Early Blissfield, Michigan.

The town of Blissfield, Lenawee county, originally comprised township seven south, of range five east.

At its organization, in 1827, the towns of Palmyra, Ogden, Riga, and the territory south to the Maumee River, were in its boundaries.

The organization of the above towns, at a later period, left it with only a territory six miles square, which was covered with a heavy growth of timber— black walnut, hickory, whitewood, etc.

William Kedzie, of Delhi, Delaware county, New York, entered, at the United States Land Office, at Monroe, May 3rd, 1824, the first lands sold by the Government in this town, on sections twelve, thirteen and fourteen.

Hervey Bliss, from Monroe county, made his purchase June 19th, on sections twenty-nine and thirty, moved his family into the town in December of the same year, and was the First inhabitant.

It was this circumstance that gave its name to the town.

Gideon West, from the same place, made his purchase June 28th, 1824, on section twenty-nine, and moved on with his family in January, 1825, and for a time was the only neighbor to Mr. Bliss, nearer than ten miles.

George Giles purchased his farm on February 23rd, 1825, but did not move his family on until the spring of 1826, when he located on section thirty-one.

Almond Harrison, from Berkshire, Massachusetts, made his purchase September 17th, 1825, on section thirty, and began immediately to chop and clear, preparatory to building a log house, in which to put a young wife from his native State.

Samuel Buck, a young man, late of Ohio, purchased a farm on section twenty-nine, October 29th, 1825, and believing the injunction that "it is not good that man should be alone," chose a help-meet in the person of Miss Margaret Frary, (step-daughter of Gideon West,) and was married November 23rd, 1826.

This was the first wedding, but not the only one; on the same day Mr. George Stout was married to Miss Delight Bliss.

There was no one authorized to perform the marriage ceremony nearer than Monroe, and therefore they had to send a messenger to that place (thirty miles) on foot, (no horses in the town) expressly to call Loren Marsh, a Justice of the Peace in and for that county, it being taken for granted that he could officiate in the unorganized counties of the Territory.

On May 14th, 1826, William Kedzie, with his family, was landed on the pier in La Plaisance Bay, from the steamer Niagara, no communication with the shore, not even a canoe, and no shelter to protect them.

The floor was so covered with boxes of merchandise that only a small spot near the edge could be found where his wife and children could lie down, and there he had to watch all night for fear they would fall into the deep water.

The next day in the afternoon a small sail vessel came down the river, on which they were conveyed to the landing near the village of Monroe.

The next October, after building a log house, and before the doors and windows were in, they moved into the woods five miles from any inhabitant, and were greeted on the first night by a jubilee from wolves.

Early in the spring of 1827 quite an immigration came into the town, namely:

Benjamin and Daniel H. Clark, Jonas Ray, Anthony McKey, and Benjamin Tibbitts in the north part, and Isaac and Samuel Randall, Morris Burch, Ebenezer Gilbert, Edward Calkins, Jacob and John Lane, John Preston, Ezra W. GofF and his sons, Whiting, Timothy B., and Willard, who were all voters, in the south part.

May 28th, 1827, the first town meeting was held at the house of Hervey Bliss, for the election of township officers.

  • At which time

  • William Kedzie was chosen Supervisor; 

Ezra W. GofF, Town Clerk; 
  • A. McKey, Jacob Lane, Moses Valentine, Assessors; 

Almond Harrison, John Lane, A. McKey, Commissioners of Highways; 
  • Samuel Randall, Constable and Collector; 

Gideon West and George Giles, Overseers of the Poor; 
  • William Kedzie, Isaac Randall and Sam. Randall, Fence Viewers; Hervey Bliss and George Giles, Pound Masters; 

William Kedzie, Hervey Bliss, George Giles and Benjamin Clark, Path Masters. 

There, were twenty offices to fill and only thirteen candidates.

The result was, all were elected, some to two, and in one instance a man filled three offices.

The little band of pioneers, who then laid the foundation of the town, have all passed away except Almond Harrison, who still remains, the connecting link between the first and second generation.

  • The first minister that visited the town was Rev. J. A. Baughman, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the fall of 1827.
  • The first birth occurred on October 3rd, 1827, and was that of Lucinda, daughter of the first married couple.
  • The first boy born was George Giles, Jr., on October 23rd, 1827.
  • The first school house, built of logs, in the summer of 1827, stood on what is now the north-east coiner of Adrian and Monroe streets, in the village.
  • The first school master was Chester Stuart, of Monroe, at a salary of $13 per month and "board found."
  • The names of Thomas F. Dodge and George W. Ketchum are also among those of the early teachers of the young Wolverines.
  • The first school house at Kedzie's Grove, in the north part of town, was built in the fall of 1829, and the first and only teacher was Miss Caroline Amelia Bixby, of the town of Logan (now Adrian).

As early as February 22nd, 1829, the First Presbyterian Church was organized by Reverend Alanson Darwin, of Tecumseh.

The first State or Territorial election was held on July 11th, 1831, when twenty-nine votes were given for "Delegate to Congress."

Austin E. Wing received fourteen votes, Samuel W. Dexter nine, and John R. Williams six.