Centreville History

The excerpts written out below are from a small booklet entitled,
"St. Joseph County Historical Review and Business Guide"
written and compiled by Roy D. F. Sowers, Historian.

John W. TALBOT and George TALBOT located here in business. Henry C. CAMPBELL, Calvin H. STARR, C. D. BENNETT and and J. W. SPITZER were early merchants.

The first brick house was built by Walter G. STEPHENS who was the first County jailer. In 1847 GIBBS, DILLE, and GURNSEY built a pottery ware factory. The first dance was held in 1836 by Isaac D. TOLL.

The first school was taught in 1832 in the court house by Mrs. HARTLEY. R. LAMB taught the first school established in a school building in 1841. The early teachers received the munificent sum of $2.00 per week. Various church and lodges began to form.

July 4, 1837, was a memorial event. The local fife and drum corps led by a "fiddle", paraded. Speeches were made and much jollification.

The first cemetery was donated to the village in 1838, "if the people would erect a picket fence around the place."

In 1873 the first bank was formed and the Centreville Knit Goods Manufacturing Co. was organized. Also a Fruit Preserving Co.

A post office was established in 1833. The first highway was built from the Branch county line in 1832. Next the old angling road was blazed Constantine by Robert CLARK, Jr., and Capt. Alvin CALHOON.

Dr. S. W. TRUESDELL was the first physician.

In 1870-1 the Michigan Central Air Line was built receiving a gift $25,000 from the people.

A young Irishman by the name of OSBORN came to Centreville and became a "wood chopper." Showing some sketches he had made of the local scenery, his ability as an artist was recognized and he started an "art school."

In 1833 the population was 100 and the first meeting of the board of supervisors was held.

Some of the findings by the early juries were very humorous. We regret that space will not permit the telling of many interesting stories.

No community was more patriotic during the Civil War than Centreville.

Today it is the busy little county seat to which most of the county's population must travel at various times.

 

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copyright This website is created and copyrighted 2007 by Joel Newport