“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Meridian Township in Ingham County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Chief Okemos / Okemos Village marker

Chief Okemos Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., March 1, 2015
1. Chief Okemos Marker
Chief Okemos

Okemos was born in Shiawassee County around 1775. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Sandusky during the War of 1812 and won the respect of the Saginaw Chippewa people. Chief Okemos later signed several treaties on behalf of the Chippewa, including the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw. During the 1830s and 1840s Okemos led a band of Indians, most likely Chippewa, Ottawa, Potawatomi people, who lived south of here along the Red Cedar River. The band traded with white settlers in the area, including Freeman Bray, who founded the village of Hamilton in 1840. By 1850 the band had dispersed as some were forced by the U.S. government to live on reservations. Chief Okemos eventually relocated to Shimnicon, an Indian settlement in Ionia County. He died near DeWitt in 1858.

Okemos Village

Native Americans led by Chief Okemos lived in this vicinity when white settlement began in 1839 with the arrival of Sanford Marsh and Freeman Bray. A post office named Sanford was established the following year. Bray founded the village of Hamilton in 1840, and he recorded the plat in 1851. In 1859 the state legislature renamed the village Okemos in honor of the Indian leader. By 1874 hotels and stores dotted the Detroit - Grand River plank road (present-day Hamilton Road), and sawmills,
Okemos Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., March 1, 2015
2. Okemos Village Marker
gristmills, and planing mills operated at the site of present-day Ferguson and Wonch Parks off of State Road (now Okemos Road). Okemos gradually developed into a trade center for agricultural activity in the area. In 1923 Grand River Road became a state trunk line and was rerouted north of its original location.
Erected 2004 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number L2133.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 42° 42.997′ N, 84° 25.745′ W. Marker is in Meridian Township, Michigan, in Ingham County. Marker is at the intersection of Okemos Road and Hamilton Road, on the right when traveling north on Okemos Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2119 Hamilton Road, Okemos MI 48864, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Grand River Trail (approx. 3.4 miles away); First Michigan Sharpshooters (approx. 6.5 miles away); Town of Michigan /Lansing (approx. 6.5 miles away); Downtown Historic District (approx. 7.7 miles away); Saint Mary Parish (approx. 7.8 miles away); Reference Mark for Michigan Center of Population (approx. 9 miles away).
Categories. Native AmericansSettlements & Settlers
Chief Okemos / Okemos Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., March 1, 2015
3. Chief Okemos / Okemos Village Marker
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 190 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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