Wales Township

Wales Township

St.Clair County, MI

History of Wales

Please feel free to visit the hall and view some of our history!

History of Wales Schools and Churches

Ten schools previously existed in Wales Township (Kindergarten through 8th grade). They were: Kendall, Danard, Lamb, Persel, Goodells, Wales Center, Castor, Mudge, Beech, and School in the Woods. Presently there are no schools within the township.

Churches previously located in Wales Township: Mt. Pleasant Methodist Protestant Church, First Baptist Church of Wales Township, Goodells Methodist Protestant Church, Hope Lutheran Church, Methodist Episcopal Church

History of Wales Timeline

1830 – Records show that most of the early settlers of Wales Township came from New York, Pennsylvania, and Canada.

1836 – First land in Wales Township purchased from the United States Government by: Joseph Chartier, Abner Coburn, Joseph Pitcairn, S. Moiser,  J.L. Barton, E.A. Seymour, Phineas Davis, Luke Hemmingway, A. Earl, Samuel Swift, Hiram Bellows, Julius Day, Hugh Moffat, Nathaniel T. Ludden, Samuel Ufford, Hamilton Morrison, John Beach, Avery W. Stowell, Bowen Whiting, Henry J. Avery, T.J. Dudley, William H. Haggerty, Orus Field, William Kellogg, Henry Handel, Elias Eddy, Benjiman Tower, Edwin Jerome, Serino Smith, N. Dickenson, Ebenezer Williams, Linus S. Gilbert, Curtis C. Gates, H.F. Stockbridge, Samuel B. Winscott, Isaac Hall, and Hugh Gray.

1840 – Property assessment rolls show only three land owners in Wales Township- Joshua Tompkins (Sections 20-21-29), C. S. Cusick and J.H. Dutton (Section 17).

1841 – Supervisor – Clark S. Cusick

1842 – Township meetings held at Joshua Tompkins’ farm

1843 – Township auctioned off jobs, at “publick auction”. The job paid 10 1/2 to 18 cents per rod. The jobs auctioned off were “to make the road as level as possible between the center and the right….stumps standing on high ground to be grubbed so as to make it level with the surface.”

1843 – Underbrushing paid 11 cents to $1.12 per acre.

1843 – “James M. Merritt built bridge across the Smith Creek on the Cole Rd. Cost to Township $7.99”.

1845 – Population 114

1846 – Blacksmith Shop operated in Section 22, 40 acres, owned and operated by Daniel Riesh.

1846 – On April 15, 1846, a main road was established from Almont to Port Huron. Joshua Tompkins, Daniel B. Harrington, and James Andrews were appointed as Commissioners. Part of this road was the main road going through the center of Wales Township and was built over an old Indian Trail. The route was over the Wales Ridge, Lamb (formally Tompkins Road), and Emerson (formally the Black River Road), Sparling and Pine Woods (also known as Black Woods Road), road to Wadhams. The route was the highest terrain in Wales Township. A stage line from Flint to Port Huron was later routed over these same roads with a stop-over at John Persels’ place (formally Joshua Tompkin’s) in Lamb, known as the White Sock Inn. John Persels kept horses with white markings as socks and that is how the Inn got it’s name. It was one of the most elaborate places around with a ballroom and running water.

1850 – Joshua Tompkins owned a shoe shop.

1851 – Township of Wales receives it’s first post office. “Benton Barlett, saloon and hotel owner, was it’s first PostMaster. The Post Office was located on the line fence behind Tony Konyha’s place. A road running between Tony Konyha’s and Robert Fiser’s gave access to the post office, according to the 1876 map of Wales Township. The location changed about 1883 or shortly thereafter because the Northwestern Railroad came through the township at that time.”

1854 – Population 441

1859 – Township starts describing road courses as being “magnetically taken”

1864 – Population 1010

1866 – Village of Goodells established. It was named after John Goodell, who lived in the house where L.G. Webb lived in before WWII.

1869 – St. Clair Co. Poorhouse & Farm established at Smith Creek.

1870 – Post Office established November 7, 1870, located on west side of Wales Center Road (halfway between the railroad and Lapeer Rd.)

