William R. Montgomery - Civil War Veteran

As railroads extended throughout Hillsdale County, villages were placed next to the new lines and tracts of land surveyed into village plats and sold. William's father, then register of deeds for the county, was able to get one of the lots in the unfortunately named village of Frog's Eye for free in exchange for renaming the village Montgomery.

During the Civil War there were Rebel sympathizers in Canada and also in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Michigan Governor Austin Blair received authority to organize a regiment to protect the borders along the Detroit River and the Great Lakes.  The 30th Michigan Infantry was formed for this purpose. William enlisted in Co. G of the 30th at age 15.

Following the war William worked for the Union Pacific Railroad Company in Wyoming Territory and married. He and his family returned to Hillsdale, where they farmed in Adams Township. William acted as the Adams Township Treasurer and was Supervisor there for five years. He was a member of the County Fair Board for 30 years. When he retired from farming he moved his family to Hillsdale. There he was elected as an Alderman, where he served for many years on the Streets Department. The street running along Oak Grove Cemetery is named for him.


JoAnne P. Miller