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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
This township comprises all of Congressional township 56-22, together with that portion of 56-21 in this county and that portion 57-22, south of the center of the H. & St. Joe railroad. It is the second largest township in the county, but somewhat illy shaped. The most of the land is rolling, while some is bluffy along the river brakes. The geology of the township is given fully elsewhere in this volume. Much of the low lands in the township have been drained and otherwise improved to such an extent that thousands of acres have been reclaimed. There is much fine upland in this township and the residents as a class are successful farmers. The town of Grandville or Coonville came into existence in about 1840, and at that time had two stores, owned by Smith, Fielding and Hurd. There was also a tobacco factory operated by Fielding and Holtzclaw; also a grocery run by two brothers named Parkinson. Astoria was another "dream," it founder being Henry Mitchell, of St. Louis. The town was laid out and platted in 1837, but no house was ever built. The town of Bedford, on the south bank of Grand river, is one of the oldest in the county. It was originally platted and named "Laborn" in 1837, although the land was not entered until 1838 by a Frenchman named William LeBarron and it was given the name of Bedford in 1839. The town has never reached a place of much importance, although quite prosperous until the call to arms in 1861, when it suffered from the depredations of the bushwhackers and the soldiers of both north and south. In 1880 a cyclone almost destroyed the town. The mill and nearly a score of the other buildings were badly damaged and the center span of the bridge over Grand river was swept away. The Wabash railroad station is a mile and a quarter north of the town. Formerly a horse railroad connected the town with the Wabash but it was abandoned in 1882.
Hoffman, Juda Ballew, Laura Saunders and George Munroe and wife. The oldest living members are J. H. Baugh, who joined in 1861, and Mrs. Eliza Browning. This church had the ministry of some of the pioneer preachers of Methodism, such as Wm. Redmond, Joseph Develin, Wm. G. Caples, B. F. Johnson and W. G. Miller. Other pastors have been Rev. Gregory, R. G. Keeran, Wm. Sarter, H. T. Leeper, T. M. Rucker, Elmore Carlyle, Wm. Warren, H. L. Davis, W. A. Smith, L. P. Siceloff, S. H. Renfro, J. H. Hubbard, J. B. Rice, C. A. Burns, Wm. Pope, E. M. Capp, and H. Neighbors. The present pastor is Rev. E. F. Cooley, with Rev. J. M. Boone as presiding elder. The present church building was erected in 1895 and is still in good repair. Recent revivals have strengthened the membership, which is now 133A thriving Sunday school and Epworth League are conducted regularly.
M. W. A. Lodge NO. 7471, Bedford, was organized January 12, 1900 The first officers were: J. P. Alexander, consul E. H. Wolfskill, clerk; J. M. Perry, banker. The officers of the lodge for 1913 are: J. E. Mitchell, consul; E. H. Wolfskill, clerk; George Akerson, banker.
The R. N. A. No. 3209, Bedford, was organized on the 20th of March, 1907, at which time the following officers were elected: Bessie Boyd, oracle; Annie M. Wolfskill, recorder; Tilly Akerson, receiver. The officers for 1913 are: Pearl Alexander, oracle; Annie M. Wolfskill, recorder; Pearl Dye, receiver.
Brotherhood of American Yeomen, 'Bedford. Homestead NO, 1831 was organized May 14, 1908. The first officers were: Charles Young, foreman; Maude Alexander, master of ceremonies; Mac. D. Singleton, correspondent; O. K. Frame, master of accounts; Dr. C. W. Allen, physician; John Longwell, overseer; Harley Wells, watchman; D. F. Singleton, sentinel; Alfred Renn, guard; Ida Alexander, Lady Rowena; Ethel Frame, Lady Rebecca; Henry Hughes, past foreman; Lillie Young, courier. Present officers: 0. K. Frame, foreman; Ida Alexander, master of ceremonies; Mac D. Singleton, correspondent; Alfred Renn, master of accounts, and Frank Myers, physician. The object of the order is beneficial and social. This homestead has nineteen members in good standing.