Reese, Michigan

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Reese is a village in Tuscola and Saginaw counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. Located almost entirely in Tuscola County's Denmark Township, the village includes only a tiny portion of Blumfield Township in Saginaw County. The population was 1,375 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.1 square miles (3.0 km²), all land.

History

The area of what is Reese today was first settled in 1865 when Mrs. Louisa Woodruff and her son built the first home (near the current intersection of Reese Rd and Saginaw Rd.)[3] The Saginaw-Watrousville plank road was opened in 1871 which increased access to the community from Saginaw and the surrounding area. In 1873 the Detroit and Bay City railroads were built and Hudson B. Blackman plotted a tract of land adjacent to the original community (near the current intersection of Saginaw St and Meridian St.)and named it Reese in honor of G.W. Reese the Railroad superintendent. (Hudson B. Blackman was probably the source of Hudson St.)

William B. Stark was born in 1831 in New York and came to Denmark, Tuscola County, in 1865. Six brothers and one sister came to live with him in the following years. They lived in tents in the dense forest of the area. Could this be how Camp St. got its’ name? In 1873, William’s brother, Joseph, came to the area and opened a hotel near the corner of Reese and Saginaw Roads. He was the fourth family to move to the area, with the others being his brother, the Woodruffs, and the Rogers.

In the fall of 1865, A.W. Gates, a stage proprietor from Saginaw, established a plank road from East Saginaw, through Reese, and on into Watrousville. In 1871, Gates established a mail and stage route along the plank road. Gates kept his express and stage offices in Rogers’ hotel. The post office was also in Rogers’ hotel. The post office was named Gates in 1871 after the man responsible for getting it established. In the fall of 1871, Daniel Woodruff opened a grocery and provision store across the street from the hotel, and George Melatt and Archie Scott opened a blacksmith shop. In September, 1872, Asenath M. Rogers, Roberts’ wife, surveyed and platted eleven acres and called it Gates.

In 1873, G. W. Reese brought the Detroit & Bay City Railroad through the town. Hudson B. Blackman then platted a tract of land adjoining Gates, and called it Reese, in honor of the railroad superintendent. The station, post office and town were then renamed after him. Thomas Haniford, and Michael Doyle probably worked for that same railroad, and Eustius Gall, born in Switzerland, was an engineer. Blackman also donated the right – of – way and grounds on which the depot sat..

In 1875, Aseneth Rogers surveyed and platted an addition to the village of Gates. With the railroad station at the east end of town being called Reese, the post office of Gates at the west end eventually merged in, and the entire village and surrounding area became known as Reese. James N. Taylor, whom, according to the 1880 census was born in Virginia, served as postmaster from 1878 to at least 1883. In 1889, he and his family lost most of their possessions in a house fire.

The village grew rapidly and with in five years had a population of more than 300. In 1877 it was described as the railroad and trading point for a large section of farming country. Along with transporting people to and from the area the railroad would also transport timber, limestone and produce to markets throughout the state of Michigan. In the early 1900s, the railroad also was used by local farmers to ship hogs and cattle to Detroit. Stages were also running daily from Saginaw to Caro. The depot served both railroads, as two train order boards were present. (one on a mast for the NYC and one on the building for the PM). Reese Crossing was not an interlocking but it was protected by a target that was set by approaching train crews. The E-W route is that of the Pere Marquette, and the N-S route going by the grain elevator is the Michigan Central branch line between Denmark Jct. and Bay City. The target was set vertical for a Michigan Central movement on the Denmark Jct. Branch.

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