map showing Michigan Prairie School
In 1877 Warren Wydemeyer and his brother Philetus, tiring of their
residence in Michigan and being of a somewhat restless nature, accepted
the advice of Horace Greeley and turned their faceswestward. One fine day
they shows up in HoneyGrove and beganlooking over the country,
They wandered out northeast to the prairie which now bears the name
of Michigan, and were charmed with the country. Upon investigation they
learned that this particular section of the moral vineyard was state school
land and could be purchased for the modest sum of $2.50 per acre. They
immediately purchased land and made ready to build, in the meantime sending for their families. They sent such glowing reports of Texas back to
Michigan that a furor was created in the community in which they had
lived and the Texas fever spread from family to family.
They sold their possessions there and headed for the Lone Star State.
Among the first to follow the Weydemeyers were DavidKane and wife and
their seven children. Mr. Kanesoon after his arrival made a large purchase
of land. The next spring Charles Zinnecker came. He boughtland and began
the erection of a home.
Six months later, upon the completion of his residence he was joined by his
family. By this time an organized line of immigration was formed from
Michigan to Texas.Among those who came were Jerry and John Miller,
R. Brode, the Emorys, Saylors, Birdsalls, Hixons,Meyers, Morris, Sherwoods,
Foxes and others.
The names of all who came cannot be given, but there were 25 to 30
families and from 100 to 150 people in the settlement. All who came
bought land,some a section, some a half-section and some a quarter-
section. All built homes, most of the houses being handsome and
substantial structures. All of the settlers engaged in farming, but some
gave special attention to cattle and horses. This was especially true of the
Weydemeyers and Zinneckers. None of the wild land was fenced at that
time, and cattle had a wide range. Soon, however, the pastures were fenced
and cattle raising was not so profitable.
The Weydemeyers and Mr. Zinnecker took their cattle to the Wichita
country. In order to get the benefit of pasture, they had to take up
government land. This they soon relinquished, the land not being worth
the taxes. These lands are now in the center of a big oil field, worth
thousands of dollars per acre.Of the heads of families who came from
Michigan fifty years ago and established the Michigan settlement, it is
believed that W. C. Zinneckeris the only one now living.
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