HISTORY INDEX>Somerset Township

Somerset Township
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Somerset Township, originally a part of Wheatland Township became a seperate township by an act of the Legislature passed March 20, 1837.

The history of Hillsdale County recalls that the villages located in the township in 1837 were Jerome, Somerset Center and Somerset Post Office (or Gambleville, as it was known long ago). The township is bisected by what is now known as U.S.12.
In 1838 the township contained two sawmills, 326 head of meat cattle,40 horses,93 sheep,603 hogs and a population of 441 persons.

By the census of 1874, the population had increased to 1,009 with 539 males 470 females. A total of 2,278 tons of hay were cut in 1873 and there were 196 farms in the township . The number of horses had grown to 473.

Somerset was named for the township of the same name in Niagara County, N.Y., from which many of the early settlers in the township had emigrated , including David Herrington and Herman Pratt.
Elias Alley,Esq., from Cayuga County, N.Y. came to Michigan in the fall of 1833, arriving at Detroit September 20. The trip from there to Somerset took two days, and he was the first actual settler in the area. Elias Alley was a tanner, currier and shoemaker, following the business for 40 years.
Louise Alley, who currently lives in Somerset Center (At the time this story was done), is a direct descendant of Elias Alley. Louise Alley, who provided the information and photos for this page, said the seventh generation is now living in the township, and they are her children. Four generations of Alleys live in the township at the present time.
The village plat of Somerset Center was laid out Feb. 17, 1872.

Somerset Township today because of its man made lake communities Leanne and Lake Somerset is the highest populated township in Hillsdale County.
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