Historical Events - Bingen


Old Settlers - Bingen - Homesteaders

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Most of the Old Settlers were Homesteaders and lived in Bingen before the towns of Mecosta and Remus existed. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. On January 1, 1863, Daniel Freeman made the first claim under the Act, which gave citizens or future citizens up to 160 acres of public land provided they lived on it, improved it, and paid a small registration fee. The Government granted more than 270 million acres of land while the law was in effect. The draw to Michigan was homestead land made available through the Homestead Act of 1862 allotting pioneers 160 acres.

The Old Settlers are descended from families who arrived in the early 1800s in Ohio. The Normans and Stevens were in the Marietta area by 1810. The Caliman and Guy families settled in Morgan and Muskingum Counties between 1815 and 1820. The Letts arrived in Belmont County between 1815-1819 and later in Muskingum County. The Old Settler Community produced soldiers who fought in the U.S. Revolutionary and Civil Wars and were also imprisoned in the notorious Confederate Civil War Andersonville Prison. The pioneers came from humble beginnings as scholars, ministers, businessmen, musicians, professional baseball players, farmers, a U.S. Attorney, and 2 judges. Share the joy and blessings extended to the great and great-great-grandchildren for many honors coming their way in every walk of life. There were 32 Old Settlers and sons of Michigan Pioneers who served in the Civil War. Among them, 5 settled in Bingen and were: Thomas W. Cross, Jim Guy, Harrison Harding, Grandison Norman, and Charles Rice buried In Wheatland Cemetery.




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