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Legacies of Isabella County's Early Indian Reservation 1855-1872

By: Hudson Keenan

When much of the public thinks of "Indian reservations" they almost invariably envision a remote, dusty location somewhere in the desert southwest. It frequently surprises people when they learn that Michigan has within its boundaries many Indian reservations. One of the earliest and most historically interesting was founded in Isabella County in 1855. Unfortunately, the early history of the Isabella County reservation is poorly documented and surrounded by considerable myth and misinformation.

We hope that by presenting Mr. Keenan's research regarding the reservation many of these myths and errors can be corrected. Should readers disagree with Mr. Keenan's facts or interpretation, we hope they will work toward documenting alternate ideas and thus help create an even richer understanding of the Isabella County reservation.



                 (click to enlarge) 

1. The Coming of the
Chippewa to Isabella County

2. Indian Mills
on the Chippewa River

3. A Decade of Indian
Schools and Churches

4. The Aftermath:
Land, Lumber, and Money

5. Bibliography

About the Author:

Mr. Keenan is a long-time resident of Mount Pleasant. He received his undergraduate education at Central Michigan University and, until he retired, taught Earth Sciences in the Mt. Pleasant Public Schools. He has also assumed a number of leadership posts within the community, including serving as mayor. Throughout these many activities he has nurtured an ongoing interest in the community's past and as a result has researched a wide ranging body of publications to learn more about Mount Pleasant. In turn, he has shared what he has learned through a series of publications.

Mr. Keenan's wife Ann is also a graduate of Central and before her retirement served as an educator both at the University and within the public schools. Together they have raised four children, and now enjoy their first grandchild.