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HISTORY INDEX>Mosherville Village & Scipio Twp.

Mosherville & Scipio Township



Horace Case and Cynthia Moore were born in Canandaigua County, New York, they were married there in 1827. They came immediately to their farm in Lenewee County, land patent signed by John Quincy Adams in 1826 and patent signed by Andrew Jackson in 1831. Then in 1835, they moved to section 17, Scipio Township, where they purchased 400 acres for $ 500.00; reciepts from recievers office in Monroe, dated July 1st. 1835.

The first house was a log house, no roads were laid out then. Their daughter Edna Case was born here. Then their new permanent house was built in 1853 of grout construction ( gravel, stone and lime) with walls 14-16 inches thick and with heavy hewed oak timbers for cross members.
When the oldest daughter was married to a tall man in the log house he had to duck his head to avoid the low ceiling. The new house was built with 9 foot ceilings and 7 foot doorways.

Hillsdale County`s topography makes it far different than other sections of southern Michigan, it is markedly higher than any of the surrounding territory, and by this reason is the high point of the east-west watershed between Lakes Erie and Michigan.
It is said of a farmhouse near Osseo, that water from the eve on the west side of the house goes to Lake Michigan and the other side goes to Lake Erie.
Some record mentions of a Frenchman who had a trading post near where Mosherville now stands but other than the name Campau, nothing else remains.
Samuel Mosher, came to Hillsdale County in 1835, the year it was platted as a town site. He was a miller and interested only in water power. The best site had already been surveyed and claimed, so he took up a claim of 160 acres near the center of Hillsdale and immediately set out looking for a better site.
This one if he had developed it would have always made him dependent upon tail race waters of the higher site. As he made his way down the St. Joe. River, he came upon a operating mill owned by E.V. Sibley, but two miles south of Jonesville, and another one half mile to the east on another branch of the river was being put into operation by James Olds, from the records Mr. Old`s mill may have been a grist mill, but the Sibley mill was a sawmill.
Two miles downstream at Jonesville was also a grist mill, then one year old and the only one of its kind west of Tecumseh. This mill in Jonesville was a very important part of life for the early settlers, Mr.H. Blount of Frontier recalled that his father carried two bags of corn to the mill on his back to have good meal milled for their Thanksgiving dinner, the trip was on foot and it took three days to complete.

Jonesville also had a saw pit that was in operation for four years, this was a two man whip saw operation and was probably the source for many of the timbers used in the other mills.

There was another mill in operation two miles downstream north of Jonesville, later called the Genesee mill which also was a grist mill.
Not withstanding the competition, Sam Mosher still wanted a mill site with an unlimited fall of water and the power he needed. This he found on the present site of Mosherville and on the Kalamazoo River. He completed the claim and with the Hillsdale land totaled one thousand acres.
He made the survey of the land just as he did his land in Hillsdale and while its not in the official records, family legend has it that he was aided by "Chief Leathernose" himself, ( Baw Beese).

The boundaries of Scipio Township, as we know it today, did not come into being until April 3.1868.

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Silas N.W.Benson, tavern owner and first settler in Moscow, took up the land in Scipio Township at the extreme eastern end, next to Moscow Township in 1833 and owned it until 1861.
In 1871, Charles and Sarah Housnecht bought it. They were the grandparents of the Housenecht who discovered oil in Scipio Township.
It was in the Housenecht family until 1914 when George and Emma Hays bought it and the run down store until 1925 when "Dad" Hays died.
There was a post office at Milnes Store a few years before the turn of the Century. It was owned by The Moreland Oil Company until 1944 when Clayton and Bessie Bowersox bought it. Then Grant and Beulah Anderson purchased it. The present owners (at time of writing) Lawrence and Flossie Clark , purchased it in 1947.
May 18, 1854, Silas Benson gave a 99year lease of one-half acre of land to the Union School District #1, Moscow and Scipio for the sum of $16.00 to be paid in December 1854.
Previous to this there was a school in the area that burned and it was decided to build the Stone School House. Members of the district furnished labor and materials for which they recieved an order on the building committee to be paid out of any money in their hands for building purposes after January 1, 1855. Total amount of orders was $261.83.
School began November 23, 1846 , closed March 5, 1847, 88 days of school.
Public money appropriated $5.00. Each family was charged so much per day per pupil which amounted to about two cents per day per pupil. Total amount for operating school that year $46.19. They had 1632 pupil days. In the records of 1918-1919 they had $690.00 expense. of that was teachers salary . In 1920, Nina Pope taught here for $900.00 per year.
In 1948, the school consolidated with Jonesville, but some classes were held here for five more years.
Across the road from the store, at the turn of the Century, was a blacksmith shop, which later became a cheese factory for a few years then was turned into a repair garage. Wallace Godfrey.
Today, the Stone School and the grocery building are owned and operated by Bretty`s gift shop.

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Genesee Mill [Click here to view full size picture]
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