Local History

New Collections Available for Research!
 
Collections, Materials, and Links
The Otsego area is rich in history, and the Otsego District Library’s local history and genealogy collection provides excellent resources for those interested in family history and the study of this area’s past.
 
Since many of the library's local history holdings are unique to our collection and therefore valuable as primary or irreplaceable resources, all users of the collection within the library must register their name, address, and phone number. We ask that extreme care be taken with the materials in order that patrons for years to come will be able to enjoy them.
 
Photocopying of materials is currently .10 per page (.25 for color). Patrons may scan or photograph materials upon request; however, we do ask that the Otsego District Library (if the owner of the material) be given proper credit if any materials are later printed or published. Scans and photographic reproductions of materials can be done by the library staff for a fee per image.
 
Local History and Genealogy Collection
Atlases/Maps
* 1840 Map of Otsego Township [photograph]
* 1864 Map of Allegan County, 1999.
* 1873 Atlas of Allegan County, Michigan [reprint]
* 1873, 1890 Combined Atlases of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, 1984.
* 1913 Standard Atlas of Allegan County
* 1996 Land Atlas and Plat Book of Allegan County
* 1996 Land Atlas and Plat Book of Kalamazoo Cou nty
* 2000 Land Atlas and Gazetteer of Allegan County
 
Church Histories
* 125th Anniversary 1842-1967 First United Methodist Church of Otsego, 1967.
* Migration of the Lutheran Doctrine to Otsego, Michigan, 1984
* A History of the United Methodist Church of Otsego, 1984
* A Record of the First Baptist Church of Otsego, 1835-1864
 
Civil War Resources
* “Diary of a Civil War Soldier: Alonzo Rouse, Otsego, Michigan."
* "Edgar A. Brundage, Co. F 11th Michigan Cavalry, 1863-1865", by Edward Warnke and Ed Goodsell, 1981
* Hager Family Papers, 1857-1887 [copies of letters owned by the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan]
* Mostly Civil War letters of Phineas Hager and his step-son William H. White.
* “Journey through Dixie: Experiences of Pvt. Charles H. Prentiss, Co. B 19th Michigan.”
* Michigan in the War, 1882. Jonathan Robertson
* Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Alphabetical Index, 1915 [reprint].
* Prentiss Family Papers, 1860-1865 [copies of letters owned by a private family]
* Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War [little brown books] Vols. 1-10, 24
* Wing-Monteith-Hart Family Papers, 1854-1896 [copies of letters owned by a private family] Many letters from local soldier James Montieth.
 
Directories
Directory of Allegan County, 1916
* Gazetter of the State of Michigan, John T. Blois, 1840
* Otsego High School Year Books, 1924 -- Current (some years not available)
* Otsego Telephone Directory, 1938
* Otsego/Plainwell City Directory, 1973
* Bresser's Cross-Index Directory, 1974-2005
 
Indexes
* Dorothy Dalrymple Local History Collection Index
* Mountain Home and Pine Creek Cemeteries Index, 1953 (Ruth Robbins Montieth, DAR)
* Mountain Home Cemetery Index, 2001 (Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego)
* Otsego Union Newspaper Index 1869-1871
Index to the Nina Snow WWII Otsego Servicemen and Servicewomen Collection 
* Otsego District Library Historical Postcard Collection Index
 
Community Histories
* Alamo Township: Most Northwest Corner of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, Florence Finkey Snow, 1958.
* As it Was in Otsego, by Dorothy Dalrymple and Archie Nevins, 1976.
* Growing up Country Style: In Alamo Township, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan, Florence Finkey Snow, 2003.
* History of Allegan and Barry Counties, D.W. Ensign, 1880
* History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, Everts & Abbott, 1880.
* Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections Vols. 1-40, 1874-1929.
* “Otsego and Its Paper Industry,” Foreman Brown, 1931.
Otsego District Library History, Dorothy Dalrymple and Ryan Wieber.
* “Otsego—The Depression and Early Years of the New Deal,” Phillip D. Rathbun, 1969.
* Portrait and Biographical Record of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren Counties, Chapman Bros., 1892.
* River & Lake, Allegan County Michigan: A Sesquicentennial History, by Joe Armstrong and John Pahl, 1985.
* A Twentieth Century History of Allegan County, Michigan, Dr. Henry F. Thomas, 1907.
* “Two Towns and a River: New Rochester and Otsego 1830-1840,” Barbara G. Taylor, 1939.
 
Microfilm
* Allegan County Record Newspaper, 1869-1871.
* Otsego Union Newspaper, 1875-1976 (some gaps).
* Plainwell & Otsego Union Enterprise Newspaper, 1976—2004.
* Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Allegan County, 1887-1928
* United States Censuses for Allegan County, 1860-1880, 1900-1930
 
Miscellaneous
* Otsego High School Student Newspapers, 1928-1929, 1959-1963.
* Otsego Postcard Collection
* Miscellanea Collection (photos, clippings, pamphlets)
 
Papers/Manuscripts
* Dorothy Dalrymple Local History Collection (12 volumes)
* “Everyday Life at Butternut Grove, 1860-1865,” (Life of a Civil War-era Pine Creek family and soldier Charlie Prentiss—compiled from the Prentiss Family Letters.)
* Hager Family Papers, 1857-1887 [copies of letters owned by the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan]
* Nina Snow World War II Files [clippings and files on local soldiers, an index is available]
* Prentiss Family Papers, 1860-1865 [copies of letters owned by a private family]
* Wing-Monteith-Hart Family Papers, 1854-1896 [copies of letters owned by a private family]