Remember When …



I have been looking for different things of our Genesee County history to write on to spark the minds of everybody. I hopefully don’t make too many errors in my online research, sometimes they don’t all match historical records (you know that anyone can edit Wikipedia).

Last week, I made a mistake and wanted to apologize for it. I called the AC train roundhouse by Center Road in Burton Township, a roundabout that is for cars, sorry. The Trolley buses on Saginaw Street, Flint had electric wires, so they were not called cable cars.

For details, contact the Genesee County Historical Society.

This week I am going to give you a few interesting facts on the William Bendle family. They moved here in 1836 and had six children. Like most of Genesee County, we originated in England moved to New York and then to Michigan.

The “Atherton Settlement” or part of Flint Township until 1855, when we became Burton Township. There is a Bendle Cemetery in Clayton Township and Bendle Community School in Burton are all part of the same family.

William Bendle and his wife Elizabeth (Lake) loved to farm and owned a lot of acreage. William was actually a Justice of the Peace, in 1859 according to Franklin Ellis, 1879 “History of Genesee County, Michigan”.

John R. Bendle was the oldest and stayed on the homestead after his mother passed (his father moved) and his brother James died in the Civil War in 1864. John R., like his parents, loved the land and his wife Mary (Turner) she loved growing flowers, John also oversaw the Genesee County Poor farm, (by Hemphill and Saginaw St.) for six years.

By 1907, on the plot map the Bendle farm was known as Chestnut Shade Farm, their children took over the homestead. Bendle Schools was named after the family, since part of the land was given to the school, which is four square miles, now.

Reminder on Bristol Road – the Burton Library, fire station #1 and township offices were in Bendle School district, before Burton became a city in 1972. Some of my information is from

What is your family story?

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email History.