History of Ionia County, Michigan
All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exertion and sacrifice. The deeds and motives of the men who have gone before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the present conditions of the people of Ionia county, Michigan, with what they were four score years ago. From a trackless wilderness and virgin land, it has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions of wealth, systems of railways, grand educational institutions, splendid indus- tries and immense agricultural and dairy productions. Can any think- ing person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the social, political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception, is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve facts and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for the present publication. A specially valuable and interesting department is that one devoted to the sketches of representative citizens of these counties whose records deserve preservation because of their worth, effort and accomplishment. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to the gentlemen who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Ionia county for the uniform kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information.
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Ionia county, which lies approximately in the second tier of counties south of a line dividing the Southern Peninsula into two equal halves, north and south, is also slightly west of a line which would divide the Southern Peninsula into two equal parts, east and west. It is bounded on the north by Montcalm county, on the east by Clinton county, on the south by Eaton and Barry counties, and on the west by Kent county.