For the Record


  The Hillsdale County Jail

The Hillsdale County Jail

Before the Hillsdale Country Club golf course was created, certain local gentlemen "played golf" at the Fairgrounds. Dr. Walter Sawyer, son-in-law of Charles T. Mitchell, fell and broke his leg while going through a fence at the south end of the race track.

"For the Record," a column in the local paper, had its beginning in the 1800s. Originally it contained idle gossip about where town luminaries were visiting, who was sick, who died and who had new babies, as well as police and court reports. Appearing in the December 30, 1887 paper were the following two items:

1. Harriet Allen of Litchfield pled guilty to a charge of keeping a house of ill fame and was sentenced to the Detroit House of Correction for three years. Her husband was arrested on a similar charge and remained in jail, awaiting trial.

2. George Manning pled guilty to a charge of unlawfully uncoupling a car on the L.S. & M.S. R.R. and was sent to the State House of Correction at Ionia for five years. Manning at the time refused to plead guilty. Three boys, including George, stole a ride on a train going from Hillsdale to Osseo. Approaching Osseo, they uncoupled the car they were in and "stopped it on the track, thereby very nearly causing a serious accident."

In 1901, the Hillsdale Democrat reported  that an ex-Register of Deeds of Hillsdale County was arrested for “a most remarkable Career of Crookedness.”

Carol A. Lackey