Section 31- Welch, Hiller

Written by Sandy Kinter, from Waterford Genealogical Society E-Newsletter Volume 16 Number 11

Section 31 is the southwestern corner of Waterford Township. Williams Lake Road makes up the western
boundary and Cooley Lake Road is the southern boundary. It is mostly residential with businesses and shops along Cooley Lake Road. The Oakland County Tuberculosis Sanatorium was once located in Section 31. The hospital property is now the site of the Highland Lake Campus of Oakland Community College. Waterford Township’s Hess Hathaway Park occupies the old Hathaway farm on Williams Lake Road.

The 1872 plat map of Waterford Township shows a small property owned by F.W. Fifield on the northern boundary of Section 31. Francis Webster Fifield was a resident of Waterford Village and he was included in the biographies of the village. In the southeastern corner of the section, at the intersection of Hospital and Cooley Lake Roads is a small square marked O. Dewey. Orville Dewey and his wife, Ann Herrington, will be reported with their parents, John K. Dewey, and Judah Herrington, both of whom resided in Section 32.

Sylvanus Welch
Elizabeth Hiller

The 1870 census entry for Sylvanus Welch says he is 33 years old, a farmer, and was born in Michigan. His wife was Elizabeth, age 30, born in Michigan; the children are Isaac, age 9, Frank, age 7 and Ed, age 2, all born in Michigan. With the family is Maria Hager, age 28, domestic servant, born in Michigan and Wallace Hiller, age 17, farm laborer, born in New York. The 1872 plat map of Waterford Township shows the 80 acre farm of S. Welch with the residence located on Cooley Lake Road. About 1927 the northern part of the property became the site of the Oakland County Tuberculosis Sanatorium. In late 1964 the Sanatorium buildings and property were sold to the Oakland Community College and became the Highland Lakes Campus. (1)

Sylvanus Welch, the son of Enos Welch and Harriet Frost, (4)(5) was born 6 March 1837, in Plymouth Township, Wayne County, Michigan. (2)(3) On 6 September 1859, in West Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Sylvanus married Elizabeth Hiller. (6) In the 1860 census, Sylvanus and Elizabeth are living in West Bloomfield Township with her parents, Jacob and Arvilla Hiller. (7) In December 1860 Jacob and Arvilla Hiller are selling to Elizabeth Welch the property located in Section 32, Waterford Township. (8) Sylvanus Welch died 8 August 1915, in Pontiac, Michigan. (2)(3) He is buried in the Commerce Village Burying Ground, Commerce Township, Oakland County, Michigan. (3)

Enos Welch was born 6 July1809, in Saratoga County, New York, (5) the son of Asa Welch and Mary Jackson.(10) He married Harriet Frost, 6 July 1835. (5) The Welch family moved to Plymouth Township, Wayne County, Michigan (5), where they are recorded in the 1840 census. (11) By 1850 the family is residing in Novi Township, Oakland County. (12) Enos died 3 June 1888, in Four Towns, Waterford Township, at the home of his son Sylvanus. (5)(9) Enos’ grandfather, Joseph Welch, served in the Revolutionary War, from Massachusetts. (10) The Find A Grave Entry for Harriet (Frost) Welch has a clear picture of her headstone which says Harriet was born 22 March 1814 and died 17 March 1886. (9) Both Enos and Harried Welch are buried in the Walled Lake Cemetery, Walled Lake, Oakland County, Michigan. (9)

Elizabeth Hiller was born 28 April 1840, in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan. (3)(13) She was the daughter of Jacob Hiller and Arvilla Van Tuyl. (13) Elizabeth died 5 July 1914, in Pontiac, Michigan. (3)(13) She is buried with her husband, Sylvanus Welch, in the Commerce Village Burying Ground, Commerce Township, Oakland County. (3) Elizabeth’s father, Jacob Hiller, was an early settler in West Bloomfield Township, where, as Jacob Hiller of Monroe County, New York, he is receiving a land patent dated 9 October 1835. (14) Hiller Road in West Bloomfield Township is named after Jacob Hiller.

Jacob married Arvilla Jane Van Tuyl, 25 May 1834, in Oakland County. (15) The Find A Grave entry for Jacob Hiller reports that he was born 12 October 1810, and died 15 March 1897. (3) There is a clear picture of his headstone in the Commerce Village Burying Ground, Commerce Township, Oakland County. (3) Arvilla Van Tuyl was the daughter of Isaac Van Tuyl and Elizabeth Seeley, born 6 September 1817, in New York. (16) Arvilla died 1 June 1901, in West Bay City, Bay County, Michigan. (16) She is buried with her husband in the Commerce Village Burying Ground. (3) Arvilla’s father, Isaac Van Tuyl, was an early settler of Waterford Township. (14) He has land patents in his name for parts of Section 27 (1831), Section 22 (1835), and Section 28 (1839). (14) The 1831 patent says he is Isaac Van Tuyl of Seneca County, New York. (14) Isaac is very probably the Isaac Vantile found in the 1850 census, page 230, Vienna Township, Genesee County, Michigan.


  1. Oakland University Libraries, Oakland County Tuberculosis Sanatorium Records,
  2. Death Certificate, Sylvanus Welch, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952;
    Midland-Oakland, 1915, Ancestry,
  3. Commerce Village Burying Ground, Commerce Township, Oakland County, Michigan,
    Find A Grave,
  4. Michigan, Wills and Probate Records, 1784-1980; Oakland County, Probate Records,
    Volumes 63-64, 1886-1904, Volume 64, 1886-1888, page 581, Ancestry,
  5. Obituary, Enos Welch, Pontiac Bill Poster, Pontiac, Michigan, Wednesday, 6 June 1888,
    page 5, Digital Michigan Newspaper Portal, Central Michigan University,
  6. Oakland County, Michigan, Record of Marriages, Volumes D-G, 1849-1876;
    Volume F, page 45, Image 538, FHL#0973980, FamilySearch,
  7. 1860 Census, page 909, West Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan
  8. Oakland County, Michigan, Deed Records, Volumes 69-70, 1860-1862;
    Volume 69, 1860-1861, page 580, Image 299, FHL #0975439, FamilySearch,
  9. Walled Lake Cemetery, Walled Lake, Michigan, Find A Grave,
  10. Lineage Book, Volume XI, 1895, National Society of the Daughter of the American
    Revolution, Press of Harrisburg Publishing Co., Harrisburg, PA, 1900,
    pages 368-369, Mrs. Lodisa Welch Ambrose #10980, Ancestry,
  11. 1840 Census, page 316, Plymouth Township, Wayne County, Michigan
  12. 1850 Census, page 213, Novi Township, Oakland County, Michigan
  13. Death Certificate, Elizabeth Welch, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952;
    Monroe-Osceola, 1914, Ancestry,
  14. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records, Jacob Hiller and
    Isaac Van Tuyl,
  15. Michigan, County Marriage Records, 1822-1940, Ancestry,
  16. Death Certificate, Arvilla Jane Hiller, Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1952;
    Wayne (Detroit), Alcona-Berrien, 1900-1901, Ancestry,