I always assumed St Charles was named after a religious saint, but like a lot of things I think, I was wrong and actually the town was named for a really nice guy that started the community.
In 1848 Charles S. Kimberly had made a land purchase from the U. S. government which was to play a major role in the development of St. Charles. In 1849 Hiram Davis was the first settler in the area along the Bad River and He built the first home and helped cut a road through to Chesaning enabling more settlers to move into the area. Kimberly built a store and began business in the settlement even though he did not live at the settlement at the time but he did live in the village from 1863 to 1868. Charles Kimberley was a compassionate and caring man that did a lot to further the community, and out of respect and love for him, the people decided to name their town St. Charles.
The Township was organized in 1853, the same year a big log hotel was built. The first location on Beaver Creek was not suitable for the town, due to high water, and another plotting was made west of Beaver Creek at the north branch of the Bad River. The village was incorporated in 1869
During the late 1800’s several saw mills were in operation in St. Charles until the timber in the are was cut and the mills began to close. Well driller, Alonzo Adams, found coal underground and Many families moved to St. Charles during the mining era. Making it one of the largest coal producing regions in the state from 1914 to 1920. and the last coal mine in the state was the Swan Creek Mine in St Charles which closed in 1949. you can read my post about the old coal mine at Hartly Outdoor Education Center HERE
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