History

THE DEVELOPMENT OF HILLCREST CEMETERY

On March 11, 1878 Edward and Olive Nelson sold the property that is now our Hillcrest Cemetery to the Township for $15.00.   It was stated that the land was to be used only as a burial site and nothing else.   In 1882, the Board of Health, consisting of A. E. Doty, Thomas Budd, J. S. Lambertson and William Smith, resolved to clean trees, put fences up and plot the cemetery.

A Potters Field was established on the East side of Division B, as it is known now, using the first two rows.  That continues today as needed.   From the Board’s minutes in 1968, Matt McClump was hired to also plot the cemetery.  It was mapped out with Divisions A, B & C.   Division A has eighty, four-person plots.   Division B has 144, four-person plots.   Division C has 225, two-person plots. Division D, that was added later, has 51 single person plots located on the East fence line.

Now, 133 years later, on May 20, 2011, the Greenwood Board, consisting of Miles House, Dave Lawrence, Linda Bailow, Lester Veda and James Korman, decided to do further research and hired Great Lake Subsurface.  This company does archaeological and forensic investigation and  were hired to x-ray Division A & B. There were many areas that looked flat and vacant, but it has been determined that there are approximately 281 unmarked graves in those areas.  The Township Cemetery records also contain 43 burial certificates with unknown burial sites.  Park Gilmore, the President of the company, ran the equipment and found the grave sites.  Supervisor, Miles House and Sextons, Jim and Linda Korman did the field work.   Every site was measured from the North fence line, going South, and marked.

In Division A, the rows are measured from the first line of graves going East, labeled A1, A2, etc., and are also labeled alphabetically with the number representing the distance from the North fence. In Division B, the graves are measured from the center going West, with the center row being labeled Z and the numerals representing the distance from the North fence (example: Z019’).

The grave sites in both A & B are listed as unknown in the current records.  As there were eighteen unmarked graves in the roadway in the center of the cemetery, the road was roped off and will be planted with grass out of respect for the ones buried there.

 


A LITTLE OF GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP’S HISTORY

       The County of Clare in Central Michigan was established by that name in 1843 and was composed of great pine forests.  Josiah Littlefield, one of the founders of Farwell and a surveyor who helped plan the route of the Pere Marquette Railroad, which crosses the south-west corner of the Township of Greenwood, described the area.  “Those marvelous pine trees towered 140 feet and more, three to six and seven feet in diameter, with clear timber to 80 and 90 feet before the first branch.  In places, they were so close that sunlight could not penetrate the forest floor.”  This is what early Czechoslovakian settlers where forced to cope with when they attempted to erect there homes in Greenwood Township which was established in 1874.  The introduction of the railroad followed by corduroy roads aided in this settlement.  The first election was held on 4-6-1874 at the home of Richard Budd with 15 votes cast for the offices of Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer, Justice-of-the-Peace, 2 School Inspectors, 2 Constables, a Highway Commissioner, a Road Commissioner and a Path Master.   The Township Offices occupied the Grange Hall at 2876 Harding Avenue before it was sold in April 2007 with the building of a new Hall at 3447 Temple Drive across from the Kitty Kurtis Farm.  Hillside Cemetery was established for the Township in 1878 and expanded in 1903. 

      Five one room school houses were built; Caner School on the N/E corner of Old State and Gray in Section 2, Doty School on Rt. 61 East of Harding in Section 22, Greenwood School on the corner of Rt. 61 and Old State Road in Section 23, Miller School at the corner of Harding and Pestel Creek in Section 9, and Robin School at the corner of Bringold and Clarence in Section 30.  Esther Hileman taught for one year at the Doty School in 1952 and said she was just a kid herself at 20 years of age and couldn’t have weighed more than 100 lbs.  Two big boys in the school, Frank and George Sprague, took one look at her and thought she’d be a push over, so she invited them out to play a little soft ball at recess.  She could hit the ball farther than either one of them and they never tried anything after that demonstration.  The Doty School still stands today as a private residence. 

     In 1910, Henry Ford purchased Section 16 and later Section 17 and 240 acres of Section 18 for a total of 1600 acres.  The original purchase of Section 16 composed of 640 acres cost Ford $14,000.  His thinking was to clear the land of stumps and test his new Fordson tractors on the site.  Ernie Bruce was hired to manage the property but Louis Ford, son of Henry, was put in charge of testing.  Today, this wide expanse of open ground provides a breeding area for cattle and is named Kitty Kurtis Farms.  The Farm was recognized in 2004 receiving the first Farmland Nutrient Management Certification in Clare County.  Eagles, Geese, Sand Hill Cranes, Deer, and other wild life can clearly be seen on the land at different times during the year.

     The Township now serves 438 households with 328 families according to the 2000 census.  Many of the roads are paved, utility services are available, ordinances have been established and updated, an Emergency Siren was installed in 2009 for the protection of its citizens, and a Broadband initiative plus a Neighborhood Watch program have been started.  The Harrison District Library was established in 2009 and a successful millage was passed in November 2010 in support.  Greenwood was one of three original entities to form the District along with Hayes Township and the City of Harrison.  This website was also brought on line just this year.

We would like to thank Miles House for putting together a little bit of greenwood.

“ A Little of Greenwood” for all of us to share. If you have any more information that you would like to share. Contact Supervisor Lester Vida at 989-5398047 or 989-5396881.