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flag  History of Decatur, Michigan, USA

Journey back in time to Decatur, Michigan, USA

Visit Decatur, Michigan, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Decatur, Michigan, USA - Looking North on Main St.

Decatur, Van Buren, MI

Decatur Township and the Village of Decatur are named after Stephen Decatur, Jr., celebrated as a hero of the War of 1812.

Decatur was founded in 1847 and incorporated as a village in 1861.

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There is MUCH more to discover about Decatur, Michigan, USA. Read on!

Decatur Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Looking North on Main St.
Decatur, Michigan, USA

Postcard
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Looking North on Main St.
West Delaware Street, Decatur, Mich.
Decatur, Michigan, USA

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West Delaware Street, Decatur, Mich.
Phelps St. from St. Mary's St. Looking South
Decatur, Michigan, USA

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Phelps St. from St. Mary's St. Looking South

Discover Decatur: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1854 - Decatur
Decatur, a post-township in the S. part of Van Buren county, Michigan. Population, 380

Decatur, a thriving post-village in the above township, on the Central railroad, 168 miles W. from Detroit, 12 miles S. S. W. from Pawpaw, the county seat, and about 25 miles E. from Lake Michigan. It is situated in a rich farming district, which is settling rapidly.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1880 - A novel way of catching a swarm of bees was unintentionally tried at Decatur, Michigan, the other day by a young man, who is not likely to repeat the experiment if he can help it.
He ran toward the swarm with a green bush in his hand, over which the queen bee poised and then alighted upon his hat. In a twinkling the others followed and completely covered him being so closely knit together that he could scarcely breathe. A box procured, the man's head stuck into it and the swarm finally worked off and hived.
Indiana Weekly Messenger
Indiana, Pennsylvania
November 24, 1880
1882 - Sojourner Truth, who is at least 108 years old, lectured in Decatur, Michigan, the other evening, and devoted the proceeds to aid the woman suffrage campaign in Nebraska.
Her voice is weak, but her sentences are full of life and vigor.
The Wellsboro Gazette
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
October 17, 1882
1892 - August 19 - James Ellsworth, aged 113, died Tuesday night at Decatur, Michigan. He was probably the oldest man in Michigan.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
August 19, 1892
1893 - THEIR GREAT MATRIMONIAL SCORE.
Lysander Morse and Phoebe Macomber, of Decatur, Michigan, were married sixty-five years ago. It was a love match that won the envy of all their neighbors by its promise of happiness. The couple lived together for only a year, when, in a violent quarrel over some trivial incident, they separated and were finally divorce. Morse promptly married again from a spirit of pique, and his erstwhile bride was not far behind him in resuming the wedded state. Neither found any peace or happiness, and it soon seemed to be a race between them as to who could make the most unfortunate alliance. Morse succeeded in contracting four marriages, but his rival won the hearts of six different men, whose names she bore in turn. These facts did not come out until they met for the first time since their separation recently in Allegan county, in the same State. As they rehearsed their various experiences it appeared that each was single again, and they decided to try a second marriage. A few days after this... Read MORE...

1895 - Decatur
Decatur, a post-village of Van Buren co., Mich., on the Michigan Central Railroad, 24 miles S.W. of Kalamazoo, and 116 miles E. of Chicago. It has 7 churches, a bank, a foundry, a measure-factory, a novelty-works, a grist mill, 2 grain-elevators, and manufactures of staves, &c. A weekly newspaper is published here. Pop. in 1890, 1109; of the township, 1789.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1896 - Dead Cinch for Men.
Decatur, Michigan, presents a combination. Its population is 1500. The president of the council is a woman. The leading doctor is a woman. Mrs. Rev. Gregg preaches at the Advent church and Mrs. Barnett is janitress. The restaurant is owned by a woman. A Mrs. Owns the biggest store in the place and Mrs. Nicholson is postmistress. The town also boasts of female shoe, furniture and harness makers, a female florist and a feminine carriage painter. This town is a dead easy cinch for men who do not like work.
The Daily Herald
Delphos, Ohio
March 7, 1896
2023 - Decatur, Michigan is a charming place with a mix of outdoor activities, local attractions, and community events. Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Decatur:
Van Buren State Park:

Enjoy the great outdoors at Van Buren State Park. It offers hiking trails, sandy beaches, and opportunities for picnicking. Perfect for a day of relaxation and recreation.

Lake of the Woods:

If you're a fishing enthusiast, head to Lake of the Woods. It's a serene spot to spend some time by the water, casting a line and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Decatur Historic District:

Take a stroll through Decatur's Historic District. You'll find well-preserved architecture and a glimpse into the town's past. It's a charming area for a leisurely walk.

Dining at Local Eateries:

Explore the local dining scene. Whether it's a cozy cafe, a family-run diner, or a barbecue joint, Decatur has a variety of eateries to satisfy your taste buds.

Decatur VFW Post 6248:

Check out the events happening at the Decatur VFW Post. They often host community gatherings, dances, and other activities. It's a great way to connect with the local... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Decatur Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Decatur, Michigan, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Decatur.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)



female ancestorPatience WATKINS (1778, , Virginia, USA - 25 November 1876, Decatur, Michigan, USA)
female ancestorMary SQUIER (1792, , New York, USA - 21 February 1874, Decatur, Michigan, USA)
male ancestorLe Grand ANDERSON (1797, , Virginia, USA - 31 July 1869, Decatur, Michigan, USA)
male ancestorDolphin MORRIS (1799, , Virginia, USA - 7 January 1870, Decatur, Michigan, USA)
female ancestorSylvia BROWN (1799, , Pennsylvania, USA - 3 July 1870, Decatur, Michigan, USA)
male ancestorHenry CARROLL (1799, , New York, USA - 1 January 1868, Decatur, Michigan, USA)
male ancestorSamuel SHAW (1799, , Virginia, USA - 29 January 1877, Decatur, Michigan, USA)
female ancestorMary DAVIS (1800, , New York, USA - 7 July 1870, Decatur, Michigan, USA)
male ancestorZacharia LEWIS (1802, , New York, USA - 21 October 1877, Decatur, Michigan, USA)

Genealogy Resources for Decatur

Michigan Newspapers

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Updated: 10/12/2023 6:19:03 PM