1870 – Church buildings begin to open.

1873 – Poorhouse moved to Goodells.

1876 – Post Office moved to the village proper of Goodells. The village, at this time, was a lumbering town with a steam sawmill, located west of Dr. McCue’s house on the north side of the railroad. There was also a gristmill located in the “Shady Nook” area. In addition to the gristmill, John Goodell also owned a cheese factory and a store. The township continued to grow in the following years. It had a blacksmith shop, hotel, two general stores, two hay sheds, two coal yards, a foundry and machine shop, woodworking shop, cider mill, railroad depot, freight shed, grain elevator, post office, hardware store, bank, garage, milk station, pickle factory, Macabee Hall, doctor, and two churches: Methodist and Baptist.

1876 – Grange Lodge, No 45, of the Patrons of Husbandry of South Wales, was established. The installation of officers took place January 15, 1876 at the Wales Schoolhouse. The Acting Master, Joshua Tompkins, was the installing officer.

1880 – East Wales Cemetery was renamed Mt. Pleasant Cemetery when the church there was built.

1880 – Population 1,820

1881 – Total Township area is 2,352 acres.

1881 – 656 school children enrolled.

1883 – The third trading center in Wales was Lamb Corners. In 1883, the Port Huron and Northwestern Railroad went through the central part of Wales Township with it’s mail run from Port Huron to Almont of Lapeer County. The town of Lamb Corners formed around the Lumber Mill and Flour Mill operated by John A. Lamb, and the town was named for him. Byron Jenne was it’s first post-master and the office continued until April 30, 1942.

1883 – East Wales Cemetery was renamed Lamb Cemetery after the establishment of the Village of Lamb.

1889 – Residents of Wales Township decide to build a central meeting place, a “hall” – June 10, 1889

1889 – Annual Meeting for Wales Township. $500 is allocated towards the building costs of hall.

1890 – 327 Registered Voters

1890 – Residents vote on location of hall.

1890 – November 8, 1890, residents hold first meeting in hall.

1895 – 296 Registered voters in Wales Township

1897 – Map shows the new location of the Post Office to be in the area of Wales Center and Lamb Road.

1947 – Electricity approved for Goodells.

1947 – Wales Township Board approves the motion to refuse any and all liquor licenses for the Village of Goodells.

1962 – Poorhouse becomes St. Clair County Medical Center, located on County Park Drive.

1989 – Hall moved 120 feet east to it’s present location. Woodwork, hardwood floor, lettering on the outside of the builidng, portico, shutters and siding are all original. Total cost $40,000, for moving the hall and adding the basement.

1990 – Population 2,294

1992 – August 27, 1992 – St. Clair County Medical Center closed down.

1993 – June, 1993 – Medical Center torn down.

1994 – Construction of multi-million dollar county park begins: Goodells County Park.

2000 – Population 2,950; Registered voters – 1,919

2000 – September 17, 2000 – Wales Township Hall was declared and dedicated with Historical Marker Status (see picture at the bottom of the page).

2010 – Population 3,248

2014 – Registered voters 2,413

2015 – November 11, 2015, the Wales Historical Society put on a celebration for the 125-year birthday of the Wales Township Hall.

2016 – March 27, 2016 will be Wales Township’s 175 birthday.

2018– Registered voters 2,424

2020 – November 3, 2020, Election had 2019 voters, 1054 were absentee voters. The township had 2,564 registered voters on that date.

2000 – Population 2,950; Registered voters – 1,919

2000 – September 17, 2000 – Wales Township Hall was declared and dedicated with Historical Marker Status! (marker pictured to the right)

2010 – Population 3,248

2014 – Registered Voters 2413

2015 – November 11, 2015 the Wales Historical Society put on a celebration for the 125 Year Birthday of the Wales Township Hall. 

2016  – March 27, 2016 will be Wales Township’s 175th Year Birthday.

2018 – Registered Voters 2424

2020 –  November 3, 2020 Election had 2019 voters, 1054 were absentee voters. The Township had 2564 Registered Voters on that date.