GAINES.
Gaines did not take its place as an independent town until 1848, having been until that date identified with Paris, after the organization of that town in 1839.

The settlement of the town was at first slow; the same reasons retarding its occupation that are given in connection with Byron - the heavy timber and the prospective hard work in fitting the land for cultivation.

The growth of timber in Gaines was very heavy.

Where such is the case, and no value is attached to it, it is repellant.

The old “Gull Road” ran through this township, and the earlier occupants located themselves near it.

Yet, though the town was accessible - just on the limits of civilization – but few ventured in.

The first is said to have been Alexander Clark; in the spring of 1837, who took up land at the part of the town since called Kelloggville.

The next year added Alexander L. Bouck, and the Kelly brothers, Foster and Charles, Joseph Blain, Andrew Mesnard, Rensalear, his son, and Orson Cook.

In 1839, Silas Burlington was added to the little number.

1840, added: R. R. Jones, Thomas Blain, and William H. Budlong.

With those three families the town was stationary for some years. William Kelly came in the fall of 1843.
We are able further to give as early settlers, without the exact date of entry:

Bryan Greenman, Stephen A. Hammond, R. R. Sessions, William. Kelly, Daniel Woodward, John E. Woods, James M. Pelton, Peter VanLew, Peter, William and David Dias.

At the organization of the town in 1848, the vote was thirty-five.

There were elected as the principal officers:
Peter Van Lew, Supervisor; James M. Pelton, Clerk; Charles Kelly, Treasurer; Joseph Blain, Josiah Drake, Robert Jones, Justices.

The pioneer school in the town was taught by Miss Mary Darling, in a little building near where stands the "Red School House”.

This was in 1842. She afterwards married a Methodist minister, by the name of Glass, and resides in Grand Rapids.

The United Brethern have a flourishing society, and a church in the south part of the town.

The society was organized by the Rev. S. C. Buck, in 1858.

As the result of a protracted meeting, he gathered a band of about forty.

They held their meetings in school-houses, until the erection of their church in 1867: this cost $2,700.

The society have a parsonage and settled pastor - the Rev. Mr. Mower.

Mr. Buck is still resident in the town.

The church now numbers about seventy.
The history of the town has few salient points.

When we look at its splendid farms, we can see its history--the changing of the forest - the haunt of bears, wolves, and wildcats-into the town as we see it.

Since 1870 the town has had railroad connection by the G. R. Valley Road.

A station called "Hammonds” has given a chance for a business village and a market center.

But the town may be set down as almost purely agricultural, and as a farming town it will not suffer by a comparison with any other.
For two things Gaines will ever be memorable:

The one the motto borne on her banner at the time of the Buchanan Presidential campaign; and the other, the fact that she was the first town in the State to show that manhood was to be respected for its worth, and not its color.

For this conquering of deep-rooted prejudice, all honor to Gaines.

In 1873, Mr. Hardy, a colored man, was elected Supervisor.

Is not Gaines the pioneer on this path of civilization?

We might tell "wolf and bear stories" ad infinitum, but who cares for these, unless the interesting fact of somebody's being killed by the "varmints," is connected with them.

But Gaines has no such interesting episodes in her history; as it was in every case the beasts that got killed, and not the men.

We might tell of Johnny Green catching a wolf-trap with his heel, but think we will not, as Johnny is now a portly Justice of the Peace, and might be offended should he read the story.

A reference to the census table, given in the general history, will show that Gaines, after 1850, was not slow in filling up.

As it is a town that must necessarily be almost exclusively agricultural, it may now be considered fully populated, and that too, by people who know the value of the soil they occupy, and appreciate the town.

In some parts there is still the new appearance; but the evidences of recent settlement are fast disappearing, and the evidences of thrift and increasing wealth meet the observer in every part.