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In the fall of 1832 the Hon. Samuel Dexter, of German Flats (near Herkimer),
New York, came into this quarter of the country, viewed the land, chose the northwest quarter of section nineteen, town seven
north, range six west, of Ionia county, and entered it at the land office in Kalamazoo. That was the first step taken towards
the civilization of this region. He returned to his home, sounded the praises of the country, and by the ensuing spring had
enlisted a company of sixty-three persons to lead in the work of subduing this land.
This company consisted of Samuel Dexter, Erastus Yeomans, Oliver Arnold, Joel Guild,
Edward Guild, and Darius Windsor, with their wives and children; and Dr. William B. Lincoln, Patrick M. Fox, Windsor Dexter,
Warner Dexter, and Abram Decker, single men.
They left home April 25th, and reached Detroit by the steamer Superior, May
11. Then they began their march to the Grand river, following very nearly the present line of the Detroit and Milwaukee
railroad. It took them sixteen days to reach Ionia, and they camped out nine nights on the way, arriving at the site of the
future city May 28, 1833. They could find shelter only at Royal Oak, Pontiac,—a hamlet of a half dozen cabins,—and
at two isolated settlers’ cabins. The last of these was where Corunna now is and from that point they had to cut their
way through the woods where no wheel had ever passed before.