Person:John McKelvey (5)

John McKelvey
Facts and Events
Name[1][2] John McKelvey
Gender Male
Residence[2] 1830 Oakland, Michigan Territory
Residence[5] 1833 Michigan, USA
Residence[3] Bef 1834 Oakland, Michigan, USA
Residence[3] May 1834 Ionia, Michigan, USALibhart creek, section 24, tract of 300 acres
Other[3] 1835 Ionia, Michigan, USAJohn McKelvey put in a crop of wheat in 1835 and when he harvested it people came from far and near to get seed wheat of him Fact 1
Residence[1] 1 Jun 1840 Lyons, Ionia, Michigan, USA
Marriage to Abigal McKelvey
Property? Records available at
Death[3] 1847 Ionia, Michigan, USADied on his farm in section 24
Other[4] Lived to the age of 120 (unlikely) Fact 1
Other[3] Ionia, Michigan, USAIn the McKelvey neighborhood settlements were slow and for some years that part of the town rough and uninviting was an almost trackless forest Fact 2

From History of Ionia County:,M1

The first land entry in the present township of Berlin was probably made in July 1833 by John E Morrison who was likewise the first person to make a settlement in the township The land he entered occupies the northeast corner of the township upon section 25 in township 7 and lies upon the river Mr Morrison penetrated into Oakland county Michigan in 1824 and after nine years experience as a pioneer in that locality was dissatisfied with the progress he had made Conceiving that better land could be found farther westward he determined to investigate the matter and endeavored to impress some of his neighbors with similar sentiments His efforts in that direction were however unavailing They declared themselves suited with what they had and intimated to Morrison that he had better remain content or it might be worse for him Young Morrison was however not to be dissuaded and in July 1833 set out alone on horseback over the old Indian trail from Pontiac bound west In narrating that portion of his Michigan experience Mr Morrison remarked that he was more determined than ever to push his project since others opposed it He added with a glow of satisfaction that he never backed out of any enterprise into which he entered although he would have backed out in 1849 when on a tour across the plains to California he was taken sick and felt sure that he would die He had to stick however because there was no help for it As he expected he did find better land farther west and in section 25 as earlier noticed he chose a farm to his liking He hastened back to Oakland county for his family and returning in the fall with his wife and little ones found that he had already got a neighbor in Oliver Arnold a blacksmith who was living on the south bank of the Grand river in what is now Ionia township having come out with the Dexter colony Morrison lodged his family with Mr Arnold until he could prepare a habitation of his own and when they began life in their own cabin they felt no doubt a deal of comfort and satisfaction at first although to recollect afterwards Mr Morrison thought there must have been precious little to be thankful for However he set himself sttirdily to work and pushed aside with vigorous arm the jagged edges and tough knots that faced him in his pioneer's progress until he began directly to reap the reward of his toil in improved property comfort and conveniences Although Mr Morrison was for nearly two years the only settler in Berlin township and lived upon the fringe of an unbroken wilderness he was not entirely out of the world of civilization for there was his neighbor Arnold close by and just over the river was the little community at Samuel Dexter village of Ionia the county seat so that he was not quite so lonesome or isolated as he might have been In 1835 he put out a half bushel of apple seed that came from Ohio and from the orchard that followed he supplied many customers with trees He therefore not only planted the first orchard but raised likewise the first crop of wheat in the town For his first wheat he got two dollars a bushel and for his first potatoes a similar price although these figures were exceptional and must have been realized as the result of an emergency George Hosford who later lived on section 25 in township 7 was among the early comers to Ionia county and at a very early day worked for Mr Morrison in Berlin so that he may be strictly regarded as having been a pioneer of the front rank although not an actual settler in Berlin township until the township was pretty well populated Mr Morrison resided later in Ionia township on the south side of the river but not far from the place of his first settlement in Berlin He was prominent in county history not only as the first county treasurer first clerk of Ionia township and first clerk of Cass but as a surveyor of many of the county's earliest highways He was something of a wanderer too He joined the army of California gold seekers in 1849 lingered awhile in Texas and lived two years in Tennessee but Michigan proved his best love and to he returned to find rest for the soles of his feet and a home that would remain his as long as he needed one on earth

From History of Ionia County, Michigan:,M1

On October 15 1873 Marcellus J Allen was united in marriage to Susan S Morrison who was Ixjrn on a farm in what is now South Ionia March 14 1844 daughter of John E and Eliza McKelvey Morrison both natives of New York state and pioneers of this county who spent their last days here the former dying at the age of eighty and the latter at the age of seventy six John E Morrison was the youngest of five children of Joseph Morrison a soldier of the American Revolution and wife the others having been Joseph Anna Susanna and Edward Joseph Morrison was a prominent resident of Elmira New York where he and his wife spent their last days Grandfather McKelvey and wife were among the earliest residents of Ionia county having settled here about six months after the coming of the Dexter colony the first recorded settlers Among their children who grew to maturity here were John Eliza Catherine and Elizabeth John E Morrison and wife were the parents of eight children George who died during his service as a Union soldier in the Civil War Joseph Myra John Susan S Mary Anna and Charles Susan S Morrison received her education in the Ionia schools and was a public school teacher at the time of her marriage to Mr Allen

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ionia, Michigan, United States. 1840 U.S. Census Population Schedule
    Database online. , Ionia, Michigan, roll 205, page 119.

    Record for John McKelvey

  2. 2.0 2.1 Oakland, Michigan, United States. 1830 U.S. Census Population Schedule
    Database online. , Oakland, Michigan Territory, roll 69, page 93, image 187.

    Record for John McKelvey

  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 History of Ionia County, Michigan. (Name: Published by B.F. Bowen & Co.; Date: 1916;),M1.

    John McKelvey came from Oakland county Michigan in May 1834 and located on Libhart creek in section 24 where he had a tract of three hundred acres in which was the mill site now occupied by a grist mill Lib hart was then carrying on a saw mill on the same creek but westward to Ionia village there was no settler A Mr Soules who came in with McKelvey as a farm hand bought a place a mile west of McKelvey's in 1835 and that year began to clear it He cleared two farms in Ionia in the course of time and removed subsequently to Oregon where he died John McKelvey died on his farm in section 24 in 1847 The mill site he himself did not improve but sold it to Aaron Pratt who erected a grist mill there in 1844

  4. Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. Historical Collections. (Date: 1896;)
    p. 124-125 Scroll down from

    heart disease For 60 years he had been a prominent figure in and about Ionia county having settled in Lyons township in 1833 and had many friends He was born October 15 1816 at Albany NY He moved with friends who were farmers to Rochester when 3 years old moving thence to Michigan in 1833 settling in Oakland county He remained there 8 years after which be moved into Lyons township where he has resided ever since He never attended school but was educated by a private tutor He engaged in farming and began the study of law when ... _JUST: The ages from the censuses don't support an age of 120

  5. Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. Historical Collections. (Date: 1896;)
    p. 121

    Name Came to Michigan Place of death Date of death Age John McKelvey 1833 Ionia Ang 19 1893 77