On the banks of the St. Joseph River, Niles, Michigan is just north of South Bend, Indiana, in Berrien and Cass counties. It is located at the site of the French Fort St. Joseph, which was built in 1697 to protect the Mission which was established in 1691. After 1761, it was held by the British and was recaptured in May 1763 by Native Americans during Pontiac’s Rebellion. The British retook the fort, and it served as a trading post. The occupation of the fort by four nations: France, Britain, Spain, and the United States has earned Niles the nickname of "City of Four Flags."
The town was named after Hezekiah Niles, editor of the Niles Register. The town was settled in 1827. Niles was an integral part of the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape from as far south as New Orleans, through the heartland, and eventually into Canada. (taken from Wikipedia)