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Waldron and Wright Township


1916 Waldron Village Plat Map (24MB image file)

1894 Wright Township Plat Map

Wright Township History

Waldron History (1)

Waldron History (2)

Henry Waldron

 

 
 

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1894 Wright Township Plat Map

Click on the map to load a zoomable version.

 

Click here to download a file that will overlay the above map in Google Earth. The overlay is courtesy of Richard Signell, Falmouth, Mass.

 

Wright Township History

By Mr. And Mrs. John Ashby

 

This history is heavily dependent upon assistance from Mary Marker and the Wright Guide.

 

Wright Township is a real jewel in the county of Hillsdale, known in the United States survey as Township 8 South of Range 1 West. In 1835 it was an impenetrable beautiful forest. In some parts Wright is almost level, in others, a rolling surface. The soil varies from rich black loam, black sand next to Lenawee County, gradually turning to clay. The little St. Joseph River enters the township from Pittsford. Lime Creek has two branches in the township, and the north branch flows from Lime Lake. The south branch flows into Medina Township and then flows into Bean Creek. Lime Lake derived its name from the bed of marl that composed the north shore. In early days the settlers burned this marl to furnish lime.

 

The name of the township was changed from Canaan to Wright by act of legislature February 24, 1844. The name Wright was in honor of Honorable Silas Wright (shown here), a Democratic leader of New York State.

 

The lands of this township were rapidly taken up, the whole township passing from government ownership into private ownership shortly after the year 1835. The following is a list of ownership in the year 1835:

  • Section 4 – Gates, Lothrop and Olney, Lewis Gates, Charles Converse, N. Bryant, David Short;
  • Section 5 – Lewis Gates, Mary Marshall, Royal Raymond, John Lickley, David Short;
  • Section 6 – Clement, Raymond Ames;
  • Section 7 – Howland, Miller, Thorn, Daken;
  • Section 8 – Michael Lickley, Moser Moore, Stephen Thorn, James Sager, James Thorn;
  • Section 10 – Lewis Gates, John Skinner, A.S. Berry;
  • Section 11 – Alexander Duncan;
  • Section 12 – Job Littlefield, Alexander Duncan, Asa Reed, Thomas Sawyer, William Cavender, Arthur Lucas;
  • Section 13 – Alexander Duncan, Thomas Sawyer;
  • Section 14 – Alexander Duncan, Hiram Lucas, A. J. Comstock;
  • Section 15 – Nathaniel Silsbee, Samuel Coman;
  • Section 17 – Issac Sturgis, Stephen Thorn, J. Sawyer, Nathan Birdsall;
  • Section 18 – David Short;
  • Section 20 – Joseph Williams, Jane Shute;
  • Section 21 – Joseph Williams;
  • Section 22 – Alexander Duncan, Joshua Tompkins, Samuel Coman;
  • Section 23 – Alexander Duncan, William Tappenden, William Raleigh;
  • Section 24 – William Tappenden, Alexander Duncan;
  • Section 25 – Thomas Smith, Benjamin Brown;
  • Section 26 – Thomas Smith, Henry Gardiner;
  • Section 27 – Langford Berry;
  • Section 29 – Charles Covall, Jane Shute;
  • Section 31 – Charles Covall, entire section.

An early settler of Wright Township was William Brewster, a descendent of Elder William Brewster, a well-known member of the band of pilgrims on the “Mayflower”. He came to Wright Township in 1841 and died there March 31, 1863, at 85 years of age. They were members of the Presbyterian Church. Wright was late in getting settled as compared to other sections of Hillsdale County because this town area was, in large part, purchased by speculators who held the land for many years before they sold it to settlers.

 

During 1836 the township filled up rapidly. The settlers of 1836, 1837 and 1838 had to endure great hardships. They had to clear the land of heavy timber before crops could be raised, and until this was done, they were dependent on the outside world for their provisions. These original settlers did not raise sufficient food for their needs and had none to spare. To import from points east took time and money. Many incidents of privation and hunger transpired in the history of nearly every family as there land was developed.

 

On April 12, 1837, the first white child was born in this township to Russell and Ann Coman, a daughter named Marian. The first frame house in Wright was erected by William Brewster in the spring of 1841 in Section 14.

