Forgotten Villages of St. Joseph County
Factoryville is located in the northeast part of Leonidas township. In 1840 James B. DURKIN built a saw-mill on the Nottawa river, operating it until 1862. Theodore ROBINSON and James BISHOP erected a saw-mill on Nottawa Creek and operated it for a time until mill owners of Branch county enjoined the owners against raising their dam. In 1842, William, Charles and Nathan SCHOFIELD built a woolen factory here but it was moved into Park township in 1845. The few homes that were built around these mills were called Factoryville. Another ‘deserted village’.
Howardsville or Tinker Town as it was known was located in Flowerfield township. It was settled by Franklin HOWARD. The land was first owned by Robert GILL and later by the MORSE brothers who build a saw mill in 1833. It was operated for many years. In 1864 a grist-mill was erected by Edmund BEAM. Wm. PORTER built a tavern in 1856. The Village had a post-office and school. Today it in one of several ‘deserted villages’ of St Joseph county.
In 1851 James HUTCHINSON surveyed the village of Parkville on a piece of land in Park township. At one time it had several stores, grist-mill, Tavern and race horse stables and race track. Today it is just ‘another deserted village’ of St Joseph county.
When the railroad lines of the Michigan Air Line and Grand Rapids & Indiana intersected at Wasepi the early settlers had visions of a real city. It was laid out in 1874 by BARNARD, GEE, CONNORS and others.
D. C. GEE was the first post master.
CONNORSand ENSIGN had a fruit drying factory (Jones’ process). A few stores and a hotel were built but the hopes of the early settlers never materialized and the hotels were torn down. Now just a few houses and PALMER‘s General Store is all that remains. It will soon be “another forgotten village” of St. Joseph county.