Homer, Michigan

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Homer is a village in Calhoun County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,851 at the 2000 census.



Milton Barney arrived from Lyons, New York the summer of 1832 to scout the area and returned that September with his family and workmen to settle on the south bank of the Kalamazoo River in Section 5. Soon after Barney hired Osha Wilder to layout the plat for the village of Barneyville on the SW corner of Section 5, SE corner of Section 6, NE corner of Section 7, and NW corner of Section 8. For more a detailed history of the surrounding area see the entry for Homer Township and Clarendon Township.

Milton Barney built a store, a sawmill, and a hotel. In 1834 when a post office was registered, Barneyville was renamed Homer after the village in Cortland County, New York, at the request of many of the residents who had moved from there. Homer was incorporated as a village in 1871.

According to Dr William Lane, the Potawatomi natives were friendly and the children of settlers and natives often played together. Chief Ne-au-to-beer-saw, called Leather-nose,[3] and Chief Wopkezike are mentioned in many stories of the founding era. The native population was numerous until the autumn of 1840 when the U.S. Government forcibly removed the Indians to reserves west of the Mississippi under Authority of the Indian Removal Act and Treaty of Chicago.[4] Because of the peacefulness of the Potawatomi, they continued to co-exist with the settlers many years after the Treaty of Chicago until General Brady removed about 250 Indians of Hillsdale and Homer to Miami County, KS. Chief Ne-au-to-beer-saw drowned while crossing the Detroit River returning from his escape to Canada.[3]

The "old" Homer mills was built by a stock company of Milton Barney, Walter Wright, Nelson D. Skeeles, Asabel Finch, Jr, and Mr Platt in 1837-1838. This structure was later operated under the name Smith, Lewis, & Redfield. The property passed on to B. & E.R. Smith in 1860 and to Judge Emons of Detroit in 1872. This original structure burned on January 25th, 1886. The heirs of Judge Emons sold the water power, land, and mill site to Cortright & Sons.[5]

The Homer High School varsity baseball team set the national record for most consecutive wins at 75. The streak started at the start of the 2004 season and ended in the state championship game in 2005. From 2003 to 2006 the varsity baseball team compiled a 143-6 record. Winning two state championships, in 2004 and 2006, and was televised on ESPN's 50 States in 50 Days segment on the state of Michigan.

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