 

About 1869 Colby, McDonald and Company built a sawmill and gristmill. The gristmill had two runs of stone. The lower sawmill was built by Augustas Sellick in 1877. These mills were all run by steam power and were very busy and prosperous.

 

The village of Wright was small, and its growth was in Section 33 and 34. All business establishments were located here. But owners of land adjoining this on the south Section 3 and 4 in 1876 established a town known as South Wright. In 1876 its name was changed to Waldron, named in honor of Henry Waldron, a member of congress, and the village was platted in 1877.

 

The Wright Directory in 1872 read as follows: A.W. Clark, Notary; Pratt and Bros., Mill; Dr. Evans, wagon maker; Dr D.V. Terry, Physician; E.L. Foglesong, Blacksmith; Colby and McDonald, Sawmill; Colby and Birdsall, Dry Goods; F. Smith, Dry Goods and Groceries; Dr. R.V. Morrison, Physician; Double Hale, Mill; J.F. Farnham, Carpenter and Joiner.

 

Waldron flourished as a progressive mid-American town. An interesting part of the town was the Elite Theater, operated in 1910 by E.J. Wilson featuring silent movies and piano music by Mrs. Viers – entertainment typical of so many towns of this time period.

 

Prattville is another old town of this township. In 1865 the only residence were William Bennett, Amos W. Clark, Nicholas R. Kipp, and Urian Mackey. They were joined in 1866 by Wellington and Henry Pratt from Framinghom, Mass., and built a steam sawmill and in 1870 a gristmill. Later the machinery was sold and moved to Ransom Center. In 1872 a brick schoolhouse was built for $1,400. By the year 1880 Prattville contained about 20 dwellings and 100 people.

 

The first church in Wright Township was Baptist, organized on October 29, 1847, by David, Lucetta, Martha L., and J.B. Woods, James and Lavina Hickley, and Mrs. Mary Raymond. The minister was Rev. B.J. Lewis. A Methodist church was formed about 1854; A Wesleyan Methodist church was organized on March 11, 1855, in District 4. The first Christian Church of Wright was organized in 1860. The United Brethren in Christ Church was organized in 1867 by Rev. J. Lawes of Bryan, Ohio. The First Congregational Church was organized on March 12, 1874.

   

Waldron History (1)

By Edna E. Moine

The village of Waldron is located in Wright Township in the southeastern part of Hillsdale County. It has one lake called Lime Lake, and one river the St. Joseph.

 

The first white man in the township was Russell Coman who came in the year 1835 with his wife and three small children, by wagon drawn by oxen, from Dearborn Indiana. They erected a small log cabin on section 15, which is located north of the present village. In a short time several of his relatives and other settlers came. As yet the place of settlement was unnamed.

 

A daughter born to Mr. And Mrs. Coman on April 1837 was the first white child. Wishing to name the place coman in its honor, though some conspiracy it was thought, in sending it to Ypsilanti the letters were changed and it was named canan. This it retained until in the year of 1844 when it was changed to Wright Township, being named after a great Democratic leader, Hon. Silas Wright of New York.

 

In the same year the first schoolhouse was built on the northeast corner of section 8, made of logs. In 1850 this was replaced by a small brick structure. At this time the settlement included a small brick structure known as a hotel, one store owned by James Wilson, an ashery and a post office run by Joel Hubbard. Previous to this mail had been carried by horseback for 12 miles. The first road was an Indian trail extending from Toledo to Chicago, called the Territorial Road. The other roads were corduroy and plank running west and north of Waldron. Later the roads were graveled. In 1869 the first gristmill was built and in 1871 the first church was erected, the Wesleyan Methodist. Previously the schoolhouse had been used as a place of worship.

 

In the year 1877 a meeting was held for the purpose of building a new school building, which should be large enough to accommodate more pupils. This meeting caused a disturbance, which eventually went through court, as it could not be settled where the building should be placed. Finally the matter was compromised, and a two-story brick building was built.

