From a “History of Kalamazoo County”:
Dr. Nathan M. Thomas came from Jefferson County, Ohio, in June, 1830, and began the practice of his profession, being the first practising physician in the county. He lived on “the West-side,” until 1832, when he removed to the village of Schoolcraft, where he has since resided, having, for a long time, an extensive practice, always taking an active part in the policies of the day, and widely known as a zealous advocate of the anti-slavery cause. His house was one of the stations of the “underground railroad” when the sable fugitives from bondage were accustomed to travel that important thoroughfare. Stephen Vickery, who afterwards repeatedly represented the county in the Legislature of the Territory and the State, taught a school at “Insley’s Comers” in the winter of 1831-2, where a school had been taught the previous winter by the Rev. T. W. Merrill. On”the West-side” were also William Duncan, prominent in good works while he lived ; Delamore Duncan, then Sheriff of the county; Col. Abiel Fellows and sons; Erastus Guilford, John Insley, Samuel Hackett, John and James Knight, Christopher Bmr, Stephen Hoyt and sons, Isaac Sumner (then Register of Deeds by appointment of Gov. Cass), Abner Calhoon, John Kelly, the Nesbitts, the Barbers, Josiah Rosecrantz, Joel Clark and sons, Erastus Williams, Towner Savage, P. J. McCreery, Bazel Harrison and sons.
On the north end and at “Virginia Comers,” were Stephen Leverich, Richard Holmes, Aaron Burson and sons, Nathan Cobb, John Brown and Dr. David E. Brown, for many years a practising physician.
On the east side and Gourd Neck, were James Armstrong, Ellas Rawson, Henry and Peleg Stevens, Rev. Benjamin Taylor, James Noyes, Joseph Bair, John McComny, Robert Frakes and sons, William Robinson and the Mcllvains.
On one of the last days of April, about ten at night, an express arrived from White Pigeon with dispatches to the effect that the Indians under Black Hawk had fought and defeated the United States troops in Illinois; that the fort at Chicago was probably taken, and that all the white settlements in the West were in great danger, and calling on the militia of Kalamazoo county to muster forthwith and march to Niles, the point of rendezvous for the Michigan troops. Dr. David E. Brown had previously been commissioned Colonel; Isaac Barnes, of Gull Prairie, Lieut. Colonel, and H. B. Huston, Major, of a regiment of militia. Col. Brown, and as many of the settlers as could be got together, were hastily convened in the new tavern then just erected, under an excitement that at this time seems rather amusing. E. L. Brown volunteered to take the dispatches to Kalamazoo and Gull Prairie, where he arrived about daylight in the morning. The regiment of three or four companies of about 60 men each, Capt. James Noyes and Capt. Ephraim Harrison commanding two companies of the prairie men, speedily mustered at Schoolcraft, and in a few days marched for the seat of war, camping at night of the second day near the village of Niles. In the morning orders arrived for the return and disbanding of the regiment, as there were no provisions for them, and they would probably not be wanted. On this expedition the venerable John Howard, of Dry Prairie, who was present at the taking of Cornwallis, drove one of the baggage wagons.
So ended the part of Kalamazoo County in the Black Hawk war. But it had the effect to stop all emigration for that spring; and in the following summer came that new and terrible scourge, the Asiatic Cholera. It had no victims in Kalamazoo County, but in all the large towns in the Territory numbers died of it, as did some of the best citizens of Marshall and Nottaway Prairie, and the whole country was full of gloom.