Building the Town from the Ground Up

The first post office was maintained in the home of resident George Phillips in 1839, and would eventually have it’s own independent location built by 1848. In addition to the newly formed post office in 1848, the township was given its first hotel/tavern that was licensed to the home of resident, John Ferguson. Throughout the mid 1800’s, a number of small merchant businesses would begin to spring up in the area. In 1856, a firm in Ohio called “Lee and Cory” created the town’s first steam sawmill. Several other mills would spring up in the decades following the original one, that would quite helpful in the territory’s burgeoning lumber trade. One saw mill was quoted with 1,500,000 feet of manufactured lumber in the eight to nine month season. (

Carriage and Wagon shops also began to spring up in the mid-late 1800’s in addition to general repair and foundry shops that were essential to the primarily agriculture-based livelihoods of the residents of the township.

While the second half of the 1800’s brought on a large amount of progress for the developing township as it slowly expanded it’s population, it was not always a picturesque environment. In 1852,the town experienced a brief smallpox outbreak that would leave some dead and a number of others infected but lucky to see the end of the outbreak. The township’s board of health would took temporarily took possession of the home of Lewis C. Birch, one of many of the infected, and use it to house other smallpox patients in the township without risking further spread of the disease. (