Chester Township is located in the northeast corner of Ottawa County. At the time it was surveyed in 1835-36, there were only about two hundred Indian inhabitants, primarily in the Cranberry and Crockery Lake areas.
John McCain was the first elected supervisor. It appears the township was named for John McCain's first son, Chester, who was the first white child born in the township. Records, however, are not completely clear concerning this information.
In 1886, the new Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad was instrumental in the development of the Conklin area. The railroad brought many changes, such as transportation for people and supplies. The first train station was known as West Chester.
Currently there is only one lake, Crockery Lake. Rumor has it a smaller lake disappeared during a thunderstorm in 1911. The township's rich agricultural soil has supported a long farming history of varieties of cattle, grain and fruit. Therefore, many beautiful centennial farms dot the gently rolling countryside.
At one time there were nine rural schools. Big Springs was the final one-room school in Ottawa County to close. Chester Township has several churches that have been in existence for well over a century. While many structures have been replaced, the influence of these churches continues.
Transcriber: Leslie Coulson
Created: 17 November 2005