 

Henry Waldron of Hillsdale observing the progressive spirit of the people of South Wright donated $100.00 to the school for a bell, and in his honor the name was again changed to Waldron. A farm Bureau and Grange were organized soon after. The village was plotted February 16, 1877 by Geo. Marks.

 

The leading political party at that time was the Democratic, Alvin S. Wilson being the leader.

 

Daniel Morrison was the earliest Doctor. In December 1866 the first telegraph message was received in Waldron. The following month in January 1887 the first passenger train, the Cincinnati & Northern passed through Waldron on twice a week schedule. May 6, 1889 and August 6, 1890 marked two dates people will never forget. Two disastrous fires burned down more than 40 buildings in the village. The town people bravely built up new building, and in 1897 several new stores were built and several organizations were started. Including Knights of Pythias, Pythian Sisters, Masonic and Eastern Star Orders. In 1901 another church was added, the Christian church or Church of Christ.

 

The first automobile was bought in Waldron in 1902 by Edward Connor. The people thought it was the wonder of the age. The year 1905 was long to be remembered by the people in Waldron. The majority of the people, with W.I. Hadley leading, decided it would be for the good of the place to become incorporated. A lively meeting was held in the school house building where the matter was accomplished, the election resulting as follows: President, Dr. J.M. Barnes; Clerk, E.T. Abbaduskus; Treasurer, W.I. Hadley; Trustees, Phocian Gleason, S.D. Spray, John Walkup, Ed Cockin, and E.J. Wilson.

 

Shortly following fire equipment was purchased. The year 1906 was important for the village when a one-story brick building was erected, the first graduating class in 1907 having 15 graduates. During the next few years many improvements were made in the village and community. Wooden sidewalks were replaced with cement, gasoline street lamps were added, and on Christmas Eve 1914 these were replaced by electric lights. Down through the years the village had many minor improvements featuring the organization of a High School Band in 1935 with 48 members. This band has made outstanding progress and has featured in many concerts outside the village.

 

In 1936 a new $15,000 community hall and gymnasium was built. Over 600 people attended the dedication in January 1937. In September 1936 a new $2,300 fire truck was bought for the community. Village officers for 1937 & 1938 include President, Leroy Wilson; Clerk, Mrs. Hazel Case; Treasurer, Mrs. Inez Smith.

 

Board of Education members: President, A.L. Rufenacht; Secretary, Estel Pifer; Treasurer, Lloyd Mann. School faculty: Superintendent, C.M. Simon; Principal, James Pepper; Assistant Principal, Leslie Graham; Intermediate, Miss Cora Mitchell; History & English, Miss Barbara Yeagley; Grammar room, James Stevens; Primary, Miss Lois Laser.

 

Village Postmaster, Max E. Wilson

 

Three active clubs are in progress, the women’s literary club, women’s art club and the Waldron garden club.

 

Population of Waldron numbers 583.

 

From the Jackson Citizen Patriot (1937).

 

Waldron History (2)

The History of Hillsdale County, Michigan, in 1879 indicates that the oldest village is in the south part of the township and the postal record establishes the name as South Wright as of Nov. 2, 1855 Then the name was changed to Waldron on May 21, 1877. The story circulating among the elderly people is that “if the name were changed to Waldron in honor of Henry Waldron, he would donate the schoolhouse bell.”

 

The following is a list of postmasters from South Wright through the post office change to Waldron in 1879 up to present time 1952: Joel S. Hubbard, Nov. 2, 1855; James M. Sexton, Sept. 20, 1861; Thomas C. Thompson, May 7, 1866; Gideon L. Emerson, Sept. 22, 1869; Libbie Day, July 5, 1882; James Forister, Oct. 28, 1885; Charles H. Gorsuch, June 25 1889; Orin J. Gleason, March 3, 1894; Edwin S. Gorsuch, Feb. 3, 1898; Kern B. Wilson, Jan. 8, 1915; Volney R. Reynolds, Dec. 15, 1921; Max E. Wilson, Jan. 9, 1934; Robert S. Mason, March 31, 1948; Dorris Wilson, Nov. 15, 1950, Act.; Robert S. Mason, July 1, 1952.

