In 1840, the eastern half of Buck’s Township was detached and named Lockport Township. The remaining western half, although it had no connection to its namesake, retained the name Buck’s until 1841, when the settler-citizens petitioned the Michigan legislature to change the name to the more classical Roman family name Fabius.

Township Halls

The First Fabius Township Hall

For the first 50 years after Fabius Township was organized in 1841, meetings of the township board and other groups were held in various homes or schools. The first such meeting was on April 5, 1841, in the home of Alfred Poe whose farm was on the south side of Broadway Road and extended west to A.L .Jones Road.

In the late 1880’s the citizens decided to build a township hall. A site was secured in September 1890 from Arney Champlins on the north side of Broadway Road near the intersection with Krull Road. The property was 160 by 75 feet and the owner was to receive $50 for it on the first day of January 1894.

The bid for construction was won by Frederick Barnhardt for $325. After construction began it was decided to add two more windows, so an extra $50 was paid. The hall was accepted on Dec 19, 1895, and the first meeting of 1896 was held in it. This building was used as the Township Hall for nearly 75 years, In 1969, the township purchased the nearby Fabius Grange Hall, which was much larger, and began holding meetings and hearings there.

Fabius Grange Hall, built 1924, was Township Hall from 1969 – 2003

The Grange Hall was built by the Fabius chapter of the National Grange of the order of Patrons of Husbandry in 1923 and dedicated in 1924. The National Grange had been founded in 1867 as an association of farmers to promote the economic and political well-being of communities and agriculture. One of the National Grange’s major achievements was the establishment of rural free delivery of mail. The Grange had similarities with a fraternal order or lodge, as its meetings included rituals patterned after the Masons. But, unlike the Masons, women could be full members of a local Grange chapter. There were no related or auxiliary organization just for females.

The Fabius chapter, known as Fabius Grange No. 1495, was organized on March 9 and 11, 1911, with 53 members. It first met in rooms above the “news stand” on Portage Avenue in Three Rivers– at first twice a month and later monthly. It then moved to the third floor of a building later known as “TR Sales and Service”. In 1921, it moved to the Shaffer garage on South Main Street.

The members wanted to have a meeting place “in the country” so they arranged to buy, for $100, one acre from the Pentlins that was near the Township Hall. This location was considered near the center of the township. A committee of Bert Plantz, Arthur Ferguson, and Frank Fetterolf was appointed to draw up plans for the building, which was to measure 30 ft by 50 ft with an 8 ft high basement.

In order to build the new structure donations were received in materials and labor as follows: Mr Wortinger donated 3,700 ft of logs, 370 hours of labor, and $45 in cash; Brother Aaron Hagenbuch ( members were referred to as “brother” or “sister”) gave 3,000 ft of logs; Brother Raymond Krull donated 500 ft of lumber, 60 hours of labor; Ernest York gave 120 hours of labor and 500 ft of lumber; and the Pomona Grange (the state-level grange) donated $50. The membership authorized the Grange to borrow $1,500 (which was paid off by 1929).

By 1923, the basement was sufficiently complete so that meetings could be held there. Bench seats were bought from the Methodist Church in Three Rivers. Aaron Hagenbuch, after donating as much time as he could, was authorized to be paid $3 a day to complete work on the hall. To raise funds to meet expenses and pay off the loan, the ladies of the Grange gave talent shows as well as dinners and breakfasts. One year they had a lunch booth at the County Fair which netted $144.89.

The Grange Hall was dedicated on June 20, 1924. During that year square dances were held at the hall every two weeks and it could be rented (both floors) for $10. In 1925 a maple hardwood floor was laid on the upper level. The 1940’s were the hey days of the Grange, both socially and politically. But by 1961, when the chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary, membership and participation in the Grange dwindled as farming became more and more mechanized and consolidation into larger farms. This reduced the number of people engaged in farming. In 1969, the Fabius Grange No. 1495 sold its hall to Fabius Township . The remaining members continued to meet in members’ homes.

Charter given up?

Records are available in the Sue Silliman house museum

Current Township Hall acquired from Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2003

During the 1990’s Township officials had become increasingly concerned about the accessibility of the former Grange Hall by persons with disabilities who had to use wheel chairs, or other mobility aids because both the upper and lower levels of the former Grange hall required climbing or descending stairs. Legal Notices published to announce public hearings and meetings always contained an advisory for persons who would need assistance in order to attend to contact the Township Clerk who would arrange assistance. An architect was engaged to propose modifications or additions to the building so that it would meet the standards of the American with Disabilities Act(ADA) of 1990. While this was being considered, Supervisor Del Martin learned that the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation wanted to relocate to the city of Three Rivers. Their nearby Kingdom Hall building could be purchased. This building already met ADA standards and could easily be modified to serve as offices as well as a meeting and hearing venue. The building was purchased in April 2003 for $125,000 and has served as the Township Hall since. The upper level provides space for large meetings. The lower level has a conference room for board and commission meetings and hearings as well as offices for the supervisor, clerk, and treasurer.

NOTES from Silliman house visit.

  • In 1924 you could rent the hall (both floors) for $10
  • 1925 the maple floor on the upper level was laid
  • 1940’s were the hey days of the Grange
  • Celebrated 50th Anniversary in 1961
  • Sold bldg to Fabius Twp in 1969
  • grange continued meeting in members homes
  • Grange No 1495 organized March 9 & 11, 1911 53 members
  • (National Grange founded 1867, Michigan State Grange 1873)
  • First met in rooms above the “news stand” on Portage Ave, TR
  • initially twice a month, then monthly
  • Then moved to a 3rd floor of bldg later known as TR Sales and Service
  • Finally in 1921 to Shaffer garage on south main street.
  • Wanted to have a meeting place “in the country”
  • The Pentlins (Sue Pentlin) sold the grange 1 acre near the Twp Hall for $100. (close to center of Twp)
  • 1922 committee to draw up plans, Bert Plantz, Arthur Ferguson, Frank Fetterolf 30 x 50 with an 8 ft ( not 7 ft) basement


  • Mr. Wortinger donated 370 hours of labor, 3700 ft of logs and $45 in money Bro Hagenbuch gave 3,000 ft of logs,
  • Bro Raymond Krull donated 60 hours of labor, 500ft of lumber
  • Ernest York 120 hours of labor, 500 ft of lumber
  • Pomona Grange gave $50
  • Members auth grange to borrow $1500 ( paid off by 1929)
  • Gave talent plays ( 15 ladies)
  • lunch booth at fair netted $144.89
  • (1922 grandstand at fair burned down)
  • 1923 basement was sufficiently completed they could meet there
  • bench seats were bought from the Methodist Church in Three Rivers

Hall was dedicated June 20, 1924,

During 1924 they held dances every two weeks ( square dances)

In 1924 you could rent the hall ( both floors) for $10

1925 the maple floor on the upper level was laid

1940’s were the hey days of the Grange

Celebrated 50th Anniversary in 1961

Sold bldg to Fabius Twp in 1969

grange continued meeting in members homes