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Thomas Dill

 

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First White Woman

The first white woman to be seen in this locality arrived in the summer of 1837 when Thomas Dill brought  his wife and two children to the mouth of Muskegon lake.  They spent a night at the house of Henry  Pennoyer.  The Dills ascended the Muskegon river to near Newaygo.  Early in 1838 they returned down  river to Mill Iron point.  There in a log cabin the first white child was born in Muskegon county, June 10, 1838.  She was named Minerva Dill.  In 1855, when 17 years old, Minerva Dill was married to John A. Curry.  They built their home on West Muskegon avenue, old No. 5.  The house still stands in its original  location with some windows, foundation and porch added.  The Dills returned to Muskegon in 1840, and  proceeded to the head of Mona lake, where Mr. Dill started to build a water power saw mill.  He sold it,  however, and returned to Muskegon, taking possession of the old Louis Badeaux trading post.  He made a  boarding house of it, and did some trading.  About 1850 Mr. and Mrs. Dill bought the lot on the southeast  corner of Pine street and Western avenue, extending to the alley, for $75.  There they built a home, where  Mr. Dill died in 1855.  The title to the property was not clear, and the widow had to pay a second time.   She sold the frontage on Western avenue to Mr. Roberts, from Grand Rapids, who had a saloon there.  It  burned in the fire of 1874.  Part of the purchase price paid by Roberts was in the form of a new house for  Mrs. Dill, or rather, Mrs. Bohne, as she had remarried, Mr. Bohne died the same year.   The new house  was on that part of the lot facing Pine street near the alley.  Mrs. Bohne had boarders there, and called the  place the Muskegon house, after the first one at the Badeaux place.  Mrs. Bohne later sold that portion of  the property to Jonathan Boyce, and moved her house to the southwest corner of Webster avenue and  Terrace street, where she had purchased the lot extending on Terrace from Webster to the alley at the south.   She sold part of it in 1880 to Oliver Lambert.  He put up a brick store for a grocery.  The building still is there.  It was in that building the Schuitema Electric company started business.  Mr. Boyce also put up a  building for a meat market on the Pine street lot.  This burned in the fire of 1874, he then built a brick  building which still stands.

Muskegon Chronicle, June 7, 1947  KNOW MUSKEGON   By Charles H. Yates

Submitted by Bill Moore

 

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Trading Post

 

 

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