 

Each year Waldron celebrates Labor Day with a large parade, homecoming, events, contest, chicken barbeque served by the Lions Club and Beauty Queen contest in the evening. In 1974, a quilt was brought for display by Mrs. Robert Stucky {Geraldine Shumway} of Bellevue, Ohio. From this story, printed in the Sept. 4, 1974, issue of the Wright Guide, this quilt was embroidered and appliquéd with the names of businesses people and firms of 1910:

 

City Meat Market – Bart Laser: Mr. Laser was in business from 1900 to 1928, later selling out to his nephew, Lester Laser, who is still in the grocery business, but in the location of the former Corser’s store. In 1975 Lester Laser celebrated 50 years of service in Wright Township in the grocery business.

 

Ed Kelley and Son: Grain and Coal has gone through a series of owners, namely, Dachsteiner, Rings and Greiser. Marcus Yager, to A.L. Rufenacht. In 1955 Mr. Rufenacht built a new elevator and in 1958, a new office building.

 

Peoples Bank: Ruel, Keeler and Shumway became Hubbard, Reynolds and Shumway and by 1921 when the Shumways moved to Ohio it became known as The Farmers and Merchants Bank. After a succession of changes in January 1935, it became part of the Hudson State Savings Bank. In June 1974, the Bank moved to the new location on the corner of Main and Center Streets where a new facility serves the community.

 

Millinery: Mrs. Frank Thompson, later Mrs. Nellie Shafer had this location, then Lena Howard. After that a barbershop operated by Herbert Lecuru occupied that area. In 1966 the building was torn down to be part of the remodeling of Lester Laser’s grocery store.

 

E.J. Wilson, Implement Dealer: Many memories of this building center around activities held on the second floor, which was called “Wilson Hall.” Plays, programs, basketball, skating and even commencement exercises were held there until the gym was added to the school.

 

Spray’s Jewelry: Is still doing business as usual, however, Dean R. Spray succeeded his father, Seymour, who bought the Boyd Jewelry store in 1901 and acquired it himself in 1954 {about the time his father passed away.

 

A.S. Pilkenton, Dentist: There has not been a dentist in the village for many years.

 

Dr. Yeagley: Was the physician in the area until his death in 1943. His daughter and son-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. John Fox live in the residence and the former office is used as the office of the Waldron Telephone Company owned by Mr. Fox. In 1946, Mr. Fox purchased the telephone company, then operating on the west side of the street. With the conversion to “dial” the move was made across the street. Dr. James Barnes was a physician at 109 Center Street and Dr. L.E. Blanchard had office hours for a while in the 30’s in the building while various families occupied the residence. This was discontinued and the building used as a residence.

 

John Baldridge, Photographer: Some photographs bearing this name can be found in albums. No one succeeded him.

 

Avis Milling Company: Makers of Royal and Eclipse Flour. This mill burned about 1918 but another milling site was acquired near the railroad. The mill passed through the following owners: Mr. King, Mr. Hubble, Cort Raser, Dennis Clark, Vernon Young, William Waters, to the present Waldron Grain and Fuel.

 

B.F. Pettit: Dealer in candy, nuts, tea, coffee, and sugar. Shoe repairing neatly done.

 

B. Brewer, Hotel: Rooming house on East Center Street, property now used as the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Myers. The Property at 115 East Center Street was also a hotel at one time. McFarland’s sold this and the George Sodi family lived there; later E.D. Rutledge had his Insurance and Realty office there.

 

W.E. Cockin: General Merchandise, dry goods, boots, shoes, and groceries. This corner located business was sold to Charles and Ernie Moine who operated it until Elmer Abbaduska and son took it over. In 1943, Mr. and Mrs. L.V. Mason obtained the business and operated it until 1963, selling the business only to Cecil Lawrence, but retained the building selling it to the Wright Guide in 1965. We all appreciate the fine work of the Wright Guide in our area.

 

S.T. Baker: Weaver, fancy carpet and rugs. This business was located on South Main near the present County Road Base.

 

C.H. Gorsuch and Sons: “The old reliable Drug Store.”

 

W.B. Moore: “Sugar Beets a specialty.”

