The first death recorded in the township of Plainfield was that of Peleg Barlow, in 1838. 
The circumstances attending the sad affair were singularly strange. 
It appears that Barlow, his wife and one child moved into this part of Kent from Washtenaw County in 1838, and dwelt with the family of Jonathan Misner, until a house, which he proposed building, was finished. 
During the summer, it is thought about the middle of June, John Misner, a son of the owner of the house, was playing with a loaded pistol, when it was accidentally discharged. 
The ball struck the rock forming the back of the fire-place, then caromed, and striking Barlow on the cap of the knee, inflicted what was supposed to be a slight flesh wound. 
During the night, however, a severe pain was felt, and the limb became very much swollen. 
Dr. Willson was called to aid the sufferer, but found the case so peculiar that he called Dr. Shepard to his aid. 
The doctors probed for the bullet but failed to find it. 
On the third day they concluded that the wounded man must subject himself to amputation, or otherwise lose his life. 
He chose the latter alternative, rather than have the limb cut off, and within two days paid the penalty of his decision. 
His death occurred five days after being wounded. 
The doctors received permission to search for the mysterious bullet, dissected the limb, but found nothing to convince them that the ball entered the body. 
The conclusion formed was that the bullet, on striking the knee bone, caromed, leaving little trace of its progress beyond the slight flesh wound and crushed knee-pan. 
The death of this old settler cast a gloom over the county, but nowhere were the evidences of grief so evident as in the home of the Misners. 
There were the widow and the orphan of him who came hither to build up for them a happy home, and there, too, the father, mother and brothers of the youth, whose carelessness wrought all this misery.