George Buck was born in 1792 in Lewistown, Pa. His parents were Henry and Rachel Buck. Henry was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War, and later a doctor in Lewistown. He and his family moved to Millerstown, Pa. about 1800. Henry died in 1805. Rachel and her children lived on in Millerstown until about 1817.
George Buck and his brother Robert N Buck served in the War of 1812, in Fenton's Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, under General Brown, fighting in the battles of Lundy's Lane and Chippewa.
In 1817 the Buck family moved to Columbiana County, Ohio. There George met and married Martha Irey, the daughter of Philip and Hannah Irey, in 1817. Along with several other members of the Buck family, they joined the Quaker Church. George bought a farm and learned the trade of weaving.
Philip Irey and Hannah (Brown) Irey had lived in Loudon County, Virginia, then moved to what was then Harrison County (then Virginia and what is now Barbour County, West Virginia), and then to Columbiana County, Ohio, about 1803. Philip had been a blacksmith, but bought a farm in Ohio. Martha was born in 1798 while they were living in Harrison County.
In 1830 the Quaker Church was being split by factionalism, and so George and his family left for Michigan, settling in St. Joseph County. Upon arrival in 1830, George and another pioneer, Jacob McEnterfer (also spelled McInterfer), bought a piece of public land, the NE quarter of Section 19, Township 6S, Range 11W, which is now the location of much of ward 2 of Three Rivers. George established a farm and built a log house, which also served as a tavern and hotel, at the corner of what would be Buck and 4th Streets today. He also began a ferry service at the foot of what was Main Street, but is today's Buck Street.
George and Jacob laid out a plat on their land and called it St. Joseph. The plat occupied the NE quarter of the land they had jointly purchased.
George became the postmaster and a Justice of the Peace for the Township which was originally called Bucks.
The proposed village didn't come to anything at the time. George did build a sawmill along the river in 1836. At some point, George built a house and hotel of sawed lumber at 4th and Pleasant Streets. The hotel was known as the Half-Way House.
In 1836, George bought out the McInterfer interest. George and four other businessmen (Simeon Brown, Hiram Pierson, Edward Pierson, and Benjamin Sherman) pooled their lands and formed the St. Joseph Canal and Lockport Manufacturing Association and laid a plat for the village of Lockport. This new plat used the 1830 plat of St. Joseph, but extended it to the west to the St. Joseph River, to the east into the land Simeon Brown contributed in Section 20, south into more of George's land and further south into Hiram Pierson's and Edward Pierson's lands. Then the (financial) Panic of 1837 hit and the project failed. After some legal actions, George ended up with the part of Lockport that he originally contributed to the Association, in addition to the part that Hiram Pierson had contributed. Lockport did become a village and later was incorporated into Three Rivers as the 2nd ward.
In 1840, Bucks Township was divided into Lockport and Bucks, the latter soon being renamed Fabius. By this time George had bought several other tracts of land and had managed to sell some of his lots in Lockport.
In 1846, George sold much of Lockport to Joseph Mather of Hartford, Connecticut, the lots north of Main (now Buck) Street and a strip of blocks between State and Broadway. In 1851, Mather, together with Stephen Weeden, of Springfield MA, and George Merriman, of Providence, RI, formed the Lockport Hydraulic Company to build the dam near 8th Street and the canal that George's Association had planned.
George Buck passed away in 1856. He was buried in a cemetery at 8th and Broadway in Lockport along with his first son Philip (died 1841) and first daughter Rachel (died 1834). They were disinterred and buried in Riverside Cemetery in Three Rivers. Martha died in 1874 and was buried beside her husband. Several of their children are also buried in Riverside Cemetery.
The children of George and Martha Buck were:
Most of the signs of George Buck in Three Rivers have disappeared. The site of George Buck's first house is now buried under a large warehouse. The St. Joseph River bed is now west of where it was in 1830 and the site of his ferry is now covered over with woods. Railroad tracks run right across the site of his second house. Lockport itself remains as the name of the Township. Only Madison remains of the street names in the 1830 plat. Aside from Main (now Buck) Street, the street names from the 1836 plat of Lockport are still the same. The canal is gone, but the dam remains. There is an elegant monument in Riverside Cemetery, beside where George, Martha, and descendants are buried.
This page was last modified <Sunday, 06-Mar-2011 17:57:51 MST>
This website is created and copyrighted 2011 by Joel Newport
George Buck biography copyrighted 2011 by Roger V. Buck.