The CITY OF COLDWATER 1861 – 1961 marker is located at the intersection of Chicago & Marshall Streets, the Historic Marker reads:
Potawatomie Indians ceded Coldwater Prairie to the United States in 1827. The Indians called it “Chuck-sew-ya-bish”, meaning “cold water spring”. Coldwater is located at the junction of Old Sauk and Fort Wayne Indian trails. The settlement’s first house was built near this site in 1830 by Hugh Campbell. The first school was organized in 1832. Coldwater became a village in 1837, the county seat of Branch County in 1842, and a city on February 28, 1861. The State Home and Training School, dating back to 1871, is here. Coldwater has many fine old houses, legacies of the pioneers who built this city.
HISTORICAL NOTES (David McDonald):
Coldwater was first platted by Hanchett and Tibbits as the village of Lyons. Naming it after Tibbits former hometown. The first location to be named Cold Water was not the current city of Coldwater, but the location that was finally recorded as Mason. A six square mile area of Coldwater and Quincy Townships were originally the Potawatomie Reservation of ‘Mick-ke-saw-bee’. In August 1821 a land agreement was negotiated that turned a major portion of the Potawatomie land in the future Branch County over to the Federal Government. The reservation area remained in the hands of the Potawatomie until the treaty of September 1827 when the reservation was dissolved, and the local Indians were asked to move to the only remaining reservation of Nottawa-seepe in St. Joseph County. The reservation extended from about Western Avenue in Coldwater to about one mile west of the stoplight in Quincy. Yes, the entire city of Coldwater was once a Potawatomie Indian Reservation. The County of Branch was officially recognized on March 1, 1833. The County Seat was officially moved to the village of Coldwater in 1842 and the first meeting was held in March 1842.
The first school was organized by Cynthia Gloyd and was opened in July 1832 approximately one mile east of the 4-Corners Park on Chicago Road. The first official school house was built in 1834 and was located on the northeast corner of E. Pearl and S. Hudson Streets. On May 21, 1874 the Public School for Orphaned Children was opened near the corner of Marshall & State Streets. Decades later in 1939 it would transition into the Coldwater State Home & Training School