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Leonidas, Michigan is an unincorporated community in Leonidas Township, in the northeastern portion of St. Joseph County.

As an unincorporated community, Leonidas lacks defined boundaries, but the populated place with that name is just south of the center of the township, in the area where M-60 intersects with Fulton Road and King Road.

Two other named communities in Leonidas Township are Cowen's Mills and Factoryville. As these communities are now served by the Leonidas post office and don't have enough online resources to warrant their own category, we will include them here.

Bear Creek, Little Portage Creek, and Nottawa Creek flow through the township, and the St. Joseph River passes through the southern portion. Adam's Lake, Haven's Lake, and Leidy Lake are partially within the township.

Incorporated cities and villages within twenty miles of Leonidas include Mendon, Colon, Athens, Sherwood, Union City, Centreville, Burr Oak, Climax, Vicksburg, Burlington, Bronson, Three Rivers, and Sturgis. The unincorporated community of Fulton is about seven miles to the north.

The first European-American settlers in Leonidas were the George Mathews family, who came from New York City in 1831. As others came, the settlement was originally located along Nottawa Creek, a little north of the current townsite. A post office was established on April 20, 1836, with Isaac G. Bailey as the postmaster. The post office was originally known as Fort Pleasant.

In 1846, E.G. Terry platted the current townsite south of Fort Pleasant, naming it Leonidas. The post office was moved here from Fort Pleasant on February 21, 1850, and renamed Leonidas.

Leonidas Center, a village without a post office, was once a named community.

Situated west of Leonidas, south of the area where Nottawa Creek and Bear Creek come together, the community of Cowen's Mills was named for James and Robert Cowen, who came from Pennsylvania in 1831, constructing a dam along Nottawa Creek in 1832, and built a sawmill at the area where King Road and Krupp Road come together. Two more sawmills and a gristmill were built in that area later. A post office opened there in 1834, although it closed in 1839. Today, Rawson's King Mill Park is operated by St. Joseph County Parks & Recreation on the site of what was last known as the King Mill.

In the northeast section of the township, the community of Factoryville is about three miles from Leonidas, and within Leonidas Township, although mail is delivered to that area from the Athens post office. This community also rose up along a sawmill, this one built on another section of Nottawa Creek by Theodore Robinson and James Bishop in 1842. Later, William, Charles, and Nathan Schofield built a woolen factory in the same area, and the settlement that grew up there became known as Factoryville. A post office was established in Factoryville on January 31, 1888, with Henry Fredenburg as postmaster. This post office closed on April 30, 1907, although the community is still active. The Factoryville Bible Church operates Camp Elvin there.

Topics related to businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events in Leonidas, Factoryville, Cowen's Mills, or elsewhere in Leonidas Township, are appropriate for this category.



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