Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Hill
In 1834 the first settler, Calvin G. Hill, purchased 400 acres on each side of the Thornapple River and founded Middleville. In an 1835 issue of the Michigan Gazetteer, this settlement was known as Middle Village. On April 4, 1836 Calvin Hill was chosen Supervisor of Barry Township, Commissioner of Highways and Justice of the Peace. He later resigned as supervisor (perhaps he realized that he took on too much). Benjamin S. Dibble kept the first Post Office in the area, located at Gates Corners which was about 2 1/2 or 3 miles from the Village in the vicinity of Scales Prairie. The first school in Barry County taught by teacher, Sarah Paul, was opened in 1835 in Middleville.
The river was the best reason for the location of the Village, providing a convenient means of transportation, as well as power for the grinding mill that attracted farmers to the area. As with many other small communities across America, the coming of the railroad after the Civil War connected Middleville to the rest of the county and the state. Industry came to the area in the late 1800s. Companies like French’s Flouring Mills, with their White Lily Flour, Warren Featherbone, and Cold Springs Creamery brought renown to the Village. People in Middleville feel the Village retains positive qualities of life from the past, while offering opportunities for the future.
The stagecoach has been adopted as a logo for the Village. Middleville was once a midpoint on the “Good Intent” stagecoach lines between major cities and served as a place for passengers to find hospitality and refreshments. Today its citizens continue the satisfaction in sharing with others the quality of life they enjoy. The people of Middleville are confident the strengths of the past will carry them into the future.
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