ALMENA TOWNSHIP

       On March 11, 1837, by an Act of the Legislature, Clinch Township was a part of the division of Van Buren County that was divided into Townships. Almena was a part of this Township called Clinch. After several divisions  Almena became a township of her own and was formed in 1848. Its boundaries are Kalamazoo County on the east,  Pine Grove Township on the north, Antwerp township on the south and Waverly Township on the west.

              The first settlers were Junia Warner in 1834, Horace Bonfoy 1834, Blaklee and Abel Burns 1835, Nathan Williams 1836, David Showerman 1837, Jacob Currier 1837, Jonas Barber 1837 and Silas Breed in 1851 to name just
 a few of the early settlers.

              Samuel Fisk, a millwright and carpenter arrived in 1844 but stayed only long enough to build a grist mill and  build a saw mill for Jonas Barber.

              The Methodist Episcopal Church of Almena was organized in 1853 but the building was not completed until 1868. The only other church in the township at this time was the Free Baptist Church ,which was organized in
 Waverly Township in 1843, but built on Covey Hill in Almena Township. This Church name was later changed to become Covey Hill Baptist Church.

              There were five rural schools built beginning in 1856, they were the Acorn, Palmer, Almena Center and Solomon District

              A place was needed for community activities. At a township meeting in 1896 it was voted that a town hall should be built. Land was purchased from Hubbard Hill for $50 and the building was built. A. L. Brown was overseer and logs were brought to the location by oxen teams by members, Abel Burns, Asa Crofoot, James White  and others.

              The first birth registered in Almena Township was a child of Junia Warner in 1836. This child was also the first death recorded in that same year. The first marriage recorded was Alonzo Cobb and Mary Newcomb.

              Mail was carried to and from PawPaw on a weekly basis then in 1856 L. Brewer opened a store and favored the township with the handling of the mail. The store was called Brewerville located at Brewers Mill until 1858 when the post office was moved to Fisk’s grist mill and Samuel Fisk was appointed postmaster.

PICTURES

       Almena Methodist Church

       Almena Town Hall
 

Information submitted by Vernabelle Massey

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