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

Van Buren County / Van Buren County Courthouse

 
 
Van Buren County Marker image. Click for full size.
September 8, 2012
1. Van Buren County Marker
Inscription. Van Buren County
Settlers attracted by lumbering came to this area in the 1830s. By the 1860s a mild climate, rich soil and easy access to the Chicago markets created a thriving fruit industry in Van Buren County. The county was one of thirteen platted by the territorial legislature in 1829, and one of six named for Andrew Jackson's cabinet members. A gubernatorial commission chose Lawrence as the seat of government, however, when the county was set-off in 1837, the board of supervisors chose Paw Paw. When the board decided to build a new courthouse in 1900, it considered moving the county seat. South Haven, the county's largest town, Lawrence, and Hartford all vied for the designation. In a county-wide election on April 1, 1901, citizens voted to keep the county seat in Paw Paw.

Van Buren County Courthouse
Van Buren County officials occupied the first county courthouse (the present Paw Paw City Hall) in 1845. On September 2, 1901, Frank O. Gilbert, the Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons, laid the cornerstone for the present courthouse. Members of the Grand Army of the Republic and fraternal organizations marched through the town in celebration. The Paw Paw True Northerner estimated that between 8,000 and 10,000 people attended the ceremony. The monumental Classical Revival building
Van Buren County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
September 8, 2012
2. Van Buren County Courthouse Marker
designed by Jackson architect Claire Allen, was dedicated on February 23, 1903. The Sheldon and Oradell Rupert memorial clock was installed in the tower in 1986. Both of Van Buren's courthouses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 1990 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number 556.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 42° 12.989′ N, 85° 53.405′ W. Marker is in Paw Paw, Michigan, in Van Buren County. Marker is on East Paw Paw Street 0 miles east of South Kalamazoo Street (Michigan Highway 40), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 212 E Paw Paw St, Paw Paw MI 49079, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Paw Paw Public Library (within shouting distance of this marker); William Killefer Jr. / Wade Killefer (approx. 0.2 miles away); Charles R. Maxwell (approx. mile away); Warner Wine Haus (approx. mile away); Territorial Road (approx. mile away); St. Mark's Church / The Reverend Darius Barker
Van Buren County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
September 8, 2012
3. Van Buren County Courthouse
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Lawton Civil War Monument (approx. 3.8 miles away); Houppert Winery (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Paw Paw.
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
Old Van Buren County Courthouse, now the Paw Paw City Hall image. Click for full size.
September 8, 2012
4. Old Van Buren County Courthouse, now the Paw Paw City Hall
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2012. This page has been viewed 387 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 11, 2012. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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