Chester Township History & Genealogy
Excertps from Chester Township Board Minutes
Early Township History
1864 Plat Map
1876 Plat Map
1897 Plat Map
1912 Plat Map
1955 Plat Map
1965-66 Plat Map
1995 Plat Map
1850 Census
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The Railroads
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The Telephone & Other Utilities
Civil War Veterans
Crockery Lake
The Conklin Enterprise Newspaper
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2008 Michigan Apple Queen
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Below are excerpts from Chester Township Board minutes.  Some are funny, some serious and all are interesting.




It was moved and carried that cattle be prohibited from running at large in the Public Highways of this Township.


Record of Resolution Adopted by Board:  We, the Undersigned Township Board of the Township of Chester, County of Ottawa and State of Michigan at a meeting held in their hall on the 23rd day of December, Resolved That our State Senator use all honorable and fair means to detach the Township of Chester from Ottawa Co. and attach the same to Muskegon Co., State of Michigan.


Be it resolved that the Town Board of the Twp. of Chester fix the license for peddlers, Hucksters, etc. at $20.00 each.  Carried.


The motion was passed at the Annual Meeting to put iron hitching posts and rails around the Town Hall.


Moved and supported that written notices be served on the saloonkeepers and others of Chester Twp. forbidding the sale or giving of liquor, etc. to Conrad Rauber.  Carried.


Motion approved to set the closing hours of all saloons in the township at 10 O’clock p.m. sharp and that after closing the curtains must be up to allow a clear view of the bar.


Motion approved to allow E. O. Cilley, health officer; and Robert Brevitz, Don H. Bean, Edw. Harris and Clyde E. Pratt, while on duty on their rural routes, to carry revolvers for their protection.


Motion made and supported that we grant the Saloon Keepers of Chester Twp. the hours as follows:  May 1 to Nov. 1, six to ten O’clock and on Saturday nights until eleven O’clock and from Nov. 1 to May 1 six to ten straight.  Motion carried.


Motion made and supported that we grand the petition of J. R. Gilbert and others praying to submit the proposition to use ferrets in the hunting of rabbits in the Township of Chester.  Motion Carried.


M, S, Carried that the clerk be allowed 3 cents each for counting and writing out rat orders.


M, S, Carried that George Blekley be granted the privilege to operate and run a pool room in the village of Conklin.


Resolution passed to prohibit the riding of bicycles and racing of wagons on the side walks of Conklin.  Motion passed to contract with Philip S. Moon for lighting the streets of Conklin.


Motion passed to grant the Ladies Study Club permission to plant trees at the Township Hall and that the Highway Commissioner and the District Overseer be instructed to protect all trees planted by them.


Special Board Meeting in regard to Gladys Batson in Scarlet Fever Case.  Motion passed to let the ruling of R. O. Allen, as Health Officer, stand, in regard to keeping Gladys Batson under quarantine for ten days.


Township deeded the North 15 acres of Lot number 1, Section fifteen in Town nine, north of range 13, with the express understanding that Wilhelmina VanderHoof should be given a good burial, a home at the County Infirmary so long as she lived, with board, clothing and medical attention and a suitable marker placed on her grave and that of her husband in the cemetery at North Chester, also burial expenses of her husband.  The Township Board passed a resolution to accept the property and, since it was not productive land, to authorize the supervisor and clerk to sell the property and fulfill the terms of the agreement.


Motion passed to raise $200 for a soldier’s memorial at the Chester Township Hall.


Motion passed that if electric line passes town hall, we would be in favor of having hall wired.


Township passed a motion to have regular monthly board meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.


Moved by R Wiltenburg, supported by Harold Kober we adopt resolution to bring Township of Chester under Primary System next Regular Election.  Carried.


 Ordinance adopted to establish a Township Liquor Commission.  Then on 03-17-1960 it was decided to table the consideration of a Liquor Control Ordinance.  No further mention is made of the ordinance, but on 04-27-1960, Norbert Denhof was appointed as Liquor Control Inspector.


The request by the Conklin Improvement Assn. for better street lighting in Conklin was approved.


Zoning Ordinance adopted.


Petition received to place the sale of liquor by the glass on the August Primary ballot.


Proposal to sell liquor by the glass approved by township voters at the general election.


M, S, Carried that the township pay mileage for the swimming instructor to come to Gross Park for 2 weeks.


It was decided that we would have no meeting in November because of deer hunting, and that our December meeting would be held on December 13th, instead of our regular meeting night.  Notice of meeting change to be put in the Ravenna Times-Clipper.


