History History

Calhoun Co. Gen. Soc.
Vital & Other Records




Calhoun County History Publications On-Line

The following links will take you to the Michigan County Histories Project of the Michigan Council of Libraries.  From their web site:  "The Michigan County Histories collection is a collaborative effort of Michigan's Council of Library Directors. The collection is projected to provide access to 192 histories dating from 1866 to 1926. There are 195 volumes in 164 titles currently online. The collection is made possible, in part, through a generous Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. Read more about the project."

These histories are fully text searchable, and can be displayed in text, Adobe .pdf, or image format.

Biographical review of Calhoun County, Michigan : containing historical, biographical and genealogical sketches of many of the prominent citizens of to-day and also of the past.  2 v. (699 p.) : ports. ; 29 cm. Chicago : Hobart & Mather, 1904.

AKA:  "1904 Portrait and Bio Album"

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Calhoun County business directory for 1869-70 : with a history of the county, giving a detailed historical and descriptive sketch of each township, city and village.  426 p. : map ; 24 cm. Battle Creek, Mich : E. G. Rust, 1869.

AKA:  "E.G. Rust Directory"

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History of Calhoun County, Michigan; a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests, by Hon Washington Gardner.
Gardner, Washington, ed. 1845-1928, 2 v. (1354 p.) front., illus., pl., ports. 27cm. Chicago, New York, The Lewis publishing company, 1913. 

AKA: "Gardner's History"

Vol. 1
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Vol. 2
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1830-1877 History of Calhoun county, Michigan with illustrations descriptive of its scenery, palatial residences, public buildings, fine blocks and important manufactories.

212 p. front., plates. ports., map. 37 x 30 cm. Philadelphia, L. H. Everts & co., 1877.

AKA: "1877 History"

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Portrait and biographical album of Calhoun county, Michigan. Containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the presidents of the United States and governors of the state.
5 p. L., [19]-1046 p. incl. plates, ports. 28cm. Chicago Chapman bros., 1891.

AKA: "Chapman's Portrait & Bio"

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An account of Southwest Michigan and Calhoun County : with special matter relating to Calhoun County.  Weissert, Charles Adam, 1878-1947.  385 p., [19] leaves of plates : ill.,ports. ; 26 cm.  [Dayton, Ohio] : National Historical Association, Inc., [1924?]

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Brief History of Calhoun County  

The boundaries of Calhoun County were set off by the Michigan territorial legislative council October 29, 1829. The county was named for John C. Calhoun, who was then a member of President Jackson's Cabinet, Secretary of War. The old Territorial Road which crossed through Ann Arbor, Jackson, and Marshall to what is now the Benton Harbor/Saint Joseph shoreline of Lake Michigan crossed through the county. The county was organized as a independent county on June 29, 1832. The first land entry at Albion was made in 1830 by Ephraim Harrison. At Marshall, the first settlers were George Ketchum who came in April 1830, and built a sawmill on Rice creek. A grist mill went into operation in late 1832. Sidney Ketchum was the original proprietor of the village of Marshall. The first settlers in the Battle Creek area were Dr. Foster and Isaac Tolland. Ezra Convis also located near this area and became the first representative of the county to the state legislature in 1836. Many communities, especially Marshall, hosted stops on the Underground Railroad. Sojourner Truth also died in Battle Creek area in 1883 and is commemorated by a monument. The first school was established in 1832 and the first schoolhouse served as a church as well. The first courthouse was finished in 1838. In 1850, there was a jail break from the jail in the courthouse basement when nine prisoners escaped after burning off the lock fastenings with an iron heated at a jail stove. The current courthouse in Marshall was completed in 1955. Some county court offices are also located in Battle Creek.


Links to Calhoun County township pages

Many links and pages of historical information can be found on the pages for the individual townships.  For example, on the Homer page you'll find links to the Homer Historical Society, the Index to the Homer Index newspaper, and transcriptions of Civil War era letters of the Ayling and Archer families.


Other Important Links

Historical Societies

Michigan Pioneer Society