 

A.E. Towers, Barber Shop: There have been various barbershops through the years operated by Frank Thompson, Robert Walkup, Kenneth Abbaduska and Herbert Lecuru. At present, the only one is located in the Township Building and is operated by Richard Carmean.

 

Butler E.S. Terrill: Mr. Terrill operated a Drug Store in the village for over 50 years. He passed away September 5, 1974.

 

Waldron Recorder: L.W. Downs, publisher. The Waldron Recorder was established as a weekly paper in 1893. After Mr. Downs, the publisher, was Frank Nevin and then J.D. Driskill. The last publication was December 19, 1946.

 

Gleason Brothers Hardware: Was sold to Heacock and Snyder of Pioneer, who then sold it through Layton Coman to Mr. and Mrs. L.V. Mason in 1945. It was operated by R.S. Mason until 1948, who sold it to Carroll Hoffmaster. In 1962, Robert Mason purchased the building and moved the post office into the building located on the west corner of South Main and West Center Streets.

 

C.W. Leavely, “Poultry A Specialty”: In later years Frank Lester had a hatchery located on North Main Street.

 

F.J. Street: Confectionary and Groceries.

 

W.E. Halstead: Fancy Baked Goods Bakery and restaurant was operated by H.W. Andridge and son in 1938-1939. The building was torn down by the Hudson State Savings Bank to build their new bank building, which opened in 1974.

 

Eleanor Simpson, Dressmaking

 

Mrs. Belle Forrester, Dressmaking

 

A.D. Way Lumber: This business was located in the south part of the village on the east side of the highway not far from the County Road Base.

 

A.W. MC McFarland “Old Reliable Blacksmith Shop”: A blacksmith shop in later years was operated by William Simmons at two locations on North Main Street. One location was south of the Wilson Building and one north where the present H and H gas station is. This was between 1912 and 1924 when he took up farming. For a time his shop was located near his home on South Main Street. The blacksmith shops gave way to garages and gas stations later.

 

One business not indicated on the quilt was the mortician, W.F. Barnes who was in business at that time. A clipping from a 1933 Waldron Recorder reads: “Greetings! My first Christmas in Waldron was in 1883. 17 years as physician at a time when the roads were not built for automobiles, and 33 years as Furniture Dealer and Funeral Director. Witnessed the building of the Cincinnati Northern Railroad through our village and many changes. Had an office on the so-called basswood block when the town burned down and with it all my earthly belongings. Always tried to do my bit in the support of our schools and churches and worked for the general uplift of our community. With kindest regards, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year. W.F. Barnes.”

 

M.F. Eagle came to Waldron in 1933 and opened his Funeral Home in what is now the William Stuck residence at 310 West Center Street. About 1936, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Eagle went into partnership and then in January 1938, Mr. Barnes retired and M.F. Eagle continued the business located at 122 South Main Street.

 

The furniture business was phased out and the building at 107 North Main later became the Township Hall. Since the new Township Building was constructed at 112 East Center Street, the former Township room is being used as Waldron District Library.

 

Peppermint Processing: Three brothers worked at this unique business. The brothers were James, Joe and William Borton, all living on Tuttle Road but at separate locations. The peppermint was put through a distilling process to make it a salable product.

 

Garages: With the improved roads, the discontinuing of the passenger trains on the Cincinnati and Northern Railroad, business of garages and filling stations came into being. A large brick garage was built on the area of 109 South Main Street. In 1919, Wilbur McCloe had a Ford Agency there. Later E.D. Rutledge had a Chevrolet Agency, also handling insurance. Around 1940, he took up residence and office for his Insurance and Realty in the house at 115 East Center Street sold to him by George Sodt.

 

A garage was also operated at 125 North Main Street for several years by Alva Smith and Earl Coman. It was later operated by Rex Gibbs and is now the Waldron Implement Company operated by Harold Dunn. A filling station is conveniently located next to it on the corner and is operated by present Roy Hall. It has been operated by the Eidenier family and earlier by Charles Hephner and his son, Harold.

