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Situated at the center of Sidney Township, concentrated at the intersection of Derby Road and Sidney Road, Sidney, Michigan is a small, largely residential, community in Montcalm County.

Cities and villages within twenty miles of the community include Stanton, Sheridan, Greenville, McBride, Belding, Edmore, Carson City, and Lakeview, while the unincorporated communities of Entrican, Gowen, and Fenwick are within ten miles.

The first European-American settler in Sidney is believed to have been Phineas Swift, who came from New York in 1854, although Henry Gillmore, also from New York, built the first permanent home in the township. With his sons, he soon opened a large shingle mill, and also planted corn, potatoes, vegetables, flax, and wheat. A few other settlers soon followed.

In 1856, a tornado swept through the area, destroying some of its heavy timber. An early frost then killed much of the settlers' corn and vegetables, and a large fire burned for several months. The smoke nearly blocked out the sun, and the stored hay, wagon, and much of everything that settlers had prepared for the hard Michigan winter months were destroyed. Most of their homes were saved, however.

It was a painful beginning, but Sidney Township was organized in January of 1857, and named for the Ohio hometown of several early settlers.

Fortunately, there were some tracts of land in which the forests were undamaged, so the local pine industry wasn't completely shut down, and a second growth of timber soon made its appearance.

On September 29, 1862, a post office was established, with Joshua V. Noah as postmaster. The post office took the name of the township, although, for several years, the village was known as Sidney Center.

Eventually, the pine forests were largely depleted, and agriculture developed.

Other early settlers included Theodore Gillmore, J.V. Noah, William H. Noah, James Jewell, Lyman Johnson, George Vann Ness, William Fields, Ira Barlow, Sylvester Barrett, Calvin Mann, Alanson Snow, West Drake, William Lampman, and Watson and Anthony Courter.

The cemetery in Sidney was established on land that had previously been part of Joshua V. Noah's farm.

William H. Noah established the first store in Sidney. Located in his house, he used money earned during his service in the Civil War to buy groceries in Ionia to be sold from his home. Later, he built a stand-alone store, which was operated by Charles Kent for a time, and then became the property of Frank G. Hansen.

The first sawmill in Sidney was established by Ezekiel Goble. It was located across from the cemetery. His son, along with William H. Noah, later ran the mill.

Joshua V. Noah supervised the construction of Sidney's first school. Built by volunteer labor, it was a one-room school with four windows on each side. The window sills were extended about a foot and a half to serve as student desks, with benches along the walls. The teacher's desk and blackboard were at the far end of the room. The second school was also a one-room building, although the third school building had two rooms. Used until 1960, it was demolished to make room for a bank building, now known as the Sidney State Bank.

Early Sidney had two churches: a Congregational Church and the Immanuel Danish Lutheran Church. The Sidney Congregational Church later became the Sidney Christian Church, while the Lutheran Church merged with St. John's Danish Lutheran Church in 1965, after which a new church, Faith Lutheran, was built along Sidney Road west of the village.

Today, Sidney is largely residential, with only a few businesses serving a local population. However, Montcalm Community College is just east of the town center and is generally considered to be part of the community. Founded in 1965, MCC enrolls more than two thousand students.

Online resources for governmental entities within the community, as well as local businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, recreational opportunities, and information sources are appropriate for this category.



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