Special Meeting – Resolution passed to hire Joiner Engineering to assist in the development of a Master Plan for the township.


Resolution passed that Chester Township will pay 1/3 of the cost of establishing a lake level and constructing a dam in the outlet of Crockery Lake.


Resolution passed to make the sugar maple the official tree of Chester Township.


M, S, Carried that the application for a Dance Permit to be held in conjunction with the Class C liquor license business at 19683 Main Street be considered for disapproval.

Vote was 4 yeas, 0 nays, 1 absent and it is the consensus of this legislative body that the application be not recommended for issuance.


Special Meeting – Curfew Ordinance for Chester Township was discussed in detail.  It was decided to have parents and children of the know trouble makers present at the 12/15 meeting to discuss what to do.  It was also decided to have a Public Hearing on Dec. 29th7:30 for all parents and their children to discuss 6 AM to 6 PM curfew.

We will vote on curfew after Public Hearing.

It was suggested we light up Main Street and the alley way with mercury lights.


M, S, Carried to put vapor lights in Conklin on Main Street and Alleys – Conklin & Miller, Maple & Miller and Miller and Daggett.


Public Hearing on Curfew Ordinance was held in the Conklin Fire Barn.  After much discussion, a straw vote was taken with the following results:

9 PM  curfew – Yes – 34            No – 10

6 PM curfew – Yes – 18 No – 18


Luke Arends said that the Community Veteran’s Association would be receptive to turning over the American Legion Hall to the township, if some kind of an agreement can be reached.


A special meeting was held prior to our regular monthly board meeting at the American Legion Hall on 32nd Avenue.  All members of the board were present as well as John Diendorf, Maurice Mengel and Con Creager who represented the American Legion.  The meeting was held to discuss the possible transfer of the Hall and property to the Township for a Township Hall.


M, S, Carried that we accept the transfer of Community Veterans Ass’n. Building and property to Chester Township, and to agree to the stipulations which were presented by them.


M, S, Carried that, in the future, our new township hall will be known as THE CHESTER TOWNSHIP HALL AND CIVIC CENTER.

M, S, Carried to have Creager be in charge of the rental of the township hall, to be rented to township residents only.

M, S, Carried to charge $50.00 per day for custodial and maintenance fee on new township hall and civic center.


Resolution passed “BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the committee name of Chester Township Recreational Committee be approved, for the purpose of obtaining a federal grant for recreational improvements at the Chester Township Hall and Civic Center.


Meerman presented a petition with approximately 300 signatures, which stated the following:

We the undersigned concerned citizens and businessmen of Chester Township, do hereby petition the officials of Chester Township and (or) Ottawa County to compel our law enforcement agencies to immediate action toward maximum enforcement of laws in this community concerning:

            1.  Use and sale of illegal drugs

            2.  Illegal sale of alcoholic beverages to minors

            3.  Physical and verbal harassment of our senior citizens and young children

            4.  Reckless driving.

M, S, Carried to send the petition to the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, as stated in the petition.

Schwartz read a letter, dated 07/03/79, from Ron Bakker of the OCRC, which said that because of the low volumes of traffic, she did not believe any of these three crossings in our township would have the necessary justification for flashers.


Meerman read a letter from Robert D. Dykstra, Sheriff, to Jack Smant, Chairman, Ottawa Co. Board of Commissioners regarding the petition which originated in our township.  He also said that there will be a public meeting with the Sheriff’s Department on 09/27/79 (Thursday) at 7:30 PM at the Township Hall.


Senior Meal Program started.


Resolution passed abolishing the office of Constable.


Special meeting with Rick Shoemaker and Jim Bredin, DNR, and Ken Ruiter, Progressive Engineering.  Since we are on a priority list for receiving a Step 1 grant for a sewer system at Crockery Lake, they explained to the board what was necessary to submit a formal application.


Steve Menn reported to the Township Board on the sewer system at Crockery Lake.  63% of the property owners were contacted in person, 88% did not want the study.  12% did want the study.  M, S, Carried to declare the Sewer System at Crockery Lake a dead issue.


Meerman brought up the fact that the street lighting in Conklin is paid by the whole of Chester Township.  Perhaps this should be a special assessment.  Tabled until next meeting.

Resolution passed adopting a Winter Parking Ordinance to be effective 04-01-1981.


Meerman has checked with the County Clerk to find out about having a special assessment district for the street lighting in Conklin.


