At Grandville, which was settled even before Grand Rapids, Luther Lincoln was the first arrival. He brought five yoke of oxen and was the first man to till any soil in the whole Grand River Valley.
In a letter written to his parents on April 22, 1933, Mr. Linclon says he lives in a town without inhabitants and without a name, in the County of Kent, six miles below the Falls (on the Grand River on the United States Road from Detroit to the mouth of the River.
In about a week he planned to put five yoke of oxen on one plow and "plow as long as it will do to plant". In 1834 there were fourteen families in Grandville, in 1835, four more and in 1836 about seven more. Grandville and GrandRapids were contesting to see which would expand the more. There was an Indian village also, at Grandville.
Across the River from Grand Rapids, was a large Indian Village, where Councils were held for the whole western section of Michigan. A Reverend Slater had an Indian Mission at that Point. Grand Rapids, then, consisted of the Eagle Tavern, 2 mills, a blacksmith's shop and two stores - a real estate office - a doctor's office and a few houses. The streets were deep furrows of mud in wet weather and deep ruts, when fair. The only roads were Indian Trails and most of these led out in all directions from the Council Tree on the west side of the river, at Grand Rapids. Flat River trail was the only route between Grand Rapids and Lowell. DeMarsac and Robinson, at the mouth of the Flat River were the only settlers between Grand Rapids and Ionia.
Michigan, although acting as a State since 1835, was admitted in 1837, Mason was the first Governor. The first Act was to do away with Wildcat Banks.
posted by Trevor Lowing