expenses, and had a balance left in the treasury. The society was organized on the basis of a purely agricultural fair, and no race track is provided, and no premiums offered for speed. The people have supported it with great liberality and each years finances have been a token of the success of the enterprise. The grounds are tastily arranged with evergreen and forest trees, nicely fenced and provided with fine offices, building and sheds, and the society has funds in the treasury.
The following gentlemen have acted as Presidents: Charles Andrews, six years; John McKay, two years; W.D. Pettibone, one year; George W. Phillips, at present. John E. Barringer, Secretary from the organization. Treasurer: Charles A. Lathrop, three years; James Steven, two years; W.D. Pettibone, one year; Charles Andrews, one year; H. Barrows, one year; George C. Phillips, Treasurer at present.
Number of entries last fair, 2050; amount paid out in premiums, $548.25.
THE ARMADA C.L.S.C.
The Armada Branch of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle was organized in the fall of 1880. The circle consists of two classes of members - the regular, who are members of the central organization, to which they are accountable for the amount of reading done; and the local, who are simply members or the local circle, and in no way responsible to the central society, and who are at liberty to carry on the full course of reading or not, as they see fit.
A four-years' course of reading is designated, which "embraces the general subjects of history, science, literature and the Bible study," and a diploma is given to the regular members who complete the course in a satisfactory manner. The regular charter members were: Mrs. H. Barrows, President; Miss Lizzie Fletcher, Secretary and Treasurer; Mr. A. Lincoln, Mrs. A.E. Johnson, Miss Jennie Macauley, Dr. C.H. Lincoln, Mrs. Charles Carter, Miss Hatie Andrews, Miss Sophia Cryderman, H.J. Rarrows.
The local charter members were: Rev. J.L. Walker, Mrs. E.W. Fletcher, Mrs. N.H. Pillsbury, John E. Day, Mrs. W.D. Pettibone, William H. Youngs, George C. Fletcher.
Additions have been made to both classes of members from time to time, and the prospects seem to indicate for the future the same increase of interest that has marked its history so far. The circle meets every week for the discussion for the required reading for the week, and listening to original papers upon subjects pertaining to the lesson.
The officer at the present time are: Mrs. Charles A. Lathrop, President; Mr. H.J. Barrows, Secretary and Treasurer.
BRUCE AND ARMADA LITERARY SOCIETY
They young people met at the residence of G.W. Phillips December 11, 1878, for the purpose of organizing a literary society. A committed of three, consisting of R.J. Crawford, T.M. Stephen, and C.E. Phillips, were appointed to form a constitution and by-laws. Saturday evening, December 24, 1878, met at the residence of J.E. Day and adopted the constitution, and also elected charter officers, viz: President, J.E. Day; Vice President, G.W. Phillips, Jr.; Treasurer, T.M. Stephen; Secretary, C.E. Phillips; Librarian, Mrs. J.E. Day.
THE ARMADA LITERARY SOCIETY
The Armada Literary Society was organized as the Athenaeum in 1877, with Hiram J. Barrows, President, and Albert Stow, Secretary. In 1878, it was re-organized, under the name of the Armada Literary Society, with Hiram J. Barrows, President. With this organization of the Ladies' Literary Society of the village consolidated in January, 1880. Among the members who have held the office of the President are Hiram J. Barrows, Bert C. Preston, Albert F. Stowe, Sterry J. Lamson, Elisha D.A. True, Lewis M. Smith. The society has a collection of fifty volumes.
The first schoolhouse in Armada Township was situate on the land of Col. Perry, near Armada Corners, built of logs, cut and put up by a "bee", and covered with lumber donated by Noah Webster - 1000 feet. The deficiency was supplied with slabs. The name of the first teacher is not remembered. The second house was a log one, near the house of Alfred Goodale. A school had been kept in the barn of that gentleman by Miss Harriet Perkins. Miss Betsey Day, now wife of Erastus Day, taught the second school. This was in 1836. About this time, a schoolhouse was built at the village. This house was built of slabs stood up endwise, spiked to a frame made of poles, and covered with slabs. The first teacher in this school was a Miss Day, who came from Massachusetts, and soon returned to that State. The first male teacher in this school was George Lathrop, son of Solomon Lathrop, in 1838 or 1839. He was followed by Miss Amelia Bancroft, who was succeeded by Joseph Goodell. This young man was exceedingly tall, and it is said that when he jumped the rope with the children, his head appeared above the ridge of the building. Charles A. Lathrop was a teacher in this school. In 1843, Rev. S.A. Benton, who had lately arrived from Vermont, where he had received a classical education, had a class of seventeen pupils in the parlor of his home, in which he was assisted by Dr. J.P. Gleason. This lasted one term, soon followed by Rev. Eleazer W. True, a fully educated man from the East, who opened a private academy in a building erected for that purpose in the Southeast part of the village. This school was successfully conducted from 1848 to 1853, and was the last of the select schools of Armada.
Rev. Mr. Benton was pastor of the Congregational Church of Armada for several years; removed to Iowa where he died about the year 1870. Rev. Mr. True died in Armada Township in 1874. Of the teachers in the public school, it is impossible to even mention all. The following are some of them: Edwin Pettibone, Clark Hall, S.E. Whitney, ---- Stowe, E. M. Plunkett, A.S. Hall, ------ Kidder, A. M. Keeler. The first structure soon gave place to a frame building, and was superseded by a brick building. This was enlarged to meet the growing demands of the school, which is at present in a thriving condition.
Thank you to Jane Devlin for contributing this Armada History! This information was taken from History of Macomb County, Michigan;
M.A. Lesson & Co., Chicago 1882
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