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§ Charles A. Spaulding
A History of Hartford
153 pg transcript

§ Katherine Minshall Early History of Hartford and Lawrence 12 pgs.
§ Eli Fayette Ruggles Recollections of A Busy Life circa 1904

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Transcripts on the History of Hartford

Early History of Hartford and Lawrence  –  by Katherine V. Minshall.
A History of Hartford  –  by Charles A. Spaulding
People and Events of the Township and Village of Hartford, Michigan during the First 100 years of Occupation by White Settlers.  1829 – 1929

History of Berrien & Van Buren Co’s Michigan – With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Pioneers

Published in 1880 by D.W. Ensign & Co. This historic book contains information about Hartford-15 pgs, Keeler-17 pgs, Lawrence 21pgs, Bangor – 23 pgs, Watervliet-Coloma – 20 pgs with the locations of the land and condition of soil, Pottawattamie Indian occupation, formation of individual governments, schools, churches, social organizations, economic growth, names of businesses, names of early settlers, Village Incorporations, and much more.  All searchable content with Adobe Reader.   If you do not have Adobe Reader, download the current FREE version, for best results, at

Very large .pdf files, but worth the wait if
you have high-speed DSL or Cable.

Not recommended for 56k dialup modems.

History of Hartford

Compiled by the HHS Class of 1958 during 8th grade in 1953-1954.  Contains previously printed historic documentation about Hartford and Keeler, yet contains some interesting facts I had not read in other books.  You’ll enjoy reading this well researched publication by young Hartford students.  All searchable content with Adobe Reader.    If you do not have Adobe Reader, download the current FREE version, for best results, at

Very large .pdf files, but worth the wait if
you have high-speed DSL or Cable.

Not recommended for 56k dialup modems.


Recollections of A Busy Life
– by Eli Fayette Ruggles – circa 1904.

If you are a Hartford History buff, you’ll recognize many of the names mentioned in the Recollections of A Busy Life.  Local towns of Hartford Centre (Hartford) Decatur, Keeler, Waterford (Watervliet), St. Joe, Kalamazoo and others are mentioned as early settlers forged a new life during the pioneer days of Southwest Michigan.


Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 

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HartfordHistory Icon - Hartford MI

Pearls In Our Past - Hartford Michigan
A Pictorial History of Hartford Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik
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History of Hartford Michigan
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Revised: March 23, 2009