 

A filling station was located at the corner of South Main and Church Street, 209 South Main St. Stewart Maloney purchased it in 1940 and expanded the business and operated it until 1968, selling out to Hal Masters, the current owner. About 1940, the Lewis Oil Company owned a gas station at 135 South Main St. This has progressed through various ownerships and is now owned and operated by Donald Bignell who also has a welding service.

 

In the 1940s Fred George operated a canning factory, south of the Lumber Company owned by the Wilsons. It has been a sale barn operated by Charles and E.D. Rutledge and before that it was a furniture factory owned by Jake Myers. Some of the chairs in some Waldron homes trace back to this factory. In the late (1940s?) the canning factory burned and a modular home sets on the site at 318 South Main St. The Lumber Company is in operation; K.B. Wilson and Max had the Lumber Company formerly owned by a Mr. Kruse from Hudson. They operated the business until it was purchased by Porter Lumber Company.

 

In 1938, the Gingham Inn was destroyed by fire. Roy Baer had this restaurant and ice cream parlor business. Later some of this area was rebuilt by the Kramer Manufacturing Company. During World War II Kramer Manufacturing operated a factory in this rebuilt cement block structure and the “Wilson Hall” building. Their offices were located on the second floor of that building. In 1962, Waldron Industries came to the village and occupied these buildings with their factory. In 1969 their new facility was completed and they moved to their present location at 335 Water St. Their proper listing is Waldron Industries Division American Warming and Ventilating Inc.

 

A relatively new business for Waldron is the eggplant located at 109 South Main (once a garage). This was operated by J. Clive Helferich. After his death the building was leased to Imco Poultry Company and their egg processing continues today.

 

In reference to fires, one clipping stated, “On May 6, 1889, fire leveled 32 buildings to the ground.” The first fire truck was purchased September 24, 1936, at a cost of $2,300. A new one was purchased in 1951, a tanker in 1956, a jeep in 1969, and a modern engine in 1975.

 

E.D. Rutledge opened the sub-division at the west edge of the village in 1955, with Larry Drive, Bruce Court, and the park all in the plans. In 1959, the Rutledge's took their Insurance and Realty Business to their new home in this section. Other new homes were added and in 1962 work started on the park. The park was opened in June 1963 when Waldron Homemakers Extension club gave the park three tables and a grill. Sept. 6, 1964, the park was dedicated in memory of Robert Rutledge.

 

Dress shop: In 1959-60, Mrs. Joan Dunn operated a quality dress shop and bridal gown service at 110 North Main St. One of the community “highlights” was a fashion show she put on with the cooperation of the Mother’s Club in the Waldron School gym. Due to poor health she closed her shop and about 1963, Mrs. Margaret Shaffer opened a restaurant in the same building and operated it successfully for two years. Later she was able to resume her talent in cooking with the Waldron School lunch program. After a series of owners, the restaurant is now being operated by Betty Sheffer.

 

Plumbing and Heating: Marion Simmons had a repair shop on South Main Street in the early 50’s. From 1958 to 1968, his business was located on East Center Street in one of the buildings, which later was torn down for the building of the new Township Hall. Mr. Simmons has relocated his machine shop, “Service and Sales” near his home on the corner of Hartley and Waldron Roads.

 

Beauty Shops: Through the years there have been a number of persons in and out of this occupation. Some are LeRoy Keyte, Martha Fiddler, Peggy Gendron, and Jeanette Kibbler. At the present time there are two shops operating: Petite Beauty Salon which is operated by Sharon Davis at 114 North Main St. and Louise Beauty Salon operated by Louise Masters at 104 North Main St., rear.

 

Floor Covering: One of the new flourishing businesses in Waldron is Larry’s Floor Covering, which is located at 104 North Main St., operated by Mr. and Mrs. Francis Smith.

 

Meat Processing: Hillsdale County Meats is located at 1156 Territory Road near Waldron and is operated by Donald Ledyard Jr.

 

County Side Grain: This large new grain operation is located on Broom and Coman Roads. The operator is Howard Laser.

 

Real Estate: Richard Masters of 1411 Lickley Road is in the real estate business. James Schmucker has his office at 950 Hartley Road. The Rutledge Agency has celebrated a year in there newly redone office, which was the one vacated when Hudson State Savings Bank moved to its new facility.