Meerman announced that a Planning Committee would replace the former Zoning Board.  It would consist of the present Zoning Board plus 2 new members.  They will be responsible for all zoning changes in our Township; will hold the public hearings, etc.  The chairman will be Phil Schaefer.  Fred Schamber accepted as one of the new members.


Meerman has been in contact with the consumers Power co. with regard to a special assessment district for the street lighting in Conklin.  There are 28 lights in the village at a cost of $6.70 each per month.  The Board will have to decide what share they feel the township should pay.


M, S, Carried to have the township-at-large pay 10% of the cost of street lighting in Conklin.


James Meerman resigns as supervisor.


Mary Meerman takes oath of office as Supervisor.  James Meerman takes oath of office as Deputy Supervisor.


M, S, Carried to award the bid on installing paneling and making other repairs at the Township Hall to the lowest bidder ($2,700.00).


Since the street lights which benefit particular residential areas should not be paid for out of the General Fund, M, S, Carried to have Creager contact our township attorney, Telman, about a special assessment district and to report back at the next meeting.


3 resolutions passed establishing a special assessment district in the village of Conklin relating to street lights.

Resolution passed to establish a Handicapped Grievance Procedure.

M, S, Carried that churches and non-profit organizations in our Township be exempt from obtaining building permits.


M, S, Carried that the motion to exempt churches and non-profit organizations from obtaining building permits be rescinded.


M, S, Carried to grant Crockery Lake Association a permit to shoot off fireworks over Crockery Lake on July 4th.


M, S, Carried to grant the Conklin Brotherhood Association permission to bury a time capsule at the Township Hall grounds.  It would contain mementos of Conklin and Chester Township from 1986 and would not be dug up and opened until 100 years from now.

Herb Schaefer turned in the survey concerning the interest of people in Conklin to have a sewer system put in.  There was considerable interest so the Board will continue to pursue the feasibility of this project and check into doing a cost survey.

Revised and newly adopted Zoning Ordinance books are now available in the Clerk’s office.


Letter received from DNR concerning sewer contamination in some of Conklin’s storm drains.  The township is directed to take action to correct this situation.


M, S, Carried to obtain a bid from Williams & Works for a sewer feasibility study at Crockery Lake, as requested by the Crockery Lake Association.


Resolution passed to approve the request for a dance permit from The Fenian’s Bierstube, Inc. on Main Street in Conklin.


Public Hearing on Conklin village sewer system.


M, S, Carried to start the procedure for establishing a Special Assessment District at Crockery Lake for the purpose of weed treatment to be effective upon receipt of petitions containing signatures from 80% of the property owners in the proposed district.


M, S, Carried to enter into a one year agreement with Northwest Ambulance Service for service to our entire township at a cost of $1,500.00.


A public hearing will be held by the Ottawa County Parks Commission on January 23, 1991 to hear public opinion relating to converting the old railroad bed into a hiking & biking trail.


A petition to lower the speed limit on Sehler Street in Conklin was given to the Michigan State Police.  The State Police will recheck the average speed on that section of road to see if the speed limit should be lowered.


M, S, Carried to hire a backhoe to clean out the end of the drain on the north side of Miller Street In Conklin, behind the John Deere building.


M, S, Carried to appoint JoKaye Kelly to the Rails to Trails committee.

Diendorf reported on the reasons the speed limit on Sehler Street in Conklin was set at 45 MPH.


Resolution passed to have Chester Township’s property tax statements processed by Ottawa County Data Processing Center.


M, S, Carried that the township sponsor the Memorial Day Service and Parade from now on as the Conklin Brotherhood Association has dissolved and will no longer be doing it.


Resolution passed to not hold an Annual Meeting this year.


M, S, Carried to contract with Coopersville District Library at a cost of $3,500.00.


Construction on addition to Township Hall begins.


Resolution passed increasing the membership of the ZBA from 3 to 5 members and the Planning Commission for 6 to 7 members.


Carolyn Burgtorf appointed for a 2 year term and Pat Wolters appointed to a 4 year term to the Northeast Ottawa District Library Board.


M, S, Carried to adopt the township logo presented by JoKaye Kelly.


Resolution passed to approve the Chester Township Park Master Plan.

Resolution passed to approve the application to the DNR for a grant of $150,000.00 with a $50,000 Chester Township local match for the purpose of additional construction and renovation of Chester Township Park.


Construction begins on the Conklin Sewer System.


First Chester Township Clean Up Day held.


Chester Township Master Plan adopted.

Chester Township
Ottawa County
Michigan, USA