Meridian Township in Ingham County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Chief Okemos / Okemos Village marker
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.
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,
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. Touch 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 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chief Okemos (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bigelow-Kuhn-Thomas House (approx. 2.1 miles away); Haslett (approx. 2.6 miles away); Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture (approx. 2.8 miles away); Dora Hall Stockman Harry J. Eustace Hall (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Nation's Pioneer Land-Grant University (approx. 2.9 miles away); Women's Building (approx. 2.9 miles away).
Categories. • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 24, 2015, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 317 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 24, 2015, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.