 

Churches: There are three churches in Waldron; however, there is a change from the time of the 1879 history. The Wesleyan Church was a white frame structure on West Center Street and the Methodist (M.E.) Church was a brick building on East Center Street. At some time during the ministry of Rev. A.D. Wright these groups merged and the brick church retained. The frame building was used by Leroy Wilson as an office for his insurance business and Clyde Yeagley also had his clover seed business there. After those gentlemen died the building was torn down and Mr. and Mrs. Max Wilson continued the insurance business in her home. The congregation at the East Center brick church building became known as the Wesleyan Methodist. They have made two additions to their facility and added a large parking lot. The parking lot took the area of the former Alpha Martin Feed Mill. The Church of Christ is located at 107 West St. and the United Brethren on the corner of South Main and Church Streets.

 

Clubs and Organizations: Waldron Chapter No. 365 Order of Eastern Star chartered in 1908 was consolidated with Diamond Chapter No. 127 at Osseo in September 1965 and the Leonard Lodge F. & A.M. did the same with the Star Lodge at Osseo a few years later and their building was sold. The Knights of Pythias (K.P.) Hall is still in use and the Pythian Sisters are quite active in the community. The Hall is located above the Laser Food Market.

 

The Waldron Woman’s Literary Club, in its 68th year, is holding some of its meetings at the social room of the new bank, the rest in homes of members. On Saturday May 13, 1967, the club invited a group of people to the Township Hall and during this meeting the “Senior Citizens” were organized. The officers were elected and they have been having interesting meetings ever since. For some time they met at the bank’s Social Room. Lions International is represented with a club, Veterans of Foreign Wars was organized in Waldron after World War II and is named the Leonard T. Simmons Post. A new building was built on East Center Street. Through the years there have been Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies and 4H for young people. Waldron School has active Future Farmers of America and Future Homemakers of America Chapters. Waldron Chamber of Commerce was organized in the late 1950s and sponsors the Labor Day celebration. The local firemen assist in this as they do in the very fine ambulance service started in 1971.

 

Community Improvements: These improvements have greatly helped the town: First the city water system in 1955, the sewer system in 1970, and telephone lines buried and private phones in 1971.

 

Song: Norval P. Smith, Broom Road, wrote the lyrics and music for a song he entitled “Waldron My Own Home Town.”

   

Henry Waldron

Henry Waldron's name appears in many locations in the city of Hillsdale and the county. The small town of Waldron in the southeastern part of the county was named for Waldron. It is said by the early historians that Waldron gave money for the school bell and as a consequence the residents gave the village his name. In the city of Hillsdale, the Waldron block is in the business section and now houses the District Court and a street bears his name.

 

Waldron came from Albany, N.Y., (where he was born on Oct. 11, 1819) in 1839. He was trained as a civil engineer and is credited with laying out the rail line extending the railroad from Adrian to Hillsdale. (He had at age 18 already been employed by Michigan Southern railroad to make a preliminary survey for the extension of the line). Waldron, like Cook, in 1848, built a warehouse along the track in Hillsdale to store goods to be transhipped east and west. He was director of the Michigan and Southern Railroad and then president of another rail line known as Detroit Hillsdale and Southern. He engaged in a large real estate business and platted land north of Railroad Street (now Carleton Road). In 1851, he served as the village president.

 

In the midst of these commercial activities, he was one of the directors of the first bank in Hillsdale. He then established the Second National Bank and still found time to serve on the Board of Trustees of Hillsdale College in its early years in Hillsdale.

 

Waldron also became involved in politics. When he was only 23, he was elected to the State Legislature. In 1854, as a member of the new Republican Party, he was elected to the House of Representatives, served three terms and was re-elected in 1870 for three more terms. Waldron, elected as vice president for the Republican National Convention, took part in the proceedings, which nominated Ulysses S. Grant for U.S. President.

 

When he died on Sept. 13, 1880, a banner stretched across Hillsdale Street, which read, "Hillsdale Mourns Her Dead." This man too contributed greatly to the progress of Hillsdale. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery on the north side of Hillsdale. (A picture of his tomb is on the right.)

 
 
 

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