As early as September, 1847 a few lines were run by surveyors in what is now Cedarville Township. The following July found James H. Mullet, D.S. and his men in the filed, correcting earlier lines and completing the work. The survey was finished late in October, 1848 and certified a few week later. The surveyor's field notes of 1848 carry some of his observations. That part of Menominee County now known as Cedarville Township contains all of sections 26-25 (that is, Town 36 North of Range 25 West) and three fractional towns, 36-24, 35-25, and 35-24. No railroad enters the bounds of Cedarville Township.
The First Land Patent
Not long after the land had been surveyed, the first land patent was granted. On September 30, 1850 Sylvester Lind was granted a large tract of land which included the site of the village of Cedar River as later founded. At that time there was no Cedarville Township, no Menominee County, and the state of Michigan itself was only 13 years old.
The First Mill
The first mill was erected upstream on the Cedar River and the village of Cedar Forks which grew up near the mouth of the Big Cedar. The village was known as Cedar Forks until about 1883 when the name was changed to Cedar River.
The heavy growth of cedar in the vicinity afforded ample reason for attaching the name Cedar to the river, the village, and later the township when it was organized in 1863. As time went on the township was pared down from its original state of the whole eastern half of Menominee County to its present size. The last loss of territory was when Gourley was separately set up later in 1920.
Later Milling Operations
Following the early mill operations came the company headed by Jesse Spalding which had immense timber holdings in Menominee and Delta counties. Lemoyne, Hubbard, & Wood took over for a few years, but about 1876 the Spalding company was back and continued extensive operations until finally selling out to the Crawford Brothers of Forest County, Pennsylvania in 1898. The Crawfords logged on a large scale until the timber was exhausted more than twenty years later.
Source: Menominee County Book for Schools, edited by Ethel Schuyler. Menominee, Michigan: Office of County School Commissioner, 1941.