County founder portrayed at 150th birthday observance

July 19, 2019

By John Raffel

Osceola County prosecuting attorney Anthony Badovinac was among the observers on Tuesday of the Sesquicentennial celebration of Osceola County.
The county celebrated the event in the county courthouse. Commissioner Roger Elkins of Evart portrayed Delos A. Blodgett, a well-known founder of the county. It was pointed out Blodgett came to the county as part of the lumber industry.
“Delos Blodgett came to Osceola in 1850 and operated farms in Osceola, Clare and Missaukee counties,” Badovinac wrote in a statement. “He operated one of the first sawmills in the area. In 1860. the census pegged the county as having 27 residents. Blodgett had the first crop, potatoes, held the first election (1861), had the first grist mill, served as the first postmaster, first supervisor and had the first fair, he later purchased the fairgrounds in Evart. By 1892 Blodgett retired and had amassed a fortune of $7,200,000. Blodgett Hospital and Blodgett Home for Children were Blodgett projects.
Badovinac, who farms in Osceola County, tore a barn down 30 years ago which was located on the corner of U.S. 10 and Deerlake road and which was built in 1861. He has saved the hand-hewn timbers and lumber and has plans to resurrect the structure as a rustic cabin.
“To think that I tore down a barn that was built during a time when Osceola County only had 27 residents is mindboggling to me,” he said. “To reassemble it and to know that the Civil War was in full swing when that barn was built is even more intriguing. I’d have to think that some of the lumber came from one of Blodgett’s sawmills.”

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